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Insights into STEM Education Praxis: An Assessment Scheme for Course Syllabi

Post-secondary institutions within the European Higher Education Area have been adapting quality assurance mechanisms for course design, delivery, and evaluation following a learner-centered approach. The purpose ofthis exploratory study was to delineate the teaching practices in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at the post secondary level through an assessment of course syllabi. An analytical rubric was developed with the STEM community, STEM education, and STEM assessment factors in order to assess teaching practices through syllabi of the courses offered at a public university within the European Higher Education Area.Data were analyzed at the item level using a Mann-Whitney non-parametric test and at the factor level with an independent t-test. Results showed that there were statistically significant differences between the externally accredited and non-accredited programs in STEM_education and STEM_assessment variables, which indicated a practical significance in favor of accredited programs. There was reason to believe that the external accreditation process has a positive impact on instructors in encouraging them to align their syllabi with the STEM education praxis under the influence of the student-centered teaching and learning paradigm.
Key Words: Accreditation, Bologna Process, European Higher Education Area, STEM Education, Syllabi

Corlu, M. S. (2013). Insights into STEM education praxis: An assessment scheme for course syllabi. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 13(4), 2477-2485.