COSAM News Articles 2023 May Inclusive teaching strategies aim to impact 3,000 undergraduate students through IDEALS program

Inclusive teaching strategies aim to impact 3,000 undergraduate students through IDEALS program

Published: 05/16/2023

By: Maria Gebhardt

A collaboration between the Biggio Center and faculty in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, will introduce inclusive teaching strategies to faculty using active learning spaces in the Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex, or ACLC, that can increase STEM education effectiveness for all auburn students.

The team pictured to the right includes Melinda Lanius, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics; Karen McNeal, the Marguerite Scharnagle Endowed Professor in the Department of Geosciences; Stephanie Shepherd, associate professor in the Department of Geosciences; and Lindsay Doukopoulos, associate director for educational development in the Biggio Center.

They will create innovative training opportunities through a new program called Inclusive Design for Enhancing Active Learning in STEM, or IDEALS, for 30 faculty in all of the departments in COSAM including the Department of Biological Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Geosciences, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Department of Physics.

This program not only seeks to train faculty in research-based practices in order to improve STEM education but also seeks to increase how the students are engaged and have a genuine sense of belonging in the classroom. The community, of both students and faculty, formed through this program will additionally support diversity, equity and inclusive efforts throughout the university.

Furthermore, programmatic research will be shared to help strengthen training for future graduate students and faculty.

This research is funded by the National Science Foundation.  

For more information about this program, contact Lindsay Doukopoulos in the Biggio Center at or Stephanie Shepherd in the Department of Geosciences at

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