ROSE Network: Lunch Seminar Series

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First Day of Class: What STEM instructors do, what students recall, and does it matter? 

The first day of class provides an opportunity to set the tone for the term. However, few studies have explored how STEM instructors structure the first day of class, and the language they use to cultivate classroom climates. We used classroom observations to quantify how much time 23 instructors dedicated to various talking points during the first day of class and adapted the non-content Instructor Talk Framework (Harrison et al., 2019; Seidel et al., 2015) to analyze the ways in which they communicated with students. Cluster analysis revealed that instructors either spent the majority of their class periods on STEM content or covering course policies. Additionally, while all instructors used positively phrased non-content Instructor Talk on the first day, they varied in the amount and specificity of their messaging. In a follow-up study of 11 courses, we surveyed 1449 students and found that the majority of students detected higher frequency messaging. Finally, we will share preliminary data exploring factors that influence student attitudes, as well as student preferences for structure on the first day of class. 


Wednesday, October 20 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lectures & Presentations, Seminar


Career & Professional Development

Target Audience

Faculty & Staff


College of Arts & Sciences
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UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.