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FIRST Database - Alix Darden is the ASM Representative on the advisory board for this grant.

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Calls to reform undergraduate STEM education in the United States abound. As part of the Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching (FIRST,, we are constructing an assessment database to support research on undergraduate STEM education. The database willfacilitate both data-driven instructional decision-making and research in science education.

1) PowerPoint poster describing the FIRST Assessment Database and the role of ASM.

2) FIRST ASM Best Practices file - This document summarizes many of the ‘best practices’ in STEM education research, from data collection and storage to dealing with research on human subjects. These guidelines are meant to simplify your research and promote use of the FIRST Assessment Database.

      3) FIRST Guide to formatting file-This document is a comprehensive list of things to consider when formatting an assessment for the parser. Please keep in mind that most of these things you likely do already – so don’t completely rewrite all of your assessments! Don’t worry about ‘breaking’ the parser. Please follow the guidelines and keep in mind that some mistakes are correctable during the parsing process.

4) FIRST Sample Grade Book Excel File - This file provides an example of how you might set up an Excel spread sheet to collect test item data.  Some of the cells contain formula's that you may be interested in.