Personalizing Undergraduate STEM Learning through Mobile Mindfulness Training


The current research project involves creating, piloting, and testing a 14-day, mobile mindfulness intervention to support undergraduate STEM learning. In Phase 1, we will adapt and extend mindfulness exercises used successfully in prior laboratory studies with undergraduates. To adapt our existing exercises, we plan to conduct a series of focus groups and individual interviews with first and second-year undergraduates in introductory STEM courses to identify common struggles and psychological reactions to those struggles. Students’ struggles (and reactions to those struggles) will serve as the foundation for the mindfulness intervention. In Phase 2, we will conduct a small-scale pilot study with undergraduates in introductory STEM courses to increase acceptability of the intervention. Finally, in Phase 3, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the immediate impact of the intervention. The mindfulness training will be compared to a waitlist control condition, with the hypothesis that mindfulness training will result in (1) more mindfulness, better coping skills, and less reactivity to academic challenges, and (2) greater engagement, motivation, and learning in STEM classes, following the training. If successful, this project stands to make a theoretical and practical breakthrough in the way mindfulness can be delivered to support STEM learning.