Measuring Instrument for Scientific Teaching (MIST)

Developed by Mary F. Durham, Jennifer K. Knight, and Brian A. Couch

Purpose To assess the frequency and breadth of scientific teaching practices in undergraduate science courses.
Format Multiple-choice, Agree/disagree
Duration 15 min
Focus Teaching (active learning, inclusivity, responsiveness, experimental design, communication, data analysis and interpretation, cognitive skills, reflection)
Level Upper-level, Intermediate, Intro college

Sample questions from the MIST:

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Silver Validation
This is the second highest level of research validation, corresponding to at least 5 of the validation categories below.

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • Student thinking

Studied Using:

  • Student interviews
  • Expert review
  • Appropriate statistical analysis

Research Conducted:

  • At multiple institutions
  • By multiple research groups
  • Peer-reviewed publication

The MIST was developed based on scientific teaching practices reported in the literature and has been extensively tested and iterated. Survey items were piloted with a small (n=29) subset of students who took the MIST and participated in interviews. The final survey was tested in 87 courses across 9 institutions. MIST has a high internal reliability, overall alpha of 0.93. Factor analysis and expert review were also conducted.

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Download the MIST scoring tool.

Typical Results

Distribution of overall MIST scores and scores on subcategories for 87 courses across 9 institutions, from Durham et al. 2018:

There is a short version of the MIST called the MIST-short, designed for users with survey time constraints, such as instructors or researchers who want to pair MIST with other instruments. This version has the same subcategories as the MIST, but fewer items within each sub-category. The MIST-short takes approximately 5 minutes for students to complete.


Measuring Instrument for Scientific Teaching-Short

Teaching (experimental design, reflection, active learning, inclusivity, responsiveness, communication, data analysis and interpretation, cognitive skills)
Upper-level, Intermediate, Intro college
Multiple-choice, Agree/disagree