COPUS Profiles

Capturing instructional practices in Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering (STEM) classrooms is critical to advance our understanding of effective teaching, identify paths to support faculty in their improvement of their instructional practices, and to measure the impact of professional development.

In this website, we provide a new analytical tool aimed at characterizing instructional practices. This tool is based on an established observation protocol, the Classroom Observation Protocol for STEM Undergraduate or COPUS. It permits the classification of classroom observations into specific instructional styles, called COPUS Profiles. These profiles represent a range of instructional styles, from teacher-centered to student-centered. They were developed from a data set that comprised 269 individual class periods collected from 73 STEM instructors across 28 institutions in the United States.

To find out more about these profiles and the COPUS Profiles analytical tool, please go to About COPUS Profiles.


We are looking for researchers who are willing to share di-identified COPUS data. These data would help use validate the COPUS Profiles we have identified with our data set. If you are interested in helping, please contact Marilyne Stains at

About the Creators

Marilyne Stains is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research focuses on characterizing the instructional practices and decision-making processes about teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics faculty at the postsecondary level. You can learn more about her research on her website.

Financial Support

The work presented here was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DUE #1256003) and financial support from the UNL Department of Chemistry, the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education at UNL, and NebraskaSCIENCE.