COPUS Profiles

The COPUS Profiles are the result of a cluster analysis conducted on 269 STEM class periods across eight of the 25 original COPUS behavioral codes (see Table 1).

The eight COPUS codes used for the cluster analysis that lead to the ten COPUS profiles.
AnQ-S Student answering instructor's question CQ Asking a clicker question
SQ Student asking a question Fup Follow-up on CQ or activity
GW* Students working in group though various means (worksheet, clicker, others) Lec Lecturing
RtW Real-time writing on board, etc.
MG Moving through class, guiding work
* GW is not a code in the original set of 25 COPUS codes; it is a new code that groups the original COPUS codes WG, CG, and OG.

The characteristic of each COPUS profile (i.e. cluster) was derived from the average percentage of 2-min intervals per class period containing each of the eight COPUS codes. In Table 2, we present the COPUS Profiles, organized from teacher-centered to student-centered, along with the average percentage of 2-min intervals per class period for each behavioral code. We circled in blue the frequency(ies) of behaviors that distinguished that particular profile from the previous one.

Table 2. Characteristics of the ten COPUS Profiles

More Information on the COPUS Profiles

More details about the data set and analyses that were used to obtain the COPUS Profiles can be found in the following article:

Lund, T.J., Pilarz, M., Velasco, J.B., Chakraverty, D., Rosploch, K., Undersander, M., and Stains, M. The Best of both worlds: Building on the COPUS and RTOP observation protocols to easily and reliably measure various levels of reformed instructional practices, CBE Life Sciences Education, 14(2) - please click here to access


We have developed a tool to help researchers and instructors classify COPUS data into COPUS Profiles. Please click the button below to access it.

Submit COPUS Data

Researchers Needed

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