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My research interests focus on scientific teaching and improving undergraduate biology education. I am interested in the design, implementation, and assessment of active learning techniques, especially for introductory biology courses. To increase support for our students in-class, I am interested in the implementation and pedagogical development of undergraduate Teaching Assistants in the classroom. Having a biochemistry and general chemistry education background, I am also focused on integrated biology and chemistry for freshman, and designing and measuring the effectiveness of activities and labs that are centered around the interdisciplinarity of biology and chemistry.
Laboratory Science: My earlier research interests were focused on how viral infection altered the kinetic rates of metabolic pathways of the host cell.
Designing a podcast project to enhance student’s science communication skills - Traditional summative assessments in freshman introductory labs typically focus on evaluating students' ability to communicate science to other scientists. We also want students to learn how to communicate science to a general audience. Our podcast science communication project is designed to complement scientific posters in our lab curriculum in integrated biology and chemistry by introducing students to the significance and skills required to communicate science to the general public. In our podcast project, students are introduced to the fundamentals of science communication through a partnership with the Delaware Museum of Natural History. Students then research a topic or problem of interest adjacent to their inquiry-based lab project, and script a podcast segment that presents the current science to a general audience. We are currently exploring how this project influences perceived student ability in science communication, and assessing how student ability in scientific communication improves as a result of this assignment.
Implementation of Peer Mentors in Integrated Introductory Biology and Chemistry - Peer mentors are undergraduates who assist students in learning and group work in class. The use of peer mentors increases the capacity for active learning activities in large classes. We are currently working on expanding the use of peer mentors, and training them in pedagogy in order to better serve our students during class.
CTAL Instructional Improvement Grant (2018)
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