Contact Info

Plant Sciences Building
Other Affiliations:
Research Interests:

Although I am a tenured professor in a plant biology department, my research focuses on developing and measuring the effectiveness of curriculum and instructional strategies utilized in college science classrooms. In particular, I have focused on examining the acquisition of scientific literacy skills in biology courses designed to fulfill general science graduation requirements. I am most interested in the following three questions:

  1. What motivates students to dig in to do the hard work of learning and how does collaboration influence student motivation? To address this, I have developed and utilized instruments designed to measure student motivation to learn science in different contexts.
  2. Do students actually make gains in scientific literacy skills as a result of taking a general education courses? I have developed an instrument called the TOSLS that is aligned with science policy recommendations to test scientific literacy skills, Using this instrument, i was able to show greater gains for students taking a project-based curriculum compared to students in more traditional courses. I am currently interested in how to best disseminate this curriculum to current and future faculty.
  3. What role does instructional feedback play in the willingness of faculty to change their teaching practices?