Office: Keathley University Center 305B
Campus Mailing Address: MTSU Box 60, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
B.S., Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University
M.S., Zoology, North Carolina State University
Ph.D., Science Education, North Carolina State University
I have two broad research areas. I am interested in disciplinary-based education research examining instructional effectiveness in post-secondary science learning environments. Instructional effectiveness is a dual function of both the instructor and the student and can be especially challenging for both parties when class sizes are large. From the perspective of the student, I am currently looking at changes in student motivation within intentionally-constructed collaborative groups and how it can be harnessed to assist students in achieving critical learning objectives. From the perspective of the instructor I am particularly interested in how and why science faculty (including graduate students) choose to adopt (or discontinue) use of research-based instructional strategies in the sciences.
My secondary interest are examining effective means of teaching emergent technologies (such as biotechnology and nanotechnology). Emergent technologies are being integrated into school curricula at all levels and present some novel challenges to teaching and learning. Most of my work focuses on how to effectively communicate some of the more difficult socio-scientific issues related to these technologies. I have also examined some of the conceptual hurdles to learning about specific technologies at small scales (scale issues, estimation, spatial-visualization, etc.).
I have published in work in several science education journals including International Journal of Science Education, Research in Science Education, School Science and Mathematics, American Biology Teacher, Advances in Physiology Education, and Journal of Nano Education among others. I have also presented papers at National Association of Research in Science Teaching, Association of Biology Teachers, and Society of College Science Teachers as well as others.