CURRENT PROJECTS

INVESTIGATING STUDENT DISCOURSE IN LARGE-ENROLLMENT CHEMISTRY COURSES

Funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE)

The notion that active learning is generally more effective than more traditional, passive approaches to teaching in large-enrollment university settings is generally agreed upon. However, the specific curricular and instructional decisions that support high-quality engagement in active learning environments for diverse learners has not yet been investigated. The goal of this work is to characterize the essential features of the design and implementation of collaborative activities that facilitate student discourse in small groups and promote learning.

DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF FACULTY LEARNING COMMUNITIES TO IMPROVE CHEMISTRY TEACHING AND LEARNING

Funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence

The changing demographics of incoming STEM undergraduates must be met with initiatives that seek to improve participation and performance of our most vulnerable students. Stony Brook University has committed to actively combating these inequities in STEM education across departments. The chemistry department in particular has recently initiated a faculty learning community (FLC) of general chemistry instructors to encourage faculty to intentionally modify their practice in order to better support at-risk students. In this study, we explore how the objectives and activities of this FLC impact faculty perceptions of teaching and learning in the discipline in ways that positively impact student learning in chemistry for at-risk groups.

DOMAIN-SPECIFIC PSYCHOSOCIAL INTERVENTIONS TO IMPROVE AT-RISK STUDENT SUCCESS IN CHEMISTRY

Funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence

The positive impact of psychosocial interventions on the academic performance of at-risk students have been well-documented. However, research has shown that an individual’s domain-general psychosocial perceptions (e.g., intelligence mindset broadly speaking) are not necessarily consistent with their domain-specific perceptions (e.g., intelligence mindset about chemistry). In this study, we target and evaluate the impact of psychosocial interventions embedded within the discipline of chemistry on the outcomes of at-risk students in introductory general chemistry courses, the results of which should better inform faculty, departmental, and institutional efforts to improve chemistry success rate for underrepresented students.

©2018 Lisa Shah.