Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education



Emotion as the hidden curriculum: The case of student anxiety

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X-DBER 2021 Conference, March 1-3, 2021.


The primary research focus of Dr. Schussler’s lab is the shaping of undergraduate learning environments to foster meaningful student learning. Although learning environments are organized around specific curricula, the effectiveness of the curriculum is often impacted by the instructor and/or student perception of the instructor. Much of my lab’s research has focused on this interplay between curricula and the instructor and how it affects student learning. Some lab research specifically informs teaching professional development (TPD) for biology graduate teaching assistants. We have found, for example, that student perceptions of GTAs change over the semester, are impacted by the title the GTA uses with their students, and are linked to particular teaching behaviors that can predict perception of teaching effectiveness. These lines of research led to the creation of an NSF-funded research coordination network (BioTAP) focused on improving GTA TPD. BioTAP members have co-published a national survey on the state of GTA TPD at institutions across the US and Canada and proposed a conceptual model for conducting research on GTA TPD programs, which is used as part of the BioTAP Scholars program.

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