The development of eﬀective educational practices is reliant on empirical data about teaching and student learning; research in Dr. Schussler’s lab employs qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect these data.
Her primary research focus is the creation of undergraduate learning environments that 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 the research in her lab has focused on this interplay between reformed curricula, the instructor and how it aﬀects student learning.
Recent research has focused speciﬁcally on biology graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) as instructors in undergraduate classes. Her lab is also in the midst of assessing changes, aligned with the recommendations from the Vision and Change report, faculty are making to the introductory biology sequence at UTK. Supported by an NSF TUES grant, members of her lab are providing curriculum and professional development support, monitoring implementation, and collecting data on student learning and perceptions.
Her primary research focus is the creation of undergraduate learning environments that foster meaningful student learning.