Picture of GARDNER

STEPHANIE M GARDNER

Assistant Professor
LILY 2-226
Phone: 765-496-2936

Postdoctoral Research Associate position available!

Research interests

Biology Learning Research

Research in my group focuses within the context of engaging undergraduate students in the process of science, critical thinking, and using visualizations to understand and communicate data and concepts.  Within this area I am currently working on three projects:  1) Evaluating the long-term impact that research-based introductory biology lab experiences have on student persistence in Biology and other STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) majors, performance in coursework, interest in research, career choices, and views on the nature of science and inquiry, 2) Understanding student and expert reasoning when creating graphical representations of biological data, 3) Understanding student ideas about mechanisms in physiology and neuroscience

 

Teaching

I teach undergraduate lecture and laboratory courses in physiology and Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) introductory biology laboratory courses in the Department of Biological Sciences.   In the CURE courses, we partner with research faculty to identify research questions that can be investigated by the students as part of their normal introductory biology laboratory experience.  In addition, I teach cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology to first and second year medical school students at the Indiana University School of Medicine-West Lafayette campus.

A common thread in all of my undergraduate laboratory courses is active student engagement in the activities by allowing them to design and execute their own experiments and present their results to the class and the department.  I am interested in assisting undergraduate students gain the necessary scientific reasoning and practical skills to think like scientists.  I am particularly interested in evaluating student ability to logically dissect a problem, design experiments to test hypotheses, and be able to interpret and present their data.  Data gathered from these assessments can inform future course content and approaches to learning in my courses as well as provide new instructional approaches to be used elsewhere. 

 

Current Funding

1. Grappling with Graphs: Researching and improving student graphing skills using an interactive digital graphing tool (2017-2020)  NSF # 1726180  $475,000 (PI:  Stephanie Gardner; Co-PIs:  Joel Abraham, CSU-Fullerton and Eli Meir, SimBiotic Software).  https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1726180&HistoricalAwards=false

2.  Exploring Biological Evidence: Helping Students Understand the Richness and Complexity of Evidentiary Constructs in Biology (2017-2020)  NSF # 1661124  $1.2 million (PI: Ala Samarapungavan; Co-PIs:  Stephanie Gardner, Nancy Pelaez, and Kari Clase, Purdue University).  https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1661124&HistoricalAwards=false

3. RCN-UBE: Advancing Competencies in Experimentation - Biology (ACE-Bio) Network (2014-2019) NSF# 1346567  $500,000 (PI:  Nancy Pelaez; Co-PIs:  Stephanie Gardner and Trevor Anderson, Purdue University).  https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1346567&HistoricalAwards=false

 

 

I am an active member of the Purdue International Biology Education Research Group (PIBERG).

Professional Faculty Research

1) Evaluating the long-term impact that research-based introductory biology lab experiences have on biology students, 2) Understanding student and expert reasoning when creating graphical representations of biological data, 3) Understanding student mechanistic reasoning in physiology and neuroscience

Other Activities

 CASPiE (Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education)

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