Dr. STEPHANIE GARDNERAssociate Professor, Associate Head for Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning
PROFESSIONAL FACULTY RESEARCH
1) Revealing and improving student competence with the analysis and graphing of biological data, 2) Characterizing and improving student mechanistic reasoning about biological phenomena, 3) Evaluating the influence of differential scaffolding on student evidentiary reasoning, and 4) Evaluating the long-term impact that research-based introductory biology lab experiences have on biology students
Biology Learning Research
Research in my group focuses within the context of engaging undergraduate students in the practices of science, critical thinking, and using visualizations to understand and communicate data and concepts. Within this area I am currently working on four projects: 1) Revealing and improving student competence with the analysis and graphing of biological data, 2) Characterizing and improving student mechanistic reasoning about biological phenomena, 3) Evaluating the influence of differential scaffolding on student evidentiary reasoning, and 4) Understanding the conceptions of biology students and faculty for scientific predictions and hypothesis and their role in inquiry.
I teach undergraduate lecture and laboratory courses in physiology and have taught, and mentor my colleagues in the teaching of, 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.
- Grappling with Graphs: New Tools for Improving Graphing Practices Among Biology Students (AWARDED, 8/1/2021; 2021-2025) NSF # 2111150 $1,566,948 ( PI: Stephanie Gardner ; Co-PIs: Joel Abraham, CSU-Fullerton, Ryan Baker, University of Pennsylvania, and Eli Meir, SimBiotic Software). https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2111150&HistoricalAwards=false
- BII: Emergent Mechanisms in Biology of Robustness, Integration & Organization (EMBRIO) (AWARDED, 9/1/2021; 2021-2026) NSF# 2120200, $12.5 million (PI: David Umulis, Purdue University; Co-PIs : Janice Evans, Christopher Staiger, and Stephanie M. Gardner , Purdue University and Jeremiah Zartman, University of Notre Dame.
- Grappling with Graphs: Researching and improving student graphing skills using an interactive digital graphing tool (AWARDED, 9/1/2017; 2017-2022) NSF # 1726180 $565,565 ( PI: Stephanie Gardner ; Co-PIs: Joel Abraham, CSU-Fullerton and Eli Meir, SimBiotic Software). https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1726180&HistoricalAwards=false
I am an active member of the Purdue International Biology Education Research Group ( PIBERG ).