All PIBERG News

2016 Sigma Xi Poster Competition Winner
3/18/2016
Aakanksha Angra was awarded first place in the Sigma Xi Poster Competition.

Dr. Matthew Lira publishes in Cognition and Instruction
3/16/2016
ABSTRACT The present article describes two studies that examine the impact of teaching students to use gesture to support spatial thinking in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) discipline of chemistry. In Study 1 we compared the effectiveness of instruction that involved either watching gesture, reproducing gesture, or reading text. The results indicate that students in the reproducing gesture condition produced significantly more gestures while problem solving than students in the other two groups and significantly outperformed the other groups on study measures. In Study 2 we compared the effectiveness of gesture to an instructional approach that involved manually handling concrete models without gesture. Students performed equally well in both conditions; however, students taught with concrete models performed significantly worse if concrete models were not available during assessment. These studies show that gesture is an effective strategy for supporting spatial thinking in STEM disciplines and that this benefit may result from physically simulating spatial transformations.

Dr. Nancy Pelaez receives the 2016 Arthur C. Guyton Educator of the Year Award
2/29/2016
Dr. Nancy Pelaez receives the 2016 Arthur C. Guyton Educator of the Year Award

New Publication from the Gardner Lab!
2/29/2016
Aakanksha Angra and Dr. Stephanie M. Gardner publish their graph research in the Advances in Physiology Education. Link: http://advan.physiology.org/content/40/1/123 Abstract: Graphs are visual representations of data and play a vital role in science communication, yet past studies have shown that students in K-16 struggle with graph choice and construction. To advance graphing skills, we developed two learning and instructional materials: Guide to data displays and step-by-step guide to data communication. Here, we briefly highlight the purpose, development, and usage of these materials, which increase students’ knowledge with common graphs and provide a guiding framework for data presentation.

University at Buffalo Case Study Teaching Conference Graduate Scholarship Winner
9/14/2015
Richard Lie, a first year graduate student in biology education research received a scholarship to attend The Case Study Teaching Workshop in Buffalo held September 18th-19th, 2015.

Andrews-John Scott A. and the Ella A Travel Award Winner
9/14/2015
Aakanksha Angra, a graduate student in the the laboratory of Stephanie Gardner, received Andrews-John Scott A. and the Ella A Travel Award to assist her attendance at the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) meeting. Aakanksha presented her work on data analysis and graphing with two posters entitled “Development of an Analytic Rubric to Evaluate Undergraduate Student Graphs and Diagnose Difficulties in Graph Choice and Construction” and “Using the Cognitive Apprenticeship Model to Improve Undergraduate Biology Students’ Graph Choice and Construction”. SABER is the annual meeting of undergraduate biology education research and took place on the campus of the University of Minnesota July 30-August 2, 2015.

Prof. Pelaez Nominated for Fulbright US Scholar Program
3/4/2014
Prof. Pelaez nominated to participate in the Fulbright US Scholar Program for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Sigma Xi Poster Competition Winner
3/4/2014
Sara Johnson of PIBERG was awarded first place in the Sigma Xi Poster Competition.