Peggy Brickman

Research in my group focuses on developing and measuring the effectiveness of curriculum and instructional strategies utilized in college science classrooms. In particular, I focus on examining the acquisition of scientific literacy skills in biology courses designed to fulfill general science graduation requirements. I am most interested in the following three questions:

  1. What motivates students to dig in to do the hard work of learning and how does collaboration influence student motivation? To address this, I have developed and utilized instruments designed to measure student motivation to learn science in different courses.
  2. Do students actually make gains in scientific literacy skills as a result of taking general education science courses? I have developed an instrument called the Test of Scientific Literacy Skills (TOSLS) that is aligned with science policy recommendations to test scientific literacy skills. Using this instrument, I was able to show greater gains for students taking a project-based curriculum compared to students in more traditional courses. I am currently interested in how to be disseminate this curriculum to current and future faculty.
  3. What role does instructional feedback play in the willingness of faculty to change their teaching practices?