Selected Publications

Lessons from Transforming an Honors Lab

What happens if you transform a lab course but don't get everything right? This paper describes the transformation of an introductory honors lab course to include Arduino-based instrumentation and lots of new instruction and lab activities. However, tweaks in delivery were required for the class to be inclusive all for all students.

Read the paper here (free preprint here)

This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in the American Journal of Physics and may be found online.

What Makes a Good Lab Partner?

When students work together in groups, they prefer to engage in a division of labor that divides up tasks in a balanced but inequitable way. For example, Student A might be a secretary while Student B is a tinkerer. In this paper, we analyze this mutuality of engagement to show that providing students with equal opportunities to do all different kinds of work improves outcomes, especially for women.

Read the paper here

Lab TA Training Works

In many large universities, graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) teach lab courses. Given the recent move to make labs more engaging and meaningful for students, how can we prepare TAs to lead labs? This paper describes a program (available here) of professional development activities during weekly meetings, and then presents evidence to suggest that the training improves TAs' understanding of the learning process and the ways they interact with students to support learning.

Read the paper here

Why Are There So Few Women in Physics?

This short article is based on interviews with two students undergraduate women. One student, a chemistry major, had low self-efficacy when it came to physics. The other, a physics major, had experienced stereotype threat and isolation in her physics classes. We conclude with some implications for teaching that could help to counterbalance the negative experiences reported by these two women.

Read the paper here (free preprint here)

Hermione and the Secretary

Through interviews with students in introductory physics labs, I identify two modes of gendered task division (Secretary-Tinkerer and Hermione-Slacker), describe how this may disadvantage women in physics labs, and propose a framework for understanding how psycho-social distance between two students can cause or exacerbate gendered task division.

Read the paper here

All Aboard! Professional Development for Lab TAs

This short paper presents evidence that professional development for graduate student lab TAs can be effective in improving their views about learning, delivering instruction, and improving student attitudes

Read the paper here

What's Happening in Traditional and Inquiry-Based Introductory Labs?

This short paper reports on ethnographic observations and E-CLASS attitudinal survey results from introductory lab courses.

Read the paper here

Cultural Border Crossing Applied to the Physics Classroom

Cultural "border-crossing" theory in education suggests that the borders students cross between their home culture and school cultures can play a large role in their success in the later. I had students complete matched tests at school (as a paper quiz) and at home (as a Buzzfeed-style quiz, with family). The students divided neatly into the categories proposed by border-crossing theory. A follow-up simulation suggested that a student's border-crossing can provide a 17 percentage point boost (or decrease) to their scores on school-style assessments.

Read the thesis here or view my defence slides here