Who We Are

David McConnell

DavidMcConnell2012David’s research focuses on science education, with specific attention to assessment of learning in large general education introductory geoscience classes.  His recent work with his graduate students has examined the affective domain (how student motivations and emotions mediate learning), the redesign of inquiry labs (students doing science to learn science),  and how to design better professional development opportunities to help college faculty adopt more effective teaching strategies.  The ultimate aim of these research efforts will be to design better college science courses aimed at increasing the number of majors, improving student learning and increasing student retention rates.

But if you are reading this, you are probably more interested in our current project to develop short videos for self-paced, pre-class viewing by students enrolled in introductory geoscience courses. The videos are being tested as a component of a “flipped-classroom” approach, in which some content delivery is shifted to video format and subsequent class meetings focus on more challenging concepts and feature active-learning strategies. Videos and related resources to support use and assessment are being shared with the broader geoscience community through this blog and our YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/c/GeoScienceVideos). For more on this project, check out the What we are Doing page.

Jennifer Wiggen

JenJennifer is a Postdoc and is currently working on the geoscience video project (see above). She is developing short videos-based resources and testing their impact on student learning and metacognitive judgments in comparison to traditional textbook readings. Jennifer is responsible for the unique hand-drawn illustrations that are incorporated into each video. One goal of the project is to make these resources using materials that are in the public domain or available through creative commons licenses or that we create ourselves.

Jennifer received a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Chemistry from UNC-Wilmington in 2007. She returned to UNC-Wilmington to complete a M.S. in Marine Science with a chemistry concentration in 2009. During her time at UNC-Wilmington she was also an intern at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.  She completed her Ph.D. at NCSU in 2014 in Marine Science with a concentration in biogeochemistry. She can be reached at jldicks2@ncsu.edu.

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