Social & Behavioral Science Spotlight – Tessa Andrews
Associate Professor, Genetics
Topic: How biology faculty made the rapid transition to online instruction during #COVID19
Dr. Tessa Andrews is studying how biology faculty made the rapid transition to online instruction this spring, including what teaching knowledge they leveraged in the process and what they learned. This unprecedented situation in higher education has created a unique opportunity to learn about teaching knowledge because faculty across the country are simultaneously facing a similar and completely novel challenge. Her team has collected most of the data and we will be analyzing the data over the summer.
Very preliminary impressions of the data indicate that many faculty are prioritizing concern for their students above all else in their teaching decisions. They are also seeing evidence that some faculty are learning new things about their students and about teaching that they intend to apply to face-to-face instruction in the future.
This research is important because teacher knowledge—beyond content knowledge—is crucial to student learning but there is very little research to understand important teacher knowledge in college faculty. The rapid transition to remote instruction provides a unique challenge that brings to light the knowledge most central to faculty teaching.
“The faculty appreciated the chance to share about their experiences in an interview. I think that is because they have worked really hard to serve their students, but most of that work is not visible to colleagues,” noted Dr. Andrews.
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Andrews and her research, check out her lab website.