Skip Navigation

February 3 RiSE Colloquium – Paula Lemon, speaker

January 27th, 2014

Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center)
Colloquia & Seminar Series


Paula Lemons
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Georgia

Helping Biology Students Develop Problem-Solving Skills


Based on economic projections, about one million more U.S. STEM professionals will be needed over the next decade to fill positions in fast-growing occupations that require problem solving. Yet little is known about the development of problem-solving skills among undergraduate biology students. It is also not known how to support college faculty who want to change their courses in order to promote problem solving. Dr. Lemons developed a method for creating biology questions that encourage problem solving, and she used these questions to document the particular problem-solving steps used by students. Her work revealed that students practice a mixture of helpful and not helpful problem-solving steps. Faculty can use this research by coaching their students to use helpful problem-solving steps. Unfortunately, many faculty who want to guide their students in problem solving face the challenge of transitioning from instructor-centered to learner-centered teaching. Dr. Lemons studied faculty who were making this transition. Her work shows that faculty focus primarily on personal experience, not empirical evidence, when making decisions about teaching. These studies point to ways to increase the amount of learning about problem solving in undergraduate biology classrooms by supporting both students and faculty.


Monday,  February 3, 2014
3:00 – 4:00 pm
Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium, 165 Barrows Hall

 Snacks will be provided at 2:45 in the Hill Auditorium Lobby.

for a Printable page, please click Colloq February 3 2013.

Posted in Archives, Calendar, News

Past Center News