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Donaghy named VIPEr Fellow

Chemistry professor working on improving student learning

Associate Professor Kelley Donaghy has been named a Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource (VIPEr) Fellow in an innovative study to develop, test and refine a flexible, foundation-level inorganic chemistry course.

As one of the first 20 faculty selected for this groundbreaking project, Donaghy joins inorganic chemists from across the country in a community of practice dedicated to improving student learning. Over the course of the project, the VIPEr Fellows will implement evidence-based practices in their courses.

"I'm really excited to be a part of this group to engage with other teaching inorganic chemists and to share ESF's innovative art-based studio course with them as well," said Donaghy. "This is a unique experience to share teaching techniques and experiences with faculty teaching a similar course from around the country and I'm honored to have been named an NSF VIPEr Fellow."

The study, titled "Improving Inorganic Chemistry Education," is being led by the Interactive Online Network on Inorganic Chemists (IONiC) with support from the National Science Foundation's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program. The project will use classroom observations, analysis of student work, student surveys and faculty interviews to study how changes in the classroom affect student learning, interest and motivation.

IONiC's webpage, www.ionicviper.org, will be used as the hub of disseminating course goals, content and pedagogy. The project will also investigate how IONiC may encourage the adoption of evidence-based classroom practices.

"The project leaders are excited about the energy and commitment of the first group of VIPEr Fellows," said Professor Joanne Stewart of Hope College, a principal investigator on the grant. "We celebrate the diverse approaches they bring to teaching inorganic chemistry and the new insights into faculty development they will enable."