Our Purpose

Increasing agency and empowering effective STEM laboratory and technical learning through faculty for students, building and disseminating the evidence-base for best practices in digital and virtual laboratory learning.

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The Research Team

Since 2020, Dr. Evonne Rezler (Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies Charles E Schmidt College of Science), Dr. Jennifer Krill (University School Assistant Professor of Neurophysiology and the Experiential Research Lab Coordinator for the FAUHS in partnership with Max Planck Academy, and Wilkes Honors College), Dr. Ozlem Yavuz-Petrowski (Lab Coordinator, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department), Dr. Julie Golden Botti (Assistant Provost, Center for Online and Continuing Education) and Dr. Abigail Perkins (Manager of Education Research and Digital Learning Strategies, Center for Online and Continuing Education), have been working together as part of the FAU STEM Research Group for Digital Laboratory Learning . Each research team member contributes a unique skill set and experience to the group in educational research analysis, assessment, pedagogical innovations, online program development, and content expertise in STEM.

Research Goals

  1. Identifying, investigating/researching, and developing novel digital and virtual approaches to improve science laboratory and technical learning for STEM courses.

  2. Building and disseminating the evidence-base for best practices in digital and virtual science laboratory and technical learning.

  3. Increasing agency and empowering effective laboratory and technical learning in STEM

    1. through faculty: by providing educators with resources and tools to improve laboratory learning, and by expanding modality choices for the delivery of high-quality course content and technical training.

    2. for students: by providing increased access to high quality science learning opportunities through a variety of digital and virtual modalities of delivery of science laboratory course content and technical training.

Current Research

Immersive Online Content is interactive course instructional material and media, woven together and aligned with learning objectives, for the augmentation of digital learning experiences directed toward authentic engagement and agentic participation. We are researching and developing avenues to achieve, implement, iteratively improve, futureproof, and share our Immersive Online Content Approach©. Our main focus is enhancing developed proof-of-concepts within a foundation of Quality MattersTM and continual integration of varying levels of Immersive Online Content for online laboratory course and more. Additional areas of focus include: data strategizing for such a novel research endeavor; curating and continually updating approaches for faculty, administrators, instructional designers, and anyone interested in utilizing the Immersive Online Content Approach© on a cost spectrum from least costly and free to top-of-the-line standards of operations. As our research, development, and analysis grows, we also are creating a “How to Manual: The Immersive Online Content Approach”© for local, regional, state, national, and global audiences for faculty and Teaching Assistants standardized inquiry-based training, flexible enough for any STEM domain and beyond!

To date our research efforts have focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating a novel digital instructional/learning approach that utilizes immersive online content (IOC) in the Neurophysiology and General Chemistry 1 practical laboratory courses at Florida Atlantic University. Our aim is to investigate the effectiveness of this digital (online) learning approach versus traditional in-person hands-on learning for students learning outcomes such as key technical skills and course concepts. We are actively applying for National Science Foundation funding in the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program and we are disseminating our progress to date in various fora, including: at the Meaningful Living and Learning in a Digital World Conference at University of West Georgia, Georgia (March 2022); Learning Design and Technology Forum at Lynn and Anderson Universities, Florida (June 2022); and Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Purdue University, Indiana (August 2022).

In the News

Upcoming Presentations

  • Yavuz-Petrowski, O., Rezler, E., Krill, J., Golden Botti, J., & Perkins, A. (2024, July 28 - August 1). Implementation of IOC training course for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) to improve consistency, efficiency, and pedagogy. Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

  • Krill, J., Yavuz-Petrowski, O., Rezler, E., Golden, J. B., & Perkins, A. C. (2024, Fall). Digital Laboratory Learning. Schmidt College of Science Teaching Forum, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA.

Past Presentations