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Kerry, Samantha

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St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's City, MD

Assistant Professor of Biology                                                                                     

18952 E. Fisher Rd.

St. Mary's City, MD 20686

phone: 240-895-4376

FAX: 240-895-4996


I am currently starting my third year of teaching at St. Mary's College of Maryland, which is a small public liberal arts college.  My teaching responsibilities include Principles of Biology I (our first semester Introductory Biology course), upper level courses in Immunology and Cell Physiology, and a nonmajors course in Forensic Biology.  I also work with the Women in Science House (WiSH) which is a SMCM campus living and learning center, am advisor to our campus chapter of the Beta Beta Beta biological honor society, and recently co-directed a summer science and math camp for rising 9th grade girls in our community.  My laboratory research involves studying the immune response of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, to bacterial or fungal pathogens.


My Biology Scholars Research Project

Title: What is the efficacy of using roleplay to introduce basic concepts in immunology as compared to traditional lecture?

Short description: Use of roleplay is a powerful learning tool.  But how effective is roleplay when used in large classes where a portion of the students observe the exercise rather than directly participating?  How does this compare to a traditional lecture about the same content?  Please read about my project further under 1. Context and Problem.

Helpful resources: Please refer to section 3. Bibliography. This is definitely a work in progress!

Approach: I will use a pre-test/post-test format to measure student learning when exposed to a traditional lecture or the roleplay simulation.  Please refer to section 2. Methods and Findings for more information.

Results: My preliminary data can be found under 1. Context and problem. I'll post about my new data once I've gathered it!

Appendices: I'll post my pre-test/post-test under section 5. Appendices, as well as my survey and other relevant documents.

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This is from our email in September:

Hi Trish!

Hmmm interesting issue. I’d wait until after you get your data in, personally. That way you won’t skew your responses at all. I’d guess that the vast majority of your students would have no clue, even if it was published in the university circular. But if even a few students have an idea, it could affect your results. I do think it’s a good idea to get the marketing people to publish it, though. Maybe after this semester? (or school year?)

I got my IRB approval done, and have the VARK learning styles data collected and analyzed. Tons of kinesthetic learners, which is awesome. I collected pre-test/post-test data from my Immunology class, but haven’t analyzed it yet. The big data collection isn’t until early December though, when I directly look at demo vs lecture in my intro course.

Deadline for Microbelibrary Curriculum Collection is Nov 1st, so that’s my next focus (after I write a grant—yikes).

Students are at my door—have to run. How’s your project going?


Samantha Elliott Kerry, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

St. Mary's College of Maryland

18952 E. Fisher Rd.

St. Mary's City, MD 20686

phone: 240-895-4376

FAX: 240-895-4996



From: Patricia Baynham []
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:49 AM
To: Kerry, Samantha E
Subject: Critical question
Importance: High

Hi Sam!

Hope your semester is off to a wonderful start. Things are always busy - aren't they? When do you have your activity scheduled?

So - my question? Sorry to be melodramatic with the red envelope. I just know my inbox is so full right now!

I was about to forward the info from my ASM CUE presentation "Can Popular Science Literature Convince Biology Majors to Consider a Research Career?” to the marketing folks at St. Ed's when I thought this may be a mistake. Since I am still looking at ways to impact students with regard to research careers if my current students or students that will take my class next semester read this in a university circular then they will know what I am up to. Or do you think they will really have no clue? I do not want to jeopardize the project but I still want to publicize doing research on teaching and learning.

What do you think? Advice?

Thank you!!!

Patricia J. Baynham, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
St. Edward's University
3001 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704

Phone: (512) 233-1675
JBW 117
Posted 10:10, 29 Nov 2008
For my project the students will hear me talk and reflect on this, write one last overall reflective paper, and then complete the end of term survey. Things have been hectic since almost all of the speakers had to reschedule due to personal issues and one person put us off repeatedly until we decided that she was too busy. All of the speakers were recorded and I could possibly post these for the students to view next semester. Repeating the speakers during class time would be very challenging.
Posted 10:15, 29 Nov 2008
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