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Dr. David McConnellProfessor
Tel. (919) 515-0381
2140 Jordan Hall
Curriculum Vitae
Research Web site

B.Sc., Queen's University (N. Ireland), 1981
M.S., Geology, Oklahoma State University, 1983
Ph.D., Geology, Texas A&M University, 1987


My research focus is on geoscience education, with specific attention to assessment of learning in introductory courses, the relationship between teaching beliefs and practices, and professional development of graduate students and faculty.  Previous research included multi-institutional studies on the connection between student affect and cognition; the intersections between critical thinking and civic thinking in the physical sciences; transfer of learning through cooperative assessment exercises; large classroom instructional interventions; models and modeling in the geosciences; and studies surrounding the novice-expert continuum of hard to learn geoscience topics.     

Current and recent research projects include:
1. InTeGrate: Interdisciplinary Teaching of Geoscience for a Sustainable Future, an integrated, community-based approach that provides: teaching resources and instructional strategies to improve geoscience literacy; new implementation programs to increase the number of geoscience majors prepared to address issues of sustainability; and professional development and dissemination strategies to support the development efforts and foster adoption and adaptation of InTeGrate’s materials and programs. Additional information is available at

2. Flipping the Script: Using Short Videos to Promote Learning in Introductory Geoscience Courses represents an NSF-funded project that seeks to create short (6 minute) videos on a range of geoscience concepts and add them to pre-class student activities so as to free up time during class for more student-centered teaching exercises. This is a version of what is popularly referred to as a flipped classroom. The videos are available to geoscience colleagues and the public through our YouTube channel at

My current teaching interests are Introductory Physical Geology (MEA 101, 110) and graduate courses focusing on research in science education (Discipline-based Education Research in the Geosciences, MEA 507).

yker, K.D., and McConnell, D.A., 2014, Can Graduate Teaching Assistants Teach Inquiry-based Geology Labs Effectively? Journal of College Science Teaching, v.44, #1, p.56-63.

Lukes, L., and McConnell, D.A., 2014, What motivates introductory geology students to study for an exam? Journal of Geoscience Education, v.62, #4, p.725-735.

McConnell, D.A., and Steer, D.N., 2014, The Good Earth: An Introduction to Earth Science: 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill, 536 p.

Budd, D.A., van der Hoeven Kraft, K.J., McConnell, D.A., and Vislova, T., 2013, Characterizing teaching in introductory geology courses: Measuring classroom practices. Journal of Geoscience Education, v.61, # 4, p. 461-475.

Gilbert L.A., Stempien, J., McConnell, D.A., Budd, D.A., van der Hoeven Kraft, K.J., Bykerk-Kauffman, A., Jones, M.H., Knight, C.C., Matheney, R.K., Perkins, D., and Wirth, K.R., 2012, Not just "rocks for jocks": Who are introductory geology students and why are they here? Journal of Geoscience Education, v.60, #4, p.360-371.

McConnell, D.A., Van der Hoeven-Kraft, K., 2011,  The Affective Domain and Student Learning in the Geosciences, Journal of Geoscience Education, v.59, p.106-110.

Gray, K., Steer, D., McConnell, D.A., and Owens, K., 2010, Using a student manipulated model to enhance student learning in a large lecture class, Journal of College Science Teaching, v. 40, #1, p.86-95.

Steer, D., McConnell, D.A., Gray, K., Kortz, K., and Liang, X., 2009, Analysis of student responses to peer-instruction conceptual questions answered using and electronic response system: Trends by gender and ethnicity, Science Educator, v. 18, #2, p.30-38.

Gerwing, J., McConnell, D., Stearns, D., and Adair, S., 2007, Critical thinking for civic thinking in science: Academic Exchange Quarterly, v. 11, # 3, p. 160-164.

McConnell, D.A., Steer, D.N., & Owens, K., Borowski, W., Dick, J., Foos, A., Knott, J.R., Malone, M., McGrew, H., Van Horn, S., Greer, L., and Heaney, P.J., 2006, Using Conceptests to Assess and Improve Student Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Geoscience Courses: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 54, #1, p.61-68.

Steer, D.N., Knight, C., Owens, K., & McConnell, D.A., 2005, Challenging students ideas about earth structure using a model-based, conceptual change approach in a large class setting, Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 53, #4, p. 415-421.

McConnell, D.A., Steer, D.N., Owens, K., & Knight, C., 2005, How students think: Implications for learning in introductory geoscience courses: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 53, #4, p. 462-470.

McConnell, D.A., Steer, D.N., & Owens, K., 2003, Assessment of active learning strategies for introductory geology courses: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 51, #2, p. 205-216.


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