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Thiel professor publishes research highlighting effective teaching methods and personalities


Thiel professor publishes research highlighting effective teaching methods and personalities

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College Associate Professor of Psychology Kristel M. Gallagher, Ph.D. had the results of her research conducted at Thiel College published in two academic journals recently. Both research articles drew upon Gallagher’s expertise in the scholarship of teaching and learning, an area of research focused upon improving student learning through the advancement of teaching practices.

Gallagher’s first article was published in Teaching of Psychology, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Teaching of Psychology. The article, “Using Make & Take Quizzes to Improve Exam Performance and Engage Students in Effective Study Strategies,” reported on the success of an innovative in-class quizzing strategy Gallagher developed and began studying in the fall of 2016 at Thiel College.

The results of this research demonstrated how students who utilized the quizzing strategy had significant improvements in course outcomes, such as higher test grades and better overall study habits. Gallagher’s work had already received national recognition this year, awarded the Frank Costin Memorial Award for Excellence for research judged as best promoting quality teaching methods at the National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology in January.

Gallagher’s second article, published in the Journal of Effective Teaching in Higher Education, described the results of her innovative research examining the teaching personalities of college professors. The article, “I teach, therefore I am? – Exploring the Teaching Personas of College Professors,” compared how professors perceive themselves in their roles as teachers versus in their everyday lives. Notably, professors see themselves as more extroverted, emotionally stable, caring, supportive, competent, and as better communicators as teachers than in their everyday lives. In some cases, these differences were related to feelings of job burnout.

Gallagher had previously presented data from this project, about one-third of which was generated by Thiel faculty, to her Thiel College colleagues in the Fall of 2019.

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Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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