RESEARCH & Collaborations

Melanie's research interests sit at the intersection of the learning sciences and learning analytics, with a particular interest in science and biology education.

Melanie has a unique skill set including quantitative and qualitative educational research methods in addition to extensive molecular biology bench training.

She also has experience with developing educational technologies, most notably her work on the Science Classroom Inquiry (SCI) simulations.

Melanie has measurable success working across both disciplinary lines and geographic regions. (See list of publications below)

Interested in collaborating? Please contact Melanie, or set up a meeting using the Calendly Widget below.

Scholarly Works (peer Reviewed)

Research on Learning

1. Peffer, M., & Youmans, T. (In Press) Students with sophisticated epistemological beliefs about source, but not certainty, of science knowledge revise hypotheses more frequently in authentic science inquiry. International Conference of the Learning Sciences. Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Vanderbilt University.

2. Dolan, E. L., Borrero, M., Callis-Duehl, K., Musgrove, M. M. C., de Lima, J., Ero-Tolliver, I., ... & Herrera, J. (2020). Undergraduate Biology Education Research Gordon Research Conference: A Meeting Report. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 19(2), mr1.

3. Peffer, M., Quigley, D., Brusman, L., Avena, J., Knight, J., (2020). Trace Data from Student Solutions to Genetics Problems Reveals Variance in the Processes Related to Different Course Outcomes. Proceedings of the Tenth International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference Frankfurt am Main, Germany, (31% Acceptance Rate). Link to full text

4. Peffer, M. & Sutton, J. (2020). A Qualitative Analysis of One University’s Ethical Fears and Practical Desires for Learning Analytics Companion Proceedings of the Tenth International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

5. Peffer, M., Renken, M., Enderle, J., Cohen, J. (2019) Mission to Planet Markle: Problem Based Learning for Teaching Elementary Students Difficult Content and Skills. Research in Science Education. Link to full text

6. Peffer, M., & Ramezani, N. Assessing Epistemological Beliefs of Experts and Novices via Practices in Authentic Science Inquiry. (2019), International Journal of STEM Education. Link to full text

7. Peffer, M., Quigley, D., Mostowfi, M. (2019). Clustering Analysis Reveals Authentic Science Inquiry Trajectories Among Undergraduates. Proceedings of the Ninth International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference Tempe, Arizona, USA: University of Arizona. (32% acceptance rate) Link to full text

8. Peffer, M., ^Royse, E., ^Abelein, H. (2018). Influence of Affective Factors on Practices in Simulated Authentic Science Inquiry. International Conference of the Learning Sciences. London, England. (27% Acceptance Rate) [Please e-mail if you would like a PDF]

9. Peffer, M., Kyle, K. (2017). Assessment of Language in Authentic Science Inquiry Reveals Putative Differences in Epistemology. Proceedings of the Seventh International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference (pp. 138-142) Vancouver, Canada: Simon Fraser University. (34% acceptance rate) (Best paper nominee) Link to full text

10. Peffer, M.E., Beckler, M, Schunn C, Renken M, Revak A. (2015) Science Classroom Inquiry (SCI): A Novel Simulation to Scaffold Science Learning. PloS one, 10(3). Link to full text.

11. Peffer, M. E. & Renken, M. (2015). Science Classroom Inquiry (SCI) Simulations for Generating Group-Level Learner Profiles. Exploring the Material Conditions of Learning: The Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference 2015, Volume 2. (pp. 707-708) Gothenburg, Sweden: University of Gothenburg. (45% acceptance rate) Link to full text

Essays or Monographs

1. Peffer, M. Daniels, K., Schuchardt, A. (In press). Workshop for Facilitation of Interdisciplinary Research Collaborations Between Discipline Based Education Research in Biology and the Learning Sciences. (Preconference workshop) International Conference of the Learning Sciences. Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Vanderbilt University.

2. Peffer, M. (2020). I have learned to hate science. Guest Commentary, The American Biology Teacher. Link to full text.

3. Peffer, M. (2018). Combining Multimodal Learning Analytics with Backward Design to Assess Learning. Workshop Proceedings of the International Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference. Link to full text

4. Peffer, M. & Renken, M. (2016) Practical Strategies for Collaboration Across Discipline-Based Education Research and Learning Sciences. CBE-Life Science Education. Link to full text

5. Renken, M., Peffer, M., Otrel-Cass, K., Girault, I., Chiocarriello, A. (2016) Simulations as Scaffolds in Science Education. Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) Books and Briefs Series. Springer Publishing. Link

6. Peffer, M.E. (2015) A Synergistic Approach to Studying Computer Supported Collaborative Authentic Inquiry and Genetics Understanding in K12 Students. Exploring the Material Conditions of Learning The Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference 2015, Volume 2. (pp. 914-915) Gothenburg, Sweden: University of Gothenburg [Please e-mail if you would like a copy]

Molecular Biology Research

1. *Frahm, K., *Peffer, M., Zhang, J., Luthra, S., Chakka, A., …& Defranco, D. B. (2015) Dexamethasone Treatment of Hypothalamic Neural/Progenitor Stem Cells Causes Sex-Specific Changes in Gene Expression. Molecular Endocrinology. * co-first authors Link to Full Text

2. *Peffer, M.E., *Zhang, J.Y., Umfrey L, Rudine, A., Monaghan-Nichols, A., DeFranco, D.B. (2015). Minireview: The Impact of Antenatal Therapeutic Synthetic Glucocorticoids on the Developing Fetus. Molecular Endocrinology. *co-first authors Link to Full Text

3. **Peffer, M. E., Chandran, U.R. Luthra, S., Volonte, D., Galbiati, F., …& DeFranco, D.B. (2014). Caveolin-1 Regulates Genomic Action of the Glucocorticoid Receptor in Neural Stem Cells. Molecular and Cellular Biology, MCB-01121. **This paper featured in MCB spotlight Link to Full Text