STEM Shoutout: Dr. Leandra Boucheron

Prof helps students stick with intro physics class

Dr. Leandra Boucheron, a lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy is a 2016-2017 UNM Center for Teaching and Learning teaching fellow. 

Her work focuses on undergraduate teaching and the challenge of engaging a diverse population of UNM students. The call for the fellowship focused on improving the student pass rate in introductory courses that traditionally have had high failure rates.

 “The course I chose to focus on was introductory calculus-based physics for engineering majors. I developed a series of changes to the course, primarily aimed at adapting lectures to be more student-centered,” she said.

Some examples of this work include transitioning from instructor-aided examples to working in small groups, and incorporating student questions and student quotes directly into every lecture. 

As a result of the changes Boucheron made in the course, the retention rate of students in the course from spring 2016 to spring 2017 was more than 10 percent higher.