News & Events

Joi P. Walker, Ph.D. (via Zoom)

Posted on February 4, 2022


Date - February 4, 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry
East Carolina University
Talk Title: Cracking the Mold – The Broader Impact of Introductory Laboratory Transformation


This seminar will be held via Zoom.

This presentation will describe two curricular reform projects that successfully transformed the foundational undergraduate laboratory courses across multiple disciplines, using common laboratory structure, language, and emphasis for instruction. The first project transformed the introductory laboratory courses intending to identify what science practice means at this level and what students at the introductory level need to participate in science practices. The chemistry department led this process through the implementation of Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI), an instructional model designed to provide students the opportunity to engage in investigation design, data collection and analysis, and scientific argumentation. The second project incorporated authentic undergraduate research into the chemistry curriculum with an organic to analytical chemistry sequence based on a collaborative research project. Evidence on student learning from multiple metrics designed to explicitly assess science practices and research skills will be presented. As a result of these reform projects, labs have been transformed to either ADI or research-based experiences at such a pace that it seems that indeed “cracking the mold” on laboratory instruction may open the door for pedagogical changes throughout the science curriculum.

JOI P. WALKER, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Chemistry Education in the Department of Chemistry at East Carolina University. After earning an MS degree in organic chemistry, Dr. Walker has had a wide-ranging career trajectory to ECU starting with a position teaching AP Chemistry in a magnet high school (1985–1989), followed by multiple positions as a professional chemist (1989–1998), then 17-years as community college faculty (1998–2015). While working at the community college she completed a doctorate in science education (May 2011) which led her to pursue a university position in order to continue working to improve and understand the student experience in post-secondary science courses. Her research centers on the broad question of how to integrate science practices into the teaching and learning of undergraduate chemistry. Her research projects include: 1) cross-disciplinary practice focused undergraduate laboratory transformation (X-Labs), 2) increased access to authentic undergraduate research (ChemCUREs), 3) assessment design and validation, 4) team science and mentoring strategies for undergraduate research (TEaMS-UR). In addition, she is active in the chemistry education research community, presenting research at national and international conferences. Dr. Walker is a member of the STEM Collaborative for Research in Education (STEM CoRE); a multidisciplinary team of discipline-based education research (DBER) scholars at ECU representing the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education.