Jeannie Loeb is a current Faculty Fellow through the Chapman Family Teaching Award.
During her semester leave from the classroom, Loeb is working on sharing her research on education strategies. She is writing up interviews with large-course instructors about various aspects of teaching. She hopes to share her findings on best practices for organizing classes, communicating effectively, and keeping the class engaged.
She initially was drawn to the study of behavioral neuroscience in high school.
“I actually spent time studying neurons for fun,” Loeb says. “I absolutely love my field.”
Loeb has a special interest in “students who are from populations which are struggling at universities: first-generation college students, transfer students and minority students.”
“In my General Psychology class, when we were looking at the numbers, we did find that these students were definitely struggling. Even though the overall class average was great, there was definitely what I call a second tier, where they weren’t doing as well as they should have.”
Loeb “found collaborators, in particular with Jan Yopp, the Dean of the Summer School, and she funded a bunch of pilot studies which allowed us to developed a course on study strategies… For whatever reason, a lot of schools are not explicitly teaching these methods, despite the fact that we have in terms of research, we absolutely know that some methods simply don’t work as well.”
What is one core study method? For the answers, Loeb points to Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck.
“All abilities can be developed, says Loeb. “We are not born a musician. Even if you have some in-born talent, you still have to do a lot of hard work… The good news is if you aren’t born with the talent, you can still put in the time and effort that you put in… There really is no shortcut… That means that if you do, you are going to see some results.”