DATE CHANGE! Rachel Henderson presentation, Weds, May 4, 2022. In person and virtual!

DATE CHANGE! Rachel Henderson presentation, Weds, May 4, 2022. In person and virtual!


Join us on May 4, from noon - 1:30 PM to hear Rachel Henderson present her work focused on validating a methodology to examine self-efficacy in students transitioning from community colleges to MSU. CREATE for STEM provided the seed funding for this project; we are anxious to hear from Rachel and her team about their findings!

This event will be hybrid; please come to the open meeting space in CREATE if you would like to attend in person. 

If you would prefer to join via Zoom (registration is required), please use the following link:

Traditionally, measurement of quantitative changes in students’ motivational characteristics over an academic semester have been measured using pre-and post-test surveys. However, with the complexity of such constructs, a pre-post design may limit deeply understanding the impacts that curricular and co-curricular activities have on students. In this research, we have designed and implemented a mixed-methods approach to investigate one such complex construct, students’ self-efficacy -- or the confidence in one’s own ability to perform a task. We employ the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) with in-the-moment survey measurements to quantify a shift in their self-efficacy followed by a qualitative daily reflection to further investigate the threats and/or supports that may have influenced that change. In this talk, I will present our research design and discuss our efforts toward validating our methodology. We’d like to thank the CREATE for STEM Institute for supporting these efforts and we are hopeful that this research design has possible versatility within STEM education research.

Dr. Rachel Henderson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She then went on to do her graduate work at West Virginia University where she completed her Master’s and Ph.D. in physics. More recently she moved to Michigan where she did her postdoctoral work in collaboration with Danny Caballero in the Physics Education Research Lab at Michigan State University. Rachel is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the CREATE for STEM Institute at MSU. She has served as a member-at-large for the American Physical Society Topical Group on Data Science and the Topical Group on Physics Education Research. She was most recently nominated to serve as co-chair of the American Association of Physics Teacher Physics Education Research Leadership and Organizing Council (PERLOC). In general, from a lens of equity and inclusion, Rachel’s research focuses on utilizing quantitative and mixed-methods research to understand how to better support the pathways for STEM students seeking a Bachelor’s degree. In this project, she is joined by Ph.D. Candidate, Carissa Myers, and Associate Professor, Vashti Sawtelle who, without their efforts, this work wouldn’t be possible.