Ron Miller's Research Activities

Welcome to my webpage describing current research interests and activities.   I'll be updating this page with research results and ideas on an occasional basis.

 

  Iím part of a research team (with Mike Pavelich and Barbara Olds) developing computer software to measure student intellectual development based on the Perry and Reflective Judgment models.  Neural nets are used to evaluate patterns in student responses to open-ended scenarios.  We have completed the first phase of software testing and preliminary results suggest the nets can find subtle and complex patterns in subject response data.  More...

  As part of a highly visible project funded by the NSF action agenda program, I am working with faculty from the University of Pittsburgh, Columbia University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and the University of Washington to develop and pilot new methods and instruments for student outcomes assessment. My specific role in the project is to adapt metacognitive assessment tools such as concept maps and intellectual development measures to assessing engineering students learning outcomes as required by ABET EC-2000.

  I've worked with Barbara Olds to continue developing an assessment matrix for evaluating curricular programs and educational research projects. The matrix has been used in workshops to help various faculty groups around the country successfully prepare their own evaluation plans.  More...

  I am working with several colleagues (Ruth Streveler and Barbara Moskal at CSM and Cindy Atman at the University of Washington) to develop methods for identifying incorrect mental models (also known at misconceptions or alternate conceptions) of fundamental chemical principles held by chemical engineering students and to design interventions to facilitate conceptual change.  We are using a technique known as multidimensional scaling to identify misconceptions in engineering and science students.  We are also using the recent theories of Dr. Micki Chi at the University of Pittsburgh to help identify fundamental ways in which student misapply macroscopic causal explanations of microscopic or molecular scale thermodynamic, transport, and kinetic processes.