Sarah Symons

Assistant Professor, Integrated Science Program and Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Science LogoCampus Address:
1280 Main Steet West, Thode Library, 306A

Phone: 905.525.9140 x21641

Research Interests

Teaching & Learning Research Interests:

  • Interdisciplinary courses, particularly science and history of science.  (Interested in research methodologies which examine conceptual understanding.)
  • Assessment design, especially for group work and in interdisciplinary and/or non-traditionally taught courses.  Aligned assessment.
  • Computer-based assessment. (Action research methods.) Student use of IT, particularly collaborative authoring and feedback environments.
  • Writing, information, and communication skills.


Current Teaching & Learning Research Projects:

Project Title Project Principal Investigator Project Collaborators
Integrated Science at McMaster: Conceptual understanding , learning and teaching styles, and engagement. Sarah Symons Chad Harvey,
Carolyn Eyles
PBL in Physics Derek Raine Sarah Symons

Publications & Presentations

Select Teaching & Learning Research Publications & Presentations:

Raine, D. J. & Symons, S. L. (eds.). (2005). PossiBiLities: A practice guide to problem-based learning in astronomy and physics. Hull: HEA Subject Centre for Physical Sciences.

Williams, D.P., Woodward, J. R., Symons, S. L., & Davies, D. L. (2010). A tiny adventure: The introduction of problem based learning in an undergraduate chemistry course. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 11(1), 33-42. 

Raine, D. J. & Symons, S. L. (2011.) Problem-based learning in physics. Contemporary Physics (forthcoming).

Colgoni, A., Symons, S. L., Harvey, C. T., & Eyles, C. H. (2011). Explaining science: Integrating science literacy into a research-based undergraduate program. Paper presented at the Western Conference on Science Education, London, ON.

Eyles, C. H., Symons, S. L., Harvey, C. T., Colgoni, A., Robinson, S. J., Bilan, P., & Brock, D. (2011). Capitalizing on diversity: A team-based approach to the design, planning, and delivery of an interdisciplinary science program. Paper presented at the Society for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education Conference, Saskatoon, SK.

Symons, S. L., Colgoni, A., Eyles, C. H., Harvey, C. T., & Robinson, S. J. (2010). Evidence-based program design: Integrated Science. Poster presented at the Research on Teaching & Learning: Integrating Practices Conference, Hamilton, ON. 

Interested in

Interested in:

  • Collaboration
  • Reviewing proposals and offering feedback
  • Receiving feedback on projects & proposals

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