Mari K. Hopper, PhD
Associate Professor of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, IU School of Medicine-Evansville
Mari K. Hopper, PhD, is currently an Assistant Professor at Indiana University School of Medicine. She serves as the Director of Research, Hospital Medical Education and other Scholarly work. Prior to this position, she taught physiology based courses at the undergraduate level for over 20 years. She is currently chair of the Chapter Advisory Committee of the American Physiological Society, and Past-President of the Indiana Physiological Society. Her research interests include both student academic engagement (active learning) and student health.
Dr. Hopper’s research program has focused in two areas: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and Insulin Resistance.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects have focused on student engagement as a means to maximize understanding of scientific content, and a means to develop skills necessary for success in the work place (communication, organization, collaboration, etc.). She has presented pedagogy related research findings and peer training workshops at Experimental Biology, The Human Anatomy and Physiology Society Annual Meeting, the Indiana Physiological Society Annual Meeting, and the University of Southern Indiana’s Summer Teaching Institute.
Hopper, MK. Promoting the APS Chapter Program by Sharing Its History, Best Practices, and How-to Guide for Establishing New Chapters. Advances in Physiology Education. Submitted July 2016
Hopper, Mari K. Assessment and comparison of student engagement in a variety of physiology courses. Advan in Physiol Edu. 40.1: 70-78, 2016.
Hopper MK. A collection of active learning techniques used to maximize student engagement in an advanced physiology course. HAPS EDucator. Vol 19: 3:15-21, 2015.
Hopper, M.K. and L.W. Maurer. Laboratory Exercise: Study of Digestive and Regulatory Processes through Exploration of Fasted and Postprandial Blood Glucose. Advan in Physiol Edu. 37.3: 254:263, 2013. DOI: 10.1152/advan.00172.2012
Hopper, M.K. Student enrollment in a supplement course for anatomy and physiology results in improved retention and success. Journal of College Science Teaching. 40.3:70-79, 2011.
In her medical research work related to Insulin Resistance, Dr. Hopper has conducted a variety of research projects relating to the control of blood glucose following meal consumption in insulin resistant and insulin sensitive subjects. She has also tracked the development of insulin resistance associated with weight change in college students. Dr. Hopper views the research lab as a natural extension of the classroom and an opportunity for students to “learn science by doing science.” Therefore, a primary of objective of her work in this area has been to engage students in all aspects of the research process. Student investigators have given presentations locally, state-wide and nationally. Atudents have also served as co-authors on the following manuscripts:
Hopper MK, and Moninger SL. Tracking weight change, insulin resistance, stress and aerobic fitness over four years of college. Journal American College Health. Accepted for Publication, Sept. 2016
Hopper MK, Koch CE, and Koch JL. A preliminary study on the variability of blood glucose following meal consumption as it relates to differences in oral glucose tolerance in young adults. Nutrition and Health. 22.3-4:1:18, 2015.
Hopper, M.K., G. Brown, L. Brown and K. Funke. Incidence of hyperinsulinemia associated with BMI, genetic predisposition, and lifestyle in college freshmen students. Major Article: Journal of American College Health. 60:27-36, 2011.
Current Research Project
Title: Assessing Student Engagement, Critical Thinking Proficiency, and Content Mastery During the First and Second Year of Medical School – A Comparison Between the Legacy and Newly Developed Integrated Curricula
Rationale: The National Research Council, the American Association for Advancement of Science, and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) have all called for reform urging educators to more actively engage students in the learning process. Calls for reform have led the IU School of Medicine to revise the curriculum to more effectively engage students by incorporating active learning techniques and integrating the basic and clinical sciences. Along with realignment of course content, faculty will be asked to increase the levels of student centered active learning within each course. Based upon reports in the primary literature, general thought is that active learning more effectively engages students and enhances development of critical thinking and analysis.
Goals of the Project:
It will be of interest to:
1. Assess levels of student engagement and critical thinking proficiency in the first and second years of medical school to determine if either of these parameters improve from year one to year two.
2. Assess levels of student engagement and critical thinking proficiency in the first and second years of medical school to determine if either of these differs between students enrolled in the “Legacy” curriculum and the newly developed “Integrated” curriculum.
3. Determine if either/both level of student engagement and critical thinking proficiency are related to step one board scores.
This is an ongoing project that commenced in January of 2016 and will be completed in May of 2018.
Association of American Medical Colleges
Human Anatomy & Physiology Society
Indiana Physiological Society