Jordan Harshman
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
C. Harry Knowles Associate Professor

Office: 268 Chemistry Building

Lab: 126 Chemistry Building

Address: 268 Chemistry Building
Auburn, AL 36849

Phone: (334) 844-7126



Miami University, PhD
University of Wisconsin-River Fall, B.S.

Professional Employment
Associate Professor, Auburn University
2023 - present
Assistant Professor, Auburn University
2017 - 2023
Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
2016 - 2017
Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Iowa
2015 - 2016
Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Iowa
2015 - 2016

Research and Teaching Interests

Research: Graduate Education. Our research group is primarily interested in the investigation of numerous aspects of graduate education in the chemical sciences and other disciplines. National conservations within the ACS,1 NRC,2 and all the way up to the President’s Office3 have criticized traditional approaches to graduate education in the physical sciences. In an era where unemployment is rising and careers increasingly rely on interdisciplinary skills for highly educated and highly skilled doctoral recipients, our research group will investigate what knowledge and skills are needed to secure careers in the chemical sciences and solve the world’s problems. With educational objectives backed by evidence, chemistry departments across the country can benefit from a clearer picture of what graduate students will need upon receiving their degrees. We will additionally be testing non-traditional approaches to graduate education and comparing relevant educational and professional outcomes to more traditional approaches.

1The American Chemical Society (2012). Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences.
2Fransisco, J., Bergman, R., Kresge, C. & Pay, D. (2012). Challenges in Chemistry Graduate Education: A Workshop Summary
3President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (2012). Transformation and opportunity: The future of the U.S. Research Enterprise.

Research: COPUS. The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS)4is a commonly-used classroom observation tool. This tool is a primarily objective characterization of STEM classrooms that has demonstrated to be useful both as evidence for researchers and feedback for instructors. We have previously discovered 7 instructional profiles using COPUS observations from over 2,000 instructors across the country in various STEM disciplines and now have plans to develop better feedback for instructors.

4Smith, M.K., Jones, F.H.M., Gilbert, S.L., & Wieman, C.E. (2014). The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices. CBE Life Sci. Educ. 12(4), 618-627.

COPUS App: If you have COPUS data that you would like to visualize and analyze, please use the COPUS App. This app was developed help instructors view heatmaps, classify their instruction, and generate reports for their teaching. For researchers, this app can speed along the training process by automatically highlighting disagreements and calculating inter-rater reliability for multiple coders.

Teaching. I have a passion for teaching chemistry at the introductory level. I also have great interests in teaching how to code using the statistical language R, understanding and applying modern discipline educational research quantitative methods, and displaying advanced data visualizations.

Selected Publications

  • Stains, M., Harshman, J., Barker, M.K., Chasteen, S.V., Cole, R., DeChenne-Peters, S.E., Egan, M.K., Esson, J.M., Knight, J.K., Laski F.A., Levis-Fitzgerald, M., Lee, C.J., McDonnell, L.M., McKay, T.A., Michelotti, N., Musgrove, A., Palmer, M.S., Plank, K.M., Rodela, T.M., Sanders, E.R., Schimpf, N.G., Schulte, P.M., Smith, M.K., Stetzer, M., Stewart, J., Van Valkenburgh, B., Vinson, E., Weir, L.K., Wendel, P.J., Wheeler, L.B., & Young, A.M. “Anatomy of STEM Teaching in American Universities” Science359 (6383), pp. 1468-1470.

  • Harshman, J., Stains, M. (2017). A Review and Evaluation of the Internal Structure and Consistency of the Approaches to Teaching Inventory. International Journal of Science Education. 39(7), 918-936.

  • Harshman, J., Nielsen, S., Yezierski, E. (invited book chapter). Putting the R in CER: How the Statistical Program R Transforms Research Capabilities. In Gupta, T., Mehta, A., and Cartrette, D Computer-Aided Data Analysis in Chemical Education Research (CADACER): Advances and Avenues.  American Chemical Society Symposium Series, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC.

  • Husting, C., Harshman, J., Yezierski, E. (accepted). Using teacher action research in high school chemistry to develop novel assessment tools. Journal of Teacher Action Research.

  • Harshman, J. & Yezierski, E. (in press). Assessment data-driven inquiry: A review of how to use assessment results to inform chemistry teaching. Science Educator, 2016.

  • Harshman, J. & Yezierski, E. (2016). Characterizing High School Chemistry Teachers’ Use of Assessment Data via Latent Class Analysis. Chemistry Education Research & Practice. 17, 296-308.

Last updated: 10/23/2023