SERC > SERC Staff and Collaborators > Ellen Iverson

Ellen Iverson

Director of Evaluation
Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College
Download my NSF formatted Bio Sketch (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 26kB Nov21 16)

Areas of Interest *What I Do * Education * Publications

Areas of Interest

  • Program evaluation
  • Change theories related to faculty development
  • Role of technology in communities of practice
  • Usability evaluation and website impact studies
  • Student assessment of learning
  • Strategies to broaden access of all students to STEM majors

What I Do

I started at the SERC office in March 2003. My work includes the evaluation, educational research, and usability efforts that ground SERC projects in the reality of educator practice. I approach evaluation and assessment from a constructivist perspective and have expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods. My research interests include faculty development influences on teaching practices, program interventions aimed at broadening access in STEM undergraduate education, and the role of institutional context in theories of change about faculty learning and student learning.


My evaluation projects cover a range of National Science Foundation and other foundation supported projects in the sciences and social sciences including:

Educational Research and Assessment

Educational research projects include Tracing the Effect of Faculty Development into Student Learning Outcomes and the RTOP Classroom Observation project (sponsored by On the Cutting Edge Professional Development).

I co-lead the national assessment efforts for InTeGrate, a 5 year, NSF STEP Center grant aimed to improve geoscience literacy and build a workforce that can make use of geoscience to solve societal issues.

I also have a particular interest in evaluating the use of technology to improve undergraduate and K-12 teaching practice and have served as evaluator for: The Textbook Reconsidered- Creating the Shortbook of Geomorphology; Direct Measurement Videos in Physics; Geoinformatics Modules for Teaching Hydrology; WILSIM2, The Next Generation Landform Simulator; Earthlabs: A National Model for Earth Science Lab Courses; Exploring Genomics Data; and Geology of National Parks (part of the Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum).

Synergistic Activity

I keep involved in state and local education and evaluation topics and served as evaluator for the Minnesota Math and Science Teacher Academies for southeastern Minnesota, external evaluator for the Minnesota Math and Science Frameworks (MMSRTC); and elected member of the Board of Education (2009 to present) where I have served as chair (2012-2014) and am currently vice-chair for Northfield ISD#659.

I started at the SERC office in March 2003. Before coming to Carleton College, I spent 14 years in industry working for IBM and as the Technology Manager for Marathon Multimedia (a Learner's Digest International business).


University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and Policy, Evaluation Studies, May 2016
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - Post-graduate Program Evaluation Studies Certificate, 2012
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - Scientific and Technical Communications, M.S., 1993
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - Scientific and Technical Communications, B.S. with distinction, 1989
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - College of Architecture, Environmental Design, B.S., 1989

Publications and Presentations

SERC Publications

Manduca, C. A., Iverson, E. R., Luxenberg, M., Macdonald, R. H., McConnell, D. A., Mogk, D. W., & Tewksbury, B. J. (2017). Improving undergraduate STEM education: The efficacy of discipline-based professional development. Science Advances, 3(2).

Gregg-Jolly, L., Swartz, J., Iverson, E., Stern, J., Brown, N., Lopatto D. (2016). Situating Second-Year Success: Understanding Second-Year STEM Experiences at a Liberal Arts College. CBE-LSE.

Iverson, E. (2016). Understanding the factors that support the use of active learning teaching in STEM undergraduate courses: Case studies in the field of geoscience. University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy.

Gross, D. S., Iverson, E. R.; Willett, G. A., Manduca, C. A. (2015). "Broadening Access to Science With Support for the Whole Student in a Residential Liberal Arts College Environment" Journal of College Science Teaching, 12/2013

Condon, W., Iverson, E. R., Manduca, C. A., Rutz, C., & Willett, G. (2015). Faculty development matters: Connecting faculty learning to student learning. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Willett, G., Iverson, E. R., Rutz, C., & Manduca, C. A. (2014). Measures Matter: Evidence of faculty development effects on faculty and student learning. Assessing Writing Vol. 20. April. p. 19-36

Singer, S., Schwarz, J., Manduca, C. A., Fox S. P., Iverson, E. R., Taylor, B.J., Cannon, S. B., May, G.D., Maki, S. L., Farmer, A. D. & Doyle, J.J. (2013). IBI Series Winner: Keeping an Eye on Biology: Science 25 January 2013: 339 (6118), 408-409. [DOI:10.1126/science.1229848]

Iverson, E. R. (2012). Measurement using Faculty Surveys. Commissioned White Paper presented at the AAAS Measurement of Teaching Practices Meeting. Washington DC.

Rutz, C., Condon, W., Iverson, E. R., Manduca, C.A., and Willett, G. (2012). Faculty development and student learning: What is the relationship? Change, May/June 2012, 42-49.

Iverson, E. (2012). When a Website is Part of Program Evaluation: A Three Staged Approach. Evaluation 2012: American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN.

Willett,G., E. Iverson, M. Huber, W. Condon (2011). Faculty Development within Cross-Curricular Initiatives: What Are the Effects on Student Learning? Presented at 2011 The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA.
Iverson, Ellen A., Sabra Lee, Carol J. Ormand, P.G. Feiss, Heather Macdonald, Cathryn A. Manduca, Randall M. Richardson (2011). Building Strong Geoscience Departments: Case Studies and Findings from Six Years of Programming, Abstract ED23A-0616 Poster presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.
McConnell, David, Ellen Iverson, David Budd, Darrell Henry, Katrien J. van der Hoeven Kraft, John R. McDaris, Heather MacDonald7, Cathryn Manduca, LeeAnn Srogi, and Karen Viskupic (2011). A Preliminary Snapshot of Geoscience Teaching at US Colleges and Universities, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 136
Manduca, Cathryn A., Ellen A. Iverson, Roman Czujko, Heather Macdonald, David W. Mogk, Barbara J. Tewksbury, John McLaughlin, Camelia Sanford, Lija Greenseid, Michael Luxenberg (2011). Impact of the On the Cutting Edge Professional Development Program on U.S. Geoscience Faculty, Abstract ED42A-04 Presentation at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.
Manduca, Cathryn A., David W. Mogk, Barbara Tewksbury, R. Heather Macdonald, Sean P. Fox, Ellen R. Iverson, Karin Kirk, John McDaris, Carol Ormand, and Monica Bruckner (2010). SPORE: Science Prize for Online Resources in Education: On the Cutting Edge: Teaching Help For Geoscience Faculty: Science, v. 327, no. 5969, pp. 1095-1096.
Iverson, E. and S. Lee (2010). Using Evaluation to Help Transform Departments in the Challenging Economic Environment of Higher Education. Evaluation 2010: American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.
Kirkendall, R. Iverson, E. and M. Bruckner (2010). Integrating Website Use Analytics into a Mixed Method Evaluation of a Professional Development Website. Evaluation 2010: American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.
Kirkendall, R. and E. Iverson (2010) Mainstreaming Evaluation into Faculty Professional Development Programs.Evaluation 2010: American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.
Willett, G., E.R. Iverson (2010). Researching, Supporting, and Funding Faculty Development Initiatives: A Synergistic Approach. Presented at 2010 Conference of The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) on Faculty Roles in High-Impact Practices. Philadelphia, PA.
Iverson, E., C.A. Manduca, J.R. McDaris, and S. Lee (2009). Refining MARGINS Mini-Lessons Using Classroom Observations. Eos Trans. AGU, 90(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract ED13D-0616
McMartin, F., E. Iverson, A. Wolf, J. Morrill, G. Morgan, C. Manduca (2008). The Use of Online Digital Resources and Educational Digital Libraries in Higher Education. The International Journal on Digital Libraries Special Issue on Digital Libraries and Education. Co-Editor:Lillian Cassel,Sarah Giersch ,Mimi Recker. Springer Publications. 8(2).
Wolf, A., F. McMartin, E. Iverson, C. Manduca, J. Morril, and G. Morgan. (2007). Use of online digital learning materials and digital libraries: comparison by discipline. Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Digital libraries, ACM Press, New York. p 500.
McMartin, F., A. Wolf, E. Iverson, C. Manduca, J. Morril, and G. Morgan. (2007). What do faculty need and want from digital libraries? Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Digital libraries,ACM Press, New York. p 493.
McMartin, F., E. Iverson, C. Manduca, A. Wolf, G. Morgan (2006). Factors Motivating Use of Digital Libraries. Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries, ACM Press.
Iverson, E.R., McLaughlin, J.A., Manduca, C.A. (2006). The Logic Model as Compass: Guiding Stakeholders Through the Consequences of Evaluation. Presented at American Evaluation Association 2006 Annual Conference.
Manduca, C.A., Iverson, E.R., Fox, S.P., McMartin, F. (2005). Influencing User Behavior through Digital Library Design: An Example from the Geosciences, D-Lib, vol 11(5). (Recipient of the Geoscience Information Society's Best Paper Award for 2006)

Roscoe Iverson, E. (1994). "Producing a Multimedia Product – Design Phase", Proceedings for the Society for Technical Communicators