Learners are at the heart of my work, helping them take control of their own learning so that they feel motivated, empowered and excited.
“I don’t believe I will be the first or last person to say that Dr Fergus as a lecturer, teacher, and mentor is one of the greatest assets. Her methods of teaching makes students think outside the box, enjoy learning and understand chemistry topics they once thought impossible” (student).
My teaching philosophy is a constructivist blended learning approach, inspiring students to bridge gaps in their understanding of concepts by engaging them with technologies outside the classroom and scaffolding learning activities in the classroom designed to regulate their metacognition.
In 2016, I was awarded the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Higher Education Teaching Award “for her sustained innovation in the teaching and assessment of chemistry across a diverse portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes” (RSC nomination) and in 2017, I was honoured to receive a National Teaching Fellowship.
My research investigates areas in chemistry education, technology-enhanced learning, authentic assessment and feedback. I also investigate on cognitive enhancers (referred to as smart drugs).
Recent Research Publications
Fergus, S. (2022). Are undergraduate students studying smart? Insights into study strategies and habits across a programme of study. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 19(2), 110–127. Read HERE
Sharif, S., Fergus, S., Guirguis, A., Smeeton, N. & Schifano, F. (2022) Assessing prevalence, knowledge and use of cognitive enhancers among university students in the United Arab Emirates: A quantitative study. PLoS ONE 17(1) ): e0262704. Read HERE
Fergus, S., Heelan, A., Ibrahim, S., Oyman, H., Diaz-de-Mera, Y., & Notario, A. (2021). Insights into study strategies and habits: a study with undergraduate students in Spain and the UK. Journal of Chemical Education, 98(10), 3084–3089. Read HERE
Fergus, S., Hirani, E., Parkar, N. & Kirton, S. (2021). Strategic Engagement: Exploring student buy-in across a formative and summative online assessment. All Ireland Journal of Higher Education, 13, 1, 24. Read HERE
Sharif, S., Guirguis, A., Fergus, S. & Schifano, F. (2021). The Use and Impact of Cognitive Enhancers among University Students: A Systematic Review. Brain Sciences, 11, 3, 355. Read HERE
Fergus, S.; Botha, M.; Scott, M. (2020). Insights Gained During COVID-19: Refocusing Laboratory Assessments Online. Journal of Chemical Education, 97 (9), 3106-3109. Read HERE
Fergus S., Birdi A. and Riaz F., (2019). A Framework Model for a Contextualized and Integrated Warfarin Therapy Case in a Master of Pharmacy Program, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 83 (5), 6688. Read HERE
Fergus, S. (2019). Using PeerWise to support the transition to higher education in Seery, M.K. and Mc Donnell, C. (Eds). Teaching Chemistry in Higher Education, Creathach Press, Dublin, pp181-194. Read HERE
Fergus S., (2018). Making learning meaningful by connecting it to real life. EdSurge. Read HERE
Fergus S., (2017). Writing a Chemistry Education Research Article: Stepping Stone or Stumbling Block? New Directions, 12(1). Read HERE
Fergus S., (2016). Change your Lens. Education in Chemistry, 6, 32. Read HERE
Fergus S., Kellett, K. and Gerhard, U. (2015). The Khat and Meow Meow Tale: Teaching the Relevance of Chemistry through Novel Recreational Drugs. J. Chem. Educ., 92, 5, 843-848. Read HERE
Kirton, S., Al-Ahmad, A., Fergus S. (2014). Using Structured Chemistry Examinations (SChemEs) as an Assessment Method to Improve Undergraduate Students’ Generic, Practical and Laboratory-Based Skills. J. Chem. Educ., 91, 5, 648–654. Read HERE
Fergus, S and Hitch, G (2014). Assessing the Status of Fundamental Chemistry Knowledge Using a Visually Displayed Chemistry Diagnostic Test. New Directions, 10, 1, 50-58. Read HERE