Prof Kerry Ritchie's research interests can be divided into 2 main areas:
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).
Prof Ritchie's main research goal is to improve undergraduate student learning through the evaluation of novel teaching and assessment strategies and then implementing these findings into the classroom. In particular, Prof Ritchie is interested in strategies that can increase learner-centeredness and promote student responsibility for their own education path. Research has shown that students learn best when they are active participants in their own education and their needs, abilities and interest are considered. However, providing meaningful opportunities for independent learning and relevant, individualized assignments can be a real challenge with large class sizes. She is currently evaluating the effectiveness of a peer-review tool to enhance independent learning and the success of creative community-based projects in large senior level courses.
Impact of modifiable lifestyle choices on human health.
In a broad sense, her health-related research interests focus on the ability of lifestyle modification, namely dietary manipulation and exercise interventions, to prevent and treat obesity and its related complications. Of special interest in a university setting – the emerging adult (18-25yrs) is an understudied cohort with respect to their views on their own health and well-being. The transition to university is a key stage in life that presents with unique challenges and opportunities for new lifestyle habits, which can have both positive and negative outcomes on health. Her current work evaluates the emerging adult’s view on health with special consideration given to modifiable lifestyle factors (diet, exercise, sleep patterns etc) that can influence health.