My research evaluates factors that lead to increased educational effectiveness. In particular, I am interested in the role of digital technologies to transform teaching and learning. I mostly apply quantitative research methodologies related to learning analytics, educational data mining, social network analysis, experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference, and survey research and measurement.

My current projects aim for advancements in higher education and teacher education settings from a STEM education perspective.

Learning Technologies / Science Teacher Education

Understanding technology-enhanced forms of professional development to provide new forms of in-service teacher education at scale

  • Evaluating the impact of online teacher communities on student performance

  • Analyzing how microblogging adheres to design elements of high-quality professional development and extends more traditional professional learning activities

Incorporating educational technology training in pre-service science teacher education programs

  • Using educational games, virtual experiments, and interactive simulations in secondary science classrooms

Selected publications:

Fischer, C., Fishman, B., & Schoenebeck, S. (revise and resubmit). New forms of professional development: Analyzing high school science teachers’ engagement in microblogging platforms for professional learning. Manuscript submitted to AERA Open.

Frumin, K., Dede, C., Fischer, C., Fishman, B., Eisenkraft, A., Foster, B., Levy, A., Lawrenz, F., & McCoy, A. (2018). Adapting to large-scale changes in Advanced Placement Biology, Chemistry, and Physics: The impact of online teacher communities. International Journal of Science Education, 40(4), 397-420. https:/

Fischer, C. & Dershimer, R. C. (2016). Preparing teachers to use educational games, virtual experiments, and interactive science simulations to engage students in the practices of science. In L.-J. Thoms & R. Girwidz (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning (pp. 263-270). Mulhouse, France: European Physical Society.

Learning Technologies / Higher Education

Analyzing undergraduate student experiences in online course environments and their relations to student success factors

  • Examining impact of online courses on short-term (i.e., course grades) and distal student success factors (i.e., time-to-degree, major persistence, graduation rates)

  • Providing examples of successful STEM courses that utilize utilize unique affordances of online and hybrid course modalities

Selected manuscripts:

Fischer, C., Xu, D., Rodriguez, F., Denaro, K., & Warschauer, M. (revise and resubmit). Effects of course modality in summer session: Enrollment patterns and student performance in face-to-face and online classes. Manuscript submitted to The Internet and Higher Education.

Wu, L. L., Fischer, C., Rodriguez, F., Washington, G., & Warschauer, M. (revise and resubmit). Applied engineering instruction in face-to-face and hybrid modes: Associations with self-efficacy, effort regulation, interest, and skills. Manuscript submitted to Advances in Engineering Education.


Science Teacher Education

Analyzing the impact of large-scale curriculum reforms on science teachers and their students

  • Examining school, teaching, teacher, and teacher professional development characteristics to identify levers for educational policy that relate to increases in student learning and achievement

  • Analyzing teachers’ challenges, affinity, and adoption patterns to large-scale curriculum reforms

Examine and evaluate instruments and conceptual frameworks used in the educational research community

  • Evaluating frameworks that describe effects of teacher professional development

  • Evaluating the Stages of Concerns Questionnaire in the context of a large-scale national curriculum and examination reform

Selected publications:

Fischer, C., Fishman, B., Dede, C., Eisenkraft, E., Foster, B., Frumin, K., Lawrenz, F., Levy, A., & McCoy, A. (2018). Investigating relationships between school context, teacher professional development, teaching practices, and student achievement in response to a nationwide science reform. Teaching and Teacher Education, 72, 107-121.

Fischer, C., Eisenkraft, A., Fishman, B., Hübner, N., & Lawrenz, F. (2018). Adapting to the Large-Scale Advanced Placement Chemistry Reform: An Examination of Teachers’ Challenges and Instructional Practices. Journal of Chemical Education. Advance online publication.

Fischer, C., Fishman, B., Levy, A., Eisenkraft, A., Dede, C., Lawrenz, F., Jia, Y., Kook, J., Frumin, K., & McCoy, A. (2016). When do students in low-SES schools perform better-than-expected on a high-stakes test? Analyzing school, teacher, teaching, and professional development characteristics. Urban Education. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0042085916668953