Mulhern: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education Scholarship

Research Overview

The Performing Sciences

I am interested in the potential for creative and multi-disciplinary forms of teaching, learning and assessment to foster engagement and increase motivation to learn science. By employing strategies from the visual arts as well as theatre and performance studies, science educators can engage students in emotional and corporeal ways that complement their cognitive processes, as well as facilitate opportunities for collaborative and social learning. (with Rinske Ginsberg, Sarah French and Kwang Cham)

Targeting Misconceptions as a Trigger for Learning

Misconceptions are naïve understandings held by students that conflict with currently accepted concepts and empirical findings. They pose a significant challenge, particularly in STEM. We have been developing approaches that help university educators identify, confront and correct misconceptions held by their students, particularly in large class settings. (with Heather Verkade)

Enhancing Feedback

One of the most valuable aspects of feedback to students is its capacity to provide a path to improved performance. In this case it is better described as ‘feedforward’ than feedback. We are developing semiautomated systems that mine assessment data to compose and then deliver personalized feedback reports to individual students to guide their study. (with Sonja Horvat, Stephen Best and Melissa Makin)


Eliza Bloggs,  Research Fellow


  • Kwang Cham (School of Health Sciences)
  • Sarah French (Centre for the Study of Higher Education)
  • Rinske Ginsberg (Victorian College of the Arts)
  • Sonja Horvat & Stephen Best (School of Chemistry)
  • Melissa Makin (Faculty of Science)
  • Heather Verkade (School of Biomedical Sciences)


University of Melbourne Learning and Teaching Initiative Grant Scheme.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

Verkade, H; Mulhern, TD; Lodge, JM; Elliott, K; Cropper, S; Rubinstein, B; Horton, A; Elliott, C; Espinosa, A; Dooley, L; Frankland, S; Mulder & R; Livett, M. (2017) “Misconceptions as a trigger for enhancing student learning in higher education”. ISBN 978073405409 8.

Mulhern T (2018) “Just another manic Monday?” Australian Biochemist, ASBMB Education Feature, 49(2), 13.

Verkade H & Mulhern T (2018) “Four steps to solving the student misconception problem” Australian Biochemist, ASBMB Education Feature, 49(1), 15-16.

Mulhern T (2017), “Physical biochemistry, but not as you’ve ever seen it before…” Australian Biochemist, ASBMB Education Feature, 48(2), 9.

Research Publications

Aston R, Mulhern TD, Ginsberg R, French S (2018) “The Performing Sciences” Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, Flinders University, 26-28 September 2018, in press.

Verkade H, Lodge JM, Elliott K, Mulhern TD, Espinosa AA, Cropper SJ & Rubinstein BIP. (2017) “Exploring misconceptions as a trigger for enhancing student learning” Research and Development in Higher Education: Curriculum Transformation, 40, 392-401.

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

School Research Themes

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Associate Professor Terry Mulhern

Department / Centre

Biochemistry and Pharmacology

Unit / Centre

Mulhern: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education Scholarship

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