Suzanne Ruder, Ph.D.

Associate Chair
Oliver Hall 4023


B.S. 1982 College of St. Benedict - St. John's University
Ph.D. 1986, Washington State University

Honors and Awards

2012 VCU Distinguished Teaching Award
2009 VCU College of Humanities and Sciences Teaching Award

Research interests

Our research in the area of chemical education relates to the creation, use, and impacts of guided inquiry in the large classroom environment. One project involves developing and assessing active learning strategies and student transferable (process) skills. We have developed novel feedback rubrics to provide feedback to students on their transferable skills during team activities and in written work. Writing and testing materials that focus on transferable skills is also part of this project. Another project is investigating how errors made on organic chemistry concepts relate to these transferable skills and whether instruction and feedback on the progress of these skills will increase student understanding.

Select publications

  • Doug Czajka, Gil Reynders, Courtney Stanford, Renée Cole, Juliette Lantz, and Suzanne Ruder, “A Novel Rubric Format for Providing Feedback on Process Skills to STEM Undergraduate Students,” Journal of College Science Teaching, 2021 50, 48-56
  • Gil Reynders, Juliette Lantz, Suzanne Ruder, Courtney Stanford, Renée Cole, “Rubrics to Assess Critical Thinking and Information Processing in Undergraduate STEM Courses"; International Journal of STEM Education, 2020, 7, (1), 1-15
  • Suzanne M. Ruder, Patrick Brown and Courtney Stanford “Developing POGIL Materials: Writing and refining activities for a spectrum of content areas”, J. of Excellence in College Teaching, 2020, 31 (1) 195-228
  • Suzanne Ruder and Courtney Stanford "Training undergraduate teaching assistants to facilitate and assess process skills in large enrollment courses", Journal of Chemical Education 2020, 97, (10), 3521–3529.
  • Gil Reynders and Suzanne Ruder "Moving a Large-Lecture Organic POGIL Classroom to an Online Setting" Journal of Chemical Education 2020, 97, (9), 3182–3187.
  • Renee Cole, Gil Reynders, Suzanne Ruder, Courtney Stanford, and Juliette Lantz,
    “Constructive alignment beyond content: Assessing professional skills in student group interactions and written work,” in Research into Practice in Chemistry Education - Selected Contributions from the 25th IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education 2018. Editors: Madeleine Schultz, Siegbert Schmid, and Gwen Lawrie, Springer, 2019. (invited)
  • Renée Cole, Juliette Lantz and Suzanne M. Ruder, “POGIL: An Introduction of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning for Those Who Wish to Empower Learners”, Chapter 3 Process Skills, Stylus Publishing, 2019.
  • Sally S. Hunnicutt, Suzanne M. Ruder, Ellen Yezierski, Katie Ameral, Christopher Bauer “POGIL: An Introduction of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning for Those Who Wish to Empower Learners”, Chapter 9 POGIL in Large Classes, Stylus Publishing, 2019.
  • Naha J. Farhat, Courtney Stanford, and Suzanne M. Ruder “Assessment of Student Performance on Core Concepts in Organic Chemistry” Journal of Chemical Education, 2019, 96 (5), 865-872.
  • Renee Cole, Juliette Lantz, Suzanne Ruder, Gilbert Reynders, Courtney Stanford, “Enhancing Learning by Assessing More than Content Knowledge.” Proceedings of the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition June 2018 (
  • Suzanne M. Ruder and Courtney Stanford “Strategies for training undergraduate teaching assistants to facilitate large active learning classrooms”, Journal of Chemical Education, 2018, 95 (12), 2126–2133.
  • Jamie L. Schneider, Suzanne M. Ruder and Christopher F. Bauer “Student Perceptions of Immediate Feedback Testing in Student Centered Chemistry Classes”, Chemical Education Research and Practice 2018, 19, 442-451.
  • Suzanne M. Ruder, Courtney Stanford and Anand Gandhi “Scaffolding STEM Classrooms to Integrate Key Workplace Skills: Development of Resources for Active Learning Environments” Journal of College Science Teaching 2018, 47 (5), 29-35.
  • Suzanne M. Ruder “Organic Chemistry: A Guided Inquiry”, Wiley, New York, 2015.