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James Cooke


As a teaching faculty member, my research is centered on undergraduate student learning. Our group is broadly interested in retention of course concepts by undergraduate students. One ongoing project uses multi-stage collaborative exams to try and improve long-term retention of course content. Our early results suggested that benefits conferred by writing answers in groups varied by individual. As a follow-up, we are measuring student behaviours during collaborative exams to identify whether certain behaviours are predictive of improved retention at a later time point. If we are able to identify specific actions that are beneficial to student learning, we can then guide future students to engage in these behaviours.

Another ongoing project is looking into student strategies during open-ended exam questions. We’re interested in whether students have specific strategies while answering open-ended exam questions, and whether these strategies are helpful on the exam itself. Further, we are curious about why students ‘word dump’ during time-sensitive exams, and whether we can help students improve their writing strategies to save time and improve exam outcomes.

Select Publications

  • Nedjat-Haiem M & Cooke JE. (2021) Student strategies when taking open-ended test questions. Cogent Education 8(1), 1877905.
  • Pan SC, Sana F, Samani J, Cooke JE, Kim JA. (2020) Learning from errors: students’ and instructors’ practices, attitudes, and beliefs. Memory 28(9): 1105-1122.
  • Pan SC, Cooke JE, Little JL, McDaniel MA, Foster ER, Connor LT, Rickard TC. (2019) Online and clicker quizzing on jargon terms enhances definition-focused but not conceptually focused biology exam performance. CBE-LSE 18(4)
  • Cooke JE, Weir L, Clarkston B (2019) Retention following two-state collaborative exams depends on timing and student performance. CBE-LSE 18(2). doi: 10.1187/cbe.17-07-0137
  • Goodman BE, Barker MK, Cooke JE. (2018) Best practices in active and student-centered learning in physiology classes. Advances in Physiology Education. 42: 417–423, 2018
  • Han, L, Campanucci, V.A., Cooke, J, Salter M.W. (2013) Identification of a single amino acid in GluN1 that is critical for glycine primed internalization of NMDA receptors. Molecular Brain. 6(1): 36-50.
  • Whitehead, R.A., Puil, E., Ries, C.R., Schwarz, S.K.W., Wall, R.A., Cooke, J.E., Putrenko, I, Sallam, N.A., MacLeod, B.A. (2012) GABAB receptor-mediated selective peripheral analgesia by the non-proteinogenic amino acid, isovaline. Neuroscience. 213: 154-160.
  • Cooke, J.E., Mathers, D.A., Puil, E. (2012) R-isovaline: a subtype-specific agonist at GABAB receptors? Neuroscience. 201: 85-95.
  • Cooke, J.E., Mathers, D.A., Puil, E. (2009) Isovaline causes inhibition by increasing potassium conductance in thalamic neurons. Neuroscience. 164(3): 1235-1243.
  • Mathers, D.A., McCarthy, S.M., Cooke J.E., Ghavanini, A.A., Puil E. (2009) Effects of the β-amino acid antagonist TAG on thalamocortical inhibition. Neuropharmacology. 56(8): 1097-1105.
  • Cooke, J.E., Zhang, H., Kelly, J.B. (2007) Detection of sinusoidal amplitude modulated sounds: deficits after bilateral lesions of auditory cortex in the rat. Hearing Research. 231(1-2): 90-99.
  • Kelly, J.B., Cooke, J.E., Gilbride, P.C., Mitchell, C., Zhang, H. (2006) Behavioral limits of auditory temporal resolution in the rat: amplitude modulation and duration discrimination. The Journal of Comparative Psychology. 120(2): 98-105.


James Cooke received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Dr. Cooke joined the faculty in 2015. He is currently the Head Faculty Advisor for the Saltman Quarterly.

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