Sandra Jean Bruner


Degree Institution Year
PhD University of New Mexico 1982
MS Purdue University 1969
BS University of Florida 1963


Years Employment Location
1978-2002 Polk Community College Winter Haven, Florida
1973-1978 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico
spring 1971 Del Norte High School Albuquerque, New Mexico
1969-1970 Highland High School Albuquerque, New Mexico
1968-1969 Parkway School System Manchester, Missouri
1966-1968 Vicenza American High School Vicenza, Italy
1963-1966 Southwest Miami Senior High School Miami, Florida

Dissertation Abstract: The Discriminatory Effects of Two Placements of Flow Diagram-Based Instructive Questions Relative to Classroom Lectures

Area of Interest

I began constructing cause-and-effect diagrams to keep myself on track when lecturing. At the time I called them 'mind map's, then later 'flow diagrams', before those terms were in general usage and meant something altogether different. In time students noticed them and asked for copies ... that meant I had to make them a bit neater. And, their interest encouraged me to develop some rules for their construction. All of this was happening well before the days of online instruction.

Most of the diagrams used in the tutorials of this website were modified many times over through the years of using them in the classroom. They became a hallmark of my instructional techniques. Each student was given a copy of the diagram and the image was also projected; it allowed us to focus on a specific area while seeing where that concept fit into the big picture. Students reported that they could 'visualize' portions of the diagram when answering end-of-topic test questions.

After retiring in 2002 I finally had time to learn a little HTML and how to use a vector drawing program. I spruced up the diagrams somewhat then broke them up into 'bite sized' sections with descriptions of the cause-and-effect relationships depicted. That took several years.

Recently I have begun updating older tutorials and was delighted to find many research articles available on the internet without having to subscribe to journals ... well, that's not true of all journals. Another finding, not so delightful, was how difficult it was to get straight answers to seemingly simple questions. It certainly was much easier to convert textbook information to diagrams ... a little right brain, left brain crossover ... rather than searching the internet for the latest information.

The past few decades have seen a plethora of new techniques to extract information about the inner workings of the cell. And along with these comes a whole new lexicon of terminology not seen in the typical undergraduate textbook. And then there's the problem of many concepts being 'explained' with calculus! The task of being a teacher has become even more challenging.

I've enjoyed these adventures in learning and hope they will encourage you to find new ways to look at issues. What you find here is born of a joy in tackling a difficult concept and actually finding out it's not so hard after all. Enjoy.

April, 2015