Since 2017, I've taught courses related to the carceral system, victimization, research methods, and gender both in-person and online. I consistently seek out the most effective teaching approaches backed by pedagogical research and the science of learning. I've participated in numerous trainings to improve my pedagogy, including a semester-long course and year-long certificate program as a doctoral student at UNLV and six week courses specifically on online teaching since becoming an assistant professor. I also love reading about new approaches and have an entire library of books on teaching and higher education. I consider myself a lifelong learner and strive to always have a growth mindset to my teaching.

Every term, I ask students for anonymous feedback and to describe my teaching style in 1-2 words. Below is a summary of SHSU students' descriptions. The most common words they used to describe my teaching were "fun" and "creative." 


Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 10.16.22 AM (2).png

My mission as an educator is to build students’ critical thinking and social awareness, facilitate hands-on projects in which students create their own content to share beyond the course, and support underserved students, particularly those with personal experiences related to the courses I teach. 

I challenge traditional teaching approaches and aim to use updated engaging active learning methods founded in more recent research. The foundations of my teaching include 1) an interactive classroom, 2) an inclusive learning community, 3) developmental learning, 4) experiential learning, and 5) project-based finals. These immersive and transformative techniques aim to cultivate empathy, critical thinking, and long-term engagement. ​In all of my courses, students apply core concepts to issues facing the community. My reflective and project-based assignments build students’ social consciousness and career goals. My courses challenge students' preconceptions about controversial issues by exposing them to the latest research and perspectives of those directly impacted. Students leave my courses prepared to interact within an increasingly diverse workforce and clientele. 

Flipped classroom formatting has gained popularity in higher education particularly for skill-based courses in science and engineering (Talbert, 2017). I support an activity-based learning environment both in the classroom and online by assigning "interactivities." The activity-based format allows for more active learning appraisals  (e.g., case studies, problem-solving, and discussion) than traditional lecture-style teaching (Eng, 2017)

Interactive Classroom

Math Homework


Although we do not have a formal "classroom" online, I facilitate an interactive self-paced learning experience. I create weekly modules with short mini-lectures on specific topics to support student learning (Costa, 2020). I assign "interactivities" in which students must complete tasks (e.g., watching documentaries or other videos, completing Kahoot or Quizizz activities, searching for information on specific topics) and reflect on how the activities expanded upon the content. Such methods are aimed to help make online learning engaging. The activity-based format has been especially effective in teaching my research methods classes to make an often “boring” and difficult subject more approachable. 

"I enjoyed the class because it didn't feel like an online course. With the videos and activities, I almost felt like it was a face-to-face class." - CJ 391 Summer 2020 Student Feedback


Inclusive Learning Community

Teenage Students Raising Hands

My methods are highly student-centered, accessible, and relational-based. I start every semester by having students reflect on their personal experiences and how they relate to the class. Every student has a unique life history and needs that impact how they learn and engage with the material. 

Even in online settings, I facilitate opportunities to build informal connections through "discussions" and external social sites (e.g., Discord) as well as group Spotify playlists. Building supportive professional relationships in the classroom has been shown to increase students' success and connections to others (Gehlbach, Brinkworth, King, Hsu, McIntyre, & Rogers, 2016).

"Even though this was an online class I could feel the engagement and the excitement of Dr. B. I can feel that she wanted me to learn and do my best. I could tell she was passionate and excited about the material which always makes it more fun to learn." - CJ 391 Summer 2020 Student Feedback

To engage in reflective pedagogy (Neuhaus, 2019), I continuously check-in with students through anonymous feedback surveys to ensure I am effectively facilitating their learning throughout the semester. Every class dynamic is unique and shapes class discussion and activities. Students are experts in their own learning experiences and I take their feedback seriously to improve the class.


As a former first-generation college student myself, I am mindful of underserved students' needs. I purposefully seek out professional development opportunities to increase my awareness and inclusivity. I develop my classes to be accessible from the ground up, from the syllabus and course policies to exam format. I strive for an inclusive learning environment with the structure to support all students' success (Sathy & Hogan, 2019). I use the transparency teaching model to identify the 1) purpose, 2) required assignment tasks, and 3) criteria for success. Such approaches have been shown to improve students' sense of belonging and academic success (Winkelmes et al., 2016).


Teaching victimization-related courses in particular has shown me that many students have experienced victimization themselves. the material can be very personal for them. Therefore, I teach using survivor-centered methods, which means I teach TO survivors and assume the majority of students are survivors (Bedera, 2020). I tailor the content and assignments with survivors in mind. I also engage in proactive work wot ensure students are empowered and informed. I have a module in the first part of class that discusses survival, PTSD symptoms, trauma responses, and disclosure protocols, resources, and self-care strategies. I view my students as human beings who come into the classroom with often heavy backgrounds and I want to support them through transformation and healing in a trauma-informed manner. 

Finally, I teach with a pedagogy of kindness (Denial, 2019). I am caring and empathetic to students. This means extending kindness and grace. I structure my classes to be inclusive of our many students who work fulltime, have caretaking roles, and other life realities, especially during the pandemic, that can be potential challenges. I implemented a "best by" policy thanks to Joshua Eyler. Students are able to submit anything, no questions asked, no permission required, up until finals week without any penalities. There are due dates in the LMS, but they are conceptualized as best by dates: the content is freshest and best consumed by the due dates, but can still be consumed a little later if needed. I have found removing strict policies on late work and attendance has made my teaching much more inclusive and enjoyable. I no longer have stressed emails from students. They note that the policy allows them to truly learn without the usual stressors. The approach has helped me be an ally to my students rather than an adversary (Gannon, 2020). Instead, we form more authentic and enjoyable connections where I am the "guide on the side" who supports and empowers students (King, 1993). 



Developmental Learning

I emphasize developmental learning approaches to support mastery of the material (Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, & Norman, 2010; Barkley, 2009; Nilson, 2010). I utilize low-stakes formative assessment in class to gauge students learning. I use interactive and somewhat competitive approaches to motivate students, such as Kahoot, Quizizz, or Factile. The individual scores are not recorded, but the top scorers earn extra credit. I don't assign typical large-stakes assignments, such as exams. Instead, I assign incremental or creative projects that are more accessible, interactive, and support long-term engagement without the anxiety of exams. 


These techniques relate to gamification, in which students are motivated intrinsically through game-like activities and point structures (Sheldon, 2012). Other positive behaviors, such as perfect attendance also earn extra credit. These approaches are more inclusive and strengths-based than deficit-based approaches (i.e., penalizing or deducting points). 

"I enjoyed all the assignments.  All of the material really went together and built off each other to further enhance my knowledge and the overall learning experience.  Everything was very engaging." - CJ 391 Summer 2020 Student Feedback 



Experiential Learning

I use experiential learning in my courses to help students generate and apply knowledge through hands-on activities. Such approaches encourage students' long-term engagement with the material (Belisle, Boppre, Keen, & Salisbury, 2020). Students attend tours of local agencies and interact with system-impacted guest speakers. I also facilitate service-learning to support community engagement with the campus and local agencies (e.g., Wichita Police Department, Wichita Family Crisis Center, Child Advocacy Center, and Sedgwick County Drug Court). For example, students in my Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice course volunteer at a local shelter for domestic violence and human trafficking survivors. We also created a campus survey on perceptions of safety and disseminated the results with recommendations for community stakeholders. In the following spring, we partnered with Wichita State's CARE team to develop and analyze student client testimonials. Graduate students then created an infographic flyer for CARE to disseminate and build awareness and self-referrals. 


After each experiential learning activity, students complete a reflection assignment in which they apply course concepts to their experiences and reflect on how the activities facilitated their learning. These reflections help students review how the activities made them feel or react. When students have an emotional and personal connection to the material, they are more likely to remember it beyond the semester (Bain, 2004; Kavanaugh, 2016). Students often mention that experiential learning enhances the class by bringing course material to life and it humanizes those directly impacted (Belisle et al., in press). The reflection assignments allow me to clearly identify how the activities achieve learning objectives and the impacts on students' perceptions. 

I recently completed a study with my co-authors using reflection paper responses from my undergraduate students to assess the impacts of a jail tour, formerly incarcerated guest speaker, and a documentary on their learning and engagement. Here is one representative quote by Student #27: 

“Having [the guest speaker] come into the class is a refreshing take on understanding criminal justice from a prisoner's perspective, especially listening and watching how he reacts to the given questions. It feels more authentic compared to reading articles or interviews with prisoners.”




Creative Finale Projects

I seek to give students skills, information, and self-created content that they can engage with and share beyond the semester. To facilitate, I started assigning e-portfolios. Students create their own websites to house their modules reflections, course glossaries, and share what they created in class. This allows students to look back on what they learn outside of the LMS, which students usually lose access to after the semester ends. 


I also assign project-based finals to end my courses as a “finale” rather than a traditional final (Crider, 2015; Gannon, 2018). For example, students in my content-based courses create their own infographics or social media campaigns on various social issues (e.g., intimate partner violence, violence against women) to provide recommendations for local policymakers.


Similarly, students in my Research Methods course develop proposed studies in teams to examine a local criminal justice issue. They pitch their proposals in a "Smart Tank" judging format with two community stakeholder judges. Presentations are judged based upon teams' ability to convey the importance of their topic, the appropriateness of their chosen methodology, feasibility, and overall presentation style. I support students throughout the semester by facilitating incremental activities along with on-going formative feedback.


The project-based finals create a sense of community and promote personal interests through the focus on local issues. On the last day, I hold a communal exhibit to share students’ final projects with fellow classmates. The exhibit makes the course feel like a cumulative and celebratory finale to the 15-week semester, which supports lasting connections to the material (Crider, 2015).


"[What I enjoyed about this course/instructor] was her ability to connect with students, passion for the subject, and the way she made learning accessible and easy. This class discussed real-world concepts and gave us the opportunity to create research and projects that will benefit us in the long term, not just busywork." CJ 581A Spring 2020 Student Feedback


CJ 391 Corrections



Intro to Research Methods

Smart Tank Winners: Team Harambe

Topic: Understanding the increase in methamphetamine-related crime in Wichita

Smart Tank Community Judges


Connie Nichols and Monica Harris,

Sedgwick County Division of Corrections

Courses Taught: Wichita State University

Corrections (CJ 391)​
Liquid Syllabus

Introduction to Research Methods (CJ 407) Service-Learning Course

Liquid Syllabus

Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice (CJ 581A) Service-Learning and Tilford Diversity Course 
Liquid Syllabus

Courses Taught: Sam Houston State University

Violence Against Women (VCST 4390)
Family Violence (VCST 4383/5383)
Transformative Justice (CRIJ 4377)
Research Methods (CRIJ 6334)
Course Sites

Summary of Student Evaluations

Sam Houston State University: 4.8/5.0

Wichita State University: 4.7/5.0

Researching and Writing

Teaching Articles and Commentary

Belisle, L., Boppre, B., Keen, J., & Salisbury, E. J. (2020) Bringing Course Material to Life Through Experiential Learning: Impacts on Students’ Learning and Perceptions in a Corrections Course. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 2, 161-186.

Boppre, B. (Accepted). Using Experiential Learning to Humanize Course Content and Connect with Students. In J. Neuhaus (Ed.), Picture a Professor: Intersectional Teaching Strategies for Interrupting Bias about Faculty and Increasing Student Learning. West Virginia University Press.  

Boppre, B. & Clevenger, S. (2022). “Getting to Know our Students in Online Courses.” In ASC Division on Women and Crime Newsletter.

Boppre, B. (2021). “Using Discord to Build Instructor and Social Presence.” In ASC Division of Victimology Newsletter. 

Boppre, B.  (2021). “Teaching Note: Humanizing Courses with Web-Based Syllabi and Sites.” In ASC Division on Women and Crime Newsletter (p. 38-40).

Reed, S. M., Boppre, B., O’Neal, E. N., & Antunes, J. L. (2021). “Challenging False Standards of ‘Professionalism’ through the Humanization of our Discipline: A Call to Action. In Division of Victimology Newsletter.

Boppre, B.  (2020). “Teaching Note: Creating an Interactive and Engaging Syllabus: The Liquid Syllabus Format.” In C. Scott-Hayward (Ed.), Division on Corrections and Sentencing Spring Newsletter (p. 6-7).


Pinchevsky, G., & Boppre, B. (2020).  “Engaging Students through Infographics: A Creative Alternative to Traditional Research Assignments.” In Division of Victimology Newsletter.


Boppre, B. (2020). “Teaching Note: Infographics as Alternatives to Traditional Research Assignments.” In C. Scott-Hayward (Ed.), Division on Corrections and Sentencing Spring Newsletter (p. 10-11).