• An Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching Introduction to Proof

      Gentle, Adrian P.
      In recent years I have become increasingly dissatisfied with the depth of engagement and student learning in my classes. As a result, in fall 2016 I implemented an inquiry-based learning (IBL) approach to teaching introduction to proof, a required course for mathematics majors which aims to introduce students to careful mathematical reasoning and transition them away from an algorithmic view of mathematics. IBL engages students in guided discovery, and in this talk I describe my transition to this evidence-based, student-centered approach. Rather than follow a traditional textbook, students work through carefully sequenced notes which contain key definitions and statements of important theorems, and students are required to construct proofs and solve non-trivial problems. Class time is spent with students presenting their work on the board, or working in small groups, with students responsible for building understanding through discussion and questioning. A significant increase in student engagement and community was observed in the first semester of the IBL class. I will discuss what worked and what did not, and argue that a transition to evidence-based teaching not only benefits students, but provides instructors with an opportunity to revitalize their classrooms.
    • Combined Flipped Classroom and Experiential Learning in an Exercise Testing and Prescription Course

      Weatherholt, Alyssa
      Focus/Problem statement: There was a lot of content and application of the content to be covered in a three-hour course. Context: The course was Exercise Testing and Prescription in the exercise science program at Franklin College. The course objectives were: Students will be able to implement appropriate protocols for pre-participation, health screening and health-related assessment. Students will be able to evaluate data from assessments and provide safe exercise prescriptions for various populations. Students will be able to counsel clients on behavior change mechanisms. Students will be able to use industry benchmarks to promote fitness management resources. Approach: I used a combined flipped classroom and experiential learning approach (Bishop & Verleger, 2013). The flipped classroom approach was before each class session students watched lectures and measurement techniques and took quizzes on the online course site. In class, I briefly summarized the lecture, but during the rest of the session the students worked in groups doing the various activities from the lecture. The experiential learning approach was each student was assigned to a community member to schedule eight meetings to do before and after exercise assessments and six personal training sessions. The experiential learning was assessed by the documentation of the exercise sessions and one observation of a session. The students were also tested on content three times and a practical exam during the semester. Reflection/Discussion: I learned that students did well on the application of the content when working in groups and doing the skill on an outside individual several times. The most unexpected outcome from the combined teaching techniques were the students did not do well on the exams. I suggest not doing the lectures online but rather do lecture tutorials combined with group activities and working with a community member outside of class (LoPresto & Slater, 2016).
    • Do C Students Get Better Grades? Using the DISC Profile to Enhance Classroom Engagement

      Fertig, Jason
      Focus/Problem Statement: How can we learn about the uniqueness of our students in order to better understand and engage them? We know our students are not a homogeneous group. Enter the DISC profile. Context: I’ve used the DISC profile in my undergraduate and graduate classes for two years. It has transformed the way I see my students. Learning the profiles of my students challenged my previous assumptions about their motivation. Approach: The DISC profile is a widely-used personality inventory assessment (probably second to Myers-Briggs-MBTI). Compared to MBTI, the DISC is easier to interpret and to teach to students. I’ve successfully taught students the DISC in 1-2 class periods, whereas MBTI took much longer. Using the profiles to guide my pedagogy resulted in more engaged students and better performance on team projects. The DISC profile, based on the work of William Moulton Marston, is a 2X2 model of the interaction between introversion—extraversion and task focus—relationship focus. The model contains four main “types” Dominance (extravert/task), Influence (extravert/relationship), Steadiness (introvert/relationship), Compliance (introvert/task), with combinations of these variables yielding 15 different profiles. While 15 profiles seem cumbersome, the 2X2 model provides a simple, common framework that guides each one, thus, it avoids “learning 15 separate types.” Brief Results: Because over 50% of my students are introverts, I’ve learned to subdue my bias towards the extrovert ideal, and to teach a class the connects with all DISC profiles. Reflection: The DISC is simply to learn and administer. I wish more of my colleagues could benefit from using it in their classes.
    • Education Majors and their Views about Physical Science: Searching for Shifts in Epistemological Beliefs after an Intensive Introductory Physics Course

      Polak, Jeffrey M.
      Education majors at the University of Southern Indiana must take a complement of 100 level courses in the physical and life sciences (PHYS 108, CHEM 108, BIOL 108, and GEOL 108). PHYS 108 serves as the first course in this required science sequence and was designed and implemented with a focus on content delivery and active-learning approaches in a combined lecture/laboratory environment. These ‘for educators’ courses are, for many students, the only college-level science courses that they will take. An important aspect of these courses should therefore be the understanding and appreciation of scientific investigation as a useful and important process for understanding the world around us. In order to gauge how the course affects students’ views about physical science and the nature of scientific knowledge, the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science (EBAPS) survey was administered to four sections of PHYS 108 as both a pre- and post-test in order to capture any shift in student beliefs about the nature of knowledge and learning in the physical sciences. Data from this validated survey instrument will be examined and used to propose modifications to the course content and/or structure and direct further course development.
    • Enhancement of Exam Preparation Skills

      Connerton, Charlotte; Bonhotal, Susan; Krieg, Sue
      Problem Statement: Does exam feedback by the faculty change the study habits and life choices of the students to be successful on an exam? Faculty feedback on exams has been identified to increase engagement and help students to verbalize their thought processes, analyze their performance on exams, and adjust study strategies to improve learning. Context: First semester baccalaureate nursing in two introductory nursing courses at a public university are completing “exam wrappers” after each exam. The students will be able to identify and reflect on exam preparation. Approach: The faculty used “exam wrappers” to collect data following each exam. An “exam wrapper” is a group of questions at the end of an exam which identify student study habits and life choices (i.e. study preparation, number of hours worked, and number of hours of sleep) prior to an exam. Using “exam wrappers” and exam scores, faculty were able to identify those students that struggled to pass exams. Once the student was identified, faculty reached out to discuss results and counsel on study habits and life choices. Faculty used a checklist which included: attendance at the meeting, review of “exam wrappers,” review of exam questions, test taking strategies, discussion of exam preparedness, and a referral to peer tutoring. Students who passed the exams were able to identify and reflect on exam preparedness. Results: Faculty consultation with the students improved the exam preparedness and exam scores. Discussion: Faculty learned that all students benefit from identification and reflection of exam preparation. “Exam wrappers” could be an additional tool for faculty to increase student engagement and motivation.
    • If You Build It, Interactive Learning Will Come . . . Sort of.

      Valadares, Kevin
      In December 2015 a traditional classroom space in the Health Professions building (HP2025) was completely renovated into an interactive and flexible learning space. New furniture (from Steelcase Corporation) was incorporated to support flexible, mobile and adaptive student learning styles. In addition, the space was renovated to incorporate features geared towards interactive learning including full length and width whiteboard writable walls, enhanced wireless capacity to encourage the use of mobile devices, touch screen interactive projectors displayed on two walls, and enhanced sound, lighting and power sources. Eleven faculty (seven different disciplines) volunteered to teach full-semester courses in the Interactive room for the initial semester (Spring 2016). A Faculty Learning Community (made up of the eleven instructors and others) was initiated to share experiences, suggestions, and problems on a real-time basis. The group met monthly and the experiences shared had distinct similarities and differences. Students and faculty were also surveyed (1) in February 2016 on their initial experience interacting in the room and (2) in April 2016 on moderated relationships combining collaborative and self-regulated learning and class engagement. An analysis of this data is shaping the basis for a scholarly article. Over the course of the Spring 2016 semester, the room was also used as a “showcase” area for Administrative meetings, advisory council meetings, lunch meetings and tour opportunities. Reflection/Discussion The physical features of the room were ready on the opening day of the Spring 2016 semester although the technological features were not complete until mid-semester. This increased the frustration among faculty and students during this time period. The monthly Faculty Learning Committee meetings were of great benefit to share experiences and led to the decision to formally pursue outcomes related to collaborative and interactive environment as a scholarship opportunity. However, there was not enough time for faculty to alter their syllabus and teaching strategies to adapt to or use the features in the room before the Spring 2016 semester began. Credentials Kevin Valadares, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Health Services and let the team that converted an existing passive learning classroom space into an interactive learning environment. He has previously led efforts to transform two lecture-based classrooms (2007 & 2010) into collaborative learning environments.
    • Implementing Interactive Demonstrations for Deep Learning

      Chan Hilton, Amy B.
      Interactive classroom demonstrations are active learning approaches used during class to engage students and improve their learning. Demonstrations have been developed in many disciplines for a variety of topics and made available for general use. In addition, many instructors have developed demonstrations for their own classes. While they can be entertaining for students, additional consideration in the implementation of these classroom demonstrations should be taken to foster deep student learning. Studies by Crouch et al. (2004) and Zimrot and Ashkenazi (2007) showed that students who engaged in the demos through inquiry learned more than students who passively observed classroom demonstrations. When student-centered learning and inquiry-based practices were used, in which students make predictions about the demo, observe the outcome, and discuss with their peers and the instructor, these implementations of the demonstrations not only resulted in student learning gains but also helped to overcome student misconceptions. By asking students to make predictions during the demonstration and discussion their observations afterwards, students activate their prior knowledge and start making connections. This presentation will present best practices in implementing and incorporating these demonstrations and highlight available interactive classroom demonstrations. Reflections from my experiences in using demonstrations in environmental engineering classes I have taught also will be shared.
    • Interactive Classroom Using Clickers

      Seyler, Jeff
      Short of utilizing a flipped classroom approach, getting all students involved in classroom discussions and working out solutions to questions presented in class is a challenge. As with many science and math courses, students can learn the content best through practice and application, especially in terms of understanding mathematical relationships associated with scientific laws. I have always tried to include sample questions in class, illustrating the thought process and steps required to solve a particular problem, but I found many students were not participating or volunteering their thoughts or answers to questions presented. With the introduction of audience response systems, or clickers, I have made the effort to increase classroom participation and student interactions in my introductory and general chemistry classes. In this presentation, I will introduce my approach and provide different methods used to give students credit for their participation. I will also present some data gathered through student surveys related to how the clickers have influenced their learning and motivation towards the course.
    • Interprofessional Peer-to-Peer Teaching

      Bonhotal, Susan; Kilbane, Janet; Seibert, Susan; Mason, Jessica; Bartek, Jennifer
      Focus: The purpose of this project was to promote interprofessional education by developing a relationship between first semester nursing students and second year Master’s level occupational therapy (MSOT) students as well as between first semester nursing students and first year dental hygiene students. The focus was implementation of peer-to-peer teaching. Interprofessional education is a universal means to facilitate relationships, develop collaboration, and promote communication between health care professionals. Context: First semester baccalaureate nursing in the Introduction to Professional Nursing course at a public university were introduced to interprofessional peer-to-peer teaching while learning basic nursing skills. Approach: Peer-to-peer teaching was endorsed by the Institute of Medicine (2003) as a method to improve the overall quality of health care. The project was implemented for basic nursing skills modules focusing on activity/immobility and oral hygiene. The MSOT students and dental hygiene students served as peer teachers, leaders, and role models, instructing and coaching 97 nursing students during two hour skills labs. MSOT students demonstrated and instructed activity and immobility skills including: gait belts, assisting patients out of bed, walking with crutches, walkers and canes, mechanical lifts, and transferring patients. The dental hygiene students demonstrated and instructed oral hygiene skills including brushing and flossing teeth. Results: The interprofessional peer-to-peer teaching was successfully implemented as noted by instructor observation of skill attainment and anecdotal narratives of student development of mutual respect for one another’s profession. Discussion: Faculty plan to continue the activity
    • Learning Critical Thinking Through Reacting to the Past

      Hughes, Sakina M.
      Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is an innovative pedagogical technique that encourages deep understanding of course material. It targets critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills. RTTP is a versatile pedagogical tool and may be utilized in all levels of university teaching, from entry-level courses to upper-level, advanced courses. Since RTTP deals with the history of ideas, it may be used in many different disciplines, including history, philosophy, math, sciences, and psychology. The ideal number of students is fifteen to thirty. RTTP consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts. Class sessions are run entirely by students; instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work. It seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills. In most classes students learn by receiving ideas and information from instructors and texts, or they discuss such materials in seminars. In RTTP, students learn by taking on roles, informed by classic texts, in elaborate games set in the past; they learn skills—speaking, writing, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and teamwork—in order to prevail in difficult and complicated situations. That is because Reacting roles, unlike those in a play, do not have a fixed script and outcome. While students must adhere to the philosophical and intellectual beliefs of the historical figures they have been assigned, they must devise their own means of expressing those ideas persuasively, in papers, speeches or other public presentations; and students must also pursue a course of action they think will help them win the game. The classes in which I have taught RTTP have been not only a joy to teach, but I have seen students drastically improve their writing, speaking and critical thinking.
    • Learning is an Inside Job

      Saxby, Lori E.
      Problem and Context: Although students have spent countless hours in instructional settings before entering college, many have not learned how to learn. Upon entering college they are often surprised to know that strategies previously used for passing courses in the past are not compatible for developing the type of deep, long lasting learning required to be a successful college student. Few of today’s students show signs of being growth-minded, proactive, self-regulated learners. They may not recognize that learning is a process that occurs over time and, as author Linda Nilson states, that “learning is an inside job.” They know neither how learning works nor what they have to do to ensure it which may have a negative impact on grades and retention. Approach and Results: Since part of USI’s mission, and a major goal of higher education, is to create life-long learners, we have the opportunity to guide students in our courses toward a growth mindset that encourages learning by including assignments and activities that foster self-regulatory behaviors. With improved engagement in their own learning, students’ motivation also rises as they see successes due to their efforts. Research supports these efforts. Albert Bandura found that self-regulation and self-efficacy reinforce each other. As a result of self-regulated behaviors, the successful learner internalizes his locus of control and feels empowered to attribute successes and failures to his own study habits and efforts. In addition, Daniel Goleman found the ability to self-regulate predicted SAT scores more strongly than did IQ, parental education, or parental economic status. Discussion: Participants will have the opportunity to discuss how students currently learn in their classroom and how an emphasis on a growth mindset and self-regulated learning behaviors may lead to improvement in their students' motivation and success. Sample self-regulatory activities will be shared.
    • Learning to Tweet: Using Twitter in the Classroom

      Mitchell, Elissa T.
      This presentation will focus on a Twitter assignment in two social work courses. Increasingly, agencies and organizations are using social media as a way to promote their causes, raise awareness, and educate (Guo & Saxton, 2014). As future social workers, students may be asked to engage in social media as part of their jobs, or may wish to engage on their own promoting social justice or raising awareness of a certain cause (Guo & Saxton, 2015; Hitchcock & Young, 2016). Thus, the purpose of the assignment was to help students practice using social media in a professional manner. A sub-goal of the assignment was to increase students' engagement with course content by having them tweet stories, links, and resources that were related to class material. In the presentation, I will share my assignment guidelines, discuss how I introduced the assignment (and, in some cases, Twitter) to students, and talk about how I plan to adapt the assignment in the future based on this experience. I will also solicit feedback and discussion on how this assignment could be adapted for use in other courses. Guo, C. & Saxton, G. D. (2014). Tweeting social change: How social media are changing nonprofit advocacy. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43, 57–79. Hitchcock, L. I. & Young, J. A. (2016). Tweet, tweet!: Using live Twitter chats in social work education. Social Work Education, 35(4), 457-468.
    • Planting the Seeds of Student Engagement Through a Service Learning Project at a Local High School

      Reynolds, Erin; Mustata Wilson, Gabriela
      Problem Statement: Student engagement in the classroom can be fostered by service learning activities in the community. Context: Faculty at a local academic institution were invited to grow an interprofessional partnership with the local Area Health Education Center and an alternative high school to create a wellness fair to connect at-risk students with resources. The high school serves students from a variety of backgrounds, including a high proportion of minority (43.7%), economically disadvantaged (72.6%), and four-year graduation rates of ~20%. Junior and senior students from four health services courses (HP378, HP306, HP475, and MHA642) participated in service learning projects and completed a post-project survey to evaluate their engagement. Approach: Faculty responsible for several courses developed innovative service learning projects to cultivate an environment of engagement for their students. Examples of service learning projects will be shared for two of the courses that participated in the high school wellness fair. One group of students were responsible for the design and organization of the fair, while another group acted as vendors and introduced the high school students to virtual reality stress relief methods. Results: Student outcome data will be shared that supports the benefit associated with using service learning to increase student engagement in and out of the classroom. Reflection: Hands on learning has the ability to capture the student's interest in a way that grows their engagement beyond the planting of knowledge in lecture based material.
    • Please USE your Cell-Phones in Class!

      Mujumdar, Sudesh
      “…I never had a class where the teacher has us use our phones for the purpose of learning. I think that is such an innovative method to incorporate into teaching this generation. Dr. Mujumdar’s approach to discussions of economics now have me looking at the world from totally different perspective. Everything is a cost-benefit analysis. I also feel like I have a better understanding of how the entire world is moving toward globalization.” (Quote taken from Student Evaluation of ECON 241.003 – Fall 2013 ) Students using their cell-phones in class has been the scourge of many a Professor attempting to foster a serious academic climate in the classroom. So, a few years ago I was thinking about how if I couldn’t 'win the battle', could I turn the instrument of disruption into an instrument of 'engaged learning'? At the same time, I was mulling over feedback from the Romain College of Business’ Board of Advisors on the skills make-up of our graduates which indicated that while they are at home executing on a task that is similar to what they have encountered in their classes, they have difficulty even beginning to know to how approach an ‘unfamiliar’ task – in terms of deconstructing it in a manner that facilitates addressing it effectively. To address both issues, I created an assignment, where, at the beginning of class, I raise an issue/topic (that most are unfamiliar with). Students can then work in groups and use whatever devices (Smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) they have at their disposal to find information on the question or issue that has been raised. Sifting, dissecting and curating the information are the next components of this assignment. Hence, this type of assignment seeks to give students practice in effective ‘deconstruction’ of an unfamiliar task; in this process of finding the information and discussing it with me, they are learning about ‘effective search techniques’, reliability of information, corroboration through multiple sources, and inadvertently, gaining a broader understanding of the issue as they ‘stumble upon’ pieces of information that are relevant, but not narrowly so. This, then, is also a surreptitious way of nurturing the various traits of Critical Thinking. As the Student Quote reveals, the design of the Assignment and its execution with the help of 'disruptive devices', such as the cell-phone, have encouraged stronger engagement with the issue at hand.
    • Supplemental Instruction

      Flake, Patricia
      Students often become overwhelmed with the amount of information to be learned in a course, and often feel under-prepared for exams. SI can provide peer-led study sessions that demonstrate effective note-taking, discussion, critical thinking, and a variety of review methods, including continuous review. The scheduled 2-3 sessions throughout the weeks of the semester offer students planned study time and review. All sessions are open to all enrolled in the particular course. Feeling more prepared and confident with the material not only produces higher test scores, but students participate more in class and are less hesitant to ask questions. SI Leaders are students who have already successfully completed the course and have successfully met the required criteria, as well as, the final approval of the course instructor. Leaders have completed, or will be completing, training offered through the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) of which the department of Academic Skills is accredited. Defining SI, along with a bit of history, will demonstrate the benefits of the Supplemental Instruction program for both students and professors.
    • Testing and Improving the Teaching and Learning Processes Using Large Sample Approximation to the Binomial Distribution

      Wijesuriya, Uditha
      Most of the experiments in different fields such as Natural sciences, Social sciences, Healthcare, and Business, often design problems to have answers of the form either success (yes) or failure (no). In consequence, based on the proportion of successes, the product of the experiment can be explored statistically at a given significance level, if the appropriate requirements are satisfied. This proposed method investigates the ability of designing a simple experiment to determine and to improve the proportion of the students who really perceive the material according to the instructor’s teaching methodology. The large sample approximation to the binomial distribution is used to put forward an approximate confidence interval, and to test the hypotheses over the population proportion of the students who accept the teaching method and hence understand the subject matters in depth. A simulation study is developed to demonstrate how one would employ this method in their field. For any teaching course, this method is applicable and beneficial for both the instructor and the students to improve both teaching and learning processes.
    • Testing to Enhance Learning Even Students May Enjoy!

      Gish, Dennis W.
      "What we resolve to do in school only makes sense when considered in broader context of what the society intends to accomplish through its educational investment in the young." Jerome Bruner, 1996 The tenets of teachers that are generally encoded as held truth is when "teachers teach, students learn". However, there still remains the constant reminder of exposure to students' poor performances on tests. Practice testing is one of the most well-established strategies for improving student learning. Researchers continue to provide a substantial body of evidence that students who "test" themselves repeatedly do have better learning experiences. However, despite the empirical evidence, tests still remain often maligned and underutilized by teachers. A couple of such methods of discovery where practice testing has gained exposure and acceptance in my classrooms are study guide tools referred to as the "WAGR", Written Assignment Guided Review and the "WYSK", What You Should Know. The WAGR allows teachers to rejoice in testing students in an assignment format without having to "re-invent the wheel"! In studying memory, Psychology teaches us there is real evidence that learning persists when students' three measures of retention (recall, recognition, and re-learning) are actively involved in their study habits. The WAGR is a collection of selected topics simply presented to students in a multi-choice, true/false, and fill-in-blank format. The WAGR can be adaptable and flexible according which specific memory retention test the teacher believes desirable for students at designated frequencies. The WAGR can also address another often failed memory test by students that of which is re-learning. In short, the WAGR provides students a study guide in a testing format adaptable to his/her own learning style. As a supplement to the WAGR, the WYSK can be as versatile. The WYSK is a traditional "bullet-type" listing of items students are expected to know as they prepare for the exam. The convention of WYSK requires and guides the student to research the material making notes in a short answer format that helps best to recall, recognize, or re-learn the material. The WYSK provides not only a focused study guide but can also be used as an assignment for teachers who believe in short answer responses as the best source of testing and applying students' understanding of the material.
    • Thinking Innovatively About Teaching Innovation and Ideation: Getting Students to Think Differently

      Bourdeau, Bryan K.; Celuch, Kevin
      USI has a simple but powerful vision - “Shaping the future through learning and innovation.” Elements of the culture of the university are aligning to utilize aspects of innovation to impact our region. Given this imperative, how can we enhance the innovativeness of our teaching and learning? The approach to be described can be used in virtually any course or training context. The approach has been successfully applied in semester, five week, and twice a month formats; with traditional college age and adult learners; in face-to-face and online formats. The approach uniquely integrates work from the social cognition and multi-sensory learning literature to develop student ideation capabilities. The unique ideation process: In recent Booz and Co. research (2012), 57% of respondents reported their company as only marginally effective at idea generation. Yet Booz and Co. found that effectiveness in early stage ideation is a strong predictor of later project performance. The approach is aimed at enhancing idea generation. Students start with an existing domain (problem or existing idea for improvement) and then intersect the domain with combinations of mega-trends, concepts, visuals, music, and videos to develop pools of unique ideas. Note that the use of multi-sensory stimulation is in keeping with the work of Mayer (1997). This research identified a clear “multi-media effect” in which participants exposed to coordinated visual and verbal stimuli generated a median of over 50% more creative solutions on problem solving transfer tests than participants exposed to only one modality. We have assessed the impact of the unique ideation process utilizing a pretest-posttest design. Posttest means are consistently significantly higher for ideation-related beliefs and ideation self-efficacy. Further, outcomes support the uniqueness of ideation output. Over multiple time periods and contexts, the unique ideation approach has helped connect university engagement and innovation imperatives, ideas to students, and finally, students to themselves. We look forward to future use of the ideation process as an approach that connects for impact!