Now showing items 1-20 of 37

    • 2017 Celebration of Teaching & Learning Symposium Abstracts

      Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
    • 2017 Celebration of Teaching Learning Symposium Program

      Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
    • 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.
    • Using Avatars to Improve Communication Skills and Build Mentoring Relationships in an Imaging Science Program

      Schmuck, Heather
      Students are often timid when they start clinical education and begin working with actual patients. One area that tends to suffer in the early stages of clinical education is the vital communication piece that must happen with a patient in order to put together a comprehensive clinical history for the interpreting physician. In an effort to increase student confidence in communicating with patients to obtain a clinical history prior to an imaging study, a project was developed utilizing a virtual reality (VR) environment in a web based platform for a group of imaging science procedures courses. Multiple authors (Annetta & Holmes, 2006; Falloon, 2009; Baker, Wentz, & Woods, 2009) have suggested the use of avatars as a method of increasing student engagement and learning. Novice students enrolled in the Introduction to Radiographic Procedures course collaborated with advanced students enrolled in their fourth semester of the Radiographic Procedures course sequence to create short videos showing a typical dialogue that would take place at the beginning of an imaging study in the clinical environment. Students were allowed to use their creativity in creating avatars, environments, and scripts for this project. By collaborating with advanced students, the novice students were able to establish a connection with a mentor from the advanced cohort of students while also learning new communication strategies for questioning a patient and increasing confidence. Results of student perceptions of benefits and drawbacks to the project will be discussed as well as opportunities for project improvement in the future. This pedagogical approach outside of the classroom allowed for a unique and entertaining method of learning new skills and establishing mentor and mentee relationships.
    • 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.
    • Why I Flipped My Seated Accounting 201 Classroom

      Seitz, Jamie
      Accounting 201 is a required course in the Romain College of Business. Many students begin this course with a defeated mindset. Some students complain that the homework is not the same as what is presented in class. Why do Accounting 201 students have issues connecting accounting theory to assessments? The flipped classroom model allows the instructor to be present during seat time to connect the lecture to homework. How does it work? As with most classes involving numerical problems, example problem sets are often utilized to reinforce accounting theory. Students are required to take a pre-test as this assessment helps to gauge the initial level of knowledge. Students are encouraged to read the textbook and review all pre-recorded lectures for the chapter before coming to class at the beginning of the week. At the end of the week, the class works on the assigned homework under the instructor's observation. By using this model, the instructor hopes the students gain confidence inside and outside the classroom, become more successful in accounting, and use time more efficiently. The students' remarks are positive regarding the teaching model.
    • 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.
    • To Lecture or Not to Lecture: An Inquiry-Based Teaching Attempt of an Advanced Mathematics Course

      Sarol, Yalcin
      Math 410, Introduction to Analysis, is a required, proof-based mathematics course that students typically take in their senior years. Due to the abstract nature of the course, students tend to see it as one of the most challenging courses in the mathematics major. The author taught this course in the traditional lecture format four times in the past and was unhappy with the results in terms of meeting learning outcomes and student engagement. In the fall of 2016, a radical transition has been made to teach this course in a modified inquiry-based setting in pursuit of meaningful active learning via student engagement and interaction during class which was expected to lead to better learning experiences and outcomes. Preliminary results suggest that student engagement was successfully achieved, however, there is not enough evidence yet to argue that student success in meeting learning outcomes is improved compared to traditional lecturing. This presentation will share the experiences and outcomes observed by the author during this transition.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • Thoughts and Reflections about Designing and Teaching Hybrid Courses

      Sorrells, Darrin
      While some students and instructors prefer either traditional courses or 100 percent online courses, those two learning environments on their own may each have potential drawbacks and limitations. During this presentation, the presenter will discuss his own personal experiences teaching PSY 377 (Sport Psychology) at USI in all contexts: traditional, online, and hybrid. The presenter will discuss why he believes the hybrid setting may provide the ideal learning environment for students and instructors alike. During the presentation, the presenter will illustrate how he blends elements of both traditional and online environments into his hybrid course. The presenter will display his Blackboard course site and show attendees how Voice Thread is used for online lectures required of students before attending the in-person class session. The presenter will also provide examples of other hybrid course assignments, including Blackboard discussions and team projects. According to Jaschik (2009), blended education is among the fastest growing course options on college campuses and students who enroll in hybrid courses appear to have higher academic success rates when compared to students enrolled in traditional or online settings. "On-campus class sessions can be used to provide students meeting time to collaborate with fellow students on group assignments, can expose students to information literacy resources within the library or learning center…and the on-campus visits can help to instill a sense of school spirit and unity that frequently is absent for online students who may never set foot on the campus" (Sorrells, p. 4, 2009). As a work in progress, the presenter will be instructing two hybrid sections of PSY 377 next term and will survey students at the end of the term to get their feedback about the hybrid context and if they preferred it over traditional or online settings. References Jaschik, S. (29, June 2009). The evidence of online education. Inside Higher Education. Sorrells, D. (2009). All aboard the online express…Or get left at the station. The WWW Journal of Online Education. Available at
    • 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.
    • Developing Course Assignments in an Online Course that Demonstrate Transfer of Knowledge

      Dillingham, Jara
      Online education is a growing field and requires consideration in the development of assignments. Social Work is a competency driven field of study. It requires students to demonstrate not only knowledge, but the ability to apply their knowledge in practice. Interpersonal interaction is fundamental in social work education and is important in skill development of students. This interaction should be structured into course expectations, and course content that engages students (Jones, 2015). Online coursework can potentially create additional obstacles to ensuring students are able to transfer the knowledge to their work with individuals. It is important as an educator to use teaching activities that promote engagement and are interactive, integrated, and reflective (Rowe, Frantz, & Bozalek, 2013). SOCW 400: Understanding Adoption was offered for the first time as an asynchronous online course during a 5 week summer term. The course was developed as a social work elective with the goal of providing students with a beginning understanding of adoption and adoption issues. Two of the learning objectives for the course included, utilizing positive adoption language in conversation as well as utilizing empathy and interpersonal skills to engage an adoptive parent. Integrated in this course was the final assignment that required students to contact an adoptive parent and conduct an interview with this individual. This assignment allowed students to practice interpersonal skills and utilize knowledge gained in the course to engage in conversation in a professional manner. Following the interview, students completed a reflective paper on the interview and the adoptive parent submitted feedback to the instructor on the student. The feedback from the final assignment indicated success in student’s demonstrating professionalism and knowledge of course material. Students stated they were surprised at their level of integration of knowledge and utilization of the material in such a short period of time. Rowe, M., Frantz, J., & Bozalek, V. (2013). Beyond knowledge and skills: The use of a delphi study to develop a technology-mediated teaching strategy. BMC Medical Education, 13, 51. doi: Jones, S. H. (2015). Benefits and challenges of online education for clinical social work: Three examples. Clinical Social Work Journal, 43(2), 225-235. doi:
    • Use of Applied Labs in Social Science Teaching

      Engbers, Trent
      The use of applied labs has long been an established practice in the physical sciences. This presentation reviews one faculty member’s decision to employ collaborative labs in two social science courses: a theoretical course in public administration and an applied course in research design and data collection. This strategy was piloted in the Fall of 2016 to increase student engagement and the ability to apply classroom learning to a professional context. The labs are collaborative and feature both peer and instructor support. They utilized an established problem-based strategy to demonstrate the real life applicability of academic topics (Kolb 1984; Kramer & Schechter 2011). Research labs asked students to engage in micro-data collection using a range of methods including experiments, sample selection, survey pilot testing. Public administration labs centered around the application of course material to case studies. Each lab was followed up with an independent assignment so that students were exposed to the material on three occasions: 1) when presented and demonstrated by the instructor, 2) when completed collaboratively in the lab, and 3) when completed independently on a take home assignment. This study reports the results of these projects on student course evaluations and learning. Problems identified during implementation were: 1) a hesitancy to work collaboratively, 2) a better fit with the applied research course than the theoretical public administration course, 3) and issues in classroom management. Strategies to handle these problems are addressed.
    • Engagement and Empowerment Through Storytelling

      Dawson, Amanda
      If you were to ask a group of college students if they are “excited” about a public speaking course, generally the answer would be “no.” There are numerous studies that show that public speaking is Americans' biggest fear. The Washington Post published a study from Chapman University, which showed that 23.5% of Americans fear speaking in front of a crowd (2014). This fear is greater than their fear of heights, drowning, and flying. So, how do we help our students overcome their fears? Public Speaking is offered every semester (in multiple sections) on-ground and online at Brescia University. We encourage our students to take this course sometime during their first two semesters as they will utilize the skills learned in this class throughout their time at Brescia, which is why this class is required of all students. Like many required courses, the interest, engagement, and motivation of students varies therefore one of my focuses when teaching public speaking is on student engagement and motivation. My approach to public speaking is through an embodied practice: public speaking as performance via storytelling. Pulling on my theatre background I employ theatre games, improvisational techniques, vocal exercises, and storytelling to help students gain awareness of how mind, body, and speech interrelate. In my public speaking course, you will never hear a student delivering a “how to” speech or a basic “informative” speech. Instead my students learn to tell stories – about themselves, about the world around them, and about their hopes for the future. As a result, students leave my class with confidence, new perspectives, and hopefully, a sense of ownership and empowerment. This approach can be used not only in speech and theatre courses, but also in classes across the curriculum to engage and motivate students.
    • Implementation of a Student-Centered Active Learning Environment

      Deligkaris, Christos
      Numerous peer-reviewed publications in prestigious scientific journals have concluded that courses with a high level of student-engagement and active learning, decrease course failure rates, increase student learning and improve student grades. To increase student learning and decrease course failure rates, a reformed introductory physics course in electricity and magnetism was designed and implemented during the Fall 2016 semester at the University of Southern Indiana. Following recommendations from the physics education research (PER) literature, students had to read the textbook and take an online quiz prior to class in order to acquire some basic information. Class time was devoted to difficult topics and problem-solving sessions with students working in groups of four. To increase the effectiveness of group work, students periodically evaluated their group members and themselves using a validated online instrument developed for this purpose. Conceptual problems from PER were also included in problem-solving sessions during class. Student learning gains based on the PER-based Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) instrument will be presented and discussed. Thoughts on how to improve this student-centered active learning environment will be discussed as well.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.