2005-2006 Project Descriptions
Bert will be teaching Hist. 1102 for the first time under semesters in spring 2007. He last taught the course in spring 1998, when it covered only 1850 to the Present and he was not yet familiar with web-based instructional opportunities. His limited use of web-based instructional technology in other courses (WebCT for threaded discussions and access to instructional resources [lecture notes, reference materials], PowerPoint for lectures and some use of online resources in class or as supplemental resources) makes him eager to address some opportunities that IT provides to reach the diverse needs of the students enrolled.
* Enabling interaction between Bert and the students both in-class (perhaps through a Personal Response System) and out of class through threaded discussions- especially important for a large-enrollment course so that he can gain a sense of how all students are learning.
* Encouraging student interaction over the course material so that they can learn from each other- threaded discussions do this, but also he would like to incorporate student projects that can be shared with other students and beyond the class.
* Providing more frequent feedback to students of their progress- e.g., online quizzes to establish understanding of lectures and course readings; study guides.
* Identifying appropriate online resources- e.g., maps, primary sources, photos/paintings; video and audio clips- and determining how to use them whether in class sessions or for student access outside of class.
* Designing a course website that is accessible and responsive to diverse learning styles.
Relevant results of this project will be available to other instructors of this course- Bert will be seeking advice from them as well as sharing his work with them.
What does it mean to complete the foreign language requirement at UMM? Are we trying to help them acquire and retain culture, language, or both? In a two year requirement (which is the acknowledged standard) proficiency in both language and culture can be achieved. Yet the implied time bind of the one-year requirement puts these goals at odds with one another. Inevitably, the best intentions to cover both fields falter in the face of a vast majority of students who just want to do the bare minimum to finish. Although associative materials such as cd-roms are available as ancillaries to the textbook, a student who lacks motivation may never investigate materials to the extent that these become useful to him/her. Every component of a text package should engage multiple ways of learning at every stage of learning.
Research indicates that a student who arrives at college without basic foreign language skills will struggle far more to acquire them than would a younger student. Learning difficulties coupled with the American Isolationist rhetoric and the enduring notion that languages are “impractical” combine to convince students that languages are a waste of time and that they “can’t” learn them. Tammy and Viktor seek to develop materials that capitalize on associate learning strategies rather than the linear strategies used in a traditional print textbook. This will enable students whose low level of proficiency at this late stage in their academic career indicates a lack of interest in foreign language or learning issues. These materials and will condition them to engage multiple strategies in acquiring and mastering a particular concept and move them more quickly to synthesize concepts for better retention.
This project is a continuation from the Bush TEL project that Byungik engaged in the 2005-2006 academic year. The preliminary versions of Calculus I modules were finished before the beginning of fall 2005 semester and he was able to run the first pilot program in the Fall 2005 semester. Although there were still some revisions to be done during the winter of 2005-2006, most of the primary goals of this project had been successfully met. Though computer modeling and visualization, he was able to satisfy the students with diverse learning styles in the same class. Mathematics, traditionally, is not known as a subject with realistic applications. The computer modules helped the students to deal with more realistic applications than any problems and projects in textbooks. Mathematica is a very difficult software to learn, because it requires a good deal of both computer programming and mathematics. Not all the students achieved the desired level that they can start using and learning Mathematica on their own. It will take one more semester (Calculus II) even for talented students, and still more (Calculus III as well) for a majority of the students. This, among others, necessitates the continuation of this project.
Byungik is scheduled to teach Calculus I again in the spring of 2006. This will be a good opportunity to incorporate the revised, stable versions of the modules. Also, being scheduled to teach Calculus II in the fall of 2007, he is in an ideal position to continue this project and create Calculus II modules over the summer of 2007.
Students who enroll in Carol’s ELED 4103 Science in the Elementary School are at varying levels of confidence and competence in science subject matter. Research verifies that the majority of preservice elementary teachers, of who the majority are females, do not like science and are not motivated to teach it. To help students learn about science and demonstrate new ways to teach science in the elementary classroom, Carol would like to integrate more technology into the course. She is hoping to increase future elementary teacher’s content knowledge in science, as well as to demonstrate a way in which they can motivate their elementary students in engaging science lessons.
More specifically, Carol would like to learn how to use and effectively integrate the ProScope microscope into her ELED4103 Science in the Elementary School Classroom course through demonstration lessons. In addition, the students will plan lessons using the ProScope microscope. The ProScope microscope displays and captures still images, movies, and time lapse movies directly to a computer for image viewing in class or in the field.
Carol will create pre- and post-assessments to evaluate the student’s increase in subject matter knowledge and their motivation to teach science. In addition, she will look for how they integrated technology into their elementary science unit and lessons.
Ted would like to incorporate the use of Personal Response Systems (PRS) in his general chemistry course. A common complain students have in the course is the lack of interaction between student and instructor. Adding this new technology to the course may help to alleviate the deficiency.
As a continuation of the work that Katherine Klopfleisch and Jeff have been doing with regard to assisting students to develop learning skills, the inclusion of a learning styles assessment and the possibility for making their existing web-based supplement more effective is intriguing. He would like to use this opportunity to explore ways to better assess student learning needs and work to match their advice to student needs. Using technology would allow for varied means of delivering this information and advice is the next logical step.
Art history necessarily addresses visual and verbal learning styles. IN fact, one of the major skills that hey teach is to link the visual to the verbal. To do so, and indeed to teach art history at all, they must have an up-to-date and extensive image library so that students can see a rich variety of art and related images (such as photographs showing art in context, maps, portraits of artists, pictures of unusual art materials, photographs of locations artists have painted, etc.). The art history discipline has an extensive slide library for these purposes, but shifts in the photography industry are mandating that they change to a digital image database. They are applying for the Bush grant to fund the creation of such a database. The first step in this process will be the scanning of the images to be stored within from books and from the current slide collection. Their goal is to create a database that can be used by faculty and students in class, and used by students outside of class for various projects. IN the end, such a database will be much more versatile and cost-effective than slides, allowing students to access images independently for study and research, something they cannot now do easily with the slide library.
Findings from the data (from last year’s project) point to changes and additions to this project that may benefit student learning. As a result of these findings, Pam will work on the following things that will support student learning during class presentations, in follow-up after class presentations, and as a result of improved communication with students about course content:
* Use of technology to address assessment and evaluation in the course by implementing frequent and consistent checks of student work, student understanding, and student achievement. Create rubrics/checklists for all course projects. Use technology to allow students to complete self-assessments and submit these electronically. Investigate and make use of the polling device within the discussion board to request feedback on student learning and use frequent checks within Breeze.
* Continue to use Kolb’s learning style model with increased attention to learning styles in the course (discussions, reflections, information presented, explicit naming of activities and purpose). Focus attention on Kolb’s Four-Stage Learning Cycle in class presentations using technology tools at each stage of this learning cycle.
* Improve the use of the discussion board by using higher level questions to promote higher level thinking. Make use of UM Wiki.
* Make use of podcasting and Breeze Presenter sessions for review of course material (saving class time formerly used to review the protocol for reading and writing analysis components in the class). Create 4 Breeze presenter sessions for projects that involve important protocol and sequence. (Investigate the use of Flash within the Breeze presentations). Use these podcast/vodcasts and Breeze sessions to assist students in preparation for assessment of course content as well as the practical application of this information in their practicum classrooms.
Greg would like to work on integrating student response systems into his classes. I will need training on the use of such devices, as well as assistance on developing policies regarding their use.
The device that Greg intends to use can be found at:
The use of student response systems has the potential to regard students for daily effort rather than through exams. This can be a significant benefit to students who suffer from test anxiety. It will also serve to reward students who have difficulty speaking in class, but nevertheless prepare daily for class.
The use of student response systems can also be helpful for the instructor. By administering frequent quizzes, the instructor has a better sense of students’ understanding of material. Rather than simply relying on feedback from the most vocal students, the instructor will get timely feedback from students of all learning styles. The instructor can then respond to this feedback appropriately, either by reviewing the difficult material or moving on to a new topic.