The following faculty members received Creative Teaching Grants in 2011-2012. Scroll down to read summaries of their projects.
- Joanne Logan (Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science)
- Joseph Miles (Department of Psychology)
- Jerzy Dydak (Department of Mathematics)
- Lois Presser (Department of Sociology)
Joanne Logan, in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, redesigned her Environmental Climatology (ESS 462) course, by flipping her classroom and emphasizing “technology enhancements, group projects, and interactive activities that involved the application of course material to real world scenarios.” To increase student engagement, Logan purchased an additional five iPads, so that she had at least one iPad for every two students in the class. She added in-depth case students and technology-enhanced activities to the course, including wiki pages, interactive mapping, Diigo bookmarking, PowerPoint presentations, and climate analysis in Microsoft Excel.
Joseph Miles, in the Department of Psychology, redesigned his Multicultural Psychology (PSYC 435) course by incorporating Intergroup Dialogue circles. Miles assigned students to one of seven groups focused on three social identities: gender, race/ethnicity, and religion/spirituality. Miles and 13 doctoral students co-facilitated group discussions, after which students completed self-reflective journals in BlackBoard. This new approach 1.) brought students together to dialogue with one another, 2.) allowed students to explore similarities and differences, 3.) included discussions about ‘hot topics’ relating to social identities, and 4.) gave students the opportunity to think through social justice approaches individually and collectively.
Jerzy Dydak, in the Department of Mathematics, wanted to help students in his math courses develop their ability to communicate about math and explain the key concepts and processes behind their work. To do this, he implemented a new peer-grading process in which each student’s work is graded anonymously by three peers. He also created a system that awards points for the most helpful feedback given to peers: instead of grading papers, Dydak grades the grading of other students and displays their feedback achievements in a leaderboard that he refers to as the “Hall of Fame.” He also established 30-minute discussion groups—a change he believes has led to greater student understanding of course material.
Lois Presser, in the Department of Sociology redesigned her Society and Law (SOCI 350) criminology course to give students more control over their own learning. For this course, Presser opted to let her students take the lead, giving them the chance to propose topics and readings, and create the rules and sanctions for other students. Presser had to impose a bit more structure than she had initially intended; however, the class, which ultimately included guest lectures and podcasts, featured lively discussions and improved student interaction.