Kristen Block in the Department of History is designing a new Honors Seminar in American History to give students experience in historical research, interpretation, and writing through “storytelling.” Storytelling encourages integration of snippets of information into a cohesive narrative that brings attention to historical cause-and-effect, and brings imagination, emotion, critical thinking, and multiple historical voices into the conversations. She hopes to expand this approach to her other courses.
Lisa Fall in the School of Advertising and Public Relations is developing a new service learning course where students will develop a public relations campaign for the 2016 Dragon Boat Race fundraiser for the Tennessee Clean Water Network. Her students will apply key public relations concepts, principles and theories in the process of developing a tangible product for an actual client. Students will work collaborative with project partners and will develop skills in communication, presentation, planning, and negotiation.
Hillary Herndon in the School of Music is redeveloping the year-long String Literature and Pedagogy course sequence to include elements of service learning and international experience for her students. Students in the redesigned course will learn how to teach others from diverse backgrounds, how to break problems into sequential skill sets, and how to improve their own skills as musicians and musical instructors.
Francine Hollis in the Department of Food Science and Technology is designing a new course entitled Food Unwrapped. Students will integrate and apply basic principles, concepts, and techniques to achieve a richer understanding of contemporary food science and technology. She will use visual, tactile, and olfactory stimulation activities to help to think more critically about the production and presentation of foods and food products.
Karen Hughes, Michael Gilchrist, and Mehmet Aydeniz
Karen Hughes and Michael Gilchrist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Mehmet Aydeniz in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, are building on their prior work to develop tools to promote student self-efficacy and guided self-assessment. The focal course for their work is general genetics, a course required for most biology majors and for pre-medical tracks, but the tools and approaches they are developing will have wide applicability in undergraduate education.
Jioni Lewis in the Department of Psychology is designing her African American Psychology course to include a social justice oriented service learning component. Her students will gain a richer understanding of theories and paradigms of African American psychology through service learning projects with community partners serving the needs of East Knoxville generally and the African American community specifically. Student groups will design their service learning research project in collaboration with community partners, and present their project summaries and results to the Psychology Department in a poster session at the end of the semester.
Rachel McCord in the Division of Engineering Fundamentals is developing a student success course for beginning engineering students. The focus of the course is helping students develop self-regulated learning skills while building a sense of community among engineering students. Her project is motivated by significant research in education, and especially in engineering education, showing that students equipped with self-regulated learning skills perform better and show higher persistence towards a degree.
Malissa Peery in the Department of Mathematics has been innovating to improve her beginning level courses for several years. After developing and implementing a very successful model for “flipping” her college algebra course, she will now be applying what she has learned to basic calculus. Both courses are often major barriers to student progression in the university, and Malissa’s innovative approaches have dramatically increased the success rate of her students and their persistence in the university.
Elizabeth Strand in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Social Work is developing a website for conflict resolution education aimed at veterinary and social work students and for continuing education use by practicing veterinarians and social workers. The Conflict Resolution Website through Blackboard will offer short self-paced lectures, reflective journals, peer and self-assessment skill building labs, video-recorded pair shares, small group discussion boards, didactic quizzes, course discussion blogs, and live on-line sessions.
Wenju Zhou and Melissa Morris
Wenju Zhou and Melissa Morris in the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics are beginning the redesign of the large class and large enrollment Statistics 201 course with an analysis of past student work to help them identify obstacles to learning. Using electronic records of student activities, including online homework and clicker data, they want to gain an understanding of student learning behaviors and styles in the digital age. Based on the analysis, early-stage interventions will be designed for students identified as at-risk.