FACET and the Mack Center are proud to announce the recipients of this year’s FACET/Mack Center Travel Grant for Fall 2019.
This year’s recipients are:Ann Bunger, Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at IU Bloomington.
- Co-Presenters: James Smith, IUB, and Sharon Zuber, College of William and Mary
- Presentation Title: "Partners in the process: Using innovative technology to mentor apprentice researchers."
- Abstract: In many college courses, students write academic research papers as a final project. However, diversity in students’ academic preparation often creates functional and emotional barriers to successful completion of these projects. To help reduce these barriers, we have designed a research wiki in which students and instructors collaborate on pre-defined stages of the research process. Findings from a cross-campus, cross-disciplinary, mixed-methods study in courses using our wiki for research paper assignments demonstrate that for students at all levels, use of the wiki increases understanding of the research process as well as students’ confidence in their ability to complete research assignments.
- Co-Presenter: Dmitri Nizovtsev, Washburn University
- Presentation Title: "Teaching Managerial Economics: Case-based Learning vs. Problem-based Learning"
- Abstract: A challenge in teaching managerial economics courses comes from the theoretical focus of the economics component in business curriculum. If students fail to see real-life application of economic concepts, this may undermine their motivation and engagement in the
course. One solution recommended in the economics education literature is case-based learning (CBL). A teaching case is a rich narrative in which individuals or groups must make a decision or solve a problem.
An alternative pedagogical strategy also aimed at enhancing real-life application of theoretical concepts is problem-based learning (PBL). In contrast to the traditional lecture-based model, PBL uses realistic problems and case studies to structure student learning around problem solving. First, unstructured questions or problems are assigned to groups of students. They work to define and bound the problem based on what they already know, and develop hypotheses to identify what they need to find a solution. Next is the selfdirected study stage in which individual students or the entire group complete their learning assignments. The instructor serves as a facilitator who supports reasoning and helps organize group dynamics, rather than provides direct answers to student questions. At the end of the learning period students summarize and integrate their findings and solutions.
In this presentation, we propose to compare our experiences designing an upper-level managerial economics course that utilizes PBL, or alternatively a course built around CBL. In the past several semesters, we tested two versions of the managerial economics course in both the traditional lecture-based and the hybrid format. We plan to present the description of each of the two alternative teaching methods (CBL and PBL), the pros and cons of using each method, as well as the best practices we have identified, effectively providing a roadmap for successful implementation of each of these approaches.
- Presentation Title: Building Upper-Level Experiences into Introductory Sociology through Reading Evicted
- Abstract: I incorporate Evicted into introductory sociology because of the accessibility of the book, the ability to teach introductory content through the book (e.g., inequality, sociological imagination, theory, research methods), and it enables me to give students a taste of what an
upper-level sociology course is like (i.e., site visits, guest speakers) at my institution. I describe how I balance devoting nearly one-third of my course to Evicted while maintaining the overall goals of the course. I do not lecture on Evicted, but instead, I place students in small discussion groups. Students discuss the book in their reading group for 15-25 minutes, and then we discuss the book as a class for an additional 15-25 minutes. I assign students several Evicted Activities: Pre-Reading Questions essay, Reading Quizzes, Online Discussion Questions, Reading Groups, and an Essay. I also invite guest speakers from local housing programs, take my students to tour a homeless shelter, and I have taken students to hear a lecture by the author. Further, I evaluate the learning experiences students participate in with this book (e.g., reading discussion groups, touring a homeless shelter). Adopting the book is not without challenges, including getting students to read, ensuring adequate coverage of standard introductory sociology content, and keeping the material fresh and not too depressing for students. Overall, adding the book enables the instructor to do a deep dive into a topical area without sacrificing too much breadth in the course.
- Presentation Title: Let’s Scrum: A Flexible Approach to Course Design
- Abstract: Do you want to turn your course into an epic? Are you looking for a way to let learner outcomes, not content, drive your course? Are you looking to build in opportunities for students to reflect on their work and course progress? Do you want to provide more flexibility in the
course? Learn how to design a course using Scrum, a framework used to implement Agile project management methods, to accomplish these goals. Agile, and therefore Scrum, is an iterative and flexible approach to project management that is commonly used in software
development. Using Scrum in course design allows students to reflect and make changes and allows instructors to review the course and adjust based on student needs.
In Scrum, an epic is a statement describing the intended goal of a project. The course epic is a sentence that summarizes the purpose of a course. A story in the Scrum framework is a goal that must be met to work toward the epic and typically requires a series of tasks to be completed. This is like a course outcome, where students must complete certain types of assignments or meet certain benchmarks in order to show mastery of that outcome. Each story requires assessment criteria to determine whether the story is complete. The assessment criteria for a course story could be a rubric, assignment criteria, or an exam score threshold. This is an opportunity to introduce more student choice into the course, such as offering multiple types of assignments.
In this session, you will be introduced to Scrum as a project management technique, see an example of how Scrum was used to redesign a blended course, and receive a handout with examples and resources to use this strategy in your course.
- Co-Presenter: Chera LaForge, IUE
- Presentation Title: Building Community-Engaged Learning into the Online Classroom
- Abstract: Community engagement is a core mission of many institutions of higher education and community-based learning is a recognized high-impact practice (Kuh, 2008). However, translating community engagement activities from face-to-face courses, where students share a
common space and community, to online courses, which lack a shared place, is challenging. We present two approaches that have been used to successfully connect online undergraduate students to their communities and increase their level of civic engagement.
Our interventions are in response to a wide array of scholarship suggesting substantial declines in civic and political engagement among Americans over the last two decades (Brundidge & Rice, 2009; McCartney, 2017). In 2012, the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement argued, "colleges and universities are among the nation's most valuable laboratories for civic learning and democratic engagement" and called on higher education institutions to refocus their efforts on civic engagement. At the same time, the growth of online education has been rapid with nearly 15 percent of students taking exclusively online courses (Seaman, Allen, & Seaman, 2018).
Online courses pose the challenge of how to create opportunities for community-engaged learning that are relatable for students from diverse communities and aligned with program learning outcomes that encourage students to “engage in the process of coconstructing
knowledge through inquiry, discourse, and problem solving” (Thomas & Brower, 2017, 31). To address this challenge, we have developed innovative, highly scaffolded semester-long activities designed to specifically connect students to their communities in ways that promote local-level civic engagement that endures after the end of the course, and which are engaging for students from outside the immediate community being analyzed. Moreover, these activities help guide students to become lifelong learners, effective communicators, and critical thinkers.
- Co-Presenter: Andrea Quenette, IU East
- Presentation Title: Regimes of Data: A Call for Re-assessment of Assessment
- Abstract: In many ways, assessment has become the lifeblood of higher education. As stakeholders come to understand the intuitive value of documenting student learning, assessment engaged by individual faculty and departments become critical to the healthy functioning of the university. However, wide-spread assessment practices, are afflicted by a range of both procedural and ethical problems. In this paper, we seek to outline how the culture of assessment at one university reflects broader issues related to the infusion of technology
and data-driven frameworks in higher education, how faculty and student labor are used by the university, ethical considerations for creating meaningful assessment data and managing that data responsibly. Suggestions are provided align assessment with these key considerations through increasing awareness of technological influences on the creation and evaluation of assessment artifacts, data biases inherent to assessment data, adherence to ethical data-handling procedures and the value of bringing students into the assessment process.
Congratulations to all Fall 2019 recipients!
The FACET/Mack Center Travel Grant are awarded twice a year to faculty presenting SoTL work at a conference. For more information, please click here.