16th ANNUAL UW-L CONFERENCE ON TEACHING & LEARNING
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:00am - Noon
Centennial Hall, Third Floor
8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Coffee & Muffins, Rooms 3212 & 3214
8:30 – 9:20 a.m. Panel Discussions and Workshops
9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Poster Session
11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Panel Discussions and Workshops
About the Conference
The conference is an opportunity to meet with colleagues from across campus to explore issues and approaches to teaching and learning. There will be 23 presentations by UW-L faculty and staff, including panel discussions, workshops and posters. Arrive early, 8:00 - 8:30 for coffee and muffins. The first sessions begin promptly at 8:30 followed by a poster session 9:30 - 11:00. The conference concludes with panels and a workshop, 11:00 - Noon. See presentation descriptions below.
Panel Discussions and Workshops: 8:30-9:20
Examples of how the UW-L Policy Research Network is used in Course-Embedded Research
Jeremy Arney, Political Science and Public Administration; Mary Hamman, Economics; Carol Miller, Sociology and Archaeology; Scott Cooper, Biology
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Policy Research Network was recently created to help undergraduates conduct research and prepare reports for civic leaders. The goal is to provide students with valuable real-world experience and strengthen ties with civic leaders. In the summer of 2013 requests were sent out to local and regional civic leaders and nine of their offices submitted over 35 topics. In this panel discussion the format of the PRN will be briefly introduced followed by examples of how this was used in business, political science, and sociology courses.
The Murphy Learning Center: How Can We Help Your Students?
Tony Docan-Morgan, Communication Studies; Lee Baines, Biology; Virginia Crank, English; Kate Friesen, Chemistry; Jim Sobota, Mathematics
Do your students need help with writing assignments, oral presentations, biology, chemistry, or math? The Murphy Learning Center can help! This panel will include an overview and discussion of the Murphy Learning Center, a place where all UW-L students can receive free tutoring services in a variety of courses. Tutor coordinators from biology, chemistry, mathematics, the Writing Center, and the Public Speaking Center will provide an overview of their services. Instructors interested in learning more about specific services and developing partnerships with MLC tutor coordinators will have time to ask questions and discuss ideas.
Interdisciplinary Approach: Pairing the Humanities and Social Sciences with Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Education
Steven Simpson, Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation and Sam Cocks, Philosophy
This workshop presents an interdisciplinary approach to teaching about humankind's relationship to nature. More specifically, it is a discussion about bringing together the humanities and social sciences with outdoor recreation and environmental education. For example, how can humanities education be enhanced by a guided outdoor experience? Or how is environmental education improved by the inclusion of academic philosophy? This workshop is a prelude to the first meeting of the Midwest Consortium of Philosophy and Outdoor Education (McPoe) to be held in La Crosse Fall 2014.
Poster Session: 9:30-11:00
1. The Creation of a National Blended Course: The Stewardship of Public Lands
Jo Arney, Political Science and Public Administration
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is developing a revolutionary approach to course design. Instead of having faculty members design courses individually, this model utilizes faculty collaboration across campuses and disciplines. As part of this initiative, I am the co-lead scholar for a course entitled “The Stewardship of Public Lands.” It is a course which explores the conflicts over public lands using political issues in and around Yellowstone National Park. The course is designed around a set of civic engagement learning objectives centered on increasing the students’ ability to see multiple sides of issues, listen to stakeholders, and find common ground.
2. Mingling with Students Before Class: What to Ask|
Tony Docan-Morgan, Communication Studies
How, if at all, do you interact with your students before class each day? Based upon a recent article I wrote for College Teaching titled "Mingling with Students Before Class: What to Ask", I'll share examples of three types of questions I've found particularly useful: general greeting questions, course assignment questions, and course content review questions. These pre-class interactions help create a welcoming classroom environment, communicate instructor approachability, and provide informal assessments of students' understanding of course material and progress on assignments.
3. Improving General Chemistry Lab Performance Through Online Demonstrations
Yevgeniya Turov and Katherine Friesen, Chemistry and Biochemistry
The general chemistry laboratories introduce students to a great deal of equipment they may not have used before. Students often have difficulty understanding the use of this equipment from reading about it or seeing brief pre-lab demonstrations. To enhance student understanding and provide a more visual and accessible demonstration, we filmed instructors correctly using the equipment and made them available to students through their D2L pages. We noticed significant improvement in student preparedness and understanding, as well as more thought-out discussions and more efficient use of laboratory periods.
4. Do In-Class, Active Review Sessions Promote Critical Thinking Skills in a High-Enrollment Human Anatomy and Physiology Course?
Tisha King-Heiden, Biology
I tested the usefulness of student-centered activities to review content in an effort to improve students’ ability to apply that content to clinical examples. The control section received in-class didactic reviews, with some application via student response questions. The experimental section had additional small group exploratory activities, and guided learning activities to practice application. Ability to apply course content was assessed through pre and post-tests and performance on exams. Overall, these active review sessions appear minimally successful, and I am working to develop more activities to incorporate throughout the class in addition to review sessions.
5. Does the Assignment of Student-Generated Reading Questions Improve Student Learning Outcomes?
Laurie Strangman, Economics
This SOTL project investigated the impact of assigning student-generated reading questions on learning outcomes. Students in two sections of an introductory economics course were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. Both groups were given the same weekly reading assignments; however, only the experimental group was asked to submit two questions related to each reading. These questions could be about something the student didn’t understand or something they were curious and wanted to know more about. Initial results indicate the assignment of student-generated reading questions increases the proportion of students who complete assigned readings, exam scores and overall course grades.
6. Team-Based Learning in a Zen Buddhism Philosophy Course
Sam Cocks, Philosophy
This project investigates the effectiveness of team-based learning in a Zen Buddhism philosophy course. I discuss how team-based learning enables students to develop a broader understanding, application, and critique of concepts than lecture and casual discussion affords. I also show that team-based learning itself is particularly useful in demonstrating what is significant about Zen philosophy. While the methodology used during this study needs adjusting, the above model could be argued to be pedagogically necessary for those teaching this sort of course.
7. Introducing Experimental Design and Data Analysis Using Guided Inquiry in the Forest
Alysa Remsburg, Environmental Studies
Collecting data on ecological variables is relatively easy, but helping students form statistically relevant conclusions from data can be challenging. While “crunching the numbers” is often the least appealing part of research, students are motivated to find out “if we were right” after they have developed hypotheses and collected their own data. This guided inquiry lesson provides college students with little science or math background an introduction to experimental design and data analysis using Excel. For students with prior statistical experience, the lesson is also useful because it provides a tangible opportunity to apply the concept of standard deviation.
8. Students' Perceptions of the Classroom Climate
Barbara Stewart and Matt Evensen, Campus Climate and Laurie Cooper Stoll, Sociology and Archaeology
The purpose of our poster is to illustrate the findings from the 2013 Campus Climate surveys. In particular, we focus on students' perceptions of the classroom climate at UW-L as well as how race, disability, gender, and sexual orientation relate to students' fears of receiving a poor grade. We believe this information is vital to instructors' ability to create an inclusive classroom environment for all students.
9. Optimization of Fe(CO)3 (PPh3)2 - An Educational Application
Hayley Hudson, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Organometallic chemistry is a vital although poorly understood subfield of chemistry. The vast majority of these reactions are time consuming and most starting materials used are very air-sensitive. Despite these challenges, organometallic chemistry has numerous applications in the fields of medicine and pharmaceuticals and therefore it is very important that future scientists understand its principles. As such, professors face the challenge of formulating teaching labs intended for upper-level undergraduate students which successfully demonstrate organometallic principles while remaining within the constraints of time and air-sensitivity. A novel adaptation of the challenging synthesis of Fe(CO)3(PPh3)2 was formulated for a teaching setting.
10.Impromptu Speaking and the Real World: The Press Conference Speech in Presentational Speaking
Kate Lavelle, Communication Studies
This presentation describes and reports a press conference speech assignment, the final speech assignment in a Presentational Speaking course. This assignment is the culmination of the semester's work on audience analysis, limited preparation speaking, and speech organization and development. Students are given a scenario based on their career interests, and given a brief amount of time to construct and deliver a speech, and respond to questions from their classmates. Based on assessment data, students find this speech to be helpful to their future career work, as well as a way to bring the course material together in a practical assignment.
11.Integrated Business Core: Using Unstructured Problem Solving to Enhance Critical Thinking and Professionalism
Nicole Gullekson, Management; Maggie McDermott, Marketing; Diana Tempski, Finance
The objective of this pilot program was to revise the structure of three business core courses (Principles of Finance, Principles of Marketing and Organizational Behavior) to better reflect the integrated nature of business, as well as develop students’ critical thinking and professionalism skills. The program was a cohort based program in which students covered the traditional content in each course but instead of doing three separate, discipline-specific projects students completed three integrated projects. All three projects required students to apply interdisciplinary learning while incorporating previous project feedback and the final project was a client- based project for a local firm. In addition to the integration of the content, additional professional modules were delivered that assist with critical thinking and help prepare students for the client based project. Insights on the pilot experience are provided.
12.From Three Courses to One: Outcomes from Redesigning the 200-level Biology Curriculum
Gretchen Gerrish, Meredith Thomsen, Anita Baines, Elisabeth Paluch, Gregory Sandland, Barrett Klein, Thomas Volk, Roger Haro, Anton Sanderfoot, Todd Osmundson, Rick Gillis, and Kathryn Perez, Biology
Over the past 2½ years, the biology department has undergone a major restructuring of the undergraduate curriculum, shifting from a three course series of 200-level options for our majors to requiring all majors to take a single 200-level Organismal Biology course. The large collaborative team that undertook this re-design started by generating overall course objectives that align with departmental objectives. Development of materials emphasized active learning strategies and inquiry based explorations. Major overarching objectives included improving student writing, data interpretation and evolutionary understanding. We present some background on the process of re-design, materials produced and assessment outcomes from implementation.
13.THERE IS NO "I" IN "CHORAL ENSEMBLE": Redefining Team-Building Strategies in UW-L Choirs influenced by Techniques, Keywords, and Aphorisms from UW-L's and other Nationally Prominent Basketball and Volleyball Coaches
Gary Walth, Music
This study compares keywords and phrases from different methods used to “create group or team unity” in college/university choirs and in volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball organizations. Thinking that there were parallels, I chose to gain an athletic perspective on this topic by gathering information from live interviews with four UW-La Crosse coaches and from the writings of coaches holding national prominence today. The resultant similarities were fascinating and with very few changes in semantics the concepts, vocabulary and expressions were surprisingly the same.
14. Developing Global Knowledge through Empirical Puzzles and Group-Based Country Projects
Adam Van Liere, Political Science and Public Administration
With a goal of better engaging students in global learning, I redesigned how I teach POL 202 Contemporary Global Issues for Fall 2013. As part of this redesign I developed two new types of assignments to build global knowledge and to introduce the interdisciplinary nature of international studies. One type asked students to develop short research proposals linked to global politics, economics, and identities. The other type involved group-based work linked to a country where UW-L students may study abroad. My poster details the pieces of each assignment, and highlights both what worked and what needs more work.
15. Development of a Foundational Biophysics Course at UW-La Crosse
Jennifer Klein, Biology
Biophysics is a new upper level elective in the UW-La Crosse biology department and is most appropriate for students in the biomedical concentration, the cell and molecular biology concentration, and the biochemistry major. This course in interdisciplinary, focusing on questions relevant to cell and molecular biology, but learning heavily on the allied fields of chemistry, physics, and mathematics in order to approach biological problems quantitatively.
The course aims to build a foundational understanding of the physical properties of biological systems, from biomolecules to cells, to introduce the techniques and approaches used by biophysicists, and to apply these understandings to current research problems. This particular course was designed as a gateway biophysics course that will eventually lead to advanced topic courses in the departments of biology, chemistry, and physics and is part of a larger initiative to build an interdepartmental biophysics program.
16. Making Your Course More Accessible
Chris Coppess, Disability Resource Services
Chris will talk about ways to make your course and curriculum more accessible. He will also demonstrate how students use assistive technology in the class room and at home. This will help faculty to see how small adjustments can make the difference in accessibility.
17A. Dog Breeds as Brands: Marketing Segmentation Product Attributes
Barbara Larsen, Marketing and Management
This poster describes a class exercise in which "dog breeds" are used as an analogy to teach about marketing segmentation and position. The goals of using "dog breeds" as brands exercise are to address how to identify customers and how customers think about a product, brand, or service in the market relative to competition. Students submit their dog photos, complete a survey, and the results are shared.
17B. Understanding Generational Diversity in Education and the Workplace
Barbara Larsen, Marketing and Management
"Understanding Generational Differences" is taught in MGT 308. The instructor uses an engaging and participative approach to gain a clear understanding of how organizations can gain a better understanding of generational differences and how they affect our universities, workplace, customers, etc. Students participate in active discussion and write a summary paper sharing their own examples of differences they have experienced and their solutions.
Panel Discussions and Workshops: 11:00 — Noon
Mentoring Undergraduate Research: Panel and Q&A Regarding Student Recruitment, Undergraduate Grant Preparation, and Optimizing Dual Productivity between Students and Mentors
Gretchen Gerrish and Scott Cooper, Biology
Undergraduate mentoring varies across departments at UW-La Crosse. Based on discussions among members of the Undergraduate Research Committee, it is clear that departments vary in how they approach and emphasize undergraduate research. Faculty sometimes struggle to recruit, mentor and fund students in a way that yields productivity for faculty scholarship. Members of the Undergraduate Research Committee and Undergraduate Research Office will hold a brief panel discussion of these concerns. The remaining period will consist of a breakout Q&A that will allow attendees to discuss mentoring and grant writing with peer faculty involved in undergraduate research within or across departments.
"They Just Don't Get It": A Look at How Learning by Design Can Help Address Challenging Curricular Issues
Marti Lybeck, History; Maggie McDermott, Marketing; Bernadette Taylor, Microbiology
Learning by Design (LbD) is an opportunity through CATL that allows a group of faculty to learn and apply instructional design principles in an effort to address particular challenges within a given course. In this presentation a brief overview of the program along with three different vignettes of how faculty from different disciplines (and colleges) utilized the Learning by Design program to redesign and improve student learning in their respective courses. Topics will include exploring the student learning/application disconnect, structuring meaningful practice and feedback and a new look at interactive problem solving. In addition, participants will share their experience of the LbD program and benefits it offered beyond the curricular redesign.
Using Improv in the First-year Classroom
Virginia Crank and Heidi Jones, English
This workshop offers participants practice in using improv acting exercises in the classroom, demonstrating how improv can create an environment in which students become more open to risk-taking, to going down unfamiliar paths toward more analytical and engaged habits of mind. Using improv activities early in the semester to encourage student participation and collaboration provides students with opportunities to get out of their seats, interact with peers and shed some of their shyness. The time invested pays off in a faster time toward building a respectful and engaged community and offers the teacher a touchstone for later encouragement of risk-taking.