th Annual Conference on Teaching & Learning
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 | 1:00 pm to 4:15pm | Centennial Hall

1:00 - 1:15         Coffee and Socializing
1:15 - 1:25         Welcome by Chancellor Joe Gow and Provost Heidi Macpherson
1:30 - 2:10         Concurrent Session I 
[Teaching Demonstrations, Workshops, Panel Discussions]
2:15 - 2:55         Concurrent Session II
[Teaching Demonstrations, Workshops, Panel Discussions]
3:00 - 4:15         Digital Poster Session & Refreshments

hank you to all who attended and participated in this year's Conference!


I Don’t Understand Why They Don’t Understand:
An Assessment Tool to Find and Fill the Potholes in Accounting Principles Courses
Kim Lyons and Barbara Eide, Accountancy

This presentation offers guidance on construction of a multiple choice assessment tool using D2L.  Not sure what the difference is between testing and assessment?  We will explain the difference and demonstrate how an exam can be structured to provide feedback by learning outcomes (assessment) and student grades (testing) simultaneously.  For those who write their own multiple choice questions, question structure will be addressed as a means of identifying specifically where students are having trouble.  The presentation includes application and feedback from use in multiple class sections, with an adaptable focus on process and application.  Notes will be available electronically.
Teaching Abroad in Ireland: A Passport to Student Learning on the Emerald Isle
Casey T. Tobin, Psychology
Keely S. Rees, Health Education and Health Promotion

Green with Envy!  This digital poster with spectacular images of Ireland will explore the various aspects of teaching abroad in Ireland.  Specifically, we explore the opportunities for our undergraduate students to identify major health issues, including personal and sexual health issues confronting women today in both Ireland and the United States.  Additional discoveries include experiences in doing a joint women’s health ‘tour’, personal and professional expectations in working with students studying abroad, lessons learned as faculty and mentors, and tips on setting up sites and excursions in Ireland.  

Mid-semester Active Learning Intervention in Organic Chemistry
Heather Schenck, Chemistry

The Spring 2012 semester of CHM303 possessed an unusually large group of students that found organic chemistry extremely challenging.  An active learning experiment was conducted during this semester to increase student comprehension.  Results showed a pronounced improvement in student exam scores, as well as a strongly positive rating of the new approach by students. 

Making the Cookies:  Helping Undergraduate Political Science Students Join the Academic Conversation
Ray Block Jr., Political Science & Public Administration

Among other writing competencies undergraduates are required to master, students must be able to appropriately position their own ideas against the ideas and evidence of others. Only by combining their own ideas with other writers’ can students competently “make the cookies” of academic discourse. Our multidisciplinary intercampus collaboration created and piloted an assessment instrument to evaluate undergraduates’ ability to logically and coherently integrate the ideas of other writers into their own writing.

Blind Peer Review: A Departmental SoTL Project
Jeremy Arney and Adam Van Liere, Jo Arney, Ray Block, Steve McDougal, and Cecilia Manrique,
Political Science & Public Administration

Our department developed a set of 16 writing assignments and associated grading rubrics and implemented a department wide blind peer review process using Google Docs.  This digital poster will document the process and disseminate the preliminary results of the study. 

Lesson Study: Developing Students' Thought Processes For Choosing Appropriate Statistical Methods
Elizabeth Knowles and James Murray, Economics

Introductory statistics classes often emphasize computation and implementation procedures for a number of statistical tests.  While it is necessary to build these skills before getting to higher-order critical thinking skills, students often struggle in subsequent research methods courses when expected to select appropriate statistical tests to answer research questions.  This task requires an understanding of how statistical methods are related to one another.  Students must develop an advanced organization of knowledge.  In this paper we report on a lesson study we conducted to help students build a knowledge organization to help them achieve this task, and to better understand students' thought processes.  We share our thought process map for selecting a statistical test, report on the impact it had for our students, and offer suggestions for improving this part of the lesson.  We also describe the thought processes students go through, both before and after being exposed to the thought process map, and we describe students' sources of confusion revealed through the lesson study process. 

A Lesson Study on Ideology
Steve McDougal, Ray Block, Jeremy Arney, and Jo Arney, Political Science & Public Administration

Our team sought to develop a richer understanding of ideology.  At the end of the lesson we hoped students would be able to describe the key values that contribute to an individual's ideology and would be able to explain why no two individuals have the same exact ideology.  We observed improvement in student understanding over the course of two semesters.

Students’ Understanding of How Beliefs and Context Influence Motivation for Learning
Tesia Marshik, Katy Kortenkamp, Rob Dixon, Psychology
Bill Cerbin,
Psychology & CATL

Our goal for this lesson study was to increase students’ understanding of motivation theories. We developed an experiment in which we manipulated students’ achievement goal orientations and performance on an anagram task. Each student received one of two different sets of anagrams to solve (difficult or easy, although the last word for each group was the same) paired with either performance-oriented instructions or mastery-oriented instructions. We found that the lesson was overall successful in increasing students’ understanding of the effects of different achievement goals, especially for students in the “performance goal and difficult task” condition (who likely experienced learned helplessness).

Applying Case Study Method of Instruction to Pathophysiology
Melissa Weege and Aileen Staffaroni, Health Professions

Each year, instructors at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse teach a course on pathophysiology to students entering Nuclear Medicine Technology and Radiation Therapy programs. These students are at minimum in their third year of study and have completed at least one year of anatomy and physiology prior to taking this course. Students are successful with rote memorization of information, but often struggle to use information learned at an upper level of application. This is evidenced when students are tested on material that requires them to apply and critically think about various disorders, and struggle to do so. Application of knowledge and critical thinking skills are necessary for independent and successful clinical practice in the nuclear medicine technology and radiation therapy professions.

In our attempt to improve the application of knowledge and critical thinking skills of our students, we applied a teaching improvement activity in which instructors jointly develop, teach, observe, analyze, and revise lessons for their courses, called Lesson Study.  We applied Lesson Study to our GI disorders material with the intention of studying how students process and retain information, their ability to think critically about material, and how they collaborate to solve problems.

Improving Group Discussions Using a Human Continuum
Jan Wellik and Wayne Bocher, Environmental Studies

he lesson study plan focused on population issues as the topic of discussion. We assigned a reading in preparation for the discussion, opened the topic with a turtle game activity, and transitioned from game results focusing on turtles to the broader discussion about human population issues.

We utilized a list of population statements (e.g. “In a real crunch, jobs are more important than environmental quality”) to discern student agreement/disagreement on related topics, and then focused on the three statements that elicited the most diverse responses in order to promote an engaged discussion.

We used a mix of individual writing, and small and large group discussion to examine which style promoted more student participation. At the end of the class period, students were asked to complete an anonymous evaluation to help us gauge lesson success from the students’ perspective.

Our findings to date from evaluation feedback and lesson observation include: utilizing small groups prior to whole class discussion is helpful for students and results in better participation; students enjoy interactive, experiential learning; students found the turtle activity effective as a warm-up to discussions on population issues; some students are not clear about the difference between a discussion and an argument.

Lessons Study on the Value of Literary Study
Kelly Sultzbach, Susan Crutchfield, Natalie Eschenbaum, English
Bryan Kopp, English & CATL

Students frequently think about general education literature courses simply as requirements to fulfill.  Our broader goal was to scaffold student thinking about the purpose, value, and necessity of literary study. We focused on three more specific goals: 1) to help students understand that both a "right answer" approach to interpretation and an "anything goes" approach are problematic; 2) to help students appreciate the positive value of ambiguity as something that invites multiple persuasive interpretations; and 3) to help them recognize that literary modes of thinking can be applicable to non-literary texts as well.

Our observations revealed that some teams arrived quickly at single, closed interpretations whereas others generated new, persuasive readings of the poem. During the large group conversation, individuals generally were good at providing valid textual support for their interpretations. In subsequent classes students seemed more willing to entertain multiple interpretations and to challenge one another. Students seemed to have made progress with our first and second goals. We saw evidence for our third goal when students at the end of class started asking the question, what makes a text “literature” or not?

Lessons for Graphing Modeling in Economics using Google Docs
James Murray, Economics
Glenn Knowles, Economics & College of Business Administration Interim Associate Dean

We demonstrate a technology and lessons that enhance the way students learn and use graphical modeling, using tools available in Google Docs.  We developed a graphing template for principles of economics classes, and a set of video lessons that not only teach students how to create graphs in Google docs, but how to use graphs to solve real world problems and evaluate economic policy.  Economics instructors can use the graphing tool and create assignments around it in both online and face-to-face classes.  Application to other disciplines should be clear, and the technological and pedagogical issues transcend disciplines.

Teaching with Brainshark - A New Way to Add Your Voice to Course Content
Diana Tempski, Finance

This presentation will provide a brief overview of Brainshark, a free online service that allows you to enrich PowerPoints, PDF files and many other documents with your voice to create more dynamic and enriched course content that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.  Users (students) who access shared files can in turn download what you offer as screencasts, podcasts, or simply as PDF files.  After using Brainshark for my online course this summer, I will share what I have learned as well as student feedback received.

Setting the Tone for Choral Rehearsals with Warm-ups That Work!
Gary Kent Walth, Music

Choral conductors realize the importance of the first five to seven minutes o f any choral rehearsal in “setting the tone” for the entire rehearsal. Although most choral warm-ups are used exclusively to enhance vocal technique skills, I will present a series of warm-ups that will also provide singers with the chance to improve individual sightreading skills, rhythmic acuity, stylistically accurate tone quality and diction. The warm-ups presented in this session are freely composed or derived from the repertoire that the UW-L Concert Choir and Vocal Jazz Ensemble I has or will be performing. Session attendees will be encouraged to participate.
Making Learning Authentic Through Social and Rich Media—Reenergizing Your Classroom 
Jim Jorstad, Academic Technology Services

Information technologies and social media are intertwined in the fabric of our daily lives. In teaching students, we look for strategies to keep them engaged in the learning process.  Perhaps we can integrate our technology tools into the teaching and learning process to make learning more authentic and relevant.  In this presentation faculty will learn innovative strategies to incorporate social and rich media into virtually any discipline.  This interactive session will open new vistas to reenergize you, your students, and the classroom experience.  Bring your laptop and iPad to start your journey.
Mediasite Lecture Capture in Centennial Hall
Terry Wirkus, Academic Technology Services

Lecture capture using Mediasite technology is available in six learning spaces in Centennial Hall.  With the push of a button audio, video and content of a lecture can be captured and delivered live and/or asynchronously on the web.  Join Terry Wirkus for a demonstration and discussion of this powerful, rich media tool which can enhance both teaching and learning.


How to Establish Mutually Beneficial Mentor-Student Collaborations on a Common Scholarly Project

Scott Cooper, Biology and UW-L Undergraduate Research and Creativity Program Director
Tim McAndrews, Sociology and Archaeology

This workshop will examine several models in which a student works on a common scholarly project with their mentor.  The benefits to both student and mentor will be discussed.  Discipline specific challenges and strategies will also be explored. After a brief summary of several approaches, participants will break into groups and identify methods that they would like to try in their scholarship.  Participants will share their top idea at the end of the workshop.
Scoring Points with Class Discussion: Encouraging and Assessing Student Participation in the Classroom
Tim Dale, Political Science & Public Administration

This workshop will present practical tools for encouraging and assessing participation in class discussions. Developed as a Wisconsin Teaching Fellows research project, the workshop will introduce a method for creating a discussion rubric and involving students in grading their own participation in class. The workshop will also include discussion about tools that can be carried between online and live classroom environments. The presentation will be focused on techniques for grading class participation, and strategies for helping students understand the importance and value of contributing to class discussions.
Purposeful Planning for Learning
Kristi Mally, Exercise and Sports Science, Physical Education Teaching Education Program Director

If you are like many instructors you spend significant time planning what you will do when you are in front of your students - planning such things as your PowerPoints, additional materials, and teaching techniques.  The session will encourage you to change your focus from yourself to your students and their learning, starting with two very important questions... What do I want my students to learn, (today, this week, this semester) AND how will I know they have learned it?  Participants will learn tactics that will help them maintain a student learning focus.


Making Study Abroad Better: Collaboration Across the Classroom and the World
Dena Huisman and Susan Schuyler, Communication Studies

This panel focuses on creating a faculty-led, thoroughly integrated, student-focused, collaborative study abroad community. This community-based integration includes instructor collaboration in development; instructor collaboration with OIE and native study abroad providers; student-instructor classroom collaboration; and native educator and student collaboration in Seville, Spain. Panelists will elaborate on how course objectives, curriculum, and projects overlapped in daily living and classroom experiences and excursions, and how relationships shaped a web of inclusive and intercultural acceptance through active learning beyond the possibilities of a traditional classroom experience. Panelists include instructors, student alumni, and live video interface with Seville study abroad providers.

The Impact of Teacher Identity on Classroom Discussions of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and/or Class: A Panel Discussion
Sara Docan-Morgan & Dena Huisman, Communication Studies
Mahruq Khan, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Gita Pai, History

This panel features assistant professors from three disciplines discussing how their own identities impact how they facilitate classroom discussions related to race, gender, sexuality, and/or class. With UW-L’s fairly homogenous student population, it is critical for instructors to open classroom dialogue about various types of privilege (e.g., White, heterosexual, class). However, many students have difficulty recognizing their privilege, and research has found that White students are often resistant to learning about diversity, particularly from minority faculty (Stanley, 2006). Reflecting this year’s campus theme of inclusivity, this interactive panel will encourage audience participation in discussing how instructor identity may impact student learning outcomes.

If you have any questions about the Conference, please contact catl@uwlax.edu or 785-6872