Center for Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning Symposium

April 24, 2017
2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
UW Seattle, HUB Ballroom

Join us for the UW’s 13th Annual Teaching & Learning Symposium! This year’s keynote theme is “Building Inclusive Classroom Communities.

The Symposium brings together UW faculty, staff, and students from all three UW campuses to:

  • Build conversation and community around teaching, learning, and related research
  • Highlight research and practices that advance student learning
  • Spark and sustain interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at UW

Admission is free.

Schedule:

  • 2:00 – 2:05 Opening remarks: Beth Kalikoff, director, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • 2:05 – 2:50 Poster session #1
  • 2:50 – 3:00 Welcome: Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson, vice provost for digital initiatives and dean of University Libraries
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Keynote: “Building Inclusive Classroom Communities”
    • Ellen Moore, senior lecturer, Communication, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Tacoma
    • Jim Pfaendtner, associate professor, Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, UW Seattle
    • Ursula Valdez, lecturer, Environmental Science, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell
  • 3:45 – 4:30 Poster session #2

Keynote speakers:

Ellen Moore, Senior Lecturer, UWT CommunicationDr. Ellen Moore is a senior lecturer of Communication at University of Washington Tacoma. Her work focuses on the often-interconnected concerns of racial representations and the depiction of environmental issues in the mainstream media. Her teaching includes courses such as Inequality and the Media; Political Economy of Media; Nature, Inequality, and Popular Culture; and Environmental Issues and the Media. Her forthcoming book, “Landscape and the Environment in Hollywood Film: the Green Machine,” focuses on the relationship between profits and power when it comes to the portrayal of environmental issues and historically-marginalized groups of people. Other research includes “Starving for Diversity: Representations of Race in Hunger Games” and “Framing Disaster: News Media Coverage of Native American Environmental Justice Cases.” In 2015, Dr. Moore received the Distinguished Teaching Award for the UW Tacoma campus.

Jim Pfaendtner, Associate Professor, Chemical EngineeringDr. Jim Pfaendtner is the Bindra Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Georgia Tech, 2001) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering (Northwestern University, 2007). Additional appointments include senior scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Lab and a senior data science fellow at the UW eScience Institute. Jim’s research focus is computational molecular science and his recent teaching interests are in the area of teaching data science skills to grad students in chemical and materials science and engineering. Jim is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award and the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award.

Ursula Valdez, PhD, UW Bothell, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, Environmental SciencesDr. Ursula Valdez is a lecturer of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. She is a tropical ecologist and conservation biologist with degrees in biology and zoology from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (Lima, Peru), North Carolina State University and the University of Washington. Her teaching philosophy focuses on supporting students to develop an understanding of the processes and mechanisms that explain the interactions among species and those with their environment, including the critical role that humans have on them. Dr. Valdez has also been actively working in internationalizing her classroom by incorporating COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) in her courses, and opening global learning communities for her students and college students from other countries. Her COIL work has been featured in the Provost’s series Innovators Among Us.


Poster session #1 (odd-numbered posters) – 2:05-2:50 PM

Poster #1. Targeted Learning Communities: A Support Model for International/Multilingual Students

Mihaela Giurca, OWRC & IELP, UW Seattle
Tait Bergstrom, OWRC & English, UW Seattle

Poster #1 abstract

Targeted Learning Communities (TLCs) have been created at the Odegaard Writing and Research Center (OWRC) to support International and Multilingual (I/M) student success in reading- and writing intensive courses at the UW. Three to five I/M students enrolled in the same course form a TLC together with a OWRC peer facilitator in a one-credit, General Studies Course. In weekly meetings, TLCs provide linguistic and academic support through a learning community model. These learning communities are based on the principle of peer-mentoring as a means of integrating and transferring learning across courses (Benjamin, 2015). This peer model of support has been shown to be effective especially among specific student populations (Price & Lee, 2005), such as I/Ms. TLCs fill a gap in the I/M support available on campus, complementing writing and tutoring centers, and support available in quiz sections. Feedback collected from students and peer tutors in TLCs suggests that this model is valuable in developing reading and writing strategies transferable to a wide range of academic situations. Representative samples from these data are shared to illustrate these benefits. Participants will leave with a fuller understanding of what advantages the peer-mentored learning community model has to offer instructors seeking to enrich academic support for I/M students.

 

Poster #3. Museum as Classroom: Connecting Art, Communities and Social Justice

Edward Chamberlain, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Tacoma

Poster #3 abstract

This presentation provides an overview of an instructional practice where students are taught to compare artwork and stories by using integrative forms of critical thinking and experiential learning. In the process, students learn to articulate how artwork and writing speaks to social problems such as oppression. Through these experiences, students create critiques, fiction and presentations.

In terms of context, students analyze and reflect on connections between artwork and stories in the classroom and a local art museum beyond the university. This student population enrolls at an urban serving campus, and many of the students are first generation. Through discussions in class and observations at the museum, the students begin to develop a critical consciousness about how artwork and its positioning can give rise to stories about community, injustice and public issues.

Personal reflections and research about high impact teaching practices served as the starting points for developing this instructional practice. The scholarship of researchers such as Judy Freedman Fask, Budd Hall, and Lisa A. Kramer suggests that observing the art and culture of local communities enables students to cultivate new analytical and creative thinking skills. Thus studying the relations of culture and community enables students to understand complex topics like social inequality. As research was considered, perspectives from veteran instructors also guided this practice.

Ultimately, making connections between classroom-based learning and museums enables interdisciplinary applications of critical thinking skills such as interpretive skills and visual analysis. This instruction also fosters a means of analyzing historical problems and challenging injustice.

This instructional practice empowers students across disciplines to extend their critical thinking skills into their local communities and foster dialogues about creating social change. In terms of implications, this instructional practice can teach students to take risks, consider new opportunities, and develop ways of making their communities more equitable and inclusive.

 

Poster #5. Withdrawn

 

Poster #7. Just in Time Assessment: Flexible Peer Observation During Classroom Instruction

Chelsea Nesvig, Campus Library, UW Bothell
Laura Dimmit, Campus Library, UW Bothell
Caitlan Maxwell, Campus Library, UW Bothell

Poster #7 abstract

This ongoing research is focused on leveraging peer observation to improve teaching practice. As librarians, we provide embedded information literacy instruction to courses at UW Bothell and Cascadia College. Observation of our teaching is not required, therefore reaching out to colleagues for a collaborative peer-observation process is a low stakes yet effective way to improve practice. Generally see students once or twice over the course of a quarter; therefore, we needed to develop an observation plan that complemented our limited, “one-shot” structure.

We began by designing an observation template informed by existing models, focusing specifically on open-ended and qualitative question prompts. Our goal was to design an observation process that would enable use of the “critical friend” model, a type of peer mentorship grounded in collaborative reflection and de-privatization of challenges. We also decided to include both pre and post-observation meetings for the observer and the observee. These meetings enabled the observee to specify the aspects of their instruction they wanted feedback on, and provided a space for more informal assessment prior to the observation summary letters each person received.

After piloting this in Fall 2016, we plan to organize a second ‘round’ in Spring 2017. By maintaining the same members, our group will revisit areas of focus from the fall, and track changes/growth. This model will create an iterative loop for continual instruction improvement. More broadly, this type of teaching observation has value for both instructors and students: it is individualized, allowing each participant to zero in on what is most relevant to their own practice and allows the observer to see how the librarian directly interacts with the students they are teaching.

Our observation plan provides a practical and flexible way for busy faculty in all disciplines to incorporate feedback and reflection into their teaching practice.

 

Poster #9. Engaging Students in Institutional Change: Improving Campus Response to Relationship Violence

Karen Rosenberg, Writing and Communication Center, UW Bothell
Lauren Lichty, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell

Poster #9 abstract

On July 30, 2016 UW student Allen Ivanov murdered his ex-girlfriend, UW Bothell student Anna Bui, and two others. As the campus reeled from the horror of this domestic violence homicide, it became clear to us that the UW Bothell campus does not yet have adequate structures, support, or language to help students navigate their relationships or respond to incidents of relationship violence. A question that haunted us was, if the campus had visible resources for students questioning their relationships, would Anna be alive today?

In response to Anna’s murder, we revised our 10-credit course, “Gender Under Construction” to include a unit on relationship violence. “Gender Under Construction” is an integrated Discovery Core and writing course for first-year students. Prior to the relationship violence unit, students responded to readings that unpack gender stereotypes from an intersectional perspective, wrote essays about personal artifacts, and examined the limitations of the gender binary in elite athletics. We helped students understand relationship violence as a social issue and focused on its relevance on college campuses.

Student groups analyzed different prevention and intervention tools. Groups co-developed a white paper and interactive presentations that engaged the class with the tool and allowed us to evaluate its potential value on our campus (grounded in personal insights and background literature). This activity allowed students to see themselves as experts on their own campus and co-create their community. In addition, given our research and social justice-related interests in preventing and responding to relationship violence, this project allowed us, the instructors, to learn more about how students make sense of relationship violence and how they respond to resources we may consider recommending to the larger administration. We believe this is a useful method for bringing campus-relevant social issues into the classroom for active consideration.

 

Poster #11. BioSkills: A Roadmap to Teaching Core Competencies

Alexa Clemmons, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Alison Crowe, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #11 abstract

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education identified five core concepts and six core competencies (or skills) around which undergraduate biology curricula should be built. Descriptions of core concepts and competencies were left intentionally broad to encourage in-depth conversations about them among educators. For core concepts, such work has taken place, culminating in the BioCore Guide, a nationally validated resource that elaborates each core concept. No equivalent resource yet exists to help educators interpret the core competencies. To address this gap, we have begun building two tools – the BioSkills Guide and the Programmatic Survey of BioSkills Coverage – designed to support both individual and department-wide efforts to improve competencies teaching. Although the core competencies were developed specifically in the context of biology, the competencies (e.g., Quantitative Reasoning, Science & Society) are skills that are readily applicable outside of biology. We therefore imagine that these tools could be adapted by educators across a range of STEM disciplines. The aim of the BioSkills Guide is to clarify the core competencies by defining, for each, concrete learning goals that can be readily implemented in the classroom. We have begun collaboratively drafting the BioSkills guide, and here we share a subset of our current draft corresponding to the Communication & Collaboration competency. We will next conduct multiple rounds of review and revision, incorporating the expertise of instructors representing a variety of institution types, subdisciplines, and experiences. Finally, we will use a national survey to validate the revised draft. The BioSkills learning goals will be used to build the second tool, the Programmatic Survey of BioSkills Coverage, which will enable departments to self-review curriculum-wide coverage of core competencies. Here we present results from a preliminary version of the Programmatic Survey, illustrating trends in competency coverage across subdisciplines in the UW Department of Biology.

 

Poster #13. Withdrawn

Poster #15. Withdrawn

Poster #17. The Key to Successful Problem Solving: Identifying Keywords!

Sarah Farrell, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Osman Salahuddin, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Mary Pat Wenderoth, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Jennifer Doherty, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #17 abstract

Both content knowledge and problem-solving strategies are important components for academic success in biology. All problem-solving strategies begin with the ability to understand the problem being presented. In the context of biology, this means identifying the core concept being asked in complex questions. Identifying keywords, words that are important or significant, can help students identify these core concepts. The purpose of this study was to explore how well students can identify keywords and if this ability is correlated to exam performance. Students in an Introductory Biology course took weekly practice exams (PE), after each PE they either graded their own or a peer’s PE. In addition, students were asked to “identify the keywords in the question that should have caused you to provide the complete and correct answer given in the key”. This experimental design also allowed us to explore how grading an anonymous PE affects quality of students’ keyword selections. Students’ keyword selections were compared to a keyword rubric created by the research team. Data was coded by two researchers to 90% inter-rater reliability.

On average, students only correctly identified 30% of keywords each week. Multiple regression models were used to explore correlations between correct identification of keywords and performance on both PEs and course exams. Initial results indicate that percent correct keyword recognition predicts both practice exam scores and overall grade in the class. Interestingly, students who self-graded had a higher percent keyword recognition than peer-graders. These results indicate that if instructors want to help students improve their problem-solving skills of complex biological problems, helping students recognize keywords may be one solution. Furthermore, identifying which students have trouble simplifying complex exam problems and helping these students improve their ability to identify keywords may be beneficial in addressing learning disparities within large introductory classes.

 

Poster #19. Digital Humanities in the Language and Culture Classroom and Beyond

S. Kye Terrasi, Department of Germanics, UW Seattle
Justin Mohler, Department of Germanics, UW Seattle

Poster #19 abstract

In our project we seek to understand how Digital Humanities technology can be integrated into the classroom as a tool for students to perform research on the cultural, social and geographical makeup of a city through the mapping of data and analysis of the results.

In 2016 we attended a course on ArcGIS software (Geographical Information Systems). We designed a research project focused on the connection between the geographic locations of Berlin’s areas of diversity and the development of new industries, such as startups. Our research has led us to explore how this technology can be adapted for use in advanced German language or cultural studies courses, as a means to teach culture and history, or as a tool to interpret social, political and economic trends in contemporary societies. Precisely mapping different phenomena in urban spaces provides both humanities and STEM students with an instrument to visualize abstract concepts, as well as with new ways to analyze their research and collected data.

One method to test the potential of ArcGIS for student learning is to incorporate it into our department’s curriculum for urban humanities and diversity courses. This technology could facilitate learning through interactive and collaborative group projects and provide students with hands-on experience as they gather research, input data and critically engage with the mapped results. Through our evaluation of these projects we will conduct qualitative and comprehensive assessment of our students’ learning. Our students’ projects are often presented in a public forum, and feedback from peers, faculty and the community will provide additional assessment.

ArcGIS technology is a tool to reach across disciplines and make the humanities more engaging and relevant to students from other fields. The technology’s applications can be easily adapted for use by diverse academic disciplines to help students process and interpret different data sets.

 

Poster #21. Developing a Successful Active Learning Course at the Graduate Level

Sara Kover, Speech and Hearing Sciences, UW Seattle

Poster #21 abstract

Topic: How can a flipped classroom meet the needs of graduate students? Active learning practices (e.g., flipping the classroom) encourage deeper learning and opportunities to problem-solve; however, these techniques are time consuming and can be met with resistance from students. The strategies for a successful flipped classroom described here were developed to align with the expectations–and scaffold the learning–of graduate students enrolled in a required course on research methods.

Context: A graduate-level course on consuming and conducting research in speech and hearing sciences enrolls approximately 50 students and is held in an Active Learning Classroom.

Scholarly basis: Year 1 was the instructor’s first experience teaching this class or any active learning/flipped class. Year 2 was an opportunity to implement changes based on the instructor’s own observations and reflections, individual feedback from students, course evaluations, and a CTL mid-quarter review.

Results: From Year 1 to Year 2, course preparation time decreased, student ratings increased, classroom climate became positive and collaborative, and the instructor experienced joy in teaching. Strategies implemented in Year 2 included continually revisiting the course structure and goals, in-person mini-lectures to explicitly connect readings/online lectures to in-class assignments, a balance of quizzes for credit versus for a grade to ensure preparedness, and reduction of out-of-class burden to students by providing a ‘focused reading guide,’ which draws attention to the most critical concepts ahead of time. Example materials (e.g., a schematic of course structure) will be presented.

Application: Across disciplines, teaching styles, and content areas, these reflections invite discussion on scaffolding active learning components to optimize success, as well as the alignment of pedagogical techniques with graduate student needs and expectations, particularly in the context of the realities of graduate school (e.g., many demands on students’ time, years of prior experience with exclusively lecture-based classes).

 

Poster #23. From the IWP Classroom to Yours: Teaching Writing Across Disciplines

Megan Callow, English Department, Interdisciplinary Writing Program, UW Seattle
Julie Dykema, English Department, Interdisciplinary Writing Program, UW Seattle

Poster #23 abstract

Since the 1980s, the Interdisciplinary Writing Program (IWP) has provided writing seminars to UW students concurrently enrolled in core courses across the disciplines, from biology to philosophy. In this unique program, IWP instructors help students learn to read, write and think critically in a given discipline. We believe that these practices are especially useful for teaching students to respond to specific rhetorical situations, and might be productively implemented across instructional contexts. Faculty who want to assign more writing in their own courses may benefit from learning about these practices. Therefore, in this presentation we outline some of the pedagogies employed routinely in the IWP that we feel are most valuable. These highly flexible practices include:

  • Sequencing: a series of formative, low-stakes activities and assignments that culminate in a polished text. Key components of sequencing include prewriting, student-sample norming, revision, and reflective writing.
  • Peer review: a practice where students use evaluative criteria dealing with higher-order issues in a given writing situation and develop agency as readers and evaluators.
  • Conferencing: a practice where students invest, in community with their instructors and peers, in the deliberate process of reflecting on and revising drafts.

Drawing from instructors’ teaching portfolios and informal surveys, we match each of the core practices with reflections from IWP instructors. Finally, we propose practical strategies other UW instructors can apply in their own classrooms. We in the IWP have been refining these practices for decades, and student and instructor feedback consistently demonstrate their value. We hope, starting with this presentation, to shift the IWP’s status from one of UW’s “best kept secrets” to a campus-wide model for disciplinary writing instruction.

 

Poster #25. Research the Practices of a Discipline: An Innovative Doctoral Pedagogy

Jennifer Turns, Human Centered Design & Engineering, UW Seattle
Sarah Inman, Human Centered Design & Engineering, UW Seattle
Tom Wilson, Human Centered Design & Engineering, UW Seattle

Poster #25 abstract

The landscape for doctoral education is in flux. Changes, such as the emergence of new disciplines and varying modes of knowledge production, are creating opportunities for innovation in the practices of doctoral education (Boud and Lee, 2006). Boud and Lee suggest a need to systematically account for doctoral education practices and also wonder, “…should there be different kinds of education, new kinds of coursework…” (Boud and Lee, p. 2).

This poster will focus on an innovative and flexible doctoral pedagogy, “researching the practices of a discipline.” In this pedagogy, doctoral students are invited to participate in research on practices in their own discipline. What participating students end up learning is, in part, related to the disciplinary practices they are invited to study, the research approach used to study the practices, and their role in the research.

In this poster, we will provide snapshots of three instantiations of the “researching the practices of a discipline” pedagogy: (1) doctoral students in Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE) exploring the “dissertation completion practices” of recent graduates in HCDE-related disciplines, (2) doctoral graduate students in HCDE exploring the “scholarly writing practices” evidenced in 2016 best papers from two leading disciplinary conferences, and (3) geographically distributed graduate students interested in engineering education (i.e., graduate students from around the US) exploring the practices associated with “making educational change happen.” Treating each instantiation as a case, we will provide details on each case, highlight insights that accrued to participants in each case, and provide cross-case observations. For example, we learned that participants in the first and third cases enjoyed an increased sense of belonging to their discipline, and that participant in the second case were drawn to critically question aspects of the scholarly work of the discipline. We will also share a framework for configuring and enacting new instances of this pedagogy.

 

Poster #27. Two Active-Learning Teaching Approaches Converted from Lecture-Based Teaching

Laurie Anderson, Computing and Software Systems; School of STEM, UW Bothell
Subramanian Ramachandra, Physical Sciences; School of STEM, UW Bothell
Arkady Retik, Computing and Software Systems; School of STEM, UW Bothell

Poster #27 abstract

As part of the UWB Faculty Learning Community (FLC) Fellows, the Integrated Active Learning research group worked to figure out how best to restructure a traditional lectured-based course and a lab/ lecture course. Each course had their own challenges. In the physics lab, students came from varied backgrounds, yet they all needed to reach the same common understanding before the lab activities begin at week4. Due to resource constraints, common to upper level physics lab classes, each group would be performing different experiments at any given time. The software engineering (SE) course looked for alternative approaches to increase student learning of material covering complex engineering processes traditionally delivered in lectures. These topics can be especially difficult for students without practical team-based development experience. The physics lab used a discovery-based approach with pre-determined outcomes where the procedure was provided for some activities but not all. The SE course used constructivist-based learning approach combining problem and inquiry-based methods while simulating project activities performed in groups. As a result of the new physics approach, students were brought up to speed individually from wherever their background was, preparing them for the course labs conducted the last 6 weeks of the quarter. In the SE course, students engaged fully and found the material more interesting and comprehensible as they worked in groups mimicking a real work environment. These two active learning approaches have broad applications across other courses. For a lab course, instructors may appreciate the approach if their course focuses on experiments especially if students haven’t taken the same pre-requisite lecture courses. For traditional lecture-based courses, instructors may appreciate the business development process simulation approach where having students understand the concepts is difficult without trying them out.

 

Poster #29. Written Reflections for Student Workers: High-Impact Practices at Work

Madeline Mundt, Reference & Research Services/Research Commons, UW Seattle
Elliott Stevens, Reference & Research Services/Research Commons, UW Seattle

Poster #29 abstract

We will present a learning and training activity central to student employment in the UW Libraries Research Commons (RC). RC student workers are undergraduates employed in a library space that offers interdisciplinary programs and services designed primarily for graduate students. During paid work time, our student employees are required to engage in reflective writing activities. They respond to prompts asking them to think not only about the work they do but also about why they do it and how it affects them. Our prompts ask them to recall in writing specific on-the-job memories, to cast those memories into stories, and then to analyze those stories for meaning. This project is informed by high-impact educational practices (HIPs), which come out of George Kuh’s work on (curricular) teaching and learning. In librarian Jill Markoff’s writing about HIPs outside the classroom, she notes that campus employers have been hesitant to use HIPs as a framework for on-the-job learning. Our work begins to fill the gap she identifies. HIPs include practices such as writing-intensive instruction, collaborative work, and experiential learning–all elements that inform our reflective writing practice. This practice immediately began producing rich stories about our student employees and about the RC. We use the stories as case studies in meetings and one-on-one trainings, and through these stories, students can teach each other rather than passively absorb information from their supervisor. Further, we use these stories to recognize and learn from multiple perspectives in the RC and to celebrate students’ writing, their stories, learning, and growth. Other supervisors of student workers can apply what we will present about HIPs, student employment, and on-the-job teaching and learning. More broadly, anyone who wants to apply HIPs in co-curricular learning and holistic student development will also be interested, including student life and academic support professionals.

 

Poster #31. Vertical and Lateral Research Mentorship Program in Forensic Mental Health

Jennifer Piel, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UW Seattle
Edward Goldenberg, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UW Seattle

Poster #31 abstract

Topic: We have developed an interdisciplinary research course in the area of psychiatry and the law (also called forensic psychiatry).

Context: Trainees in multiple disciplines (medicine, social work, nursing, law, psychology, and psychiatry, among others) may participate in an elective course in psychiatry and the law. In addition to didactics on key concepts in forensic psychiatry and research, the course models vertical and lateral mentorship. Lateral mentorship occurs within a group of individuals with a shared commitment.1 Traditional vertical mentoring is from an expert to a mentee. Here, trainees are grouped into small mentorship teams with each team consisting of one faculty advisor and students from multiple disciplines. With the assistance of their mentorship team, each student designs and completes an individual research project.

Scholarly Basis: Based on survey, the course has received high ratings from participants. The feedback indicates that, by the end of the course, trainees had improved knowledge and comfort with key topics in forensic psychiatry; research design and development; and interdisciplinary collaboration. Open-ended comments promoted values in professional development, specifically teamwork and creating an academic network.

Results: For many medical school and other clinical programs, time constraints – for both trainees and faculty – limit the ability for mentored research endeavors. In this course, students obtain vertical (faculty) and lateral (peer) mentorship. The interdisciplinary approach promotes teamwork and enhances learning as trainees learn from differing perspectives.

Application: Although this course is focused around forensic psychiatry research, similar programs could focus on other areas of psychiatry or medicine. The program provides a model for collaborative research and mentorship for those wanting to continue in academic programs after graduation. Several trainees who have participated in the program continued to engage in research following completion of the training.

Reference: 1. Atwood-Blane D, et al. Lateral Mentoring. Available at http://cdres.pepperdine.edu/mentorct/cadre2/Lateral_Mentoring.pdf.

 

Poster #33. Integrating Metacognitive Activities Into a Discipline-Based Course

Brian Buchwitz, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #33 abstract

As biology instructors, we help to train educators, health professionals, researchers, and scientifically literate citizens. Accordingly, many of the core competencies identified in Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action (AAAS, 2011) relate to understanding the nature of science, applying the process of science, and communicating the findings of science. Moreover, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (National Academy of Sciences, 2011) highlights the need to grow a diverse STEM workforce. With these goals in mind, how can we, as instructors, guide students to “unpack” the processes of scientific inquiry and to “own” learning strategies that foster success in university science courses? A large body of research, summarized in How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (Bransford et al., 2000), indicates that metacognitive (i.e., thinking about one’s own thinking) instructional practices can empower students to monitor their own learning and to apply their knowledge and skills in new contexts. In this poster, we describe our integration of metacognitive activities into a biology course for diverse science pre-majors (BIOL 106). In essence, we coach students to use metacognitive learning strategies within a disciplinary context, asking them to reflect on both thinking within the discipline and approaches to studying. For example, we ask them to develop criteria that characterize well-formulated hypotheses and to apply these criteria to hypotheses formulated by themselves, their peers, or authors of published research papers. As another example, we ask students to reflect, after each exam, on their own performance and on relevant education research that can inform their learning strategies. These metacognitive activities provide opportunities for students to demystify the processes of scientific inquiry, to modify their learning strategies, and to share insights about their thought processes with their instructors.

 

Poster #35. Does Experiential Learning Improve Students Sustainability Knowledge, Behaviors, and Attitudes?

Kristi Straus, Program on the Environment, UW Seattle

Poster #35 abstract

Environment 239 (Sustainability: Personal Choices, Broad Impacts) is a UW Environmental Studies class (enrollment = 80 per quarter) designed to engage students in the study of sustainability. Students meet three times per week for lecture and discussion but the backbone of the course is experiential learning and reflective writing. Students complete four “personal sustainability activities” where they monitor or change their sustainability behavior and then reflect on that change through the dual lenses of academic material and personal experience. One activity requires students to physically carry their garbage and recycling for a week, a second requires them to interview an elder about consumption and life satisfaction and a third requires that they modify their eating habits for one week to be more in line with their own vision of a sustainable diet. Students design their own fourth activity to deeply explore an issue of their choosing. A subset of students also engage in service learning, working to further sustainability through partnerships with local NGOs. At the beginning and end of each quarter, students take an online survey to assess their sustainability knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes.

My research examines whether this experiential learning and reflective writing improves students’ sustainability knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes. I hypothesize that students of all demographic backgrounds and incoming majors will show similar gains and that service learners will show greater increases in sustainability knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes than students not participating in service learning. Results of pilot studies will be shared. If experiential learning around sustainability behavior combined with written reflection helps students to improve their sustainability content knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes than other environmental programs should be encouraged to adopt such course designs.

 

Poster #37. Measuring the Effectiveness of a Companion Course for General Chemistry

Cynthia Stanich, Department of Chemistry, UW Seattle
Elinore Theobald, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #37 abstract

The Chemistry Achievement Workshop (CHEM 192) is the companion course to the first quarter (CHEM 142) of the General Chemistry sequence, and has been designed to increase the retention of underrepresented students in STEM. We hypothesize that taking CHEM 192 with CHEM 142 experiencing increased performance and better affect. Students in CHEM 192 participate in weekly workshops facilitated by peer-mentors trained to assist students as they focus on three main skills. First, activities that address difficulties inherent in the transition from high school to college will endow students with more resilience toward stress and setbacks that can happen in large-lecture courses. Students complete weekly writing assignments and discuss various challenges as a class. Second, students practice study skills and metacognition to create self-aware learners better equipped to excel in the rest of the General Chemistry Sequence. Third, students develop confidence and self-efficacy while working together in small groups to practice higher-order problem solving. This poster presents initial data from the first quarter of CHEM 192 through tools created to measure differences in 1) affect as measured by the Project for Education Research That Scales survey and the Attitudes Toward the subject of Chemistry Inventory, 2) overall exam scores in CHEM 142, and 3) the Chemical Concept Inventory. The data were collected via online surveys at the beginning and end of the quarter and are used here to compare outcomes for students who registered for CHEM 192 and CHEM 142 and those who did not.

 

Poster #39. Individual and Group Quizzing Using IF-AT Forms to Encourage Peer Learning

Casey Self, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Karen Peterson, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #39 abstract

Students in Biol 119, Human Physiology Laboratory, often struggle with basic chemistry and physics concepts that are the foundation of human physiology. Student performance is particularly poor in problems dealing with the concept of diffusion. The initial mode of instruction was a short (5 min) powerpoint introduction to the concept followed by a laboratory exercise. The subsequent quarter, I implemented more active learning methods by removing the powerpoint presentation, providing a short introduction on the whiteboard and added an in-class activity using Instant Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT) forms. IF-AT forms are scratch-off multiple choice quizzes, scratching the correct answer reveals a star, providing instant feedback to the student. IF-AT activities were implemented at the end of the class period after completion of the day’s experiments. Students were first given a standard five question multiple choice quiz to take individually. Students then took the same five question quiz in a group using the IF-AT form. Students were not graded for their individual responses but received participation points for the IF-AT activities. Implementing active learning produced a 10% increase in scores on a diffusion exam question as compared to the previous year. The IF-AT group activity is an excellent way to engage the students and was an efficient method to clear up common misconceptions before students left the class. In accordance with previous studies, students reported enjoying the assignment. The IF-AT activity was a very small addition to my workload with potential to correct misunderstandings for all students but especially those that might not have had the opportunity to interact with the instructor directly. This activity has value in many small classroom and laboratory settings where students are required to build on or challenge existing knowledge. This activity may also have value in classrooms where individual attention from the instructor is difficult.

 

Poster #41. Pre-Service Teaching Technology to Improve Classroom Training in Elementary Schools

Scott Spaulding, Special Education, UW Seattle
Jarek Sierschynski, Education, UW Tacoma

Poster #41 abstract

Through partnerships with elementary schools, we developed a web-based coaching and collaboration application that helps educators implement individual-student behavior supports. Our app connects team members through a five-step process and delivers web-based training to guide teams with the application. Pilot data indicate school-based teams coordinate and implement the support process with fidelity. However, complex components still pose difficulty for team members. This last finding is not surprising, given these complex skills are taught to pre-service teachers as part of college coursework, a more rigorous learning context than that provided through our app training.

Given this background, our current research focuses on how to concurrently integrate one and the same tool, both into the curriculum of our University of Washington teacher candidates and in their workplaces post-graduation. We want to analyze the effect of the behavior support technology on the performance of masters’-level students in a behavior support planning course.

Participants in our study are master’s-level college students, enrolled in a course on developing comprehensive behavior supports for grade-school children. We include students in face-to-face courses and synchronous online instruction. We integrate the application by assigning students to simulated school-based teams, and having each team complete a behavior intervention in the application using a case study. This occurs at the beginning (pre-test) and end (posttest) of the course to measure effectiveness. In addition, team plans are scored for quality, and teams receive feedback using a coaching feature in the app. Finally, teams use video training modules to coach others and make data-based decisions about plans.

Results from this work will inform our larger research agenda and may have implications for other disciplines: modifying our web application so teachers (our students) can benefit from training that begins in college courses and concludes in their workplaces, seamlessly connecting learning and working environments.

 

Poster #43. Study Resources of Undergraduate Students in Introductory Biology

Osman Salahuddin, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Sarah Farrell, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Mary Pat Wenderoth, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Jennifer Doherty, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #43 abstract

We investigated how grading treatment – self-evaluation versus peer-evaluation – on weekly practice exams (PE) in an Introductory Biology course affects the advice students give to improve academic performance. We asked a two part-question: how does this treatment impact the study resources that students suggest, and how do these suggested resources impact a student’s overall course grade? We hypothesize that students who suggest more resources and study strategies will perform better on course exams because they are aware of how improvements need to be made.

Students in the class (approximately 550) take a PE on Thursday and then grade the PE responses on Friday. The grading groups were split into two treatments: half of the class self-evaluated whereas the other half evaluated their peers’ responses. In addition, they were prompted to answer two questions in their PE: 1) Pick a single thing that you/this student should work on. What is it? and 2) What resource should they consult before the next exam? We used this information to explore how study strategies and resources that students suggest relate to their test scores. Initial results indicate that the students’ responses fall into four bins for question 1 and two sets of categories for question 2. When asked to provide ways to improve PE performance, students focused on being descriptive, increasing content, interpreting the question, and time management. When providing resources, the two categories were active versus passive resources and expert, peer, and self resources.

Over 10 weeks, students who suggested more strategies and resources tended to perform better on exams. As well, both self-evaluators and women in the course suggested more strategies and resources than the peer-evaluators and men respectively. Given this study, instructors can better understand what resources students are utilizing but also which study strategies tend to be more successful for students.

 

Poster #45. A Literature Review Is “About the Literature”: Genre Learning in a Geography Course

Misty Anne Winzenried, Odegaard Writing & Research Center, UW Seattle

Poster #45 abstract

Scholarship on Writing in the Disciplines and Writing Studies suggests that students frequently report difficulty when learning to write in their majors (Beaufort, 2007; McCarthy, 1987). However, few studies have provided an in-depth examination of the learning and writing processes of students at the point of transition into their majors. This poster presentation investigates the question “What strategies do students use for learning to write the genres central to their majors, and what challenges do they experience?” I present findings from a completed dissertation study examining how students negotiated what it meant to write in a junior-level writing course in the geography major. Through a qualitative, ethnographic case study involving class observation, interviews with instructors and students, and analysis of student writing, I analyzed the resources students used and the processes by which they developed their understandings of writing a genre central to the field of geography: the literature review. This poster presents an overview of the meaning-making strategies students used and a discussion of the challenges they experienced in learning to write the literature review. Ultimately, I found that students were creative and resourceful in seeking out models and supports in their writing processes, but at times they struggled with knowing how to enact the rhetorical moves that signaled to their instructor and TAs that they had taken up the genre in discipline- and course-appropriate ways (Nowacek, 2011; Soliday, 2011; Wilder, 2012). For instructors and TAs of writing in the disciplines, I present recommendations for using models and sample papers to effectively teach disciplinary genres in ways that unmask disciplinary genre characteristics and thinking practices for students.

 

Poster #47. A Theoretical Examination of Humility in Transformative Music Education

William J. Coppola, School of Music/Music Education, UW Seattle

Poster #47 abstract

The success of any artist relies upon a resilient level of self-confidence that allows him or her to compellingly conduct their craft. Sonic proclaimers of a performative art form, musicians are certainly such wielders of confidence and conviction. Yet, anecdotal commentaries of the out-of-control ego arise from everyday conversations of lived musical experiences: tales of arrogant instrumentalists, diva sopranos, and egomaniacal conductors are among many shared images of practicing musicians. It becomes apparent that the inherently self-interested ego, which allows musicians to commit to a musical experience, also paradoxically threatens their ability to sustain the interpersonal relationships required for broader sociomusical engagements. Further, Paulo Freire (1970/2010) challenges the inherently elitist relationships existing between teachers and students—wherein educators innocuously become “teachers-as-oppressors”—and instead proposes a more egalitarian approach to teaching and learning through humility. Thus, inspired by the writings of Freire and framed through the perspective of music education, the purpose of this poster is to theoretically challenge the ways in which egoism and humility govern sociomusical interactions within the school setting. It further posits how the development of humility in musical participation may serve as an archetype for the attainment of transformative knowledge (Banks, 1996) in all educational pursuits. The results of this theoretical research lead to an epistemological reframing of the goals of music education, such that teachers are encouraged to shift their focus towards the saliency of the sociomusical engagement as being the most fundamental evaluative principle to be measured. Implications for education-through-humility in other academic disciplines and society at-large are also examined. Through these perspectives, with the virtue of humility shared among both teachers and students, the pernicious social constructs of elitism and egoism may be eschewed, allowing for social transformation to take place on the bandstand, in the classroom, and in the community.

 

Poster #49. Peer vs. Self Grading of Practice Exams: Which is Better?

Mallory Jackson, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Alina Tran, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Mary Pat Wenderoth, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Jennifer Doherty, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #49 abstract

Student-graded practice exams (PEs) are useful for facilitating learning in large classrooms. In a large introductory biology class, we investigated the impact of self or peer-grading of PEs. We hypothesized that students who graded their own PEs would grade more accurately than peer graders because they are more motivated and reflective in their grading. Ultimately, this could lead to increased performance on course exams.

One question from each week’s PE was graded by a team of experts. We calculated PE grading accuracy by comparing the expert grade to the grade assigned by the student. We analyzed the correlation of PE grading accuracy with exam performance. For each metric we investigated the impact of treatment, incoming GPA, and student demographics using general linear models.

Incoming GPA was the only significant predictor of expert PE grade with GPA positively correlated with expert PE grade. There was a significant interaction between incoming GPA and treatment on grading accuracy. Students with high GPAs who graded peers slightly underestimated their peers’ PE performance. Students with lower GPAs who graded peers overestimated their peers’ PE performance. Students who graded their own PEs slightly overestimated their PE performance regardless of incoming GPA. EOP students who graded peers overestimated their peers’ performance to a greater extent than non-EOP peer-graders. However, there was no impact of treatment on course exams.

Overall, student peer and self-graders award more points than instructors; therefore, instructors may need to help students focus on interpreting rubrics. Given these findings and the logistical complications of peer-grading in large classes, instructors can use the more easily administered self-grading method of providing feedback on low-stakes practice exams. If instructors opt to use peer-grading, they will need to provide more support to low GPA and EOP students who are less accurate graders than average to high GPA students.

 

Poster #51. Non-traditional assignments to assess learning: photos and social media posts

Ursula Valdez, Environmental Sciences, UW Bothell

Poster # 51 abstract

Recent studies are showing a greater disconnection between students of all ages and the outdoors, and that there are less opportunities for observation of natural processes that happen even in their backyards. The challenge to engage college students is not any easier, and I have been working on incorporating first hand exploration and observations of the natural world in my courses. I have started teaching introductory Natural history courses that are offered to majors and non-majors. My goal is to increase interest and knowledge of the key ecological processes happening around us, which are so critical for the survival of humans and other species. In particular, I am interested in getting students engaged in the use of traditional methods of observations and note taking (i.e. naturalist journals), but also incorporating current technology and social media that is so present in student’s lives. Through the use of naturalist illustrations and hand-written notes on personal observations, as well as postings in social media, my students incorporate detailed information and deep reflections that demonstrate that high learning is achieved. The content and connections established in short stories and reflections that accompany the visual material that students produce, give me an opportunity to assess their progress in different topics covered in the course. In my presentation, I plan to provide examples of the learning progress of my students, their visual work, and my reflections on how effective these teaching practices have been. While not all my students will become biologists or naturalists, I hope that the observational skills gained as well as those skills to produce good, engaging stories and visuals would help them in other career paths they follow.

 

Poster #53. Gamification and Flipping the Large Classroom

Bob Boiko, Information School, UW Seattle

Poster #53 abstract

Topic and Context:

Intro to Social Networking Technologies (INFO 101) is an iSchool class for lower division students. Over the last 5 years, we have developed and honed a gamified, flipped, scaffolded, automated and data driven learning system that uses next generation technology to teach over 450 students per year about the systems they use.

Scholarship: We have tested and refined new practice around:

•Flipping: Course content is presented as videos with summary transcripts and questions alongside. We also flipped the standard model for a 5-unit class by offering 4 hours of small class (focused on performance) and one hour of big class (focused on motivation and exhibition).

•Gamification. We implement the gaming concepts of challenge, level-up, experience points (XP), badges, leader boards, coopetition, do-overs and, of course, fun.

•Writing. Over 40 pages of writing is required for this course. A detailed rubric and remediation instructions back each essay which is peer reviewed and evaluated 3 times.

•Motivation. “Expected” levels of attainment allow internally motivated students to go as fast as they like while providing a schedule of required activities for students who prefer external motivation.

•Scaling and automation. We automate much of the grading of the course. What can’t be automated is scaffolded so that TA’s can perform over 2000 evaluative events per quarter.

•Evaluation. We balance quality and quantity. The higher the student quality, the lower the quantity of work a student has to do to get a 4.0.

Results: Our students complete over twice as much work as the previous version of the course. They consistently do 10- 30% more work than is needed to get an A.

Application: The models and methods above (and more) can be applied across courses with or without technology mediation. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how.

 

Poster session #2 (even- numbered posters)- 3:45-4:30 PM

Poster #2. Triangulating Truth: A Media Literacy Toolkit for a “Post-Truth” World

Jessica Albano, Government Publications, Map, Microforms and Newspapers Division, Suzzallo & Allen Libraries, UW Seattle

Poster #2 abstract

There has been much post-election attention to the topic of “fake news,” but for the past decade and more, research has pointed to the importance of helping students think more critically about not just scholarly information, but information sources they encounter “in the wild” – on news sites, embedded in Buzzfeed quizzes, and, increasingly prominently, in their social media feeds. The need for students to critically evaluate their sources of information has been a topic concerning librarians for a long time, but now it appears to be gaining increased currency outside of libraries. We argue that the skills of searching for and evaluating information cannot be imparted in a one-shot “trip to the library” experience, but must be acquired through continued practice and application in the context of their course work. Based on our work with class instructors at UW (most notably in Communication, Sociology, the Expository Writing Program, the Integrated Writing Program, and First Year Programs), this poster will provide tools, tips, and model assignments to help course instructors to integrate media literacy and source evaluation into their courses more explicitly, and to make students accountable for the quality of information they employ in their assignments.

 

Poster #4. Problem Based Learning in Practice: A Case Study

Francesca Collins, School of Public Health, Department of Health Services, Community-Oriented Public Health Practice Program, UW Seattle

Poster #4 abstract

Students in the University of Washington’s Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) degree program will present a real case used fall quarter in our program’s health policy course. For this case, all 25 students researched the policy aspects of early childhood education. Groups of 8-9 students worked on separate case deliverables: a legislative Health Impact Review; a recommendation to lawmakers about what to include in preschool legislation; and a policy statement for the American Public Health Association. We learned about the importance of early childhood education in relation to physical, mental, social, and economic benefits. We learned how to navigate and influence policymakers on a local, state, and national level through written communication and oral presentation.

This case exemplifies how Problem-Based Learning (PBL) can be used as an effective adult teaching practice (Vernon & Blake, 1993). In COPHP, faculty teach entirely through PBL case studies to encourage student-centered learning that deepens the understanding of public health topics in tangible ways. PBL is also employed widely in other fields as a beneficial pedagogy for all learners (Dechambeau & Ramlo, 2017; Argaw 2017). This educational style is aligned with principles of constructivism – understanding that it can increase students’ “motivation, encouragement to set goals, [and] think critically about decision making in day-to-day operations” (Preeti et al, 2013). This self-directed, collaborative, and contextual learning is especially helpful for students, prompting the development of lifelong skills for practical application in the workforce (Dechambeau & Ramlo, 2017; Knowles, 1975).

A meta-analysis of PBL programs from 1970-1992 shows PBL outscores non-PBL programs on test scores, faculty attitudes, student mood, class attendance, academic process variables, and measures of humanism (Vernon & Blake, 1993). PBL is an educational strategy employed in many learning environments due to its effective promotion of critical thinking, practical learning, and intellectual stimulation and curiosity (Argaw, 2017; Preeti et al, 2013). In this presentation, students in a PBL-based program will demonstrate the merit of the pedagogy and encourage others to adopt its approaches.

 

Poster #6. Toy Adaptation: an Initial Investigation Into Participant Experience and Perceptions

Molly Mollica, Department of Bioengineering, UW Seattle
Heather Feldner, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UW Seattle
Anat Caspi, Department of Computer Science & Engineering UW Seattle
Kat Steele, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UW Seattle
Dianne Hendricks, Department of Bioengineering, UW Seattle

Poster #6 abstract

Service learning is a powerful educational method and projects with clear engineering-service components commonly attract a higher percentage of students from underrepresented groups. In this in-progress research on teaching and learning project, we examine the impact of initial efforts teaching toy adaptation. Adaptation of an electronic toy involves opening the toy, examining its circuit, and adding an additional alternative activation switch. Rather than activating the toy as originally designed (e.g. pushing a small button), this alternative switch allows the toy users to activate the toy with their unique abilities such as moving one finger, biting, or tilting one’s head. While participants conducting this toy adaptation learn concepts such as universal design, circuitry, and reverse engineering as well as technical skills such as soldering and use of hand tools, this process also demonstrates the impact that engineering can have because it makes developmentally important toys accessible to individuals with disabilities. At two volunteer toy adaptation events, data were collected through an IRB approved, anonymous questionnaire. Participants included students (high school, undergraduate, and graduate), clinicians, and other community members and the survey asked about the experience and perceptions of engineering, rehabilitation, universal design, and disability. Results so far suggest the participants overwhelmingly enjoy the toy adaptation experience, that it helps participants see how engineering can have a direct impact on people, and that it helps participants feel more connected to engineering. While this study is still in-progress, we ultimately hope to examine how effectively toy adaptation teaches or influences the aforementioned concepts, technical skills, perceptions, and motivations. We also hope to examine whether toy adaptation influences some demographics differently than others. The ultimate application of this work is examining how a hands-on, tangibly impactful project influences perceptions of a field and knowledge within that field, which we believe is relevant between disciplines.

 

Poster #8. Gender Justice in the Writing Center: Engaging Gender-Neutral Pronouns

Karen Rosenberg, Writing and Communication Center, UW Bothell
Laura Burgher, Writing and Communication Center, UW Bothell
Colin Davis, Writing and Communication Center, UW Bothell
Erik Echols, Writing and Communication Center, UW Bothell

Poster #8 abstract

Two years ago, staff at the Writing and Communication Center (WaCC) at UW Bothell began integrating gender-neutral pronouns (such as “they” or “xe”) into our practice to send a message of inclusivity: that the WaCC respects students of all genders. We chose to focus on the theory and practice of gender-neutral pronouns as a way to support students who do not identify with the gender binary; to highlight the fluid and constructed nature of both grammar and gender; and to promote gender justice at UW Bothell (see, for example, Wayne 2005). The WaCC staff of twenty peer consultants serves all students in the UW Bothell community. The staff engaged in several activities to integrate gender-neutral pronouns into our practice. We created posters for our services that included gender-neutral pronouns and put them up around campus. We trained our staff on when and how to use gender-neutral pronouns during tutoring sessions. We invited staff to share their pronouns and printed them on their staff name tags and bios. Erik Echols, the WaCC manager, had one-on-one meetings with peer consultants so they could voice questions and concerns. For the most part, we received positive feedback on this work from students, staff, and faculty. However, between late October, 2016 and January, 2017, 9 posters were anonymously defaced, with the gender-neutral pronouns crossed out. We interpret this vandalism as part of the rise in hate speech and actions since the 2016 presidential election. Our initial dedication to supporting students of all genders must be expanded to respond to the current charged climate. We are joining with other groups on campus and beyond to create pedagogical encounters that affirm our values of respect and inclusion, and provide avenues for increased dialogue.

 

Poster #10. Graphical Learning Objective Decomposition: A Method for Transparent Course Development

Molly Blank, Bioengineering, UW Seattle

Poster #10 abstract

It is well-understood that student learning can be promoted by clearly-articulated learning objectives that align with assignments, exercises, and means of evaluation; however, motivations to develop such alignments outweigh readily-available resources to translate these concepts into practice. Instructors are thus tasked with the development of syllabi and day-to-day plans that reflect pedagogically-robust course continuity while working with practical constraints such as time pressure or even inexperience. This work proposes a method of visual syllabus development that adapts a functional decomposition-type concept map to coursework that helps the instructor develop and visualize activities, deliverables, and grading schema that are each explicitly connected to a course’s learning objectives. This graphical learning objective decomposition includes two steps: first, functional decomposition; which is the process of breaking larger concepts into modular sub-components to dissect learning objectives into discrete teachable units. The second step is the development of coursework to address each functional piece of the overall learning objective. This poster details an anecdotal case of a visual syllabus that was developed for a masters level engineering design course in Bioengineering. This case demonstrates the decomposition of the course’s three key learning objectives in personal/professional development, technical skill development, and design process knowledge/understanding. First, these three ideas were broken into discrete learning modules reflected in a concept map. The instructor then used this map to plan and visualize specific course activities including in-class exercises and lectures. Each class activity for the quarter could be explicitly tied to the broader learning objectives, providing students with transparency and justification for course content. The Graphical Learning Objective Decomposition method provides instructors with a simple framework that can reduce the burden of new course development while supporting good structure and scaffolding.

 

Poster #12. Reflection Activities to Enhance Learning in STEM

Ken Yasuhara, Engineering Teaching & Learning, UW Seattle
Cindy Atman, Human Centered Design & Engineering, UW Seattle
David Masuda, Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, UW Seattle
Karen Thickman, Bioengineering, UW Seattle

Poster #12 abstract

When students reflect—or dedicate time to revisit and learn from past experiences—they can gain more from their educational experiences and be better prepared for future action. Reflection’s capacity to enhance learning from experience makes it a critical component of successful active and experiential learning. These modes of learning are increasingly popular in STEM fields, as manifest in lab courses, capstones, internships, and research experiences. More generally, reflection is necessary for transfer, where the learner identifies as relevant, adapts, and applies prior knowledge or skills to novel contexts. Finally, for metacognition and lifelong learning, reflection is an important tool for self-assessment of competency and understanding, as well as for monitoring the effectiveness of learning strategies.

This poster represents a collaboration of UW STEM educators interested in sharing and discussing reflection activities they use in their undergraduate and graduate courses. These educators cite a variety of benefits of facilitating student reflection. In some cases, the reflection activity serves as a formative assessment of sorts, informing the educator of the effectiveness of prior learning activities. In others, students practice reflection in service of motivation and lifelong learning, connecting learning activities to personal values and experiences and recognizing how the activities contribute to their development as responsible professionals. Each featured reflection activity is accompanied by the respective educator’s account of the activity’s benefits and their advice for successful implementation. By showcasing local STEM educators’ reflection activities with concrete details and “behind the scenes” rationale and advice, we hope to stimulate discussion about the myriad functions reflection can play in learning and how reflection activities can be adapted and incorporated into our respective educational contexts.

 

Poster #14. Group Experience Impacts Individual Performance

Elli Theobald, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Alison Crowe, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #14 abstract

Active learning in college STEM classes frequently hinges on small, informal groups. However, these groups can vary in functionality, ranging from true collaboration and cooperation to a single individual dominating and instructing the other group members. We asked whether this variation in group interaction impacts certain undergraduate students more than others. Specifically, 1) does reporting that a single student dominated the group, reporting being comfortable, or working with a friend help or hinder content mastery, and 2) can an intentionally constructed, high-structure in-class group activity mitigate some of the impacts? In a large-enrollment introductory biology course, we asked students pre-validated questions about group function after two types of in-class group activities: 1) working through an assignment together for an entire class period, or 2) a jigsaw  activity wherein students first mastered content, then joined mixed-expertise groups  to teach peers specific parts of the assignment. We analyzed the impact of declaring the presence of a dominator, the feeling of comfort, or working with a friend on course performance, as well as the impact of

 

Poster #16. Creating Inclusive Research Instruction for International Students

Nicole Arnold, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, UW Seattle
Sarah Schroeder, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, UW Seattle

Poster #16 abstract

Our project will share best practices for helping international students learn to think critically about information resources. These best practices are based on existing research, as well as our experiences as library instructors. Approximately 15% of UW Seattle students identify as international students, and they are represented in all disciplines. These students have a variety of perspectives and educational backgrounds, and instructors aren’t always aware of the challenges that international students face in American college classrooms. Many international students interpret concepts like credibility, authority, and practices of citation differently than their American peers. These differences can put international students at a disadvantage when being evaluated by instructors rooted in Western teaching practices.

As library instructors, we strive to be aware of how students outside of the United States have been educated and evaluated. We acknowledge their experiences with research assignments, databases, and libraries. Part of our role is to engage students in conversations centered around credibility, scholarly authority, and information evaluation. When working with international students, we encourage them to build upon the knowledge they gained before studying at the University of Washington, and bring their perspectives to conversations about the research process. We create a safe space that welcomes conversation and avoids privileging American knowledge. This challenges all students to broaden their understanding of scholarship and credibility.

For the University of Washington to better support international and domestic students, instructors must constantly reevaluate their approaches to teaching the research process. Not enough research is available to UW instructors about international pedagogy, making this a prime opportunity for further research. Our goal is to gain a better understanding of students’ prior knowledge, so that we can build our curriculum accordingly. This poster will identify best practices for creating inclusive conversations and fostering diverse student scholarship.

 

Poster #18. A Case Study in Counterhegemonic STEM Education in The Math Science Leadership Program

Dominic Jay Crisostomo, Pre-College Outreach, UW Tacoma
Jarek Siershynski, School of Education, UW Tacoma

Poster #18 abstract

We are presently in the last stages of developing a culture-centered technology curriculum for one of six STEM project themes in the Math Science Leadership program (MSL) at UW Tacoma. The curriculum development is part of a larger community-based design research project that seeks to transform STEM education in Tacoma. In a 3-week long summer program for grades 7-12, MSL brings together youth who are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM disciplines with technologies, students and teachers from the university and the neighboring community. Our two research questions that guide our work are: (1) what aspects of technologies are able to reflect identities and cultures of non-dominant students and (2) what are culturally consequential technologies and teaching practices in our local community silenced by dominant educational spaces? These questions inform the design of a new program that tries to counter dominant practices and concepts tied to STEM learning and technology integration. At the heart of the curriculum are standards developed by Alaska Native educators, standards, deeply rooted in local culture, local knowledge as well as in knowing history, culture bearers, and understanding of place. To assess the impact of the curriculum and technology on students, we will rely on self-recorded videos, semi-structured interviews and focus groups as well as on autoethnographic data. Though still in the design process, our initial results presented here indicate that through the collaboration with community members, we have begun the slow process of decolonization of STEM practices and definitions. Given the past and present threats to public education and continued oppression of non-dominant groups, we highlight a model of how to serve underserved youth through identifying culture and identity-linked technologies making the university a more public, permeable and antiracist place for its non-dominant community members.

 

Poster #20. Student Perception and Response to Feedback on Writing Assignments

Brandon Finley, Physical Sciences Division, School of STEM, UW Bothell
Sarita Shukla, School of Educational Studies, UW Bothell
Heather Galindo, Physical Sciences Division, School of STEM, UW Bothell
Linda Watts, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell

Poster #20 abstract

Students receive a variety of critiques, reviews, comments, and grades on their written work. This feedback is viewed by educators as a critical component of skill development and learning, but understanding how it is perceived and used by students is often overlooked. We will collect data to answer the question “how do students perceive and use feedback on writing assignments?” To gather this valuable information, we are developing an online student survey that can be implemented in courses with writing assignments across different disciplines and student year classes. This survey includes quantitative and qualitative measures related to student perception of, response to, and use of instructor and peer feedback on writing assignments. A single survey model has several advantages – easy implementation for instructors, consistent questions and scales for direct comparison of responses, and leveraging an extremely diverse UW Bothell student population. Results from pilot surveys administered across two quarters in courses focused on education, chemistry, and scientific writing will inform how well this method can be applied across disciplines. Our results will also illuminate ways to implement changes in the survey for more widespread application. Ultimately, the results of the survey will help faculty explore ways to improve the feedback experience for students and to improve student success in using feedback in their own work. Our aim is to both improve student learning and skill development, while also potentially reducing feedback burden on instructors by understanding what feedback is most helpful and relevant.

 

Poster #22. Implementing an Intervention for Test Anxiety in a Biology Classroom

Jennifer Doherty, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Mary Pat Wenderoth, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #22 abstract

Test anxiety is common in college. Though some level of anxiety is productive, high levels negatively impact academic performance on exams. The proposed mechanism is that anxious thoughts occupy available space in working memory, thus diminishing cognitive capacity. Expressive writing is an intervention shown to decrease the impact of test anxiety in the cognitive laboratory and a 9th-grade classroom. Expressive writing involves students writing for 5-10 minutes in response to a prompt directing them to express their thoughts and feelings regarding the upcoming exam. To investigate the feasibility of using the expressive writing intervention in a large lecture course and to discover students’ thoughts prior to taking exams, we implemented the intervention in a large introductory biology course. Students (~100) were given 5 minutes to respond to the expressive writing prompt on a cover page of each exam. After 5 minutes students were instructed to rip off the cover sheet, crumple it up, throw it into the closest aisle and begin the test. Even though they could not start the exam early, students only spent ~2 minutes writing. Students were able to throw the crumpled paper into an aisle so clean up was reasonably accomplished during the exam. Interestingly, crumpling and throwing papers seemed to dissipate tension and created a more relaxed atmosphere in the classroom evidenced by laughing and paper airplanes. We assigned the anonymous student writing into diverse categories (e.g., doodling, pep talks, course content, anxious). We were interested to see the variation in responses which could reflect the variety of ways students approach exams. We suggest instructors consider using this intervention to decrease the impact of test anxiety. We found the implementation logistics manageable and that reading the students thoughts about the exam made us more empathetic to their experiences as students in our classroom.

 

Poster #24. Reflection Enhances Student Engagement in the Bioengineering Honors Program

Dianne Hendricks, Bioengineering, UW Seattle

Poster #24 abstract

Reflection is a process in which one examines current or past experiences, and then uses this to inform future actions. This work describes the novel implementation of reflection to enhance student experience in the Bioengineering Honors Program, in which students complete a leadership-based seminar (BIOEN 410) and address needs in the bioengineering community through year-long team service projects.

Over the past three years, the instructor has increased both the frequency and scaffolding of reflection. To scaffold individual written reflection, the connection to learning objectives is clearly defined and includes supporting class discussions and assignments. The instructor observes striking improvements in overall student engagement and team service project implementation, and these observations are supported by student feedback. In addition, these efforts seem to make reflection more enjoyable for the students. Finally, the increased frequency and quality of reflection provide valuable formative assessment for the instructor.

Several indicators of student engagement are considered, including: 1) Perceived student engagement based on instructor observations and informal student feedback; 2) Quantitative analysis of student activity, including timely submission of assignments, participation in online discussion board, and length of reflections; and 3) End-of-course student surveys. Team service project implementation was assessed by: 1) Outcomes of team service projects and quality of project deliverables; 2) Instructor’s interactions in team check-in meetings; and 3) Content of student reflections during design and implementation of project.

In conclusion, these innovations in reflection in the Bioengineering Honors Program seem to improve student engagement in the program overall, and promote better design and implementation of year-long team service projects. The scholarly teaching practice described here can be applied to courses and program in other disciplines, as the majority of the reflection activities ask students to examine meaningful experiences that are not discipline-specific.

 

Poster #26. Engaging Students and Enhancing Learning: Flipping Synchronous Online Courses

Karen Thickman, Bioengineering, UW Seattle

Poster #26 abstract

As the UW mission expands, more courses are being offered in a fully distance learning online format, including in the Department of Bioengineering. Here, I present the structure and activities being used for two fully online courses in the Master in Pharmaceutical Bioengineering program with a synchronous online meeting each week.

The challenges associated with lectures identified in literature, including low student engagement, lack of interactivity, and loss of focus, are exacerbated in an online format. Many in-person courses have moved toward active learning and flipped classroom models to address these concerns. Online courses with a synchronous component are an ideal setting for a flipped classroom. Enrollees in these courses frequently anticipate recorded material, so there is little pushback against using recorded lectures for content delivery. This allows the synchronous time to be spent in small-group active learning activities and full-course discussions. Students have found this combination of recorded lectures and “in-class” discussion and problem solving to be useful. In surveys and reviews, some students have indicated that this format is even more effective than traditional, in-person course formats.

Research has shown that students learn more through peer teaching, and that a sense of community often leads to greater learning. Building community is especially challenging when students are not physically together, but the synchronous component of my courses aids in this. During the synchronous sessions, most of our time is spent in small-group discussions of problems. Each week the members of these groups change, so students get to know many of their peers. In focus group–like discussions, students expressed that this allows them to build a sense of community within the course.

The course structure detailed in this poster is transferrable to many different disciplines, and helps to address some of the challenges faced with distance learning formats.

 

Poster #28. Changing Institutional Culture by Crafting an Anti-Racism Statement

Rebecca Disrud, UWT Writing Center, UW Tacoma
Asao Inoue, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Writing Studies, UW Tacoma
Tori Olive, UWT Writing Center, UW Tacoma

Poster # 28 abstract

This poster presentation will share the collaborative process our peer writing consultants and professional staff went through to write an anti-racism and inclusion statement for the UW Tacoma Writing Center. Our university already has expressed a strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity, but we felt it would be productive to translate those general ideas to our specific learning environment with input from the students and staff who actually embody the mission. Additionally, we wanted to communicate our commitment to specific anti-racist values (as opposed to general “diversity” values) to our students and to our larger field (in our case, other writing centers). Smaller groups, like departments, can often change their culture more deftly than universities as a whole through collaborative processes like this one.

Our writing center employs 15 “peer tutors” (undergraduate and graduate students), four professional staff with graduate degrees, and a faculty director, and serves students at all university levels from across the disciplines, many of whom are non-native English speakers. Like any collaborative project, the process for writing our statement was not straightforward and we encountered some resistance from professional staff. The presentation will describe our process for gathering and synthesizing ideas and crafting the statement, as well as the ways we dialogued with staff, for those who want to replicate the project. We will also describe the local effects of our statement and the national attention has received.

Our statement is the product of our discussions but the process was informed by scholarship both on facilitating dialogues about race and on institutional racism in higher education and writing programs, including “From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces” (Arao & Clemens, 2013), essays from Writing Centers and the New Racism (Greenfield & Rowan, 2011), and Racism without Racists (Bonilla-Silva, 2006).

 

Poster #30. Making Online Learning Accessible to all Students: Tips for Instructors

Sheryl Burgstahler, College of Education/UW-IT, UW Seattle

Poster #30 abstract

As federal legislation seeks to ensure equal access to educational opportunities for people with disabilities and increasing numbers of learning opportunities are delivered online, there is an urgent need for the design and delivery of online content and engagement mechanisms that are welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by disabilities. More than twenty civil rights complaints about inaccessible IT, including IT used in online learning, that have resulted in resolutions between postsecondary institutions and the federal government. Washington State Policy #188 on IT Accessibility and the IT Accessibility Policy for the UW (see www.uw.edu/accessibility/policy/) underscore the importance of dealing with this issue proactively.

This poster will share assistive technologies they use (e.g., screen readers with voice synthesizers, alternative keyboards), challenges students with disabilities face in online activities, and strategies instructors can employ to make the vision of full inclusion a reality. The poster will share the definition and principles of universal design, published research and practice that informs the universal design of instruction framework in higher education (e.g., Burgstahler, 2015), further research needed in the field, tips for applying universal design to online courses, and resources. Research and practice demonstrate how the universal design of online learning activities can benefit all students. For example, captioning videos benefits students who are deaf, but also students who are English language learners and students who simply want to know the spelling of words spoken by speakers in a video presentation.

 

Poster #32. Evidence-Based Teaching Initiative at University of Washington

Mary Pat Wenderoth, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Katie Kirkland, Provost’s Office, UW Seattle

Poster #32 abstract

There have been national calls to incorporate more active learning or evidence based teaching in the college classroom as research has shown this method increases student learning as compared to traditional lecturing. In early 2015, the Provost sponsored the implementation of the Evidence-Based Teaching Initiative. Evidence-based teaching (EBT) methods are those classroom teaching techniques for which there is evidence in the primary literature to support their effectiveness for improving student learning. The inaugural group of four EBT Fellows meet biweekly with a Coach with expertise in EBT to discuss the literature and visited courses implementing EBT. Fellows visiting these classrooms noted that classrooms were full, and the students were deeply engaged with course material instead of being distracted by Facebook. This shared experience of visiting innovative classes began to create a community of practice to support the Fellows as they began to make small changes in their courses. In winter an additional eight faculty became EBT Fellows and another eight faculty enrolled in spring. In autumn 2016, the EBT Initiative formalized to have two cohorts, an Exploration and an Implementation cohort. The Exploration cohort met biweekly to discuss EBT methods, challenges and barriers to change and visited classes using EBT methods. The Implementation cohort consisted of Fellows who had completed at least a quarter in the Exploration phase and who were in the process of incorporating incremental changes toward EBT in their classes. The EBT initiative also instituted a mentoring ladder whereby faculty who had been through both phases of the program could move into Co-coaching and eventually Coaching positions. This provided some faculty with the opportunity for professional advancement within their departments. To date 47 faculty from 23 different departments from the three UW campuses have gained training in incorporating Evidence-based Teaching methods in their classrooms.

 

Poster #34. Implementing Substance Use Disorder Curriculum for UW Family Medicine Residents

Jennifer Maxwell, Family Medicine, UWMC
Matthew Isles-Shih, Psychiatry, UWMC
Valerie Ross, Family Medicine, UWMC
Dan Evans, Family Medicine, UWMC

Poster # 34 abstract

From 2000 to 2011, rates of drug-induced deaths were higher in Washington than the national average and both have increased over time. Substance abuse is a large problem that affects the health of patients and society, yet primary care providers are ill equipped to adequately treat addiction. Physicians are more likely to practice or treat certain conditions if they received this training in residency (Suzuki,2014). Currently there is a lack of organized curriculum around substance use disorder in the UW Family Medicine Residency. We hope that through curricular changes, UW family medicine graduates will be more likely to treat substance use disorders in the future. This new curriculum design uses approved curriculum guidelines and objectives through the American Academy of Family Physicians, longitudinal didactic teaching in all three training years, with intensive practice time during the resident’s outpatient psychiatry month, and integrated practice in each resident’s clinic. Creation of a co-located addictions clinic with direct supervision from an addiction specialty trained psychiatrist was key in creating appropriate learning opportunities for family medicine residents. This was modeled after the Collaborate Care model from the IMPACT study where there is a psychiatrist within a family medicine clinic who assists with diagnosis and treatment of common psychiatric conditions. Through this implementation and curriculum design we learned about the barriers in forming a co-located clinic within a residency-training site and the difficulties with teaching new techniques that educators themselves are not comfortable with yet. This type of model can be used to teach any skill-based competency particularly competencies where there is a lack of proficient educators in the field.

 

Poster #36. Designing and Implementing an Introductory Biology Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience

Joya Mukerji, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Katie J. Dickinson, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Peter Conlin, Department of Biology, UW Seattle
Kelly Hennessey, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster # 36 abstract

Previous studies have shown that students who perform experimental research are more likely to: 1) improve their critical thinking abilities and understanding of how science is conducted, 2) identify themselves as belonging in the scientific community, and 3) pursue science-related careers. To make research opportunities accessible to UW undergraduates, we are creating a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE), in the first 2 quarters of the introductory biology series (BIOL 180 and 200). Students will engage in authentic research, performing experiments to address presently-unanswered questions about antibiotic resistance. To investigate how CURE participation influences students’ scientific abilities and attitudes, we will assess student learning outcomes in 3 domains — 1) Concepts, 2) Competencies, and 3) Affect – versus students in the same lecture who attend non-CURE labs. Our survey will include items from published instruments designed to assess students’: 1) understanding of key ideas in evolutionary and molecular biology, 2) their ability to design experiments, and 3) their attitudes regarding both science and their ability to overcome challenges. Additional custom-designed survey items will address specific course goals, such as understanding connections between genotype (molecularly-encoded properties) and phenotype (observable traits). Initial qualitative data indicate that CURE students consider their research relevant for society and for their future careers. The UW Introductory Biology CURE will provide students with an authentic research experience over 2 quarters, in which students’ experiments address questions with unknown outcomes. Unique features of the UW CURE include the experimental nature of the research (most prior CUREs have engaged students in descriptive research), and the scale and context of the course: the UW CURE will serve 1000’s of students per quarter at a large research-based university. Therefore, the findings of this study may set a precedent and inform the design and implementation of future high-enrollment CUREs at research-based higher education institutions.

 

Poster #38. Interteaching as an Active Learning Strategy in Synchronous Online Classes

Michael Gutierrez, Special Education, UW Seattle
Scott Spaulding, Special Education, UW Seattle
Nancy Rosenberg, Special Education, UW Seattle

Poster # 30 abstract

Online learning, both synchronous and asynchronous, is a common format in higher education. The evolution of this platform and the technology used access it has been rapid. To help ensure the quality of instruction, instructors should evaluate their online learning methods to increase the likelihood of student learning and success. Interteaching is a relatively new teaching approach used within a traditional classroom format and is grounded in the principles of applied behavior analysis. What sets interteaching apart from other traditional modes of teaching is its adherence to the specific format which defines it. Within this model, students access the material, work in small groups to deeply examine the material, and then fill out a record of information that they still do not understand. Using this information, the instructor builds a lecture which focuses directly on the material in question. This teaching arrangement departs from traditional lecture and has been shown to be effective in boosting exam scores and increasing participation. However, little research exists evaluating its effectiveness in online contexts. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of interteaching and traditional lecture on the test scores of students utilizing an online, synchronous graduate class in special education. Across eight weekly classes, students were assigned to either an interteaching or lecture format. Using an alternating treatments experimental design, we evaluated the effects on quiz scores and student satisfaction. Results showed that interteaching produced higher quiz scores across all sessions with no overlapping data points between conditions. This difference maintained in a final exam, where more questions targeting interteach classes were answered correctly by students than those from lecture classes. Students also reported a preference for interteaching over lecture-based classes. These results add to the evidence supporting interteaching and active learning strategies within the context of synchronous online learning.

 

Poster #40. Peer Instruction: A Win-Win-Win Scenario

Casey Self, Department of Biology, UW Seattle

Poster #40 abstract

The use of upperclass students as Peer Instructors can be a valuable tool for increasing engagement and academic performance for students enrolled in the course. A cohort of upper class STEM majors were recruited and enrolled in Biol 396: Peer Facilitating in Biology where they learned evidence-based teaching techniques. Peer Facilitators (PFs) were subsequently assigned to assist in a large lecture (>300 students) non-major Human Physiology course. PFs facilitated in-class discussions and answered questions during lecture. Additionally, in pairs, they lead a separate weekly small-group study session for students in the course. For each study session, a pair of PFs would develop an activity using evidence-based teaching methods designed to help students master challenging topics for that week. Study sessions were supervised by a faculty member and feedback was provided to PFs both on teaching practices and course content. End of quarter survey responses from students who attended the voluntary PF study sessions indicate that students felt the study sessions improved their grades (learning), reduced their fear of approaching the instructor, and increased a sense of engagement in the class. PFs responses to a questionnaire indicate that they felt the PF course improved their interpersonal communication skills and increased their confidence in their understanding of basic physiological principles which they thought might improve their performance on professional school entrance exams. PFs also reported an increased awareness of careers in teaching and science education research. Though the PF training was initially an increase in workload, instructors found that the use of PFs reduced the volume of student emails and provided more opportunity for students in the class to have one-on-one instruction. In the end, the instructor, the PFs and the students in the course all benefited.

 

Poster #42. Strategies for Implementing Active Learning in Software Engineering Courses

Arkady Retik, Computing and Software Systems, UW Bothell

Poster #42 abstract

This project investigated best ways to implement the simulation-based active learning in a traditional lectured-based Software Engineering (SE) course. This work has been carried out as part of the UWB Faculty Learning Community (FLC) Fellows and taken place during two consecutive quarters involving about 80 students. The key goal was to look for alternative approaches to increase student learning of material covering complex engineering processes. These topics can be especially difficult for students without practical team-based development experience. The literature review, interviews of instructors and practitioners, who taught this course past several years, helped to identify successful approaches and best practices for several critical topics. The existing course, set as a bar, was amended to integrate several simulation-based activities and games focusing on the contemporary Agile development projects. The constructivist-based learning approach, combining problem and inquiry-based methods, was adopted. The simulation of the project activities were designed to be performed in groups and performance results were discussed and analyzed. As a result of the new approach, students engaged fully and found the material more interesting and comprehensible as they worked in groups mimicking a real work environment. The assessment of the results combines several approaches such as anonymous polling and written reflection (to gauge opinions, attitudes, and confidence in understanding), and test, exams and project presentations (to evaluate student learning). The early indications signal sizable improvements, however the increase in students’ performance (based on the final result analysis) will be key criterion for proving the design success. This active learning approach has broad applications for traditional lecture-based courses involving technological processes. Instructors may appreciate the business development process simulation approach where having students understand the concepts is difficult without trying them out. This work has also helped to facilitate innovation and disseminate best practices within the group and division.

 

Poster #44. Emotional Labor: Implications of Emotional Investment in Peer-Learning Environments

Hohjin Im, Odegaard Writing & Research Center, UW Seattle
Sophia (Ji-Heon) Lee, Odegaard Writing & Research Center, UW Seattle
Doris (Wei-Chen) Chin, Odegaard Writing & Research Center, UW Seattle

Poster #44 abstract

Peer-learning and peer-educators play increasingly important roles in higher education. Many of these peer-educator roles, such as tutor, peer teaching assistant, or collaborator in groups, can require one to display outer emotions that may be inconsistent with inner emotions, a concept called emotional labor (Hochschild, 1983). Peer-educators often have multiple difficult responsibilities in and outside their immediate line of work. However, there has been little research on emotional labor in higher education peer-educator roles.

The Odegaard Writing & Research Center (OWRC) provides a space for students to work directly with peer-educators. To investigate the extent to which peer-educators experience emotional labor and the possible avenues of managing stressors in this type of peer-learning environment, I issued a two-part, mixed-methods survey to OWRC tutors. In the first part, I used the Mann’s Emotional Requirement Inventory and Tutor Emotional Labor Scale to quantify the level of emotional labor experienced by tutors. In the second part, I asked tutors to qualitatively share their experience about their most recent emotionally laborious session and what strategies, if any, they employed to regulate said stress. Quantitative results suggest that most tutors hold implicit assumptions of obligatory positive display rules. Qualitative results suggest difficulties can often stem from responsibilities both in and outside the role. Proposed strategies for regulating stress include social sharing, expressive writing, and prioritization of student needs.

This project, combined with last year’s study, seeks to serve as a precedent for future avenues of research. Implications include 1) a more acute understanding of the significance of emotional labor in peer-educator roles and 2) discussions regarding possible policies that can aid the regulation of stress. In addition, tutors, peer teaching assistants, and others in peer-learning environments may benefit from reflecting on their emotionally laborious experiences and applying the discussed strategies.

 

Poster #46. Clicker Questions Aid in Concept Learning in Oceanography 101

Mikelle Nuwer, Oceanography, UW Seattle

Poster #46 abstract

Research across a wide range of disciplines has demonstrated learning advantages to using a classroom response system like “clickers”. This study was designed to test if the use of clicker questions aids in concept learning in an entry-level oceanography course (Ocean 101; enrollment ~150 students) and if there is a dosage effect. Course concepts were divided into four units with an exam at the end of each unit. Graded clicker questions were used in lecture for two of the units. During the other two units, students were given quantitative, multi-step problems to solve on note cards. These assignments were not graded for participation credit. At the end of each unit, an exam was administered. The exams were a combination of multiple-choice questions, comparable to clicker questions, and short answer questions, comparable to the notecard problems completed in lecture. Student data was collected, analyzed and compared between two quarters to assess the relationship between exposure to clicker questions, performance on exams, and final course grades. Preliminary results show that exam scores were higher when clickers were used, and that the greater the number of clicker questions assigned, the higher the scores and final grades. Student attendance and participation increased in lecture and students reported a higher level of engagement with course materials. This study shows that an interactive system such as clickers can maintain a higher level of student involvement, leading to greater learning and often more student enjoyment. Since exam questions and clicker questions were similar in style and cognitive level, students got a lot of practice recalling factual information, and applying and integrating important course concepts. This practice translated to higher scores on the end-of-unit assessments (exams) and can easily be implemented in any entry-level course.

 

Poster #48. A Study of Active Versus Passive Learning Strategies in a Sustainable Business Context

Yang Su, Department of Economics, UW Seattle
Dorothy Paun, College of Environment, UW Seattle

Poster #48 abstract

This study explores student learning outcomes related to two pedagogical methods used to mentor students in conducting real world research, more specifically corporate triple bottom line (i.e., financial, environmental, and social responsibility) sustainability performance research. The first method involves active learning whereby students attend conferences to receive instructor research mentoring. The second method involves passive learning via students taking research-related quizzes and writing a term paper that interprets their data analyses. The hypothesis guiding this research is that active learning (i.e., receiving research mentoring) has a greater impact than passive learning (i.e., student quizzes and term paper) on enhancing student learning outcomes (i.e., sustainability knowledge). The sample consists of 399 students. Data was collected through student surveys and analyzed using ordered logistic regression. The three independent variables are: mentoring conferences (active learning), student quizzes (passive learning), and term paper (passive learning). The dependent variable is sustainability knowledge. Preliminary study findings suggest that active learning has a significant positive impact (p < 0.05) on increased sustainability knowledge. The findings of this study contribute to calls for future research in the active-passive learning strategies literature in two ways. First, new insights are provided about the relative effectiveness of active versus passive learning in a research centric course. Second, the context of the study involves corporate sustainability performance, a pioneering field of study in higher education. More broadly, this research poster introduces instructors to an innovative pedagogical tool, called the SPA System (Paun 2016), for implementing active learning in both large lecture and online courses.

 

Poster #50. Leadership, Planning, and Advocacy Skills in Public Health: A Community-Centric Approach

Kara Bensley, Health Services, UW Seattle
Amy Hagopian, Health Services and Global Health, UW Seattle

Poster #50 abstract

Research Question/Problem: Accredited Masters in Public Health (MPH) programs are now required to demonstrate mastery of professional skills not currently in the curriculum.

Context: To provide these skills at the University of Washington, a course was piloted in Spring 2016 that focused on building leadership, planning, and advocacy skills through group projects conducted for local community health organizations. Students also participated in problem-based learning cases and a few didactic sessions.

Methods: Leadership skills were assessed using the Collaborative Leadership Self-Assessment as a pre/post-test, which students took independently online during both the first and last week of the course. Results were compared using a Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test among students who did not opt-out (n = 13). This course was also evaluated by the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Results: Students reported statistically significant (p < 0.05) skill development, including creating action plans representing stakeholder and community vision, sharing power equitably in groups, being confident in partner capabilities, and recognizing effects of emotions on work performance. Students reported in a session facilitated by the Center of Teaching and Learning that key strengths of the course include partnerships and projects and a strong faculty and learning community. Students recommended changes to the course structure and course content to increase clarity.

Application: These recommendations are being used in course development for the 2017 offering of this course, to improve cohesiveness of the projects and to offer more opportunities for facilitated discussion or didactic learning around key course objectives and concepts. While the pilot course was limited in size, we conclude this course provides an effective method for increasing mastery of complex skills necessary for public health practitioners. Real-world projects with real organizations and valuable deliverables provide important learning opportunities.

 

Poster #52. Teletandem: Foreign Language and Culture Learning Beyond the Classroom

Marilis Mediavilla, Spanish and Portuguese Department, UW Seattle

Poster #52 abstract

When “cultural experiences” in SPAN 301 curriculum were implemented 4 years ago, I observed that students developed their language acquisition and cultural awareness of the Hispanic community in Seattle, as they had to immerse (in groups, 3 times per quarter) in a real and live community. Therefore, how could we provide the students with an individual, continuous, and meaningful language and cultural learning setting with a Spanish native speaker living outside the U.S.? Teletandem is the answer. UW undergraduate students engage in online virtual conversations with students from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) to bring the Spanish-speaking world to life. The program follows a rigorous structured approach fully integrated in the curriculum offering a hybrid combination of autonomous and reciprocal oral sessions that get reflected both in collaborative creative presentations in class, and individual written assessments. Students’ potential and adaptability to working both individually and collectively is the result of a teacher in a mediator role versus an instructional one. How about overall results? Through questionnaires administered once the quarter is over, it is possible to report on linguistic and cultural comprehension growth. Also, students’ evaluations are used as a three-way comparative measurement: quarters when Teletandem is implemented, quarters when immersion in communities in Seattle is done, and a combination of both in the same quarter. Moreover, the structure of the assignment reveals to be adaptive enough that it could be implemented to different levels of language proficiency as well as to be used in other disciplines. For example, as part of my Business Spanish class for this upcoming Spring, there will be a business-related online collaborative project with Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes in Valladolid, Spain to partner up this time with students majoring in Administration and Business Management and Marketing.

 

Poster #54. Impacts of Spatial Training on Calculus Ability and Cognitive Style

Emily Cilli-Turner, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Tacoma
Lindsay McCunn, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Tacoma

Poster #54 abstract

Although an effort is being made to achieve greater diversity of students graduating in STEM fields, women are often underrepresented in STEM fields. One reason may be that females have been found to have less developed spatial abilities. However, encouraging evidence exists that training can improve spatial ability (Stieff & Uttal, 2015) and may help to close the gender gap in spatial thinking (Newcombe, 2010). A potential correlate to spatial and mathematical ability is the psychological construct of cognitive learning style, which represents a consistency in an individual’s manner of cognitive functioning. This research aims to answer the following research questions: (1) What are the impacts of spatial training on students’ calculus ability? (2) Are differences present in the effects of spatial training between male and female students? (3) What are the impacts of spatial training on students’ cognitive learning style? Data was collected from students in a Calculus III course and again with students in a Calculus II course using another section as a control. Students were given three assessments in a pre-post model: a Calculus Concept Inventory to determine calculus ability, a test of spatial rotations to determine impacts on spatial ability and a cognitive learning style questionnaire to determine predominant cognitive style. Data is still being analyzed, but preliminary results show minimal impact of spatial training on calculus ability yet did impact on cognitive learning style as more women saw reported as spatial learners. If these studies reveal a benefit of spatial training on calculus course grades, math educators may have reason to recommend a spatial training module be added to courses that require students to think abstractly. Indeed, if results reveal this training to be particularly effective for female students, an argument may exist that spatial training be studied further with respect to gender differences.

 

Symposium co-sponsors

The Teaching and Learning Symposium is hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning, and co-sponsored by:

  • Office of the Provost
  • Graduate School
  • UW Libraries
  • Undergraduate Academic Affairs
  • UW Information Technology
  • Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity
  • Simpson Center for the Humanities
  • Teaching and Learning Center, UW Bothell
  • Teaching and Learning Center, UW Tacoma

Questions?

Please email sotl@uw.edu.

 

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