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Trends and Issues in Higher Ed

Innovators Story Archive


April 20, 2017

Keeping history alive with a digital library collection

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More than two decades of research by students in Professor Michael K. Honey’s oral history courses was kept in a library storage room — a rich collection of untold stories of working-class Tacoma sadly out of sight and out of mind. Honey knew the materials gathered by students supported first-person stories that deserved to be…


April 7, 2017

Instant feedback via earbuds

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Kathleen Artman Meeker’s six-year-old student had three words inhis vocabulary: “No,” “eat” and an expletive that he used to maximum effect in the classroom. The outbursts disrupted the class and puzzled Meeker, who was desperately trying to help him. And she finally did, thanks to valuable feedback from a behavior consultant who observed Meeker’s interactions…


February 22, 2017

Building lifelong learning, with the help of technology

UW Bothel Lecutrer Erin Hill teaches a class

How can technology in the classroom help students learn how to learn? For Erin Hill, STEM lecturer and director of the Quantitative Skills Center at UW Bothell, it is important that students get more out of her courses than just subject-specific skills. Hill also wants to develop students’ ability to learn better—in any field. And…


January 25, 2017

The power of personal narratives in the classroom

During a recent Sociology of Education class at UW Bothell, a reticent student pointedly told Jane Van Galen she never talked about her family or her childhood—and certainly didn’t want to share her story in a video. But Van Galen gently persuaded her and her fellow students that their personal experiences provided rich and relevant…


November 15, 2016

Can video games solve world problems?

It began, as so many things do, with the realization that a gap exists. Josh Lawler, professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, saw there were very few games about climate change that are scientifically accurate—and actually fun to play. Knowing that research shows that games are an effective tool for learning, in…


May 2, 2016

Finding meaning behind the music

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Last fall, UW Tacoma Lecturer Kim Davenport turned to FOLD, a new web-based open publishing platform, to help her students construct multimedia presentations that allow them to discover their creative voice. FOLD, as Davenport quickly discovered, boosted the learning of the students in her humanities classes, encouraging them to express their ideas about music in…


March 29, 2016

Showing rather than telling at UW’s School of Dentistry

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Four years ago, UW School of Dentistry associate professor Donald Chi traveled to a remote Alaska Native community in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region to find out what was rotting young keggutet, the Yup’ik word for teeth. What Chi learned in the field perfectly illustrates why he has replaced traditional paper case studies with videos in…


March 8, 2016

What is your class telling you?

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Ben Wiggins, a faculty coordinator for instruction and lecturer in biology, knew many students in his introductory biology classes faced challenges that reached beyond the material being taught. Something else, something quite powerful, was at play in the background, affecting the performance of female students. Work by Sarah Eddy, Sara Brownell and Mary Pat Wenderoth (Eddy…


February 23, 2016

Engaging online students with their communities

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UW Bothell associate professor Jody Early faced a difficult task—Challenging her busy nursing and health studies students with a more meaningful learning experience by combining an online global women’s health class with community-based service learning. Early was determined to find a way for her ‘place-bound’ and non-traditional students—often juggling demanding work schedules and family commitments—to reap…


November 12, 2015

Bringing the ‘real world’ of language to the classroom

Photo of Betsy Evans

Betsy Evans, associate professor in the Department of Linguistics, uses a number of technologies in her classroom to help students see and share the real world of language—deepening their understanding of complex linguistic theory. These technologies include Canvas, UW’s learning management system, and clickers, an audience response system that allows an entire class to respond…



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