Center for Teaching and Learning

2012 Symposium program

“Reflecting Back: How We Were Taught and Why That Matters to How We Teach” April 17, 2012

Anu Taranath, English, Comparative History of Ideas

Anu Taranath teaches about power and privilege through a focus on postcolonial, queer, and feminist world literatures at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is the recipient of the Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle 2008,” a Fulbright-Hays Award, and the UW’s Distinguished Teaching Award 2010. She’s a speaker for Humanities Washington and interacts with communities around the state. She founded and currently directs a study abroad program based in Bangalore, India that investigates ideas of social justice and NGO activism.

Posters and abstracts

Poster #1. Undergraduate Peer Instruction in EDUC 360

Luke Allpress, Undergraduate Academic Affairs/Education, UW Campus

Poster #1 abstract

The curriculum team of EDUC 360 is composed of five undergraduate students that develop lessons and instruct the 500 students in the course. We have been working on creating an engaging curriculum that prepares the students in the course for their work during the “labs” of the course, where all students travel to high schools in the Seattle area to mentor high school students through the college application process. Our course is a mix between preparatory and reflective, as we attempt to bring each student to a high level of confidence in their mentoring skills and to an understanding of their work in the context of public education. The students in the course are a sample population of the university, with a tendency towards more women and humanity majors. We use many different strategies to engage our peers, such as lecture, discussion, surveys, reflection, small group discussion, and videos. We have found that students are able to connect with their peers in a different way than with a regular professor, and that students are comfortable in discussion and reflection and can be candid with their personal thoughts, even in a lecture with hundreds of other students. Through the years of offering this course, we have used various methods to evaluate our teaching, from self-designed surveys to observations by College of Education faculty. These evaluations have helped us find a balance between guest lecturers and leading lessons ourselves, given us feedback on the relevance of our guest lecturers, and allowed us to restructure our syllabus to more accurately meet the unique needs of our mentor-students.

Poster #2. What Goes Around Comes Around: An Instructional Tool for Assessing Corporate Sustainability Practices

Dorothy Paun, College of the Environment, UW Campus

Poster #2 abstract

Managing financial, environmental, and social responsibility elements, in order to meet the needs of people today without compromising Earth’s capacity to provide for future generations, refers to a corporate triple bottom line approach to sustainability. My goal was to create a method for teaching students how to objectively assess business financial, social responsibility, and environmental performance. The intention was to create a versatile instructional tool that could be: 1) adapted for undergraduate and graduate student contexts, 2) employed in large lecture courses as well as a small-sized seminars, and 3) be applied to both teaching and research contexts. Students were given, depending on the contexts described above, either an assignment or research project to assess real world triple bottom line performance. This enabled me to assess their understanding of the underlying sustainability constructs and ability to use the associated instructional tool. I learned several things: how to adapt a teaching tool for multi-faceted, interdisciplinary approaches; students are more engaged and motivated when real world content and applications are employed; and team work and peer evaluations increase the quality of their deliverables.

Poster #3. Laboratory Learning vs. Online Learning: No Longer Oxymoronic Phrases

Linda Martin-Morris, Jenny Williamson, Trez Buckland, Elizabeth Hemphill, Susanna Cunningham, Biology; School of Nursing; Nursing and Public Health; Science Department, Spanaway Lake High School; School of Nursing and Behavioral Sciences, UW Campus

Poster #3 abstract

Our team has created a university level, introductory, distance learning, biology course for high school students. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Biology 100 delivers content on the neuroscience of addiction. High school students can avail themselves of the opportunity to earn college credit through the UW in the High School Program without conventional matriculation. However, the translation of a lab-based biology course to an online environment poses particular challenges. While face-to-face laboratory instruction and learning are powerful and impactful (for both instructor and student), high-quality and rigorous learning can happen under the guise of “kitchen science” and computer simulation. We will describe how several biology 100 laboratory activities have been translated into online learning activities without the dilution of the scientific impact of the content. In fact, new opportunities are afforded as a result of this conversion; generating more opportunities for inquiry and enabling better translation of the science into other facets of the student’s life. While our online implementation will not begin until 2014, assessment tools from the online version of this course will allow us to perform a side-by-side evaluation of the outcomes from traditional laboratory instruction compared with distance learning labs. We have many years of data from face-to-face instruction and will use the same assessment tools for our distance learning laboratory activities. These laboratory homework assignments offer students opportunities to report, reflect, and apply knowledge obtained as a result of a laboratory activity. Because our project touches on many areas pertaining to distance learning, we have learned strategies for enhancing communication that will facilitate the particular challenges placed on us with regard to laboratory instruction online.

Poster #4. Math Preparation of Undergraduates in General Chemistry, a Gatekeeper Course Required for Biophysicists

Colleen Craig, Cynthia Stanich, Sarah Keller, Chemistry, UW Campus

Poster #4 abstract

Gatekeeper courses for undergraduates wishing to pursue careers in biophysics and other STEM fields include introductory chemistry, physics, and biology. At the University of Washington, as at many other peer institutions, a high level of math is required for enrollment in main sequence General Chemistry. Specifically, students must have fulfilled a calculus requirement or be co-enrolled in calculus. Moreover, the average high school GPA of freshmen entering directly from high school is 3.7. Nevertheless, we find that significant fractions of students enrolled in General Chemistry are unable to complete problems in which they are asked to manipulate exponents (~20%), logarithms (~40-50%), or probabilities (~40%). Researchers at University of Minnesota have documented similar results [Leopold and Edgar, 2008, Chemical Education Research 85:724]. We find that some math deficiencies among undergraduates persist into the senior year, at least for biochemistry majors. Here we track undergraduate math competencies through the first two academic terms of General Chemistry after introducing an intervention of a math quiz and feedback. We separately track competencies after student use of a program called ALEKS, which uses adaptive questioning to determine student competencies and then instruct on deficient topics.

Poster #5. Is Project Based Learning a Solution to Large Language Classes?

Philip Dierking English – Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language (MATESOL), UW Campus

Poster #5 abstract

Large language classes are a challenge for educators all over the globe. Across disciplines, large classes can create challenges in such areas as learning outcomes, classroom management, classroom resources, and assessment. Unfortunately, there is a lack of research that explores pedagogical approaches for dealing with large classes. One method, project based learning (PBL), has been shown to have promise for its ability to deal with some of the challenges presented by large classes. This poster explores the potential of PBL in large language classes by reviewing the results of observational research conducted in a Seattle Community College.
Based on the assumption that large class sizes are not a problem isolated only to language classes, but rather a global problem affecting all academic fields, I have decide to investigate project-based learning (PBL) as a potential pedagogical tool for effectively teaching in large classes. To determine the potential of PBL I conducted observational research on the use of PBL in a large language class in a Seattle community college. My initial findings indicate that there is great potential for PBL to increase both learning outcomes and student’s perception of their own learning. However my research also indicates that emphasis should be put on developing learner by-in for this type of method.
While my research is focused primarily on language learning, I feel this issue, and potential remedies, are pertinent across educational disciplines and settings. It is my hope that significant findings in project-based learning can then be easily adapted to fit the pedagogical needs of teachers with large classes in other subjects.

Poster #6. Transportation Nation: Pedagogy, American Literature, and the Rhetorics of Nation

Alice Pedersen, English, UW Campus

Poster #6 abstract

During Winter 2012, I taught Introduction to American Literature, a 200-level English course. In light of recent changes in how the university is funded and concomitant changes to Humanities education, I have been interested in understanding how a traditionally liberal arts education can make a claim for its relevance while also perhaps shifting its focus to be attuned with the needs of students and society. To this end, I designed “Transportation Nation,” a course that examined the rhetorics of transportation, mobility, and freedom in the US. We began with 19th century slave narratives as a way to hone our close reading skills – that traditional hermeneutic of the English Department – and in the second half of the course, we turned those analytic skills on the transportation issues and debates occurring in Seattle. Students were asked to present on not only the histories and politics of transportation and mobility issues, but also the rhetorics. Thus, we tracked the discourse of transportation, as a signifier for mobility and freedom, across 200 years of US history. Along the way, I invited local artists, activists, and transportation professionals to come into our class and discuss how they engage with these issues. For their final project, the students created “Rhetorical Interventions” — highly crafted artifacts meant to circulate in publics beyond the university, along with short essays that explained and assessed their rhetorical choices. This final project brought together the main concerns of the course: not just being able to identify discourse, but also explain it and, when needed, to produce it. I had 29 students enrolled in this non-major, distribution-requirement course, and the feedback was positive. Students enjoyed connecting the abstract theories we discussed in class to current events that impact them. Their writing, because it was narrowly focused and with high stakes, was as persuasive as it was academic. Overall, it was interesting to see how the skills and practices of the English Department can be used to explore non-literary objects and issues.

Poster #7. Learning on High, High on Learning

Soohee Kim, Emily Curtis, Asian Languages and Literature, College of Education, UW Campus

Poster #7 abstract

I teach Korean (various levels, heritage and novice). It occurred to me that perhaps some classes, through a detailed and contractual syllabus, end up spoon-feeding students some pre-determined and limited content instead of engaging students in their learning process and its co-creation. Students seemed to expect that type of syllabus.
I set out to create an environment for the students to form their ideas, learn to effectively express them (in meta-language), and instead of teaching them the ways that things have to be done “in Rome” and encouraging students to create a different persona, I would try to help the students find their own voice and agency in their learning.
Specifically, we wanted to find out how adaptive and resilient students are in building their own personal learning goals given the topic of the class and following through withOUT explicit instructions or strict requirements. For example, in a seminar on Korean Linguistics, students were asked to submit two kinds of lecture notes after each lecture (twice a week). One was detailed lecture notes in prose with no length limit, and the other was a brief, bulleted summary of the same content. We wanted to see if the note-taking strategies or attitudes would change once the student “takes charge.”
The expectation was that it would at first come as a shock for the students if minimal guidelines were provided but that they would quickly learn to be their own best teacher given the freedom to do so.
In the end, the class turned out to be quite successful for both the students and the instructor. We were able to confirm that the fewer guidelines do not confuse students but benefit them by helping them strategize their own learning.

Poster #8. We’re Teaching, But Are They Learning? The University Libraries Student Learning Goals Project for Program Assessment

Amanda Hornby, Leslie Bussert, University Libraries; University Libraries (UW Bothell / Cascadia CC Campus Library), UW Campus

Poster #8 abstract

In an era of economic constraints and increasing demand for post-secondary education, there is a greater need for all members of the academic community to contribute to the learning mission of the institution. The University Libraries’ teaching and learning program is helping to meet this need. Our program fosters critical thinking and effective research skills in students in support of the University curriculum. Librarians provide hundreds of research workshops to thousands of undergraduate and graduate students annually, and support online learning through instructional video tutorials. Despite extensive instructional activities, the Libraries had not, up to this point, created a systematic assessment plan to measure student learning and demonstrate our educational value.
In order to move in that direction, the Libraries’ Teaching and Learning Group collaboratively developed Libraries-wide student learning goals to initiate the assessment of the teaching and learning program and to promote our contributions to student learning across all three UW campuses. Establishing a core set of student learning goals and outcomes allows for the coordination of our teaching activities, as well as a structured approach to student learning assessment. Beginning in spring 2012, the Libraries will undertake a year-long pilot assessment project. The findings from our assessment project will improve our teaching practice in that we can revise or design instructional activities more closely correlated to student needs as evidenced in our assessment data. This project will ultimately enable us to map the progression from Libraries-wide goals to academic department learning goals and the broader mission of the University.
This poster will document our strategies for advancing library learning goals and program assessment, with the goal of furthering the reputation of librarians as contributors to student learning. The poster will also address future directions, including faculty endorsement and collaboration in assessing individual learning outcomes; broad promotion of the learning goals; and collaboration with campus stakeholders invested in assessment.

Poster #9. Students Working to Create Awareness of the Poor Health Status of People in the US Compared to Other Rich Nations

Rich Nations, Stephen Bezruchka, Health Services, UW Campus

Poster #9 abstract

We the people in the United States have shorter lives and worse health than those in close to fifty other nations, including all the other rich countries. This fact is presented in government sources and not contested but is virtually unknown among the public.
While there is plenty of discussion of health-care in society, there is little understanding of our health status compared to others. By considering only health in the US without looking at other nations, we are blind to the carnage within our borders. The challenge is to create public awareness.
Four courses in the Departments of Health Services and Global Health present the details on population health and the US ranking. To get credit students have to take the concepts outside of the classroom into a community engagement exercise where they present the material and try to engender responses.
Students are given various options to engage the community using their skills and interest. Evaluations in these various community efforts demonstrate increased understanding and the desire to learn more.
Student experiences have shaped the evolution of these courses to further enhance public understanding of population health.

Poster #10. Low Cost, High Fidelity Ultrasound Phantom Gels for Regional Anesthesia Training Programs

Loreto Lollo, Agnes Stogicza, Anesthesiology, UW Campus

Poster #10 abstract

The purpose of this assessment tool is to allow training, review, improvement and proficiency in the anatomic structures and procedural execution of ultrasound guided regional anesthesia of the upper and lower extremities.
These gels allow trainees to practice regional anesthesia outside of the operating room environment in order to eliminate the risk of patient injury and the pressure of the clinical situation. Other simulators use simple structures to allow trainees to become proficient in imaging and targeting but anatomically correct models are prohibitively expensive. These models allow repeated multiple use, are inexpensive to produce and use readily available materials that can be recycled into fresh gels once they have been used.
These gels have been used in three separate training sessions with 15 faculty members, 15 Certified Nurse Anesthetists and 20 senior year anesthesia residents.
The gels are easily stored and can be used at any time at any stage of training. Instructors should be proficient in ultrasound guided regional anesthesia. Participants review the anatomical structures and nerve block procedures at the time of the simulation. The overall impression from course attendees is that the use of high fidelity gels improves their confidence and skill level particularly with regards to recognizing the anatomical structures and eye hand coordination before attempting the procedure on real patients. The low production cost of the gels make them ideal teaching aids in financially limited programs and developing countries.

Poster #11. Experimenting with Technology: Student Innovation and Collaboration

Heidi Stahl, Cara Giacomini, Henry Lyle, UW-IT, UW-IT, Anthropology, UW Campus

Poster #11 abstract

Every three years, UW Information Technology (UW-IT) surveys faculty members, researchers, teaching assistants, and students at UW-Seattle about how they use technology to do their work, what supports and obstacles they experience in using technology, and where they believe the UW should place its resources in the future. Survey results help the UW make informed decisions about which tools and services will best support the goals of the campus community.
These surveys were developed with input from the UW Libraries, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Office of Educational Assessment, the Faculty Council on Teaching and Learning, UW Computing Directors, the Student Tech Fee Committee, and faculty representatives from across campus.
This poster presents data gathered from students in the 2011 surveys, and gives insight into the range of student technology use across all aspects of their learning activities, including those in specific classroom contexts: small and large discussion and lecture courses; the primary reasons students use learning technologies, and the innovative ways they use technologies that aren’t strictly educational to support their learning.
We’ll highlight some of the interesting findings that emerged from the study: (1) learning technologies are providing great opportunities for student collaboration and creation of content, extending their learning; (2) students (and instructors) are using technology primarily to manage course content and making large classes feel smaller; and (3) students are using learning technologies well beyond those required or mediated by instructors. The poster will focus in particular on this third point, illustrating the way in which UW Seattle students are acting as leaders in introducing new technologies.

Poster #12. Google Earth Tutorials for Introductory Geoscience Courses

Peter Selkin, UW Tacoma Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences/Environmental Science, UW Campus

Poster #12 abstract

Students often enter geoscience courses with tightly held conceptions of geological phenomena that conflict with scientific explanations. These alternate conceptions sometimes arise from the vast differences between the temporal and spatial scales of personal experience (years, meters) and those involved in geology (millions of years, thousands of kilometers). Other factors, such as students’ ability to visualize complex, dynamic, and often hidden geological phenomena, may also contribute to alternate conceptions. Virtual globes such as Google Earth provide an excellent opportunity to address student conceptions directly by giving students an interactive, synoptic view of the earth, its oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Such software can thus be a powerful tool for conceptual change if properly incorporated in class.
I have been developing brief classroom peer-tutorial activities for use in introductory-level geology courses that use Google Earth to address student conceptions of geological phenomena. The activities, logistically similar to peer tutorials in physics, are meant to lead students to actively engage with concepts addressed in lecture. I evaluated prototypes of several activities with pre/posttests in a 100-level physical geology course with ~20 undergraduates (UW Tacoma TESC 117, summer 2011). In testing the activity prototypes, I did not find evidence of conceptual change. However, student discussions and comments have helped focus revisions to the activities that may improve their effectiveness. In particular, tutorial activities like these need simple, clear instructions, and a focus on student engagement with the concepts (through questions and discussion) rather than on the virtual experience. Group computer use also appears to be beneficial in that it catalyzes discussion. I will be continuing to test revised versions of the activities, using additional modes of assessment, during spring and summer quarters of 2012.

Poster #13. How Much do Engineering Students Consider the Context of Design Problems?

Ken Yasuhara, Kristina Krause, Cindy Atman, Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, Human Centered Design and Engineering/Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, UW Campus

Poster #13 abstract

Engineering educators need carefully designed, research- informed means for assessing specific design competencies. The consideration of context during engineering design has proved to be complex, multi- faceted, and difficult to understand, let alone measure, both for educators and researchers in engineering education. Our work builds directly on engineering education research and provides techniques for assessing student consideration of specific aspects of problem context when engaged in design problem-solving.
Project activities to date have focused on iterative design, refinement, and piloting of assessment techniques. These assessment techniques are intended for measuring engineering students’ ability to consider problem context when approaching open-ended design problems. An assessment technique consists of three parts: a question for written or web-based administration, a rubric to guide interpretation of responses, and documentation to guide assessment technique usage for instructors and/or students (e.g., for peer- or self-assessment).
We currently have a collection of over 15 assessment questions, both open- and closed-ended, that target two specific aspects of problem context: societal and temporal. The assessment techniques are posed in a variety of open-ended design problem settings, including the design of a pedestrian crossing, smartphone, and microchip factory.
Both in field and lab settings, we have pilot-administered these assessment techniques with a variety of audiences. Lab-based piloting has led to multiple iterations of both question and rubric refinement. Piloting has also provided valuable information about the viability of some assessment techniques for student self-assessment, particularly for lower-level undergraduates. Field testing to date has mostly taken the form of in-class activities (mostly formative) and survey-based administration to benchmarking audiences, including undergraduate engineering students and recent alumni.

Poster #14. Undergraduate Teaching Assistants: Can They Independently Teach Undergraduate Labs?

Ben Wiggins, Hannah Chapin, Biology, Biochemistry, UW Campus

Poster #14 abstract

Science students successfully help each other in many disciplines, but the full range of their abilities and outcomes has been only sporadically investigated. The literature generally suggests that peer teachers foster positive attitudes and confidence in their students, and peer teachers receive significant and long-lasting benefit from the experience. Across science disciplines, peer teaching assistants are seen as usable but not independently-able resources. Specifically, the available literature on peer teaching does not address the comparable efficacy of undergraduate (U) and graduate (G) student teaching assistants (TA)s; while university class design typically relies heavily on GTAs, we wanted to know whether well-trained UTAs are similarly effective. To address this question we analyzed data from the UW-Seattle biology program and asked what is the effect of UTAs on students’ grades and attitudes toward science. We found that UTA teaching is as effective as GTA teaching as measured by class grade. We also find that students of both groups report equal confidence in their teachers’ specific pedagogical abilities. If graduate teaching assistants have superior content knowledge, then undergraduate teaching assistants appear to overcome this deficit in some other way to teach equally well. Our research thus suggests teaching efficacy is a blend of content knowledge and teaching ability. As budgets are cut nationwide more departments may be tempted to shift teaching to undergraduates. This may be a boon for all parties, but only when done well. The possibilities and opportunities presented here will help to improve science teaching across fields and institutions.

Poster #15. Scientific Process in Practice, an Activity Based Seminar for Beginning Oceanography Majors

Kit Yu Karen Chan, Gabrielle Rocap, Oceanography, UW Campus

Poster #15 abstract

“Scientific process in practice” was a 2 hour long, weekly, activity based seminar designed to explicitly teach scientific process skills. This seminar complemented an existing, mandatory field course for entering oceanography majors. The goal of the seminar was to help students succeed in the field course and future science courses by 1) developing information literacy skills; 2) practicing articulation of testable hypotheses; and 3) studying the format of scientific presentation. We assessed the effectiveness of the seminar qualitatively and quantitatively. Over 90% of the students’ stated in their course evaluations that class sessions were always interesting and engaging. Examples of activities included citation format detective, figure critique speed dating, and statistics learning carousel. Pre-and post-course surveys showed that the seminar improved students’ self-efficacy towards conducting scientific research. Relative to students enrolled in the field course alone, students in the complementary seminar showed greater gains in the Student Understanding of Scientific Inquiry Survey. Our results suggest that an explicit, inquiry-based courses focusing on transferrable skills can help improve students’ learning experience and understanding of science.

Poster #16. Expanding our Understanding of the Misconceptions that Biology Undergraduates Have About Evolution

Rebecca Price, Tessa Andrews, Louise Mead, Terri McElhinny, Anna Thanukos, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell; Department of Ecology, Montana State University; BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University; Departments of Zoology and Geological Sciences, Michigan State University; University of California Museum of Paleontology, UW Campus

Poster #16 abstract

Evolutionary processes and random processes are both conceptually difficult. Genetic drift is a random mechanism of evolution, so it is unsurprising that biology undergraduates have a number of misconceptions about genetic drift. Our teaching can improve if we identify those misconceptions. Until now, however, these misconceptions have not been systematically studied. We collected data from introductory and upper division students to identify those misconceptions. We also quantitatively examined differences in the frequency of misconceptions before and after instruction in introductory biology. We found five overarching categories that include 16 distinct misconceptions about genetic drift. Some responses indicated that students did not recognize that evolution encompasses many different processes, including natural selection and genetic drift. Other responses suggested some understanding of genetic drift, but still contained misstatements about the nuances of how genetic drift functions. In introductory biology courses, a significantly greater number of responses indicated some knowledge of genetic drift (p = 0.0021) after instruction, but 72.5% of responses at the end of the term still contained at least one misconception. We used these results to construct a framework that hypothesizes how student thinking about genetic drift changes with instruction. We propose that students begin with undeveloped conceptions of evolution that do not recognize different mechanisms of change. Then, students begin to focus on key words that they have learned are associated with genetic drift, such as random mutation, changes in allele frequency, migration, and isolation. Finally, new misconceptions about genetic drift emerge as student comprehension improves.

Poster #17. Using Blog Assignments to Encourage Students to Connect In-class Science Learning with Their Out-of-class Personal Lives

Camilla Misa, Bryan White, Science and Technology Program, UW Bothell

Poster #17 abstract

Blogging assignments are an increasingly popular way of using technology to aid in teaching and increase student learning. If used correctly, blogs require each student to voice their opinion and give the instructor a glimpse of student understanding and interest on a topic. Strategic blog assignments encourage students to engage in course material and have discussions on course topics even when they are out of class. We are curious what kinds of blog assignments increase student discourse in a blog? In addition, we want to know if one can see evidence of student learning within these blog posts and what might this evidence look like? For a Brain and Behavior class taught at UW Bothell, students engaged with one another using an online blog that allowed students to make their own posts as well as reply to their fellow colleagues. Giving and receiving feedback from peers on a blog mimics a social online setting that many students are comfortable with. In addition, the blog provides a forum for students to link ideas from their personal lives to the concepts discussed in class. In this poster, we will report our findings as we categorized the various blog posts. We will share how different blog assignments influence the type and quality of blog discourse. Finally, we will illustrate how blogging provides an arena where students make connections between their everyday lives and the course topics, and how these connections are uncovered and possibly strengthened by the blog environment.

Poster #18. Endorsement in Critical Instruction

Ashley Bashaw, Sarah Kremen-Hicks, Alice Pedersen, English, UW Campus

Poster #18 abstract

The Endorsement in Critical Instruction is an English Department graduate student group that has emerged, over four years, through discussions about power in the classroom. As Teaching Assistants, we felt well-prepared to lesson plan and evaluate essays, but we recognized the need to discuss how power structures the classroom. These discussions – about race, class, gender, sexuality, prior educational experience, age, ability and more – grew from after-hours conversations to a proposal to English Graduate Studies to create an Endorsement program. Along the way we have received assessment and review from the English Graduate Studies Committee and the English Department Chair. The Endorsement, now in its inaugural year, has a cohort of seven English TAs and a committee of seven TAs and three faculty mentors. The Endorsement in Critical Instruction seeks to prepare instructors for working in diverse institutional settings and classrooms by building their capacities to address power dynamics and respond to imbalances that arise in their classrooms. The Endorsement’s “Instructor Outcomes” aim at learning to recognize and respond to power imbalances in the classroom, subsequently reflecting on these responses, and revising them as needed. We understand issues of power as being central to everyone’s teaching and learning experiences; these may not be visible in the same way for everyone but they operate nonetheless. Although the Endorsement is currently in its inaugural year, we have strategies in place to examine the effects of our teaching and our Program: using alternative evaluations in the classroom, TA self-assessment, and a series of paired classroom observations between TAs and their faculty mentors. We are learning how to collaboratively create vocabularies and strategies to discuss difficult issues that otherwise invisibly impact our pedagogy.
Toward these aims, the main objectives of the Certificate in Critical instruction are to:
– Create a sustainable space for instructors to talk about power in the classroom
– Build critical awareness and capacities in instructors to recognize power in the classroom and subsequently be responsive to it in their pedagogy
– Provide support for critical pedagogy and concrete classroom content
– Incorporate critical awareness of power into ongoing professional development

Poster #19. Queer Pedagogical Performance

Chelsea Jennings, Heather Arvidson, Annie Dwyer, Asia Ferrin, Cecelia Kiley, Lindsay Rose Russell, English, English, English, Philosophy, Creative Writing, English, UW Campus

Poster #19 abstract

Queer Pedagogical Performance is a Simpson Center for the Humanities Graduate Interest Group that explores possibilities for queer pedagogy across disciplines and academic sites. As practicing instructors and scholars, many of us felt underprepared by teacher training programs that did not acknowledge the ways in which gender and sexuality (articulated to other forms of difference) shape classroom dynamics, and that did not build capacities for negotiating issues related to gender and sexuality as they positively and negatively influence scenes of learning. We began this project two years ago with the question: what might constitute “queer pedagogy,” and what can queer pedagogy do for students, instructors, and curricula? Through reflection on and evaluation of our own classroom practices and their effects; dialogue with one another; and research into queer studies, models of queer education, and modes of queer pedagogy training, we have developed a framework for understanding queer pedagogy along three vectors: 1) fostering inclusive classrooms; 2) negotiating instructor performances; and 3) queering classroom content and methods. Our current work has been to develop concrete strategies for implementing queer pedagogy in our own classrooms, and we hope to share the transferrable skills and resources we have created with the larger university community through a half-day workshop (to be held May 17, 2012). This poster will introduce symposium participants to our framework and some of the strategies we’ve developed for queering our respective pedagogies. Ultimately, we believe that queer pedagogy can be important to all kinds of teachers interested in creating inclusive and productive classrooms, all kinds of students invested in learning about different perspectives and norms, and all kinds of subject matter as it is shaped by and articulated through gender and sexuality. Our poster will also describe our ongoing plans for implementing and assessing queer pedagogy in the classroom.

Poster #20. Off the RAILS! The Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (RAILS) Project at UW Bothell

Jackie Belanger, Nia Lam, Karen Rosenberg, Dani Rowland, Beth Sanderson, Linda Watts, Campus Library, UW Bothell; Campus Library, UW Bothell; Writing Center, UW Bothell; Campus Library, UW Bothell; Campus Library, UW Bothell; Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell

Poster #20 abstract

This poster will highlight the implementation and findings from a major assessment project undertaken in 2010-2011 at the University of Washington Bothell/Cascadia Community College Campus Library. The Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (RAILS) project is directed by Megan Oakleaf (Syracuse University) and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Studies (IMLS). The three year project is designed to understand how rubrics can be used by librarians and faculty to assess information literacy skills, and UWB/CCC Campus Library was one of five institutions from across the U.S. to be selected to participate in the first year of the project. Our participation involved collecting 125 samples of student work from upper and lower division programs, assembling a team of faculty and librarians to assess this work, and participating in a day-long process of rubric development and scoring of student papers. As a result of our participation in RAILS, the Campus Library has learned a great deal about how students use and cite research sources, and has also put in place a robust process for our ongoing information literacy assessment activities.
This poster will present our experience of developing and using rubrics to measure information literacy outcomes. We will also provide ideas for best practices in conducting assessment projects (including approaches to collecting student work, and fostering collaboration between librarians, faculty, and other campus partners) and share ideas about how developing rubrics can help to lead to more sustainable long-term assessment efforts. The poster will also detail our findings from the project, and showcase changes to our instruction based on these findings. This session will be of interest for UW faculty, staff, and librarians engaged in information literacy instruction and assessment, and for anyone interested in using rubrics to improve teaching and learning.

Poster #21. COPHP: An Innovative Approach to Developing Leaders in Public Health Practice

Alarmel Gita Krishnaswamy, Paula Kett, Peter House, Health Services, UW Campus

Poster #21 abstract

The Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program (COPHP) at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health employs a unique, innovative approach to prepare students for careers as public health practitioners. The curriculum is based on a case study model, where students integrate research, analysis, and verbal communication skills to learn about the core competencies of public health. The series of case studies also places a particular emphasis on social justice and community development. Faculty embrace the pedagogy of Problem-Based Learning (PBL), in which students learn through self-directed facilitation and inquiry. There are no textbooks or required readings; instead, students conduct research and synthesize information into written reports on a weekly basis. In addition, many cases require students to apply newly acquired skills in community settings, and students work on team-based projects in partnership with a community-based organization at least once per quarter. For example, in 2011, second-year students studying health policy presented recommendations for revised radiation exposure standards to the Director of the Office of Radiation Protection of the Washington State Department of Health, based on extensive research and a rapid policy analysis. Through this novel approach that replicates a real workplace environment, students synthesize knowledge, skills, and understanding of core public health competencies while critically assessing the complexities of real word public health challenges. Students emerge from the COPHP program with excellent problem solving and communication skills, ready to lead in the field of public health practice.

Poster #22. Advanced Pain Life Support (APLS)

Agnes Stogicza, Loreto Lollo, Anesthesiology, UW Campus

Poster #22 abstract

This is an educational intervention to improve patient safety by increasing pain physician’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to responding appropriately to emergencies during interventional pain procedures. This course trains interventional physicians in the early recognition, assessment and timely appropriate treatment of procedure related life threatening complications using simulated scenarios in a controlled real time environment allowing adaptive thinking to maximize the learning impact.
A team approach, simulation of these catastrophes, active thinking, challenging situations and timely feedback would be expected to improve response and outcomes of all pain providers.
Utilizing pre- and post-testing, didactic lectures, hands–on simulation training, and participant feedback, we improved outcomes compared to historical data.
Key elements include:
1) assessing the possible complications associated with different procedures,
2) recognizing the early signs of the emergency situation and then intervening early in an event,
3) using various alternative techniques to manage the situation, and
4) optimizing resource management skills.
Initially conceived as a training module for non-anesthesiology pain fellows, training all physicians involved in interventional pain procedures would benefit patients and improve outcomes. A parallel can be drawn from the benefits of all physicians requiring training and maintained certification in ACLS.

Poster #23. Increasing Accessibility Through Online Office Hours

Andrew Boydston, Chemistry, UW Campus

Poster #23 abstract

I would like to present my experiences using Canvas as an online platform for hosting video office hours. Canvas, an online learning management platform, has been used to increase student accessibility and participation in office hours for CHEM 237, a large class of about 400 students. With the use of Canvas, office hours are conducted via videoconference. Each week, 2 in-person office hours and 2 online office hours are held. Unlike in-person office hours, online office hours sessions are held during study times (evenings and weekends). Since no commuting is involved, more students can join in the conversation. No additional resources are required of the professor. Also, the spatial flexibility means that there is no need for room reservations for office hours to be scheduled. The entire web-based office hours session is recorded and kept online. A chat window queues questions. The presenter’s window allows the display of PPT and other materials, and a whiteboard function allows the professor to draw on the screen. The auto-mute feature mutes everyone except the question-asker and the professor.
Conclusions: Students generally give excellent reviews regarding the use of this new technology in enhancing the learning experience. According to a poll, the usefulness of online office hours: 3.98/5.0; usefulness of in-person office hours: 3.84/5.0.

Poster #24. Enhancing the Student Experience: Canvas, Tegrity, and eTexts

Cara Giacomini, Karin Roberts, Greg Koester, Heidi Stahl, UW-IT, UW Campus

Poster #24 abstract

UW-IT is providing to campus three technologies, which help students and instructors manage course content, communicate regularly, review course content, and access course materials online.
The Canvas learning management system improves student-to-student and student-to-instructor communication via assignment submission, online testing, efficient grading, instant messaging, and video chat. The purpose of the pilot is to evaluate how well Canvas meets the needs of UW users and to identify ways to improve the user experience. Canvas was first used on UW campuses in 24 courses in Autumn Quarter 2011. In Winter Quarter 2012, Canvas was used in 64 courses. UW-IT assessed the use of Canvas in these courses, and presents some of the best practices to emerge from that assessment, such as using Canvas to hold virtual office hours.
Tegrity, a video and screen-capture service, allows students to post and share content, and to review lectures anywhere they can connect to the Internet. Based on UW-IT’s assessment of Tegrity use in Winter 2012, some of its benefits include (1) the opportunity to review complex topics at one’s own pace; (2) the ability to focus on the lecture in class and take notes later while reviewing the lecture via Tegrity. After the snow days during January 2012, several instructors used Tegrity to disseminate lectures and make up for lost time caused by the extended campus closure.
eText, online text delivery, has the potential to improve learning and enhance student engagement, all at a lower cost than traditional textbooks (approximately 35%). The eTexts pilot project will assess two systems, one focusing on annotation and collaboration, the other on compatibility and accessibility. Both provide easily searchable electronic texts that have close fidelity to a printed page. Among the goals of the pilot are: (1) to identify best practices for using eTexts in support of teaching and learning, and (2) lay the foundation for reducing the cost of digital education resources for students.

Poster #25. Simulation Training Improves Performance in Paramedic Central Venous Catheter Placement

David Carlbom, Medicine, Pulmonary Critical Care, UW Campus

Poster #25 abstract

Introduction: Paramedics typically place peripheral venous catheters (IVs) to deliver medications and volume resuscitation to critically ill patients. There are times when peripheral IVs cannot be placed due to patient anatomy, volume depletion, or scarring. In our mature EMS system, paramedics place a catheter-through-needle subclavian central venous catheter as an alternative to peripheral IVs. Traditionally, this procedural skill has been taught in a lecture or patient simulation format.
Methods: 34 paramedic students enrolled in the University of Washington Paramedic Training Program were allocated to two groups using randomization. Each group was taught the procedure in one of two sequences over a 10-day period. Lecture incorporated electronic slides taught by a physician instructor. Simulation training involved skill demonstration with monitored practice using a central venous catheter mannequin; taught by two senior paramedics. Subjects were tested by three methods: knowledge test, procedure demonstration, and attitude test.
Results: There was a difference at the time of the Mid-Test. Mean simulation procedure checklist score for “A: lecture first” = 9.6; “B: simulation first” = 12.2. Difference in midpoint simulation procedure checklist score between the groups = 2.6, 95% CI (0.8, 4.4), p=0.006. There was no statistically significant difference in the post-test procedure checklist scores between groups. Adding lecture training to simulation training resulted in higher procedure checklist scores, compared to only simulation training. We found the difference in scores for students who underwent simulation followed by lecture to be 3.4 from post-test to mid-test, 95% CI (2.4, 4.5), p<0.001.
Conclusions: Simulation training is associated with an improved ability to perform a central venous catheter insertion. A specific training sequence is not associated with a difference in ability to insert a central venous catheter. Receiving lecture after already completed simulation training is associated with an improved ability to insert a central venous catheter.

Poster #26. Engineering Design in Context: Breadth of Concerns

Ken Yasuhara, Ryan Campbell, Cindy Atman,Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, Human Centered Design and Engineering / Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching, UW Campus

Poster #26 abstract

Current national priorities in U.S. engineering education, such as those advanced by ABET accreditation criteria and the NAE’s Engineer of 2020 reports, emphasize the importance of training engineers to situate their work more broadly. Due to factors such as globalization, climate change, and even issues of social justice, engineers must learn to include and address considerations beyond the traditional engineering purview of the technical and economic. However, engineering is traditionally very narrow in its scope, and effective ways of expanding its view in the classroom remain largely unknown and unexplored. As a first step towards developing broader course and/or curriculum materials, this research addresses the need for understanding how breadth of student thinking is affected by the context or framing of the design problem.
We are involved in several approaches to addressing this need. One approach involves the analysis of interviews conducted in the spring of 2006 by the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE). With this data, we are exploring ways in which knowledge of Hurricane Katrina may have influenced student responses to a conceptually related design-scoping task. This work employs elements of phenomenography to capture the qualitatively different ways in which students reported that Katrina knowledge affected their approaches to design.
At this point in the analysis, we have learned that knowledge of Katrina primarily caused students to consider “people issues” during design scoping. Furthermore, Katrina knowledge prompted consideration of the natural environment, the designed artifact (i.e., a retaining wall), and aspects of the design process. We also see some preliminary indications of a correlation between explicit consideration of the design process and breadth of design considerations.


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