2013 UW Teaching and Learning Symposium

The 2013 University of Washington Teaching and Learning Symposium is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. The Symposium will take place in HUB Lyceum, and will provide you with opportunities to interact with UW colleagues who are actively engaged in examining teaching and learning in their disciplines.

The symposium will feature a keynote panel and concurrent poster sessions, featuring the innovative work of faculty, students and staff on all three UW campuses.

Schedule

Event schedule:
2:00 - 2:15 Welcome by Provost Ana Mari Cauce
2:15 - 3:00 Poster Session #1 (odd-numbered posters)
3:00 - 3:45 Keynote Panel: Technology for Innovative Teaching: From F2F to MOOCs
3:45 - 4:30 Poster Session #2 (even-number posters)

Keynote Panelists

Lekelia (Kiki) Jenkins, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
Hedwige Meyer, French and Italian Studies
Stuart Reges, Computer Science and Engineering
Eric Zivot, Economics

Poster Presenters

Information for poster presenters →

Email Questions and Comments to: sotl@u.washington.edu

 

Poster Session I: 2:15 - 3:00 — Odd-numbered posters

1

Conceptualizing Connections: Laying the Foundation for Assessment

Megan Watson, Nia Lam, Alyssa Berger

UW-Bothell, Cascadia Community College Campus Library

Abstract

Assessment through learning outcomes is a widely-adopted practice in higher education, but aligning course, department and institutional learning outcomes can be a challenge. One may easily become overwhelmed by the various levels of outcomes and lose sight of how they work together and, ultimately, strengthen our curriculum.

This is particularly true at the UW Bothell/Cascadia Community College Campus Library, where instruction librarians juggle two sets of institutional learning goals, program and course outcomes, as well as our own library learning outcomes. In order to visualize connections between multiple levels of outcomes, we facilitated a workshop in which librarians created "3D assessment engines"; that is, visual representations of our various goals and how they map to each other. This non-traditional assessment activity enabled librarians to conceptualize their instruction within program, library and institutional learning goals and to make new connections between these outcomes. Visually, we pinpointed which outcomes draw the most focus and which are not addressed as thoroughly. We also found that working collaboratively on the assessment engines had value in and of itself, generating meaningful discussion about our learning outcomes and their institutional context.

This poster will document our library's experience creating 3D assessment engines and show examples of the engines at various stages throughout the process. The poster will also address the ways in which our librarians found the assessment engines useful and identify further implications and applications of this assessment activity.

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3

Professional Development in the Age of Social Media: Lessons from the Teachers

Helen Buckland, jenny williamson, Conn McQuinn

Nursing,Online Neurobiology Education about Drug Addiction; Nursing, How Do I Learn?; Nursing, Online Neurobiology Education About Drug Addiction and How Do I Learn?

Abstract

Two goals of the Online Neurobiology Education About Drug Addiction project include: 1. creation of a comprehensive sustainable university level online biology course on the biology of addiction for high school students and 2. development of professional learning communities (PLCs) for high school biology teachers to support implementation in their high school. Professional development included a four day intensive summer institute at the UW and professional learning community (PLC) experiences over the school year for Cohort One teachers (N=11). Based on their feedback, Edmodo, an educator social networking site, was adopted for them and the Second Cohort (N=10).

To examine Edmodo's effectiveness as a way to enhance teacher confidence and capacity to teach BIOL 100, teachers were given Edmodo training on-site at the second summer institute, and on-line through a tutorial. Booster sessions occurred at PLCs during the school year. Project staff posted resources for content lessons, labs and class activities on the Edmodo site on a monthly basis and encouraged teachers through monthly communication to share materials with others on the site as well.

In February of 2013, a survey link (five questions) was sent to the teachers so they could provide feedback regarding Edmodo use, benefits and suggestions for the future. Results of this survey will be compiled in March 2013. During this session we will share our processes on using Edmodo to develop our PLCs and lessons learned.

This project is supported by the SCIENCE EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP AWARD Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE Grant Number: 5R25DA028796-04

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5

Commit to Flipping Without Making A Full-Time Commitment

Linda Martin-Morris, Erin Hill

Biology; Physics

Abstract

A flipped classroom is one in which passive acquisition of content material happens outside of class, saving in-class, face-to-face time for more active, student-centered activities. We describe two very different contexts (two classrooms, two sizes, two subjects, two campuses) in which we have flipped our classrooms without spending excessive time in preparing the out-of-class learning "environment". In class 1 [UWB, introductory physics], students prepare for active in-class work through guided viewing of common-source video recordings and textbook readings. As the quarter progressed, students expressed a preference for the latter to prepare for active class activities. In class 2 [UWS, junior-level biology], students prepare for two weeks of in-class work by viewing an instructor-generated 20-minute lecture. For both class 1 and class 2, students come prepared to class meetings in order to work with peers on content-broadening and deepening activities. These activities include solving problems, peer-instruction, discussions, building models, and video-conferencing with off-campus experts. Instructors are free to use class time to interact with students as they engage in these endeavors, to hear what they are thinking and why, and to re-direct wayward students. Instructors also, frankly, get the pleasure of working WITH student learners, enhancing the classroom experience for instructors as well. Our poster will describe these two learning contexts. We will offer examples of in- and out-of-class tasks. We will also offer "lessons-learned" that direct us toward improving both in-class and out-of-class activities and student performance and engagement. Lastly, we will offer a proposal for how we might assess this learning environment both during the course of a quarter and beyond, to subsequent classes.

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7

Connected World

Emily Curtis

Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Abstract

In our increasingly wired and connected world, some argue that learning is also more widely interconnected, diversified—weblike—and dependent on making connections. This latter point is not new (think Dewey, Piaget, and others), but can get lost in the shuffle of fast-paced, competitive, or teacher-centered classrooms. Connections between prior and new knowledge and thinking are important in the learning process. Educationist bell hooks also stresses connection-making, saying "[students] rightfully expect that my colleagues and I will not offer them information without addressing the connection between what they are learning and their overall life experiences. This demand on the students’ part does not mean that they will always accept our guidance" (hooks,1994; emphasis added).

In the course I have designed for pre-service school teachers, I take the making of connections a step further, and advance hooks' second statement: my syllabus makes connection-making the responsibility of the student, for who better to make the connections than the person with the relevant experiences to connect to? Main graded assignments are personal "reflections" on the course material, to be centered on connecting the new linguistics concepts to students' own teaching (ideologies as well as lesson planning, textbooks, classroom talk, etc.). Does a reflection-connection assignment, also an exercise in metacognition, support student learning as well as report on it?

These reflection assignments will also be used in the instructor's action research, where the course, the relevance of the concepts and the effectiveness of learning activities, are critically assessed from the points of view of students and the instructor-researcher in order to inform the wider Teacher Education field about how this type of course, called for by Teacher Education researchers (Valdes, Bunch, Snow, & Lee, 2005; Wong Fillmore & Snow, 2002) but still novel, might best be designed, enacted and taken up.

Hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress : education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.

Valdes, G., Bunch, G., Snow, C., & Lee, C. (2005). Enhancing the Development of Students' Language(s). In L. Darling-Hammond & J. Bransford (Eds.), Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: what teachers should learn and be able to do (pp. 126-168). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Wong Fillmore, L., & Snow, C. E. (2002). What Teachers Need to Know About Language. In C. Temple Adger, C. E. Snow & D. Christian (Eds.), What Teachers Need to Know About Language. McHenry, IL: Center for Applied Linguistics and Delta Systems Co. Inc.

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9

Student Understanding of Basic Electricity and Magnetism Concepts in Cases with Conductors

Ryan Hazelton

Physics

Abstract

In an introductory physics course, it is necessary to teach basic ideas such as electric fields and electric potential difference before discussion of electric circuits can take place. This study, run in the calculus-based intro course, looked at student ability to use basic electrostatic concepts in a variety of cases. The main aim was to determine how effective the current lecture treatment of the topic is to teach students these concepts. Free-response questions were asked on midterms following the relevant lecture topics, and both answers and student reasoning were examined. Analysis of these post-tests shows that students can correctly reason about simple cases, but their understanding breaks down in more complex systems which involve conductors.

This work is part of an on-going investigation into student learning of electricity and magnetism in the introductory courses, which informs the development of concept-based curricula designed to address common student difficulties.

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11

Increasing the Achievement of Historically Underrepresented Groups in Large STEM Classes

Sarah Eddy, Mary Pat Wenderoth, Kelly Hogan, Mercedes Converse, Scott Freeman

Biology; Biology; Biology; German; Biology

Abstract

The demographics of the United States are changing, and but STEM fields are not diversifying at the same rate. This is particularly troubling when an equal number of students from historically underrepresented groups (including women, Asian, Black, Latin@, and Native American) and traditional students (male or White) express an interest in STEM upon entering college. This implies there is something about the college STEM experience that is a barrier for non-traditional students. We have undertaken 3 projects to explore ways to improve the academic achievement of students from historically underrepresented group in large STEM gateway courses. (1) We modified an all majors introductory biology course to provide a more structured learning experiences for students at an institution with 27% Black, Latin@ and Native American students. This modification increased the achievement of students of all races, but disproportionately helped Black students. (2) We implemented a 15 minute writing intervention that improved exam performance of Black, Latin@, Native American and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students relative to similar students who had the control writing assignment. (3) We are testing how the individual components that make up the "increase structure" classroom treatment impact achievement of students from diverse backgrounds (i.e. the relative impact of each activity). We have begun studies at 5 colleges and institutions selected because they have high proportions of different historically underrepresented groups (including Latin@, Black, Asian, English as a Second Language, and first generation students ). Overall, this work should help us identify classroom practices that will increase the retention and achievement of historically underrepresented groups in large science courses and thereby keep STEM populated with the best possible practitioners and increase the range perspectives contributing to our fields.

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13

Skype-Facilitated Discussions on the Process of Behavioral Biology

Jeremy Davis

Biology, Vassar College, Seattle University

Abstract

In this poster, I will discuss Skype sessions as an inexpensive and easy way to expose students to the authentic processes of science. Over the past 4 years, my animal behavior course at Vassar College has engaged in conversations with 4-6 scientists per semester via Skype. My hope is that these sessions achieve 3 goals: 1) They reveal how the author's conclusions arise from their experimental results, 2) They provide students insight into the "real scientific method;" a mixture of inspiration, repeated failure, and compromise. 3) They humanize scientists, and help students see themselves in the same role. I will provide tips on how to successfully implement these sessions and present qualitative student feedback on the experience as well as insights from the participating scientists.

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15

Current Teacher Education Research: Learning, Developing and Sustaining Ambitious and Equitable Science Teaching Practice

Carolyn Colley, Kat Laxton

Curriculum & Instruction, Science Education

Abstract

Great science teaching can be learned. Ambitious teaching deliberately aims to get students of all backgrounds to understand science ideas, participate in the discourses of the discipline, and solve authentic problems. We describe 4 core instructional strategies that support this kind of teaching. These "high-leverage" practices make up the Science Learning Framework, and have been selected based on extensive research of how young people learn science, on authentic forms of science activity, and how teachers learn to appropriate new practices. Through these practices, teachers provide students with continuous opportunities to engage in meaningful sense-making. Our research projects aim to capture a story of teacher learning and networking around ambitious and equitable teaching practices that support student learning. We have several projects in progress that study 1) how beginning teachers continue to develop these practices once they leave the university teacher education setting through five teacher case studies, 2) how teachers use scaffolds within assessments to impact student's construction of evidence-based explanations by coding and analyzing structures samples of student science assessments (N=707), 3) how novice teachers contextualize scientific phenomena when planning units and during instruction by looking at discourse episodes across 201 science lessons taught by 36 teachers, 4) how novice teachers use students' lived experiences as contextual features in classroom talk as sense-making opportunities by selecting three teacher cases from the discourse episodes analyzed in the previous project, and 5) how cooperating teachers and teacher-candidates develop networks to solve problems of practice and student-learning by analyzing and coding teachers' use of tools to solve problems in teaching during planning, teaching, and debriefing sessions. Through our work with novice secondary science teachers we have learned that the uptake, interpretation, and sustainability of these high leverage practices varies and that problems of practice and student learning can be addressed by participating in professional networks aimed at improving student learning with other educators.

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17

Research 101: A Library Project

Meredith Higgins, Verletta Kern, John Holmes

MLIS, iSchool; Libraries Reference & Research Services; Odegaard Undergraduate Library

Abstract

Research 101 is an interactive, online tutorial that teaches baseline research skills through a series of loosely connected modules. The project combines information literacy, digital technologies, and traditional library instruction. The finished product will be used in several ways—as a tool that students can access independently through the Libraries' website; in conjunction with face-to-face or remote library references services; in conjunction with in-class library instruction, "flipping the classroom" to give students more in-class work time and attention; and embedded alongside assignments or class lectures in a learning management system such as Canvas.

The project covers several topics frequently taught by librarians at the reference desk, virtually through chat reference, in classroom instructional workshops, and through our online tutorials. Research 101 situates student research within communication cycles which describe the nature of information production and distribution, then moves on to analyzing an assignment and conducting multiple iterations of search planning, executing, and evaluating. Compared to current online library teaching tools, it employs a more interactive platform and has a greater focus on high level information literacy concepts and communication/composition in an increasingly digital research and writing environment.

Through this project, we are examining:

  • How do students interact with library teaching resources?
  • How can we create tools and learning environments to improve undergraduate research, writing, and information literacy?
  • How can we provide librarians with tools that increase their efficacy and efficiency?
  • How can we use library teaching tools to encourage collaboration between libraries, students, instructors, and writing centers?

To examine the effects on our teaching, we are putting the tutorial through several rounds of review and usability testing with librarians, students, and instructors. In our first round of usability testing, we focused on how students choose to interact with the tutorial's blend of audio, visual, and textual information, given students' different learning preferences. We are continuing to edit the tutorial based on these reviews and usability testing. Assessment will be conducted in conjunction with the library's assessment team this Spring quarter. Based on our experiences with other online tools, we expect to see deeper, more complex questions addressed to librarians and taught through library instruction sessions.

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19

Understanding the Dynamic Large-Lecture Classroom Through Network Analysis

Benjamin Wiggins, Dan Grunspan

Biology; Anthropology

Abstract

Classrooms are social environments. Our largest lecture halls are the size of many small towns and develop their own intricate social structures that can greatly affect teaching and learning. Social network analysis allows us to rigorously analyze the interactions that make up our learning environments. In particular, we use exponential random graph models to test hypotheses using easy-to-collect student interaction data.

Our poster will describe and demonstrate the methods we are using for data collection, analysis and interpretation. This method is widely applicable to questions about student learning, perceptions, and the use of student societies to help or hinder learning. Our focus in this poster is to show the kinds of questions that can be asked and tested.

For example, we can show that students in a 200-student Biology course are extremely accurate in their perceptions of other student's knowledge (as judged by exam scores that are otherwise confidential). Previously anecdotal, this support for social hypotheses can inform changing classroom styles, especially in large lectures where the social environment dwarfs infrequent instructor-student interactions. This is just the beginning, and we hope to spread this technique to other researchers in education.

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21

"Practicing Deliberation as Citizenship" through Classroom Design: Promoting Cooperative Learning in Higher Education

Grace Blum, Doug Judge

Curriculum and Instruction; Special Education

Abstract

The inclusion of cooperative learning groups in classroom design has been found to be an effective way in promoting learning and achievement among students. Developing a 'learning community' within the classroom allows for students to gain insight into the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to be contributing members to both the classroom and the community at-large.

In order to learn more about how to successfully implement the use of cooperative learning groups in the higher education classroom, we conducted a case study of Dr. Eugene Edgar, an exemplary educator in the department of Special Education. Over the last 30 years, Dr. Edgar has employed a variety of innovative constructivist pedagogies in his “Introduction to Special Education” course for both undergraduate and graduate level students. In particular, his intentional focus on developing a 'learning community' has been a central part of his course design.

Students are placed in heterogeneous home groups consisting of 6-8 members. The purpose of the home groups is to provide each student with a small learning community where they can practice community-building skills and receive critical feedback from other group members. These groups also provide the space for learning about special education, discussing the textbook readings as well as constructing knowledge of the issues surrounding disabilities. In addition, his students have been required to increase deliberation skills of listening and speaking and decision-making skills. The home groups have allowed students to reflect deeply on their dispositions and worldviews and have provided students the space to consider expanding them, specifically in terms of respect, responsibility, equity, justice, caring, and empathy in the context of working with students with disabilities. Students' final reflection papers, group final exam, weekly exit notes, and most strikingly, the visible camaraderie among the home groups are indicators that students are working together to think critically and deepen their learning.

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23

Navigating from Vision to Change: Curriculum Assessment in UW's Department of Biology

Sara Brownell, Scott Freeman, Alison Crowe

Biology

Abstract

The report Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education (AAAS, 2011) has outlined a set of core concepts that are intended to guide undergraduate biology education: (1) evolution, (2) structure and function, (3) information flow, exchange, and storage, (4) pathways and transformations of energy and matter, and (5) systems. The Department of Biology at the University of Washington is committed to establishing a core set of learning goals aligned with Vision and Change and creating an assessment that can monitor undergraduate biology majors' understanding of these learning goals as they progress through the curriculum. We began this process by conducting a series of faculty interviews to create an initial set of learning goals. Using a Likert-scale online survey, faculty were asked how important were these faculty-derived learning goals and the Vision and Change core concepts on the scale of Not at all important, Slightly important, Moderately important, Very important or Extremely important. We found strong agreement between the faculty interviews and the more widespread faculty survey: faculty rated all of the learning goals to be moderately important or higher. Importantly, we found that faculty rated all of the Vision and Change core concepts as very important or higher. In order to delineate what these general core concepts mean for sub-disciplines of biology, we formed faculty discussion groups for ecology/evolution, physiology/neuroscience, and molecular/cellular biology. These groups independently identified how the core concepts of Vision and Change could be translated to specific topics in their sub-discipline of biology, from which a master framework was generated. Using this framework, we plan on developing a curriculum assessment closely aligned with Vision and Change that will be used to track the progression of biology majors through the biology curriculum.

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25

Low-stakes Quizzing for Personalized Active Learning

Peter Wallis, Jake Kulstad

UW-IT, College of Education; UW-IT

Abstract

Throughout recent educational history, multiple choice quizzes and tests have been derided by some, and misused by others. They have been seen as the ultimate assessment, and as the lowest form of assessment.

Our research suggest that low-stakes multiple choice quizzes can be used effectively within in-person, hybrid, and online learning environments to engage students in the subject, allow self-measurement, provide specific feedback to faculty, and help students review important vocabulary. Quizzing has also been used in active and flipped classrooms, to personalize learning to individual students' problem areas.

We will cite examples of low-stakes quizzing at the UW Campus, and similar tools at the University of Utah. These groups compared student grade expectations and actual grades, grade performance, and student satisfaction surveys to evaluate low-stakes quizzing, and found it effective.

Drawing on these and other examples, we will suggest frameworks for how low-stakes quizzing could be efficiently developed across a department or school within the Canvas LMS, and how it could be applied in the classroom and staff development.

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27

Conceptual Frameworks and Misconceptions Associated with Core Principles of Physiology, including Homeostasis

Jenny McFarland, Mary Pat Wenderoth

Biology Department, Edmonds Community College; Biology

Abstract

The core principles of physiology are those that physiology students should understand and be able to use. We have 'unpacked' three of the most important core principles (Flow Down Gradients, Homeostasis and Cell-Cell Communications) into their component ideas and thereby articulated a conceptual framework for each. Physiology faculty at 2- and 4-year colleges, universities and medical schools were surveyed and asked to identify the importance of each of the component ideas; the result of our first survey on 'Flow' was reported last year. Amongst the >40 responses to our survey on unpacking Homeostasis, there was strong agreement on the importance of the first level of component ideas within the conceptual framework. For example, ~80% agreed that the component idea that "Homeostatic processes require a sensor" was essential to understanding this core concept, however, less than a third responded that sub-component idea 'Sensory receptors may be in different, distant locations in the body' was essential. We have also identified misconceptions associated with some core principles and linked these to our unpacked conceptual frameworks. We are using the conceptual frameworks and the misconceptions to develop a conceptual assessment of physiology (CAP) instrument (i.e., a concept inventory). Supported by NSF grant DUE-1043443.

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29

Learning Anywhere and Everywhere: A Day in the Life of the UW Student

Heidi Stahl, Janice Fournier, Ammy Phuwanartnurak, Cara Giacomini

UW-IT

Abstract

Increasingly, students want 24/7 access to learning resources and expect to be able to make progress on their learning goals anywhere they are, even on the go. (One illustration of this point is the 43% increase in the use of the Canvas learning management system from Autumn Quarter 2012 to Winter Quarter 2013.) UW-IT provides tools that enhance the student experience and promote learning within and beyond the classroom. These tools shift the boundaries of learning by allowing students to perform a wide variety of education-related tasks that have historically been bound by time and location. Technologies created and/or supported by UW-IT enable students to:

  • communicate more frequently with peers and instructors
  • track academic progress
  • design, conduct, and monitor surveys for research
  • watch lectures outside the classroom
  • locate optimal places for study
  • find classrooms
  • purchase textbooks
  • register for or view upcoming courses

The UW-IT poster will depict a typical day in the life of a student, illustrating the ways that students are using technology to extend learning from dorm to HUB to classroom to library, and will include relevant research and usage data about Canvas, Tegrity, MyUW Mobile, SpaceScout, and WebQ. Data is drawn from focus groups that collected student input for designing SpaceScout, MyUW Mobile, and WebQ. Data about Canvas and Tegrity comes from student surveys measuring the impact of these tools on academic achievement. For example, when asked about the affect reviewing Tegrity recordings of lectures had on their learning, 83% of students surveyed agreed that it contributed to their learning. Our goal is to show how these technologies work together to expand students' personal learning environments for learning anywhere, anytime.

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31

Combined Clinical Seminar for Nurse-Midwifery Students: Teaching Beginner and Advanced Learners

Judy Lazarus, Ira Kantrowitz-Gordon

School of Nursing, Family and Child Nursing

Abstract

Clinical seminars are used in advanced practice nursing programs to facilitate shared learning among a cohort of students and to integrate practicum experiences with evidence-based practice taught in didactic classes. Clinical seminars are limited in class size in order to accommodate specialty-specific learning needs but this presents challenges to educational program's costs and faculty teaching capacity. In order to address these challenges, we piloted teaching NCLIN 512G, Advanced Practicum in Family and Child Nursing, to nurse-midwifery students in the first and second years of their clinical program of study. Our challenge was to provide community building and level-appropriate learning strategies for each student cohort while maximizing the gains to each cohort from interaction in the course. The integration of the two cohorts needed to occur in the classroom and in on-line activities.

The redesigned course included: 'expert' panels of advanced students, peer teaching of pelvic examination skills, online discussion forums and case presentations that were cohort specific and across cohorts, hot-topic discussions, and break-out sessions for cohort specific content and reflection. It was critical to the students from each group to maintain and nourish their cohort-specific learning community. Students found that the shared learning experiences contributed positively to their education while still providing learning that was appropriate for their stage in the program. Advanced students were delighted to discover the wealth of skills and guidance they could provide to the beginning students. Beginning students found great inspiration in observing the level of skills gained by those farther along in the program. For both cohorts, the mixed course provided expanded opportunities for reflection, community building, and clinical learning. Providing the seminar in this manner required increased faculty time for course planning and guiding the breakout sessions, but overall instructional costs were less than teaching the seminar separately to two groups.

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33

Likes Attract in a College Biology Classroom

Scott Freeman, Roddy Theobald, Alison Crowe, Mary Pat Wenderoth

Biology; Statistics; Biology; Biology

Abstract

Although a growing literature has documented the effectiveness of informal group work during both lecture- and studio-style science and math classes, virtually no data exist on which students are collaborating with each other. We wanted to find out how students self-sort when they know that they will be asked to work in small groups on graded activities. In a large-enrollment introductory biology course for majors that emphasized intensive peer interaction, we documented which students worked together on each of five in-class paper and pencil exercises that were scheduled throughout the term. We used pair-wise logistic regression models to assess the likelihood that students collaborated based on their demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, and academic performance. In almost all five activities, students self-sorted by ethnicity and gender. Interestingly, by the end of the quarter students who were doing well in the course began collaborating with each other.

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35

Scaffolding Reflection: Analyzing Learning Journals in Materials Engineering

Kerrie Kephart, Michellene Steinberg

Human Centered Design and Engineering

Abstract

In undergraduate studies, reflective writing has been connected with such valued outcomes as deeper conceptual understanding (Chi, et al., 1994), improved course performance (Cisero, 2006), and the integration of theory and experience (de Acosta, 1995). It has been framed in terms of cognitive activities such as reporting, sense-making, questioning, revising, and synthesizing. Perhaps because its value lies in activities that are perceived to be inherently introspective, investigations of reflective writing are often framed in monologic ways, connecting journaling to such factors as learner motivation and autonomy. Yet, as pedagogical genres, learning journals are inherently dialogic. That is, students write them in response to instructors’ prompts and feedback, which influences the purposes students perceive for writing, the content and form their writing takes, and the potential for reflection and learning. Moreover, in many studies, what constitutes (good) reflective writing is assumed to be transparent. Formal linguistic characteristics of reflective writing and their relationship to thinking and understanding have generally not been a focus of investigation.

The work presented in this poster addresses these gaps by analyzing learning journals written for an undergraduate (junior-level) course in applied thermodynamics, in conjunction with the writing prompt and written feedback students received. Students wrote weekly entries and the journals were graded on a "credit/no credit" basis. A classification scheme was developed and validated to characterize the nature of students' conceptual understanding as well as the evolution of their thinking during the semester. This scheme was applied to 10 student journals. Initial analyses showed that most of the journals directly addressed the writing prompt and many students used the instructor's feedback on early entries to develop more effective journaling-to-learn strategies. Implications are drawn for assignment design and assessment of reflective learning journals.

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37

A Statistical Analysis of the Efficacy of Online Learning in General Chemistry at the University of Washington

Colleen Craig, Jan Irvahn, Jacob Parikh, Andrea Carroll, Philip Reid

Chemistry; Statistics; Biochemistry; Chemistry; Chemistry and UW Information Technologies

Abstract

We present the results of a linear regression of exam scores for students in general chemistry versus performance in two online learning systems, WebAssign and ALEKS, to determine which system correlated most strongly with exam performance. WebAssign presents problems in a traditional manner, whereas ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is an adaptive, tutorial-based system. Comparisons are made for students taking the same general chemistry course, taught by the same instructor, in the same quarter in subsequent years, where WebAssign was used one year, and ALEKS the next. Our results show a stronger correlation between homework score and exam performance when ALEKS is used (r ~ 0.6) than when WebAssign is used (r ~ 0.4), The stronger correlation between ALEKS performance and exam performance persists across instructor and gender categories, and is observed early in the quarter, such that ALEKS performance can be used by students and instructors as an early-time, low-risk metric of student learning.

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Poster Session II: 3:45 - 4:30 — Even-numbered posters

2

Incorporating Creativity and Artistic Expression in Environmental Science Courses

Ursula Valdez

Environmental Sciences Program, IAS UW-Tacoma

Abstract

Science courses are often feared or even considered boring by college students, in particular by freshmen. While is important to teach sound science and its applications, my goal was to find ways to increase the level of student engagement in current environmental issues. Here I present examples of the work I did for two quarters with students in an Introduction to Science CORE class (UW-Tacoma) and a 300-level course in Environmental Sciences. Students were assigned a quarter-long project in which they documented and analyzed scientific information for a current environmental issue. They also were ask to produce a creative or artistic piece using their own skills and aiming to communicate their project to a public audience of their choice. Students covered topics on current environmental issues (species extinction, deforestation, pollution, climate change, etc.) and produced pieces such as guitar musical pieces, videos, children's storybooks, songs, games and others. In addition, students of the upper division course were also mentored by a volunteer expert in the topic of their research, and produced their creative piece aiming at it being used in other educational activities in the future. I conducted a survey among the students and asked to provide information related to their experience learning environmental sciences in conjunction with an exploration of their creativity. At least 70% of the students responded with positive results to the survey. I also provide comparisons of the survey results between freshmen and upper-level students.

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4

Wiggo Webinars: Professional Development in the Virtual World

jenny williamson, Helen Buckland, Cheryl Lydon

Biobehavioral Nursing & Health System, Nursing; Biobehavioral Nursing and Health System, Nursing; Puget Sound Educational Service District

Abstract

One of the primary goals of "How Do I Learn: Neuroscience Advances Inform Learning" is to engage middle school teacher teams in an innovative program of neuroscience education focused on answering the questions, How do I learn and How do I teach students about how they learn? This project equips teachers with teaching skills they can use with any subject they teach. The goal for teachers is to increase their knowledge of neuroscience research related to learning and their use of cognitive learning models, related teaching resources, and pedagogical skills. To enhance teacher knowledge and skills the team offers a Summer Institute (SI) and Professional Learning Community (PLC). Teachers are trained in the use of Wiggio, a free platform for working in groups. Staff members conduct monthly webinars on neurobiology and learning. Teachers breakout into discussion groups after the webinars to process the information and what it means for their classroom. In addition, teachers share resources with one another through Wiggio. At the completion of the first year all teacher teams will share presentations on neurobiology and learning for use in the classroom with the group via Wiggio.

The first cohort of teachers (N=15) received their training in Summer 2012. A second cohort will follow suit in the Summer of 2013. To determine the impact of Wiggio participation, Cohort One teachers completed a nine question survey in February 2012. At this poster session we will share lessons learned from the first year of Wiggio immersion and plans for strengthening the staff development potential of the Wiggio platform going forward.

Funded by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research and administered by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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6

Hybrid Teaching of Introduction to Logic Design

Jie Sheng

Institute of Technology

Abstract

UW Canvas is a new learning management software, and is going to replace current teaching systems including Blackboard, Catalyst, Moodle, due to its simplified course management, seamless course calendaring, and efficient grading, just to name a few. Introduction to Logic Design is the 1st core course in the Computer Engineering and Systems (CES) program at the Institute of Technology, University of Washington, Tacoma. Traditional teaching of this course is a combination of 4 hours lecture plus 2 hours lab per week, and uses the Moodle learning management system.

In Winter 2013, TCES230 was offered in a hybrid fashion, using the Canvas system. Our goal was to investigate the difference between Moodle and Canvas for a better understanding of the Canvas system, and to examine the pros and cons that online teaching and learning activities can bring to our engineering teaching. During the winter course offering, instead of meeting 2 hours twice a week (T & TH) in the classroom, 2 hours on Tuesdays were set aside for online teaching/learning activities when the students met with the whole class as well as the instructor at Canvas Conference, using their computers, microphones and web cameras to participate in the discussion and to solve assigned problems together.

From the student survey, we learned that Canvas helps to improve communications both between the instructor and students, and among the students themselves, with its supporting tools and methods, including SpeedGrader, Inbox Messages, Conferences and Collaborations. However, we also learned that teaching online should be very carefully designed. In our case, the students have diversity in their background, computer access, as well as the learning styles, and all of these should be considered in the course redesign. The online activity is also greatly dependent on the consistency and technical support of Canvas, and we have used Skype as a backup.

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8

The Making of a Teacher

Soohee Kim

Asian Languages & Literature, Korean

Abstract

I wanted to explore the role of meaningful guidance in the context of "training" teaching assistants (TAs), where meaningful does not equate to mechanical or canned, and training results in competent, constantly learning teachers instead of fungible, problem-proof TAs.

Preventing any possible harm to student learning by an inexperienced TA was my past motto that hindered TAs' owning their own class. TAs were given their daily bread with which they were to perform minute-by-minute teaching scenarios. Such tight reigning, however, interfered with TAs seeing the big picture (e.g. why they were teaching what they were teaching) or developing their own vision or interest in teaching.

For many years, I worked with TAs who came with minimal formal knowledge of Korean grammar or pedagogical training to teach a year-long second-year Korean series for non-heritage learners (Korean 201-202-203). My recent focus was on training the TAs to become competent in the content, while allowing them maximal control of their own class. I observed that TAs' content mastery and the opportunity to make mistakes and make un-shielded connection with the students helped build confidence and competence, turning TAs into teachers. That apprenticeship alone is the way to ownership of one's teaching.

To examine the effects of my teaching, I worked closely with the teaching assistants, ensuring that their feedback and suggestion for improvements are always heartily welcome. I also observed the TAs' teaching methodically, and much more frequently than guidelines provided by the department/school. TAs have communicated with me that in the process of participating in building and executing the second-year curriculum, they learned to see a bigger picture, not just carrying out their daily, disconnected, teaching duties, and to ponder more spontaneously about their own teaching methods and philosophy, a process which allows them to search for more fun and effective ways of carrying out their teaching duties. I have been told by these TAs that they have a greater sense of self-imposed responsibility, not the typical "what's required of me by the contract?" The TAs find greater joy in and reward from teaching, as well.

By approaching my teaching and supervising in this way, I have learned the valuable lesson that the best teacher is oneself and that allowing TAs time to make mistakes and to learn from their own mistakes is the process of helping them their own assets.

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10

Can Students Evaluate Complex Social Issues in a Biological Context? Interdisciplinary Project-based Learning

Sarah Malmquist, Amanda Schivell

Molecular & Cellular Biology; Biology

Abstract

Biomedical Advances and Society (Bio380), developed and taught in Autumn 2012, allows Biology majors to fulfill their INS (Individual and Society) requirement while earning 300-level Biology credit. Our objectives included having the students understand the science behind recent biomedical technologies, understanding the complexities of how these technologies affect different stakeholders in our society and being able to communicate these complexities. Students completed three major projects involving policy writing, industry critique and public education. At the end of the quarter, an informal assessment revealed that students enjoyed and were engaged in the course content and activities, but more importantly it revealed that the students had a better appreciation for the complexity of biotechnological issues in addition to the ways in which science is communicated to different groups of people.

This course will be offered again in Fall 2013 when we plan to implement concrete measures to assess whether we have achieved our objectives. We plan to develop content-independent pre- and post-course assessments to measure students' abilities to evaluate complex societal issues in a biological context, as well as their abilities to communicate scientific information to various audiences and interpret information from various sources. We also plan to measure students' perceptions of their ability to understand and communicate these issues before and after taking the class using pre- and post-course self-assessment tools. Finally, we would like to assess the level of engagement of students in this project-based format class. We are seeking to design the course and these assessments to best measure these outcomes and would appreciate any feedback.

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12

Limited Usefulness of "Traditional" Feedback on Practice: Drawing Lessons from K-12 to Higher Education

Eric Hougan

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, College of Education

Abstract

The purpose of this session is to spur a conversation about the supportive, feedback infrastructure around faculty teaching, by drawing on a comparative case study of experienced secondary teachers' perceptions of feedback on their practice. Questions to explore include: to what degree does the case study findings map onto the higher education teaching environment; what opportunities exist for accessing feedback on campus; and, what are unique ways faculty receive or seek out feedback to improve learning?

The case study employed interviews, observations, and document analysis, examining the feedback opportunities available to experienced teachers and found varying feedback opportunities available to the case study participants. This study further builds on literature regarding what makes feedback to teachers meaningful by exploring how teachers perceived the meaning, usefulness, and impact of the feedback on their practice. The study found the case study participants share similar views of the limited usefulness of "traditional" feedback and highlighted the influence of the school's culture and capacity on the case participants' professional development.

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14

Physics Education Research at the University of Washington

Ximena Cid

Physics

Abstract

Physics Education Research (PER) is a form of discipline-based education research conducted primarily in physics departments. The Physics Education Group (PEG) at the University of Washington (UW) has spent more than 30 years developing methodologies to improve student learning in introductory and advanced physics courses at the undergraduate level. The group seeks to identify student conceptual and reasoning difficulties and to develop instructional materials to address these difficulties. Tutorials in Introductory Physics (Pearson, 1st Ed, 2002) has resulted from this research. It consists of a set of worksheets designed for groups of four or five students to work on in weekly sessions. The interaction with students in the tutorial settings allow the instructors a more personal understanding of where student difficulties are stemming from and how to better address their needs. Pre and post-tests are used to assess the effectiveness of tutorial topics and a tutorial is deemed successful if average scores are comparable to scores from 1st year graduate students.

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16

Deepening Student Learning through Community Engaged Pedagogy

Christine Stickler, Francesca Lo, Kathryn Pursch Cornforth

The Pipeline Project in The Center for Experiential Learning & Diversity; The Pipeline Project in The Center for Experiential Learning & Diversity; The Carlson Center for Public Service & Leadership in the Center for Experiential Learning & Diversity

Abstract

What does learning look like through the lens of community engaged pedagogy? What are the strategies and tools used to develop strong relationships with co-educators on campus and in the community? What impact do these teaching methods have on students and community partners engaged in these courses? How do you assess learning and community impact from community engaged courses? We will highlight evaluation models that we have used in the past including site visits, focus groups and surveys of our students. This ongoing assessment helps us to redefine how we engage with our community partners and deepens the learning of our students both in the classroom and the community. Staff educators from the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center and the Pipeline Project (both housed within the Center for Experiential Learning & Diversity) share our experiences addressing these questions, highlight collaborative community engaged partnerships, and welcome discussions and queries from attendees in this poster session. We hope our participation in the symposium leads to new partnerships and discoveries.

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18

Online Forum Discussion that Improves Learners' Engagement and Confidence in their Target Langauge Study

Akiko Iwata

Asian Languages & Literature

Abstract

The 4th year Japanese course is the most advanced course in the Asian Languages and Literature Japanese language program. At this level, the students' skill levels are quite different and it is difficult for some learners to participate in a regular in-class discussion. I looked for means to give the learners a positive language experience to improve their engagement and confidence in discussion in the target language. This fall quarter, I provided online group discussions with EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students in Japan through a Moodle forum. We had four kinds of online discussions, including one Japanese-only and one English-only discussion. The survey results and my observation indicated that these forum discussions were quite successful; a majority of students enjoyed them and the special setting (asynchronous discussion by using the target and native languages) seems to have provided the learners various psychological benefits. Some felt accomplishment or gained confidence in their target language because they could discuss complex topics with native speakers, as well as a sense of reward by helping others. Some also told that their fear of making mistakes reduced since, in discussion in their native language, they realized other language learners could communicate well regardless of their mistakes. However, some still worried about their language mistakes and wanted more corrective feedback. The poster explores the process of the discussions, the benefit for the learners, and a few considerations for improvement.

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20

Teaching Literature in the Field: Student Work in the Outdoor Classroom

Jennifer Atkinson

Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (UW Bothell)

Abstract

As an instructor of Environmental Humanities at UW Bothell, one of my primary goals is to help students understand how literature, film and other cultural texts have shaped environmental thought and mobilized the public imagination. Yet students in my courses on "American Environmental Literature" and "Ethics and the Environment" have often remarked that our intense focus on literary representations felt too "abstract" when compared with hands-on field experience in other Environmental Studies courses. To address this perceived disconnect, I have increasingly adopted activities that combine environmental literature with "immersive" or "multi-sensory" experiences of nature beyond the classroom walls.

While various forms of outdoor "nature practice" are already familiar in courses on ecocriticism, my presentation emphasizes how experience-based learning—particularly when paired with readings in phenomenology—can offer a powerful tool for examining legacies of Cartesian analysis that isolate our intelligence from both the intimacy and strangeness of embodied encounters with the nonhuman world. In sharing various undergraduate projects, I hope to highlight teaching techniques that have helped students draw on those experiences to recognize assumptions about objective/scientific methods as the most legitimate way to know the world, and to critically analyze the impact of rationalist traditions on human relations with nature. These multi-media student projects also draw lines of connection between personal student experience and the environmental and historical contexts in which those activities are carried out. Discussions of phenomenology and environmental literature—including works by Henry David Thoreau, David Abram, Annie Dillard and John Muir—are prominently featured in this batch of student projects.

Using students' writing portfolios to examine the impact of this assignment, I tracked a marked improvement in their comprehension of ideologies like Cartesianism and Phenomenology (as well as their implications for environmental attitudes and practice) over the 10-week quarter. In the course of adopting this new set of activities, and assessing their impact on student thinking and writing, I discovered a valuable new tool for helping students draw on personal experience outside the classroom to trace connections between mainstream recreation and nature practice (camping, hiking, landscape photography) and the historical, philosophic and ideological traditions that inform them.

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22

Examining Student Understanding of Classical Concepts that Underlie Key Experiments Motivating Quantum Mechanics

Paul Emigh

Physics

Abstract

In introductory and advanced physics courses, certain key experiments are typically used to motivate the need for quantum mechanics. In order to understand how the results of these experiments conflict with classical mechanics, students must be able to compare and contrast the predictions of the classical model with the experimental results. We have begun to examine student thinking about black-body radiation and the Stern-Gerlach effect. Excerpts from interviews, pretests, and post-tests will illustrate some of the findings in both contexts. Our objective is to explore student understanding of these advanced topics, including how students connect what they learn in class both to other areas of learning and to everyday objects. We have learned that these connections to real world experiences are particularly difficult for students to make with respect to these subjects.

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24

Towards a Unified Theory of Sustainability Performance: Theory Building Perspectives for Graduate Students

Dorothy Paun

College of the Enviornment

Abstract

Corporations generate most of the negative externalities that deteriorate the planet (e.g., climate change) and cause suffering (e.g., social conflict arising from natural resource extraction for product production). It is unrealistic to expect that government regulations can eliminate all harmful corporate environmental and social practices. It is equally unrealistic to assume that every person, as consumers, will always vote with their dollars, only buy from "sustainable" companies, AND reduce their consumption to essential-for-life products. Therefore, the most realistic solution for reducing negative environmental and social externalities is an incentive system. Corporations will be incentivized if shown that decreasing environmental impacts or enhancing social responsibility increases profits. A potential "incentive" exists, due to increased sustainability reporting.

I created a problem-based, collaborative research seminar and lab (SEFS 519) in 2005 as a means to engage a broad spectrum of students (e.g., spring quarter 2013 includes BS, MS, MBA, MPA, PhD students with backgrounds in bioresource engineering, business, economics, environmental sciences, landscape architecture, and public affairs) in learning to assess corporate environmental, social responsibility, and financial performance, a tool that could be leveraged into creating corporate incentives. At the end of each year, I have assessed the effects of my teaching through individual and team student feedback about the research process format used and the particulars of data collection and analysis, and then I revised the seminar for the next year to increase clarity, purpose, and productivity. I sought to better understand how to more fully engage students in sustainability research; mentor them in gaining a deeper understanding of the research process through a quantitative tool; and help them develop analytical skills and present collaborative research findings. I have learned many things, the most important being transparency and how-to details about research expectations and participation.

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26

SPARST: Assessing the Science Process and Reasoning Skills of Undergraduate Science Majors

Mary Pat Wenderoth, Clarissa Dirks

Biology; Interdisciplinary Sciences, The Evergreen State College

Abstract

We are creating an on-line, valid and reliable multiple choice test to assess undergraduate life science major's mastery of the science process and reasoning skills of experimental design, data analysis, graphing, and science communication. The diagnostic test, SPARST, can be used by faculty and departments to assess student progress though the major as well as to assess the effectiveness of current and transformed pedagogy.

We have surveyed faculty to identify learning outcomes for the four science skills, written questions to address each outcome, vetted the questions with expert faculty to establish content validity, and used student focus group to determine readability of the test. Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis of initial data sets show that the test can discriminate between the academic ability of freshman and senior biology majors.

We will present the method we used to develop SPARST as well as list target learning outcomes that guided development of questions on each of the four SPARST subtests and show results from the initial IRT analysis. An unexpected impact of the project is the increased awareness and deeper understanding of how to both teach and assess science process skills that the faculty on our advisory boards gain by generating and vetting the SPARST questions.

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28

What Skills from COPHP are alumni finding useful in their careers?

Barbara Obena, Peter House

Health Services, COPHP Program

Abstract

Each year, sixteen students gain acceptance into the Community-Oriented Public Health Practice Program (COPHP), a two-year Master of Public Health Program that is taught entirely in the problem-based learning (PBL) format. PBL uses original, relevant, and timely case studies about public health. Rather than learning through traditional lectures, COPHP students learn through active inquiry and analysis in discussion based settings with their peers and faculty facilitator. No textbooks or readings are required; instead, students explore learning objectives through various research methods, including literature reviews, library research, and connecting with experts in the field.

In addition to developing a solid foundation in public health core principles in the classroom, direct community interaction allows COPHP students to apply their knowledge and gain practical skills. Students are able to integrate their coursework with real world experiences and gain additional skills through the first year practicum experience at the local health department, case studies that involve community partners, and the second year capstone project.

In May 2012, the COPHP Program Director distributed an on-line survey to alumni to understand how the program helped prepare them for their careers. The survey revealed a variety of skills, some of which include research, how to learn quickly, asset approach to assessments, group dynamics, and cold calling. Furthermore, cases, group projects, specific block topics, and capstone projects were some examples that were noted as very useful in preparing alumni for their work.

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30

Identifying Implications: Using Personas to Bridge the Gap Between Research Findings and the Design of Educational Experiences

Jim Borgford-Parnell, Jennifer Turns, Toni Ferro

Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching, College of Engineering; Human Centered Design & Engineering, Human Centered Design & Engineering

Abstract

Our work is guided by the idea that the engineering education community needs to accelerate the rate at which research on engineering students influences educational practice. The design world has a similar problem—how to get user research to influence the design of objects. Personas are a technique that is garnering attention as a productive way to "personify" user research and get it into the hands of designers as they practice design.

We investigate the hypothesis that personas could be one way to help the engineering education community communicate implications of research on engineering students to engineering faculty, staff, and students. Personas are tools, used to help designers keep user research in mind while designing.Personas are composites based on user research data that capture key elements of the dataset to represent an archetypal user. Personas are labeled with a name to provide easy reference to the persona (and therefore to the underlying research results). Narratives are easier to remember than abstract or detailed research results and therefore personas include a narrative that illustrates the data represented.

To explore the value of personas in the area of engineering education, we developed four personas based on existing research on the engineering student experience at the UW, shared those personas with professional educational developers, engineering professors, and engineering administrators through a series of workshops. We found that workshop attendees empathized openly with the problems the students (personas) were facing, spent time speculating about the details of the student experiences, and discussed a variety of potential approaches (and roadblocks) for addressing similar student challenges in their own complex contexts.

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32

An In-Class Activity that Promotes Understanding of Experimental Design for Undergraduates

Alison Crowe, Mary Pat Wenderoth, Scott Freeman, Dozie Okoroafor, Roddy Theobald, Mikhail Koval

Biology

Abstract

Understanding experimental design is essential to all fields of science. This fundamental skill is taught beginning in elementary school and continuing through to the college classroom. Although students quickly grasp the general idea of creating an experiment to test a hypothesis, they are frequently unable to put these ideas into practice. Our aim was to develop a twenty minute in-class group activity suitable for the large lecture hall which would promote student understanding of experimental design. We designed two alternative activities to test the hypothesis that analysis of well-designed and confounded experiments would be more effective at teaching experimental design than developing a hypothesis and designing an experiment to test that hypothesis. Students in an introductory biology course were randomly assigned one of the two activities which they completed in groups of two to four during the same class period. To assess the effectiveness of these alternative interventions we measured student performance using the open-ended experimental design ability test (EDAT) administered before and after the in-class activity. The EDAT and scoring rubric were expanded in order to capture students’ ability to justify their proposed experimental design. Comparison of change in pre/post EDAT scores using a general linear model to control for student academic ability and ethnicity revealed no significant differences between the two interventions. However, both activities increased student understanding of experimental design relative to a control group which received a traditional lecture in place of the activities (effect size = 0.25; p = 0.047). Moreover, the median performance of students who received either activity exceeds the median performance of graduate students on the same test (p = .01). Thus, creating a well-controlled experiment and justifying the design elements remains a challenge for entry-level Ph.D. students in biology.

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34

Reflective Pedagogies: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Religion in Secular Settings

Nina Kim

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Abstract

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies courses often challenge power and privilege through the lens of analyzing race, class, gender, and sexuality but what about religion and spirituality? I began exploring this question as an instructor for GWSS introductory courses and found that many students had similar questions. Is there room for students and faculty to discuss religion and/or spirituality in a predominantly secular space like the classroom? Was it possible to have an analytical, fruitful, and refreshing discussion of religion(s) in the analysis of race and gender? What does it mean to engage with students as teachers with respect to religious beliefs concerning social issues? Students come from diverse backgrounds with respect to religion, race, and gender and to discuss social issues relevant to their experiences is a central part of teaching. To address these questions I initiated discussions of religion and spirituality about social issues into the course syllabus and content. I also asked students to share their thoughts about the role of religion and spirituality in relationship to course content and their learning processes. As a result, I learned that factors such as religion, gender, race, and so forth, influences how a student learns and processes curriculum. To approach the practice of teaching with this awareness helps draw more in-depth classroom discussions and helps students to connect class material with real life. To examine the effectiveness of my teaching, I approached a teaching mentor and students for feedback. With students, there were two methods I used to assess the effectiveness of teaching. First, I asked for written feedback through free-write exercises and followed up with in-class discussions. Second, in the classroom space, I facilitated discussions about the helpful and not so helpful aspects of the teaching material and how it was presented. Using both mentorship and student feedback, I changed some of the curriculum and solidified activities that work and sought out other creative means for student learning. I hope to continue to assess these two methods with respect to the class topic in combination with further self-reflection and by consulting literature that is helpful with teaching pedagogies and religion. I hope to share these thoughts and more during my poster presentation.

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36

POWER: It's in the Classroom Too

Sarah Kremen-Hicks, Maya Smorodinsky, Jessica Campbell, Ned Schaumberg, Leah F. Rankin, Sunao Fukunaga, Caitlin Palo, Jessica Rae Bergamino, Soh Yeun Kim, Nora Essam Fahim

English

Abstract

The Endorsement in Critical Instruction is an English Department graduate student group that has emerged through discussions about power in the classroom. As TAs, we recognize the need to discuss how power structures the classroom, whether through race, class, gender, sexuality, educational experience, age, ability and more. The Endorsement prepares instructors for working in diverse institutional settings by building their capacities to address power dynamics and respond to imbalances that arise in their classrooms. We aspire to collaboratively create vocabularies to discuss difficult issues that impact our pedagogy. In order to assess the practical implementation of our conversations, we have created several "alternative evaluation" templates, which every member of the cohort administers in each class he or she teaches. These evaluations, coupled with the instructor's written reflections, offer directions for future discussion and reading within the cohort. As the first cohort will complete the endorsement at the end of this year, we expect to be able to use the culminating portfolios in order to identify issues for which further training may be of value in the English department or the university as a whole. For the CTL Symposium, we aim to bring some of our most interesting and complex questions to the attention of the greater educational community, as a precursor to the report of our findings to the department. In the past two years, we have come across many difficult scenarios in our classrooms: how do we respond when a student comes out in front of the whole class? Or when students ignore their international colleagues during group work? Or when students question our authority based on our gender or nationality? These questions are not unique to the English department; instead, they represent how various nodes of power intersect in classrooms all over the university. On our poster, we will provide our audience with several of these scenarios and outline our own responses and ideas. We aim to open discussion with our audience members and think through together, as a community of educators, how we deal with these issues of power. We will take notes on post-its of all the reflections that our audience members make; that way, we can also show the communal aspect of our project. The impetus for this poster is to spark discussion: we don't have the "right" answers, but we aspire to connect and reflect on some responsible choices that we as educators can make. Lastly, we will have a hand-out with follow-up questions, a list of resources, and our contact information.

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38

A Cost Effective Plant Development Lab for Introductory Biology

Leslie Zeman

Biology

Abstract

This newly developed lab addresses two persistent shortcomings in undergraduate Biology education. First, in UW Biology Department exit surveys, and similar published data from other institutions, introductory Biology students perceive plants as static and uninteresting. Second, it produces a robust dataset for statistical analysis; which has been a growing concern, as editorialized in Science in 2009. Students were able to separate a cascade of plant behaviors into discreet stimuli with responses, and to precisely measure each effect. Students enjoyed using NIH's open source program, ImageJ, to measure seedling behaviors; and ImageJ interfaces easily with Excel for data analysis. Reconfiguring this classic plant lab met our goal of igniting student interest by using single wavelength LEDs to induce dramatic responses and by incorporating computerized data collection.

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