Great Teaching at University of Michigan

Santhadevi Jeyabalan, LSA - Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, worked with ITD technologists to develop a copmuter program for her upper level genetics laboratory course that simulates later stages of a fruit fly experiment. The students begin the experiment with real fruit flies but complete it using CyberFly simulation in the Science Learning Center. Cyberfly replicates the visual and audio aspects of a fruit fly experiment in which students collect and analyze data leading to the location of mutant genes on different chromosomes.

The program provides information for collection and analysis, without coaching the student, unlike commercially available software. Jeyabalan is working to develop introductory level and K-12 versions of the software.

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Nancy Kerner, LSA - Chemistry, created CoLABnet (Collaborative Laboratories through Networked Computers) in order to give science students experience with how experiments are conducted and conclusions are reached in the “real world.” 

Students work in the lab in teams, with each using its own set of samples and/or conditions. Each team funnels its data into the CoLABnet software program, which then collects, pools and summarizes the qualitative and quantitative data and places it into a customized databank. Students can then study, manipulate and analyze the data in a laboratory context that simulates the scientific process that they might follow as professional scientists. 

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Sherrie Kossoudji (kossoudj@umich.edu), LSA - Economics and Sociology, employs the Ctools chat function to conduct online office hours for her students enrolled in the large lecture course Economics 101. During a two-hour block each weekday evening, students can electronically communicate with a GSI to get immediate assistance with their coursework. The transcript of these conversations is then available on CTools after the session is over. This online "Q & A" is available to all students and GSIs in the course and is an archive for future reference by instructors and students. 

For specific questions about Kossoudji's online office hours, contact her at the email address above.

 
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Eric Rabkin (esrabkin@umich.edu), LSA-English, is a campus leader in the area of instructional technology. An example of his work with teaching and technology is English 414: Multimedia Explorations in the Humanities, a course that offers students the opportunity to create and/or augment web-based resources. Students create individual online portfolios to showcase their ongoing mastery of computer programs and reflect upon their learning process. They collaborate on group projects in which they research and write on a humanities topic of their choice and create a website that becomes a permanent resource for the UM community. For more information on English 414, as well as Rabkin's other instructional technology projects, visit his homepage at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~esrabkin/.

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David Porter (dporter@umich.edu), LSA - English and Comparative Literature, is responsible for the design and implementation of the Eighteenth-Century England website, an ongoing, collaborative project by U-M students studying eighteenth-century literature. As an alternative to the traditional term paper or final exam, Porter encourages students in his classes to work in small groups to write and design a set of webpages that explores some aspect of life and culture in eighteenth-century England. Porter’s website combines an ever-expanding showcase of completed student research projects with an extensive set of resources and guidelines designed to help students develop new material for the site. To view the Eighteenth-Century England website, go to http://www.umich.edu/~ece/

 

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