Great Teaching at University of Michigan

Photo of Lisa Young
Students in the fall 2014 Museum Anthropology course (ANTHRARC 497) enjoyed a unique learning opportunity that thoughtfully integrated physical and virtual research. Specifically, student teams created a digital archive of a U-M museum botanical collection gathered from the Hopi reservation in 1935 and then interviewed (via videoconferencing) contemporary Hopi farmers. Blogging about their progress helped students share their experiences, while also documenting and reflecting on the project.

 

In this video recorded in March 2015 at the Provost's Seminar on Teaching, Unscripted: Engaged Learning Experiences for U-M Students, Lisa Young discusses the Hopi ethnobotanical collections at U-M.

 

 

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Photo containing: Burgunda Sweet (College of Pharmacy) Mark Fitzgerald (School of Dentistry) Domenica Sweier (School of Dentistry) Joseph House (Medical School) Joseph Hornyak (Medical School) Jennifer Stojan (Medical School) Michelle Pardee (School of Nursing) Cynthia Arslanian-Engoren (School of Nursing) Bruce Mueller (College of Pharmacy) Bradley Zebrack (School of Social Work) Debra Mattison (School of Social Work) Anica Madeo (Center for Interprofessional Education)
Interprofessional education (IPE) is increasingly viewed by both international health organizations and higher education accreditation bodies as a prerequisite to achieving the “Triple Aim” of improving the patient experience of care, increasing the overall health of communities, and reducing the per capita costs of health care. In response, leaders of five health science schools at U-M agreed in 2014 to jointly prepare their students for such a future by developing a new course, Team-Based Clinical Decision Making. Launched in winter 2015, this course serves more than 250 students from dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work. It focuses on two core IPE competencies: understanding the roles of the various health professions and acquiring effective teamwork skills.
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Photo of TIP 2015 winner Richard Norton
In U-M’s decentralized academic setting, a huge challenge for community engaged learning is that students and faculty from multiple disciplines sometimes work with the same community without ever being aware of each other’s projects. Changing this dynamic by coordinating across programs is not easy, but the payoffs are profound. When practicums from different schools deliberately focus on a single site, students develop a capacity for collaborating thoughtfully with peers from other disciplines, and communities benefit from better-rounded analyses and proposals.
 

 

Student Comments

“Having to consider the affected community holisticallylent us an insight into the history and story of theproblems we sought to solve.”
 
“We had prepared a presentation delineating the multiple types of wetlands and their respective floral
content. Ready to field questions on the technical content and research path forward, we instead were
bombarded with questions regarding the accessibility of any system to the public [and] the potential regulatory issues associated with a water system in close proximity to an airport. We were completely
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Photo of TIP 2015 winner Zachary London
A web-based simulator, EMG Whiz challenges medical residents and fellows to plan efficient sequences of electromyography tests in order to diagnose nerve and muscle disorders. Training recommendations call for neurologists and physiatrists to perform and interpret 200 complete electrodiagnostic evaluations during their residencies or fellowships. Although hands-on, clinical experience enables trainees to become adept at making common diagnoses, trainees are unlikely to get enough practice with less commonly seen diseases to be able to identify them with confidence, let alone to do so efficiently.
 

 

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Photo of Jill Halpern TIP winner 2015
When students can make meaningful connections to abstract material, they learn more. In Jill Halpern’s project-based sections of U-M’s introductory math sequence, students trek to the Nichols Arboretum to see Fibonacci’s sequence at work in nature. Or they explore the meaning of a difficult concept like halflife through the radiometric dating of dinosaurs in the Museum of Natural History. Beyond providing a realistic context for computations, venturing out of the classroom can engage students both intellectually and emotionally by:
  • increasing understanding, retention, and motivation,
  • stimulating curiosity and the appetite for learning,
  • transcending cultural and socio-economic boundaries through shared spirit of adventure and joy of learning, and
  • cultivating feelings of home and belonging through interactions with campus public goods.

 

 

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