Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize Winners

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, CRLT, and the University Library
Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize home page and nominations

Awarded in: 2011
Recipient(s) Title

Brenda Gunderson

Infusing Technology for Guided Continuous Learning in a Large Gateway Course


By carefully selecting and interweaving technologies, instructors can guide large groups of students through challenging material in a way that feels highly personalized. The 1,500 students who enroll in Statistics 250 each semester eagerly engage with a suite of technologies that gives them multiple paths for developing, practicing, and testing their understanding of concepts and relationships.   SMART Presentation Tools: A tablet PC allows the instructor to make the problem solving process transparent and guide students to see connections to earlier material. Lecture Capture...
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Brian Coppola
Joseph Krajcik
Mary Starr

Securing Our FUTURE: Foundations for Undergraduate Teaching - Uniting Research and Education


This program fosters collaboration between first- and second-year undergraduates in LSA gateway science and mathematics courses with local middle and high school teachers. FUTURE gives undeclared undergraduates the chance to design and implement a lesson in an authentic classroom setting, leading many to consider a career in teaching.   Two to three U-M students are matched with an in-service teachers who propose lesson ideas that they’ve previously lacked the resources to carry out. The U-M students visit their host’s classroom and enroll in the FUTURE seminar, which...
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Paul Conway

Teaching Ethics of/with New Technologies


Undergraduates explore the ethical issues posed by the use of social information teachnologies in SI 410 Ethics and Information Technology under-graduates explore the ethical issues posed by the use of social information technologies. Integrated learning activities work with two distinctive new technologies as both objects of study and pedagogical tools.   Through MediaWiki, students experience directly the ethical challenges of anonymous collaborative writing. The ability to model behavior within a closed (and safe) community makes it possible for students to take risks that would be...
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Susan Ashford

The Leadership Crisis Challenge (LCC): Forging Courage, Judgment, and Integrity


The LCC simulation forces students to make decisions under acute time pressure and to trade off competing demands, thereby addressing the difficulty of teaching these key elements of leadership. Intangibles such as judgment, courage, and integrity are hard to meaningfully broach with traditional teaching methods. However, leaving these skills to be learned in the field has costly financial, social, and career consequences.   The intensive exercise runs 24 hours and presents a realistic business crisis that poses vexing questions: What does a company “owe” the community in...
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Douglas Northrop

ZOOM: Teaching Time, Space, and Approaches to Knowledge


“Zoom” is a course in “Big History.” It moves through a range of disciplinary perspectives (astronomy, geology, biology, anthropology, etc.) to tell the universe’s story from the Big Bang to the end of time. This approach covers 13.7 billion years and puts human history into terrestrial and cosmic contexts.   The primary, semester-long assignment engages students in thinking directly about how materials presented by guest lecturers from different disciplines relate to one another. Students form groups centered around a particular discipline and then create a...
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Awarded in: 2010
Recipient(s) Title

Karen Markey

BiblioBouts: A Library Research Game Professors Can Integrate Directly in Their Classes


Developed under a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this open-source game teaches students research and information literacy skills. The game takes place online, so faculty do not have to set aside precious, in-class time for students to practice and develop these skills.   BiblioBouts is the second library skills game created under Markey’s leadership. The first game showed the design team that game play cannot appear unrelated to students’ coursework, lest it be seen as a waste of time. Instead, it must be integrated into and...
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Brad Orr

Essential Scientific Computation Applied to Physics Education (ESCAPE)


Introductory physics courses often obscure the elegance and simplicity of the topic by reducing it to unrealistic situations described by a forest of mathematical formulae. ESCAPE’s innovation lies in giving Physics 160 students access to software and numerical techniques used by practicing physicists. With laptop computers handling the number crunching, students can focus on analyzing conditions and building realistic simulations, starting with the trajectory of an inelastic, bouncing racquetball and culminating with a capstone project in which they thoroughly examine a physical...
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Robert Bain
Elizabeth Moje

Learning and Teaching the Disciplines through Clinical Rounds (The Rounds Project)


This project borrows the idea of rounds from medical and nursing training and applies it to the process of preparing secondary school history and social studies teachers. Over three semesters, teacher candidates work in a professional program that integrates discipline-specific literacy, history/social science content and high-leverage teaching practices while they “rotate” through a series of carefully scaffolded and closely supervised clinical experiences.    Traditionally, would-be teachers acquire disciplinary content in LSA, encounter pedagogical theory in SOE,...
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John Del Valle
Michael Lukela
Rajesh Mangrulkar
Vikas Parekh

Patient Safety Learning Program


Despite efforts to improve patient safety over the last decade, medical errors continue to affect significant numbers of patients. Graduate medical education programs (i.e., residencies) present an excellent  environment for targeting this issue. As frontline providers, residents are well positioned to analyze adverse events and to devise solutions to prevent their recurrence, while integrating best practices into their clinical work.  
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Barry Fishman

Using Collaboration and Communication Technologies to Transform Large Lectures into Small Seminars


Large classes feel more like a small community of learners when students possess multiple avenues for active participation. Each of the four following technologies can stand alone, allowing faculty to experiment with discrete components as time and interest permit. Deployed in combination, these tools support a powerful set of pedagogical practices that leverage the devices students already have with them -- cell phones and laptop computers.   Types of tools and specific examples:   POLLING: Poll Everywhere is a web-based tool that replicates “clicker” functionality via...
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Awarded in: 2009
Recipient(s) Title

Shaun Jackson
William Lovejoy

Experiential Cross-Disciplinary Learning: Integrated Product Development (IPD)


IPD recreates the competitive environment that
real businesses face every day. In 12 short weeks, interdisciplinary teams of students from the Schools of Business, Engineering, Architecture, and Art & Design develop fully functional, customer- ready products and subject them to assessment by voters in simulated markets. IPD is the only course in the country to juxtapose these requirements, and it has been repeatedly identified by Business Week magazine as one of the top design courses in the world.
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Perry Samson

Innovations for Larger Classes: LectureTools and Online Textbooks (XamPREP)


LectureTools is designed as an alternative to ‘clickers’ and provides a wider range of question types for instructors. Additionally, LectureTools allows students to pose questions during lecture, and GSIs in the room can answer their questions for them in real time. Students can also type their notes synchronized to the instructor’s slides and even draw on the slides with a Mac or PC. The tool originated from Samson’s desire to expand the use of student discussion in large lecture classes and the realization that clickers could not accommodate the kinds of questions...
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Philip Myers

Promoting Student Inquiry and Active Learning: Animal Diversity Web (ADW) and Quaardvark


The ADW database contains thousands of detailed descriptions of species that have been contributed by students from over 40 institutions in North America. A specially designed template allows non-experts to enter data that will be amenable to structured searches. Each section has a place for free text, along with associated keywords and data fields for quantitative summaries. Authors also attach bibliographic citations.    Since 2007 Quaardvark has provided a powerful new way for students to construct queries and download ADW data to explore natural history patterns and test...
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Arno K. Kumagai
Rachel L. Perlman

The Family Centered Experience Program: Patients as Teacher in Fostering Empathy and Patient-Centered Care


The Family Centered Experience (FCE) is an innovative two-year program that is part of the required curriculum at U-M’s medical school and involves using the power of patients’ stories to foster empathy and patient-centered care. In the FCE, pairs of medical students make scheduled visits over two years to the homes of volunteer patients and their families in order to listen to the volunteers’ stories about chronic illness and its care.   These home visits, as well as readings, assignments, and small group discussions, serve as a foundation for the students to explore...
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Lloyd M. Stoolman
J. Matthew Velkey

Virtual Microscopy in Life Sciences Education


The goal… create an interactive laboratory experience while removing impediments to learning such as malfunctioning microscopes, aging slide sets, and inconsistent tissue sections.  The solutions… produce high resolution digital replicas of optimal tissue sections.  compile online image repositories.  deploy intuitive, computer-based "viewers" that improve upon microscopes.  The user experience… web-based laboratory syllabi link directly to virtual slides and, in some cases, directly to annotated structures of interest buried...
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