Grant: Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching
Project Title Overview of the Project
Layering Film Into Anatomy Curricula
B. Kathleen Alsup
Glenn Fox

04/01/2018 - 05/31/2020
The goal of this project is to incorporate film as part of mixed multimedia learning strategies for students in U-M Anatomy curricula (ANAT 403; M1 Foundations of Gross Anatomy; D1 Head & Neck Gross Anatomy; etc.) and for non-U-M students who also use U-M anatomical resources. Incorporating micro-documentary style with parsimonious learning objectives, we will develop and produce films which educate and serve as a useful conduit to inspire continuous learning for students in the study of anatomy. Film provides a link of engagement at a lower cognitive load for students in ways that text-based and other visual-based multimedia are unable. Our goal with process creation will be to create a means by which project films may be developed and produced by various groups of students, faculty, and clinicians. These films will be curricularly-incorporated into existing U-M Anatomy courses and publicly available by incorporation into our existing web resources.
Understanding student learning in introductory astronomy classes
Eric Bell
Michael LoPresto

04/30/2018 - 04/30/2020
More than 2500 students per year fulfill at least in part their natural science and quantitative reasoning requirements with an intro astronomy class for non-science majors. To make this learning experience as impactful as possible, we should understand what our students are learning (facts, concepts, skills or attitudes) and how instructors shape that learning. Accordingly, the astronomy department has been assessing the learning of ~1000 students/year in some large enrollment 3 and 4 credit classes. This effort has provided an understanding of typical learning gains, how these gains vary between students with different backgrounds and characteristics and gives a rich dataset for both more nuanced analysis and as a baseline for assessing the impact of interventions. This effort allows us to frame some urgent, important and as-yet-unanswered questions. a) Has learning actually improved over the last four years, and if so, has that affected students from diverse academic and social backgrounds? Or, have we instead been monitoring but not improving? b) What, if any, is the measurable impact of particular interventions? c) How are students learning in our other large-enrollment classes? The goal of this proposal is to provide the funds to support the effort an astronomy education researcher to continue our assessment effort and answer these questions. This proposal strongly aligns with the Whitaker Fund goal of ‘assessing courses and/or curricula’, and supports our assessment and prioritization of ‘innovations in teaching methods or approaches’ and ‘inclusive teaching practices that foster success for students of all academic and social backgrounds.’
Technology-Driven Curricular Innovation for Performing Arts Technology 200/201/202
Jeremy Edwards
Paul Dooley
Christopher Burns

04/21/2018 - 05/01/2019
We propose innovative strategies for teaching introductory topics in recording engineering and music production. These techniques are intended for a newly created course, PAT 200/Introduction to Electronic Music (targeted primarily at non-PAT-major students, and being discussed for inclusion in a potential Popular Music minor), as well as existing PAT 201/Introduction to Computer Music and PAT 202/Computer Music courses for majors. Together, these courses reach 25 PAT majors and upwards of 300 students from other majors each year. We are developing new approaches to instruction and hands-on practice in microphone selection, positioning, and mixing. Previously, these topics could only be explored in group settings, and in highly-equipped recording studio spaces not accessible to introductory courses. Technological advancements, coupled with new pedagogical approaches, make it possible for us to teach these materials in more modestly-equipped classroom spaces such as our Music Technology Lab, and to give novice students individualized, practical experience with these key techniques. We intend to broaden the musical diversity of our curriculum, and thereby increase the inclusivity of our teaching, by adopting new approaches to instruction in music production. Hip-hop and other styles of global contemporary electronic music production are increasingly centered on sample-triggering hardware control surfaces. By embracing these devices for both new pedagogical materials around electronic drum programming and sample manipulation, and existing topics including live performance, we can convey to students from diverse backgrounds that we embrace genres of music important to them, and help to inspire their creative work in the classroom and beyond.
Standardizing Language Instruction in Spanish 280
Mar Freire Hermida
04/16/2018 - 09/30/2019
Spanish 280, Conversation through Spanish/Latin American Film, was created in 2011 to respond to the students demand for more oral practice at the advanced level. Since then the course has grown from 4-6 sections per academic year to 10-12. This growth has come hand in hand with a variety of topics and a diversity in teaching approaches that make it very rich in terms of content. However, it has come at the expense of consistency across sections particularly when it comes to the primary reason why the class was created: to improve the level of oral competency of our students. Having already identified the level of oral competency that, on average, students enrolling in Spanish 280 have as Intermediate High according to the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages, this project aims to address the need to create materials that will push our students to the next level of competency, Advanced Low. I am requesting funds to hire 1-2 GSIs who have recently taught the course to help establish linguist goals and develop material that can be used in all sections to standardize language instruction in Spanish 280. This material would then become the skeleton around which each one of the 280 sections is built and filled with content. We would create a sort of textbook for the course that would emphasize the linguistic objectives of the class and define ways in which each instructor can work with their group to achieve those goals
Evaluating a New Undergraduate Curriculum
Bonnie Hagerty
04/15/2018 - 01/30/2019
The purpose of this project is to develop an evaluation plan for a new, innovative School of Nursing undergraduate curriculum. This curriculum will shape the education and professional competence of over 150 students who graduate each year. This curriculum represents a risk in that it is an entire departure from our history that focused primarily on specialty-driven teaching. This is unique, based on an ecologically organized, concept-driven structure that will guide teaching and learning. The structure and courses are organized based on our model and will propel significant changes in concepts, teaching methods and activities, student learning, student evaluation methods for students in both lecture and the clinical practicum, and outcome expectations. The School of Nursing needs to develop proactively a comprehensive evaluation plan for the new curriculum in order to: a) determine the quality of the new curriculum using multiple metrics, b) establish benchmarking for continuous quality improvement, and c) provide solid evaluation data for the Commission on College Nursing Education (CCNE) program accreditation in 2021, for which standards have changed. This project is urgent given that evaluation processes need to begin with the freshmen cohort of 2018. The plan is to create an evaluation task force; engage a consultant with expertise in nursing curriculum evaluation; develop a comprehensive evaluation plan including expected outcomes, quality indicators, and evaluation metrics; and create a sustainability plan to integrate on-going evaluation into curriculum implementation.
The Design and Implementation of Case Studies for Marketing for Social Change
P. Sol Hart
05/01/2018 - 08/31/2019
I propose the development of a series of hands-on, problem based case studies that will be implemented in COMM 417 / ENVIRON 417 - Marketing for Social Change. The case studies will be developed to promote the following course goals: 1) Mastery of course material - theory and application 2) Collaborative team learning 3) Skills in iterative problem solving for real world problems. Funds are requested to support time to research relevant case studies and convert real world cases into classroom projects that will guide students through case-based problem solving class activities utilizing relevant class theory and content.
Improvement of Teaching: Fostering Graduate and Faculty Development Through an Instructional Incubator and Teaching Apprenticeship Model
Aileen Huang-Saad
08/01/2018 - 07/31/2020
Our project proposes to develop an iterative model for graduate and faculty development which engages the entire Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department in sustainably transforming BME education at the University of Michigan. Our model is a 2-semester Incubator/Apprenticeship sequence. During the first semester (Incubator), graduate students and post docs work with BME faculty to research rapidly changing BME workforce trends, while learning about evidence-based best teaching practices, to conceptualize 1-credit undergraduate BME courses. During the second semester (Apprenticeship), graduate students are mentored in executing their 1-credit courses. The 1-credit courses were designed in response to BME student demand for more early stage BME classes that address industry needs while the graduate student engagement was designed in response to increasing demands to expose graduate students to alternative postgraduate opportunities. Immersing faculty and graduate students in creating courses informed by evidence-based teaching practices will transform how BME is taught in higher education. Finally, cross-departmental involvement will address the department-wide call for a more integrated community. Development of the model is informed by social constructivist theory and situated learning theories, instructional beliefs, and organizational change theory. Monitoring of the progress of the course design will be done through qualitative analysis of pre- and post-course surveys, end of course University evaluations, and focus groups conducted at various points in the sequence. Dissemination will focus on academic research and practitioners with plans to report to appropriate academic communities and utilize social media and the laboratory web page (Transforming Engineering Education co-Laboratory) to reach practitioners.
e-Book Widgets for Experimenting with Materials Processes, Functionality, and Fundamental Concepts
John Kieffer
05/01/2018 - 04/30/2020
The principal objective of this project is to create the next-generation study resources for Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) students and professionals. MSE is a very diverse and rapidly evolving field of study, and requires its practitioners to be educated in a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills. For the last two years, I have been working to develop a framework for the rapid preparation, testing, and implementation of effective instructional content. This framework consists of e-books authoring software, a JavaScript (JS) programming environment, and a web server. The products we generate are a series of tablet-based interactive knowledge exploration modules and accompanying web content. The key innovation of these e-books is that they have apps embedded, designed to simulate processes and phenomena that are at the heart of materials behaviors, properties, and processing techniques. These apps are essentially virtual experiments that allow the reader to interactively explore materials behaviors at the atomistic level and fundamental concepts that form the basis for materials theory. Learning takes place by swiping a finger on a tablet to manipulate parameters settings via slider positions or by dragging a curve to change its shape, and then observe the effect that these actions have on the depicted phenomenon or materials response. The interactivity with the learning resource provides a fully immersive and unconventional learning experience. With this request we seek funds to support for student programmers to help develop these apps.
Inclusion and Understanding: Assessment and Quantification of Mathematics Exam Problem Characteristics
Gavin LaRose
Elaine Lande
Hanna Bennett
Fernando Carreon
Paul Kessenich

04/01/2018 - 08/31/2019
The primary goal of this project is to understand and develop measures of how accessible exam problems are to different students in introductory mathematics courses, especially to underrepresented groups in mathematics and STEM courses. Additional goals are to determine measures by which course coordinators can quantify the difficulty of exam problems and exams as a whole, and to better understand how to present past exam problems so that students will learn more when using them as a study aid. In sum, these will allow course coordinators in the Mathematics Introductory Program to improve the inclusiveness of their courses, write exams that are more consistent in difficulty and learning objective, and improve student's learning. We will accomplish these goals by analyzing existing data about student performance on past exams. We expect to be able to isolate a relatively small set of such characteristics that are correlated with significantly worse performance by certain student groups, and heuristic measures that will allow coordinators to understand when problems are likely to be less accessible to these students. We will describe the difficulty of exam problems by determining measures to quantify that difficulty, which we expect to include cognitive demand, problem presentation, and the type of work required of students to successfully solve the problem. Finally, we will use the insights gained from the work on the project to improve the presentation and supporting information students have when using old exam problems to study, with the goal of improving student learning overall.
Reproductive justice education: collaborating with reproductive justice advocates to create a video-based teaching.
Charisse Loder
Joanne Bailey
Lee Roosevelt
Chris Chapman

04/01/2018 - 03/31/2020
Reproductive justice is defined as “the human right to maintain bodily autonomy, have children, not have children and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities”. In the United States, there is a history of reproductive injustices in which health professionals were complicit in coercive sterilization, experimentation with sexually transmitted diseases and new contraceptive technologies on women of color. Currently, there is no formal reproductive justice education for health professionals, however, reproductive justice advocates are interested in designing education in cultural humility, reproductive rights and social determinants of health to train providers.Women's studies undergraduates learn about reproductive justice, however, experts in this topic area are often outside of the academic realm. We propose to create video-based education through collaboration with a diverse group of reproductive justice advocates to educate undergraduates in Women’s Studies, graduate nursing students and medical students. These 5-8 minute videos will introduce key reproductive justice topics and can be used in conjunction with lectures, small group discussion and written case discussions. We will assess student and facilitator satisfaction with the video learning tool, student attitudes and confidence with applying reproductive justice skills. Additionally, we will use qualitative methods to determine if learners incorporate key reproductive justice knowledge and skills into coursework.
Working with Graduate Students to Modernize Physics Laboratory Curriculum
Timothy McKay
04/01/2018 - 12/31/2018
Despite the ubiquity of computation in both academia and the private sector, STEM college courses have yet to embrace computation in a way that will adequately prepare students for their next step. However, the physics department here at Michigan has been working to rectify this problem. This project is focused on working with and training graduate students to develop new, computer based, curricular materials. The requested funds will be used to compensate the graduate students for the time that they devote to curriculum development. This project will utilize the “Backwards design” framework, ensuring that the learning goals of the labs are clearly articulated from the outset. Further, the newly developed curricular materials will have evaluation metrics built into them from the start, which will allow us to measure their efficacy. Finally, we will engineer a specific workshop-style event (to take place at the end of term), which will allow us to disseminate the results of the lab evaluations and iteratively improve the labs.
Learning from our mistakes: Addressing stigma toward mental disorders in undergraduate public health education
Briana Mezuk
04/01/2018 - 09/30/2019
In Fall 2017, UM launched a new undergraduate major in Public Health. There is high interest in this major, with twice as many applications received as slots available for the first cohort. A notable gap in the existing curriculum is a course focused on psychiatric and substance use disorders. Unlike many public health topics, stigma toward common mental disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, and substance abuse has remained essentially unchanged over the past two decades. Stigma forestalls creative and critical thinking about the ways practitioners and researchers can address mental health needs in the population. The goal of this proposal is to support the development of a new undergraduate course in Public Mental Health that explicitly addresses the ways stigma attitudes shape student understanding of this topic. The question this proposal seeks to answer is: How can we design a course to teach students about mental disorders while simultaneously reducing stigma attitudes toward these conditions? Doing so will require purposeful, innovative, and creative thinking that will benefit from focused discussion from a wide range of disciplines and pedagogies. To facilitate this dialogue, I will host a 1-day retreat for faculty across UM with the aim of developing a suite of lesson plans and a set of assessment tools for measuring change in stigma attitudes of students. If successful, this course could serve as a model for how faculty at UM – and beyond – can address stigma attitudes in their teaching.
Girls Encoded Class: Promoting Diversity Within Computer Science and Engineering
Rada Mihalcea
Laura Wendlandt

09/01/2018 - 12/20/2018
Even while the field of computer science (CS) is experiencing rapid growth, women continue to be underrepresented, both in the workplace and the classroom. In an attempt to address these concerns and improve the enrollment of women in UM’s computer science programs, we will be offering a new freshman class “Girls Encoded”. The class will be a one-credit class which, while open to everyone, will be particularly aimed at women with no formal programming experience who are interested in learning more about the field of computer science. We have support from the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) division for this class and will be offering it for the first time in Fall 2018. It will be taught by Professor Rada Mihalcea and PhD student Laura Wendlandt, co-directors of the Girls Encoded initiative, a CSE organization promoting the recruitment and retention of women in computer science (see
Integration of a Virtual Reality Curriculum for Medical Students, Pediatric Residents, and Pediatric Cardiology Fellows for Cardiac Anatomy and Congenital Heart Defects
Sonal Owens
James Cooke

04/01/2018 - 04/01/2020
Virtual reality involves the use of headsets containing dual display screens to mimic binocular vision. An immersive 3D environment is then rendered from a host computer, allowing the user to explore and interact with the 3D world. A virtual reality software package called "Stanford Virtual Heart" (SVH), developed by a team at Stanford University utilizes this technology to allow users to place themselves "inside the heart," trace the flow of blood throughout the heart, as well as explore different and nontraditional views of the heart, providing a unique learning experience. The software currently includes the normal heart and several common congenital cardiac defects (atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, aortic stenosis, pulmonic stenosis, coarctation of the aorta, and patent ductus arteriosus). The UM team will also collaborate with the Stanford team to add several complex cardiac lesions that are critical to understanding cardiac physiology and benefit from early identification and intervention. We plan to introduce this novel educational tool to pediatric residents, pediatric cardiology fellows, and medical students at the University of Michigan to improve upon content delivery and provide a more robust assessment of learner understanding of cardiac structure and physiology. Efficacy will be measured using pre- and post-intervention assessments. Our overall goal is to improve content delivery, learner engagement, visuospatial understanding for these complex congenital heart defects, provide a model for other similar visuospatial-intensive subjects, and provide a scalable model for broader dissemination.
Lessons from the Front Lines: Piloting an Online Platform for Strengthening Community Organization Courses in the School of Social Work Via a Michigan Organizers Video Archive
Katie Richards-Schuster
Barry Checkoway
Larry Gant
Joseph Galura
Shanna Kattari
Odessa Gonzalez Benson
Lorraine Gutierrez
Beth Reed
William Vanderwill
Amber Williams

05/01/2018 - 04/30/2020
The proposed project aims to create an online platform through which community organizers’ experiences and stories can be captured, taped, and archived in a curated video format and used across multiple classrooms in and outside of the School of Social Work. As an innovative and sustainable teaching model, the project would enhance student learning by integrating Michigan’s community organizers into classrooms using a dynamic digital platform. Lessons from the Front Lines: Community Organizing Archives will feature 15 to 20 organizers in 20-minute videos, sharing their own experiences and their practice, key skills and strategies, lessons from the field, and other information in an interview style setting. These videos will be coupled with short biographies, photos, information about communities/issues, suggested readings, and links to additional resources. For more robust access, the information will be searchable by “type” of practice, and will also have keywords connected to organizers’ profiles. We anticipate partnering with Academic Innovations to create the most user friendly and dynamic online experience while also leveraging the A/V, communications, and technology resources already available to us at the School of Social Work. The videos will be used within multiples community organization social work courses at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels, to supplement and enhance current course content. We intend to reach approximately 100 undergraduates and over 200 graduate students annually. This project supports the School’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals to bring diverse voices and experiences into the classroom in new and meaningful ways.
Trauma-informed Practice Certificate for Prospective Teachers, Social Workers, and Nurses
Shari Saunders
Julia Seng
Todd Herrenkohl

04/30/2018 - 04/30/2020
Schools are an important context for building resilience in children who have experienced trauma. To do so, school professionals must understand the impacts of adversity and how trauma manifests in the body. They must also learn to interact with students in ways that are sensitive to the social and behavioral challenges that some will inevitably encounter. Pre-service training in trauma-informed practices is notably lacking, which is concerning because undergraduate and graduate students who aspire to careers in education or other helping professions have little or no exposure to this critically important content. Faculty from the School of Education (SOE), School of Nursing (SN), and School of Social Work (SSW) will collaborate on a certificate program for UM students called Trauma-informed Practice & Leadership (TiPL). TiPL is unique in its emphasis on interprofessional education for practice across the three disciplines. Enrollment of practicing school professionals in the certificate program, along with UM students, will enrich the learning environment and bring examples from the field into the classroom. Completion of a sequence of 3 one-credit courses will result in a certificate of completion. TiPL will have a significant impact on the teaching and learning environment at the UM by providing a space for faculty and students in SOE, SN, and SSW to share knowledge and pursue common interests. Because this certificate will also include practicing professionals, there will be a unique opportunity to strengthen ties to schools and to the local community.
UARTS 150: Intro to Creative Process-Creating a More Integrative Experiential Teaching and Learning Environment
Ali Shapiro
Laura Hirshfield
Katie Rubin
Jeremy Edwards
Jono Sturt

05/01/2018 - 08/31/2018
This request will provide the resources to redesign and refine UARTS 150: Introduction to Creative Process. This is a required 4-credit interdisciplinary arts-integrative project-based writing course for first-year Living Arts students, a Michigan Learning Community (MLC) housed in the Bursley Residence Hall on North Campus. Themed around arts integration and collaboration, this MLC actively recruits students from the School of Art and Design; College of Architecture and Urban Planning, School of Music, Theatre and Dance; College of Engineering; and the College of LSA. The purpose of UARTS 150 is to introduce students to creative process across disciplines, as an exploration of their own creative process as a lifelong skill for success. The course was redesigned prior to the Fall 2017 semester to formally fulfill the LSA First Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) for arts and architecture students (for engineering it fulfills the "creative expression" breadth requirement). A significant challenge of this course is to integrate the FYWR (academic writing) curriculum into this complex and time-intensive course. The existing writing curriculum seeks to connect with the "making" components of the course through written essay assignments concerned with the broad theme of "creativity." However, students report (and instructors agree) that the academic writing portion is separate from the "making" parts of the course, and the disciplinary sections could be better integrated with each other. With Whitaker Fund support, we hope to co-evolve the FYWR curriculum alongside the making component of the course, seeking deeper and more specific connections between the making and writing.
Integrating basic and diagnostic sciences using team-based pedagogy in the DDS curriculum
Theodora Danciu
Erika Benavides
David Brzezinski
Vidya Ramaswamy
Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch

04/24/2017 - 04/24/2019
Oral Health practitioners need to draw upon the basic sciences to make high quality clinical decisions for optimal patient care. Supporting this principle, the American Dental Association will implement an integrated national licensure exam as of 2020 testing students’ ability to use basic science knowledge to inform clinical practice. One challenge at the School of Dentistry (UMSoD) is the reliance on lectures to teach basic sciences. Team-Based Learning (TBL) is an instructional strategy that allows active learning, fosters better integration and decision making than lecture and promotes critical thinking. The TBL focus is on application of knowledge with immediate feedback from the instructor; this instructional strategy promotes student engagement and assists in the development of team skills while allowing a single instructor to manage several small groups in a large classroom. Team skills are a necessary foundation for interaction between healthcare professionals. Our intent is to conduct this study as a pilot in the Winter 2018 2nd year diagnostics course and, if results are promising, to implement across the basic sciences 1st year curriculum (Fall 2018-2019) and eventually in parts of the entire dental curriculum. This project thus will provide foundational data for ongoing efforts to reinforce integration of basic science concepts with clinical practice skills in the UMSoD curriculum using the TBL pedagogy.
Enhancing Success of Underrepresented Minorities in Graduate Education by Fostering Support and Self-Agency
Robert Duncan
04/21/2017 - 04/30/2019
University initiatives to strategically enhance diversity campus-wide are essential to building a thriving educational community. Every unit, every program is charged with implementing grassroots initiatives to enhance recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented minorities (URM) in our programs. The Neuroscience Graduate Program has seen tremendous growth and success in recruitment, building strong relationships with several undergraduate institutions across the country and undergraduate research mentors with a history of serving URM students. Recruitment is only the initial step toward success. Increasing retention, creating equity, and fostering inclusion are among our next challenges to ensuring success and building a rich educational program for all of our students. As next steps toward success, we propose a set of monthly Peer-Mentoring Workshops that address three Focus Areas: Academic Support, Social Support, and Self-Agency. The workshops are structured around near-peer mentoring with limited direct faculty involvement to create a safe, interactive space for building Focus Area skill sets. The workshops are supported by a pre-post survey instrument to assess student attitudes, experiences, and growth. Workshop facilitators will be trained at two major conferences dedicated to the development of minority graduate students in the sciences (SACNAS and ABRCMS). Successful implementation of this proposal will help foster inclusion and stronger social support structures as well as enhance research skills and build a stronger sense of autonomy over the graduate school experience.
Understanding task allocation on first-year undergraduate engineering teams
Robin Fowler
Laura Hirshfield

04/23/2017 - 08/23/2018
When student teams divide work and conquer, students develop relevant skills and self-efficacy differently depending on the tasks they complete. Most research on task allocation on student teams has investigated student traits that lead them to take on specific tasks. Based on conversations with students who talk about the tasks they were "assigned," we are interested to better understand how task "assignment" happens, to whom it happens, and what the effects of it are (on satisfaction with the team and learning from the project). We propose a set of surveys and interviews, along with weekly project RASIC charts, to better understand task allocation on first year engineering teams.
The Impact of Assessment Collaboratives on Secondary Mathematics Teaching Interns' Development
Maisie Gholson
04/02/2017 - 03/31/2018
The project is designed to improve the system for collecting and analyzing secondary mathematics teaching interns performance in field placements by providing timely, coherent, and authentic feedback. Assessment collaboratives will be comprised of faculty, field instructors, and local-area cooperating teachers, and will leverage automatic following devices that record and live stream video data to remote computers. The use of an automatic following device system allows multiple members of the assessment collaborative to provide immediate feedback regarding the enactment of specific teaching practices. Assessment collaboratives will participate in training sessions to learn the technology and clarify the performance criteria of teaching interns. At the end of the semester, the project will be analyzed as a set of case studies that describe the functioning of different assessment collaboratives and teaching interns growth and development around programmatic teaching competencies.
Fortifying Diverse Cultural Content in Spanish 231 with Audio Mini-Lectures & Conversations
Ann Hilberry
Tatiana Calixto

04/18/2017 - 04/17/2018
Spanish 231 is the largest course in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures with over 1,000 students taking the course each year. Since the majority of students come from high school, Spanish 231 plays an important role in shaping the students’ experience in their first year at U-M. The course is an opportunity to provide incoming with encounters with a rich scope of cultural topics. Commercial textbooks for Spanish instruction tend to highlight common, almost stereotypical cultural themes, and overlook the diversity of social identities and ways of life that would offer a broader and more accurate picture of the pan-Hispanic world. We will create audio materials to support the development of students’ listening skills, and to expose them to more inclusive topics such as topics such as trial marriages in Central and South America, indigenous sports such as tejo in Colombia or chueca in Chile, urban agriculture in Venezuela, and same-sex marriage in Argentina. We will design this material introducing these cultural themes so that the students will engage intellectually with the pan-Hispanic cultures, and also reflect on their own culture(s) using this added perspective of the world. With pre and post-reflective surveys, we will analyze the students’ expectations and interests, as well as the impact these audio materials have in influencing their cultural perceptions. We will use data from Canvas to investigate the correlation of students’ use of extra audio activities with their level of interest in Hispanic cultures, and their development of listening skills.
To App or Not to App: An innovative instructional approach to preparing preservice teachers to critically evaluate educational applications for teaching and learning.
Elizabeth Keren-Kolb
Elliot Soloway

04/01/2017 - 03/30/2019
We are proposing a unique instructional approach in our teacher preparation program, where UM students engage in authentic professional collaboration. This project will improve teaching and learning at the School of Education by situating student learning in an authentic context. The United States Department of Education clearly stated in the 2016 National Education Technology Plan that preservice teachers must be able to use digital technologies effectively to leverage learning in classrooms today. Towards preparing preserve teachers, then, in EDUC 444, we will have them critically analyze educationally-oriented mobile apps that are being used in classrooms, asking if those apps are meeting specified learning outcomes. Still further, those analyses will serve as the focus of collaborative conversations supported by eHallway, a professional, social network used by industry professionals and inservice teachers. This is an approach to instruction that to our knowledge has never been done before in teacher education and will give UM student teachers a truly engaged learning experience. And, by design, our approach in 444, then aligns well with the UM Provost’s call for instructional methods to include more engage, authentic, learning experiences.
Online Components for Intensive Language Learning (OCILL): Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Hindi and Urdu
Adi Raz
Behrad Aghaei
Nilay Sevinc
Syed Ali

04/24/2017 - 04/24/2019
The proposed project is aimed to allow language instructors to develop online drills students can do at home and receive immediate automated feedback in preparation for material activation in the inverted classroom setting.
Preparing educators: teaching medical students to teach
Caren Stalburg
Michael Englesbe
Jennifer Stojan
Daniel Cronin

05/01/2017 - 10/31/2017
Historically, despite physicians having a critical role in the education of medical students, residents and patients, teaching doctors how to teach has been an overlooked aspect of medical education. The University of Michigan Medical School has recently recognized this gap and is working to provide core curriculum on education to all medical students. Therefore, identifying optimal instructional approaches for educator preparedness has become crucial. Additionally, the advent of MOOCs has allowed for more diverse curricular landscapes. To this end, our study compares two separate pedagogical approaches. We hypothesize that students engaged in a traditional face-to-face course on teaching will demonstrate improvement in their own teacher preparedness, and that participants in a MOOC teaching instructional methods will have at least equivalent outcomes. Teacher preparedness in each group will be measured by the modified validated METRQ survey (Appendix A) and an Oral Presentation Rubric (Appendix B). Results of our data analysis will provide data-driven guidance for curriculum stakeholders within the medical school for the creation of a new course, designed for all medical students to learn and develop their skills as educators.