Grants

Funded Projects
Faculty Development Fund (FDF)
Project Title Overview of the Project
Empowering Educators: The MENTOR Series
Daniel Cronin
Medical School
Michelle Daniel
Medical School
Seetha Monrad
Medical School
Gurjit Sandhu
Medical School
Vineet Chopra
Medical School
Robert Dickson
Medical School

Medical School
Amit Gupta
Medical School
Nathan Houchens
Medical School
Sanjay Saint
Medical School
Jakob McSparron
Medical School
Janet Biermann
Medical School

Medical School

Medical School
Patricia Mullan
Medical School
Michael Englesbe
Medical School

$6500.00

Historically, medical students at the University of Michigan Medical School have had limited educator preparedness training. This is unfortunate as once medical students graduate they have significant responsibilities teaching co-residents and the next generation of medical students. Although a teaching elective does exist within the medical school, it is not scalable and not suited to practice clinical teaching. This grant team seeks to create a new “Clinical Teaching Elective” which will be scalable and flexible, allowing senior medical students to learn core teaching principles and skills while simultaneously being immersed in clinical practice. To accomplish this, our grant team is developing a central repository of best teaching practices that can be used as a curricular tool and on-demand teacher’s guide, the Medical Educators Novel Teaching On-demand Resource (MENTOR) Series, which is comprised of primarily concise educational videos supplemented by summary infographics. Importantly, select videos will also be used futuristically to fill gaps in other areas of the medical school curriculum. The creation team is composed of a diverse group of education experts from various departments and divisions, who are involved in content creation, design, evaluation and implementation. To ensure that our resource is optimally created for a variety of learning styles and preferences, we will be obtaining iterative feedback from medical student group interviews. The grant money will be used to fund food for medical student group interviews, as well as costs of video and infographic production including editing videos, script styles, animations and graphics based off medical student feedback.

Investigating Spatial Reasoning Training for Introductory Computing
Westley Weimer
Engineering
Bill Arthur
Engineering

$6000.00

Michigan Computer Science struggles to attract and retain undergraduate women and students from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds. Some studies have found spatial ability to be the single biggest predictor of success in computer science, even beyond experience and access to a computer. Spatial ability in incoming students correlates with gender and SES, but spatial ability can be trained. Such transfer training works best between activities that use the same regions of the brain; using medical imaging, our group has recently found such neural similarity between spatial ability and programming tasks.

We propose (1) a controlled, ten-week longitudinal study to investigate the transfer of spatial training to programming ability, and (2) if transfer is found, integration of spatial training into an introductory programming course (EECS 183, part of the CRLT Foundational Course Initiative) curriculum and measurements of effects on performance, diversity and student retention. If successful, the changes can be incorporated into EECS 183 for sustainable benefits.

Studies of over 3,000 students have found that spatial training can help students improve performance in general engineering classes. For example, Michigan Technological University has required such spatial training for low-spatial engineering students for over twenty years. However, they have not yet been evaluated for computer science. In collaboration with an expert in spatial ability and intervention studies from Psychology and instructional faculty from Computer Science, we propose to investigate whether spatial training can be successful at helping to close important gaps in Computer Science student success and retention.
Knowledge Sharing: The Museum Anthropology Course and Anishinaabe Basket Makers

$5810.00

The proposed project incorporates new experiential and multicultural learning opportunities for students in the Museum Anthropology course and will contribute to the Winter 2020 Great Lakes Theme semester. Funds are requested to bring two Anishinaabe (Indigenous communities of the Great Lakes region) artists who make baskets using traditional materials to Ann Arbor. The artists will meet with students in the course to discuss museum objects that the students have researched. Through conversations, students gain real-world experience in multicultural engagement and knowledge sharing, which are the foundation for museum/community partnerships. Students will use what they have learned through their research and conversations with the artists to develop an exhibit for the student project display cases in the UM Museum of Natural History (UMMNH).
Undergraduate Public Health Curriculum Assessment and Redesign
Emily Youatt
Public Health

$10000.00

The University of Michigan School of Public Health Office of Undergraduate Education (SPH OUE) requests a Faculty Development Fund award to assess and redesign the undergraduate core curriculum and culminating experience. With an annual enrollment of approximately 90 students per cohort, the core curriculum and culminating experience represent the six required courses all students take during their two years as public health undergraduate students. Delineated during the development of the program, these six courses were structured with input from the full SPH faculty to collectively address the learning domains and competencies defined by SPH’s accrediting body. Taught by faculty members from four SPH departments, these courses are interdisciplinary in nature and address a broad set of learning domains. The intent of these courses is to provide students an integrated introduction to key concepts and knowledge from across the field of public health (core curriculum), and to synthesize experiences in the program and connect them with student’s public health practice and professional goals (culminating experience). Initial feedback from faculty and graduate student instructors (GSIs) teaching required courses and from students enrolled in the courses has been mixed. While instructors and students alike see the benefits of a required, sequential set of courses, concerns remain about the content and structure of the core and culminating experience. We are requesting funding to support an in-depth assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the existing undergraduate required curriculum, and to implement a redesigned curriculum that better meets the learning needs of undergraduate public health students.
Holographic Visualization of Magnetization Dynamics for Improved Magnetic Resonance Imaging Education
Nicole Seiberlich
Medical School
Daniel Fessahazion
Libraries (UM)

$6000.00

In this project, flexible augmented reality holographic displays will be created as visual aids for teaching the basic concepts of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). MRI is one of the most important and widely used medical imaging modalities, but also complex and thus challenging for students to understand. Undergraduates and graduate students in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Physics, as well as medical students and residents, often struggle to truly understand the connection between the MRI scanner settings, the nuclear magnetic moment (which is the source of the MRI signal), and image contrast. Educators attempt to depict the complex motion of the magnetic moment using 2D figures or 3D movies, but these conventional approaches are insufficient and often give the impression that MRI is much more complicated than it really is. Novel holographic visualization apps, using hardware such as Microsoft HoloLens, provide a unique opportunity to help students learn this complex material. Interactive holographic visual aids will be developed in-house at the Duderstadt Center specifically for MRI education. These new tools will be accompanied by lecture materials such that the complete package can be disseminated to any faculty member wishing to teach MRI, including specialized holographic visualization modules for undergraduate and graduate students (BME 499.006 and BME/EECS 516) as well as radiology residents. The success of the project will be evaluated via surveys and improvement in student test scores. The team members involved in this project are enthusiastic and have the expertise and access to students to facilitate this work.
Using 3-D printed anatomical models of specimens from the Museum of Zoology Research Collections to transform experiential learning in six vertebrate biodiversity laboratory courses

$10000.00

A grant from CRLT will enhance lecture materials and laboratory exercises in six vertebrate biodiversity classes through the use of 3-D printed anatomical models made from images generated with X-ray computed tomography (CT). Recent access to CT is made possible through the acquisition and installation of a Nikon X-ray CT scanner in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The scanner is located at the Research Museums Center in close proximity to > 4 million specimens of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals including an extraordinary collection of fluid-preserved specimens, all housed in the Museum of Zoology (UMMZ). The ability to generate CT images and produce models of both hard and soft anatomy from valuable fluid preserved research specimens, using noninvasive techniques, will provide opportunities for students to engage with the great diversity of vertebrate form and function. For example, students will be exposed to the differences in internal anatomy such as the windpipes of cranes that are coiled to amplify sound. Printing models at magnification will provide opportunities to compare small anatomical structures such as the pharyngeal jaws or gill arches of fishes or the bones of a snake skull. Students will use models to articulate entire skeletons or assemble and disassemble bones of the skull and other structures. These self-guided activities of discovery and research will provide a better, more intuitive understanding of species diversity and variation with less memorization.
Compassionate Conversations Curriculum for Michigan Medicine: Building a core communication curriculum for medical students, postgraduates, and faculty
Michael Mendez
Medical School
Nathan Houchens
Medical School
John Osterholzer
Medical School

$10000.00

Ineffective physician communication leads to increased stress for families related to treatment decisions and the condition of patients. Many families do not understand basic information about their loved ones’ illnesses and treatments, and physicians frequently miss opportunities to address family concerns and attend to family emotions. While communication guides and conversation roadmaps have been published, Michigan Medicine lacks a program common to medical students, post-graduate trainees and faculty that provides our trainees the necessary communication skills and practical tools to navigate these conversations. CRLT funding will provide key support to assist the program in its initial phase of growth.

This proposal describes the development of a dynamic family meeting simulation model that engages learners with improvisational actors and highly trained faculty-facilitators in a manner that optimizes achievement of the following goals:

1) To develop a sustainable communication training program that enhances the ability of trainees to compassionately and effectively conduct conversations which identify the values, goals, and life-sustaining treatment decisions of patients with serious illness.
2) To recruit and train communication education champions to create a network of Compassionate Conversation Facilitators at Michigan Medicine
Vocal Health Lab, Somatic Bodywork & Curriculum Development for the Contemporary Musical Theatre Performer
Catherine A. Walker
Music, Theatre & Dance

$10000.00

This 3-tiered initiative will enhance the curriculum and training of the musical theatre majors as well as provide professional development for faculty members in the Musical Theatre, Theatre & Voice Departments. The Musical Theatre department remains committed to providing a comprehensive, cutting-edge, holistic, approach to training today’s performers.Part One: New Vocal Health Lab - Musical Theatre students will have regular access to Voice Specialist, Marci Rosenberg (CCC-SLP). Musical theatre performers are at greater risk for developing voice disorders. Even a minor voice disorder can have a significant impact on the performer. The Vocal Health Lab will offer specialized care and training for the students who regularly sing using a high vocal load and become proactive at detecting emerging problems. Part Two: Alexander Technique Somatic Training - By training both faculty and students to optimize posture and alignment, the functionality of the voice will improve. Additionally, Alexander Technique has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall well-being; essential for Musical Theatre performers. Part Three: Professional development for faculty in the Musical Theatre, Theatre and Voice Departments - Tom Burke, a New York based, voice teacher, speech language pathologist and cutting-edge voice researcher will present a workshop for faculty and students. In addition, Catherine Walker will continue pursuing certification as an Estill Course Instructor with Mr. Burke. This training is in alignment with the department’s current voice curriculum. Ms. Walker will also be able to offer voice training workshops to secondary music educators as a service beyond the University community.





Designing and Implementing a Structured Process and Task Trainer for Teaching Digital Vaginal Examination in Labor
John DeLancey
Medical School
Joanne Bailey
Medical School
Helen Morgan
Medical School

$10000.00

In maternity care, it is essential that nurses, midwives and physicians have the skills needed to evaluate progress during labor. Digital vaginal examination (VE) during labor is an essential skill for students to master, but one that is challenging to teach and practice in the simulated clinical setting. Affordable, realistic simulators are not currently available and standardized patients cannot be utilized to simulate labor and birth. Because VE during labor can be uncomfortable and intrusive, it is imperative that students are prepared prior to clinical so they can perform VE in a way that causes the least discomfort while at the same time correctly assessing for labor progress. In a collaborative effort between midwifery faculty, obstetrics/gynecology, and engineering, we propose to: (a) develop and evaluate a structured step-wise process for teaching VE (b) design, build, and evaluate a realistic vaginal examination task trainer that can be utilized for nursing, midwifery and medical education and (c) evaluate the effectiveness of both the educational approach and the task trainer using a three armed, pretest-posttest design with midwifery and medical students as participants.