Grant: Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching
Project Title Overview of the Project
Assessment of Student Learning in First-Year Writing Requirement Courses
Anne Curzan
05/01/2011 - 05/31/2012
This project aims to develop an innovative assessment tool to measure students' achievement of the goals of first-year writing requirement (FYWR) courses. Similar assessment initiatives have often focused on final essay and course grades as a way to measure student achievement, and have aimed to standardize grading and rubrics to make the process a more efficient and effective one. This project adopts a very different approach, using the revised Directed Self-Placement as a model. The FYWR courses aim to hone students' skills at reading critically and at writing academic arguments that put their arguments in conversation with published scholarship. They also aim to develop students' meta-awareness of the rhetorical demands of different kinds of writing situations and genres as well as their awareness of their most effective writing process. Therefore, in order to measure students' achievement of these goals, any assessment tool needs to ask students both to produce written academic argument and to reflect on the reading and the writing they have produced, in terms of genre conventions and rhetorical strategies and in terms of their writing process. This project is financially modest yet pedagogically sweeping: it promises to benefit every year over 4000 undergraduates' experience in our writing classrooms and further the pedagogical development of over 80 GSIs, most of whom plan to pursue careers in education, and over 30 Lecturers.
Portable Physiology Computer Lab: Enhancing Student Learning of Physiology and Computational Modeling
Santiago Schnell
Elizabeth Rust

01/01/2011 - 08/31/2013
Mathematical and computational modeling, along with the recording and analysis of physiological signals using computational devices are at the forefront of the biomedical sciences. We are requesting partial support to create a Portable Physiology Computer Laboratory. This lab will be used in the Human Physiology Laboratory and Computational Systems Physiology courses. The lab will provide hands-on experience in computational modeling and analysis tools to biomedical sciences students who otherwise have limited exposure to mathematical modeling and computer science. At the start of the term, our project will assess the level of student knowledge of relevant material from previously taken traditional courses. Data will be collected to monitor student progress throughout the semester and then reassessment will occur at the end of each course. Biological concepts and models are becoming more quantitative, and biological research has become critically dependent on computational approaches. By increasing the students' knowledge of and experience with sophisticated computational modeling and analysis tools, we expect students to be better positioned to contribute to the future discoveries in biomedical research.
Michigan Learning Communities Collaborative Assessment Project
Carol Tell
03/01/2011 - 12/15/2012
The Michigan Learning Communities (MLCs) are nationally-recognized programs aimed at assisting students in their transition from high school to college, as well as assisting their sophomore mentors with the challenges unique to the sophomore experience. MLCs at the University of Michigan are also models of integrative learning as they seek to have high impact on student academics as well as co-curricular activities during the students' time in the programs and well beyond. The MLCs have many common goals and missions, yet each has a unique identity that appeals to a wide array of student interests. For many students, the MLCs are a key factor in choosing to come to Michigan because they help to make a large university feel much smaller and close-knit. The MLC directors have implemented individual program assessment tools but recognize the paramount importance of MLC-wide assessment in order to assess [determine] how well we are collectively achieving our goals and how we can best achieve even highter levels of success for our students. In the short term, we want to see what we are doing well and what areas we can improve on; in the longer term, we are looking to stay ahead of the curve and be innovative and dynamic as we continue to assess ever-changing student needs. This project proposes to secure financial support for a part-time researcher who can devote the staff time needed to implement this long-anticipated collaborative assessment across the MLCs. In order to create a relevant and eficient survey assessment tool, we propose that the 22-month long pilot phase involve four MLCs that form a representation of the larger community of MLCs. The development of a collaborative assessment tool will allow LSA Undergraduate Education to evaluate more accurately the overall role that MLCs play in student development and success, as well as to evaluate how both their common and unique structures work within the larger Undergraduate Education framework. Severaly integral themes that are common across our programs have already been identified by the MLC Directors. These themes will provide a foundation to begin development of an assessment tool and include: academic excellence, retention, student leadership, civic engagement, research, and internationalization. This project will also allow faculty affiliated with MLCs to take eveidnce-based practices regarding high-impast pedagogical approaches back to their respective home units.
The School of Kinesiology Curriculum Reform Project
Patricia VanVolkinburg
01/01/2011 - 04/30/2013
The Curriculum Analysis Project will examine two of the four undergraduate majors in the School of Kinesiology (movement science and sport management) along with the discussion about adding a fifth major. Over the past five years the school has grown tremendously. In addition, several new tenure-line and tenured faculty have been hired in each academic area. As is normal, some faculty have been lost due to retirement (2011) and family relocation. The sizable increase in enrollment in both majors requires that we examine how best to meet the academic needs of our students. In the end, we hope to have answered a few key questions including: • Given the increased enrollment of these programs, how well are we preparing lower-division students for upper level coursework? • Additionally, how well are we preparing upper division students for future careers or graduate study? • How can we best maximize the learning of critical knowledge and skills needed for graduates to work in a global environment? • How will the inclusion of a new major meet the needs of current studnets and new students?
Evaluation of a New Core Curriculum for SNRE’s Interdisciplinary Professional Masters Program
David Allan
01/01/2010 - 10/01/2011
SNRE seeks support from the Gilbert Whitaker Fund to undertake an evaluation, with assistance from CRLT, of its recently instituted core curriculum. With CRLT's assistance, we seek to (1) facilitate faculty discussions about the SNRE core curriculum including desired outcomes, course learning goals, and ways to improve; (2) collect data using surveys and focus groups to evaluate the whether the core is, overall, meeting its objectives and how individual courses are meeting course-specific learning goals; (3) facilitate a faculty-wide discussion through a working meeting or a retreat to discuss implications of information gained through the above process; and (4) develop an evaluation process to assist SNRE in the evaluation of student experience in the core on an on-going basis.
Practice-Centered Curriculum Research and Development for Graduate Health Information
Judith Calhoun
Kai Zheng

05/01/2009 - 04/30/2010
The current climate for healthcare reform, combined with the new administration's determination to aggressively promote the adoption of HIT, has created the need for skilled individuals who are capable of planning, implementing, managing, and integrating clinical and administrative information, technologies, and systems in health care organizations. However, the School of Public Health Department of Health Management and Policy has not yet incorporated HIT into its core curriculum. Further, there is a paucity of prior publications addressing curriculum planning related to profession-based skill development in HIT, and there are no known practice-centered curriculum endeavors based on market-oriented evidence in graduate-level HIT courses. The proposed project aims to address this gap.
Development of an Interdisciplinary Management and Leadership Curriculum for Medical Residents
James Cooke
05/01/2009 - 04/30/2010
Funding from The Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching is requested to support the development and implementation of a unique leadership curriculum aimed at improving teaching and learning for medical residents at the University of Michigan. The project's goal is to create a comprehensive leadership curriculum with multiple learning tracks and then pilot at least two of the targeted areas during elective months within the 2010-11 academic year. Learning tracks will offer residents the opportunity for individualized training in high priority areas such as research, clinical practice, education, healthcare policy, healthcare administration, international medical practice, and the delivery of medical care to the underserved. As a first step, the planning group will create an overarching curricular plan and then involve 30 family medicine residents in the pilot testing of at least two of the targeted areas. The enhanced learning experiences will have an impact on hundreds of resident learners over time given that participation in the leadership curriculum will be required of all residents in our program. The initiative will also offer a rare opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty in the Department of Family Medicine (DFM), Ross School of Business, and the School of Public Health, and also for innovative partnering with university professional staff. The proposed project and planning process are an important departure from both existing and traditional curricular planning practices. While the results will improve teaching and learning in the Dept. of Family Medicine, the resulting curricular framework will be relevant to other residencies at the University of Michigan and across the country.
Use and Usefulness: Assessing Learning Resources in Large Lecture Science Classes
Brian Coppola
09/01/2010 - 08/31/2012
We have developed and tested a new assessment survey, called "Use and Usefulness," which is both easy to administer and provides a wealth of information about how students are engaging class resources. In the proposed project, we wish to expand the scope of our study, which was developed in the organic chemistry teaching program, to include the other major introductory LSA science courses in physics, EEB, and MCDB. We hypothesize that this cross-disciplinary comparison will produce a unique profile on how introductory science classes at the University of Michigan encourage self-regulated learning practices.
Introducing Intercultural Competence Through Case Studies
Maria Dorantes
05/01/2009 - 04/30/2010
For intermediate Spanish, we seek to introduce the use of online case studies to have students attain higher levels of intercultural communicative competence. We feel that students will not only gain knowledge on intercultural competence at the international level, but also within their own communities. This innovation aligns with the university's educational goal for more internationalization of the curriculum. We would like to use media clips of "critical incidents, " authentic cultural scenarios that prompt reflective thinking. Outside of class students will analyze these incidents and also be asked to evaluate and reflect on a peer's response in order to prompt additional reflective growth on the world and themselves through the lens of another language and culture.
Assessing the LSA Upper-Level Writing Requirement
Anne Ruggles Gere
Naomi Silver

02/01/2010 - 02/01/2012
The Sweetland Writing Center plans to undertake a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR). To enhance the coordination and support offered to students and instructors who participate in LSA's Upper-Level Writing Requirement, we propose a multi-pronged approach that will (i) collect data on the current state of the ULWR and visions for its future; (ii) revise institutional guidelines and application materials to direct faculty proposing or renewing ULWR courses; and (iii) develop instructional materials, workshops, and other forms of faculty and GSI support to promote best practices and excellent writing instruction in all departments.
Redesigning Clinical Skill Training through Technology
Bonnie Hagerty
Michelle Aebersold

05/01/2009 - 04/30/2010
Project Summary: The purpose of this project is to restructure and redesign clinical laboratory teaching and learning activities for the sophomore year in the School of Nursing baccalaureate program using eLearning technologies. Goals are to increase student access to skill learning activities to improve proficiency, increase quality and safety of student clinical performance, establish consistency in teaching skills, reduce costs by reducing the number of faculty necessary for clinical skills training, promote integration of knowledge and skill learning from an evidence-based perspective, and improve student and faculty satisfaction with clinical skill training. School of Nursing faculty, Clinical Learning Center and information technology staff will review, evaluate, select, and develop educational technology that will restructure lab clinical skill teaching and learning in the sophomore year. Appropriate products will be purchased from vendors and some tools such as additional modules will be developed with an expert in instructional design. An educational program for faculty will be planned and implemented in consultation with an expert in teaching methods using new technologies. Students will have unlimited opportunities to review and learn skill development through eLearning systems, develop more proficiency in clinical skill performance prior to hospital placements, and become more responsible and accountable for their learning through self-directed experiences. The School of Nursing will benefit from reduced faculty costs, and improved utilization of hospital clinical placements with students better prepared to care safely for patients. [Project Duration]: Planning for the project implementation began in April of 2009. The revisions to the undergraduate courses N254 and N221 began in September of 2009 for N254 and mid-August 2009 for N221. The revisions that were rolled out were the complete redesign of the skills lab portion of each of those courses. The revisions to N256 rolled out in January 2010. All faculty and instructors associated with the skills lab were trained in the new format in August of 2009. [Overview of the Project]: In the first term, sophomore students enroll in two lab based courses, Assessment of Health and Illness and Health Maintenance I. In these beginning nursing courses, students learn basic skills necessary to assess the health status of individuals from infancy through old age. Emphasis is on the assessment of physical, developmental, psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of the clients. Students learn to distinguish normal from abnormal and judge the functional abilities of the client. Key objectives address mastery of basic nursing skills necessary to provide proficient evidence-based nursing care. The following term, students enroll in Health Assessment II and Health Maintenance II. In these courses, students expand their assessment and skill repertoire, integrating content from other courses such as pharmacology and pathophysiology. Usually 14-16 students are assigned to a course section with one clinical lab instructor per section. Each instructor teaches skills through demonstration and supervision of students in their section. This results in inconsistency in teaching and evaluation of skill mastery and limits opportunities for students to practice those skills. In addition, multiple faculty are required to supervise the lab sections. Additionally, the teaching strategies have focused on traditional methods to deliver content. Our students come from a diverse background and our teaching methods need to embrace more learner-centered approaches and more multi-contextual learning environments (Giddens, 2007). [Phase One]: We reviewed, evaluated, selected and developed appropriate educational technology that will allowed us to restructure the sophomore lab learning experiences for two courses, Health Maintenance I and Health Maintenance II. These courses focus on fundamental skill development such as vital signs, medication administration, tube care, and catheterizations. By redesigning teaching and learning methods to incorporate new technologies, students: • have access to unlimited opportunities to review explanations and demonstrations through eLearning activities to better prepare them for skills practice and evaluation • learn skills from uniform content and performance expectations, and consistent teaching approaches • become more proficient in clinical skill performance prior to hospital placements, thus promoting patient safety and maximizing hospital clinical experiences • become more responsible and accountable for their learning through self-directed learning experiences • demonstrate greater satisfaction and enthusiasm for their learning. The School of Nursing has benefited from reduced instructional costs, improved utilization of hospital clinical placements, and improvement in student and faculty satisfaction.
Institutionalizing Assessment as Part of Introductory Course Reform in Physics
Timothy McKay
August Evrard

05/01/2010 - 08/31/2011
The Department of Physics is undertaking significant reform of all of its large introductory physics courses. These reforms include modernization of content and major changes in the structure of the classes. This Whitaker proposal seeks funds to establish a solid framework for assessment in advance of these reforms, and to utilize these assessment tools during the next two years. In the long term, we will use these tools to continuously monitor change in the effect of our courses on students, building more substantive and quantitative assessment in to the fabric of the Department's teaching.
Investigating the Efficacy of Screencasts as Learning Tools in College of Engineering Courses
Joanna Millunchick
09/01/2010 - 08/31/2012
University lecturing is changing as a result of increasing student populations, student diversity, and transformative technologies. One of the newest technological developments is the availability of screencasts, recordings that captures audio narration along with video images. Many instructors have adopted this approach in their courses, but we still need to take a closer look at what kind of screencasts impact student learning, and how students and instructors use those screencasts. This proposal requests funds to examine how this new learning technology is used in various settings and determine whether it impacts student learning. Specifically, we will conduct focus groups with students in classes that use screencasts and interviews with instructors to examine attitudes towards these new resources and effects of their availability on the "learning workflow." The results of these focus groups and interviews will also form the basis of more rigorous studies on their impact on student learning.
Thinking and Teaching in Global Dimensions: A Joint Proposal for A May Seminar
Douglas Northrop
Robert Bain

05/15/2009 - 06/04/2009
The applicants propose a May Seminar for up to 10 faculty and 12 graduate students on the topic of "Thinking and Teaching in Global Dimensions," to be held at the University of Michigan from May 18-June 4 in nine four-hour sessions (9 a.m.-1 p.m., three per week). The Seminar is conceived as a training site in global and world history, a relatively new field for both research and teaching. There is very high demand in particular for accomplished teachers of world history at both the university and K-12 levels, but few UM faculty and graduate students have any formal training in this area. We see this seminar as a springboard for curricular reform in both History and Education—by reaching beyond the national, regional, and temporal frames that shape most History classes at UM. The seminar aims to better prepare graduate students for the future teaching demands they will face, and simultaneously to work with faculty to infuse their teaching with more sensitivity to global and interregional concerns. Globalizing the curriculum also provides clear benefits and new skills to undergraduates, such as the ability to move more fluidly among and between global, national and local scales. Specific outcomes from this Seminar will include new course proposals in global history; substantial modifications to existing courses; new collaborative teaching initiatives across disciplinary lines; expanded K-12 outreach activities; and preparation of new teaching modules. These outcomes address the state of Michigan's new content expectations for world history and geography—of direct relevance to our undergraduates and graduate students pursuing careers in K-12 education—and also help Ph.D. students prepare more effectively for the new contours of an academic job market.
Sculpting Light Sculpting Space
Cynthia Pachikara
Tsz Yan Ng

09/01/2009 - 04/30/2011
The aim of this project is to develop an interdisciplinary light-based studio pedagogy that would serve students in both Art + Design (A&D) and Architecture (TCAUP). The project aims to explore the collision of the physical behavior of projected light with architectural drawing conventions that employ projective logics. Additionally, the ambition is to treat light as medium and event. In so doing, the project intends to cultivate teaching methods that challenge normative ideas of architecture and installation art as static forms, and instead, nurture the idea of product-as-process. This grant would assist in conceiving innovative teaching methods that nurture real scale light play in the studio context and promote creative production of illuminated, inhabitable environments. This project would expand the knowledge base and help to improve the teaching approaches of Cynthia Pachikara (A&D, TCAUP) and Tsz Yan Ng (TCAUP) who would use the funds to collaborate on curricular development.
Interdisciplinary Design Education Strategies
Papalambros Panos
Richard Gonzalez
Shanna Daly

06/01/2009 - 04/30/2010
Designing products, systems, or services offers students a unique way to explore the disciplinary knowledge accumulated in their chosen curriculum in a hands-on manner, representative of the problems they will face in their chosen careers. In engineering, application of technical knowledge through design is essential; however, the ability to apply disciplinary knowledge through design is dependent on students' design skills. These include strategies to approach design tasks, decision-making, innovative thinking, dealing with ambiguity, understanding the user, interdisciplinary communication, working within constraints, evaluating alternatives, and iterating on solutions. The goals of this project are to (i) assemble and analyze qualitative data of design pedagogies from design educator, and form a collection of strategies that can be used in diverse disciplinary design education contexts; (ii) develop curricular materials to help introduce innovative educational strategies into undergraduate design curricula and experiences. Our experience over the past several years in teaching the courses Analytical Product Design (ME455, DESCI 501, ARTDES 300) and Design Process Models (PSYCH 541, DESCI 502, ARTDES 350) have encouraged us to pursue a more systematic documentation of practices across campus, and a codification suitable for curricular implementation, not only in the above courses but in several other courses, including mainstream core classes (e.g., ME 250, 350, 450 and MDE 350). The faculty team associated with the Design Science (DESCI) Program provides a natural vehicle for curricular dissemination.
Creation and Evaluation of a Web-Based Breast Disease Curriculum
Mark Pearlman
01/01/2010 - 08/31/2012
The primary goal of the project is to create and assess a comprehensive web‐based breast health education curriculum for University of Michigan medical students and Obstetrics and Gynecology postgraduate students. The curriculum will be housed on C‐Tools at the University of Michigan. Our web‐based curriculum will consist of nine learning modules, each containing two to three lessons, which will cover different aspects of breast care. We will assess our educational program using a randomized controlled trial. We will randomly assign half of the students to receive access to the web‐based breast curriculum in addition to the traditional methods of teaching (test group) and half to only receive the traditional methods of teaching with no access to the program (control group). Our pretest‐posttest design allows us to measure the effect of the web‐based curriculum on knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Knowledge questions will address factual information about breast health. Skill questions will provide scenarios or videos that depict the beginning of a procedure and then ask learners what should be done next. Attitude questions will address professionalism (i.e., perceived responsibility for breast care), interpersonal communication (with patients, staff, and other physicians), and confidence.
Assessing Integrative and Lifelong Learning through Mportfolios
Melissa Peet
02/01/2010 - 12/31/2011
The Integrative Learning and Mportfolio Initiative is a campus‐wide effort aimed at supporting a wide array of units to use ePortfolio tools along with integrative teaching and assessment methods to improve students' learning. 15 pilot sites with over 1300 students have participated in the Mportfolio pilot thus far, and many more units are requesting participation. The Mportfolio Research team has developed an Integrative and Lifelong learning (IL) Assessment Module that is currently being tested with over 500 Mportfolio students in a range of disciplines/units. Whitaker funds would be used to further develop and refine this module in order to: 1. develop a data model that would allow researchers to compare the development of integrative learning in students from different disciplines/units and at various levels of learning; and, 2. identify and disseminate a series of assessment and teaching‐related best practices for facilitating and capturing integrative learning across a variety of units.
Engineering Online Gateway System
Jeff Ringenberg
Marcial Lapp

01/01/2010 - 04/19/2011
Through the development of a computer‐based "gateway" examination system, we seek to ensure adequate comprehension of the material presented in introductory engineering courses. Our goal is to statistically show that these gateway exams are beneficial to students by reinforcing core concepts that are vital to succeeding in a particular engineering course.
A University-Community Social and Environmental Justice Film and Discussion Series: Diverse, Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences for Students through the Integration of Classroom Study and Community Engagement
David Schoem
James Crowfoot

05/04/2009 - 03/15/2010
Faculty associated with the Michigan Community Scholars Program, teaching First-Year Seminars, English Composition courses, and the UC 102 lecture course, will collaborate to offer as part of their courses, a monthly series of films and discussions for students that will be held in the setting of the Ann Arbor Public Library and open to all members of the university and all citizens of Ann Arbor and the surrounding communities. All films will have a focus on social justice and/or environmental justice issues and will be organized according to three substantive themes central to subsets of these faculty's courses, including intergroup relations and dialogue, education, and sustainability. Faculty will meet in the Spring/Summer term and throughout the fall and winter semester to design the series (films and discussions), revise their courses (to integrate the films, discussion, facilitation, and discussion follow-up into their syllabi), and evaluate student learning. Films will be held in September, October, and November 2009. The film series will be coordinated in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library and Michigan Television. In addition to students being required to attend, there will be extensive publicity to attract members of MCSP and the Ann Arbor and University community to the films. A successful pilot run of the film and discussion series took place in academic year 2008-09 and for the coming year the project will be linked directly to course syllabi.
Preparing for Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector in the US: An Opportunity for Service Learning
John Tropman
09/01/2009 - 08/31/2010
This project proposes to reach out to undergraduates interested in nonprofit organizations and presenting material on the nonprofit sector at home and abroad to them; Using an interdisciplinary approach (several disciplines plus nonprofit executives), it will provide not only knowledge but a team-based project opportunity in local nonprofits.
Engineering Lectures in the Vocabulary of Graphic Design: Improving Student Comprehension and Retention in Engineering Lectures
Steven Yalisove
Francis Nunoo-Quarcoo

02/01/2010 - 08/31/2011
Graphic designers are experts at communicating with imagery. Engineering lectures are not prepared by graphic designers but by engineering faculty. This proposal is an attempt to infuse the best practices of graphic design into engineering lecture design by developing a set of graphic grids and iconic images for a set of typical lecture activities. Central to the approach is a focus on the active learning needs of a student during a lecture. This includes separating computer generated material from handwritten chalkboard material. These graphic grids and iconic images will provide a pathway for enhanced comprehension during lecture and retention afterwards. Assessment of comprehension and retention will be performed. Attention will also be given to developing methodologies for rapid acquisition of graphic design skills for engineering faculty.
Grant: Gilbert Whitaker Fund: Stage 2
Project Title Overview of the Project
Humanizing Technology to Improve Clinical Readiness for Advanced Practice Nursing Students
April Bigelow
01/15/2015 - 04/30/2019
Humanizing Technology to Improve Clinical Readiness for Advanced Practice Nursing Students April Bigelow, Michelle Pardee, Elizabeth Kuzma, Nicole Boucher Project Overview The primary mission of the University of Michigan School of Nursing primary care nurse practitioner programs is to prepare exceptional clinicians for advanced nursing practice who will grow to be leaders in healthcare. With the changes from Whitaker I, students had access to digital standardized patients (DSP). DSPs offer a safe learning environment for students to develop and practice patient-provider communication and advanced physical exam skills and improve self-efficacy in health assessment competencies. Despite the benefits of using a DSP, there is still a need for exposure and experience with live patients outside of healthy peers. In Whitaker Stage II faculty will collaborate with the Standardized Patient Program to develop and test the addition of a novel nurse practitioner focused case scenario. This pilot Standardized Patient (SP) case will be trialed in advanced health assessment. Faculty will evaluate student performance with the SP, students' perception of the experience, students' self-efficacy with health assessment competencies, and course evaluation scores to guide revisions to the SP case scenario and direct future implementation. After the pilot case, two lead faculty will use their experience, training, and evaluation materials to train 10 additional primary care faculty to implement SPs across primary care nurse practitioner curricula, initiate new case scenarios, and develop evaluation criteria and rubrics to transform primary care nurse practitioner education and ensure long-term sustainability.
Neuroscience Graduate Program Curriculum: Enhancing Professional Development in Scientific Communication and Evaluation
Audrey Seasholtz
01/01/2015 - 12/31/2016
This proposal seeks to enhance the Neuroscience Graduate Program Seminar course to include intentional teaching of scientific presentation and evaluation skills. The ability to present one's own scientific studies and those of others in a clear and engaging fashion is critical for all professional scientists, regardless of career choice. Similarly, learning to critically analyze and to provide constructive feedback on both the content and presentation style of scientific communication are essential skills for all professional scientists, writers, and educators. We will engage outside lecturers and workshops to train our students on the best methods for preparing and delivering outstanding scientific presentations. We will train our faculty to help students evaluate and improve their presentation skills, using analysis of the student's videotaped seminars. We will also provide workshops for writing abstracts and mini-reviews to improve writing skills and complement oral communication skills. Finally, we will improve both faculty and peer student evaluation forms, and provide workshops to engage our students in best practices for peer evaluation of both oral and written scientific communication. After implementation and refinement of these workshops, we hope to make this training available to all science Ph.D. graduate students in the future. Two key professional development goals for all of our graduate students are 1) excellent scientific communication skills; and 2) critical analysis/evaluation skills. We believe that the improved training in these areas provided by this proposal will greatly enhance their future scientific careers.
Further Development of Games for Children with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities
David Chesney
01/01/2014 - 12/31/2015
In many ways, the objective of an engineering education is to ‘simulate' an experience that might occur in a real-world commercial or industrial encounter. That is, we educators attempt to equip our students with the skill-set to actively contribute to a company after graduation. This grant proposal translates the ‘simulation' of the engineering experience into the actual event of translating a set of ideas into a software product, and then making the software easily available to the intended audience. Perhaps more importantly, the software games and apps have the very real potential to help persons with physical and cognitive disabilities.