PULLMAN, Wash. — A reception for Washington State University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellows and Graduate Associates is scheduled for Monday, April 20, from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Compton Union Building, Rooms 125-127. A program will begin at 4:30 p.m.
This year’s summer fellows are WSU faculty members Craig Parks, psychology; Lisa Morris, physics; and Steven Sylvester, biochemistry, WSU Vancouver. The 1998-99 academic year fellows are Stephen Hines, veterinary microbiology and pathology; Paul Smith, music and general education; and Bernard Van Wie, chemical engineering.
Two nonstipendary graduate associate positions have been awarded to Tammy Kiene, zoology, and Eric Miraglia, English, in recognition of their work on behalf of the CTL mission to support faculty and to improve student learning.
Parks will spend his summer developing a template to provide descriptive reports of student evaluations’ numerical summaries. He has spent the last several years developing a course evaluation form that will give instructors concrete feedback on what they are doing well and what aspects of their teaching need improvement. His work is a result of faculty concern over the lack of diagnosis in the current evaluation format.
Morris will create interactive tutorials that will aid students in the mastery of science skills needed for lab courses. She also will design an assessment plan for evaluating the effect on students’ conceptual understanding. Since students in introductory science courses are often expected to master advanced skills, like understanding graphs, with little to no classroom support, Morris saw a need for the tutorials.
Sylvester will animate DNA sequencing, with other DNA animations to follow, to aid students who have conceptual blocks in understanding such biochemical processes. He researched the factors behind animation’s success in reinforcing memory and, in turn, helping students past their learning blocks. He also discovered that conventional tests did not uncover students’ misunderstandings and developed his own questions to see where their confusion begins.
Van Wie will design a series of hands-on lab experiences in chemical engineering that demonstrate the concepts to be used early in an engineering student’s education. While the goal of engineering is to design tangible products that work, much of the teaching strategy in the field is lecture-based. Exercises will be carried out by student teams, who will, in turn, gain design experience. Van Wie has also developed a plan to measure the innovations’ long-term teaching effectiveness.
Hines will create interactive web tools to help navigate veterinary students through “learning bottlenecks,” a set of key concepts that students must grasp to make their knowledge useful. He will use an assessment plan measuring whether this approach enhances learning and whether it will serve as a more general model for assessing classroom discussion in the future. Hines has received numerous college, university and national teaching awards throughout his career.
Smith’s main teaching goal is to develop students’ appreciation of music by cultivating their skills of informed selection within a virtually limitless potential range of musical styles. Smith was concerned about the difficulty of introducing audio examples and assignments into web-based courses because of copyright restrictions attached to these materials. Next year, he will develop a prototype system for delivering examples in music and other courses using streaming audio technology. The program will use a “check out” procedure so that only one “copy” is in use at a time. Smith plans to customize assignments to fit his students’ interests and heritages. They then will share their thoughts through on-line writing assignments.