Iowa State University • Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching •
Iowa State University

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Miller Faculty Fellowship Program

2005-2006 Miller Faculty Fellowships

Title:    Children as Writers, Teachers as Writers: Creating Collaborations between Teacher Education Majors and their Future Elementary Students
Proposer(s):    Lori A. Norton-Meier
Department(s):    Curriculum and Instruction
College(s):    Human Sciences
Abstract:    Teaching a young child to write is one of the most important endeavors we undertake as elementary teachers. To help ISU's elementary education majors understand the writing development of young children, this project will connect students in kindergarten through third grade classrooms with pre-service teachers through the act of letter writing. Through this exchange of letters, future teachers will have the opportunity to experience the writing process as they create their own letters to a young child, receive letters to observe the writing development over time of one student, and use several assessment tools to better understand multiple aspects of writing including handwriting, spelling, and grammar. A technology component will also be used to analyze the differences between on-line forms of communication as opposed to the traditional form of letter writing. This project seeks to not only improve the writing of young children but to prepare our students to become better writers and be able to demonstrate many aspects of writing for their future students.
Title:    Course in Sustainable Engineering and International Development
Proposer(s):    Say Kee Ong, Ken Bryden, Brian Steward, Gerald Sheble
Department(s):    Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering
College(s):    Engineering
Abstract:    This grant will fund development of a course entitled "Sustainable Engineering and International Development." The course will introduce students to the role of sustainability in engineering problem solving and design. By integrating environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, and sociological sustainability into the engineering curriculum, we will enable our students to develop a more holistic understanding of the role of engineering in society and will prepare them for global economy and a world that is increasingly confronted with the consequences of technology. This course specifically addresses the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) criteria of including "economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability" in design and "understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context." The final outcome of this proposal is the development of a holistic system approach in teaching engineering that integrates environmental, economic, and sociological sustainability. The course is a collaborative effort among four departments (Civil, Construction and Environmental; Agricultural and Biosystems; Mechanical; and Electrical Engineering) in the College of Engineering.
Title:    Demonstrating Program and Teacher Licensure Outcomes Achievement: Integrating Electronic Learning Portfolios across the FCEdS Curriculum
Proposer(s):    Leah Keino, Yvonne Gentzler, Cheryl Hausafus, Beverly Kruempel, Betty Trost, Enas Sarour, Karla Embleton
Department(s):    Apparel, Educational Studies and Hospitality Management
College(s):    Human Sciences
Abstract:    This project will introduce the use of learning e-portfolios in Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies (FCEdS). The FCEdS program has three options: FCS Studies, Services and FCS Teacher Licensure. Because the number of students to be served by this initiative is relatively small compared to other programs, the personal attention to each dimension of the proposal by the students and collaborative team make this project a model for our large AESHM department and other departments within the College. Currently, several programs are successfully integrating portfolio assessment in their undergraduate education programs and faculty directing e-portfolio projects in ISU Departments of Agricultural Biosystems Engineering (ABE), Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN), Natural Resource Ecology Management (NREM), and Curriculum and Instruction (CI) point out the benefit of this assessment method in empowering students to demonstrate achievement of program and accreditation outcomes. They note that feedback from students is providing faculty opportunities to revise curriculum to meet the current needs of learners within a rapidly changing global environment. This project will therefore enable FCEdS students to assume responsibility for learning and to clearly communicate their achievement of program, teacher licensure, and technology outcomes to potential employers. Their feedback on the positive aspects and challenges they experience in articulating our program, Iowa teacher licensure, and technology outcomes will inform our curriculum revisions making it more relevant to the needs of future students and potential employers.
Title:    Design Studies 230X: An Introduction to Digital Design Media and Communication
Proposer(s):    Cameron Campbell, Anson Call, Jin Feng, Michael Miller, Debra Satterfield, Chris Seeger
Department(s):    Art and Design; Architecture; Landscape Architecture; Community and Regional Planning
College(s):    Design
Abstract:    We will reconsider overlapping discipline-specific entry-level digital design media courses to create a multi-disciplinary foundation digital design media and communication course that combines the resources of the range of expertise among the disciplines in the College of Design. This class will teach Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Graphic Design, and Interior Design students, as well as students in Community and Regional Planning (CRP), Integrated Studio Arts, and Integrated Visual Arts. As a supplement to the first-year foundation program that focuses primarily on analog techniques, this class will provide a second tier of preparatory courses specifically focused on digital design techniques. The development of this class will grant the College of Design students the opportunity to receive much-needed initial instruction in order to advance their digital communication techniques from a dynamic foundation.
Title:    Real Learning with Virtual Insects
Proposer(s):    Jon Tollefson, Pat Anderson, Matt O'Neal, John VanDyk, Carol Pilcher
Department(s):    Entomology
College(s):    Agriculture
Abstract:    One of the challenges for our Management of Insect Pests distance-education course is providing students with the hands-on learning tools that are found in the laboratory of the on-campus course. There have been significant improvements in technology since this course was created. As a result, we will improve the curriculum by creating an on-line virtual laboratory. This virtual laboratory will include high quality digital images that show external and internal morphology of insects with illustrations that point out key structures. The virtual laboratory will also include interactive virtual insects that can be manipulated by students so they can examine them as they would in a laboratory session. The on-line laboratory will help reinforce concepts from lecture by providing a tool for visual and kinesthetic (tactile) learners in the distance-education course, and it will add depth and increase understanding of the material for on-campus students.
Title:    Small Animal Diagnostic Procedures: A Computer-Aided Instructional Program
Proposer(s):    Albert Jergens, Kristina Miles, Kevan Flaming, Jo Ann Morrison
Department(s):    Veterinary Clinical Sciences
College(s):    Veterinary Medicine
Abstract:    The performance of routine diagnostic procedures (e.g., sterile urine collection, aspiration of chest or body cavity fluids for diagnostic evaluation, etc.) is an integral function of veterinary practitioners in clinical practice. Currently, experience with learning these technical skills is sporadic and insufficient for veterinary students to successfully learn to perform most skills following graduation. There is an urgent need for a concise, readily-accessible, and well-illustrated teaching resource that can be quickly and conveniently reviewed by students prior to performing these procedures. We will develop a novel computer-aided instructional program for veterinary students that demonstrates performance of routine diagnostic procedures in sick dogs and cats. Computer-aided instruction (CAI) will strengthen student learning in the clinics by allowing them to adequately prepare for diagnostic procedures, to study at their own speed ahead of time, and to repeat difficult topics if needed.
Title:    Strengthening Students' Communication Skills in the Disciplines: Creating Portable Models of Communication Instruction for the College of Business Faculty
Proposer(s):    Sue Ravenscroft, Brian Hentz
Department(s):    Accounting; English
College(s):    Business; Liberal Arts and Sciences
Abstract:    We will create a series of portable models designed to facilitate the College of Business faculty's adoption of communicating-to-learn principles in their undergraduate courses. To do so, we will use a series of upper-division accounting courses to develop and modify assignments and assessment tools that will serve as exemplars for interested faculty. As part of this departmental outreach, we will pilot assignments in designated accounting courses and assess their efficacy in strengthening students' multimodal (written, oral, visual, and electronic) communication skills and critical thinking abilities.
Title:    Technology for Assessment and Learning: Enhancing Web CT for Speech Communications
Proposer(s):    Amy Slagell, Jean Goodwin, Margaret LaWare
Department(s):    English
College(s):    Liberal Arts and Sciences
Abstract:    This project will extend learning in Speech Communication 212: Fundamentals of Public Speaking (a lecture/lab course enrolling 1500 students a year) through development of an enhanced WebCT site. Expanded WebCT capabilities will facilitate student learning by creating student access to grades from both lecture and lab assignments, increasing student opportunities to apply fundamental principles of speech communication through creative exercises, and expanding the options by which students can demonstrate their learning in the course without overburdening the 212 staff. WebCT will also provide a resource for both individual and course assessment through integrating nationally recognized pre- and post- test measures of communication competencies.
Title:    The Virtual Sky: Enabling Nighttime Sky Study During the Day for Introductory Astronomy Students
Proposer(s):    Charles Kerton, Gary Cameron, Joe Eitter, Guillermo Gonzalez, Steve Kawaler, Lee Anne Willson
Department(s):    Physics and Astronomy
College(s):    Liberal Arts and Sciences
Abstract:    This grant will enhance introductory astronomy instruction by providing students and instructors with access to state-of-the-art sky and space simulations at the Iowa State University planetarium. The ISU planetarium is primarily used in teaching Astronomy 120 (Sky and Solar System). Typical Astro 120 classes are made up of mostly non-science students spanning the entire range of years of study and majors at ISU. The importance of this course lies in the fact that for most of the students this will be their last and perhaps only interaction with science at the university level. The planetarium is the focal point of weekly recitation sessions and is used to demonstrate such things as daily and annual sky motions, the path of the sun and planets in the sky, geographical changes in what can be seen, various common coordinate systems, and constellations. The experience of both Astro 120 instructors and students is that the planetarium is a vital instructional tool for these topics. With this grant we will develop new recitation activities for the introductory Astronomy classes offered at ISU which will be designed to take advantage of the capabilities of a state-of-the-art digital system. We will also develop a series of presentations aimed at both K-12 and the general public in order to revitalize the on-campus public outreach activities offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Title:    Useful and Effective Evaluation and Review of Instruction
Proposer(s):    Tom Brumm, Barb Licklider, Brian Steward, Steven Freeman, Steven Mickelson
Department(s):    Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
College(s):    Agriculture; Engineering; Human Sciences
Abstract:    Evaluation and review of instruction is vitally important to Iowa State and, in particular, the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department. We cannot assist our students in achieving learner outcomes if we don't understand the effectiveness of teaching. Our continuous curricular improvement process is incomplete without an effective and useful system of instruction evaluation and review. We will refashion our student evaluation of instruction (SEI), based on the principles adopted by the ISU Faculty Senate and "best practice" pedagogy. Our new SEI will be more focused on student learning and instruction improvement. We will implement a system of peer review of instruction (PRI), training six ABE and six non-ABE faculty members, providing valuable insights and critical reflections for both instructor and observer. SEI and PRI will be essential to our continuous curricular improvement processes. We hope our efforts will be a model for other ISU departments.
Title:    Using 3 D-Computer Graphics to Improve Geoscience Learning for Non-science Undergraduate Students
Proposer(s):    Chris Harding, Cinzia Cervato, Kenneth Windom, Jane Pedrick Dawson
Department(s):    Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
College(s):    Liberal Arts and Sciences
Abstract:    Large (1500+ students per year) geoscience service courses are vital to convey the importance of geoscience concepts to undergraduate non-science majors and turn them into informed citizens. Part of the curriculum involves understanding the structure of convoluted rock formations ("3D puzzles"). Current teaching methods are based on static textbook sketches and are rarely successful as they rely on the students' ability to visualize 3D geologic concepts in their heads. We will create a simple-to-use, 3D computer-graphics program to allow students to experiment interactively with sequences of simulations of 3D geologic processes. This hands-on, active learning tool will help students to understand how 3D geologic processes interacted over millions of years (relative geologic time). Students will use this software on their PCs for homework or in-class exercises, and teachers of introductory geology classes will use it as a learning tool on a large projection screen. We will perform a learning outcome assessment of the new tool. If it proves to be a significant improvement it will be incorporated in the geoscience core curriculum and offered to the general public.
Title:    Virtual Gross Anatomy of the Equine Distal Limb: Linking Anatomy, Radiology and Pathology
Proposer(s):    Etsuro Uemura, Eric Rowe, Elizabeth Riedesel, Amanda Fales-Williams
Department(s):    Biomedical Sciences; Veterinary Clinical Sciences; Veterinary Pathology
College(s):    Veterinary Medicine
Abstract:    This project will improve the instruction of anatomy by developing a computer program that will integrate gross and microscopic anatomy, diagnostic imaging and the clinical relevance of anatomy. The program will be designed with the expectation that students will play a major role in their learning process. Traditional anatomy instruction presents information using a three-dimensional (3-D) orientation, while most of the imaging techniques (e.g. Radiographs or Ultrasound) render a two-dimensional image that is often in cross section (a slice). By linking diagnostic images of clinically relevant lesions with anatomy, we anticipate that students will have increased motivation to learn. The project allows us to integrate basic and applied subjects into one easily accessible resource, providing a valuable learning tool for first year veterinary students taking anatomy and for students later in the curriculum in applied courses such as surgery and radiology.