2014-2015 Funded Projects

A Field-based Direct Active Learning Method for Teaching Uniformitarian Principles in Introductory Geology Courses using Reconstructions of Early Hominid and Dinosaur Trackways

William Garcia

Abstract: Numerous studies have demonstrated that students have increased learning outcomes in courses that promote learning by mean of both direct and active activities and research experiences. One complication for subjects such as geology is that central theoretical tenants and primary data collection within these disciplines are field based. Typical educational inquiries into these concepts use existing or simulated data to illustrate patterns and processes. As a result, students acquire a superficial understanding of systems being taught. An important concept within the historical sciences, such as geology, is the principle of uniformitarianism. Uniformitarianism states that we can use our understanding of modern processes to understand events of the Earth’s past. This is  a process-driven concept and thus is difficult for students to grasp within a lecture format because they are separated from the actual processes. I propose to construct on the UNCC campus a model of world famous hominid and dinosaur trackways that can be used in numerous courses as a field oriented active learning lab. Courses that could use this model, GEOL 1200, GEOL 1210, and LBST 2213, satisfy two general education requirements and would impact a broad section of our student body. These models will serve to bring the ‘field’ to UNCC and provide an opportunity for direct active learning activities unavailable on a typical university campus. I have data from three previous semesters when this lab was taught as an indirect learning active and will compare the student learning outcomes of the direct and indirect methodologies.

Final Proposal: A Field-Based Direct Active Learning Method for Teaching Uniformitarian Principles in Introductory Geology Courses Using Reconstructions of Hominid and Dinosaur Trackways [PDF, 700 KB]

Following the Leader: A collaborative training model to develop and sustain best practices for teacher candidates 

Scott Kissau & Laura Hart

Abstract: Recent paradigm shifts in teaching methodologies and increased accountability on practicing K-12 teachers have made it more difficult for teacher training programs to find internship sites with willing teachers who model best practices. Exemplary role models are critical for young, aspiring student-teachers, who are now subject to new assessments that require video evidence of their best practices to receive state licensure. To address this concern and enhance teacher candidate graduation rates, the researchers will identify, recruit, and train a pool of high quality practicing K-12 teachers to serve as cooperating teachers in 2015-2016. Using classroom observations, surveys, interviews, and edTPA assessment scores, the research team will then examine the impact the recruitment and training has on the cooperating teacher support and on teacher candidate performance on the summative, performance-based assessment in the student-teaching internship (i.e., edTPA). The project has the potential to a) develop a strong and enduring pool of high quality cooperating teachers, b) ensure UNC Charlotte teacher candidates are exposed to best practices that they emulate and carry forward into their future careers as teachers, c) facilitate successful candidate completion of a new high stakes assignment during the student teaching internship, and d) ultimately improve the instruction and quality of education of K-12 students who will be taught by these teacher candidates.

Final Proposal: Following the Leader: A collaborative training model to develop and sustain best practices for teacher candidates [PDF, 862 KB]

Philosophy and the Moving Image: Teaching and Learning with Engaged/Publick Philosophy and New Media

Robin James & Phillip McReynolds

Abstract: We seek a SOTL grant as a means to add a video production component to our curriculum in the initial form of an undergraduate course on community engaged philosophy through new media. New media including web-based video and web site construction is increasingly the means by which scholars and the public at large learn about, discuss, argue about, think through, and develop new insights about import philosophical issues. Developing a philosophically focused new media literacy is one way that the philosophy department can meet the challenge of producing graduates with relevant critical and creative thinking skills required for success in today’s world. First, in addition to providing students with skills suited to today’s communication outlets, a course in philosophical filmmaking would reinforce the department’s commitment to such traditional scholarly skills of critical thinking, philosophical analysis, developing thesis statements, conducting research, compiling bibliographies, and writing cogent papers. But, importantly, students would learn how to conduct interview and combine word, image, and music into an evocative teaching/publication tool that is rapidly becoming a new standard for collaboration and interaction in the culture at large. Importantly because the orientation of the course is towards public philosophy, that is, in taking up philosophical issues that are concern to the community, the course and its products would serve as an important form of community engagement by the philosophy department that will directly contribute to the mission of the university to serve its community.

Final Proposal: Philosophy and the Moving Image: Teaching and Learning with Engaged/Public Philosophy and New Media [PDF, 310 KB]

Implementation of Simulation Using High Fidelity Manikins: An Intervention to Enhance Learning and Performance for Advance Practice Nurses in Pediatrics

Marie H Thomas, Kathleen Jordan, & Colette Townsend‐Chambers

Abstract: The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of pediatric simulation scenarios using high-fidelity manikins on student learning outcomes related to assessment skills, clinical knowledge and clinical reasoning/decision-making, and self-efficacy in advance practice nurse (APN) students. The project team proposes to evaluate simulation of common clinical pediatric scenarios as an effective pedagogy and andragogy for advance practice nursing students. This project will augment current student learning by providing the students with an opportunity to advance critical thinking, apply and integrate new knowledge, and practice clinical skills in a safe, nonthreatening environment using case scenarios that simulate commonly encountered conditions in the patient care setting. Each clinical scenario will include changes in physiologic responses based on age, level of development, family dynamics, appropriate laboratory values, and imaging study results as appropriate. 

The Jeffries Model for Simulation (2005) will guide the development of this study. This Model supports the use of small student groups to allow time to gather information, diagnose and plan a course of treatment. Simulations will be videotaped to allow for a mechanism to review the scenario and provide opportunities for guided reflection during debriefing. Faculty and peer feedback will be provided to encourage and reinforce performance, knowledge, and decisionmaking. Students will complete the written hard-copy Student Satisfaction and Self-Confidence Learning Instruments developed by the National League for Nursing (NLN) and Laerdal Medical Company as an evaluation method of the design, importance, learning objectives, satisfaction, and effect on self-confidence (Jeffries & Rizzolo, 2006). 

Final Proposal: Implementation of Simulation Using High Fidelity Manikins: An Intervention to Enhance Learning and Performance for Advance Practice Nurses in Pediatrics [PDF, 318 KB]

Intergenerational Forum: Training Aspiring Health Care Professionals through Community-based Participatory Research Experiences

Othelia E. Lee & Do-Hong Kim

Abstract: The overall purpose of the proposed project is to engage aspiring healthcare professionals in conducting community-based participatory research that is in part generated by and therefore of interest to community organizations. Through this participatory student research project, undergraduate students enrolled in SOWK 2183 Human Behaviors and Social Environment will learn how to plan, implement, and evaluate a program called Intergenerational Forum that will examine the importance of social capital in facilitating older adults’ learning and adoption of health information technology (HIT). Specifically, in the first phase of this project, students and faculty will collaborate to examine (1) whether older adults’ health conditions and social capital differentiate HIT users from non-users, and (2) whether the HIT users differ in their types of Internet use on the basis of their health conditions and social capitals. In the second phase of this project, students will conduct training sessions on how to use computers and the Internet for older adults at a senior center.

The primary methods for achieving the goals and objectives of the Intergenerational Forum are to offer educational opportunities including panel discussions with older adults in the classroom, research interviews at senior centers, and intergenerational exchanges via student-led tutorials of health information technology use. Additionally, our active outreach and partnership with community agencies is in alignment with the university’s goal of external collaboration to support diversity both on campus and in the community. Collaboration with the CharlotteMecklenburg Senior Centers has been confirmed pending proposal approval.

Final Proposal: Intergenerational Forum: Training Aspiring Health Care Professionals through Community-based Participatory Research Experiences [PDF, 1.47 MB]

Exploring the use of learning analytics from Moodle to enhance student learning and engagement in online courses 

Florence Martin, Michael K. Thomas, & Patti Wilkins

Abstract: This two year project aims at building quality in online courses for a fully online Master’s Program in Instructional Systems Technology. The purpose of this study is to use learning analytics to enhance student learning and engagement in online learning. The LAe-R plugin for data visualization will be integrated in six different Quality Matters certified IST online courses. Data sets will be identified and analyzed via the LAe-R plugin to identify student learning and engagement patterns. A heuristic for other instructors using Moodle in online courses to guide the improvement of online instructional delivery will be developed. 

Final Proposal: Exploring the use of learning analytics from Moodle to enhance student learning and engagement in online courses [PDF, 1.29 MB]

Introducing Competency-Based Education to UNC Charlotte via JOUR 2100

Jonathan Craig Paddock & Robin Rothberg

Abstract: The Communication Studies Department would like to introduce competency-based education at UNC Charlotte by transitioning a lower-level, large lecture class to an exam-only format with interactive, feature-rich, multimedia study materials that allow students to learn at their own pace through familiar tools. Face-to-face instruction would be discontinued so students could engage in the study program and take the proctored exam when they feel ready. The material of the course – JOUR 2100 teaches basic grammar – and the variation of knowledge students possess before enrolling make JOUR 2100 an ideal test for this model. Among the many objectives of this project are to use curricular innovation, active learning, and prompt feedback to improve access, efficiency, and engagement for traditional and nontraditional students, as well as students with disabilities; to increase student retention, progression, and graduation rates; and to enhance student professional development. The value of these objectives achieved through competency-based education can help both the Communication Studies Department and the university community realize efficiencies in 1000- and 2000-level coursework and how best to realize those efficiencies for faculty and students. Preliminary investigation indicates the Registrar’s Office will be able to process the changed requirements, and the department would like to have the new system in place by Fall 2015.

Final Proposal: Introducing Competency-Based Education to UNC Charlotte via JOUR 2100 [PDF, 865 KB]