2015-16 EI Small Grant Recipients

In 2015-16, the EI Small Grant Program offered grants of up to $10,000 each and focused on enhancing active learning strategies and developing Open Educational Resources (OERs). With the support of the International Division, the program also sought proposals that would enhance global learning and students’ global competencies. The program’s proposal themes were: 1) active learning through blended courses, 2) internationalization at home and 3) OERs.

This year’s program funded 21 proposals from six schools and colleges at a total of more than $180,000.

Grant Recipients and Project Descriptions

Theme 1: Active Learning through Blended Course Development

1. Patty Loew, professor, Life Sciences Communication, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
Project description: Develop a currently blended course, LSC 444: “Native Environmental Issues and the Media,” into an online course to be offered during summer. The course is one of only two ethnic studies courses offered through CALS and thus, an additional summer offering of the course would allow students greater flexibility to meet their graduation requirements. Additionally, the blended format will improve student engagement and motivation, create learning communities and personalizes the learning experience.

2. Briana Burton, assistant professor, Bacteriology, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
Project description: Develop and incorporate active learning activities and online modules into MICROBIO 470: “Bacterial Genetics and Molecular Motors,” while also incorporating both summative and formative assessment practices. The hands-on learning techniques will be designed specifically to help students better understand abstract concepts.

3. Lisa Lenertz, associate faculty, Biochemistry, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
Project description: Develop and blend BIOCHEM 501: “Introduction to Biochemistry” in order to allow students to watch pre-recorded videos before class and work through problem sets with instructors and peers in the classroom. The changes will better accommodate enrollment demands and alleviate potential bottlenecks by offering students more scheduling flexibility. The changes will better accommodate enrollment demands and alleviate potential bottlenecks by offering students more scheduling flexibility.

4. Carolyn Kelley, professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, School of Education
Project description: Further develop and blend, ELPA 965: “Seminar in the Politics of Education,” to enhance student learning. The instructor will create online modules, embedded with assessment practices, to provide more supplemental information on U.S. and Wisconsin governance and educational policies. In doing so, the instructor aims to engage more students, deepen their learning of more advance concepts and increase their overall success.

5. Peter Adamczyk, assistant professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
Project description: Develop and implement a blended robotics course. Theoretical content delivery, collaborative computer programming exercises, and video presentations of results and outside resources will be delivered using online, collaborative tools. In-person portions of the course will include: discussion and question-answer periods; team-based problem-solving; physical demonstrations; and interactive student presentations of enrichment topics. The combination of these elements will give students a more practical and detailed view of real-life robotics implementation than most theory-intensive robotics courses.

6. David Noyce, professor and chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
Project description: Further develop and blend a graduate course, “CEE 679: “Transportation Safety Engineering,” to apply active learning educational theories to encourage more engaged learning. The course will be divided into different units with related active learning modules consisting of online lectures, assigned readings and case study evaluations. Assessment practices will be incorporated at the end of each unit.

7. Linda Roberts, professor, Human Development and Family Studies, School of Human Ecology
Project description: Further develop and refine the school’s new collaboratively designed, INTER-HE 201: “Belonging, Purpose, and the Ecology of Human Happiness: EcoYou.” Specifically, funds will be used to design and collect systematic formative and summative assessments in order to effectively evaluate the impact of various course components on student learning and improve as necessary.

8. Stasie Harrington, faculty associate, Spanish and Portuguese, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Further develop a blended Spanish course, SPANISH 226: “Intermediate Language Practice with Emphasis on Writing and Grammar,” to incorporate more cultural content with an integrated four-skills approach (specking, listening, reading and writing). The additional development of the blended format will reduce the number of in-class meetings by replacing face-to-face time with online, interactive learning activities such as online discussion forums, grammar video tutorials and brief video interviews.

9. John Moore, professor, Chemistry, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Design, create and evaluate active learning practices in CHEM 109: “Advanced General Chemistry,” in order to assess the new techniques effects on student learning and success. Data obtained from this “study” will be shared with the department and could offer valuable principles and best practices for active learning, not only within the department, but across campus.

10. Tom Armbrecht, associate professor, French and Italian, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Further develop a blended course, LT 250: “Twentieth-Century French Masterpieces,” and ultimately transform it into a fully online course. The changes will help to provide more frequent assessment and instructor feedback, and as a result, the instructor aims to deepen student learning and increase in-class participation.

11. Lyn Van Swol, professor, Communication Arts, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Further develop a currently blended course, CA 575: “Problem Solving in Complex Organizations,” into a fully online course to be offered during Summer Term. Both formative and summative assessment practices will be incorporated. The transformation has the potential to relieve certain enrollment strains and provide more scheduling flexibility for students.

12. Sara McKinnon, assistant professor, Communication Arts, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Develop and blend CA 371: “Communication and Conflict Resolution,” in order to provide students with greater access to course material and more hands-on learning. The content-related elements of the class will be offered through online learning technologies. The strategic face-to-face sessions will give students the opportunity to practice, using role-plays, scenarios, and conflict scenario case studies, conflict resolution techniques such as mediation and third-party facilitation. The transformation will also allow student greater scheduling flexibility and accommodate enrollment demands.

13. Joshua Calhoun and Jon Senchyne, assistant professors, English and School of Library and Information Studies, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Create a blended, high-enrollment course, “Shakespeare & Media,” which will coincide with the exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio on the UW-Madison campus. The course design will address how blended learning and hybrid course design can bring the best aspects of high-impact, small seminars into large lecture courses.

Theme 2: Internationalization at Home

14. Michel Wattiaux, professor, Dairy Sciences, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
Project description: Incorporate a global project into “Food Systems, Sustainability and Climate Change,” a cross-college capstone course. The course will invite international, collaborative scientists – many of which are already long-term partners of the university – to campus to meet with students as they work through the course’s existing mock consultancy project. The project will serve as a guide for other international, collaborative shared courses that are blended or fully online.

15. Heidi-lynn Ploeg, associate professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
Project description: Develop and incorporate three international, community service design projects (Mexico, Ecuador and Chile) in ME 351 and ME 352, which makeup a 2-semester senior capstone design sequence, “Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects I & II.” Overall, the design projects will be designed to improve learning outcomes and increase undergraduate enrollment.

16. Jan Miernowski, professor, French and Italian, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Develop a blended graduate seminar titled, “Humanism, Enlightenment, Posthumanism,” for MA and PhD students at UW-Madison and the University of Aix-Marseille. The seminar will be lead jointly by a professor in Madison and one at the university in France. Content created for the course will be developed in CSCR and therefore will be able to function as an OER, easily accessible for students at both universities, as well as the public. The seminar is planned as a pilot for other similar internationally co-taught classes on the graduate and undergraduate level.

Theme 3: Open Educational Resources (OERs)

17. Katie Krueger, lecturer, Marketing, School of Business
Project description: As part of MKT 365: “Marketing in the Digital Age,” develop OERs to serve as renewable teaching and learning tools that enhance active student learning, promote the Wisconsin Idea and demonstrate that UW-Madison is an institution that experiments with new technologies and ways of learning to in order to equip students with valuable, hands-on experience. The hub of the course’s OERs will be a public website that will provide students with active learning opportunities; offer students a portfolio of work to showcase at future job opportunities; and provide information and guidance on digital marketing to nonprofits, community organizations, and businesses in Wisconsin, the nation, and beyond.

18. John Hawks, professor, Anthropology, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Continue a series of OERs for students in multiple anthropology-related courses, including ANTHRO 105 “Principles of Biological Anthropology.” The series currently consists of instructional videos, guided visits to archaeological and fossil sites, and interviews with experts. The OERs especially benefit students in online courses by providing them with the opportunity to witness field research and engage in virtual lab experiments. The videos have also garnered high viewership from individuals beyond the campus community – including faculty from other universities, K-12 teachers and community colleges – and therefore, the instructor would also like to begin to broaden the array of content in the series.

19. John Zumbrunnen, professor, Political Science, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Develop a set of digital learning objects (DLOs) for POLI SCI 205: “Introduction to Political Theory” in order to combine the functions of primary text readings, interactive presentations and student self-assessments. The DLOs will improve engagement with course materials and produce cost savings for students (about $40-50 per student) by replacing the need to purchase a textbook. Given that a similar version of the course is taught at nearly every political science department in the nation, the DLOs can also serve as widely shareable OERs.

20. Duncan Carlsmith, professor, Physics, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Develop digital learning objects (DLOs) in the form of YouTube videos for PHYSICS 307: “Intermediate Laboratory-Mechanics and Modern Physics” in order to prepare students for weekly laboratory work. The DLOs will offer students online video introductions to the experimental equipment and requirements, reducing passive lecture time while increasing active laboratory time. The videos will also be able to function as OERs for physics departments nationally that provide similar classic laboratory classes.

Combination Theme: OER and Internationalization at Home

21. Lisa Naughton, professor and chair, Geography, College of Letters & Science
Project description: Create an international experience for students, specifically for GEOG/ENVIR ST 339: “Environmental Conservation,” through online short videos and real-time discussions with Ugandan farmers. The project aims to create a sense of connection to the global community among UW-Madison students who may have the opportunity to travel abroad, particularly to Africa. The short videos will be housed on a public website and have the potential to function as OERs for other UW-Madison courses and beyond.

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