ITLE Year 1 Program Innovation Grants

Program Innovation Grants of up to $25,000 each to encourage curricular change that focuses on continuing academic program improvement.

CREATING AN INTERACTIVE DVD TO ENHANCE TA TRAINING ($22,500)

Laurie Bellows, Office of Graduate Studies

The grant will allow the creation of dramatized video vignettes that depict a range of difficult situations between undergraduate students and teaching assistants. A discussion leader's guide will accompany the DVD. The design, development and delivery of the DVD will involve a collaborative effort among the Department of Theatre Arts, Office of Graduate Studies, and Nebraska Educational Television.

The training vignettes will encourage reflection on and discussions about difficult teaching situations that can help prepare new teaching assistants for initial teaching experiences. These situations could include sexual harassment, a grade dispute, discriminatory behavior, disruptive behavior, or a perceived cheating incident. This project will help faculty and teaching assistants teaching first-year courses manage their classrooms more effectively, thereby creating a climate for successful instruction at UNL.

Laurie Bellows

DEVELOPMENT OF A COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SCIENCES SIGNATURE COURSE ($25,000)

Jim O'Hanlon, Education & Human Sciences
John Scheer, Nutrition and Health Sciences
Charles Ansorge, Educational Psychology

The college is creating a new course, Families, Schools and Communities, which will instill in undergraduate students an understanding of college in these constituencies.

There are several strategies the college has in mind in creating the course. The college intends to make the course learner-centered, with students taking an increasingly active role in their education. The course will reduce faculty teaching time without sacrificing instructional quality. An increasing focus will be placed on learning outcomes. Students will be given the opportunity to do research. Knowledge gained from teaching distance courses will be applied. Lastly, teams of faculty as well as practitioners in the field will be involved in the creation of the course.

Students will proceed along two parallel tracks, one to develop a knowledge base and the other to apply the knowledge to a series of case studies.

Jim O'Hanlon

ENRICHING INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ($15,000)

Andrew Wedeman, Political Science
Patrice McMahon, Political Science

Students face two major barriers to a full international experience. Many are apprehensive about immersing themselves in a foreign culture, and travel is expensive. This grant will address these barriers through revision of the International Studies curriculum. A combined service-learning and study-abroad experience will be introduced for sophomores and juniors in International Studies, and will also be accessible to students in Political Science, Modern Languages and other disciplines.

The experience is designed to provide students with insight into their local community, a foreign society, and themselves. It will begin with service to a local immigrant community, followed by an intensive study-abroad tour of that community's place of origin, and conclude with an introspective assessment by the student.

Andrew Wedeman

EXPANDING THE WOMEN'S STUDIES CURRICULUM: SUPPORTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COURSE DEVELOPMENT AND ASSESSMENT ($23,900)

Amy Goodburn, English and Women's Studies
Joy Ritchie, English and Women's Studies
Rose Holz, History
Karen Lyons, University Honors Program
Jan Driesbach, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery

The Women's Studies program, with no faculty lines of its own, draws faculty from many disciplines. A primary obstacle to developing new courses has been lack of faculty time and resources. The new funds will be used for curriculum development, including a half-day retreat focused on creating four new course proposals and generating ideas for community outreach.

Faculty in the Women's Studies program will implement the changes through a two-year plan. The plan provides a structured and sustained process for expanding the curriculum and supporting both faculty and student interdisciplinary research and teaching clusters. Future activities will include development of more outreach and internship possibilities and a pilot of a new lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer studies course.

Amy Goodburn and Joy Ritchie

MATHEMATICAL METHODS FOR BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE ($24,400)

Glenn Ledder, Mathematics
Bo Deng, Mathematics
David Logan, Mathematics
Irakli Loladze, Mathematics
John Osterman, Biological Sciences

The grant funding recognizes the need for a new mathematics curriculum for life science students. Currently, life sciences students need a total of 23 credits of standard courses at UNL to meet recommendations by the National Research Council in its BIO2010 report. The challenge is to develop a manageable credit total and yet more closely adhere to these recommendations for life sciences students.

The grant project team aims to meet the council's recommendations with just three mathematics courses (plus one statistics course). The second of the three courses, Mathematical Methods for Biology and Medicine, is in the planning stage. Project funds will be used to host a planning workshop on the course, develop curriculum materials, offer the course in 2006-2007, and to present results at professional meetings.

Glenn Ledder

NATIONAL INTERNET REPOSITORY FOR COURSE PORTFOLIOS ($24,820)

Paul Savory, Industrial and Management Systems Engineering
Amy Goodburn, English
Amy Burnett, History

Course portfolios kept by faculty for one of their undergraduate courses are a valuable medium for capturing the scholarly work of teaching by combining inquiry into the intellectual work of a course with careful investigation into the quality of student performance. A fall 2004 survey found that all faculty strongly agreed or agreed that writing a portfolio helped improve the course that was the subject of their analysis.

The grant will expand the current effort to include creation of a national Internet repository or archive that will store and facilitate the distribution and external review of electronic faculty course portfolios. The project objective is to create a process for having course portfolios recognized as a high-quality, evidence-based measure of teaching effectiveness.

Paul Savory

OMAHA LANGUAGE LEARNING IN THE HANDS OF STUDENTS: STUDENT-CENTERED NATIVE LANGUAGE CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT ($13,800)

Mark Awakuni-Swetland, Anthropology and Geography
Todd Jensen, Instructional Technology
Katherine Walter, University Libraries

This grant will support the creation of an up-to-date Omaha language dictionary. Students will overhaul, systematize, and expand the current dictionary as a major part of their in-class work. The students will benefit by having their knowledge of phonetics, phonology, syntax and grammar strengthened. The dictionary will be available to students, teachers, scholars and community members on the Omaha Reservation through the Web site http://umonhon.unl.edu.

Sound files will be created for all entries on the Web site in cooperation with Todd Jensen of Instructional Technology, and Katherine Walter, chairperson of University Libraries. Students will also record an Omaha story, following the Omaha philosophy of building for future generations.

The project will also contribute information for University Libraries and the University of Nebraska Press as they begin work on a series of Native American dictionaries.

Mark Awakuni-Swetland

TEAM-LEARNING ASSESSMENT IN A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY COURSE ($4,505)

Tim Wentz, Construction Management
Bruce Fischer, Construction Management
Stuart Bernstein, Construction Management

The Department of Construction Management and the Architecture Program joined in 2002 to develop an interdisciplinary undergraduate course on mechanical systems in commercial buildings. Both programs had a core course on mechanical systems that was required for an undergraduate degree. The similar scope of the two courses presented an opportunity to develop synergy between the programs.

The grant will be used to further integrate team-based learning with a service-learning component into an interdisciplinary course. Students will work on upgrading a former church into a space for The Meeting Place, a non-profit organization that focuses on people with alcohol and drug addictions. The project is ideal because it offers a challenge for both architectural and construction management students to adapt the building for a new, multipurpose use.

Tim Wentz

ITLE Sections

PREPARING ITLE-5 PROPOSALS
ITLE 5
  • Two proposals win funding - see our March newsletter.
  • Call for Proposals - due to deans Oct. 17, 2008.
  • Deadline for Deans to submit Year 5 ITLE proposals from their colleges was Oct. 28, 2008.
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