FIG Presentation Archives

Spring 2018 Presentation Descriptions and Materials

Scaffolding FIG

Participants: Heather Aloor, Instructor, Biology; Benjamin Dunnington, Instructor, Chemistry; Brittney VornDick, Instructor, Physics; and Kathy Zarilla, Instructor, Microbiology

Testing with Training Wheels:  Scaffolding for Problem Solving Skills
As teachers we want students to learn not only concepts, but also be able to solve problems in novel situations.  When confronted with a novel and complex problem, students often have difficulty breaking down the problem into simpler, easily solvable steps. Therefore, in fall 2017, this FIG group chose to explore scaffolding as a strategy to improve students’ problem-solving skills.  In an effort to help students develop the skill of complex problem solving, we will explicitly break down questions on spring 2018 exams throughout the semester as an example of how to go about solving a multi-step problem.  We will do this by using prompts on the exam to help students identify information that they already know.  As the semester progresses, fewer prompts will be used on exams.  We hope that the prompts will model how students can successfully think about a problem, and that students will be able to problem solve without the prompts at the end of the semester. Participants will leave understanding the concept of scaffolding and considering how they might apply it to their courses.

Student Retention FIG

Participants: Janemarie Baker, Instructor, Respiratory Therapy Technologies; Sue Cheng, Instructor, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program; Cindy Hardin, Instructor, Practical Nursing; and Melanie Riester, Director, Institutional Research and Evaluation

Hang On and Keep Trying: Strategies for Retaining Your Students
Our common goal is for all students to be in a good academic standing going into their final exam.  The magic question is ‘how can we get them there?’  Three Health Tech programs identified retention strategies to implement.  Respiratory Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant implemented quizzing on reading prior to class.  Practical Nursing added self-directed medical terminology modules into their nursing course.  Come learn what we discovered about our students, the success of our strategies, and how these strategies might apply to your own courses! Light refreshments will be provided.

Hybrid Teaching FIG

Participants: Lisa Blair, Instructor, French/Spanish; Mauricio García Vargas, Instructor, Spanish; Suzi Jaikaran, Coordinator, Human Resources; Amy Netzel, Instructional Designer/Web Accessibility Specialist; and Laura Ziznewski , Instructor, Psychology

Hybrid Education Is Not FIGurative: Moving to Partnered Activities in the Online Portion of a Hybrid Class
Presented by
Hybrid instruction is often difficult when it comes to engaging students in a meaningful way for the online portion of the class. Skill building and partnered activities can be challenging in this respect. Our goal was to determine how to engage students with one another in a productive way in a hybrid class, so that students would still get to practice their skills with a partner even though they were not physically together in a classroom. We found that, although we designed this FIG with foreign language classes in mind, these activities could be adapted for non-language classes. We have found that these principles apply in most cases. With this presentation, we hope to help others develop similar ideas and activities for their own hybrid classes.

Group Work FIG

Participants: Sara Heckler, Instructor, English; Chellie LaPointe, Instructor, Art History; Agatha Mak, Tutor, Center for Academic Excellence; Patrick Morris, Director, Center for Academic Excellence; and Gilbert Umberger, Coordinator, Student Activities

Group Work: Encouraging Student Buy-In
We know group activities develop higher-level thinking while prompting students to refine oral communication and leadership skills, yet instructors face a number of hurdles when trying to encourage collaborative work in students. A history of negative group work experiences, fear of plagiarism, and the myth of the lone academic all work against getting students to buy in to the value of group work. The result is often an ocean of silence when students are asked to collaborate on a project or discuss an issue. As a result, we face the two-fold challenge of debunking the myths surrounding group work and guiding our students towards how to do group work so they can carry that practice into other classes and their own academic experience. Our FIG goal is to illustrate the value of collaborative work when tackling challenging aspects of analysis and critical thinking. In the process, we also examine the potential grade impact of group work in the context of discussion vs. a group project.

Reading Apprenticeship FIG

Participants:  Natasha Butz, Instructor, Biology; Olga Hogrefe, Instructor, Chemistry; Robbi Muckenfuss, Instructor, Developmental Reading and English; and Scott Stauble, Instructor, Anatomy and Physiology

See, Your Science Book Isn’t That Scary
Students taking science classes tend to struggle with the reading.  The textbooks contain complex and detailed material, and supplementary materials (ex. lab instructions or journal articles) can be challenging to navigate. The science faculty have been concerned that students don’t make use of their textbook, and this generally impacts their overall success in the class. The science reading FIG researched reading strategies for the sciences and each faculty member tested at least one strategy during the spring semester. This presentation will share some strategies and the results experienced in BIO 111, CHM 094, and BIO 169. Participants will leave considering how these strategies might apply to their own courses.

Spring 2016 Presentation Descriptions and Materials

Metacognition Science FIG

Participants: Gretel Guest, Olga Hogrefe, Lori Khan, Scott Stauble, Dorothy Wood

Metacognitive Strategies: Do They Improve Student Learning? (Spoiler: SOMETIMES!)
We’ve all had students who claim that they studied FOREVER for the exam, only to get low scores. One strategy to help student improve their learning and retention of information is metacognition, or “thinking about how you think and learn.” Based on the work of Dr. Saundra McGuire, our Faculty/Staff Interest Group (FIG) implemented metacognitive strategies in various science courses to see if they improved student learning, retention, and grades. While the outcome was varied, there were signs of success, and a few outright amazing achievements! Come learn what we discovered about our students, and leave with the ability and knowledge to integrate metacognitive strategies into your own courses…in the form of a detailed handout of the most useful strategies we found! Light refreshments will be provided.

Flipped Science FIG

Participants: Marie Fogarty, Steve Leadon, Kathy Zarilla

Flipping Out in the Classroom and Other Strategies to Enhance Student Engagement
Are you tired of watching your students yawn or even worse snooze through your class, while you do all of the talking? Attend this session and you will learn about our experience with the Flipped Classroom model and hopefully leave with some strategies on how to incorporate flipped components into your own classes. Over the past year, we implemented a flipped module on cell biology across multiple Anatomy and Physiology I classrooms. In the flipped learning model, students are given content before class in an accessible way and are expected to have a basic understanding of the material before coming to class. During class, students apply their acquired knowledge through discussion and hands-on activities – clinical case studies were used in our classroom. Finally students complete a homework assignment that reinforces concepts and allows the instructor to assess their understanding of the topic. The evidence is mixed on whether flipped classroom models increase test scores, but it certainly increases active learning and student engagement. Light refreshments will be provided.

Redesigned English FIG

Participants: Wilma Herndon, Janel Mays Thompson, Robbie Muckenfuss

FIGuring Out English 112: Redesigning Writing Assignments with a Disciplinary Focus
ENG 112 is a required course for AA, AS, AFA, AE, and many AAS programs. The primary purpose of the composition course is to prepare students for writing, documentation, and research skills appropriate for their chosen academic fields of study and professional careers. Join Janel, Robbi, and Wilma in a presentation of how this course supports students in a variety of future industries and disciplines. Participants will specifically (1) recognize the need for discipline specific writing techniques across the curriculum and (2) discover how skill building strategies used in English 112 can be applied to writing in other courses. Light refreshments will be provided.

Motivation Spanish FIG

Participants: Lisa Blair, Karyn Bryant, Lindsey Carpenter, Lance Lee

FIG-uring It Out: Understanding and Promoting Student Motivation Presented by Lindsey Carpenter, Lance Lee, Karin Bryant, and Lisa Blair; members of the SPA 111 FIG
The SPA 111 FIG will present their strategy to increase student motivation and decrease anxiety in the classroom. The team will discuss how weekly forums and a final passion project helped motivate students by encouraging self-reflection, goal-setting and allowing freedom of choice in a class project. Participants will leave with ideas for incorporating academic freedom into their own courses. Light refreshments will be provided.

Lowering Withdrawals College Success FIG

Participants: Shana Curl, Patricia Gould, Marye Vance

Now You See Them, Now You Don’t: How much control do we really have over student withdrawals?
The ACA 122 FIG worked to identify challenges faced by our students and possible reasons for withdraws.  Working to create strategies to combat these challenges the group discovered that much of what our students need is out of our control.  Come hear about our successes and failures and review our data!  Plan to bring some of your own retention success and failure stories, there will be time at the end to share your experiences. Light refreshments will be provided.