2017–18 Teaching Circle Mini-Grant Award Winners

  • Sustaining Teamwork

    Anne Kondo, Justin Fair, Elaine Little, William Chadwick, Pao Ying Hsiao, Joyce Shanty, Hao Tang, Michael Kosicek, Karen Rose Cercone, Dan Widzowski, Melanie Hildebrandt, Katie Farnsworth, Michael Schwartz, Stephanie Taylor-Davis, Rita Johnson

    Project Outcomes: New projects often start with a burst of enthusiasm that is difficult to maintain, especially as life gets busy. This teaching circle used common readings and discussions to help faculty learn how to maintain that initial spark of enthusiasm, both in themselves and in their colleagues and students. The Sustaining Teamwork discussed various Teamwork Courses and assessment methods. In search of a common reader, we chose a book to read and review (The Progress Principle by T. Amabile and S. Kramer; paid for from a Teaching Circle mini-grant). At our last meeting, we came to the conclusion that, as with our other choice, Grit, the books are initially interesting, followed by less compelling chapters of case study after case study. We decided it would be more effective to select pertinent passages from different books to use across the teamwork courses, sustaining teamwork with a little less reading!

    Integrating Social Justice Inclusivity in the Classroom: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

    Melanie Duncan, Jennifer Perillo, Mary Stewart, Anthony Perillo, Rachel Porter-Fox, Daniel Scott

    Project Outcomes: The goal of this project is to learn more about how we as instructors can help facilitate dialogues around social justice and inclusivity in our classrooms and through our scholarship. In order to do this, we were graciously awarded a mini-grant which provided us with the opportunity to purchase copies of: Promoting Social Justice through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups, and Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. To date, we have worked through the content of two out of the three books, and we are looking to start the final book toward the end of this semester and carry this work over into the next year. We realized early on that we needed to establish a foundation of knowledge on which we could then build. The next phase of this teaching circle and mini-grant project will be to pull readings from each teaching circle member’s discipline and incorporate them into our understanding of how to integrate social justice into our teaching and scholarship. Although this is our first semester conducting this teaching circle, it is enabling us to better ourselves as teacher-scholars by fostering a dialogue about how we can better meet the needs of our students and embody the sentiments of IUP’s civility statement. Ideally, we will be taking what we learn from this teaching circle and be able to able to apply our knowledge to the classroom setting. A long-term goal of our teaching circle will be to share what we have learned with the broader campus community (e.g. by conducting a reflective practice large group meeting where we share our strategies with our faculty).

    Best Practices for Integrating Guests Artists into Classroom Pedagogy

    Rachel DeSoto-Jackson, Carrie J. Cole, Rob Gretta, Michael Schwartz, Joan Van Dyke

    Project Outcomes: The Theater and Dance departmental teaching circle focuses on the specific challenges and opportunities of teaching within our field of theater and performance. One of our areas of focus this year is on the integration of artistic professional practice within classroom pedagogy. This has resulted in an on-going project that examines best practices for integrating guest artists into classroom curriculum to connect with student learning outcomes. The case study for this project is guest artist Richard Brennan, who is a specialist in Alexander Technique—a physicalized practice. This visit resulted in classroom instruction and community workshops. The integration of this visit within the classroom is being documented in the creation of a “Best Practices” resource guide for future use in our department. The process to develop this project includes pre-conversations with the guest artist, co-facilitation during the guest artist classroom visit, post-visit discussions with students, and a post-visit survey with students on the impact of the workshop. We anticipate this document may be utilized more widely as a guide for faculty across disciplines on effective models for guest artist/speaker into classroom pedagogy. This project directly impacts student learning through the interactive learning model utilized and offers an experiential learning opportunity.

    Enhancing Learning of Health Care Students Through Use of Interprofessional Simulation

    Pao Ying Hsiao, Nicole Clark, Johanna Boothby, Lori Lombard, Erin Clark, Rachel DeSoto-Jackson

    Project Outcomes: The purpose of the project was to (1) increase the knowledge base of faculty involved, especially since three members of the teaching circle are newer to use of simulation; and (2) develop and implement additional simulation experiences that include speech therapy students and theater students to be included into existing course work. Using funds from our mini-grant, our group was able to purchase and read two books: Human Simulation for Nursing and Health Professionals and If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating by Alan Alda. After gaining knowledge from these resources, we worked together to develop an interprofessional simulation experience that involved caring for a patient with aphasia (loss of ability to express speech). During the Spring 2018 semester, we executed this simulation twice involving over 50 students from four disciplines: nutrition, nursing, speech, and theater. We plan to continue to have at least one interprofessional simulation per semester.

    Time and Stress Management Tools for More Effective Teaching

    Melanie Duncan, Rachel Porter Fox, Rachel DeSoto-Jackson, Stephanie Davis

    Project Outcomes: The goal of this project was to continue the work that was started under last year’s teaching circle and mini-grant award. This year’s focus was a continuation of our work on honing our skills as teacher-scholars, with focus given to time and stress management. The mini-grant that we were awarded enabled us to do this by providing funds for use to purchase copies of The Peak Performing Professor and Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, in addition to a number of webinars from The Professor Is In. To date, we have read Lifehacker, which are supplemented by recommendations with other readings that teaching circle members have found on time management and habit formation, and we have begun to work through The Peak Performing Professor. We still have four meetings left in the semester in which we will continue to work through our second book as well as have a sit down to go over the webinars. Overall, we have felt that this mini-grant has provided us with the opportunity to come up with strategies for navigating our ever-increasing commitments, while still managing to find time for ourselves (or at least trying to).