- *Addresses a particular need to improve teaching;
- *Benefits UNLV students in particular; and
- *Applies in a variety of teaching contexts.
With the move to remote instruction, many students feel disconnected if there is no synchronous component, while others feel self-conscious about using WebEx as a group discussion platform, particularly if they have to turn on their camera.
Additionally, streaming platforms like WebEx do not yield a permanent record of the chat discussion.Instructors must rely on students taking notes or email them pertinent material afterwards.
Discord is a platform that originally came to prominence in video game communities for its adaptability and ease of use. Many students already have accounts and are adept users.
Incorporating a synchronous Discord element into your remote course will allow you to chat with students in real time and asynchronously, as they can leave messages that you can respond to.
Research Methods (PBH 360-1002) offered by the School of Public Health was taught remotely by Manoj Sharma to undergraduate students (primarily from public health) in Fall 2020. The specific teaching techniques that were used in teaching this course were delivery as remote learning, organizing the entire course in Canvas and making it available from day 1, recording all lectures beforehand in Panopto, utilizing cases studies, employing WebEx and its breakout sessions, and having skill-building activities in each module that were sequential. In this course, the fourth-generation multi-theory model (MTM) of health behavior change was utilized from a pedagogical perspective to facilitate learning. In this theory, initiation of behavior change is effected through dialogue where the advantages of learning research methods were underscored through motivational feedback; behavioral confidence was built through small sequential steps; changes in the physical environment were facilitated through pre-recorded lectures in Panopto and breakout sessions in WebEx. The maintenance of behavior change was assisted through directed weekly goal setting, weekly skill-building reflective activities through Discussion Forum in Canvas, and peer and instructor social support. Even before the course was completed, two students presented at UNLV Fall 2020 Undergraduate Symposium and one at Regional Medical Education Conference (RMEC) where she won the bronze medal. Others have plans to present their final work at UNLV Spring 2021 Undergraduate symposium and some have plans to write for Spectra. End of course evaluations were quite positive with means on almost all items surpassing those of the Department or College (Overall Mean 4.72).
Angela E. Silvestri-Elmore and Lisa Nicholas
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted curricular plans at UNLV and nursing schools across the nation, and clinical instruction and evaluation were notably impacted. Nursing faculty are accustomed to direct observation of student performance in the clinical setting to inform student evaluation in clinical. Due to the pandemic, many clinical requirements are completed virtually because of clinical displacement of students. With reverse case study use in a remote clinical learning environment, the UNLV SoN has successfully met clinical learning needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reverse case studies differ from the traditional case study in that students are involved with the development or evolution of the patient case. Combining this instructional method with the remote learning environment has been successful in our clinical courses at the SoN. It has been paramount in preventing disruption in our nursing students' journey toward becoming professional nurses and joining the force in combating COVID-19. Traditional methods of observing and evaluating students were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reverse case studies allowed the clinical instructor and group to work closely together, allowing the instructor to evaluate critical thinking, collaboration and teamwork, prioritization, clinical judgment, and decision-making. Clinical instructor evaluations, both formal and informal, rendered results that showed an increase in all of the noted areas. Student feedback regarding the use of reverse case studies was positive, resulting in qualitative feedback such as, "I enjoyed the reverse case studies. They made me think," "I enjoyed working with my group members to solve the patients' case-I felt like a nurse,” and "The reverse case studies allowed me to practice clinical decision making." Faculty at the SON have developed guidelines and templates based on evidence-based resources that can be shared with other schools who want to try this approach. Other practice-based disciplines can use this method of instruction in the remote clinical learning environment and using adapted versions of our guidelines and templates. Using a webconferencing platform such as Zoom or Google Hang-Outs, clinical instructors can create an environment simulating actual patient cases driven by students.
Nathan M. Slife and Gillian Bowden
It can be challenging to engage students in class discussion and build community in synchronous, online courses. This teaching practice addresses these challenges by scaffolding synchronous in-class discussions with asynchronous discussion posts. This practice engenders community and promotes student engagement.
Engaging students in hands-on scientific research in their NatureHoods, or local neighborhoods, improves student outcomes, learning, and success in remote learning environments.
Haroon Stephen and Jee Woong Park
Our specific teaching practice is to use a course master plan, which is a comprehensive document that provides the embodiment to the course skeleton often given in the syllabus. The master plan strategy addresses the need to provide multi-level perspectives of the course. The master plan provides a one-stop source of information and enables a consistent course delivery in case of multiple instructors assigned to a course in the same semester or on rotation.
Equations, Formulas, and STEM Content can pose barriers to students with disabilities, but free tools available to UNLV make it much simpler to create accessible equations and math content.
We would like to present practices of using Web-based systems to enhance interactive learning activities in the Math Remote Learning Classes. We mostly concentrated our attention on PreCalculus and Calculus classes. During the last couple of years, we developed a set of course specific materials in the form of lecture notes and out-of-class assignments. Each major assignment is accompanied by clear and coherent guidelines explaining what kind of skills will be attained by practicing this assignment, how it can be done, what amount of time can it reasonably take, when is it due, and where to get help. Speaking of technology, in our practice we use online homework systems (WebAssign or Willey Plus), video materials, and Web-based audience response systems.
The web-based audience response systems let you embed interactive activities directly into your presentation. The audience responds on the web or via SMS texting on their phones.
Despite the default to online learning in 2020, the demand for online learning has increased over the last 3-5 years. This brings to light the acknowledgment that the traditional higher-education model is seriously challenged. With this challenge, curriculum requires integrating multiple means of engagement, interpretation, and articulation to help meet the students’ needs. The key element to meeting these challenges is collaboration, and for students, the best learning can often happen from one another.
I teach college students about having a Growth Mindset and using the “Power of YET” in not only their college courses, but their everyday life. A growth mindset is how students perceive their abilities and the role that plays in their motivation and achievement. (Dweck, 2015). Teaching college students strategies and chances for reflective collaboration encourages them to learn from productive feedback, embrace challenges, rethink failure, and ultimately find success at the university level. UNLV is dedicated to increasing student retention as well as success rates. Growth Mindset has been widely studied and implemented in education, however, it has not been widely implemented in the college classrooms. (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). I have found that by implementing it in my teaching, my students are less frustrated, more likely to ask for help, and find greater success in not only my course, but others as well.
Healthcare is in the midst of change. It is shifting to a more collaborative approach that requires professionals to interact closely. This has required education to evolve to meet the students need for communication skills and to strengthen professional identity. Healthcare students who are encouraged to develop interprofessional communication skills through simulation-based learning activities can be expected to gain confidence and enter the workplace better prepared. UNLV students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program (n=48) participated in a minimum of 6 different Interprofessional Education (IPE) learning activities within their first 2 years of didactic material. The activities varied in 3 different categories: 1) Small group interaction (in-person and virtual) with 4 different disciplines. 2) Large group activities (Participation in UNLV IPE Day). 3) Real-world application during clinical rotations. Creation of these innovative activities expanded beyond traditional pedagogy to enhance professional development in the learner.
My teaching practice is a series of 4 papers I call "Creative Assignments." During the semester, students have to engage with material outside of class and relate it to course topics in 3 pages. They are called creative assignments because students have a wide latitude of what "external" material they can pull from. For example, students can watch a documentary, listen to a podcast, attend a campus talk, visit a museum, interview someone, or propose their own (roughly 1.5 - 2 hour) alternative. Students cannot do the same option more than twice, so are encouraged to engage with real-world material in a variety of ways. In the assignment, students summarize the ideas in the external material and relate it to two course readings. This idea addresses the need of having students see the relevance of course material and of having students apply what they learn in practical and specific ways.
An Evidence-based Intervention to Address Students’ Understanding of Assignments and Improve Faculty Teaching Evaluation Scores
Background: Previous research with college students has provided evidence for the efficacy of a simple intervention called a transparency. A transparency is an evidence-based tool, consistent with adult learning theory, which provides the what, why, and how of course assignments and demonstrates the connections of these components with the course objectives. While faculty may have their course objectives in mind when creating course assignments, this may not be evident to students and may result in a decrease in students’ learning and dissatisfaction ratings on course evaluations. Moreover, faculty promotion criteria are often highly dependent on their students’ course evaluation scores; however, when students do not perceive the clarity of course content, specifically assignments, they often provide negative feedback on end-of-course evaluations. Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of using a transparency to improve students’ understanding of course content and associated course assignments.
UNLV Instructors will share mini-workshops on topics including in-class polling, leading discussions on difficult topics, and more. Join us for refreshments, check out the new Faculty Center space and learn from colleagues.
Chia-Liang Dai and Ching-Chen Chen
In Fall 2019, we showed video interviews of successful (i.e., graduated) alumni to first-year seminar students in the hope that incoming students would be inspired to adopt similar success strategies leading to increased retention and completion of their UNLV degree. The Academic Success Center filmed interviews with ten UNLV graduates who took our first-year seminar, COLA 100E. These COLA 100E Success Stories were then edited into three videos, each focusing on a particular theme, such as the first-year transition, the major selection process, and the key tips for graduation. The goal was that these successfully-graduated students would serve as motivational role models for UNLV’s diverse first-year student population. Though the alumni echoed concepts taught in the class, we imagined these peers would be more relatable than the instructor alone, encouraging students to identify with and potentially adopt new approaches to and perspectives of success early in their college careers.
Words are symbols — visual representations of verbal language. The meaning behind a word is dependent on several things, including the origin language and the context in which the word is used. Visual messages that use words as the primary vehicle of information are most effective when the representation of meaning goes beyond the letterforms themselves. This entails making connections between the verbal characteristics of the words (cultural meaning, dialect, inflection, etc.) and the intended meaning when the words were used. The ability to make these connections is incredibly valuable to those who use text to communicate with others, especially when unaccompanied by verbal explanations. In order to help students better understand these complexities, they must become interpreters of the language being spoken around them. The “Overheard” project prompts graphic design students to do just that. To get them started, students are asked to listen intently to what is said to them and around them, recording the most interesting statements they hear, over the course of one week. Ultimately, they must choose one statement to analyze more fully and translate into a visual interpretation of the statement. This project can be adapted to a short exercise to assist students in any course that involves visual presentations, including business, marketing, history, sociology, anthropology, and communications.
Rachell Ekroos, Johan C. Bester, and Sandhya Wahi-Gururaj
In order to appeal to adult learners, the Analytics in Medicine course utilizes active learning methodology to foster self-directed learning, critical thinking, communication skills, and acquisition of knowledge. The modified flipped classroom model requires weekly assigned reading and a written reflection exercise completed several days before face-to-face class time. The reflections are used to better inform course instructors regarding areas needing further explanation in person. In the weekly 2-hour class, students explore topics in-depth by incorporating active learning methods. Examples include think-pair-share or small group activities requiring movement, discussion, and reflection focusing on question prompts or application of principles (e.g., carousel method). The instructor continuously circulates to ensure student engagement and grasp of the material, allowing for areas of clarification to be immediately identified. Instructors often involve peers to coach one another as a method of continued active learning without going into “lecture mode.”
In the Research Article Show and Tell Presentation, students make a 5-minute presentation in class in which they present the purpose, method, and results of an academic research journal article of their choice related to the course topic. The article must be from a peer-reviewed academic journal; students choose three possible academic journal articles using the UNLV Library Database, and make a final choice in collaboration with the instructor. Students then create a one-page handout for classmates which summarizes the article's purpose, findings, and research approach; the handout must include both text and graphics (photos, clip art). Students use PowerPoint or Prezi during their oral presentation. Needs met include: (1) learning how to search for information in databases using key terms; (2) being able to communicate written information creatively; and (3) being able to present information clearly and concisely to others in a public speaking setting.
Nicole Espinoza and Erin Rosenberg
Using Canvas "Outcomes" to Create Competency-Based Rubrics: Many instructors know how to use Canvas rubrics in their courses but did you know that you can link them directly to standards, learning objectives, UULOS, and other accreditation-required competencies across a college for more specific quantitative data? School of Public Health is accredited by CAHME, an accreditation body for Master's of Healthcare (MHA) students. We have taken the competencies required by this accreditation body and reflected them into universal "Canvas Outcomes" to create competency-based rubrics. This collaborative change with academic and administrative faculty is being piloted in Fall 2019 in MHA Courses with some interesting preliminary outputs, data, and results. Hopefully in continuing these competency-based rubrics through semesters, we will be able to reflect growth for students and ultimately helping to reflect this for our accreditation bodies.
Jorge Fonseca Cacho
Discord is a proprietary freeware VoIP application and digital distribution platform designed for video gaming communities, that specializes in text, image, video and audio communication between users in a chat channel. Discord runs on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and in web browsers. Using Discord, instructors and teaching assistants can interact and help a student at any time including outside of regular business hours with a students homework assignment. It also allows students to help each other while under the supervision of an instructor. It also increases engagement and fraternizing between everyone involved. While UNLV Canvas and other discussion boards already allow student interaction. The technology of message boards and threads is outdated and a very slow way to exchange information which is why social media has transcended to using instant messaging systems like Discord.
Patrick Gorman and Meena Barikzi
Undergraduate Teaching Fellows focus on working with students in class and outside of class in efforts of boosting confidence in study techniques and learning objectives in the curriculum. Knowing that there is another person who is not only close in age, but in their undergraduate pursuit, provides more comfort in being able to discuss concerns on the coursework. It allows for students to be more active in their academics and promotes an inclusive environment in the classroom. In class, UTFs have the capability of applying creativity in producing lesson plans and activities that allow students to be interactive, allowing for more retention of the material. Many students in our introductory math classes do not know how to be the best college student, but with the help of our UTFs, these students have a mentor who will help them through any obstacles they will face in their undergraduate career.
Our campus has a diverse and unique range of learners. Flipping the classroom offers a greater opportunity for student success. I have converted the Introductory Chemistry course, CHEM 108, into a Hybrid learning format. The driving force behind this pedagogy, is accessibility. Taking the traditional lecture out of the classroom and putting it into an interactive video format gives students more flexibility with their schedules and allows them to learn the content at their own pace. Additionally, by utilizing H5P interactive classroom features, students are able to get meaningful feedback during the video lecture to help gauge their understanding of the content they are learning. Finally, flipping the classroom experience and working through the more challenging concepts in the face-to-face setting reinforces the foundation put in place by the video lecture.
We learn best by interacting with the material we are trying to learn. I have developed a suite of materials for engaging students in learning digital design and computer architecture. These materials include a textbook, exercises, hands-on labs, and lectures that use interactive ink annotations. I have also developed online materials (video lectures, practice exercises, quizzes, etc.) to support online teaching of the material. Instructors may use one, several, or all of these materials. During lecture, students benefit from pre-drawn figures on the slides so that they can focus on understanding (instead of just copying down) the material. However, with the annotation tool, the instructor and students can add ink-based notations during the lecture to interact with and modify the provided designs and circuits in real-time. This interactive classroom learning is supplemented with readings, written exercises, and hands-on labs where they can explore and practice the principles they learned during lecture at their own pace.
Providing closed captions to my instructor created videos, is the “right thing to do”. While it is also part of our compliance with SeCctions 504 and 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is most compellingly what our students want. Why? They say they want to be able to turn the sound off the video but still get coursework done after their children have been put to bed, because English is not a native tongue, because they are riding public transportation, and because their significant other is watching television. 80% of television watchers use closed captions for reasons other than hearing loss.
Flow Learning Design: Autonomous Knowledge Exploration The feeling of “Flow” — forgetting time — while exploring online media is common: As online instructor & instructional designer I want to encourage Flow in my students as they interact with my online learning materials. Inspired by research on student motivation and autonomous learners, I developed learning activities allowing students to choose learning paths with increasing freedom, while emphasizing core disciplinary skills and student learning outcomes. In an online social history course, I emphasized high interest topics such as the devastating effects of the Black Plague, and how sugar, coffee, and syphilis changed Europe. To understand these topics, students have to explore related, less scintillating, topics. For each topic students read an overview with links to clearly marked primary sources, scholarly secondary sources, and curated-for-quality popular secondary sources. Students then engaged in online discussions about their interests and further questions, citing information learned from each source type.