Breakout Sessions



10:30 a.m.
11:20 a.m.
1:10 p.m.
2:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.

Faculty, staff, and students for a common purpose:  STEPs to transformation


Vicki Pitstick, Office of Academic Affairs (Coordinating Presenter)
Ola Ahlqvist, Geography
Lisa Cravens-Brown, Arts & Sciences
Ethan Doetsch, Economics
Beth Fines, Office of Student Life–Residence Life
Rick Livingston, Comparative Studies

In the third year of the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP) at Ohio State, we are bringing faculty, staff, and students together for a common purpose: a better undergraduate student experience. We are also noticing that we all, including faculty and staff, are transforming as a result of this program as we learn, grow, and realize new things about our students and one another.

Transformative learning can be an extremely important part of a students learning in college. Based on Transformative Learning Theory, “learning is understood as the process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience in order to guide future action” (Mezirow 1996). STEP is focused on assisting students in finding ways to have transformational experiences during their sophomore year in college, but as we are working to create these type of environments, we are also seeing something that we may not have even considered when STEP was initiated: the transformation of faculty and staff as well.

This session will feature a panel of faculty and staff that will provide specific examples of how STEP has impacted and transformed their teaching, jobs, and personal lives.

Participant Showcase for Course Design Intitute for Online Courses


Teresa Johnson, University Center for the Advancement of Teaching
Laurie Maynell, University Center for the Advancement of Teaching
John Muir, Office of Distance Education and eLearning
Jessica Phillips, Office of Distance Education and eLearning

The Course Design Institute for Online Courses provides participants with the tools, time, and support they need as they work to build or rebuild effective, student-centered online courses using Carmen as the platform. The participants from the Spring 2016 CDI-OC will share their experience of and insights gleaned from going through the backward design process for their fully-online courses. They will also present some of the course materials they produced during the institute. Those in attendance will see new models for online instruction and have a chance to engage the participants with questions about effective course design for online courses.

Personal Learning Plans: Student-Directed Learning Activities


Tammy Eckard, American Sign Language
Lauren Sanders, American Sign Language
Kristin Saxon, American Sign Language

Can college students be active participants in enhancing their own learning needs? How can instructors offer student-directed opportunities that are engaging, cooperative, and assessable? Does offering students choice create more inclusive learning opportunities?

Three American Sign Language Senior Lecturers sought to explore these questions by creating a “Personal Learning Plan” (PLP) guide for students. The PLPs can be broken into three broad categories: peer language sharing via video messaging, student-led group instruction, and individual self-selected learning options. PLPs are designed to increase opportunities for authentic second language use during and outside of class while incorporating student collaboration, empowering peer leadership, and developing resources for a wider audience.

This innovative and ambitious undertaking benefitted from the collaboration between instructors. Presenters will describe their 2015-2016 PLP pilot project including the rationale for development, process of implementation, and preliminary research on the effectiveness of this approach to student learning, engagement, and autonomy. Recommendations for improving the PLPs and future research will be addressed. The audience is encouraged to explore how PLPs and similar approaches can be applied to their own disciplines.

11:20 a.m.

Creating meaningful student engagement and learning outcomes through project-based learning


Jasmine Roberts, School of Communication

Although universities have attempted to redesign classes to focus more on creating a hands-on experience for students, traditional teaching approaches are still used as the primary instructional method. Yet, some traditional methods have groomed students to be more concerned about grades instead of truly learning and engaging with the classroom content as it relates to global problems. Furthermore, research indicates that traditional teaching strategies produce low knowledge retention, which raises the question of whether students are receiving an optimal education.

The presentation seeks to deepen the understanding of the importance of real-world connectivity in the classroom. The presentation will address the effectiveness of project-based learning by presenting different sources of data regarding the community partnership between local small businesses and strategic communication students enrolled in a capstone course. The audience will also learn methods to assess student engagement through project-based learning. The overall goal is to assist and motivate the audience to modify their current teaching approaches to reflect practical engagement in local communities.

From research to practice: Implementing quality standards in online learning


Timothy Lombardo, Office of Distance Education and eLearning
Margaret Murphy, College of Public Health
Jeanne Osborne, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/Wooster ATI
Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo, College of Veterinary Medicine

Quality Matters (QM) is an inter-institutional organization that sets research-supported standards to ensure quality design for online and hybrid courses. Ohio State has committed to utilizing QM as a guiding principle for online education. QM offers a framework that facilitates high quality interactions with students via the Learning Management System (LMS), or other interfaces, and contributes to overall learning experiences.

This session will examine how the university and three key colleges have leveraged QM and a pilot of an LMS upgrade to enhance teaching and learning, increase student engagement and faculty development opportunities, and provide a consistent experience to online and face-to-face students. Panelists will also share roadmaps and processes for QM implementation, emphasizing lessons learned over the past year. Session participants will collaborate to discuss specific ways they can use QM standards in the design of their own courses.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

    1. Describe the research performed to develop Quality Matters standards.
    2. Examine student and administration perceptions of Quality Matters and how the standards can be utilized to enhance learner engagement.
    3. Design an integrated set of activities for their hybrid or online course based on Quality Matters standards.

From science in the media to science in the literature:  Pedagogical approaches and assessment of scientific literacy


Carol Anelli, Entomology

In my honors course for non-science majors, my objectives are to 1) make students aware of new scientific findings and 2) help them gain needed skills to critically evaluate the findings.

The learning outcomes for student success are:

  1.  locate and integrate desired information from various scientific sources, e.g., books, government websites (e.g., NIH), review articles, primary research articles
  2. contrast the nature of scientific information found in the foregoing sources;
  3. assess scientific information deriving from various media sources;
  4. interpret, evaluate, and explain procedures and findings from selected research articles.

To help students achieve these outcomes I collaborated with librarians, developed scientific literacy assignments, and utilized case studies. I also employed group take-home exams, in which students collaboratively apply scientific literacy skills and competencies in studies and contexts new to them. In this session, I will invite questions/discussion; share my pedagogy, assignments, and student performance data, including use of the Tuesday science section of the New York Times; and offer success tips and guidance for participants wishing to try group take-home exams (e.g., preparing students, building competencies, setting policies, drafting a group contract, targeting learning outcomes).

1:10 p.m.

Buckeye Badges: A pilot project in alternative credentialing systems


Tim Rhodus, Horticulture & Crop Science

The primary objective of the Buckeye Badges Pilot Project is to prove the viability of an alternative credentialing system and identify future challenges before substantial resources are committed.   This project in online badging was implemented in two major programs in the department of Horticulture & Crop Science and keyed to competencies and learning objectives established by the department and being used for Undergraduate Program Assessment.

Audience members will be presented with the project timeline, the types and number of badges being issued, the innovative system architecture that was developed and the administrative controls used by badge issuers (faculty/staff) and badge earners (students).   Security considerations for accessing student badge collections will be discussed, along with options for sharing badge awards on social networks. In addition, a custom U.OSU plugin will be revealed for the first time. This plugin provides any U.OSU user with the ability to easily integrate U.OSU sites with digital badge collections in Buckeye Badges.

Opportunities for expanding Buckeye Badges to other departments and programs will be solicited from the audience. Discussion groups related to future badge development in the areas of academics, student engagement, service learning, undergraduate research or additional topics will be identified through sign-up lists.

Teaching international undergraduate students: Challenges, strategies and questions


Cindy Xinquan Jiang, Office of International Affairs
Laurie Maynell, University Center for the Advancement of Teaching
Caroline Omolesky, Office of International Affairs

The number of international undergraduate students at Ohio State has been increasing steadily in the past five years. In some academic departments, the significant presence of international students challenges faculty and academic staff in how they teach and educate students in and out of classrooms. Presenters will share the results of research conducted at Ohio State on teaching and advising international undergraduate students. 60 Ohio State faculty and advisors participated in focus group interviews and shared their perceptions and experiences of working with international undergraduate students, a growing body of students on campus. Six themes emerged from these faculty’s experiences. These themes surround issues that students and faculty encounter at various stages of college experience, including orientation and transition to campus, integration into campus and community, English language preparedness, and classroom diversity, academic integrity, and the role of faculty. Participants had various perceptions of these issues which led them to seek instructional strategies that they considered most relevant and effective to their teaching.

Effective strategies used by participants will be connected to the literature on teaching and learning international students. Session attendees will learn about current campus resources for international students and engage in discussions about strategies for working with an internationally diverse student body.

Using role-plays to engage students and teach soft skills


Subbu Kumarappan, Ohio State ATI

About 70-85% of inter-personal communication happens without a single word spoken! As teachers, how can we help students learn the importance of subtle forces in effective interpersonal communication? This presentation shares some experiences with using role-plays.

Role-plays are used as a pedagogical tool in BUSTEC 2232T Personal Selling class. The business students need to learn how to interact and negotiate with customers in business settings. The setup in BUSTEC 2232T is as following: the students choose the product/industry. The instructor provides the customer with a few points of objections related to the business. The ensuing roleplay help students (in the audience) observe and evaluate the non-verbal nuances, body language, tone, approach, and outcome of the business conversation including the soft skills. The techniques discussed in this presentation are also featured in spring 2016 UCAT Newsletter.

2:00 p.m.

Getting every student prepared for every class


Matthew W. Stoltzfus, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Recently, there has been a concerted push away from passive lecturing to active engagement in the classroom. In order to successfully implement a flipped classroom, students must come to class prepared, typically by reading the textbook or watching pre-recorded videos. A variety of approaches have been devised to get students to take responsibility for this information transfer, but none manage to get all students to participate, compromising the in-class activities.

I will present a new approach to get every student prepared for every class using a new social media platform that uses a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors to get every student ready for every lecture.

Structures for successful teamwork:  Theory and practical classroom applications


Kathleen A. Harper, Department of Engineering Education
Richard J. Freuler, Department of Engineering Education

Setting up a successful team project in a course requires more from the instructor than putting the students in groups and telling them the objectives. The literature on cooperative learning identifies five core elements for a successful teamwork experience: face-to-face promotive interaction, positive interdependence, small group social skills, independent accountability, and group reflection. In this highly interactive session, participants will reflect upon teamwork experiences that have gone well and gone poorly to better understand the role of each of these key cooperative learning aspects. They will also apply this structure to several course projects from the participants’ own experiences.  Finally, examples from the presenters’ experiences teaching a large freshman design project will be shared and viewed within the framework of the cooperative learning literature. Participants will leave this session with a variety of possible approaches for bringing more structure to cooperative learning situations in their courses.

Reference: Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T., & Smith, K.A. (1991). Active learning: Cooperation in the college classroom. Edina, MN: Interaction.

Writing matters: Aligning course content with writing instruction


Chris Manion, Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing
Cynthia Lin, Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing
Jennifer Michaels, Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing
Evan Thomas, Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing

Ohio State’s GEC requirement for second-level writing presents instructors with a shared challenge across departments: balancing discipline-specific course goals, general-education requirements, and writing instruction and support. Previous research reflects the hard realities of these challenges (Yañez, Russell, and Smith 2008; Wardle 2009).

In this presentation, the Writing Across the Curriculum team presents research-based strategies for addressing these challenges at OSU. We report findings from our IRB-exempted research, which examined syllabi and course documents for second-level writing across fourteen departments at OSU. In particular, we describe strategies for the following on GE course syllabi:

  • How to articulate course themes, goals, and objectives in the context of the second-level writing GE requirement;
  • How to frame writing assignments in ways that help students understand their relevance;
  • How to scaffold the writing process in second-level courses to improve student writing outcomes.

We highlight innovative approaches that can be applied across departmental contexts. Attendees will leave with a clearer sense of how instructors can unify their course goals with GE objectives and writing pedagogy.