Learning Technology Development Council (LTDC)

2004-2005 Grant Awards and Reports

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Curricular Redesign Grant

Creating and Assessing Learning Objects in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics

Amount Awarded:
$43,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Scott Cooper, UW-La Crosse,
Robert Hoar, UW-La Crosse,
Kim Kostka, UW Colleges
Involved Campus(es):
UW-La Crosse, UW-Colleges

Improving Access to Learning Objects for Teacher Education

Amount Awarded:
$43,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Jo Ann Carr, UW-Madison,
Susan Cramer, UW-Oshkosh
Involved Campus(es):
UW-Madison, UW-Oshkosh
Abstract:

The development of a guided interface to the integration of learning objects in teacher education outlined in this proposal not only builds upon past collaborative efforts of UW System campuses to integrate technology into teaching, but also responds to Allen Guskin's call to achieve curriculum reform through the sharing of resources (2003), and aligns with the MERLOT Librarian Initiative to "enhance the contents of the metadata records of learning objects in MERLOT". (2004, p.1) Initial steps in the development of this guided interface will be to assess the needs of teacher education faculty through structured interviews. These interviews will determine the metadata elements and terminology to be used for the interface so that they are reflective of teacher education faculty roles and perspectives. One hundred learning objects will be included in the guided interface and an entry form will be developed to provide for ongoing development of this resource. Faculty members for all UW System teacher education programs will be invited to a workshop in June 2005 that will be focused on the use of the guided interface, the integration of learning objects in their teaching, and their role in the continued development of this resource.

Grant documents
View Learning Objects grant proposal

Development and Sharing of Digital Granules for Business, Technology and Bioinformatics Curricula

Amount Awarded:
$19,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Suresh Chalasani, UW-Parkside,
Jayavel Sounderpandian, UW-Parkside,
Dirk Baldwin, UW-Parkside,
Manohar Madan, UW-Whitewater
Involved Campus(es):
UW-Eau Claire, UW-Parkside, UW-Whitewater
Abstract:

Programs in Business Administration, Information Systems, and Bioinformatics have some common topics that are taught in a variety of courses. Though the individual courses may vary significantly, topics such as project management and systems development have certain core contents that are quite similar, if not the same. Lacking a common place to go to for such contents, instructors create their own teaching materials leading to duplication and inefficiency. Often such materials are created from instructor's resources found in standard textbooks. But such materials tend to be specific to one discipline. In addition, such materials rarely introduce students to project-based learning, a fundamental requirement for effective learning. No digital granules for common topics in the aforementioned disciplines are readily available.

We propose to create, disseminate and reuse digital contents for certain common topics we have identified across the disciplines and also across UW campuses. For example, our digital granules on project management will be used in the Systems Analysis and Design and Operations Management courses at UW-Parkside, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Whitewater campuses. They will be made available to any other UW campus that wants to use them. Similarly, our digital granules on database systems will be used in Database Management Systems course (MIS discipline) as well as Introduction to Bioinformatics course (Computational Biology discipline) at UW-Parkside, and at any other campus that wants to use them.

This project will involve the following collaborative efforts: (1) collaborative teaching efforts between Information Systems area and the Computational Biology area at UW-Parkside, (2) Collaborative teaching effort between Business departments at UW-Parkside and UW-Eau Claire, and (3) Collaborative teaching effort between Business departments at UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater.

Grant documents
View Digital Granules grant proposal

Portable Devices in Teaching and Learning-Defining and Integrating The Effective Use of Tablet PC's and Personal Digital Assistant's (PDA's) in the Curriculum with Learning Objects

Amount Awarded:
$15,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Jim Jorstad, UW-La Crosse,
Kathy Finder, UW-La Crosse
Involved Campus(es):
UW-La Crosse
Abstract:

The portable computing environment has opened new doors for teaching and learning. UW-La Crosse has already completed an initial stage of its Tablet-PC initiative and UW-Eau Claire is preparing to launch a PDA initiative. This proposal involves a parallel study at each campus comparing and contrasting the integration and adoption of the devices into specific teaching and learning activities. Through the study we hope to improve adoption, acceptance, and integration of the devices at each campus, build a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each device for different applications, engage faculty from both campuses in conversations about integration of portable devices in teaching and learning activities, and search out or create a segment of Learning Objects (LO) that could be effectively utilized with the Tablet PC and the PDA. The data and information gathered and interpreted from this study will be shared with other UW-institutions to enhance other initiatives in the adoption of portable devices in specific teaching and learning environments.

Several test modules that utilize Learning Objects will be developed for both the Tablet PC and the PDA that would be directly integrated into the curriculum. Faculty from both institutions will be interviewed to ascertain their effectiveness. Students in selected courses will be assessed to see if the modules were in fact effective and engaging.

Grant documents
View Tablet & PDA grant proposal

Web-based Interactive Tutorials and Graphs for Intermediate Microeconomics

Amount Awarded:
$34,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Dennis Kaufman, UW-Parkside,
Marianne Johnson, UW-Oshkosh
Involved Campus(es):
UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside
Abstract:

Intermediate microeconomic theory focuses on the development and application of economic models that explain the behavior of consumers, producers and markets and predict real-world outcomes. The relationships between the economic variables in these models are generally represented by graphs, which can become quite complex. In order to learn intermediate microeconomics, a student must understand not only how to derive models but also how to apply them to analyze the effects of changes in market conditions or government policies. Specifically, students must be able to manipulate elements of models, represented by curves and points in a graph, in a logical step-by-step process. The web provides a unique graphical environment within which students can learn and work with economic models. We propose to develop several web-based tutorials that will incorporate interactive graphs for teaching and learning intermediate microeconomics; these tutorials will help students acquire a better understanding of microeconomic theories and their application to real-world economic phenomena and decision-making. Because each tutorial will cover a specific topic or model and will be accessible to anyone, anytime and anywhere through a website hosted by UW-Parkside, the tutorials are inherently "granularized," shareable and reusable content. Student learning—both overall and by identifiable subgroups—will be assessed through the use of a survey instrument. The results will be analyzed and recommendations for the use of the tutorials by other instructors will be made.

Grant documents
View Microeconomics grant proposal

Using Digital Content to Build Curricular Consistency and Faculty Collaboration

Amount Awarded:
$37,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Amy Mangrich, UW-Milwaukee
Involved Campus(es):
UW Colleges (Manitowoc, Richland), UW-Milwaukee
Abstract:

Visual art is especially suited for the effective instructional use of "granularized" digital media learning objects because the major principles are taught best through dynamic visual demonstration. Thus, digital learning objects that successfully contextualize the principles and elements of design taught in visual art foundations courses can facilitate student comprehension of difficult concepts, as well as provide a base upon which curricular collaborations among art departments can be usefully built. The UWM and UWC art departments have long wanted to unify their curriculums to ensure that the foundations art knowledge base is consistent among students transferring from one of the thirteen UWC campuses and students enrolled at UWM. Working collaboratively to redesign several core foundations art courses around the use of digital media learning objects will lead to: 1) improved student learning of especially difficult concepts; 2) consistency in the art departments' curriculums; and, 3) a foundation of collaboration that can lead to further joint work in the art departments (e.g., in additional studio and lecture art curriculums). The project may also provide a model, based upon shared curricular materials, for collaboration among faculty in other Arts & Humanities departments at UW four-year institutions and UW colleges.

Grant documents
View Digital Content grant proposal

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