Learning Technology Development Council (LTDC)

2011-2012 Grant Awards and Reports

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Curricular Redesign Grant

Total funding: $65,620.80

Exploring Mobile Technologies to Increase Student Learning

Amount Awarded:
$15,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Tanya Joosten,, UW-Milwaukee
Involved Campus(es):
UW-Milwaukee
Abstract:
Today's students come to campus with a variety of technology devices and Internet-based accounts. Students may be engaged in online conversations and activities, but faculty, including those across the UW System campuses, continuously face the challenge of increasing engagement and communication in their classrooms. In particular, faculty teaching hybrid or online learning environment have found it difficult to communicate with students due to the mediated environment.

Educators have also recognized that students typically favor certain technologies over others. For instance, students are rapidly adopting mobile devices such as laptops and Internet-capable handheld devices and are quickly becoming power users. Currently, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has been conducting studies on how mobile technologies (e.g., Web clickers and Twitter Back Channel) can enhance learning in face-to-face (f2t), blended, and online classes through the use of students' mobile devices (laptops, iTouch, smartphones, etc.). While both studies have provided UWM with a preliminary foundation for understanding how mobile technologies can impact the learning process, more research is needed.

This proposal is designed to explore the use of mobile technologies and the ways in which they may support student learning. More specifically, this research will investigate the use of mobile devices to for the following purposes:
  • Deliver content (e.g.) announcements, PDFs, YouTube videos, simple augmented reality);
  • Foster experiential learning experiences (e.g., simulations, role play);
  • Data collection (e.g., fieldwork, interviews, Internet research)
  • Feedback (e.g., Twitter backchannel, mobile clickers); and
Grant documents
View Mobile Technologies grant proposal | Final Report (coming soon)

Interactive Physics Game to Enhance Students' Problem Solving Skills

Amount Awarded:
$7,187
Primary Investigator(s):
Yuanjia Hong, UW-Stout
Involved Campus(es):
UW-Stout
Abstract:
STEM students need to be proficient problem-solvers Effective problem-solving requires the development and integration of several skills: problem visualization, conceptual knowledge, reasoning, and mathematical competence. Students can feel lost when dealing with physics problems, and they are also unclear on where they became lost during the problem solving procedure.

Physics problem solving requires students to combine multiple skills such as analysis of the individual situation, abstraction of the physical situation, application of the appropriate physics concept and execution of the appropriate algebra to achieve a correct solution.

A web-based physics interactive workbook is being designed using the principles and technology that is used for creating highly popular video games. We hope to facilitate students' learning on solving physics problems, by engaging them with the same animation and gaming technology used to create popular video game titles. These problems include diagram identification, conceptual review and application. It will offer effective guidance to assist students' practice, which will allow them to build up and form an expert-like approach to problem solving methods that are used in all disciplines. The software includes instant feedback for students, auto-grading, and assessment components.

This project will be developed as part of interdisciplinary research project involving undergraduate students. The interactive physics game can be embedded in D2L, published online, and shared within the UW System and beyond.
Grant documents
View Interactive Physics Game grant proposal | Final Report

Technology and Collaborative Learning for Time on Task Music Skills: A Blend of the Aural and Analytical

Amount Awarded:
$15,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Jamie Henke, UW-Madison
Involved Campus(es):
UW-Eau Claire, UW-Madison
Abstract:
Students comprehend musical concepts best when they can experience them -- musically! Musicians do this naturally by experimenting on their instrument. Through technology, this project allows both musicians and non-musicians the freedom to experiment with various musical materials and hear the results. Music theory concepts and rules we teach today come from composers' real-world experiments with sounds. Simulations allow the students to assume the role of the composer, perform the same experiments with sound, and learn why composers came to those conclusions. Students are able to experience first-hand why sounds want to move the way they do, what it sounds like in music when you try to put sounds together incorrectly, and experience an aural understanding of theory concepts. These simulations allow the student to take on the role of these early musicians and experience the same trial-and-error exploration, of what sounds good and what doesn't, and hopefully move beyond a textbook understanding of music theory to an experiential understanding of the subject. Melody Mixer and Harmony Helper, both developed here on the UW-Madison campus through the Engage program, use technology to create a real-world experimental setting for the student. We propose to complete the programming, design and development necessary to provide these materials as an open resource to music instructors throughout the UW-System, and to facilitate the Wisconsin Idea by opening access to K-12 programs as well. We will also create a new simulation, Counterpoint Construction by reusing the engine and other materials from the current simulations. We will also provide an authoring tool so that instructors will be able to create their own content for the simulations and customize them to address specific curricular needs. If time and funding permit, we will also add a simple score reporting mechanism.
Grant documents
View Time on Task Music Skills grant proposal | Final Report

Using Calibrated Peer Review to Develop Writing Within the Discipline

Amount Awarded:
$5,936
Primary Investigator(s):
Todd Zimmerman, UW-Stout
Involved Campus(es):
UW-Stout
Abstract:
The purpose of this curricular redesign project is to further the development of creative and critical thinking skills and improve student communication skills in support of University of Wisconsin System's Growth Agenda for Wisconsin. Using Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) , an online assignment and peer review management system, students can submit written assignments and review essays written by their peers, giving them valuable feedback. CPR trains the students how to review each essay and provides guidance throughout the review process. This project will focus on aiding instructors in creating high-quality CPR assignments and assessing the effectiveness of the assignments in promoting critical thinking skills and increasing written communication skills of students. Comparison of sample essays form the beginning, middle, and end of the term, along with calibration review scores of the students at those three times will provide a metric of student improvement. This study will determine if using this online tool enhances student written abilities and the builds the skills necessary for critical review of written works. Additionally, this study will determine what concerns students have with CPR to aid instructors wishing to introduce CPR into their classrooms.
Grant documents
View Calibrated Peer Review grant proposal | Final Report

Using Google My Maps, GPS, and data mashups to develop students skill in chemical analysis, data visualization, and hypothesis testing on plastic debris along the Lake Superior shoreline.

Amount Awarded:
$7,497.80
Primary Investigator(s):
Lorena M. Rios Mendoza, UW-Superior
Involved Campus(es):
UW-Superior
Abstract:
Google My Maps, global positioning system, and data mashup are some of the technology tools that will improve student's learning skills in chemistry. I will develop team-based activities to introduce chemical that apply to our environment. Students will enjoy working, researching, and learning in teams. They will do empirical observation and will develop a curiosity for science instead to being afraid. Increasing the creativity and motivation of students will improve the retention and completion as well as attraction to science. This type of project will promote a better consciousness among students in environmental chemistry. A major educational impact of this project is increasing future number of teachers and scientists in STEM disciplines and in the study of Law.

Plastic debris is a major pollutant in aquatic ecosystem, occurring on beaches throughout the world. Little information is currently available on the composition, distribution, or fate of plastic materials in freshwater ecosystems. The goal of this research project is to improve students' learning skills through team-base research, empirical observation, and practical field-based research skills. With these results it will be possible to recognize punctual sources (urban areas, industrial sites, shipping routes, and depositional areas due to current patterns) of plastic debris nearshore waters of Lake Superior.

Plastic debris is a major pollutant in aquatic ecosystem, occurring on beaches throughout the world. Little information is currently available on the composition, distribution, or fate of plastic materials in freshwater ecosystems. The goal of this research project is to improve students' learning skills through team-base research, empirical observation, and practical field-based research skills. With these results it will be possible to recognize punctual sources (urban areas, industrial sites, shipping routes, and depositional areas due to current patterns) of plastic debris nearshore waters of Lake Superior.
Grant documents
View Lake Superior shoreline grant proposal | Final Report

Expanding the Potential of Virtual Worlds: Exploring the Impact of Intensive Faculty Development on Teaching and Learning

Amount Awarded:
$15,000
Primary Investigator(s):
Tanya Joosten, UW-Milwaukee
Involved Campus(es):
UW Colleges, UW Extension, UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee
Abstract:
This proposal is requesting support for an intensive faculty development program to support faculty implementation of virtual worlds. Although dozens of faculty across the state are using virtual worlds, these individuals were change agents and early adopters. Our next generation of faculty and instructors that would like to implement virtual worlds into their courses require more specialized attention in their course redesign. This faculty development program would include face-to-face and online opportunities for training and support. Faculty throughout the University of Wisconsin System would be selected based on a request for proposals that would be distributed. Specifically, the program will offer an intensive, one day, face-to-face workshop where experienced instructional improvement staff from three UW campuses - UW Milwaukee, UW Green Bay, and UW Colleges - would work with the instructors one-on-one and in small groups to assist them in the complete development of a pedagogical activity and the integration of this virtual world activity into their course.

At the completion of the faculty development efforts, the selected faculty members would have a course design that included a virtual world learning activity to be completed either in the Fall 20 II or the Spring 2012 semester. Quantitative and qualitative research designs would be used to formally evaluate the faculty development program, the faculty experience, and the students' perceptions. The results of these studies would be used to share a faculty development program for virtual worlds throughout the system, demonstrate best practices of virtual worlds in teaching and learning, and support future virtual initiatives through anticipated positive student and faculty perceptions.
Grant documents
View Virtual Worlds grant proposal | Final Report (coming soon)

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