2015 – 2016

Innovation Fellows

Abstracts for each fellow’s proposed course redesign are listed below and linked from the fellow’s name.

Richard BautchProfessor, Religious Studies

  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

Mary Kopecki-FjetlandAssociate Professor, Chemistry

  • General Chemistry Laboratory

Yuliya Lanina, Adjunct Professor, Visual Studies

  • Understanding and Appreciating the Arts

Katherine LopezAssistant Professor, Accounting

  • Accounting for Managers

Jimmy LuuAssistant Professor, Visual Studies

  • Senior Studio

Christopher MicklethwaitAssociate Director of First-Year Writing & Visiting Assistant Professor, Literature, Writing, and Rhetoric

  • Basic Writing-International & ENGW 1310: Rhetoric and Composition I-International

Rachael NealAssistant Professor, Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology

  • “Inside and Outside: Exploring the Boundaries of Community”, Honor’s LLC – Social Science Course

Alexandra RobinsonAssistant Professor, Visual Studies

  • Foundation Art & Design

Jason RosenblumAssistant Professor, Digital Media Management

  • Game Design Studio & Game Design Lab

Gary SlaterAdjunct Professor, Religious Studies

  • History of Christian Theology I

Abstracts

Richard Bautch

  • Professor, Religious Studies, HUMX
  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

This project is designed to help students develop superior textual skills through a new use of technology in the course RELS 2321. Each unit of the course would begin with digital materials that students study interactively prior to class itself. The materials would include texts, images and videos related to the biblical texts assigned. There would be accountability, and the work would be completed on time. As a result, students would have a richer classroom experience and a more formative encounter with the Bible. Pedagogically, the project exemplifies flipping the classroom because it enables students to work with course materials before class in order that class itself be more devoted to discussion and second-level questions. The classroom time would also be dedicated to students culling additional data on the day’s topic, typically through digital research conducted in pairs or teams. The students collaboratively creating and curating their own course data reflects another principle of innovative pedagogy: students becoming co-creators in the learning experience. Upon the course’s completion, assessment will focus on three textual skills: historical understanding, literary analysis, contemporary application. The artifact for assessment will be the final exam for RELS 2321 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Based on the assessment results, I will modify the course as needed to ensure continuous improvement. The results of the project will be disseminated through forums such as the Teaching Showcase at St. Edward’s University and the on-line journals of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Wabash Center for Teaching Theology and Religion.

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Mary Kopecki-Fjetland

  • Associate Professor, Chemistry, NSCI
  • General Chemistry Laboratory

Current research shows that wholesale change in general chemistry lab curriculum from traditional, directive student experiments to discovery-based student experiments has a significant, positive impact on student learning. Discovery labs, unlike verification labs, illustrate the scientific method and emphasize the connection between theory and the supporting empirical data. The goal of this project is to introduce an inquiry lab curriculum into the General Chemistry Laboratory course in order to achieve the following student learning outcomes: (1) improved overall critical thinking skills by development of skills in the design of experimental procedures, analysis of different types of experimental data and understanding of how results from one experiment can be utilized to plan further work, (2) establishment of cohesiveness between General Chemistry lecture and laboratory, (3) increased exposure to advanced chemical instrumentation, (4) increased exposure to real-world applications which foster early exposure to potential chemistry career paths, and (5) development of scientific writing skills. If proven successful in fostering these learning outcomes, aspects of the curriculum could be incorporated into freshman labs of other disciplines such as Biology or Physics.

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Yuliya Lanina

  • Adjunct Professor, Visual Studies
  • Understanding and Appreciating the Arts</>

I propose the creation of an online library of visiting artist lectures for the CULF 1319 class. It will make use of the facilities and capabilities available at Global Digital Classrooms of St. Edward’s University libraries. A resource such as this will transform this course from a routine arts survey course to an engaging experience that enriches students’ lives and goes beyond simply teaching the material.
The lectures by visiting artists and art professionals have been an essential part in CULF 1319 courses, allowing students to peek into the creative possess and the operation of art institutions. Among many guests featured this year were such as internationally renowned artists Jay Bolotin and Carla Gannis, as well as Melanie Harris, the art consultant responsible for selecting artworks for the St. Edward’s University Library. Unfortunately, none of them reside in Austin, so their lectures are not likely to be repeated anytime soon nor could their visit be timed to coincide with the class topic related to their work. With this in mind, I would like to create a database of guest presentations and have this resource as an integral part of my course going forward. This database would be free and available to all students of St. Edward’s University.
The Innovation Fellowship is essential for the successful completion of the proposed project as it provides the necessary monetary and institutional support for this project to come to fruition.
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Katherine Lopez

  • Assistant Professor, Accounting, BSSX
  • Accounting for Managers

The project is to create an asynchronous 7-week, low residency, case-based accounting MBA course. The student course work will be comprised of cases, discussion blogs, and a business plan project. The course is one of a series being created for a low-residency MBA degree and can be used in the future as a template. In addition, the course will require the design of a business plan project that has potential as a publishable case.

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Jimmy Luu

  • Assistant Professor, Visual Studies
  • Senior Studio

GDES 4333 is a senior-level capstone course in the Graphic Design area of the Department of Visual Studies. The course introduces a framework for undergraduate creative research where students identify a topic, frame their own problem, and propose a solution through design. This proposal seeks to implement a third iteration of the course which focuses on modeling an interdisciplinary 5-week module that can potentially be shared across senior-level core courses in all areas of the Department of Visual Studies (VISU). Students traditionally spend the first five weeks of the course exploring, identifying, and proposing a topic of inquiry through writing exercises. I am proposing to turn these five weeks into a cross-disciplinary salon in which participants from different disciplines within VISU will meet to present and develop topic proposals for the creative research projects in their respective majors. Participating faculty will take turns leading each meeting of the Senior Salon, which is scheduled to meet once a week for 4 hours. After the five weeks, students return to their respective discipline-specific courses with a finished proposal for their creative research projects. The goals of this experiment are to: 01) strengthen the quality, depth, and intellectual rigor of the topic proposal process within an interdisciplinary context 02) leverage the diversity of knowledge and points of view present in interdisciplinary teams, and 03) invigorate the creative and intellectual culture of the newly-formed Department of Visual Studies by providing a model for a VISU-specific “last-year” learning experience that compliments the existing “first-year” experience.

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Christopher Micklethwait

  • Associate Director of First-Year Writing & Visiting Assistant Professor, Literature, Writing, and Rhetoric
  • Basic Writing-International & ENGW 1310: Rhetoric and Composition I-International

My experiment proposes to develop a syllabus, assignments and lesson plans to combine international sections of Basic Writing and Rhetoric and Composition I as co-requisite courses in a studio model. The studio model will have students learn concepts in Rhetoric and Composition I and conduct intensive workshops through all the stages of the writing process in Basic Writing. Students in these classes will practice writing for transfer: that is, learning about differences in writing conventions across disciplines and cultures. This project will be significant in adapting an approach for a special demographic of students—developmental international writers—that could help them advance toward degree completion without delay by offering built in support as substantial amounts of supervised practice. This approach will be applied to two cohorts of students in ENGW courses and could be implemented in most disciplines that offer developmental level courses.

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Rachael Neal

  • Assistant Professor, Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology
  • “Inside and Outside: Exploring the Boundaries of Community”, Honor’s LLC – Social Science Course

In the 2015-2016 academic year, I will join a team of four faculty members piloting a Living Learning Community (LLC) for students entering the Honor’s Program. In addition to teaching the LLC’s social science course both semesters, I will collaborate with other faculty members on the team to plan and implement co-curricular programming for all 60-65 students throughout the fall semester. All four courses and co-curricular programs will explore the theme of ‘community’ from differing disciplinary perspectives. My objectives for the Innovation Fellowship are to design a syllabus for this course, identify potential co-curricular events and programs to supplement my learning objectives, and create assessment instruments to measure students’ growth in areas related to the course objectives and university essential learning outcomes. This project will afford me the opportunity to develop my pedagogical repertoire and contribute to the SEU general education curriculum and Honor’s program. In addition, assessments of this project will be used to develop a publishable article for the peer-reviewed journal Teaching Sociology as well as to contribute to a pre-existing project documenting the experiences of Austinites in the Munday Library Institutional Repository.

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Kristin Cheyenne Riggs

  • Adjunct Professor, Literature, Writing, & Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric & Composition I

The First-Year Writing Program continues to emphasize a research-rich curriculum but the courses are always looking for new ways to encourage students to perform authentic, primary research in their first semester on the Hilltop. With this in mind, my class redesign for Rhetoric and Composition I will refocus course content towards controlled, primary research. Assignments will be scaffolded towards the “Controlled Research Project” (more on this assignment in the Implementation Plan). Students will use a variety of technologies to research, create, and disseminate their work to a broad audience. Specific redesign goals and objectives include a) creating a broader set of possible research topics for students to choose from, b) allowing students to discover individualized entry points into that research, thereby creating a more student-centered classroom and authentic research experience, c) encouraging primary research and thoughtful reflection on the goals and processes involved in that research, and d) giving students a broad audience for that research.

I would like to expand the breadth and depth of this project by redesigning all major assignments with varying texts, types of sources, authentic artifacts, and interviews that all inform the controlled research paper. My proposal includes the following redesign methods for the controlled research project:

  1. Creating 3-4 “sets” of readings centered on topics for the Freshman Studies lecture, The Sixties. Topics are congruent with the broader units currently taught in the lecture.
  2. Larger, scaffolded multimodal assignments that both fit the outcomes for the FSTY 1311: Rhetoric & Composition I (RC-I) class and work towards the broader research topic.
  3. Incorporation of sites such as StoryCorps and History Genius to bring students’ work to a broader audience.
  4. A refocus on primary qualitative research through interviews that students will design, conduct, record and upload to StoryCorps.
  5. A final presentation in which students gather a variety of artifacts from the time period related to their topic and present the entire project to an audience.

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Alexandra Robinson

  • Assistant Professor, Visual Studies
  • Foundation Art & Design

Arts 1311 Foundation Art & Design (FAD) is inquiry based and process heavy. FAD is a second semester course taken by VISU students majoring in Art and Graphic Design and is also required for Interactive Game Studies majors. Currently the course is offered each semester with multiple sections offered during the spring.

Students complete five projects that build in complexity and rely on deductive and inductive reasoning. Throughout the semester students are asked to collect and/or generate content. The use of a traditional sketchbook works well for the iterative nature of the process and on which to give feedback. However, there is a significant portion of the course that is digital or can be digital. At this point students post to their sites.stedwards.edu blog, however, I am interested in a more sophisticated use of the online or digital component to 1. learn to collect and/or create digital content that is organized and seemingly centralized for future access. 2. have the ability to share content with classmates that is reasonable and 3. refrain from the amount of paper printed from research.

My interest as an Innovation Fellow will be to better utilize web resources and applications that will take students forward in their study. Having online components in the classroom is wonderful but there is such variety of options and a new digital identity with each one. I am interested in alternatives that cull, source and archive outside of what my classroom already uses.

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Jason Rosenblum

  • Assistant Professor, Digital Media Management
  • Game Design Studio & Game Design Lab

I propose to conduct a course redesign to IGMT 3320 and 3120, otherwise known as the first Game Design course with lab in the Interactive Game Studies major. In this redesign, I plan to revise the approach taken in these courses to include a project-­‐ based learning strategy in which students apply theoretical components of game design to the practice of implementing game design principles. To achieve this goal, I propose to more tightly interweave the content and assessments between the existing “lecture” and “lab” sections of this course. Because of a software upgrade to the current Unreal game engine, I will also pilot the teaching of new features in Unreal 4 which allow for greater latitude in what can be produced without complex coding. I thus plan to: revise the current set of course texts, redesign course exercises in ways that apply theoretical concepts to key game design problems, rethink the level design component of the Game Design lab, replace the existing “quiz” and “worksheet” assessment strategies with active, authentic assessment practices and connect both the theoretical and technical outcomes of the course. I propose to deliver this redesigned course as a “pilot course” in Fall 2015 and plan to revise the course based on peer feedback, student feedback and instructor reflections at the close of the term.

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Gary Slater

  • Adjunct Professor, Religious Studies
  • History of Christian Theology I

I would like to re‐envision the pedagogy for St. Edwards’ courses on the history of Christian theology, with particular focus on RELS 3333, History of Christian Theology I. The project, Nested Histories will allow students to think like researchers, participating in scholarship rather than hearing about its results. Its inspiration stems from the hypothesis that the teaching of primary theological texts in historical context lends itself to a model of data visualization called the Nested Continua Model. The project has two principal aims: (1) achieving a more seamless balance between the theological and historical aspects of RELS 3333, and (2) fostering an active, collaborative role for students concerning both research and pedagogy. For its part, the Nested Continua Model is an interactive diagram composed of innumerable concentric circles drawn upon a flat surface; it is well suited to the project for three reasons. First, it is fundamentally experimental. Although governed by certain basic rules of operation, it allows its users considerable leeway in constructing interpretive diagrams. One can move back and forth between local and global contexts as one visualizes the relevant frameworks of interpretation and, evaluating and revising when needed. Second, it is fundamentally participatory. In configuring various interpretive frameworks for understanding primary texts, students are constructing lifeworlds to gain access to the circumstances of the text’s composition. Third, it is fundamentally collaborative, designed to supplement rather than replace more traditional forms of humanities scholarship.

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