Wednesday, January 11, 2006
DoubleTree Hotel Bloomington
You are cordially invited to share a day of presentations, conversations, and collegiality at Illinois State University’s 6th Annual university-wide Symposium on Teaching and Learning.
This year’s theme is “Making Connections: Fostering Integration of Learning.” This theme encompasses a broad array of topics such as making connections between technologies and teaching and learning goals, general education studies and majors, various learning experiences within majors, various learning experiences in outside activities, curriculum and co-curriculum, theory and practice, or writing and thinking.
The symposium will explore ways that teachers and professional staff can help themselves – and their students – integrate their often-fragmented experiences in higher education. Presenters are ISU faculty and staff members who will share results and insights from projects, research, and experiences. We have more than two dozen proposals from departments and units throughout campus, which promises to yield a rich and stimulating program of presentations and panels.
We’ve chosen an engaging off-campus setting at the Doubletree Hotel Bloomington for the conference. Presenters and participants will enjoy informative and stimulating presentations, refreshments between sessions, warm collegiality, and a free lunch. Please join us!
Jacqulyn Lauer-Glebov is the Assistant Director of Institutional Research and the Coordinator of Educational Assessment at Carleton College. Jackie earned her B.A.S. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and her M.A. in TESL from Northern Arizona University. Her professional experience includes teaching college writing in the US, teaching English at the Vologda Pedagogical University in Russia, and establishing the Intensive English Program at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Before coming to Carleton, Jackie was the University Assessment Coordinator at Northern Arizona University where she worked with faculty to establish student learning outcomes and assessment methods for the new Liberal Studies program. She assisted in the design, implementation, and assessment of a required Freshman Seminar and an electronic portfolio to document Liberal Studies outcomes throughout a student’s academic career. Additionally, she worked with academic departments as well as the Division of Student Affairs to articulate and implement program assessment plans. Since coming to Carleton, Jackie has worked with faculty from various disciplines to assess grant and college-funded activities such as the Writing Portfolio (sponsored by the Bush Foundation), the Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning and Knowledge program (sponsored by FIPSE), and the Carleton Interdisciplinary Science and Math Initiative (funded by HHMI). She also coordinates the assessment of college-wide student learning outcomes.
Jean Memken, Family and Consumer Sciences; Eli Collins-Brown, Curriculum and Instruction; Tim Fredstrom, Music; Paulette Miller, Health Sciences; Nancy Bragg, Curriculum and Instruction; Robert Wazienski, Sociology-Anthropology; and Rosie Hauck, Accounting
On-line learning is becoming more prevalent at institutions of higher learning around the world, including Illinois State University. The possibilities for engaging students online are tremendous. Many faculty who use online learning have reported students are more engaged in learning than in the traditional classroom. Contrary to what many critics of online learning have stated, faculty teaching online courses do establish good rapport with their students and most students who enroll in online courses express great satisfaction with the format. Online learning can allow faculty to use technology in creative ways to reach students that might not typically be active participants in a traditional classroom setting. Faculty members representing five of the colleges on the ISU campus have formed a teaching-learning community devoted to the discussion of online learning. Some of these faculty members have incorporated online learning in their traditionally taught classes and some have developed courses taught completely online. For this session, some of the faculty from this teaching-learning community will share their ideas on the merits of online learning and also share examples of what they have been doing with online learning in their own teaching. Examples of topics that will be included in this session include: conducting online exams, innovative online teaching techniques, online discussions, students’ use and perceptions of online resources, and assessing the online course. It is the intent of this session to have members of the audience build on what is presented, bringing their own ideas and examples into the discussion. The overall goal of this session is that everyone who participates will leave the session with some new insights about online learning and some new ideas of how to use online learning in their own teaching.
Do-Yong Park and Tiffany Lawler, Curriculum and Instruction
This session will present a study that tested college students’ understanding of volume and density. Specifically, interior volume, hollowness/openness of an object, comparing the volume of two bowls, the concept of volume, and the concept of density were discussed. Students were given pictures to examine and were given questions about those images. They were also asked questions that pertained to volume and density in everyday situations. When asked questions about volume, each student responded with a different answer. Results indicated that college students did not have a concrete understanding of volume. They were not confident with responses to the questions. Many of their ideas were misconceptions or not fully developed ideas about volume and density. The results of the study indicated that volume is not a concept that the students fully learned or retained throughout their elementary years. College students also had difficulty applying the concepts to their everyday lives. In the presentation, we will discuss the results of my research study. The reasons for the misconceptions of volume and density by the college students will also be examined. Finally, ways to engage students for mastery of skills and lifelong learning of science concepts will be discussed.
John H. Bantham, Management and Quantitative Methods
This session describes an MBA course in project management that combines the simulation learning model with the reflective learning model. In this course, student teams are engaged in a semester-long project management simulation. Simulations can be used to promote active learning. In this course context, students learn by doing and gain experience in coping with the uncertainty inherent in the execution phase of projects. However, students must be reflective decision makers if simulations are to be effective vehicles for learning. Students must be proactive, planning their decision strategies, rather than reactive, merely responding in a disjointed fashion to the intermediate outcomes of the game. To facilitate this necessary reflective component, my students were required to keep a journal that documented their thoughts and their rational underlying the decisions that they made in the simulation. They were expected to further document their analyses of the intermediate simulation outcomes and how those outcomes informed their subsequent decisions. Their journals provide evidence of their understanding of abstract and complex project management concepts. Examples from the students’ reflective journals will be included.
Rich Scott and Nicole C. Cox, Student Counseling Services
As our society becomes more diverse, it is exceedingly important that colleges and universities assist in the growth and development of students who are competent with respect to diversity and multicultural issues. Indeed, helping students appreciate diversity, learn about individual differences, and connect with others who are different from them are important steps in producing students who can be successful in an increasingly interconnected society. How can university personnel work together to accomplish this goal? One theoretical model (King & Magolda, 2005) suggests that intercultural maturity can develop if we promote three domains of development: cognitive (learning, acquiring knowledge about differences, and understanding), intrapersonal (one’s own belief system, values, and sense of self), and interpersonal (relationships, how one’s own beliefs and values relates to others). Our presentation will consist of two components. First, we will present this model in depth and discuss how all university personnel can work toward helping students develop multicultural skills. The second part will involve a discussion emphasizing how we can create connections among university personnel to facilitate an atmosphere that promotes culturally competent students. We will also explore the complexities in accomplishing this goal as well as potential obstacles and barriers.
Cheri Toledo, Curriculum and Instruction
When ineffective discussion questions are posed, the goal of increasing student engagement with the topic can easily be thwarted. In order to utilize the full potential of developing and exercising critical thinking skills, we must set up our students for success by modeling and providing sound questioning guidelines. This presentation will provide some suggestions and templates for enhancing this questioning process.
Debbie Shelden, Mary O’Brian, and Kelli Appel, Special Education
In this panel presentation, we will discuss our experiences with a one-year pilot program in the Department of Special Education. The pilot project was designed to facilitate students’ understanding of the relationships among various components of teaching during their initial field experience. The 6-hour curriculum development course, 3-hour instructional strategy course, and 4-hour practicum seminar, typically taught as separate courses, were woven together and co-taught in a block schedule format two days per week. The integration was guided by the Cognition of Teaching, a conceptual framework of the practice of teaching. We used the framework not only to assist us in planning but also as a tool for classroom discussion. In addition to this time for coursework, students were in public school placements two full days per week for their practicum experiences. Coursework and practicum connections were addressed through facilitated discussions, and students were encouraged and guided in sharing practicum experiences. Finally, we purposefully emphasized the development of a learning community throughout the semester. Our presentation will include a brief discussion of (a) the process of planning and revising the integration of courses and practicum and (b) our perceptions and students’ perceptions of the benefits and drawbacks of that integration. After that brief summary, we will share our perceptions of how our current teaching and collaboration efforts have been influenced by the pilot project experience. Finally, we will facilitate a discussion of on additional strategies for improving content integration without the benefit of a blocked, co-taught schedule.
Scott Leong, Accounting
One of the main duties of the classroom instructor is to evaluate student knowledge. Students gain knowledge through learning opportunities presented by the instructor. However, students are typically bombarded with many activities that can alter the students’ ability to integrate their experiences and thereby take full advantage of learning opportunities given to them. It is the position of this presentation that the instructor can take an active role in making these learning opportunities more effective. Based upon this position the question arises: What can be done to enhance student learning opportunities? The enhancement of learning opportunities is important to many groups. For the student, enhancement of learning opportunities can lead to a more solid knowledge base. For faculty, the specification of these opportunities can lead to more directed efforts to enhance student knowledge. And finally, work communities can have stronger assurances that students they are hiring have prerequisite knowledge for the job. This presentation identifies three preconditions (learning objectives, instructional tools, and student understanding and expectations) to learning. Furthermore three suggested types of strategies (creating, stating expectations, and changing) are used on these identified preconditions. When the strategies are used to modify the learning conditions, they can lead to enhancement of learning opportunities (as demonstrated by several examples).
Jessica Mercerhill, University College; Danielle Lindsey, Office of the Provost; Doug Hesse, Honors Program; Sandy Colbs, Student Counseling Services; and Anjie Almeda, Health Sciences
Why is teaching first-year students so different than teaching sophomores, juniors and seniors? How can faculty and staff partner to create a smooth transition into the academic culture of our campus? How do we help first-year students make connections between their learning experiences and understand the importance of making intentional choices? What types of resources are available to faculty to help students adjust to university life? Presenters will address the academic and social transitions first-year students on our campus face. Those attending will have the opportunity to explore resources and methods to help our students succeed.
Eric W. Peterson, Geography-Geology
To enhance student learning, field exercises were incorporated into the course curriculum of the GEO 361-Hydrology course. Pedagogically, the field experiences were incorporated to address four objectives: 1) enhance students’ analytical reasoning and problem solving skills; 2) expose students to modern research and instructional equipment; 3) encourage more students to engage in hydrologic research; and 4) increase students’ confidence in collecting, interpreting, and reporting the data. These objectives are linked to the course goals, and in achieving these goals, students will be better prepared for their careers. Through two field-based projects (two Saturdays of field work), students were introduced to essential field methods while integrating the conceptual framework to answer questions introduced and discussed during lecture. The projects involved measurements of stream properties (discharge, stream bed slope, water slope, cross-sectional area) and collection of stream bed sediment properties (grain-size distribution, critical shear stress). For both projects, students were introduced to the theory in the classroom, and in the field, they are taught the techniques and methods used to collect the data. In the field, students worked in groups. However, I was not able to monitor each group consistently throughout the field experience. Thus, students had to assess what data were needed and make decisions about how the data were to be collected. These decisions provide the students with ownership of the collected data. By having data ownership, students became involved in the projects and were more engaged in the final report preparation. While the data were collected for inclusion in the final report, homework assignments were developed from the data, taking advantage of the students’ familiarity with the data. Although the hydrology course has only been taught once, qualitative assessment of the exercises was positive. Students exhibited an enthusiasm for the projects and provided positive feedback about participating in the field exercises.
Jim Broadbear, Health Sciences
Truthseeking is one of seven critical thinking dispositions measured by the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI). Dispositions have been defined as a person’s consistent internal motivation to act toward, or to respond to, persons, events, or circumstances in habitual, and yet potentially malleable, ways. The critical thinking disposition of truthseeking includes eagerness to seek the truth, courage in asking questions, being honest and objective about inquiry even if findings do not support one’s interests or preconceived opinions, and preference for the pursuit of truth rather than winning arguments. Given this description, truthseeking has a pivotal influence on a person’s likelihood to employ critical thinking skills and to learn. Assessments conducted for the past several years in the Department of Health Sciences with undergraduate students show truthseeking is the weakest of seven critical thinking dispositions measured by the CCTDI. These findings are consistent with results of published research on students in a variety of disciplines. Learners with such scores would be inclined toward intellectual passivity and be likely to settle for convenient or easy answers to problems dispositions that greatly compromise learning. Given, pragmatically, that learning follows motivation, and the thinking skills a learner possesses are likely to be underutilized unless disposed to do so, attention to fostering truthseeking is needed. Implications of this point of view will be considered and practical ways to aid in the development of truthseeking among learners will be a topic of discussion.
Jeff Lopez, Rickie Johnson, and Rene Lockenour, Recreation Services
Learn the employment practices used by Recreation Services. The panel will provide insight into hiring the "best" people for your department. These practices create a culture for teamwork, pride, and excellence which helps in recruitment and retention of quality employees.
Rosie Hauck, Accounting; George Byrns, Health Sciences; Guang Jin, Health Sciences; and David Marx, Physics
Part 1 will be presented by Dr. David Marx and will introduce the theory behind the use of classroom response systems in the classroom. Over the past ten years or so, technology has allowed instructors to move away from the traditional, passive lecture to a lecture that actively engages students. One may ask: Why should I give up my traditional lectures? The answer is that numerous studies have shown that students learn little from the time spent in these lectures. Active lectures have been shown to increase student involvement in courses, improve attendance, and improve long-term learning gains. The classroom technology response system is rather easy to implement in almost any traditional class. This panel will show you how we did it and how you can too.
Part 2 will be presented by Dr. Rosie Hauck and will consist of a demonstration of the Turning Point Classroom Response System. The objective of this part of the panel is to give attendees an idea of how the system works, the level of effort needed, and the types of output that can be generated. The demonstration will consist of creation of the participant list and a clicker presentation, a simulated clicker session, and a presentation of the various reports that can be generated.
Part 3 will be presented by Drs. George Byrns and Guang Jin and will discuss some of the ways that the technology has been used here at ISU to support pedagogy. They will discuss modifications to their courses that were made possible using clickers. Some of the changes included the creation of: Good Faith Effort (GFE) assignments based on the reading materials, group discussion opinion surveys, and video review questions. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the limitations of the system as well as lessons learned.
Beverly J. Barham and Lori A. Woeste, Health Sciences
Recently, scholars of teaching have begun to identify the pedagogies within disciplines that make a particular discipline unique. Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) is one of the allied health professions that include a rigorous science-based curriculum within a college or university and it must also include a professional practice experience completed in an affiliated clinical laboratory, usually located within a hospital or medical center. The professional practice experience makes the CLS curriculum unique from all other allied health- and science-based curricula in that, for the time spent on site, students learn from CLS professionals in a laboratory setting where actual patient testing is being performed daily. No other allied health- or science-based students participate solely within the clinical laboratory for their entire professional practice experience. In an effort to define this signature experience, clinical laboratories affiliated with both the two-year associate’s degree programs and four-year bachelor’s degree programs within Illinois were asked to participate in a survey that would identify several aspects of the professional practice experience. The data indicated both similarities and differences between the associate’s and bachelor’s degree program. When comparing the results to other health- or science-based curricula, the data indicated that the CLS professional practice experience was a unique experience and one that was pivotal for the CLS student to have a better understanding of the discipline and the role of the CLS professional.
Thomas P. Crumpler and Cynthia Schairer-Kessler, Curriculum and Instruction
This paper presents preliminary results from a SOTL grant project to examine the educational value of paper and electronic portfolios as an alternative choice to traditional comprehensive examinations in a doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction. Specifically, this qualitative study piloted both types of portfolios with a small group of nine doctoral students in a doctoral course in the summer of 2005. The following research questions framed the study: what are doctoral students’ views on portfolio assessment; how do portfolios assess students’ progress in terms of program goals; and, how do portfolios at the doctoral level impact the autonomy of doctoral students? Data collection included pre- and post-portfolio reflective writing, portfolio documents, interviews, and WebCT threaded discussions. The data were analyzed using open coding procedures as suggested by constant comparative analysis methods. Based on this analysis, case studies are being developed on each of the nine participants in the study. In this session, we will focus on two contrasting cases that highlight how the portfolios impacted learner autonomy and discuss some implications of portfolio assessment for teaching and learning at the doctoral level.
Janet Claus, Melissa Moody, Richard Kane, Academic Advisement Center/University College
Academic advisors work with first-year students in a variety of ways, including helping students see the connections between the many learning opportunities that are offered through Illinois State University. Advisors work individually with students to connect different academic experiences and link academic and co-curricular experiences to broaden and deepen student learning. This panel will discuss some of the ways this occurs and the process we use to help students see their current choices in terms of their future goals and opportunities. This can be challenging, since the temptation for students to select courses based on immediate preferences, such as time of day rather than appropriateness of content for future plans, is very real. Beginning such conversations early in a student’s academic career is essential to maximizing opportunities. For example, while students may plan to study abroad in their junior year, it is valuable for them to begin planning early and consider other academic and co-curricular choices with that goal in mind. Connections explored by the panelists will include: connecting general education courses to major and minor goals; viewing the choice of major and minor in the light of future plans; utilizing opportunities for study abroad and National Student Exchange to enhance both academic and co-curricular learning; viewing co-curricular choices in terms of the future as well as the present; and connecting the academic with career exploration, including job shadowing, service learning, internships and co-ops. Discussion of ways the university community can promote such connections will be encouraged.
Wendy G. Troxel, Educational Administration and Foundations
Formative assessment activities can be used in the classroom to gather feedback on how much and how well students are learning while there is still time to adjust and revise instructional strategies. While these techniques provide valuable information, many teachers hesitate to use them more often because of the amount of time they can take away from content delivery. This presentation addresses that concern by integrating the use of the assessment tool and its results as an example of selected qualitative research techniques, which in this case, is the topic of this course (EAF 415: Qualitative Research in Educational Settings). The feedback tool, the process for implementing the activity, and relevant results and implications will be shared with participants. Session attendees will be asked to consider potential uses in their disciplinary contexts. A further use of this activity may also be to provide additional pieces of evidence of teaching effectiveness for ASPT documents. This activity serves to make connections within the learning environment between course goals, intended student learning outcomes, instructional strategies, and self-assessment processes for both the learner and the teacher.
Janice Neuleib and Jim Meyer, English
This workshop will provide hands-on experience of the National Writing Project demonstrations and activities that are currently changing teaching practices of teachers in the Bloomington-Normal and Peoria areas. These activities are applicable to teachers from pre-K through college in all subject areas. Activities integrate math and writing, personal experience and writing, and the arts. Participants will learn how teacher modeling of good practices affects student writing and teacher attitudes towards writing. We will particularly emphasize the results of the Writing Project's growing involvement with inner city schools in Peoria. The workshop will be interactive and will provide a real sense of Writing Project materials and methods.
Daniel Liechty, Social Work
Like many other new arrivals without departmental seniority, I was assigned the School's outer-core course, with the assurance that eventually, having paid my dues, I would pass it on to some future low-seniority newbie. Over the years, I have found, however, that it can be very stimulating to introduce one's field to those outside the disciplinary major, and I chose to hang onto this course, even post-tenure, rather than pass it along ASAP. I began to think specifically in terms of interdisciplinary possibilities and contact points as I contoured the course each semester, and paid particular attention to utilizing the Service Learning component of the course for this purpose. Now in my seventh year, without question some of the most creative, integrative and unanticipated mutual learning experiences of my teaching career are attached to this course. In sharing some of my experiences, I hope to stimulate collegial discussion on how we might view the outer-core “Intro for Non-Majors” courses as positive, integrative educational opportunities rather than mainly as exercises in frustration.
Rita Bailey, Tena McNamara, and Jennifer Friberg, Speech Pathology and Audiology
New standards for certification were recently developed for speech-language pathology graduate training programs by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). The new standards are outcomes-based rather than process-based. Using a collective case study approach, this presentation will highlight our research regarding the perceptions of faculty/staff and graduate students regarding use of a standards-based exit portfolio system for students in a Speech-Language Pathology graduate program at Illinois State University after two semesters of use. Results indicated perceptions of strengths and limitations of portfolio assessment that have led to several changes in our assessment policies and procedures. Results and subsequent changes will be discussed in this presentation.
Rita J. Fisher, Lab Schools, and Colleen Herald, CECP
This presentation will describe the Future Teachers Early Clinical Experience project. ISU students interested in becoming a teacher agreed to work in high-needs schools. A high-needs district is defined as a district with one or more schools with 50% of students on a free or reduced fee lunch program, often with a high mobility rate among teachers and/or many teachers teaching out of their fields. Students were bused to high-needs schools in Decatur eight times during a semester and attended four focus sessions on campus for debriefing. As the project was developed, the research focused on assessing the impact of early clinical experiences on the students’ commitment to teaching, understandings and beliefs about teaching and learning, developing understanding of the teacher’s role, awareness of high-needs students as a group and individuals’ needs. Volunteers were given pre- and post-surveys about initial beliefs about teaching and wrote weekly reflections after their two-hour classroom experience. Students accumulated clinical hours, but no academic credit.
Judith Briggs, Art Education
Early Childhood preservice students analyze children's book illustrations using art criticism and semiotics to make predictions about the stories' outcomes. This blend of an early literacy technique of Guided Reading along with artistically formal and cultural analyses helps future educators to understand that an artwork is a text that is meant to be read.
Laura Vogel and Craig Gatto, Biological Sciences
Many undergraduate students in Biological Sciences conduct laboratory research projects for a semester or more, but most fail to integrate this experience with the course work they have had and/or fail to communicate their results to anyone beyond the faculty member they are working with. To provide a more cohesive experience for the undergraduates, we have implemented a program called Senior Thesis. This program is designed to integrate coursework, one-on-one mentoring, and laboratory research in addition to strengthening communication skills. By completing this program students experience all facets of modern scientific research, including performing literature searches, developing and testing hypotheses, and reporting their results to peers in written and oral form. This effort is substantially more than the writing of a long review paper for a course and is an opportunity for students to integrate all aspects of their academic experience to develop new knowledge in an advanced field of biological sciences. A description and update of the program’s success will be given.
Tim Fredstrom, Music
Early each semester honors students approach professors requesting to do in-course honors contracts in order to receive honors designation for a non-honors course. Wanting to support honors students, faculty generally agree to accommodate their requests and develop additional projects for the student. No doubt, many beneficial honors contracts are completed each semester; however, honors students also describe their experiences as less than meaningful, as busy work or last minute projects done to minimally meet the requirements, for example. Based on research done to understand honors students’ perspectives on their honors contract experiences, meaningful projects may increase when contracts are systematically developed. This session will present strategies for systematically structuring honors contracts using 1) a project clarification exercise that helps students identify what aspect of the regular course curriculum they would like to have differentiated for honors credit and why they are passionate about pursuing the project; 2) a contract planning guide to clarify expectations, objectives, achievement standards, and timelines; 3) a project presentation plan to facilitate a presentable conclusion for the project; and 4) a project reflection exercise that helps students makes sense of their experience. Participants in this session will leave with a template they can use in developing honors contracts with their students. Further, they will see how this approach can be applied to various types of projects: critical reflection projects, research paper projects, and performance projects, for example.
Chad Kahl, Milner Library; Bob Broad, English; Jennifer Hootman, Milner Library; Steve Hunt, Communication; Pat Meckstroth, Milner Library; Sally Parry, College of Arts and Sciences and Cheri Simonds, Communication
Last year, this panel reviewed the changes in General Education that resulted from the Academic Senate's 5-year review of the program, the dissolution of Foundations of Inquiry and their curricular implications. Specifically, we discussed planned changes to Communication 110 and English 101 for the Fall 2005 and Spring 2006 semesters, focusing on the increased emphasis on critical thinking and information literacy. Learn how the two courses have been linked together in a year-long sequence; how critical thinking and information literacy have been further integrated into the curriculum; and how a common vocabulary was created. Experiences from the first semester will be shared and changes for the Spring semester will be highlighted. The panel presentation will be as concise and interactive as possible in order to allow plenty of room for feedback. We would welcome feedback from faculty that have worked with students currently enrolled in Inner Core classes. In this way, the developmental structure of General Education can be strengthened and key concepts and skills be reinforced and refined throughout the program.
Michael Odell, Tony Lorsbach, Do-Yong Park, and Marilyn Morey, Curriculum and Instruction
Information technology (IT) is helping to transform science education. This is due to innovations in software, increases in bandwidth, and universal access to the Internet by faculty and students. IT tools are being used to extend the classroom, facilitate inquiry, foster collaboration, and allow opportunities for real-world problem solving. New pedagogies utilizing IT are impacting student attitudes, achievement, and increasing access and efficiency. Over the last decade IT has changed how science is learned and taught. Universities have enhanced the IT infrastructure allowing students to access resources and classes anytime and anywhere through computers accessing the Internet. Laptop computers, calculators, and palm technologies are commonplace. Student assignments are completed utilizing computers or calculators that can perform almost all of the calculations expected on homework or during exams. This session will examine the utilization of information technology in science education and teacher preparation. The session will review research-based trends in information technology integration into science instruction. There will also be a discussion of best practices and strategies for implementation and examples of strategies and projects currently being implemented in our classes. There will also be a discussion of the outcomes and future implications as a result of integrating IT into the curriculum.
Nancy J. Niebur, Kinesiology and Recreation; Vince Boyd, Criminal Justice Sciences; Karen Mark, Psychology; Bryan Wiegand, Agriculture; and Mike Sublett, Geography
Through shared conversations, participants have the opportunity to discover how others across campus integrate and document learning in professional practices, internships, and fieldworks. We will examine differences among internships completed for accreditation and certification as well as among students who completed them as a required part of the curriculum or as an option. We will determine impacts of integrating fieldwork into coursework, how professional connections with the industry assist students and faculty, and how internships assist students in transitioning to the work world. Participants are encouraged to bring sample internship and fieldwork manuals, syllabi, and examples of forms utilized.
Stephen A. Goodwin and Steven A. Taylor, Marketing
Pioneered by the Harvard Business School decades ago, case analysis has become a staple in the pedagogical repertoire of most business faculty today. There are case studies focusing on production problems, others focusing on business ethics, and many focusing on marketing decision variables. In fact, case studies have been written for virtually every functional area in business. Most, especially those targeted to introductory courses taken predominantly by juniors, are unidimensional in the sense that they reveal issues and problems and beg for problem solution recommendations solely of the kind devoted to in that particular introductory course. In an effort to develop in students a better sense of cross-functional interactions, Professor Goodwin wrote a case study that includes both marketing issues/problems and managerial accounting information which, when used in combination, allows the student of Introduction to Marketing Management to see how useful knowledge of the accounting kind (profit and loss statements, in particular) can be in illuminating various marketing issues. Blending the two areas enables the student to articulate much stronger problem statements and to offer much more reasonable and defensible problem solutions. This case was tested in the Fall semester of 2005 by two marketing professors, Stephen A. Goodwin and Steven A. Taylor. Each taught a large section (N > 172) of Mkt 230, Introduction to Marketing Management. We were quite encouraged to see our students enhance their learning by engaging in this integrative experience.
Jean Sawyer, Speech Pathology and Audiology
Making individual connections in a class of 70 students is an instructional challenge. One way to personalize a large class and give students an opportunity to expand their knowledge of the subject material is to offer an extra-credit writing project. One such project recently offered in PAS 319, Stuttering I, will be described. Students were given an opportunity to earn up to 10 extra points in the class by writing a short academic paper on an approved topic. The requirement was to include citations from at least two peer-reviewed journals. To earn the full 10 points, the paper had to be well-written, which meant that the students needed to submit the paper a few weeks before the semester’s end to allow time for rewriting. To guide the work, the instructor met personally with students for short periods to discuss their writing and wrote comments on students’ drafts. The presenter will share the assignment and selections from student papers as they wrote and revised their papers. Through this assignment, the instructor was able to individualize course material for the students, expand their knowledge of content material, and help them write more effectively.
Lori Ostergaard, Claire Lamonica, and Susan Spangler, English
In Spring 2005, the English department joined with the School of Communication for a day of presentations and conversations about the first-year experience. The conference was aimed at exploring ways to build connections between the introductory writing and introductory speech classes in preparation for changes to the first-year requirements for both of those classes. We will discuss how sending formal printed invitations and using an off-campus venue, Ewing Manor, may have altered, for the better, the integration of ideas from two diverse departments. Others can learn from our experience of planning and funding a day-long off-site faculty development conference.
Kerri Calvert and Jim Almeda, Student Health Services
The “Seven” Campaign was a semester-long, online campaign to encourage faculty, staff and students to engage in the seven dimensions of wellness. Participants could earn points and chances to win prizes by attending events on campus and in the community as well as undertaking activities on their own (such as exercising, meditating, etc). The goals of the program were 1) to increase awareness of the wellness dimensions and 2) to begin to shift the campus culture to a more “wellness” focused campus. The campaign was a collaborative effort between several academic departments and Student Affairs. The Student Health Service Health Promotion Office worked closely with a graduate MBA class to develop the program design. The Lab for Integrated Learning and Technology (LILT) created the point-tracking software and the campaign website (www.seven.ilstu.edu). Marketing and Public Relations summer interns were instrumental in securing prizes and other incentives for the program. Graphic design interns developed marketing materials used during the campaign and an English Studies graduate student developed and wrote the weekly newsletter distributed to all participants. Many other students were involved during the planning and implementation phase. More than 1,000 faculty, staff and students enrolled in the campaign. Evaluation is currently underway and we will be able to include the results in the January presentation. We anticipate results will be positive and that we will offer the Seven Campaign again next year.
Kara Nelson, Meredith Caldwell, and Robert L. Rhykerd, Agriculture
In an age where less than two percent of our population is involved in farming, the general public has been disconnected from agriculture, and there is a danger that our society is losing touch with the role of agriculture in their daily lives. Therefore, the Illinois State University Student Agriculture Association (SAA) hosted an agriculture awareness event with the objective of transferring knowledge of production agriculture to urban third grade students. This event consisted of SAA students visiting third grade classes and bringing the third grade students to the ISU Farm. During the classroom visit, 230 third grade students were taught about crop production, animal production, the food production process, the water cycle, farm equipment, and farm safety. To reinforce those concepts and provide a hands-on learning experience, these students then toured the ISU Farm. Learning was qualitatively evaluated by having the third grade students reflect on what they learned by writing about their experiences. In their essays, students indicated they became more aware of the importance of agriculture in their lives and that agriculture does much more than provide the food that they eat. SAA members were also active learners as a result of their efforts to teach third grade students. By preparing to teach, members of the SAA gained a more holistic understanding of agriculture as well as improved many of their social competencies, such as their organizational, leadership, and public speaking skills. In conclusion, both the third grade students and members of the SAA perceived that participating in the agriculture awareness event enhanced their understanding of the role agriculture plays in their lives.
H. Tak Cheung, Anne F. Bettendorf, Joseph Staple, and Hilton M. Jones, Biological Sciences
During the past three years, the lead author (Tak Cheung) has developed an extensive plan to revamp BSC 101, Fundamental Concepts in Biology. BSC 101 is one of the four Inner Core Science courses of the General Education Program. Annually, 2,600 students enroll in this course, with over 80% of the incoming freshmen taking this course. To fulfill the goals of the ISU General Education Program, we have used a new approach that breaks away from the traditional content and pedagogical approach. Our course contents did not follow the traditional disciplinary coverage; however, we still achieved the goals of the ISU General Education Program, including interdisciplinary perspectives, liberal education, global awareness, and common foundation. The pedagogical approach of our course included the use of recent technological advances in the preparing and integrating of video materials in the course curriculum. These changes created a new learning opportunity that was not previously possible. Consequently, we were able to deliver more relevant and current information to the students when compared to the traditional methods of teaching. Our surveys have shown that students are more interested and show greater enthusiasm in attending class and in studying the course materials. We have tested different aspects of this new approach over the past two semesters. The full implementation of all the changes occurred during the fall 2005 semester, and the results are promising. We would like to present the overall framework of this new approach. We believe that this instructional initiative has many possible applications in other General Education courses. We would also like to use this opportunity to discuss our new approach with the goal of improving the integration of the General Education courses.
Joseph P. Mazer, Communication
Scholars examining academic dishonesty in the university setting have reported startling statistics relating to this unethical behavior. For example, Genereux and McLeod (1995) found that 83% of the participants they surveyed reported that they engaged in cheating behavior at some point in their academic career. Additionally, researchers found that 86% of students surveyed at California State University Fullerton and 76% of students surveyed at Pepperdine University admitted to cheating at least once in college (Aiken, 1991). Furthermore, in a survey of high-achieving students listed in Who’s Who among American High School Students, 76% admitted to cheating. These statistics raise several interesting questions about the student population at Illinois State University (ISU). Specifically, what do ISU students think about cheating? How do ISU students identify an occurrence of academic dishonesty? How frequently do they engage in such behavior? This presentation will briefly highlight research conducted in the fall 2005 semester in the basic communication course at ISU. Specifically, this experimental study explores first-year students’ perceptions of cheating through the use of academic dishonesty scenarios. Additionally, participants were asked to indicate if they committed acts of academic dishonesty and to report the number of times they engaged in such behavior in COM 110. Participants were surveyed in the third week of the fall semester to gauge their perceptions of cheating behavior. During the semester, experimental group participants were asked to submit course assignments to an electronic database designed to detect instances of plagiarism. Participants were surveyed again during the fifteenth week of the semester to measure their perceptions of cheating behavior and reports of academic dishonesty at the end of the term. The results of this project will allow participants to further gauge first-year students’ perceptions of cheating as they enter ISU s general education program. Therefore, in order to emphasize the process of integrating learning across disciplines, audience members will discuss their efforts to prevent academic dishonesty in their courses and develop strategies to further deter plagiarism in the academic community.
Anjie Almeda, Health Sciences; Teri Farr, Sociology and Anthropology; and Wendi Whitman and Mindy Kinney, University College
If academic advisors are teachers, what is the curriculum? What is the pedagogy? What is the benefit to the students and to the university? How can Illinois State offer a comprehensive and cohesive advisement experience that builds on student learning throughout the college career? According to the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), advisors are in a unique position to teach students how to translate what often appears to be fragmented into a logical, meaningful educational experience. They are able to teach their students to navigate the educational system and to become lifelong learners. Advisors have the unique ability on campus to tie first-year experiences to graduation expectations. The university benefits from increased retention, even among the most at-risk populations. Further, the university benefits from utilizing a system of advising that is aligned with institutional goals and that lends itself to assessment. This panel discussion will provide a summary of a current initiative in academic advising to move from developmental advising models to a learning-centered model of academic advising. The presenters, who represent both departmental advisement and University College, will summarize information shared at the 2005 Illinois Academic Advising Association’s meeting on this topic as well as research related to this model of advising. We will discuss how the learning-centered model of advising addresses key issues in higher education today, detail the curriculum and pedagogy that advisors might consider utilizing, and propose a model for bringing learning centered advising to Illinois State. A sample syllabus for academic advising will be shared. This presentation will allow ample time for discussion among the participants.
Peter Kaufman, Marketing
This proposal seeks to lay the foundation for a program that brings together students from across ISU into teams that work with Illinois companies to help them export products. The program would be comprised of both an in- and out-of-country portion, thus providing students with a broad perspective of what skills are needed to compete in a global marketplace.
Beverly Beyer and Frank D. Beck, Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development; Jeremy Richart and Ken Springer, Politics and Government
The Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development oversees an interdisciplinary graduate sequence in community and economic development. The students are working toward degrees in applied economics, political science, or sociology. In their first year, students take courses required by the sequence, as well as those required for the degree in their home department. In their second year, they work full-time for 11 months in the Peace Corps, with domestic government agencies, not-for-profit community-based organizations, or businesses to complete Professional Practice credits. The students report on their experiences and make links back to their course work (i.e., service-learning). They also complete capstone projects or theses that may relate to their internship. Local organizations with which our first-year students are currently working include: Central Illinois Organizing Project, Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal Area, McLean County Community Compact, and the Town of Normal Downtown Redevelopment Office. Second-year students in their Professional Practice with the Peace Corps have served or are serving in East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Senegal. This is only a partial list. Second-year students in Professional Practice placements not with Peace Corps have also interned inside and outside the local area. The presentation will inform attendees of not only what the Stevenson Center is and the work our students do generally, but will also provide examples of forms and reporting documents that facilitate the service-learning experience. Two first-year students, currently working off-campus, will be present to describe their work, answer questions, and provide their views regarding how the program functions.
Thomas Haynes, Curriculum and Instruction
A multidisciplinary study group representing 20 Illinois State secondary education programs/sequences studied and developed a proposal to assist secondary programs to better link theory and practice and to enhance and/or establish strong partnership relationships with exemplary secondary schools and educators. The premise was that robust linkages among college of education faculty, subject area faculty, and partner school faculty enable the integration of theory and practice. Imbedded in this concept is the significant involvement by multiple partners that support integrative learning approaches in secondary teacher education. Exemplary schools and Illinois State University, as a teacher preparation institution, must develop symbiotic relationships through joining as equal partners. The study group developed a framework for an Institute for Secondary Teacher Education Programs and Schools (ISTEPS) at Illinois State to more effectively prepare secondary teachers through leadership in developing and maintaining partner school relationships. The study group also developed a priority list of initial work activities for the Institute, including developing an agenda for research and development in the improvement of teaching and student learning in secondary schools.
Phyllis McCluskey-Titus, Educational Administration and Foundations
During the Fall semester, I was teaching both the first-year LinC seminar (IDS 189) and a graduate course on the American college student (EAF 463). Completing service hours was required of students in the LinC curriculum, and I wanted students in the graduate class to work cooperatively with undergraduates in a meaningful way, so I structured a learning opportunity for both classes to participate in the Sharefest weekend of service held annually in Bloomington-Normal. After the service projects had been completed, I facilitated discussions with both classes, and asked students to reflect further on their experiences through writing reflective papers. This oral and visual presentation will report the results of the qualitative research conducted in order to understand what students learned from participating together in this weekend of service. Understanding what first year and graduate students gained through participation in this project can help faculty develop their own teaching strategies involving service learning. The teaching model used in this project would also be of interest to faculty teaching different classes who wanted students in those classes to work cooperatively to achieve similar learning goals.
Lisa Huempfner, Foreign Languages, and Lucille Eckrich, Educational Administration and Foundations
It has become common to program off-campus experiences into the college curriculum in support of content objectives. Such experiences are generally intended to help students make the connection between what is learned in the classroom and its application to real-life situations. Overlooked in the planning of such experiences, however, may be some of the peripheral benefits, largely unrelated to content objectives but nonetheless valuable, arguably even more so than those initially intended. It was through the serendipitous discovery of one of these benefits that the presenters came upon their topic. In two unrelated off-campus activities, each of us observed how the participants formed a special bond during the experience that carried over well beyond the semester in which the activity took place. This bond, in turn, informed the students’ attitudes and behaviors as they carried out both curricular and extra-curricular activities related to their fields of study. We believe that these attitudes and behaviors foster a collegiality, which leads to the development of professionals who are committed to collaboration and life-long learning.
After a short introduction, each presenter will briefly describe her off-campus experience and the course of which it was part. Each will then detail the personal and professional bonds that formed among participants, drawing on preliminary survey and assessment data to characterize the types and scope of these bonds and describing an example or two in more depth. The last 10-13 minutes of our time will be spent fielding questions and related experiences from audience members. One question we intend to raise for discussion is the relationship between the content objectives and these relational consequences of off-campus experiences and the relative role each should play in the curricular planning process. (NOTE: This presentation will fill two presentation time slots.)
David L. Anderson, Philosophy
The Mind Project is best described as “an international learning community committed to research and curriculum development that is focused on interdisciplinary internet-based student-faculty research projects.” This project fosters connections that encourage and support hands-on, inquiry-based teaching and learning. Making Connections in Five Dimensions includes:
1. Connections between research and teaching
Rather than starting with a traditional, static, print text and trying to add a few token “hands-on” experiences, our goal is to start with a vigorous student-run research project and build a curriculum around it.
2. Connections between students and faculty
The Mind Project designs research projects where undergraduates do 95+% of the work and faculty function only in a consulting role. Students and faculty work side by side as true colleagues.
3. Connections between advanced students and novice students
Experienced students train new researchers. Undergraduate researchers learn to write curriculum for intro-level students. Related course assignments are not written for the professor as the audience but as web-pages with new inquirers to the field as the audience.
4. Connections between teachers, learners and researchers from different countries
Research projects have web-based instructions for ways in which new undergraduate researchers can join the team working from anywhere in the world. The vision system for our latest generation mobile robot is being designed by undergraduates in Lisbon, Portugal.
5. Connections between disciplines
Student-faculty research projects are always interdisciplinary. The primary (but not exclusive) focus of The Mind Project is the cognitive sciences. There are approximately 20 faculty from 8 different departments that have been involved. Our projects require teams of people with expertise from as wide a range of disciplines as possible.
Valeri Farmer-Dougan, Jeffrey Wagman, Dawn McBride, Corinne Zimmerman, and Dan Graybill, Psychology
The Psychology Department recently changed the introductory psychology course (PSY 111) for majors. The new format of the course included small sections (max. 30) of incoming freshmen psychology majors that met 3 hours a week, each taught by a tenure-track faculty member from the department. In the redesigned course, these small sections were supplemented by weekly large group meetings that included presentations by psychology faculty and laboratory demonstrations. This format was expected to meet many of the Educating Illinois objectives that were at one time met in Foundations of Inquiry. For example, this format was expected to (1) provide a small college feel at a large university (e.g., small classes, accessible faculty, depth and breadth within major), (2) provide incoming students with a course to introduce them to the college experience and build a community among cohorts of psychology majors, and (3) help students become better consumers of information in society through the study of psychology. Given that many introductory courses for majors are taught in large lecture formats, we believe that our revised format is an innovative way to foster an integrated learning experience and facilitate a small class feel for incoming psychology majors. We will present this format as a model for departments interested in developing an integrated learning experience in introductory, majors only courses. We will also present survey data showing student opinions of the first time implementation.
Jeri Mullins Beggs, Marketing
Since 1979, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has required that accredited schools show evidence of overall curricular coverage of ethical issues. However, AACSB does not mandate how ethics is to be taught or how much coverage should be included. Some schools have chosen to offer stand-alone courses while others have met the requirement by integrating ethics into the current courses. This semester I am testing a different technique to integrate ethics, which I have termed seamless integration. In one course I am using my traditional syllabus, which includes 2 class periods to cover ethics. The second course incorporates the new technique. Using this technique, ethical issues are introduced throughout the semester, but are not labeled as ethics in any way. There is external validity in this technique because ethical dilemmas in the workplace are not usually presented as ethical dilemmas. Instead, supervisors and co-workers present these situations as standard business practice or the way we have always done it around here. Employees are left to figure out that the situation is unethical on their own. The problem with only covering ethics as a separate topic or within a specific scheduled class period is that students are alerted and they put on their ethics hat. In other words, students become incredibly ethical because they know every problem presented to them has ethical implications. They are looking for it! Measurement was conducted at the beginning and end of the semester and included the Defining Issues Test, which is a well-established method of assessing moral reasoning. The test includes 5 scenarios in which students are asked to rate 12 issues in terms of their importance on a 1-5 scale. Other methods were used, including the results of a case analysis and a short survey including ethical self-efficacy scales.
Temba C. Bassoppo-Moyo, Curriculum and Instruction
Over the past 10 years, the United States has become connected to the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) at higher rates than ever before. The share of households with Internet and WWW access has risen from 26% in December 1998 to 78% in 2005. However, despite such increases in connectivity, a “digital divide” in access to and use of the Internet, the WWW, and other information technology (IT) persists, particularly among individuals at different income and education levels. Individuals who have lower skill levels, less income, limited English proficiency, and disabilities often confront more barriers to using information technologies than other individuals. Some of these barriers include: an inability to afford home access, find content that is comprehensible or culturally-relevant, or pursue careers that require certain IT skills and training. This technology chasm also exists among different geographic locations and organization types. Rural areas tend to lag behind urban areas in broadband penetration. Government entities, nonprofits, and social service providers, as well as schools and universities, may lack the resources, training, and technical support necessary to deliver services online and sustain their IT infrastructures. This study examines the effects of the digital divide as seen through numerous studies that have been conducted throughout the United States. This meta-analytical approach explores the best possible means of addressing this issue on a local, state and national level. It reveals the data that are useful for practical changes in addressing the digital divide through numerous studies and pilot projects. The paper goes beyond the aspect of viewing the digital divide purely as a technical problem but as a social issue that requires immediate attention.
Mardell A. Wilson, University Assessment Office
Oftentimes faculty formulate their own perceptions about the students they encounter and their engagement both inside and outside of the classroom. Such perceptions, or misperceptions, regarding student engagement may result in a failure to connect with students. During the past five years Illinois State University has participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement [NSSE]. NSSE is designed to attain information from students in their first year and seniors at colleges and universities nationwide. The data help to characterize student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college. Utilizing this information provides a solid foundation to frame expectations and facilitate student motivation. At Illinois State University we are attempting to use the data to identify connections in the undergraduate experience inside and outside the classroom. To better determine if changes could or should be made in an effort to be more consistent with good practices in undergraduate education, additional information is necessary. Pairing NSSE findings with data from faculty regarding expectations for student engagement in educational practices will serve as a vehicle for productive discussions regarding faculty/student connections in an effort to enhance the undergraduate education experience.
Susan Winchip and Maria Canabal, Family and Consumer Sciences
The definition of SoTL at Illinois State University is: “systematic reflection on teaching and learning made public.” The definition includes work related to classroom research. This project relates to the definition of SoTL by conducting classroom research for the purpose of addressing a teaching-learning problem. The problem to be considered was enhancing teaching-learning of applied mathematics taught in courses in the FCS Department. Classroom research was conducted to identify ways faculty can interact with students to improve their understanding of applied mathematics in the professions associated with FCS. In addition, classroom research was conducted to determine the most effective means to involve students in learning about applied mathematics in the field of FCS. The proposed presentation will present the preliminary results of students’ perceptions of mathematics in their professional and personal lives. Discussion will focus on how attaining success with difficult content will help to encourage long-lasting learning for all students.
Judy Bee and Joan Brown, Milner Library
An Adventure of the American Mind is a federally funded program housed at Milner Library. The goals are to train media specialists/librarians, classroom and pre-service teachers, and college faculty to access and integrate primary sources from the Library of Congress to support and enhance curriculum. Participants will be introduced to various forms of digital primary resources including documents, maps, sheet music, sound recordings, early motion pictures, and photos. They will learn the basics of how to access and navigate the educational features of the Library of Congress website. The focus will be on using the Library of Congress American Memory Collection, which is a gateway to primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The Learning Page, designed for educators, will give participants access to lesson plans, troubleshooting, activities, chats, and much more. The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. An Adventure of the American Mind provides a variety of professional development opportunities to educators in Central Illinois to fulfill this mission.
Kim Hilsenroth, University Housing Services; Kate Schenk, Dean of Students Office; and Bridget Burrell, University Housing Services
While students may spend up to 20 hours a week in class, much of their time is spent outside of the classroom. Students eat, sleep, study and socialize in the residence halls. Yet, the residence halls are not always thought of when looking at ways to foster the integration of learning for our students. This panel presentation will highlight the partnership between University Housing Services and the Dean of Students Office to create the Service & Leadership Lifestyle floors. This session will use the experiences of the Service & Leadership Lifestyle floor partnership to explore how academic departments may also begin to partner within the residence halls to create new and innovative learning opportunities for our students.
Claire C. Lamonica, English
The placement of freshmen into courses that are appropriate for their prior knowledge and skill sets is a daunting challenge, one to which the first-year composition program at Illinois State has taken a variety of approaches over the years. Most recently, the program has begun to employ a process of “Directed Self-Placement” (DSP). This process encourages the incoming students to forge for themselves a connection between past and future learning. The presenter will provide an overview of the DSP process and discuss the findings of a SoTL grant-funded research study into the efficacy of this placement procedure. Audience participation and questions are encouraged.
Mary Goodwin, Information Technology; and Bobbie Silk, Academic Services
Instructors in the fields of math, science, computer science, engineering, etc., can often be heard complaining that their students cannot read the textbook and get information out of it. Technical texts include a language other than regular text such as equations, graphs, computer code, chemical formulas, etc. These technical aspects of the texts seem to make them especially difficult for students. In fact, many professors in technical fields give up and quit assigning reading. Our study randomly assigned math students and computer programming students to treatment and control groups. The treatment group received technical reading training and weekly follow-up. The follow-up involved asking students to try a particular strategy that week and write a paragraph on how well it helped them comprehend the reading. Students were given credit for turning in the paragraph, but their quality was not judged. The presentation will cover the details of the technical reading strategies, as well as preliminary results. Were student grades impacted? Did students believe the strategies helped?
Dale Fitzgibbons, Management and Quantitative Methods; Alicia Girard, Director of Homeless Services, Compassion Center; and Dan Lehman, Management
The basis of this presentation is a Team and Team-Development course I teach in the Department of MQM in the College of Business. Students learn the theories and concepts of group dynamics while building and maintaining a team. Because I don’t believe you can effectively learn these things solely from a book, for the last seven years each class has performed a community service project. For the last two semesters, we have worked with the Compassion Center in downtown Bloomington. This semester, 16 students interacted with the Center in a number of ways. In collaboration with the Director, each 4-person team identified, planned, and executed a number of subtasks that would benefit the Compassion Center’s mission. These included fund-raising, food/toiletries and the recruiting of volunteers. This semester-long project was not simply an add-on effort (however admirable and helpful that would be) to the course. Course concepts and theories were identified, discussed, and integrated into their experiential exercise with the Center. For example, early in the semester, the class experienced a great deal of chaos and confusion. It was at that time that we discussed the “stages of team development.” They learned that during the first stage (the “performing” stage), group members are getting to know each other and trying to determine why they are on the team and what their role would be in the team’s tasks. Throughout the semester, students learn to make “connections” (symposium theme) between what they are learning and how to use that knowledge in the “real world.” It also serves as a vivid example of what the American Democracy Project encourages and supports on our campus. This panel will include a student from fall semester.