Poster Presentations

Ferguson & Media Literacy

Terri Reilly, Adjunct Faculty, Communication & Journalism

The topic of Ferguson was introduced to MEDC 1010 (03) F14 by way of an ongoing Media Literacy lesson using WorldClassRoom “Discussions” format. The first discussion assignment stated: “This assignment calls on you to PUT ASIDE your opinion on the shooting death of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by the white police office Darren Wilson and approach it from an academic standpoint.” The first discussion was assigned in four steps: Step One:  Students were asked to: to read the media literacy section from course textbook; listen to a story from NPR; and read several articles from the Washington Post. Step Two: Discussion Post: “List five things (bullet-point format) you didn't know prior to studying this case”; and “Did studying this case correct any misinformation you had? IF SO, GIVE EXAMPLES.” Step Three: READ: All Ferguson discussion posts of fellow classmates and POST: Reply to classmates’ post listing anything “new to you” that you learned from reading their posts. Step Four: In-class discussion. The project included three more segments via Discussion. The final segment was given as an anonymous Qualtrics survey to ensure candor. This poster will explore the findings of the project and include student opinions and reactions listed anonymously, as well as conclusions.

a cure for Student Apathy: Social Responsibility and Freshmen Learning Communities

Lindsey Kingston, Associate Professor, History, Politics, & International Relations; Director, Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies
Danielle MacCartney, Association Dean, Division of Liberal Arts & Sciences Programs, College of Arts & Sciences
Andrea Miller, Instructor, Anthropology & Sociology

Social responsibility stresses the moral belief that “each person you know about and can affect is someone to whom you have responsibilities” (Appiah 2006). The Social Engagement learning community (LC) – composed of three courses (a first year seminar on “social responsibility,” a human rights course, and a social movements course) – was designed to accomplish both the goals of creating student attachment to the university and to foster social responsibility in our students. While a college education should focus on teaching students the ability to critically examine their own traditions, to understand the ties that bind all people together, and to have empathy for the experiences of others (Nussbaum 1997), we realize that social responsibility, global connectedness, and universal human rights are often separate from a traditional liberal arts curriculum (Andreopoulous 1997). The aim of this longitudinal research study is to describe how the learning community process at Webster University impacts the current research on LC outcomes, with special attention to student retention and the effectiveness of the LC theme “Social Engagement.” Ultimately, we are interested in how and whether participating in the Social Engagement community impacts students’ interests in social justice issues, decisions related to programs of academic study, career and volunteer choices, and overall interest in issues related to social responsibility.

New Physics Labs

Ravin Kodikara, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Dylan Postal and Gregory Fletcher, students of Professor Kodikara

Physics laboratory activities are popular and an effective way to demonstrate practical applications of theories and to reiterate classroom discussions. However, most of the conventional physics labs taught in universities across the country are effective in demonstrating a particular theory and its application but might not focus on emphasizing important relationships to other, seemingly different areas of physics. As a result, some students find it difficult to identify important connections between different aspects of physics and it has become a major concern in present physics education research. One of the goals of our research group is to design and develop new laboratory activities to address the above issue. This poster describes a new laboratory activity we have designed, that combines applications of thermodynamics and electricity. This approach has an added benefit where instructors will get to present multiple activities during the limited time of a semester. Two senior students enrolled in independent research, Gregory Fletcher and Dylan Postal took lead in this project by designing the experimental setup, acquiring data and performing data analysis. This lab will be presented to PHYS 2041 University Physics laboratory class in spring 2015.

 Students Can Step into the Professional World Without Leaving the Classroom

Gary Ford, Associate Professor & Department Chair, Communication & Journalism

Students don’t have to leave the classroom to step into the professional world. Through experiential learning in their capstone course, senior Public Relations majors gain real world experience by completing a project for a local businesses or charitable organization. Students spend a portion of the term reviewing theory and techniques learned in their PR course work then apply them to solving a client’s communications goals, thus simulating the professional work they will encounter after graduation. By letting real clients be their teachers, students gain invaluable insight and experience into their chosen profession and employ David Kolb’s experiential learning theory where “knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.” This poster will demonstrate how this experiential learning process is set up, its benefits to the students, and its results for local community businesses and organizations.

Turning Creativity into Real Economic Value

Dr. Julia Skobeleva, Professor, Business & Management, Webster Vienna

In this video Professor Dr. Julia Skobeleva describes her vision of how she is building bridges between the Business & Management Department and Media Department at Webster Vienna. It is important for business students to learn to be more creative and media communications students to learn business skills. Her students seem to agree. The video was produced by the students from Business and Management and Media Communications Department who took Dr. Skobeleva's course MNGT 3550 Public Relations in Fall II 2014.

Students Tell it All - Evaluating a Short Term Study Abroad Course

Quinn Shao, Associate Professor, Math & Computer Science

Global learning is known to be one of the most effective high-impact learning practices in higher education.  Finding the means to incorporate global learning into a computer science curriculum is therefore considered particularly important for Webster University, a global institution with campuses in four continents.  Devising effective mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of global learning is both challenging and vital to the overall success of the program.  This project describes and evaluates a hybrid study abroad course entitled “Global IT Development” that was conducted in the summer of 2012.  The evaluation of the learning outcomes is based on students' observations and narratives in the aspects of 1) Enhanced academic competence in global IT and business; 2) Increased cultural awareness and competence; 3) Broader academic achievement; and 4) Personal growth and career development. This poster summarizes participating students' perspectives and views which provide an insight into global advances in IT development, the impact of life-changing experiences exposed to a different culture and society, as well as the effectiveness of infusing cross-border components into an IT curriculum.

The Art and Craft of Research at Teaching-Focused Institutions

Eric Goedereis, Assistant Professor & Co-director of Gerontology, Psychology
Mary Preuss, Assistant Professor, Biology

Opportunities for student-faculty research at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) such as Webster University provide great value at the level of the students, faculty and the institution itself.  First, involvement in undergraduate research facilitates students’ interest in their own learning, while the process of engaging in collaborative research supports the development of a growth-oriented mindset. These activities serve to cultivate valuable critical thinking skills and an ability to work independently, providing students with foundational tools for lifelong learning. Second, faculty can maintain connections to their professional areas of expertise and share that intellectual curiosity with students.  Third, having an active community of scholars at the institution enhances its reputation and promotes current, relevant curricula.  The mission of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.  This poster will share insights from a recent CUR Institute on Developing Undergraduate Research Programs at PUIs. We will present strategies for promoting undergraduate research within the context of PUIs in general, as well as our perspectives and experiences with respect to how these strategies can be implemented at Webster University in particular. Our participation in this CUR Institute was supported by Academic Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Giving Students Feedback Using Canvas Speedgrader

Janet Kourik, Professor, Math & Computer Science

SpeedGrader gives Canvas users five cool ways to provide students with feedback on their work whether the course is web-enhanced or online. Benefits include personalizing feedback and returning feedback between classes. SpeedGrader gives you five easy to use tools to annotate student work submitted electronically in Canvas. The built-in tools include highlighting, typing text comments, drawing on the submission, comment bubbles (callouts), and strikeout marking. Most tools offer choices from four colors and various font sizes. Content includes pros and cons of using SpeedGrader and how to use the built-in tools.

A Metacognition Carousel for Fun Faculty Development

Heather Mitchell, Associate Professor, Psychology

This poster presents a carousel of metacognitive learning activities exhibited by seven different faculty from seven unique disciplines within the same university. The carousel was a result of one faculty learning community that provided structure and guidance for university faculty and staff engaged in learning and researching self-regulation and metacognition. This faculty learning community benefited greatly from focusing on how deep, meaningful, and independent learning requires students to have a host of different attitudes toward learning as well as a myriad of cognitive skills with which they approach and engage in learning activities.

Illustrating International Trade In the ClassRoom: How Current World Events Can Facilitate Ten Rounds of Active Learning

Kathleen Young, Adjunct Faculty, Management

This poster presents how a game can be a learning exercise for use in economics courses to teach international trade and GDP. The game allows students to experience international trade and GDP. The game allows students to experience international trade through a scenario-environment consisting of ten trading sessions. Students learn about GDP, the benefits of trade and the impact world events can have on trade outcomes. The game can also be used to foster discussion on scarcity, opportunity costs, geopolitical events and comparative advantage. Four versions of the game are provided allowing for classroom flexibility including a list of discussion questions and instructor guide.

Giving Formative Feedback

Roshaunda Cade, Assistant Director, Academic Resource Center

This poster discusses the concept of formative assessment and its benefits then provides strategies to give formative feedback to students. Giving formative feedback highlights faculty as disciplinary experts while requiring students to become responsible for their own learning.