Poster Presentations

Akwaaba to Webster University Ghana

John Ginsburg, Director of Student Affairs, Ghana Campus
Holly Hubenschmidt, Head of Instruction Liaison and Reference Services, University Library

Webster University Ghana is preparing to accept its first class of students in Spring 2. Find out what awaits those students in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, and learn a little bit about Ghana.


Balancing High Tech & High Touch: 7 Ways to Nurture Student/Teacher Relationships in an Online Classroom

Sally Howald, Associate Professor, Communications & Journalism

Today’s college students are members of a tech savvy generation that thrives in a 24/7 online environment. So why are dropout rates significantly higher for online students compared to those who attend traditional classes on campus? This poster proposes that students succeed in online classes when instructors balance “high tech” with “high touch.” This means that in addition to teaching and discussing course materials, instructors get to know their students as unique individuals. These “high touch” professors often act as mentors and offer career advice. By following the poster’s eight strategies, instructors can improve retention by creating a sense of belonging, identity, and class camaraderie. When students feel professors know them and care about their online class experience, dropout rates are lower, student satisfaction is higher, and students feel more prepared to be successful in their future career.


Effects of Executive Function on Student Retention of Course Content

Stephanie Mahfood, Assistant Professor, Multidisciplinary Studies

This poster will present results from an investigation conducted in fall, 2013 that focused on the research question: How is student understanding and retention of academic content affected when an instructor systematically embeds within this content instruction, strategies designed to assist students in focusing on the executive functions of self-monitoring attention, self-checking understanding, and shifting between the big picture and the smaller details? The context of this investigation was a semester-long special education methods course. This investigation was a single case, alternating treatment design (Kazdin, 1982) in which four conditions were alternated: no intervention, student self-monitoring of attention using a MotivAider device, student self-checking understanding using agendas outlining the learning outcomes for the class period, and student shifting between how individual concepts fit into the “big picture” of the course.  Data were collected on the dependent variable of student understanding and retention of course content through weekly, 5-question multiple choice quizzes given at the end of each class period and a final summative quiz given at the end of the course. Additionally, students were be asked to rate on a Likert scale, how they felt the specific executive function strategy helped them in understanding and retaining the class material.



Faculty-Librarian Partners: Affecting Student Learning Through Course-Embedded Research Consultations

Stephanie Mahfood, Assistant Professor, Multidisciplinary Studies
John Watts, Instructional & Liaison Librarian, University Library
Julie Weissman, Director of Institutional Effectiveness

Faculty and librarians often collaborate with one another in order to teach students about research. However, it can be difficult to identify the effect the librarian has on student learning. This poster will describe the development and implementation of an applied research project aimed at identifying the contribution a librarian makes to student learning in a graduate-level research course in the School of Education. A research journal designed by the presenters was kept by students to record their research habits while developing a literature review on the topic of special education. Journal entries were compared before and after students consulted with a librarian in order to understand how their behavior changed during the research process. A single-case research design was also used to identify changes in student learning. Students completed weekly assignments asking them to provide recommendations that would improve the search results for a given research scenario. Recommendations were scored using a rubric and compared before and after students consulted with the librarian. In addition to the project description and results, the poster will also identify and describe the many unique teachable moments generated by this applied research project housed in a course where students were learning about applied research.


International Groups Projects: A Case Study from MEDC 1010

Kit Jenkins, Associate Dean, School of Communications
Julie Smith, Adjunct Faculty, Communications & Journalism

During Fall 2 2013, four MEDC 1010 courses from across the world came together to collaborate on group projects using a Canvas organization. This poster will share how the faculty facilitated and assessed group work, and overcame the challenges of working across time zones and cultures to produce a collaborative product.



So You Think You Can Dance Online?

Elizabeth Brandt, Adjunct Faculty, Dance

How do you have a dance class online? This course was designed to introduce students to the diverse roles that dance plays in cultures across the globe: Is a particular dance performed for political gain, nationalistic tradition, self-expression, or religious worship? This poster will feature some of the innovative strategies that we have developed to take advantage of our technological resources while exploring these questions. We will showcase how students scoured the Internet to assemble a massive Dance Video Library, then used that archive to curate their own virtual dance concerts and, ultimately, write a formal critique of the “performance.” We will also showcase videos, generated by the students themselves that illustrate how everyday movements can be turned into dances, and how dance can be used as a personal expression of self.



Teaching with Your Mouth Shut in a First Year Seminar

Ralph Olliges, Chair & Associate Professor, Multidisciplinary Studies

This poster will document the adaptation of “Teaching with your Mouth Shut” approaches introduced during last year’s GCP Collaboratory for the First Year Seminar: Global Gardens and Tea. Working alongside university librarians, the course incorporated student research related to Japanese, Chinese, and English gardens and applied the Conceptual Workshops teaching technique to strengthen the students’ understanding of the material.



Twenty Questions: Using the Expert Think-Aloud Method to Help Students Ask Better Questions

Carla Colletti, Assistant Professor, Music

This poster presents student ability to ask higher-level questions before and after explicit instruction and modeling provided through the expert "think-aloud" method. As a pretest, students were asked to generate a list of questions in response to a music listening activity. After modeling higher-level questioning through the expert “think-aloud” method, students were assessed through a posttest. All generated questions were coded according to a modified version of the SOLO model of cognitive taxonomy, an alternative to Bloom’s taxonomy.  It was found that level of student questioning improved after the in-class modeling took place.



Using Student-Led Seminars and Conceptual Workshops to Increase Student Participation

Victoria McMullen, Associate Professor, Teacher Education

Described are the use of two strategies designed to increase student participation in a teacher education class: student-led seminars and conceptual workshops. Quantitative data, collected by a graduate student observer, showed increased student participation in classroom discussion and activities. Also, qualitative findings collected through a third party interview, revealed students' perceptions of in-depth understanding, practical application, and synthesis.



Walker EDGE: Empowering Internship and Professional Development Opportunities

Presenter: Anne Browning, Director, George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology

The Walker EDGE Internship Program aims to empower students of the Walker School to achieve success by providing opportunities for creative, comprehensive, and global professional experiences and by cultivating beneficial partnerships and connections among students, employers, and the Webster University community. Students prepare for select local and global internships through participation in additional professional development opportunities such as workshops, presentations, mock interviews and more. This poster presents the benefits of incorporating professional development work in a domestic and international internship program; identifies specific professional development skills valuable for success in obtaining and completing an internship; and explores the strategy implemented to support and empower a successful student internship search and experience. Student testimonials and program data are included as a measurement of success.