RITI Grant Inspires Faculty Collaboration and Partnership

SoE faculty and staff gathered at the Art Department, Art Lofts on April 6th to share updates and highlight faculty collaborations out of the SoE RITI grant program. The group highlighted progress with innovation across SoE disciplines supported by RITI funds, as well as new SoE collaborations that have emerged. Looking ahead, MERIT welcomes your input about future MERIT sponsored SoE innovation grants.

Updates included progress with modular course design coming out of both Counseling Psych and Rehab Psych Special Education. Lynet Uttal and Alberta Gloria (Counseling Psych) described how they are moving from a Blended Learning course to an all online course by developing modules using UW Madison’s Case Scenario Critical Reader tool combined with the MOODLE platform. The work draws from topical content designed to support Cultural Responsiveness Education and Training. Brian Phillips and Tim Tansy (Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education ) shared updates about modular design and curriculum development to bring a Substance Abuse Instructional Toolkit to RPSE course work, and shared positive student reactions to TopHat’s student response system provided RPSE 660 students this Spring. Felice Amato (Art) shared an overview of development of online course sites for Art 108, and Art 208. Online course development is underway with Moodle; the project includes video production, incorporation of class images and close captioning for Art 108/208.

Susan Miller Smedema (RPSE) provided this update on RPSE student use of SmartPens to foster universal design for learning:
Students appreciated being able to share their notes and view their classmates’ notes prior to examinations.  Criticisms included the smartpens’ bulky design, and technical difficulties with the Livescribe app.  Student’s grades seemed to be positively associated with the ability to share notes, however.  This is a relatively new technology, and we imagine with product refinements and improved app capabilities, this technology will be incredibly useful to universal design in instruction in the future.

Next, faculty and staff visited the Art Lofts Glass Blowing lab where Helen Lee (Art) dazzled the crowd with a live demo of glass blowing.  The glass lab includes (4) GoPro cameras strategically placed to video record glass blowing fine motor movement from different angles.  Video is played back using a RITI funded Smart Bench with Dartfish software to allow instructors and students to analyze and pinpoint specific, subtle movement around glass blowing techniques.

The Glass Lab has used RITI funds to fabricate benches that allow for video cameras to be installed in key locales for capturing the movements that comprise the process of blowing glass. Additionally, an iOS app, Dartfish Express, is used as an educational tool with captured video: as a lesson guide, as a tool for marking up students’ processes, and as a comparison tool. The full version of Dartfish software is being utilized by Professor Pickett to more thoroughly analyze the range of movement students develop in the process of learning to blow glass.
Helen Lee
Glass Lab / Art Department

To wrap up, Kristen Picket (Occupational Therapy) provided a summary of a new collaboration with Helen Lee to offer glass blowing workshops to patients with Parkinson’s disease.  This new research includes the study of what we can learn about the relationship between focused and intentional movement and the treatment of PD.   See Pickett, Lee looking at innovative approaches to helping people with Parkinson’s disease, SoE News.

Now in its second year, RITI funds have provided support to 15 projects across the SoE.   Grant highlights, lessons and progress are shared on the RITI grant web site. Going forward, MERIT staff plan to continue to offer grants focused on innovation, teaching and learning.  Please share your ideas and suggestions around future themes and topics that best support teaching and learning across the SoE.

Contact Catherine Stephens at MERIT more information.