UW-Stout News Story

Three faculty named Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars

February 25, 2013

Three faculty members at UW-Stout have been appointed 2013-14 Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars.

From left, Joleen Hanson, Maureen Mitton and Todd ZimmermanThey are Joleen Hanson, assistant professor in professional communication and emerging media; Maureen Mitton, professor and director of the School of Art and Design; and Todd Zimmerman, assistant professor of physics.

The program is sponsored by the UW System to develop innovative and diverse communities of teacher-scholars across the UW System.

Fellows are outstanding early career, untenured faculty or teaching academic staff. Scholars are outstanding tenured faculty and experienced academic instructional staff with a record of teaching innovation and collaboration.

Requirements include a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research project. Participants meet with their UW System counterparts to share teaching methods and to learn about research in their fields.

Awardees are granted a stipend from the UW-Stout Provost’s Office. Funds are to be used for professional development, such as travel and equipment needed for research projects.

Hanson, named a fellow, has been at UW-Stout since 2009.

Her project will involve “using informal, exploratory writing as a means of increasing student engagement with course content,” she said.

Exploratory writing helps students make personal connections to course content, which then helps them integrate ne concepts and ideas into their knowledge base and to apply what they have learned to real-world problems, Hanson said.

“Personal engagement with learning is a crucial element of critical thinking. I want to replace passive learning — ‘tell me what to learn’ — with engaged learning — ‘My learning goal for this course is…’ ” she said.

Mitton, a scholar, teaches interior design studio courses and has been at the university for 20 years.

Her project will involve “seeking information and strategies for combining analog and digital methods for student engagement and interaction,” she said.

Her research question is: “With digital connectivity and the associated shifts in pedagogy how can we best work with today’s student to foster engagement and yet retain the best of ‘analog’ design education?”

Zimmerman, a fellow, is in his third year at UW-Stout.

His project will investigate how students study for exams. He recently changed his grading scheme from “points-based to Learning Objectives Based Assessment where student grades are determined by the number of learning objectives they can master,” he said.

He would like to discover if students have different study habits under LOBA compared to traditional points-based grading.

“I'm interested in teaching innovation because it is a way for me to have a positive impact on my students and, by sharing successful teaching methods with instructors, have a positive impact on other students,” Zimmerman said.


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