Showcase Interview

Denise Brouillard talks about strategies to promote deeper understanding in classes.

Denise Brouillard

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Denise Brouillard has taught at UW-Stout since 2000. She teaches dual-level classes in School Counseling, Emotional and Behavioral Problems, and Law and Ethics. She also supervises practicum and field experience students and conducts meetings and seminars. She likes her classes and noted that no one else fights her for them.


To help her students “get it,” Denise Brouillard gives some lectures on foundational information; students have to know the material, without her assuming they already do. Then she introduces case studies and scenarios so students can apply what they have learned. Her students problem solve in small groups, or do role-playing with other students as observers. They also do a lot of additional reading. Recently, Denise has used video or DVD segments to promote deeper understanding; class discussions deal with the videos, much like the case studies.

In Life Span and Career Development, a course she prepared as an online course, Denise used “cinema-based therapy.” She gave students a list of several movies, from the 1940s to the present, with themes of career development or conflict, and they had to watch two movies during the course. In the students’ reports on the movies, they had to apply their understanding of career development. She received the most positive feedback ever on this strategy. She is currently prepping “Behavior Problems with Children” as an online course and will probably use movies again.

Denise would be interested to talk to other teachers about how to incorporate more interaction in online courses.