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Picture: Adel Mekraz
Instructor Name: Adel Mekraz
First Name: Adel
Last Name: Mekraz
Title: Assistant Professor, Business
College: COM
Department: Business
E-mail: mekraza@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Adel Mekraz shares his experience of more than 14 years in the retail industry with students in the Retail Merchandising and Management program. His objective as a teacher in the retail program is “to prepare students for successful careers in the retail industry.”
Image Alt Text: Adel Mekraz
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Diverse Presentation of Concepts to Meet Diverse Student Learning Styles
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/mekraz-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Various Ways to Present Concepts
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/mekraz-b.wvx
Video 3 Title: Exploring and Planning Different Ways to Present Concepts
Video 3 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/mekraz-c.wvx
Video 4 Title: Meeting Diverse Student Learning Styles: The Positive Results
Video 4 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/mekraz-d.wvx
Themes: Examples,Learning Styles,Peers,PowerPoint,Prior Knowledge,Problem Solving,Stories,Teams
Synopsis: Desiring to accommodate different learning styles, Adel uses visual, auditory, discussion and problem-solving formats to give meaning to abstract retail concepts; telling animated industry-based stories in order to capture student interest and imagination. He also assesses students’ prior knowledge at the start of each semester to determine where gaps exist, and what clarifications or corrections he should make before moving forward.
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Adel Mekraz teaches Merchandise Planning and Control, Store Management, and the Retail Practicum. Although Mekraz enjoys teaching all of his courses, he says that the one course with the most variety is the Retail Practicum.In this course he guides students to do merchandising, marketing, and staffing plans for the Niche for a whole semester.The students go to different buying shows in Wisconsin and Minnesota to buy merchandise at wholesale, and once the merchandise starts arriving, the students open the Niche and start selling it. The Niche, thanks to Mekraz and his hard working students, is gaining popularity on campus. Sales this year are at a record high during a time of a recession when most retail chains are struggling to survive.

Adel uses different teaching strategies to help his students “get it”—from using PowerPoints and other types of presentations, to using good examples that give meaning to abstract concepts, to telling stories and animating them for his students to capture their interest and imagination. He accommodates the different learning styles of students by utilizing different ways of presenting information. Some of the information in his classes will be presented in visual format, other in auditory, and some in discussion or problem solving formats.Utilizing different formats for presenting information, he hopes, will help his students “get it.”

One of his favorite teaching strategies is assessing students’ prior knowledge. He does this at the start of a new course.By assessing the level of knowledge that students bring to his course in an area or a topic, he hopes to use the assessment to make a determination of where the gaps may be, and where he should begin in order to build on what the students already have, and what clarifications or corrections he should make before moving forward. Other strategies he uses are problem solving and letting students do the homework in the classroom. By problem solving, or working on the homework in the classroom, students will have the opportunity to apply the new knowledge in different ways. “That’s the time students will have the most questions, and that’s the time when the instructor should be there to answer questions and help students figure out how to apply the concepts learned in class,” says Mekraz.

Mekraz’s previous experience in the business world is brought into the classroom and also into The Niche, which is used as a lab for students to apply their retail knowledge. In The Niche, students have to apply for different positions by submitting their resume with a cover letter indicating the positions they are interested in. The students also have to explain why they should get the position, just as if they were applying for a job with an employer. The Niche students are evaluated on their performance by Mekraz, and by their peers.

Adel would like to do some research on issues that are important to teaching and learning in the classroom. For example, because Mekraz has students in his courses work in teams to do projects, all kinds of issues relating to how much a student learns in a team environment, to how they behave when working with others, etc. are important to the teaching and learning process—and he would like to conduct some research relating to these issues.

Finally, he hopes to share the results of such research with his colleagues on campus, and would like to see it published in academic journals.

Picture: Alan Scott
Instructor Name: Alan Scott
First Name: Alan
Last Name: Scott
Title: Professor, Physics
College: CSTEM
Department: Physics
E-mail: scotta@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Latest UW-Stout Spotlights
BIO: Alan Scott teaches Physics and labs, Statics, Strength of Materials, Astronomy, Geology, and Soil Mechanics. Physics, his specialty, is one of his favorite courses to teach.
Image Alt Text: Alan Scott
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Case Studies,Hands-On,Prior Knowledge,Questions
Synopsis: How could working with a distorted ruler improve student learning? Scott uses “bad rulers” to help students develop an appreciation for measurement theory. He also creatively challenges them with questions and uses different learning modes including case studies, hands-on-labs and shared book readings, to enhance student understanding and allow for a better grasp of scientific concepts
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Scott has many different ways of helping his students “get it”. Probing the students with questions and letting them expand their minds is his way to see the students’ understanding of an idea. Alan challenges his students with different case studies that will allow them to grasp the concept of what they are learning. Because each student has his or her own way of learning, he uses different learning modes, such as hands-on-labs or sharing readings from books, or ways to help his students learn the concepts in the way they learn best. Scott’s enthusiasm brightens every single one of his classes.

Scott has one favorite teaching strategy. He begins courses by researching the progress of students and their current misconceptions. For example, he bends the minds of students by showing them a distorted ruler. In some odd way, the ruler is not right in the measurements. Students must figure out what is exactly wrong with the ruler measuring. The naiveté of students makes it an interesting game and the solution is somewhat difficult to find. The method results in appreciation for measurement theory. Learning and understanding precise and accurate measurements, along with instrument calibration, will help students grasp the whole idea of measurement. Besides this innovative teaching approach to measurement theory, Scott helps guide student’s explorations of nature.

In addition to using the “bad rulers” as a useful teaching technique, Alan recently has been involved with a project called the Astro-Compass Science Initiative. It involves interacting with area elementary school teachers to improve their teaching of select topics in astronomy and geology. The main aspect of this program was an in-service summer course, elementary teachers and painting a science-related, educational mural on a local elementary school playground. 

Picture: Amanda Brown
Instructor Name: Amanda Brown
First Name: Amanda
Last Name: Brown
Title: Assistant Professor, Speech
College: CAHSS
Department: Speech Communication Foreign Languages Theatre and Music
E-mail: brownama@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Training Sites
BIO: Amanda Brown teaches in the speech department, having come from North Dakota State University. Brown is teaching Speech Communications 100; Listening, Non-verbal Communication; and Speech 425, Informational Interviewing for Technical Communication majors and others. Her favorite is Speech-100 and said it was both the easiest and hardest to teach, but she is comfortable with it since she has been teaching it since 1998. It offers the chance to help students overcome reluctance and fear, a chance to make public speaking accessible.
Image Alt Text: Amanda Brown discusses the one-minute essay.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: An Instrument for Teaching
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/brown-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Student Speeches Enhanced with Videos
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/brown-b.wvx
Video 3 Title: Sharing Lecture Time with Videos
Video 3 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/brown-c.wvx
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Themes: D2L,Papers,Teaching Strategy,YouTube
Synopsis: Since most students dread giving speeches, Amanda tries to help her students understand the “why” behind their assignments. She likes using the one-minute essay, requiring students to write about a topic and discuss it, first in pairs and then as a group. The group work lessens individual presentation anxiety and helps build community. Amanda also uses YouTube to help students learn how to deal with website issues, identify trustworthy sites, and recognize examples of good and bad speaking.
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To help her students understand, Amanda tries to be inductive, to help them see “why.” She wants it to be both applicable and disciplined to explain what they may already know.

Brown’s favorite strategy is the one-minute essay. Students write it and discuss it, first in pairs and then in group discussions. She finds it breaks up the class period and reduces the anxiety this field can cause for students. The group work helps build community so they are less nervous.

Amanda also likes using YouTube in class. She and the students use the videos to find information while teaching them how to deal with website issues and learning what is trustworthy and what isn’t. She also uses YouTube for examples of good and bad speaking to make a point. The political videos during fall 2008 were very relevant.

Brown also puts all her class material on D2L where students have to deal with technology issues. On the other hand, technology has a downside. She sees some helplessness, noting that students don’t work out as many issues for themselves as they ought.

Picture: UW-Stout
Instructor Name: Amy Fichter
First Name: Amy
Last Name: Fichter
Title: Associate Professor, Art and Design
College: CAHSS
Department: Art and Art History
E-mail: fichtera@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Amy Fichter is teaches in UW-Stout’s Art department. She received holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina, an MA from the University of Northern Iowa, and a BA from Northwestern College.
Image Alt Text: Amy Fichter
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: The Noticing Technique
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/lts/AmyFichterNW.wvx
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Themes: Critique,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: In an effort to improve students’ life drawing skills, Amy developed the teaching strategy: “Noticing.” This technique allows students to respond to the prompt, “What I notice is . . .”, encouraging them to comment on each other’s work in a less superficial and judgmental way. When students get these comments, they have to write what they would do differently. Amy also uses student-created blogs to help them respond to each others’ work and build a sense of community.
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Amy Fichter teaches Life Drawing 1 and 2, and Drawing 3 at UW-Stout. Her favorite is Life Drawing 1 where she teaches the students anatomy and musculature. To help her students understand these, she uses clay models that feature the musculature she is emphasizing. She also circulates among the students in her class and will sometimes make a small drawing in the corner of their paper so they can make a comparison. Amy believes that drawing can be learned, that the ability is not necessarily innate.

When Fichter first began her teaching at Stout, she experienced some resistance from the students because her method of teaching of Life Drawing was different from that of the previous teacher. She tried to teach like her graduate school mentor, being very strict and very direct when criticizing student work, but she discovered that her teaching inclination was not like her mentors’. That approach felt foreign and wrong for her; she knew she had to change. Amy read the works of Parker Palmer (Courage to Teach), and Stephen Brookfield (The Critically Reflective Teacher), and she began to take student feedback to heart. From this experience came Fichter’s strategy: “Noticing.”

“Noticing” is a way to critique, a traditional practice in Art. Students respond to the prompt, “What I notice is . . .” She devised this method as a way to make students’ comments on each other’s work less superficial and less judgmental. She referees it. For example, instead of saying, “You have no line variation,” the approach is “I notice all the lines are about the same width.” When students get these comments, they have to write what they would do differently. Sometimes the critiques are done in written form, not orally.

Amy has also started using student-created blogs in Life Drawing 1 and 2 after looking at e-portfolios. The blogs are a different way to communicate with each other. Students work in groups of four and respond to each other’s work. She is surprised to discover that students aren’t as comfortable online as she expected. They like reading what others have written, but they don’t like writing their own critiques. Nevertheless, she hopes it creates a sense of community in the class.

Picture: Amy Gillett
Instructor Name: Amy Gillett
First Name: Amy
Last Name: Gillett
Title: Professor, School of Education
College: CEHHS
Department: School of Education
E-mail: gilletta@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Directories
BIO: Amy Gillette has been an educator at UW-Stout for over 18 years. In addition to teaching, she has been an undergraduate program director, a graduate program director, and the chair of the Education department.Amy holds a B.S. in Music Education from St. Cloud State University ~ 1977, an M.S. in Special Education from St. Cloud State University ~ 1982, a Ph.D. in Teacher Education with majors in Special Education, Elementary Education, and Measurement and Statistics from the University of North Dakota ~ Grand Forks ~ 1987.
Image Alt Text: Amy Gillett talks about activites that tie learning into individual experiences.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Examples,Groups
Synopsis: To help students fully grasp concepts taught in her Research Foundations course, Amy provides activities that tie learning with the personal life experiences belonging to her students and herself. Amy’s favorite strategy consists of creating a safe, effective learning environment that enables students in small and large groups to successfully work together for the purpose of recalling, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating research information.
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Gillett instructs a variety of courses at Stout. She has taught and revised many of the required courses needed for certification in special education at undergraduate and graduate levels, including the graduate level research courses.

Her favorite course to teach is Research Foundations. Watching the transition or growth of the students over the course of the class fascinates her. In this class she gets the most diversity, ranging from international students to students from different backgrounds, and different fields of study.

In order for her students to “get it,” or fully understand the concepts she is teaching, Amy provides activities to tie the learning into their own experiences. Once the students connect the concepts to their experience, they realize that they understand—they “get” the point. She also helps students by bringing both her personal and professional experience to the classroom in order to provide examples illustrating her points.

Amy’s favorite strategy is creating situations in which her students interact with one another efficiently and effectively. Once they learn to work well in groups, they seem to learn better and work well with others. However, Gillett is willing to mix up her strategies. At times, individual learning is best. Sometimes small groups are best, sometimes large groups. Gillett encourages her students to work together. While working together they can recall, analyze, interpret, and evaluate better.

Amy is working on a book “designed to be used in research courses like the one I teach.” Interestingly, she would not use her book in her class. The students “need differing views, so having a text by me wouldn’t give them that experience. For me it’s an ethical issue, I guess.”

Picture: ducett-andy
Instructor Name: Andy Ducett
First Name: Andy
Last Name: Ducett
Title: Lecturer, Art and Design
College: CAHSS
Department: Art and Art History
E-mail: ducetta@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Andy Ducett teaches in UW-Stout’s Art department. He teaches primarily foundation courses. Andy was the first Multimedia Design major at Stout, the guinea pig for the major. During his third internship at a design agency in Minneapolis, however, Andy had an epiphany; he really didn’t want to work designing corporate websites. His art teachers at Stout were terrific, and he found he was spending more of his time in the painting studio where he could choose his own path. He switched to Studio Art, graduated, and went onto receive an MFA at the University of Illinois. Their program was a three-year program having the students teach the second and third years as the instructor of record, not a TA. This was excellent experience. He teaches Computer Imagery, 2D and 3D Design, Drawing 1 and 2, Aesthetics and Professional Practice. His favorite course is Drawing, as he likes to watch the ‘light bulb’ go on. “I like to start students with traditional methods of art and design, so they can ask, ‘What do I have to offer? What are my resources?’ I want them to become students of the world and decide not only where they can take their practices but how they can bend the rules and learn from contemporary approaches as well.”
Image Alt Text: Andy Ducett talks about teaching drawing.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Aha,Classroom Environment,Demonstration,One-to-One,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: Desiring to treat his students as “human beings with different experiences, talents, and knowledge,” Andy provides an overview, demonstrates it, and then has them duplicate it as he goes around the room, one-on-one, seeing each student at least twice. He also incorporates sports, movies, and any means of showing figures in motion, once even hiring a string band to play in class so that students could hear the music and draw the performers’ gestures.
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To help Ducett’s students “get it,” he tries to follow the advice from one of his own teachers: “Don’t treat them as ‘just’ students; they are human beings with different experiences, talents, and knowledge.” Andy gives them an overview, demonstrates it, and then has them duplicate it as he goes around the room, one-on-one, seeing each student at least twice. This way he learns who they are so that he can make the assignment as relevant to them as possible, incorporating analogies, examples and metaphors. Andy also shows students his work so they can see where he is coming from and understand the experiences shaping his work.

Andy doesn’t think computers are completely the “answer;” his rules are strict about computer use in class, but he does think computers are as much a tool as a pencil or a pen.

At the University of Illinois, Andy taught Life Drawing and worked on Gesture Drawing with the students. He used sports, movies, and any means of showing figures in motion for students to study. Through his own experiences sitting on a street in London drawing people as they moved past, Andy wanted his students to capture gesture by being in the moment, in an environment. Seeing a string band perform at the Menomonie Farmer’s Market, Ducett hired the band to play in his class. His students heard the music and drew gestures of the performers. The music was essential in capturing their pose, as Ducett tried to help his students understand that the two elements are inseparable; to feel the pose, they have to feel the music. 

Picture: UW-Stout
Instructor Name: Bob Davies
First Name: Bob
Last Name: Davies
Title: Assistant Professor, Hospitality and Tourism
College: COM
Department: School of Hospitality Leadership
E-mail: daviesb@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: In his twenty years as a teacher at UW-Stout in the Hospitality and Tourism Department, Bob Davies has had twenty-two different preparations in Lodging, Property Management, Tourism (both management and applied research), and Service Administration. He has also taught graduate courses, prepared both undergraduate and graduate curriculum, and served as the graduate program director for 10 years. Lodging and Service Administration has been his favorite course to teach based on his years of experience in hotel development and service management. He also gets actively involved in applied research surrounding operational issues like travel trends, airport services, CEM: Customer Experience Management, and Six Sigma service process through his association and industry trade association membership.
Image Alt Text: Bob Davies
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Case Studies,Critical Thinking
Synopsis: Using applied and contemporary case studies, Bob teaches students how to think critically, working one-to-one with them to make it easier for them to learn. He effectively connects hospitality industry experience to classroom learning, teaching essential concepts relevant to the hotel, golf and service industries. His favorite teaching strategy is “backward case study.” Students start with a case and eventually get back to the theory behind the elements of the case, so the case study (which is long and detailed) becomes the umbrella that covers all course objectives and applied content. Another strategy that he previously used involved implementing a “team test” approach designed to help students discuss and more deeply process test content.
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To help his students understand the material, Bob said, “I provide them content in a stepped, highly developmental way.” He likes to get students to think critically, no matter their level, and works as needed one-to-one with all students, which makes it easier for them to learn. Bob has found applied and contemporary case studies to be a great teaching tool, as a way to connect the industry to class, make the class as applied as possible and still meet the objectives. He typically prepares two applied case studies per semester for his classes. Currently his Highlanders Golf and Conference Center case study can be used in three courses covering three critical aspects of the hotel, golf and service industry. He also shares the applied cases with colleagues in Hospitality and Tourism and Golf Enterprise Management.

A strategy he calls a “backward case study” is his favorite. Students start with the case and eventually get back to the theory behind the elements of the case, so the case study (which is long and detailed) becomes the umbrella that covers all course objectives and applied content.

Some years ago, Bob tried an innovation he still likes. In 1995, he used a “team test” to help students learn a long list of terms they had to know to proceed with the course. Before he used the team approach, the test scores were generally in the low 80’s; when he divided the class into teams of four, and the teams studied for, and took the test together, not only did students score in the high 80’s but they debated specific meanings and had a better grasp of the terms and their application or use. Those classes ultimately had more open discussions, students felt more confident with the content and overall grades on subsequent assignments improved.

Picture: Brian Finder
Instructor Name: Brian Finder
First Name: Brian
Last Name: Finder
Title: Professor, Operations and Management
College: COM
Department: Operations and Management
E-mail: finderb@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Peter D'Souza2
BIO: Brian Finder teaches Principles of Occupational Safety/Loss Control, Human Factors Engineering/Ergonomics, Fleet Risk Control, Field Problem in Risk Control, and a series of five courses that prepare individuals to teach traffic safety education. Of all these courses, Principles of Occupational Safety/Loss Control is undoubtedly his favorite.
Image Alt Text: Brian Finder's teaching strategy for proactive risk control.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Promoting Learning: Using Student Examples for Real Life Application
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/finder-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Promoting Learning: Involving Student Ideas in Lecture
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/finder-b.wvx
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Themes: Classroom Environment,Prior Knowledge,Stories,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: Wanting his students to meaningfully grasp occupational safety principles, Brian has them identify their hobbies and the numerous risks present in those activities. After assessing the magnitude of those risks, they identify realistic strategies to manage the risks, with the ultimate goal of minimizing the potential for human and/or property loss. Brian uses a variety of animated teaching strategies ranging from sharing emotion-packed stories to incorporating illusionary tricks aligned with specific course concepts.
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Brian helps students to “get it” in the Principles of Occupational Safety course by requiring them to identify hobbies that they partake in and the numerous risks that are present during such activities. After students assess the presence and magnitude of these risks, they identify realistic strategies to manage the risks, with the ultimate goal of minimizing the potential for human and/or property loss. Finder is confident that this strategy impacts students so that they “get” the concept of proactive risk control from a long-term change standpoint.

Finder believes that instructors should never be afraid to express their feelings and display emotions that are typically suppressed in classroom settings. One of his favorite strategies is to read a brief story about Karen Wetterhahn, a world class researcher from Dartmouth College who died a slow and agonizing death as a result of an inadvertent exposure to dimethylmercury. As Finder reads the story, he must occasionally pause to regain his composure.  It is not uncommon for a teardrop to have traveled all the way down to his lower jaw by the time that the story is completed. In order to hit the other end of the emotion spectrum, Brian also incorporates illusionary tricks into his lectures which align with the concept that he is trying to convey. Alumni report that these types of teaching approaches have helped them to develop an appreciation for the risk control/safety role that they ultimately fulfill in business/industry.

Picture: Carol Johnson
Instructor Name: Carol Johnson
First Name: Carol
Last Name: Johnson
Title: Assistant Professor, School of Education
College: CEHHS
Department: School of Education
E-mail: johnsoncaro@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Carol Johnson began teaching at UW-Stout in 2006. She has been involved for about 35 years in public education, 9 years at the college level. Johnson teaches in the School Counseling program. Her regularly assigned courses are Lifespan Career Development, Pre-K-12 Counseling, and Curriculum Assessment Lab for School Counselors, all graduate courses. She especially loves teaching grad students as they have some life experience, work experience and a level of maturity that contributes to the classroom.
Image Alt Text: Carol Johnson
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Themes: Clickers,Experiences,Groups,Hands-On,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: Passionate about the need to stay current, Carol constantly reads journals and interacts with professionals, offering a relevant, updated perspective on what students need to successfully accomplish their program’s internship requirements. One of her favorite testing strategies is the "in-basket" activity. Before class, Carol writes scenarios of events that might typically cross the desk of a school counselor. Students review the scenarios, prioritize the order in which they will work on them, and give a brief written response on how they will deal with the situation. They then form groups to talk about their list and compare plausible solutions or strategies for tackling the problems, helping to build their communication and thought processing skills.
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Carol believes in "hands-on" learning. “I want students to learn things in class that they can try later that day or that week or that month. I want them to see what they are learning is real, it is happening around them and here are some strategies to present this topic or respond to the issues we learned in counseling class.” She works hard to stay current, reading professional journals and talking with other professionals in the field. As a result she can offer a relevant and updated perspective on what students need to know and apply in order to be successful in the field. Students “get it” when they go out on internships and “email me or call me and say, ‘remember when we did that in class? ......well, I am using it now and I am glad I know what to do.’”

One of her favorite testing strategies is the "In-basket" activity. Before the lesson in class, Johnson writes scenarios of events that might typically cross the desk of a school counselor. She puts about ten of these scenarios into a basket. Students review the scenarios, prioritize the order in which they will work on them, and give a brief written response on how they will deal with the situation. Students then form groups of two or three to talk about what was first on their priority list and compare notes as to why this topic should be addressed first. Then they compare and consult with their peers to see what others thought were solutions or strategies to tackle the problem. This activity is very interactive, hands-on, and gets all the voices heard during class sharing time. Says Johnson, “The sharing is very important to engage and involve the learner. Consulting is a practice I want counselors to learn. We consult with others to build our skills, learn effective communication and expand our thought process.”

In terms of innovation, Carol would like to have hand-held devices that allow the student to interact and project the results immediately in the classroom on the big screen. “I also wish we had the interactive white boards; . . . it is important that we use the latest technology to teach our students so when they go into the schools, they are not in awe of someone else's technology but respond, ‘We had that at Stout. May I show you some ways we used it in our program to engage students?’”

Picture: Charles Lume
Instructor Name: Charles Lume
First Name: Charles
Last Name: Lume
Title: Associate Professor, Art and Design
College: CAHSS
Department: Art and Art History
E-mail: lumec@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Multicultural Student Services-old
BIO: Charles Lume, a professor in the Department of Art and Design, came to UW-Stout in 2001, bringing with him an expanse of teaching experience from a number of well-established learning institutions, such as Carnegie Melon University, University of Pittsburgh, Bethel University, and UW-Madison. He teaches Drawing, Pointing, an occasional Senior Seminar and Aesthetics of Contemporary Theory—his favorite, as it promotes discussion about “What is art?” and the philosophy of art.
Image Alt Text: Charles Lume
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Themes: Classroom Environment,Examples
Synopsis: In an effort to help students find their own definition of the past and present as well as provide them with a medium in which to explore their relationship with religion in art, Charles created assignments that require students to interpret genres associated with past art that portrays heaven, hell, and before-and-after the fall in the garden. This is meaningfully connected with modern-day genres, resulting in a valuable experience given the vast array of student backgrounds and the variety of interpretations that have emerged.
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Charles Lume's favorite teaching strategy involves verbally introducing students to the course’s learning objectives, but due to the nature of the subjects he teaches, he uses only a limited number of examples to illustrate each objective. He then promotes individual student creativity by providing ample class time to practice new skills and feedback to students as they work. In his quest to assist students to understand the learning objectives in his classes, Lume approaches the concept from a number of different angles, but he has found that he can assist students to form a greater understanding by finding a way to be “empathetic to the student’s body of knowledge.”

His innovation stems from an article he read in the magazine Art in America. An artist who was being interviewed reflected on the four types of art from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. At the time, most art portrayed heaven, hell, and the before-and-after the fall in the garden. His curiosity about these genres in the modern form led him to the idea of presenting the genres for interpretation by his students. It has been a great success due to the vast array of student backgrounds and the variety of interpretations that have emerged. With this innovation, Lume has helped students find their own definition of the past and present, as well as providing them with a medium in which to explore their relationship with religion in art.

Picture: David Ding
Instructor Name: David Ding
First Name: David
Last Name: Ding
Title: Assistant Professor, Operations and Management
College: COM
Department: Operations and Management
E-mail: dingx@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: David Ding teaches Operation Management, Quality Concepts, and Production Operations Management. Of these, his favorite is Production Operation Management; it is an introductory, 200-level course and covers all topics in the field. He finds sometimes it helps students focus their careers.
Image Alt Text: David Ding talks about using a mixture of teaching strategies.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Case Studies,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: To help his students more effectively learn course topics, David often uses simulations to teach how things works, like balancing production lines. He frequently uses case studies and has students apply real life experiences. For example, he has them use web sites and resources to research how to start a business, both in terms of why and where to locate new businesses.
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To help his students understand, David attends workshops offered by the Naktani Teaching and Learning Center and talks to senior faculty, always looking for new ideas. He often uses simulations to teach how something works, like balancing production lines. He will use case studies for similar reasons. David has students using real life examples, like choosing a location for a new business. This class project uses web sites and resources to discover how to start a business, both where and why.

When Ding teaches, he uses a mixture of strategies, depending on the topic he and the class are working on. He works at connecting with his students, helping them if they make mistakes, whether in or out of class, and being a friend or older brother to them. He finds Stout students to be bright and creative, like his students at Nebraska, except students here know more about the world.

“The environment at Stout is very good,” he said. “Both the Nakatani Center and the senior faculty are very helpful and I feel I can knock on any door and talk about teaching.”

Picture: Denise Brouillard_crop
Instructor Name: Denise Brouillard
First Name: Denise
Last Name: Brouillard
Title: Associate Professor, School of Education
College: CEHHS
Department: School of Education
E-mail: brouillardd@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: 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.
Image Alt Text: Denise Brouillard talks about strategies to promote deeper understanding in classes.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Groups,Lectures,Problem Solving,Teaching Strategy,Videos
Synopsis: To enhance student learning and understanding, Denise provides foundational information in the form of lectures but expects students to do additional outside reading and come to class prepared. She introduces case studies and scenarios so students can apply what they have learned and has them problem-solve in small groups, or do role-playing with other students as observers. Denise even uses video or DVD segments to promote deeper understanding; class discussions deal with the videos, much like the case studies. Read more to find out how she has used “cinema-based therapy” in her Life Span and Career Development course!
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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.

Picture: Diane Olson talks about using clickers in class.
Instructor Name: Diane Olson
First Name: Diane
Last Name: Olson
Title: Assistant Professor, Operations and Management
College: COM
Department: Operations and Management
E-mail: olsonki@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Latest UW-Stout Spotlights
BIO: Diane Olson is an Instructor in the Operations, Construction & Management Department at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, College of Technology, Engineering and Management (CTEM), in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Diane holds a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from the University of Minnesota, School of Industrial Technology, an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN, and is in the Ph.D. Technology Management degree program at Indiana State University. Diane has nearly 25 years of industry experience.
Image Alt Text: Diane Olson talks about using clickers in class.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL): http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/lts/DianeOlson.wvx
Video 1 Title: Clickers in the Classroom
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/lts/DianeOlson.wvx
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Themes: Camtasia,Clickers,Examples,Experiences
Synopsis: With many years of industry experience, Diane strives to train students to be effective program managers by showing them a structured, disciplined way to understand and use the material. She starts with a theory and then applies it to a real life situation. To teach both her traditional and older, nontraditional students, she trains them in using MS Project software applications and creatively incorporates the use of I-clickers. The clickers enable everyone to “vote” on class topics and using this device has resulted in stimulating class discussions and it actively involves everyone in the process. Responses are graded.
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Diane Olson has been teaching at UW-Stout for five years. Courses that Olson teaches are: Program Management, a graduate level course; Project Management, a mix of grad and undergrad; Resources Planning and Materials Management, again, a mix; and classes she occasionally teaches are Quality Concepts, Quality Management, and Quality Tools.

Her favorite course is Program Management. Olson says, “It fits into a lot of majors, so I have a mix of majors in the class. Although we use a textbook, I am able to contribute a good deal of real industry material because of my many years of experience in this area.”

Diane worked in industry for a long time before becoming a teacher and noted that she had to hire people for program management work. They were often not good at it so she knows now what she wants to do to improve that. It has been a very successful course, enough so that now there is a Program Management minor and a new course, Advanced Program Management.

When she teaches, Diane tries to show her students a structured, disciplined way to understand and use the material. They need a base to work from and apply what they are learning. She likes to use examples because she can relate the course work to what they already know; this works especially well with older, or nontraditional, students. She says, “I have taught this online, but I find I like it in class better because I can see when they get it.”

She likes to start with a theory and put it in a real life situation. Students often realize what they don’t know and this is useful in helping them learn. Older students in particular realize right away that this is what they want or need to know. “I try to give them a tool kit,” she said. One of the tools is the MS Project software application—it is very hard to learn, painful even, and they may rebel, but they learn it.

Asked about innovations she has used and found successful, Diane described two. One is Camtasia—she first used it with her online classes. This software application allows the teacher to capture video of on-screen activities, such as demonstrating a process for using an application. With Camtasia she can comment on, or direct attention to a process being demonstrated as the process unfolds. (She has recently switched to Jing—it’s newer and looks easier. In addition, you can download it free.) “You can use it in a regular class if a student has to miss a class or if they are having trouble understanding.”

The other innovation she likes is I-clickers. These are hand-held devices distributed to students as they enter the classroom. Each student has a numbered clicker registered to them so this is also a good way to take attendance. She asks questions and offers possible answers on the screen in front of the room. The clickers enable everyone to respond somewhat anonymously (and everyone has to respond) and then when the “votes” are in, students can discuss their responses. She also grades them for responding. This device stimulates discussions and involves everyone in the process.

Picture: Elbert Sorrell
Instructor Name: Elbert Sorrell
First Name: Elbert
Last Name: Sorrell
Title: Professor, Operations and Management
College: COM
Department: Operations and Management
E-mail: sorrelle@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Elbert Sorrell teaches Occupational Safety and Loss Control; Loss Control Systems; Risk Management Applications; Construction Risk Management; and Seminar in Risk Control. His favorite is Loss Control systems. He finds it is more in line with his interests and expertise. The class is about implementing a management system to affect organizations from a safety standpoint. He is able to integrate what he does into business and treat it like any business function.
Image Alt Text: Elbert Sorrell
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Case Studies,Papers,Problem Based Learning,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: Using a three-step process to enhance student understanding, Elbert provides them with 1) readings, 2) relevant, supportive explanation, and 3) engages them in applying course content to Risk Control topics. Although he includes the use of case studies, he also developed an “issues paper” assignment. Students have to identify a related issue, research the background, conduct a literature review, include more than one perspective, and formulate their own perspective. Elbert gives them intermediate deadlines, like a statement of the issue by a certain date, an annotated bibliography by a slightly later date, and so on.
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Elbert’s method for helping his students understand the material is a three-step process. First, he provides them with reading; second, he gives them explanations; and third, he gets them to engage in applications.

He also likes to use case studies, but that has drawbacks. He is responsible for students’ mastering the content and achieving course objectives but sometimes it’s difficult for students to apply standards because the case studies in Sorrell’s field are too complex.

A recent innovation is an “issues paper” assignment. Students have to identify a related issue, research the background, conduct a literature review, include more than one perspective, and formulate their own perspective. In the past, students waited too long to work on these papers and the results were poor. Now, Elbert gives them intermediate deadlines, like a statement of the issue by a certain date, an annotated bibliography by a slightly later date, and so on.

Elbert recently had a sabbatical and visited other universities: the Republic University in Singapore—a polytechnic university where they use only problem-based learning; a university in Peru; the University of Delaware—another place that uses problem-based learning; and Harvard where he learned about the Art and Craft of Discussion Leadership. He has also discovered that he is very interested in Investigative Learning, following the work of Ethel Stanley from Beloit.

Picture: James Bryan
Instructor Name: James Bryan
First Name: James
Last Name: Bryan
Title: Assistant Professor, Art and Design
College: CAHSS
Department: Art and Art History
E-mail: bryanj@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: James Bryan is an art historian in the School of Art and Design at UW-Stout. His teaching responsibilities include both semesters of the Introductory Survey of Art History, a survey of Western Art for art majors; Evolution of Design, covering the last 300 years and offered for Art Education majors and Design majors; and Period Furnishings, a history of interior design for interior design majors.
Image Alt Text: James Bryan talks about various teaching methods he uses.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Student Collaboration and Contribution to Course
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/bryan-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Focusing on Topics Students Perceive as Important
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/bryan-c.wvx
Video 3 Title: Struggles and Benefits of Working with Participatory Approaches
Video 3 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/bryan-d.wvx
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Themes: Engagement,PowerPoint,Quiz,Teams
Synopsis: As he has advanced as a teacher, James has re-educated himself in an effort to find new ways to teach and new art-related examples to use. In his art survey course (110 students), he lectures with illustrations and gives in-class quizzes to encourage student engagement. For his upper level courses, he allows students, with some supervision, more autonomy in choosing the material they feel they should know and be tested on throughout the semester and for the final. In fact, he uses study teams to identify textbook concepts, takes their nominations into consideration, and then condenses them into a set of fifty slides to be learned by the end of the semester. This process gives students ownership in the agenda and scope of the class. James also requires student teams to complete research projects and present their findings as well as read, discuss and summarize text content in an effort to elicit student thinking about epistemology in the field of art.
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Bryan said he doesn’t have a favorite class, but finds the class for interior design majors the most challenging; he would like to find a new approach to foster intellectual engagement and curiosity in the students.

When he first started teaching, he used lectures because it was what he knew, how he had been taught. Then he re-educated himself, trying to find new ways to teach and new examples to use. The survey course is a lecture for 110 people in two sections. He lectures with illustrations, and may try to tease out the information but often runs out of time. Noting that students are addicted to multiple stimuli, he doesn’t stand at the podium because if he is static, students will do other things. He gives a quiz during every class period, which he couldn’t do without D2L. The quiz points are 20% of a semester grade.

He thinks of the upper level courses, Period Furnishings and Evolution of Design, as a microcosm of higher education learning; he begins with a brief overview, emphasizing the essentials (he notes he is better at this in the Design course.) The students specialize; he gives them a set of choices and they select one.

He also allows students, with some supervision, to choose the material they feel they should know and be tested on. For the final, students select the fifty slides they should memorize and be tested on. He uses the study teams already established, assigns each team a chapter or set of chapters in one or more of their textbooks, and tasks them with finding five or so items illustrated in the reading that cover concepts important to the understanding of their subject. After they review their options and select items, they present their choices to the class. Jim takes their nominations into consideration and condenses them into a set of fifty slides to be learned by the end of the semester. He feels this process gives the students ownership in the agenda and scope of the class; he also feels this method would work in many disciplines.

In Period Furnishings, a team takes on a research project, and eventually puts together a Power Point presentation on what they learned. They are responsible for figuring out the basics and how to show them. He has found that doing this project in class, with the teacher engaged in the process, results in much better work because the texts in this field are poor.

In Evolution of Design, Bryan asks about the reading; students also discuss and summarize the reading in bullet points in teams (the teams stay the same all semester.) There are two texts, and he may finish one and compare the two in the nuances they contain. He hopes students begin thinking about epistemology—how we know what we know.

Picture: Jeanne Rothaupt
Instructor Name: Jeanne Rothaupt
First Name: Jeanne
Last Name: Rothaupt
Title: Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
College: CEHHS
Department: Human Development and Family Studies
E-mail: rothauptj@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Jeanne Rothaupt teaches in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. She currently instructs Helping Skills for Individuals and Families, Family Resource Management, Lifespan Human Development, and Addictions and the Family. She has also instructed courses on diversity and marriage and family therapy. Jeanne enjoys teaching all of her classes and finds that the different course material continues to keep her excited and engaged.
Image Alt Text: Jeanne Rothaupt
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Team Quizzes: Multiple Exposure to Concepts
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/rothaupt-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Team Quizzes: Rewarding Student Reading
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/rothaupt-b.wvx
Video 3 Title: Team Quizzes: Increasing Final Exam Scores
Video 3 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/rothaupt-c.wvx
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Themes: Classroom Environment,Prior Knowledge,Reflection,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: Application, practice, and personal reflection are the three main components that Jeanne uses to help students enhance learning. She uses “projectives”—items that help students reflect on their values, beliefs, and biases or pre-conceived notions. For example, she displays postcards and instructs students to silently choose those that attract or repel them while imagining a specific concept, such as “gender”, “poverty” or “abuse.” Students are then invited to share with one another and relate what they have observed in an effort to increase self-knowledge and build trust in the classroom community. Another innovation Jeanne uses is group exams. After individually taking an exam worth 75% of the grade, students are then asked to form teams and review and debate their test answers. Next, students complete the exam a second time, and this portion is worth the remaining 25%. Deeper understanding is often the end result of this assessment practice.
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Application, practice, and personal reflection are the three main components that Rothaupt stresses in an effort to help students “get it.” She believes it is important for students to be able to apply information from class to their lives because it gives them a different kind of connection to the material at hand.

Jeanne uses a fair amount of “projectives”—items that help students reflect on their values, beliefs, and biases or pre-conceived notions. An example of this technique is with the use of several hundred postcards that Rothaupt has accumulated over the years. She lays out the postcards and instructs the students to silently choose several of the cards that attract or repel them while imagining a specific concept, such as “gender”, “poverty” or “abuse.” Students are then invited to share with one another and relate what they have observed in an effort to increase self-knowledge and build trust in the classroom community.

Another innovation that Rothaupt uses is group exams. In a group exam, students first take the exam individually and submit it. This portion of the exam is worth 75% of the exam grade. After completing the test, students break up into study groups to review and debate the test answers. Next, the students complete the exam a second time, and this portion is worth the remaining 25% of the exam grade. The final exam for the semester is taken only once, and it is taken as an individual test. Jeanne’s research with this test-taking method has shown higher individual final exam scores for the classes where group exams were conducted. She believes this is because the process of discussing and debating difficult questions increases student learning.

Rothaupt states that she strives to engage students in deep and powerful ways and that building a trusting and supportive classroom community is essential to self-reflection and transformative learning.

Picture: Jerry Kapus
Instructor Name: Jerry Kapus
First Name: Jerry
Last Name: Kapus
Title: Associate Professor, English and Philosophy
College: CAHSS
Department: English and Philosophy
E-mail: kapusj@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Jerry Kapus has taught at UW-Stout since 1991, teaching logic and philosophy courses. Although he has taught a wide spectrum of courses, he particularly enjoys Philosophy of Religion.
Image Alt Text: Jerry Kapus talks about enhancing student engagement.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Narrated Slide Lectures: An Alternative Approach to Instruction for Online Courses
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/kapus-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: The Creation of Narrated Slides
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/kapus-b.wvx
Video 3 Title: Instructor Perspective on Narrated Slides: Tips and Advice
Video 3 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/kapus-c.wvx
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Themes: Blogs,Experiences,PowerPoint
Synopsis: Key strategies that Jerry uses to enhance student engagement are to learn their names and to relate course content to their personal life experiences. These strategies tend to draw students into a greater understanding of the course material. As an early adopter of online teaching, he has used technology extensively including using animated slide lectures—PowerPoints to which he adds audio. To encourage additional engagement, Jerry is also considering incorporating blogs and wikis.
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Kapus uses various strategies to help his students to “get it.” One key strategy that enhances student engagement is relating course content to his students’ personal experience. Another simple strategy, also effective in enhancing engagement, is to learn students’ names. Particularly in conceptually-based courses, these engagement strategies tend to draw students into an understanding of the course and its content.

Kapus is a continual innovator. An early adopter of online teaching, Jerry uses technology extensively to help students engage with the content. For instance, Jerry uses animated slide lectures—PowerPoints to which he adds audio. Because the lectures are online, students can access them anytime; since they are audio-enhanced, the students receive not just the slides, but Jerry’s explanation of the content of the slides. Granted his success with this strategy, Jerry would like to try using blogs and wikis to further engage the students actively in their learning.

Jerry has been active reporting the results of his work with student engagement and learning. He has presented at conferences related to Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and at the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, and is working on publications for journals such as Online Classroom and the American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy.

Picture: Jo Hopp
Instructor Name: Jo Hopp
First Name: Jo
Last Name: Hopp
Title: Assistant Professor, Physics
College: CSTEM
Department: Physics
E-mail: hoppj@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Jo Hopp has been teaching in UW-Stout’s Physics department since 2005. She teaches College Physics 1 and 2; Introduction to Physics—a general education course required for Graphic Communications Management; Technical Education, Information Technology majors and the concentrations in Photography and Food Science; the Intro Lab; Biology 470: Advanced Biotechnology—an experience and research-based course; and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab.
Image Alt Text: Jo Hopp discusses use of clickers in classes.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL): http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/lts/JoHoppClicker.wvx
Video 1 Title: Student Observation Journaling
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/lts/JoHoppJournalJ.wvx
Video 2 Title: Clicker System: Assessing Students' Conceptions
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/lts/JoHoppClicker.wvx
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Themes: Clickers,One-to-One,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: In an effort to address student apprehension about taking Physics, Jo requires students to come see her during the first two weeks of class, developing a rapport with them by focusing on their personal interests. With regard to assignments, she alternates between two writing assignments, 1) her students prepare a Physics journal (they observe physics outside of class in every-day situations), and 2) they read Science News. For the later assignment, they write a brief summary on one article, tell why they chose that article and what implications it has for society. Jo also offers an alternative to a final exam by having students complete a project that researches and describes physics in a company in their field. In addition, she uses in-class clickers for peer instruction, posing multiple-choice questions to introduce a new topic, check content understanding, and test comprehension. Check out how clickers are used as an attendance and punctuality strategy!
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Jo tries to address the apprehension students feel about her field. She explained, “I do this preemptively; they have to come to my office and talk to me during the first two weeks of class, and they get credit for doing that. I also try to alleviate the fear of what is involved with math.” To do that, she tries to make it personal; during the one-on-ones, she finds out about their interests, like football, cheerleading, gamers, and then uses those areas in her examples.

She alternates between two writing assignments, every other week. One is Physics journal—students have to observe physics outside of class in every-day situations. When she reads them, she can see their misconceptions. She grades them, three entries, every other week. She also has her students read Science News writing a brief summary on one article in it, telling why they chose that article and what implications it has for society.

Jo reminds students often about why Physics is important in their fields and how it is relevant. She offers an alternative to a final exam by having students complete a project to research and describe physics in a company in their field. She wishes more students would do this; one woman got an internship at the company she based her project on, and told Jo she thought it had an influence on obtaining the internship.

Because her research field is Neuroscience, Hopp incorporates it into her classes when possible. In College Physics 2, the students in Construction, Engineering Technology and Packaging often don’t see a connection between optics and their careers, so she tries to make a connection to something they can relate to—vision, taught as Neuroscience. Surveys at the end of the semester indicate the students really like it, so she is expanding this year to incorporate the Neuroscience “thread” in all her classes. For instance, she has begun to teach the Optics section in her Intro class in the same way; it is not just optics, it is neuroscience.

Jo has also used in-class clickers for peer instruction posing multiple-choice questions to introduce a new topic, and during the unit to check understanding. Students submit their answer with a clicker. During the comprehension check quizzes, they discuss the differences and arrive at a consensus. They may re-vote after the discussion if there were different answers. She also uses the clickers as an attendance and punctuality strategy; she asks a random trivia question at the beginning of class, to make sure the clickers work and that everyone is there on time.

Hopp is interested in expanding this approach. Instructors at MIT have done interesting work with clickers by asking conceptual questions, using the answers to assess student understanding and guide the lecture. If students get the correct answers immediately, then Jo doesn’t have to spend time on that topic. This really helps her adapt her teaching time to focus on class needs.

Jo is in the process of implementing a project to get Physics into the elementary schools. Her students will pick a topic to teach to the elementary kids and will distribute a list of topics for teachers to indicate which ones they would like taught. Wakanda Elementary School has agreed to have Hopp pilot this project.

Picture: John Kirk
Instructor Name: John Kirk
First Name: John
Last Name: Kirk
Title: Assistant Professor, Chemistry
College: CSTEM
Department: Chemistry
E-mail: kirkj@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: John Kirk has taught at UW-Stout since fall 2008. He is teaching Chemistry 115, a general education course, and a new course called Nano330.
Image Alt Text: John Kirk
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Themes: Clickers,Experiences,PowerPoint,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: To help his students, whether advanced science students or non-science majors, better understand course content, John uses two technologies. First, he brings in a Tablet PC and wireless presenter so that he and the students can write on the PC and it will appear on the room’s screen. Because it allows him freedom to move about the room, students follow more closely. Second, he uses “Ubiquitous Presenter” and students log on to a server and they then have access to a PowerPoint presentation. This program allows the students’ laptops to essentially act as large “clickers” with more functionality. Students can read the screen and select an answer. The immediacy of the feedback is an effective learning strategy and it creates a sense of community.
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Kirk says that Nano330 is more of a free form. It is smaller and he has more interaction with the students in this smaller class. Chemistry 115, however, offers particular challenges for John in that the students are not science students, so he, and they, have to find science in their lives through analogies or new technology the students can relate to.

To help his students, whether advanced science students or non-science majors, understand, he uses two new technologies. First, from his time at the University of Iowa, he brings a Tablet PC and wireless presenter; the teacher or the students can write on the PC and it appears on the screen at the front of the room. Because he can walk around to get responses from all over the classroom, students follow more closely. He can project from anywhere in the room.

Second, he uses “Ubiquitous Presenter,” from the University of San Diego; students log on to a server and follow a PowerPoint presentation. This program allows the students’ laptops to essentially act as large “clickers” with more functionality. Students can read the screen and select an answer. The immediacy of the feedback is a fine learning strategy. It also creates a sense of community in the class. In both cases, John finds that the technology is often central to the learning task. He intends to continue expanding the possibilities.

Picture: John Petro
Instructor Name: John Petro
First Name: John
Last Name: Petro
Title: Assistant Professor, Engineering and Technology
College: CSTEM
Department: Engineering and Technology
E-mail: petroj@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Commuting from Colorado doesn’t deter John Petro from enjoying his teaching career at UW-Stout. Prior to teaching, he spent 25 years in industry. He says his change to teaching was “a nice change…very stimulating.” Spending several years in the industrial workforce gave Petro an abundant amount of hands-on-experience relevant to the courses he now teaches at Stout. John instructs many of the courses related to the Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Technology majors. He enjoys teaching all of these courses because they are all closely related. He generally instructs Materials, Mechanical Design, Mechanics of Materials and Welding.
Image Alt Text: John Petro
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Examples,Hands-On
Synopsis: Engaging students in applying relevant industry examples to real life problems and issues is one of John’s most effective teaching strategies. He has found that connecting lessons to the students’ post-collegiate careers promotes deeper learning and that requiring them to explain course content enhances understanding and future application in the workforce. John stresses learning the “core basics”, believing that students will then be able to build upon them in their future careers.
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John has discovered that one of the most effective methods to help students “get it” is to simply bring relevant examples of the material to class. He believes that it is important to apply problems and material to real life so students can see exactly how the lesson will apply to their post-collegiate careers. Petro feels strongly that if students “can’t explain something clearly to someone else, they don’t understand it” well enough to use in the workforce.

Petro stresses learning the “core basics” when it comes to getting the most out of a course. He explains, “[As professors] we have to teach the students the core basics in college…then they can later build on the basics.” Apart from this, Petro works hard to explain the material clearly and tries to present only quality, applicable information when instructing.

Picture: Kat Lui
Instructor Name: Kat Lui
First Name: Kat
Last Name: Lui
Title: Professor, Operations and Management
College: COM
Department: Operations and Management
E-mail: luik@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Since the fall of 2001, Kat Lui has taught at UW-Stout. She has instructed a mix of undergraduate courses in training and organizational leadership as well as a graduate seminar and a graduate management course. One of her favorite courses is the Management and Coordination of Training and Development.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Critique,D2L,Discuss,Online,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: To deepen student learning, Kat incorporates the use of class interaction and discussion, encouraging the exchange of questions and answers both in-class and online. In her courses, she actively uses learning plans, requiring students to develop an individual plan that lists their objectives for the course, as well as their “horizon” (their final goal for the end of the semester). Not only does this push them to take ownership of their learning, they create a vision, a horizon of what their learning may look like. Another innovation is the creation of a “poster tour.” Her students have to critique a peer-reviewed article, prepare a poster depicting their evaluation, and participate in a gallery tour of posters. The unstructured dialogue that flows creates opportunities for deeper learning. Relative to online learning, she is considering using Skype or other technologies with audio/visual interactivity to spice up student interaction.
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Helping her students “get it,” Lui believes, is best achieved with loads of class interaction and discussion. She especially encourages students to ask questions both in class and online through D2L.

Kat uses learning plans in her courses. At the beginning of the semester, students develop their individual learning plan, listing their objectives for the course, as well as their “horizon”—the goal they will reach by the end of the course. Not only do they take ownership of their learning, they create a vision, a horizon of what their learning may look like. As the course develops and students know more, the horizons tend to change. Changed horizons modify learning events so students can conduct activities that lead to the horizon.

An innovation Lui has introduced is the “poster tour.” She asks students to critique a peer-reviewed article and prepare a poster of their critique. Students then participate in a gallery tour of posters created by fellow students. The unstructured dialogue that occurs during the tours, much like the dialogue at a poster session at a conference, creates opportunities for deeper learning for all students.

“I would love to spice up online learning with some audio/visual interactivity. Perhaps use Skype on a regular basis with students,” says Kat. She hopes to try those few things in the future.

Picture: Kathleen Thomas
Instructor Name: Kate Thomas
First Name: Kate
Last Name: Thomas
Title: Associate Professor, Social Science
College: CAHSS
Department: Social Science
E-mail: thomask@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Kate Thomas is the program director of the Women’s Studies minor; she also teaches the Introduction to Women’s Studies, US Women’s History (her favorite), Early US History, Modern US History, and World War II.
Image Alt Text: Kate Thomas
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL): http://www.uwstout.edu/programs/minors/ws/kate.thomas.final.wmv
Video 1 Title: Streaming Videos: Intriguing Students to Learn
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/thomas-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Allowing Students to Analyze What They Are Seeing
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/thomas-b.wvx
Video 3 Title: Benefits to Streaming Videos
Video 3 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/thomas-c.wvx
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Themes: One-to-One,Papers,Questions,Teaching Strategy,Videos
Synopsis: To further develop student learning in her various history courses, Kate uses a variety of teaching strategies including assigning written essays, small group work, and online PowerPoint lectures. Requiring students to research and write essays is one of her favorite strategies because it helps promote deeper understanding of how to interpret and effectively use primary sources rather than simply report information. Students cannot receive a grade until they come and talk to Kate one-to-one and only after they jointly read the paper, will students be assigned a grade. After that experience, she often finds that they tend to be more conversant in the classroom. Check out Kate’s additional examples of how she makes history come alive in her courses!
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To help students “get it” in her Women’s History and Early US History, Kate assigns essays. For the first one, they cannot receive a grade until they come in and talk to her about it one-to-one. “We read the paper together,” she said, “and then I give them a grade. I feel they are more interested in classes after that, and more willing to discuss. I can spend this time because I have release time to direct Women’s Studies, and one of my classes is online.” This strategy is her favorite because the students begin to understand that she wants them to interpret, using primary sources to support their interpretation, rather than simply to report information.

Modern US History is her online class, and she uses Power Point lectures and photos. For example, when they talk about the period in history when many of their ancestors came here, the book discusses poverty. When Kate shows the photos of the squalid living conditions, they get it more viscerally and are willing to discuss it more fully on the discussion board. She also uses streaming online video to help students understand. One is “The War at Home” about the protests in Madison in the 1960’s, and “A Time for Justice,” about the civil rights movement. She noted, “I sometimes feel I can be more creative online.”

Students take Early US History, Kate thinks, because they couldn’t get into Modern US, so she has to motivate them. She asks, for example, if the American Revolution was “revolutionary.” The students discuss these questions in small groups, and she moves around the room and reports what the small groups are discussing to the larger group; students come to a fuller understanding, and learn to use primary sources to say why they decide something.

She tells them any time they are asked “either/or” questions they should say “yes” and look at both sides. When she asked them if the Civil war was about states’ rights or slavery, some said, “YES!” She felt she had succeeded.

Kate loves teaching and has a good time doing it. Sometimes she wishes there was a classroom designed for active learning with round tables and three projectors for discussion groups. The person who wins the teaching award could get to use it as a perk.

Picture: Kristina Gorbatenko-Roth
Instructor Name: Kiki Gorbatenko-Roth
First Name: Kiki
Last Name: Gorbatenko-Roth
Title: Professor, Psychology
College: CEHHS
Department: Psychology
E-mail: gorbatenkok@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Kiki Gorbatenko-Roth has been teaching at UW-Stout since the fall of 1997. She teaches graduate level courses in Health Psychology and Program Evaluation. She has also taught undergraduate mental-health-based courses.
Image Alt Text: Kiki Gorbatenko-Roth discusses applied experiences.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Experiences,Facilitator,Peers,Socratic Method,Stories,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: The Practicum in Program Evaluation is Kiki’s favorite course to teach because it culminates previous semesters of learning, resulting in multiple epiphanies because it focuses on applied experiences. Specifically, each student is required to identify, plan for, implement, successfully complete, and report on his or her own independent real-world evaluation project with an external stakeholder. She also actively incorporates stories and a constructivist approach, and using a modified Socratic method, Kiki has each student identify the constructs for which he/she has the most interest/concern/difficulty and then she poses those as questions during class. Those questions become the core of the class discussion, instead of relying on a predetermined lecture outline. This often results in more engaged student dialogue.
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Kiki's favorite course to teach is the Practicum in Program Evaluation.The practicum course culminates previous semesters of learning, resulting in multiple epiphanies—“I get it” moments for students—because it focuses on applied experiences. Specifically, each student is required to identify, plan for, implement, successfully complete and report on his or her own independent real-world evaluation project with an external stakeholder. It is wonderful and gratifying to watch the peer-supervision among the students as each student shares his/her project with the others throughout the semester.

As you might expect from someone who enjoys teaching through facilitating applied experiences, Kiki uses strategies that engage the students. Incorporating real-world stories and a constructivist approach, one of her strategies entails using a modified Socratic method. This particular approach allows her to more fully engage students in dialogue about class concept. Specifically, she has each student identify the constructs for which he/she has the most interest/concern/difficulty and then Kiki poses those as questions during class. As a result, Kiki can answer the most relevant questions the students may have instead of relying solely on a predetermined lecture outline, and she can engage the students with material that is geared toward their learning interests.

Picture: Leslie Bowen
Instructor Name: Leslie Bowen
First Name: Leslie
Last Name: Bowen
Title: Lecturer, English and Philosophy
College: CAHSS
Department: English and Philosophy
E-mail: bowenl@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Leslie Bowen began teaching in UW-Stout's English Department in Fall 2007. She currently teaches English 101 and 102; Technical Writing, including an online version; Business Writing; and Document Design. She would like to teach Advanced Rhetoric or a course on technical writing in the medical field--more upper level courses and more theoretical material. Her favorite course is Technical Writing because it is the most familiar, but she also likes the content in her freshmen courses 101 and 102. Coming here from Michigan Tech, she noted that Stout students, as a rule, are more exploratory; Stout also has more first generation students.  
Image Alt Text: Leslie Bowen talks about using the D2L quiz function in her classes.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Promoting Student Discussion
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/bowen-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Getting Students to Think Outside the Book
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/bowen-b.wvx
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Themes: D2L,Discuss,One-to-One,Online,Peers,Quiz
Synopsis: To help her students learn course material, Leslie uses the quiz function in D2L, not as a test but as a way to open discussion. Students take the quiz with open book and open notes, and they can work together. The quiz is based on their reading and may, for example, ask them to identify parallel structure and then find a sentence in their essay that would be improved by using that structure. Leslie also has conferences one-on-one, and finds that eases students’ minds about the class and because she believes in the value of group discussion, she also actively uses the D2L Discussion Board option. She sets up groups and the members do peer review on the discussion board, read and critique each other’s essays. Students receive points for posting their work and for giving feedback.
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To help her students “get it,” Leslie uses the quiz function in D2L, not as a test but as a way to open discussion. Students take the quiz with open book and open notes, and they can work together. The quiz is based on their reading and may, for example, ask them to identify parallel structure and then find a sentence in their essay that would be improved by using that structure. Leslie also has conferences one-on-one, and finds that eases students’ minds about the class.

Bowen likes to generate discussion and because she has three sections of 101, all in the morning, this is challenging. She tries to find material or ideas close to home. She always asks herself, “Could I do this assignment or discuss this topic?” Leslie noted that she has made some miscalculations about what students know—sometimes they know what is correct or right but not what to call it (like “use a transition here”); they will use a transition but not know that that’s what they did.

The quiz in D2L remains her favorite innovation, but she also likes the discussion board. She sets up groups and the members do peer review on the discussion board, read and critique each other’s essays. Students receive points for posting their work and for giving feedback. Sometimes students speak more freely on-line; apparently they don’t feel what they say on-line is as permanent as saying it face-to-face, which means it’s always there. 

Picture: Amanda Little
Instructor Name: Mandy Little
First Name: Mandy
Last Name: Little
Title: Assistant Professor, Biology
College: CSTEM
Department: Biology
E-mail: littlea@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Mandy Little began at UW-Stout in Fall 2008. A member of the Biology department, she has taught previously at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She teaches Biology 101, a course for non-majors and expects to work with capstone students soon. In Spring 2009, Little team-taught a course with a Business instructor through the Nakatani Teaching and Learning Center.
Image Alt Text: Mandy Little talks about team-based quizzes.
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Themes: Demonstration,Online,Peers,Service Learning,Team-Based Learning
Synopsis: Believing in the value and importance of engaging non-majors in service learning, Mandy actually involves her students in eradicating invasive plants—buckthorn, honeysuckle and mustard garlic. She uses humor as well as scientific demonstrations to enhance student understanding. She also uses a team-based approach that consists of having students read ahead, take quizzes and then use the same quiz with their team to insure everyone knows the material before doing fieldwork. In addition, Mandy uses real life examples of how biology is present in students’ lives and has them read “Biology in the News” online. They then write brief summaries and commentary and complete peer evaluations.
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Little finds the Biology 101 students to be open and outspoken, which she enjoys. Mandy likes to engage non-majors in service learning where her emphasis is on eradicating invasive plants—buckthorn, honeysuckle and mustard garlic. Mandy uses demonstrations a lot to help her students “get it.” Sometimes the demos are funny, and she laughs at herself, which students enjoy. She also divides her students up in groups of four and they use a team-based approach; students read ahead, take quizzes ahead and then use the same quiz with their team to insure everyone knows the material. Mandy’s team-based quizzes are an innovation she first tried at Duluth. While there, she did a quantitative study and found that students liked it.

Demonstrations are, in fact, her favorite strategy, especially the crazy and funny ones. She also likes to use real life examples of how biology is present in students’ lives. Students read “Biology in the News” online; they write a brief summary and commentary on the article they have read and do peer evaluations on them. An advantage of this strategy is that it breaks up the period.

Picture: Mark Fenton
Instructor Name: Mark Fenton
First Name: Mark
Last Name: Fenton
Title: Assistant Professor, Business
College: COM
Department: Business
E-mail: fentonm@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Mark Fenton joined UW-Stout in 1999. After spending six years as a member of the instructional academic staff, he was hired as a faculty member in 2004. Fenton teaches courses related to business management, including Entrepreneurship, International Business, Principles of Management, and Principles of Marketing “on a pretty regular basis.” He also has taught International Management, Sales Management, Principles of Advertising, and Advanced Psychology of Learning. As member of the graduate faculty, he advises graduate students working on their research requirements.
Image Alt Text: Mark Fenton
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Skeleton Presentations
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/lts/MarkFentonSkeletal.wvx
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Themes: Classroom Environment,Critical Thinking,Groups,Learning Styles,Online,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: In an attempt to recognize and respect his students’ varied learning styles Mark uses a combination of instructional techniques. He has created “skeleton” presentations which students must download from D2L and complete during lectures and discussions. Online students use the skeletons with access to additional audio files. He also uses team-based strategies to foster student collaboration, requiring them to share their work in small and large teams. This results in creative brainstorming sessions in which multiple concepts are discussed. Because he sees laptops as another learning tool, he has students explore various internet-based applications or other web posted content. Check out why Mark is an advocate for using Criterion Referenced Performance Testing!
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Mark enjoys all the classes he teaches saying, “Each class has its unique content that can be presented in different ways.” He enjoys Entrepreneurship, a capstone course, because he can see the students bringing in their individual education backgrounds which culminate into the writing of a full business plan. He also enjoys his international courses because in them he can share his experiences and can also explore the students’ experiences in international and cross cultural settings. Mark says that just about every course has an international component.

Fenton helps students “get it” by recognizing that the varied learning styles of the students require him to use a combination of instructional techniques. In order to recognize and respect students’ various learning schemata, Mark employs a facilitated process using “skeleton” presentations. Students download the skeletons form found at Learn@UWStout and complete them during lectures and discussions. Online students use the skeletons and audio files that Mark also creates. In addition, Fenton integrates laptops into his courses. He wishes to facilitate academic and future professional success by teaching integral business techniques including responsible use of the internet and use of software as instructional tools. According to Mark, “These techniques encourage students to think about and apply course applications outside of the academic context.”

Because students will work in collaborative group settings, Fenton has developed a collaborative learning environment in which students are placed into academic success teams. For all assignments, students use a review process to share their work with their teams and the class. As they share and discuss, the sessions become large brainstorming sessions in which multiple concepts can be discussed. “Students have consistently shown throughout their development over the course period that this collaborative approach serves as one of the best tools to meet course objectives.” says Mark.

It is no surprise that Mark’s favorite teaching strategy is to foster a collaborative learning approach. “I like to get students to discuss within their teams and then discuss with the whole class the topics we are currently covering.” Because he sees laptops as another learning tool, he uses various internet-based applications or other web posted content. He finds that sending students various links to contemporary examples of the topics covered in class helps to overcome the 2-3 year lag in textbooks. This approach to keeping current applications/examples in the class helps students to better understand course content.

Mark emphasizes that the student and he must meet the objectives of the course and that if this does not happen, they work to find ways to ensure that the students are able to meet the objectives. By using this approach, called Criterion Referenced Performance Testing, Fenton finds “that I can help some of those that might have slipped through the cracks and earned a lower grade or worse. The “curve” ends up looking like a spike with a small drop off for those who just could not make it through the course for some reason or who never tried.” Mark also calls students to his office to talk about what can be done to improve their work. He finds that showing a sincere interest in his students, what he calls a “coaching” approach, can make a difference for students. Sometimes they come into his office expecting the worst, “but that is not the case, my role is to help them find the best path to meet course objectives.”

Picture: UW-Stout
Instructor Name: Mike Critchfield
First Name: Mike
Last Name: Critchfield
Title: Lecturer, English and Philosophy
College: CAHSS
Department: English and Philosophy
E-mail: critchfieldm@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Mike Critchfield has been teaching at UW-Stout since 2006. He teaches English Composition, Reading and Related Writing, Writing Workshop, and Business English.
Image Alt Text: Mike Critchfield talks about helping his students become better writers.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Experiences,Software Application,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: Using existential philosophy as an organizing principle, Mike discusses fictional and dramatic works with his students in ways that have a direct and fascinating link to their daily lives. In his Business Writing course, he incorporates his previous entrepreneurship experiences, preparing students for the kind of writing they will actually perform in their careers. Mike also uses a variety of tools available in MS Word to help students help themselves become better writers, plus he has them read the Flesch-Kincaid reading measure under Options in the Spellcheck function. Be sure to check out additional teaching strategies used in his Business Writing courses!
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Mike Critchfieldenjoys teaching Reading and Related Writing because he can discuss fictional and dramatic works with existential philosophy as an organizing principle. “Students have responded with interest to these issues that impact their daily lives,” says Mike. In Business Writing “I enjoy sharing my corporate and entrepreneurship experiences, which are unique, I believe, for an instructor of English composition.” He also prepares students for the kind of writing they will actually perform in their careers, including practical experiences such as selling products on EBay with a marketing message that follows textbook guidelines.

Critchfield helps students “get it” by encouraging them to use the variety of tools available in MS Word to help them help themselves to become better writers. “This includes one of my favorite tools for developmental and business writing classes—the Flesch-Kincaid reading measure under Options in the Spellcheck function.”

Using the Flesch-Kincaid reading measure is one of his favorite strategies. He requires all his students to use the measure for every essay they write during the semester. They use the tool to examine their weak areas (vocabulary, which is determined by the average word length; sentence length, which is detected by the average number of words in a sentence; and paragraph length, which is determined by the average number of sentences in a paragraph). “As a result,” Mike notes, “students become more mindful of some general weaknesses in their writing and strive to improve the grade-level of their writing during revision and editing work.”

In addition to the Flesch-Kincaid measure, Mike has Business Writing students use the AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) approach which has been a student favorite. The effectiveness of the approach can be seen in one particularly successful story: “One student could not sell his motorcycle locally, so he sold the bike on Ebay using the methods we discussed in class. The value of the bike was $8,995. Through careful wording of his advertisement and adjustment of the reserve price during the auction, he sold the bike for $9,295, or $300 more than its listed value. Many other students sold items for a profit as well.”

Picture: Mitch Sherman
Instructor Name: Mitch Sherman
First Name: Mitch
Last Name: Sherman
Title: Professor, Psychology
College: CEHHS
Department: Psychology
E-mail: shermanm@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Mitch Sherman has been teaching at Stout for over 20 years. His responsibilities have included the following classes: Industrial Psychology; Management and Employee Rewards, Recruitment and Selection in Human Resources, Human Resource Management, Individual and Group Differences, General Psychology, and Diversity in the Workplace. His favorite class is Recruitment and Selection because it is very “hands on.”
Image Alt Text: Mitch Sherman
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Group Presentations: Expanding Topics to Promote Engagement
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/sherman-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Group Presentations: Student Satisfaction with Learning Process
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/sherman-b.wvx
Video 3 Title: Expanding Topics to Make Them More Relevant to Student's World
Video 3 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/sherman-c.wvx
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Themes: D2L,Facilitator,Socratic Method,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: As a 20-year teaching veteran, Mitch has tried a number of different strategies, but he currently relies on history and questions to help students learn course content. He posts questions on the course web page ahead of class and students have to answer them prior to coming to class. The questions are based on history so students have to research how we got to where we are and to find out what happened, not just what resulted. Mitch also uses the Socratic Method, helping students fill in the gaps and relate them to the topic of the day. He never lectures any more, just keeps asking questions. He is also willing to do whatever it takes to effectively teach, including getting irritated, using humor or acting crazy, and even admitting when he doesn’t know something.
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As a 20-year teaching veteran, Mitch has tried a number of different strategies, but recently he has been using history and questions to help students “get it.” He posts questions on the course web page ahead of class time, and the students have to answer them before they come to class. The questions are based on history so students begin to understand how we got to where we are. For example, to prepare for a discussion of the Family Leave Act and government regulations, he asked students what the 14th and 15th amendments guaranteed slaves; or what “redemption” meant—in the south and during reconstruction. They were asked about Plessy vs. Ferguson and the events in Oxford, Mississippi. After the 2008 election, he asked how the outcome might affect how we view race and racial groups. Students have to look up information on the web and find out what happened, not just what resulted.

In class, using the socratic method, Mitch helps the students fill in the gaps and relate them to the topic of the day. He never lectures any more, just keeps asking questions. He might give them the concept and let them work with it, but he feels he achieves better rapport because everyone, him included, is working together. He is also willing to get irritated, use humor or act crazy, and admit he doesn’t know something.

Picture: Nancy Murray
Instructor Name: Nancy Murray
First Name: Nancy
Last Name: Murray
Title: Associate Professor, Business
College: COM
Department: Business
E-mail: murrayn@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Nancy Murray is teaching in Retail Merchandising and Management at UW-Stout. Her current courses include Basic Merchandising; Trend Tracking and Forecasting; Advanced Merchandising, Planning and Control (AMPC); and E-commerce Practice and Strategies. Her favorite class is Trend Tracking and Forecasting.
Image Alt Text: Nancy Murray
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Camtasia,Experiences,Groups,Online
Synopsis: Based on her extensive industry background, Nancy uses real world examples and experiences to help students “get it” in her retail courses. Also, for her face-to-face courses she recorded her lectures and question-and-answer sessions and then shared them with students in her online classes. To accomplish this she used Echo 360 (audio capture system) and Camtasia.
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All but AMPC are offered online as well as in the classroom. For her online class in Basic Merchandising, she recorded all the audio in the classroom so her online students could hear the lecture along with classroom questions and answers; she used the same recording for her classroom when she had laryngitis so as not to miss a day! She uses new online teaching applications like Echo 360 (an audio capture program) and Camtasia (a video capture program).

Nancy uses mostly real world examples and experiences to help her students “get it.” Her previous experience was in industry, so she has extensive experience to draw on. For example, Nancy volunteers for the food pantry in Barron where she lives. The organization has a thrift store, and the profits from the thrift store support the Food Pantry. Recently the store moved to a larger space, so she had her students help with planning and organizing how to use the space. Afterwards they all ate at a local Somali restaurant.

She also takes her students into industry. One example of many is that she offers a Study Tour Course. She takes sixteen students twice a year to “MAGIC,” the industry’s largest trade show. One hundred thousand attendees from all over the world gather in Las Vegas for a three- to four-day tradeshow. To be eligible the student must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0, have earned 45 credits, and earn a “B” or better in the course Trend Tracking and Forecasting. After attending, talking to industry people, attending seminars and walking the show to note trends, the students present their new knowledge to the current class in Trends.

She has also secured funding from Target to take seven students to the Global Retail Conference in Tucson—sponsored by University of Arizona. Students joining her are the executive board members of the student professional group she advises. The conference features presenters that are leaders of major retailer companies. Students realize how much more there is to learn about their field, begin to consider graduate school, and have the opportunity to network with retail executives. In November 2008, she supervised a group of 40 students to the Fashion Group International Conference in Chicago.

Throughout her classes, she regularly utilizes sources and materials other than traditional textbooks. Books and trade journals that professionals in the industry reference, are used in her teaching. She even arranges for the author of two of the books she uses in her Trends class to come to campus each year to make a presentation to the entire campus. 

Picture: Nasser Hadidi
Instructor Name: Nasser Hadidi
First Name: Nasser
Last Name: Hadidi
Title: Professor
College: CSTEM
Department: Mathematics Statistics and Computer Science
E-mail: hadidin@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Campus Tour
BIO: Nasser Hadidi has been teaching all levels of Statistics, and sometimes Math, at UW-Stout for thirty-three years. In fact, his favorite course to teach is Statistics, appealing to his actuarial interest.
Image Alt Text: Nasser Hadid discusses teaching with laptops.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
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Themes: Hands-On,Software Application
Synopsis: By using laptops in class, Nasser familiarizes students with SPSS and Excel which facilitates the students’ learning process. He uses them to provide an ease in doing arithmetic; this enables students to focus more on learning statistics and less on worrying about the math. Using laptop technology allows Nasser to provide instant feedback, even in a large class.
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Hadidi feels that the laptop greatly enhances teaching. By using laptops in class, Nasser familiarizes students with SPSS and Excel which facilitates the students’ learning process. Another helpful aspect of computers in his class is that they provide an ease to the arithmetic; statistics involve many numerical manipulations, and computer programs facilitate that process, especially Excel. Students can focus more on learning the Statistics and less on worrying about the arithmetic.

After forty years of teaching, Nasser has found that using computers is his favorite teaching strategy. His students can now go farther faster because the labor is easier. “We have always had to do this work, but now we do it together, and it is very exciting,” he said. “Even with forty students in a class, this provides instant feedback. Often about five to ten students have trouble learning this, but eventually they “get it.”

Dr. Hadidi said he would be glad to share what he is doing with this technology and how it works with anyone. 

Picture: Petre Ghenciu
Instructor Name: Petre (Nelu) Ghenciu
First Name: Nelu
Last Name: Ghenciu
Title: Associate Professor, Mathematics
College: CSTEM
Department: Mathematics Statistics and Computer Science
E-mail: ghenciup@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Directories
BIO: Nelu Ghenciu has been in the Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science department since 2004. He teaches a mix of classes—some for majors, some for non-majors, and both lower and upper division students. These classes include Finite Math, Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Real Analysis. He has also taught Math 11 in the Math TLC lab, a program he helped establish. Linear Algebra is his favorite class. He said, “For many, it is the first time they work on proofs, and it helps to make people precise and logical.”
Image Alt Text: Nelu talks about discovery-based learning.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: The Discovery Method: Student Demonstrations and Learning
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/ghenciu-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: The Discovery Method: Taking Pride in Student Developed Theories
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/ghenciu-b.wvx
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Themes: Groups,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: As a big proponent of discovery-based learning, or inquiry-based learning, Nelu has his students explain a math problems first to each other in small groups, and then to the entire class. He believes Math is like a foreign language, with new terms and processes so breaking up class hours into many interactive parts helps keep students engaged.
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Nelu is a big proponent of discovery-based learning, or inquiry-based learning. He describes it this way: “I have the students explain the problems to someone else, first to each other in their small groups, and then to the class, presenting their explanation to everyone. It is much easier to do this in smaller classes.”

He believes Math is like a foreign language, with new terms and processes. He tries to break up the class hour, and make many parts interactive in order to keep students engaged. “Even if I teach the same class two hours in a row, I never teach the same way—I try to adapt to the group,” he noted. He is also always available in his office or on-line.

Nelu believes that these strategies positively affect his students’ learning. He pointed out that he always receives excellent evaluations of his teaching. He doesn’t, however, sit back and relax—he is always refining and revising the teaching process. 

Picture: Renee Surdick
Instructor Name: Renee Surdick
First Name: Renee
Last Name: Surdick
Title: Lecturer, Operations and Management
College: COM
Department: Operations and Management
E-mail: surdickr@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Renee Surdick teaches Organizational Leadership and Organizational Development at UW-Stout. Neither course is her favorite, rather both are her favorite because “you have to become passionate with your content and once you’re passionate about that, everything you do is enjoyable.”
Image Alt Text: Renee Surdick
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Grounding Students in Theory: Preparing Them for the Real World
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/surdick-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Using Case Studies to Help Students Understand Theory
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/surdick-b.wvx
Video 3 Title: Shift Teaching Style to Help Students Learn Theory
Video 3 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/surdick-c.wvx
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Themes: Critical Thinking,Experiences,Prior Knowledge,Teams
Synopsis: Believing that students learn best by engagement, Renee constantly seeks creative ways to help them retain course content. For instance, rather than lecturing on what the research shows are the most effective leadership traits, she has students actively develop a list of traits based on their own experience. First, students individually think of or recall the best leader that they have worked with and identify their top traits and characteristics. Then each individual in a team discusses the traits and the team members rank the most prevalent 10-15 characteristics, creating “themed” categories. Renee also uses team strategies to help her students take theories, concepts, and practices and apply them in different situations. She uses small and large groups to tackle questions and feels confident that when students realize that a theory or concept is usable, they are likely to draw on that theory in future applications.
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Renee helps students “get it” by finding ways to involve them more closely in the activities of the class. “Students learn best by engagement,” says Renee. Because she believes in engagement, she tries to find creative ways to engage them. “The more creatively I can engage them in the content the more likely they are to retain it.” For instance, rather than lecturing on what the research shows are the most effective leadership traits, Renee has students actively develop a list of traits based on their own experience. First, students individually think of or recall the best leader that they have worked with and identify their top traits and characteristics. Then each individual in a team shares who they admire and then talks through the traits and characteristics. The team members rank the most prevalent 10-15 characteristics and write them on the board. All of those characteristics are “themed,” that is formed into categories of exact or similar concepts, into a list of top ten traits. Only after this experiential exercise does she show the traits that the research has found most effective. “They examine what they ranked versus the national research and often find their concepts are in the top ten. They learn that between their personal experiences and group experiences they do know more than they realize, and walk away with it differently.”

Renee also uses a team strategy that causes everyone in the class to compare their understanding of a concept. She breaks the class into teams providing each team a set of questions, and sets a specific amount of time for the team to create and write out answers. Then the answers rotate around the class so each team reads the questions and responds to them within, say, two minutes. Once all of the answers have circulated they go back to the team where they started. The original team figures out the most frequent five or ten answers, then rank orders the frequency for other themes and shares them on the board.” It’s a good way to make sure students understand the application of concepts in different situations.”

Renee’s goal is to have students take the theories, concepts, and practices and use them in different situations. When students realize that a theory or concept is usable, they are likely to draw on that theory in future applications. In order to cause this kind of “transferability,” she looks at teaching as creative. “We all have defined objectives and particular content essential for students to understand.” It’s up to us to look at how we convey or set the learning experiences for students. Sometimes I want them to be able to identify when a theory works and doesn’t; sometimes I want them to take content apart, apply the parts in different situations, and evaluate the effectiveness of applying just a part. Varying our activities is what assists in reaching the depth of the learning we seek. I also believe we have to be creative with using technology in our classrooms, as the laptops are valuable in the learning process.”

Picture: Ruth Nyland
Instructor Name: Ruth Nyland
First Name: Ruth
Last Name: Nyland
Title: Assistant Professor
College: CEHHS
Department: School of Education
E-mail: nylandr@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Ruth Nyland began her higher education teaching career at UW-Eau Claire in 1995 and as adjunct faculty with UW-Stout in 1998. In 2002, while serving as adjunct faculty at Stout and raising a family, she began her doctoral degree, earning the degree in 2006. In 2005, she accepted the position of assistant professor with the School of Education. Currently, Nyland is in charge of teaching all of the “add-on” courses for students in Early Childhood-Special Education. These courses include Introduction to Early Childhood Special Needs, Methods, Materials, and Curriculum for the Exceptional Child, Early Childhood Special Education Programming, Early Childhood Exceptional Educational Needs Assessment and Introduction to Communication Disorders, a requirement for all special Education majors. Depending on the semester, Nyland also teaches other core special education courses. She is actively involved with state and national organizations, currently serving as President-Elect for WCEC and Vice-President for WDEC.
Image Alt Text: Ruth Nyland
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Problem Based Learning in the Classroom
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/nyland-b.wvx
Video 2 Title: Implementing Problem Based Learning
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/nyland-c.wvx
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Themes: Classroom Environment,Learning Styles,Problem Based Learning
Synopsis: Desiring to incorporate different learning styles into her lessons, Ruth embraces the use of both visual aids as well as oral teaching, and promotes the use of laptop computers within the classroom. She uses humor whenever possible to help students enjoy the learning process and actively uses problem-based learning by including weekly questions or problems that require students to research how different areas of the state handle specific educational situations. This addition to her program has helped students understand what resources are available for children with disabilities.
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In an effort to help students “get it,” Ruth uses different techniques. Primarily she aims to incorporate all different learning styles into her lessons. She embraces the use of both visual aids as well as oral teaching, and promotes the use of laptop computers within the classroom. If for some reason students do not understand a concept, Ruth will backtrack and approach the situation in a different way. She makes an effort to use humor in the classroom whenever possible to help students enjoy the learning process.

Nyland embraces the idea of problem-based learning within the classroom. This innovation consists of a weekly question or problem, for which students seek out information about how different areas of the state handle the specific situation. This addition to her program has helped students understand what resources are available for children with disabilities.

One of the most rewarding responsibilities that Nyland holds is supervising student teachers while in the classroom. She loves seeing students progress through the Early Childhood Education program and experiencing the final product as students shine while they student-teach.

Picture: Tamara Brantmeier
Instructor Name: Tamara Brantmeier
First Name: Tamara
Last Name: Brantmeier
Title: Assistant Professor
College: CAHSS
Department: Art and Art History
E-mail: brantmeiert@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Tamara Brantmeier teaches in the Department of Art and Design at UW-Stout. Brantmeier teaches painting and drawing at multiple levels. One of her favorite courses is Drawing1.
Image Alt Text: Tamara Brantmeier uses various critcal thinking strategies to help students create their own meanings. 
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Themes: Critical Thinking,Questions,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: Desiring to help students “create connections” between contemporary art practice and practices used in various historical periods, Tamara has her students identify paintings of different time periods and compare them to contemporary pieces so that they better grasp the concepts that underlie the practice. When students ask questions, Tamara turns the question back on them, asking them to find the answer. As a result, they more effectively comprehend the topic and this method allows the students to become better researchers, plus it shows them just how wise they really are. In addition, she requires students to use their sketchbooks to record the research and process that goes into creating a work of art. Tamara shows examples of historical and contemporary sketchbooks, encouraging students to find the best method of documentation for their unique creative process.
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Tamara Brantmeier likes to use her own methods to help students “get it” or understand the concept of drawing or painting. For instance, she helps students “create connections” between contemporary art practice and practices used in various historical periods. As students create their own connections between, say, a contemporary painting and a Renaissance painting, they grasp the concepts that underlie the practice. The students “get it” in their own way.

Tamara uses other methods to cause students to create their own meanings. When a student asks a question, Tamara likes to turn the question back on the student, asking them to find the answer. As a result, the students will comprehend and understand what they are asking. This method allows the students to become better researchers because they are encouraged to find the answer to the question. Using this teaching strategy is one of Brantmeier’s favorite ways of showing students how wise they really are.

Recently, Brantmeier has developed new methods of utilizing the students’ sketch book, an item all her students use. Students are expected to record in this sketchbook the research and the process that goes into creating a work of art. Tamara shows examples of historical sketchbooks and contemporary sketchbooks, encouraging students to find the best method of documentation for their unique creative process.

During Spring 2009, Brantmeier will present two papers at national conventions. Tamara’s innovative and successful teaching strategies allow students to create amazing art of their own.

Picture: Urs Haltinner
Instructor Name: Urs Haltinner
First Name: Urs
Last Name: Haltinner
Title: Associate Professor, School of Education Instruction
College: CEHHS
Department: School of Education
E-mail: haltinneru@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: /ntlc/showcase/interview-display.cfm
BIO: Urs Haltinner has been teaching at UW-Stout since spring of 1999. He teaches a range of marketing and business education courses as well as Foundations of Education and Career, Technical Education Principles, and work-based learning strategies courses. One of his favorite courses is Cooperative Occupational Education. This course is a work-based learning/teaching strategies course; in it, Urs teaches teachers how to coordinate school-based and work-based learning in a manner that maximizes student learning within a career cluster. He enjoys the class because it is part of the experiential learning paradigm and “brilliantly extends learning beyond the class room walls and the virtual world.”
Image Alt Text: Urs discusses a range of teaching strategies.
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Facilitating the Aha Moment with Applied Learning
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/haltinner-a.wvx
Video 2 Title: Flexibility of Applied Learning: Allowing Instructor Creativity
Video 2 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/ntlc/TeachingTips/haltinner-c.wvx
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Themes: Aha,Prior Knowledge,Teaching Strategy
Synopsis: Using the narrative approach, Urs tells his students stories, often bringing in objects (a box of baking soda, a toy tractor, a soda bottle) that allow him to create examples that turn abstract concepts into meaningful dialogue. Beginning a lesson with an object that appears to have no connection to the learning at hand allows him to raise their anticipation level. For example, a Starbucks coffee cup can tie nicely into a conversational lesson about product/service development, environmental sustainability, etc. Urs continually connects subject content to student prior knowledge, creating the “aha” effect in the lesson summary. He is also a fan of “wait time,” a strategy of purposeful silence in which he gives students permission to think before they answer and he creatively uses PowerPoint and SmartBoard technology to keep students engaged.
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Urs helps students “get it” by using a range of strategies. He tells stories and he intentionally links the stories back to what students already know. An example of this would be to use student prior knowledge of what happens when they step on a throttle to accelerate their car and show how that is similar to proportionally increasing a promotional budget to advance demand for a product within the market place. His courses tend to be project based in an effort to connect the learner through a context. Urs is a fan of “wait time,” a strategy of purposeful silence in which he gives students permission to be quiet and think before they answer. In addition, he incorporates real world aspects into all his courses.

His favorite teaching strategy relates to narrative. He tells stories, often bringing in objects (a box of baking soda, a toy tractor, a soda bottle) that allow him to create examples that turn abstract concepts into something meaningful. Haltinner says, “Beginning a lesson with an object that appears to have no connection to the learning at hand allows me to set anticipation high. A Starbucks coffee cup can tie nicely into a conversational lesson about product/service development, environmental sustainability, distribution, pricing, promotion, engineering, design, risk-management, etc. As a teacher educator it can help me explain a principle, process, or procedure.” The critical element is anticipation, students wondering just how and why the object is present. The lesson advances through a story that connects the object to the lesson objective. Finally, the lesson’s summary creates the “aha” effect. It helps the learner understand how the coffee cup links to the day’s learning achievement. Using a strategy like this can help the learners to make durable connections because it forces them to think outside of the theory, the book, and the lecture. As curious beings we humans are naturally inclined to find new pathways to knowing and doing things better, more efficiently, and faster. Objects are a great way to get the synapses firing.”

Urs has innovated with technology. He has a tablet PC which he uses to allow him to go “old school” with PowerPoint. He sees this approach as a way to “shake up the generic PowerPoint look. You would be surprised how interested students become when they can count on odd or novel ways of presenting the content visually. Handwritten Power Point sides are attention grabbers.”

And for the future? “I am currently excited about using the SmartBoard and moving myself to using a Mac with its bells and whistles like GarageBand—who knows what one could do with that?”

Picture: Wan Bae
Instructor Name: Wan Bae
First Name: Wan
Last Name: Bae
Title: Assistant Professor in Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
College: CSTEM
Department: Mathematics Statistics and Computer Science
E-mail: baew@uwstout.edu
Faculty Profile Website: Maps & Guides
BIO: Wan Bae began teaching in UW-Stout's Mathematics and Computer Science Department in Fall 2008. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Denver in November '07, an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Denver in June '04, and a B.S. in Architectural Engineering at Yonsei University, South Korea.
Image Alt Text: Wan Bae
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Interview Date: 2009-02-17
Interview Video (URL):
Video 1 Title: Showcase Interview
Video 1 Link: http://www.uwstout.edu/static/lts/streams/lts/WanBae.wvx
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Themes: Review
Synopsis: Teaching Computer Science to mostly freshmen, Wan conducts a five-minute review at the beginning of each class with her students. She insists that they ask about the work they did in the previous class. That allows her to gauge whether or not they understood the subject. Relative to teaching programming language, Wan worked with her advisor during her graduate studies to develop tools to teach Java. Although the materials were designed for younger students, she found the program helped engage college students in learning the process and when she used this innovation at Stout, she had very positive results. Students call the group projects “awesome,” “complex,” and “authentic.” This innovative teaching strategy enables students to implement a 2D game program using Java and to meaningfully evaluate all projects, including their own.
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Wan Bae teaches Computer Science I to mostly freshmen; Computer Science II, for other majors like Multimedia; and Computer Graphics. Bae’s favorite course is computer Science I because she has “the most confidence” in that class.

To help her students understand the material, she conducts a five-minute review at the beginning of class. “I insist they ask about the work from the previous class,” she said. “If they don’t, I continue to ask if they understood it or have questions, and eventually they will ask.”

Bae felt it was hard for her, as a first-year teacher, to talk about a teaching strategy she considers her favorite. As a student, she liked knowledge and competence in a teacher. No matter how boring the lecture was, if the teacher knew what they were talking about, she learned. Wan likes working with students one-to-one, but noted they came to her office more when she was a teaching assistant in graduate school than they do now. Also, Stout students can get help in the Computer Science lab. On the other hand, students in math classes always come by.

When she was in graduate school, she worked with her advisor to develop tools to teach Java. They worked with Greenfoot, software developed by the University of Kent in the United Kingdom. The materials were designed for young students but they found the program helped engage the college students in the process of learning programming language. When she used this innovation at Stout, she had very positive results; students call the group projects “awesome,” “complex,” and “authentic.” Students implemented a 2D game program using Java and they evaluated all projects, including their own.