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ETSU’s instructional development grants support innovative teaching projects. Explore this website and learn more about the exciting work IDG grant recipients are doing. We hope their projects spark new ideas about your own teaching.
IDG eligibility and selection criteria Instructional Development Grants
IDG application form Application Form
Submission deadline March 15th
Questions? Email Dr. Laraine Powers, Chair, IDG committee firstname.lastname@example.org
FY 2016/17 GRANT SUMMARIES
C. Wesley Buerkle
Communication & Performance
Innovating the Oral Presentation Classroom
The goal for the grant was to provide an opportunity to improve oral communication instruction in both the general education classroom as well as across campus for faculty teaching courses that included oral communication elements. Using IDC funds, Dr. Steven Vrooman of Texas Lutheran Univeristy was brought to ETSU to 1) conduct an all-day workshop for the general-education faculty in the Department of Communication & Performance, focusing on the needs of courses taught by the department, and 2) provide a presentation open to all university faculty on ways to incorporate oral communication instruction into their courses. Bringing in a speaker to discuss innovation in general education and oral communication has the obvious effect of providing faculty with more skills, tools, and knowledge, but it also underscores the university’s commitment to oral-communication education and highlights oral communication as a priority in ETSU’s educational agenda.
Anna Hiatt & Cerrone Foster
Academic Coaching and Supplemental Instruction in Biology
The aim of this project was to continue to assess the effects of supplemental instruction and academic coaching on student success in Introductory Biology I and II. The supplemental instruction (SI) program trains undergraduate students to aid as peer mentors assisting with in-class active learning instruction and multiple weekly sessions to reinforce lecture skills and concepts. While the pilot SI program showed that students attending SI earned higher grades in the course, there remained a significant number of students not consistently attending sessions to benefit from the impact of the program. Therefore the funds from this grant supported the hiring of SI’s to offer a greater variety of session times and expansion of the program to include academic coaching in order to 1) strengthen skills of at-risk students in the course, and 2) directly impact students that may not attend supplemental instruction.
The results from the project showed that students who attended supplemental instruction earned higher grades in the course with students consistently attending 5 or more SI session over a 14 week semester. There was also a 12% decrease in the D/F grade rate in BIO 1110 with the addition of the academic coaching to SI in the course compared to the previous semesters (Fall 2015). Having both success in student learning gains in summative assessments and increases in overall course achievement among at-risk students demonstrates that course-embedded supplemental instruction and academic coaching fill a need for at-risk students and that gains are not just a result of primarily higher achieving students utilizing these resources.
Building Communication Skills through Iteration Analysis
This grant looked at how to increase collaboration between two different majors, interior architecture (IA) and manufacturing (MANF), using 3D printing technology as the common focus of the project. Teams of students were assigned a design build project where the IA students designed a luminaire and MANF student were to build the design. Students worked collaboratively with the 3D printer to model a small part in the luminaire. Both groups learned to work with the strengths and overcome differing communication methods. Projects increased in complexity with students enjoying the learning environment as compared to past years.
Michelle Johnson & Kara Boynewicz
Allied Health Services
Utilizing a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Approach to Enhance Learning and Clinical Reasoning Skills in an Interprofessional Group of Graduate Students Within the College of Clinical Rehabilitation and Health Sciences
The primary objective of this project was to improve graduate students' stress levels and increase learning in and out of the classroom to improve future clinical practice. This was done by exploring methods for mindful practice, with the goal of decreasing clinical internship stress, and improved patient care in physical therapy and nutrition students. More specifically, to give students an opportunity to experience inter-professional group strategies and techniques in controlling stress and increasing self-awareness for critical thinking skills through a mindful-based stress reduction approach.
Digital History: Preserving, Probing & Portraying the Tri-Cities' Tobacco Heritage
This grant funding was used to help improve students’ ability to seek, use, and communicate information through the collections of artifacts and the curation and creation of a digital site where community members and students can learn about the tobacco history of the region. The project had three stages – (1) offering a digital history course in fall 2016, (2) holding a history harvest in spring 2017, and (3) developing a digital and/or physical exhibit thereafter using materials gleaned from the Harvest and employing, where possible, skills developed by students. Follow the link to watch Dr. Tom Lee's interview on WJHL:
FY2015/16 GRANT SUMMARIES
Mike Belleme, Photojournalist
Mary Alice Basconi
Mike Belleme is a young professional who is sought out by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other major outlets. He lunched with students, shared stories informally, and then presented a slide show of his work. He also led a hands-on session to set up a portrait of a student on campus.
The Which Stage Project
Robert D. Funk
Communication & Performance
Professional quality lectures on video were created through this grant, which have already proven to be a great benefit to students as well as those teaching classes. Various individual lectures have been used by students taking Introduction to Dance, Dramatic Structure and Acting I. Students found these videos helpful when studying for exams to go over missed material or to see a lecture again when material was not completely clear from a "live" class. Following is a compilation of some of the videos created:
Green Workforce for Tennessee
Kristi Julian and Mohammad Uddin
Engineering, Technology, Surveying & Digital Media
Workshops and video clips were funded with this grant, which were used to prepare students and faculty for the LEED GA exam; reinforce students' knowledge of sustainable principles in the classroom, community and personally; and assist with homework and exams. The tutorials were also used to aid in "flipped classrooms" or blended experiences ongoing as the LEED credits are modified. The modules can be seen here:
Expanding Outreach in Literacy in Eastern Tennessee
Curriculum & Instruction
The objective of this project was to aid in the establishment of a new K-6 cohort. With the support of this grant, leveled texts, children's literature, and text sets were purchased to enable students to practice their craft with the most up-to-date and appropriate materials.
A new series of projects were piloted in the upper division Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy course, which introduced students to morphometric analysis of size and shape of vertebrate anatomical structures. The first project emphasized analysis of shape associated with feeding structures, primarily the cranium and jaws; and the second project focused on analysis of shape associated with different locomotory modes (e.g. running, walking, hopping). Grant funding provided for the acquisition of the skeletal specimens needed to provide comparisons among four species.
Public Health ESSENTIALS
Dr. Megan Quinn
Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Public Health ESSENTIALS (Essential Skills, Strategies, and Expertise Necessary to Improve and Advance Low-Resource Settings; COBH 2000) was integrated as a required course for the new Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) curriculum in 2015 to provide an innovative learning environment that promotes self-efficacy, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork. The aim of this project was to assess the impact of the course on these skills through three main objectives.
- Validate scales for self-reporting of self-efficacy, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork.
- Determine whether the ESSENTIALS course changes students’ perceived skills of self-efficacy, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork.
- Propose specific strategic curricular enhancements based on areas of reported skill attainment from course assessment.
Land Surveying Academy
Marian M. Young
Surveying and Mapping Science
Short video clips were created, which are currently being used in various surveying courses. One video was shared with other surveying professors in draft format at the SaGES (Surveying and Geomatics Educators Seminar) at the University of Maine in summer 2015. Several other clips are in various stages of progress; one related to designing roads, one showing the steps used to process field angles and distances to adjust a traverse loop and determine the area within the polygon the traverse represents, and one for the Basic Construction Surveys course. The following link will take you to one clip with ADA required text added:
FY2014/15 GRANT SUMMARIES
Preparing Future Health Professionals to Work with ALDs
The aim of this grant was to improve Audiology doctoral students' knowledge and clinical skills with Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) by developing a central location where these future audiology and allied health professionals, along with hearing impaired people and their families, could examine and learn about assistive technology that is designed to enhance receptive communication. Although present day hearing aids and cochlear implants have dramatically improved communication, many individuals with hearing loss continue to have difficulty in particular listening environments such as in noisy outdoor environments, telephone conversations, group discussions, etc. ALDs increase the effectiveness of hearing aids, but many individuals are not fully informed or educated about their existence.
The grant funds were used to acquire an array of equipment that broadly fall under the category of ALDs and aural rehabilitation. Through this grant it was possible to build an infrastructure to provide Audiology clinical doctoral students hands-on experience learning and working with ALDs and improve clinical experiences of introducing hearing impaired patients to the various kinds of hearing assistive technologies by demonstrating the equipment and making appropriate and tailored recommendations.
Foundations in Health Science
The primary aim of this project was to develop a new hands-on learning course, Foundations in Health Sciences (FHS), for undergraduate students in the Department of Health Sciences. More specifically, to give students an opportunity to obtain experience using techniques and technology that are currently found in scientific research settings in both academia and industry. There were four areas in which this grant hoped to contribute to the FHS class:
- offer individual and group opportunities for hands-on research and instruction
- complement theoretical classroom instruction with active learning using the Bio-Rad C1000 as an instructional tool
- aid students in becoming proficient in using modern scientific technology
- apply new teaching concepts to the FHS class as well as stimulate development of other departmental classes
With this grant we were able to purchase numerous items that helped students gain useful experience in current technologies, including the C10000 thermocycler, microcentrigues, and gel electrophoresis units. The FHS class has helped to reshape the department's idea of what a contemporary laboratory should consist of.
Interior Design Program
Visualization software (Podium for the Interior Design Program) was purchased with this grant. The software was installed in the interior design studio where upper level students use it to great success in their four required studio classes. The addition of this visualization tool helps students understand proposed designs in a very efficient manner. Students gain a better understanding of lighting, color selections, massing, and daylight. Below is an example of a student's work before and after the use of the software. Note the added complexity of the design details that the student addressed after the software was installed in the studio.
Contemporary Commercial Vocal Pedagogy Institute
Dr. Smith attended this Institute at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia to receive training to incorporate vocal pedagogy for contemporary singing into the classroom, as well as her individual applied instruction. There is a very clear distinction between this style of singing and the Operatic/Classical style that is typically focused on in the Opera Workshop class, and the student must establish stamina in their respective style. This training was invaluable, as the student cast members of Oklahoma were taking this course to receive additional vocal coaching. With half of the class being Theatre majors and the other half being Music majors, attending this Institute helped Dr. Smith bridge the gap between the two departments.
Alice Parker Residency
Alice Parker was brought to campus for five days in February. Over 250 students and 500 community members participated in lectures, master classes, rehearsals, concerts, one-on-one teaching sessions, and question-and-answer sessions. The students learned rehearsal techniques, compositional process, and the history of American choral performance. In addition, they performed pieces composed by Ms. Parker for the community and participated in a "Community Sing" that had over 400 people in attendance.
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