Appalachian Faculty Modules

Appalachian Faculty Modules

These modules provide examples of best teaching practices that originate from the voices and experiences of students on Appalachian’s campus. Through a survey, Appalachian students are asked to identify and describe examples of effective teaching practices, strategies, resources and routines used by faculty members across campus.  Each module contains an alignment of the instructional practice with principles of Universal Design for Learning, a description of how the practice has been implemented by university instructor(s), a brief summary of professional literature that supports the instructional practice, and the opportunity for viewers to share their own similar practices.

Active Collaborative Quizzes with Manipulatives: Increasing Action, Expression, & Engagement

By: Lillian Nave, First Year Seminar, Appalachian State University

Typical undergraduates do not always understand or appreciate the importance of art to society. So Ms. Lillian Nave Goudas strives to help her students to see the relevance of her class in their lives and creates assessment strategies to involve students in knowledge creation. By using active collaborative quizzes Ms. Nave Goudas provides a real-world corollary to problem-solving that increases the student's depth of knowledge in a relaxed and encouraging environment. Her collaborative quiz functions not only as an assessment tool but also introduces the student to multiple ways of learning and sharing knowledge. 

Active Collaborative Quizzes

Merging Silly and Serious for Creative Expressions of Learning

By: Dr. Martha McCaughey, Department of Sociology

CODEThis module offers fun ways to engage students and a fast, low-stakes way to express and assess student learning each week.  Students, individually or in groups, summarize the main lesson they learned in class that week by using a series of creative, expressive communication techniques, which facilitate multiple means of expression and engagement.  I describe the instructional strategy for engaging students in otherwise wearying or intimidating courses.  


 Optimizing Engagement and Self-Directed Learning with Mindfulness

By: Dr. Elaine Gray, ePortfolio

MindfulnessThis case study highlights multiple means of engaging students with processes of mindfulness throughout a college course on leadership Mindfulness processes and evidence of student achievement in this area are not situated as a gradable component of the class, instead, mindfulness outcomes are integrated into the class as a mode of inquiry, an experiential process with no right or wrong answers, no rubricized criteria, and feedback is given as affirmation and encouragement. The UDL goal of providing multiple means of student engagement and internalizing self-regulation intersect with several experiential aspects of the classroom mindfulness practices. Additionally, engaging students in foundational mindfulness practices create opportunities for self-regulation, reflective self-assessment and the development of personal coping strategies.

Utilizing Contemplative Practices to Balance Brains in Honors Education

By: Garrett Alexandrea McDowell, Honors College, Appalachian State University

This case study examines the use of contemplative practices in an Honors seminar with eleven first-semester students. Honors students are typically strong in verbal, rational, linear, abstract, temporal, rational, and analytic intelligence—their left brains. Students in this course exercise many creative and contemplative practices to strengthen their intuitive, creative, spatial, relational, holistic, unconscious, Gestalt, non-linear, and non-verbal intelligence—their right brains. This includes: visualization, drawing, photography, meditation, and dream analysis. In this context, I refer to right and left-brain intelligence as Bogen (1975, p. 25) and Ornstein (1972, p. 37) have defined these parallel ways of knowing: two modes of consciousness, two types of intelligence, or two cognitive styles.

Cultivating Learner Attention and Engagement: Using Imagination as Motivation

By: Dr. Jeff Goodman, Curriculum and Instruction, Appalachian State University

Mr. Jeff Goodman believes that human beings are motivated by mystery. With that in mind, he scaffolds his lessons in ways that motivate his students by giving them a social context. He wants his students to feel connected to abstract concepts by starting with experience. He begins his lessons with an experience, builds toward the abstraction, and then has students experiment with the abstraction with a new experience. In this interactive method, Mr. Goodman can assess student comprehension. 

Inquiry-Based Learning: Using Presentation Homework Problems to Enhance Engagement

By: Vicki Klima, Mathematical Sciences, Appalachian State University

Inquiry Based Learning

If you ask students, academia is full of right and wrong answers. However, Dr. Vicki Klima, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, disagrees: "I think that in general, we believe that math is about the right answer. But it's not so much about the right answer. It's about logical thinking. And the way we progress through to the solution is more important than the number that you write at the end."

In her algebra classes at Appalachian State University, Dr. Klima utilizes an inquiry-based learning approach called presentation problems. In this method, students attempt to solve a mathematical problem, work towards a solution, and write down their questions in places where they are stuck. Then, in class, a student is asked to present the problem and their solution on the board for the class to discuss. Students then correct their work or answer their questions during the class review. The technique emphasizes process over product and identification of strengths as well as weaknesses; it reduces student stress and increases student involvement. Best of all, it is a practice that can be applied across disciplines. 

When Lecture is Necessary: Incorporating UDL into PowerPoint

By: Christine Leist, School of Music, Appalachian State University

Backed by her studies and experience in Special Education and UDL, Dr. Leist actively transforms her PowerPoints to represent the curriculum when the lecture is necessary. Her organized content and color coding aid in students’ activation of prior knowledge and highlight patterns and relationships. She embeds images and graphs as an alternative representation of grouped information and links out to additional resources aimed at making the PowerPoint an interactive document for students to engage within and out of the classroom. Dr. Leist’s PowerPoint design integrates essential UDL guidelines that truly exemplify multiple means of representation in the classroom when lecture is necessary. 

Using Mindfulness to Increase Student Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy Through First Year Seminar Style Courses

By: Rebekah Cummings, University College, Appalachian State University

In this case study, only the assignments in these seminar courses meant to encourage student self-awareness and self-monitoring will be discussed.  The specific practices offered here can be implemented effectively with students of all cognitive levels and would be useful for any freshman-seminar style class regardless of student population.