UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Faculty Development Programs

2016-17 Evidence-Based Teaching Fellows Reports


Melanie Ayres

As instructors, how do we motivate students to complete the assigned reading, think critically about course material, and improve discussions?  These are questions I've been trying to answer since I started teaching.  I have tried different approaches including regular reading quizzes or weekly discussion questions and although they have their merits, I found myself still looking for another approach.  

The Evidence-Based Teaching Fellows allowed me to learn more about and implement a teaching strategy called Interteaching (first proposed by Boyce & Hineline, 2002).  Click to read the full report.


Daniela Goldfine

 I concentrated on critical thinking, which can be an elusive term, as shown by the deluge of ways it is used by various universities and instructors across the country.  Nevertheless, I have always been fascinated by the attempt to grasp complex concepts like this one.  And, most importantly, by trying to apply such a concept in my own classes.  Language classes may not be the best terrain to foster critical thinking, but I have been fortunate to also teach literature, culture, and history classes - all related to the Spanish-speaking world.  Moreover, since the fall of 2016 I have taught First Year Adventure classes to incoming freshmen.  Therefore, my interest augmented when I asked myself: How do we start teaching critical thinking skills to recent high school graduates, to students who are just starting their college journey? How do we make it meaningful to them, something they can apply in other courses?  Click to read the full report.


Ramona Gunter

 I investigated ways to create classroom cultures that help students feel safe by addressing student fear and/or anxiety.  I wanted students to feel safe exploring their understandings and misunderstandings through dialogue (verbally and in writing).

The literature on group work and learning as social practice suggests that if course expectations are structured such that students are required to communicate their mathematical understandings (and lack of understanding), students will develop skills and knowledge that will lead to mastery experiences.  Click to read the full report.


Arriety Lowell

By the end of 2007 75% of all Americans owned a cellphone, by the end 2016 that number grew to 95% with cellphones and 77% owning a smartphone.  In the 18-29 age group the numbers are nearly 100% and 92%.  

As cellphone use has grown the racial, ethnic and economic divides between who uses cellphones and who does not has become significantly smaller.  However, differences have emerged in how people use this type of personal technology.  Click to read the full report.



Rhonda Willers

As an avid numeric rubric user, I was interested in changing the style of my rubric to one that reflected mastery style learning as a way to better communicate to my students their growth not only within the expectations of our course, but also as compared to professionals in our given fields, in this case I had ceramics professionals in mind.  Part of my shift was also motivated by an idea to encourage more risk taking, both conceptually and in making methods, in my students.  Click to read the full report.


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