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2005-2006 Innovation Abstracts



Vol. XXVIII, No. 15
May 5, 2006

In “Practical Advice: Focusing on the Attentional Needs of College Freshmen,” Lori Norin, Assistant Professor of Speech Communication, at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, describes her successful strategies for responding to barriers that ADHD creates for an unfortunate number of her students. She adjusted her classes to include more instruction focused on attending to their disorders and found that all students profited by these changes.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 14
April 28, 2006

In “Preparing for Our Disabled Students,” John Shiber, Professor of Biology, in the Kentucky Community & Technical College System—Prestonsburg Campus, devised a strategy for involving his students with disabilities in the life of the college. Open forums offered at the college and personal narratives written by these students expanded awareness and increased knowledge about their needs and identified numerous ways in which colleges can lend specialized support and improve the chances that disabilities will not limit student success.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 13
April 21, 2006

In “Innovations for the English Department,” Guinevere Shaw, Instructor of English, and Richard Marranca, Assistant Professor of English, at Passaic County Community College (NJ), describe some of their strategies for linking English literature to students’ other discipline areas and interests.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 12
April 14, 2006

In “Setting the Bar: Creating a Departmental Exam for Freshmen Composition,” Susan Guzman-Trevino, doctoral student in the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas, describes a year-long process by which an English department standardized its array of freshmen composition courses-reaping benefits of full- and part-time faculty collaboration, benchmarking pre- and post-tests, collecting critical data about students’ skills, and stimulating ongoing and important conversations about improvements to the design and teaching strategies.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 11
April 7, 2006

“The Jefferson Café: An Adventure of the Mind,” by Francine Jamin, Professor of English and Director of Paul Peck Institute for American Culture and Civic Engagement, at Montgomery College (MD), describes a highly successful strategy for engaging diverse participants in exploring ideas and viewpoints without advocating application or action…just opportunities to be involved in thoughtful and reflective dialogue. The cafés attract large numbers of “customers” who respond to changing facilitators and bring the community into discussions about cutting-edge, compelling issues.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 10
March 31, 2006

In “Center for Ethnical Development at Tacoma Community College,” Barbara Jones-Kavalier, Associate Vice President of Student Services, and Timothy Stokes, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, at Tacoma Community College (WA), describe the college’s commitment to improving students’ perspectives about ethical behaviors and creating policies that reflect the college’s commitment to a legacy of ethics.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 9
March 24, 2006

Anjanette Mesecke, Director of Marketing, Recruitment, and Retention at Temple College (TX), describes a unique strategy for getting kids hooked on college, in her “Planting the Seeds of Higher Education.” Read about the books and programs that bring curious children and young adults to thinking about graduating from high school and planning to go to college early in their public school experiences.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 8
March 10, 2006

In “The Power of Appropriate Instructor Self-Disclosure,” Lynda S. Hoggan, Professor, Biological Sciences, at Mt. San Antonio College (CA), describes the power of sharing personal experiences with students to bring course content “alive.”

Vol. XXVIII, No. 7
March 3, 2006

In “Within a Star’s Reach: The Sirius Academics Initiative,” Kathleen Ciez-Volz, Doctoral Student, Community College Leadership Program, The University of Texas at Austin, describes an innovative approach to re-designing developmental and college-credit courses that have high enrollment, attrition, reading, writing, and mathematics.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 6
February 24, 2006

In “Implementing Career Strategies,” Alison Wiers, Doctoral Student in the Community College Leadership Program, The University of Texas at Austin, describes a course in which students are prepared to enter the workforce—using a combination of lecture, group interaction, guest speakers, and discussions groups; implementing peer mentors; and covering a diverse array of topics that help students prepare to interview and then to maintain gain employment.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 5
February 17, 2006

In “’Mastering’ Online Courses,” Stephen Levy, Executive Director of Institutional Research and Technology, Houston Community College System (TX), describes a process by which faculty continually update online instruction, keep these courses cost-effective, and maintain high-quality offerings across the online board.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 4
February 10, 2006

In “The Unexpected Detour in the Journey Through the Two-Year College: Developmental Mathematics,” Steven Gonzales, Doctoral Student, Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas, describes strategies for taking some of the sting out of developmental courses-courses that many students regard as punishment for being academically under-prepared. Course formats and scheduling changes were integral to improving, ultimately, students’ experiences in and perspectives of unexpected detours.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 3
February 3, 2006

In “Distance Education—Wine Tasting and Educational Technology,” Debra Walker, Professor, School of Health and Community Services; Rod Somppi, Professor, School of Engineering Technology; and John Kantola, Program Officer, Centre for Continuing Education, at Confederation College (Ontario) describe a successful approach to teaching teachers how to embrace innovative strategies and fine-tune instructional technologies that will improve students’ experiences and performance in distance learning classes.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 2
January 27, 2006

In “Teaching for Literacy and Student Success: An Integral Approach to Remedial Reading,” Ken Kuntzelman, Adjunct Faculty in Reading, and Academic Coordinator, Upward Bound, at Arizona Western College, describes a notebook/journaling strategy for improving students’ vocabularies, note-taking, and writing/composing skills.

Vol. XXVIII, No. 1
January 20, 2006

In “Service Learning Benefits All,” Fran Turner, Program Director, Adult Education; Thomas Taylor, Dean of Student Services; and Julia Chancy, Adult Education Project Literacy Coordinator, at Shelton State Community College (AL), describe a unique partnership between a university and a community college that provides instruction and service—connected learning—for both groups of students.

Vol. XXVII, No. 29
December 9, 2005

In “The Learning Forum: An Alternative Learning Community,” Claire Gauntlett, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness and Research, at Cedar Valley College (TX) describes a strategy by which to increase student retention and completion. The Learning Forum includes grouping students by career interests (teaching) while allowing them to select class schedules that fit into their busy lives. The benefits of cohort activities and peer-learning opportunities, supported by choice of class types and part- or full-time status, make the Forum a workable model-and, further, it helps establish partnerships with area ISD’s and universities, and related employers. In “Using Collaborative Learning Outside of the Classroom,” Phyllis Fleming, Assistant Professor of English and Speech Communications, at Patrick Henry Community College (VA), describes some of the benefits of collaborative learning that go beyond the classroom and into homes and families. One student’s story is a compelling argument for encouraging students to practice collaboration in and out of the classroom, and for examining how the benefits play out in real-life situations.

Vol. XXVII, No. 28
December 2, 2005

In “Getting to Know Students by Letting Them Know You,” Robert Lewallen, Program Chair and Associate Professor of Management and Human Resources, at Iowa Western Community College, shares a list of questions he asks students to answer in an effort to get to know more about them, early on. The twist on this strategy is that he answers them, as well—out loud before the class. And, he allows them to ask him any other questions that they wish, and he promises to respond. He reports that the strategy works to improve communication between teacher and students, and among students.

Vol. XXVII, No. 27
November 18, 2005

In “Raising the Bar on the Practicum-Some Surprising Benefits of Fieldwork,” Carolyn Keck, Business Management Coordinator, San Jacinto College-South (TX), describes the practicum assignments that go beyond report-writing to require proactive problem-solving activities in the field. Students produce creative techniques and strategies for identifying and solving problems in their real-world workplace

Vol. XXVII, No. 26
November 11, 2005

In “Student feedback: Measuring the Effectiveness of Concurrent Enrollment Programs,” Keith McLaughlin, Director, Program Development, at Florida Community College at Jacksonville; and Margaret heater, Director, Academic Learning Centers, at Corning Community College (NY), describe Corning’s Accelerated College Education Program (ACE) and the survey/procedures by which the college determines the benefits of concurrent enrollment, tracks positive patterns, and identifies “red flag” issues that should be addressed.

Vol. XXVII, No. 25
November 4, 2005

In “Dealing with a Dominating Student,” Norman Raiford, Instructor of History, at Greenville Technical College (SC), describes an encounter with a special needs student that helped him devise a strategy whereby all students would be encouraged to participate in class and no one student could dominate question-and-answer opportunities.

Vol. XXVII, No. 24
October 28, 2005

In “Is Your PowerPoint Communicative,” Gretchen Weber, Professor of Speech, at Horry-Georgetown Technical College (SC), describes the downsides of using PowerPoint and suggests ways to enhance both the power of the PowerPoint and improve communication between speaker and audience.

In “Program for Continuous Improvement: Encouraging Team Learning,” John Hoppe, Associate Professor, in the Division of Sciences and Mathematics, at Hazard Community and Technical College (KY), describes a strategy for using team goal-setting to improve every student’s performance on class exams.

Vol. XXVII, No. 23
October 21, 2005

In “The Commemorative CD: Student Involvement Theory in Action,” Phil Venditti, Professor of Communications and English, at Clover Park Technical College (WA), describes an intriguing strategy for recording students’ experiences. A proven, successful way of developing technological and graphic talents, and simultaneously building records of accomplishments, the commemorative CD appeals to students both young and older, technologically proficient and not. These student productions are intriguing, compelling reminders of the communities created by learners actively involved in achieving critical goals and objectives.

Vol. XXVII, No. 22
October 14, 2005

Stuart Tichenor, Communications Instructor, at Oklahoma State University—Okmulgee, describes his strategies for using student-generated materials and paying attention in his own course content to that of courses related to students’ current academic work and future goals, in ”Where Does Your Discipline Fit?”In “Faculty Office—Making It Work,” Jerry Clavner, Professor of Social Sciences, at Cuyahoga Community College (OH), takes a pointed and humorous look at some faculty offices and makes suggestions for “cleaning up our act,” thus achieving the more balanced image we seek as professionals.

Vol. XXVII, No. 21
October 7, 2005

In “Click on Art,” George Carter, Adjunct Instructor of Art, at Darton College (GA), describes an easy way to motivate students with shared materials and collaborative assignments that help solve some of the problems of little time or funds for introducing his art appreciation and art history students to art and architecture in their communities.

Vol. XXVII, No. 20
September 30, 2005

In “A Community Research Project,” Carolyn Adair, Adjunct Instructor of English, at Springfield Technical Community College (MA), describes a strategy for discouraging plagiarism and for improving student motivation. This project took students out into the community for interesting research that included written descriptions of physical structure in their towns and face-to-face interviews with individuals who could answer critical questions about their subjects.

Vol. XXVII, No. 19
September 23, 2005

In “Classroom and Courseroom Teaching: Different Games, Same Rules,” Kathryn Miller, Associate Professor of Psychology, describes some of the strategies that can be applied to teaching in both face-to-face and online classrooms—including promoting student engagement, eliminating negative comments, encouraging cooperation rather than competition, giving instructions clearly and concisely, and allowing time for students to reflect on information covered in class and to be addressed in the next session.

Vol. XXVII, No. 18
September 16, 2005

In “The ‘Big’ University: Belonging or Not,” the authors described a successful partnership between their college and the University of Washington to increase the likelihood that community college students would transfer to the four-year institution successfully. Humanities instructor Minnie Collins, Sociology instructor Greg Hinckley, and Biology/Science instructor Elizabeth Campbell, at Seattle Central Community College (WA), describe an eleven-week prototype learning community that boosted students’ confidence and excited them about making the traditionally intimidating transfer to the “big” university.

Vol. XXVII, No. 17
September 9, 2005

In “Fifteen Minutes Before Class,” Jerry Clavner, Professor, Social Sciences, at Cuyahoga Community College (OH), describes a successful strategy for beginning class on time—with everyone present, equipment working, and questions being answered in an informal setting.

Diane Megert, Professor Emeritus, Computer Information Systems/Mathematics, at New Mexico Junior College, combines structure, information, review, and relevance in the classroom—old ways that work in today’s classrooms. In “Old Ways Can Be Good Ways,” readers can revisit tried-and-true strategies that continue to promote student success in the classroom.

Vol. XXV1I, No. 16
September 2, 2005

Sarah Nell Summers, Chair, Performing Arts Department, at Temple College (TX), addresses a growing problem on college and university campuses alike—academic dishonesty. As she describes in “Questions of Academic Integrity,” Temple College created an Academic Integrity Policy to promote academic honesty that will be explained and enforced institutionwide, in every course, by every instructor; and will be posted on every bulletin board on campus, beginning fall 2005.