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2007-2008 Innovation Abstracts



Vol. XXX, No. 15

May 2, 2008

In “The Natural Athlete: A Comfortable Myth,” Suanne Roueche, currently Editor of NISOD Publications, describes 10 strategies for improving athletes’ performances that have proven to work equally as well for improving academic performance. This issue, originally published in 1983, is among the most frequently requested reprints over the last 30 years of Innovation Abstracts.

Vol. XXX, No. 14

April 25, 2008

In “Teaching Evidence-Based Practice in an Associate Degree Nursing Program,” Patricia Minton Kennedy, Professor of Nursing, at Westmoreland County Community College (PA), describes a practical strategy for providing instruction and practice, enhancing associate degree students’ abilities to think critically in the clinical setting.

Vol. XXX, No. 13

April 18, 2008

In “Tips for De-Stressing Frenzied Faculty,” Beverly Forsyth, Professor of English, at Odessa College (TX), describes seven strategies to help faculty get control of their personal and professional time—avoiding stress and burn-out.

Vol. XXX, No. 12

April 11, 2008

In “Weapons of Mass Education,” Ed Penz, Director, Long Term Care Administration, at Midland College (TX), describes valuable strategies for breaking away from the doldrums of content and stimulating student attention. He helps students have fun with learning; they never know what he will do next.

Vol. XXX, No. 11

April 4, 2008

In “Essay Sniglets: Improving Essays Through Word Manipulation,” Maria Christian, English instructor at Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee, describes an intriguing, innovative strategy for engaging students in improving their compositions, as they create humorous, new words using personal experiences and imagination!

Vol. XXX, No. 10

March 28, 2008

In “Teaching Excellence Program,” Deborah Dunbar, Faculty Development Advisor, at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Ontario, Canada, describes a new-faculty training program designed to bring new hires up to speed and make them more familiar with student populations, institutional expectations, and instructional initiatives, beginning before their first semester teaching in the college classroom and continuing through their first teaching year.

Vol. XXX, No. 9

March 21, 2008

First published as a Celebrations, “NISOD’s Middle Name—Staff!” described one college’s initiative to include staff personnel in its more traditional faculty and administrator conference participants. Mary Retterer, then President of Pima Community College (AZ), encouraged other colleges to include staff members among their NISOD attendees, educate them about the culture of community colleges and their service to their communities, and further recognize the tremendous contributions they make as a strong support base to the college.

Vol. XXX, No. 8

March 7, 2008

In “An Enrollment Bar—A Solution for Your Campus?” authors Brenda Hellyer, Vice Chancellor; Bill Raffetto, Vice President of Enrollment Services; and Brook Zemel, Vice President of Student Development, at San Jacinto College (TX), describe an innovative approach to ensuring that prospective students are made enrollment-ready in an impeccable customer-service initiative.

Vol. XXX, No. 7

February 29, 2008

In 1991, in “Celebrating Teaching Excellence: An SPJC Perspective,” Jack Crocker, then Associate Vice President of Educational and Student Services, at St. Petersburg Junior College (FL), wrote about NISOD’s annual conference and the investment in professional development the college made by sending hundreds of faculty and administrators to Austin each May. Crocker observed that the investment paid dividends back to SPJC and that the conference continues to be one of the “best investments in faculty and staff development in America.”

Vol. XXX, No. 6

February 22, 2008

In “Learning From Ourselves,” Rebecca Kamm, Communications Faculty, at Northeast Iowa Community College, describes a strategy for helping students help themselves as they write their compositions and learn to self-correct as they go.

In “Redesigning Class Structure: Addressing Needs of Young Adult Learners,” Phillip Johnson, Site Coordinator for Adult Education Program; Fran Turner, Adult Education program Director; and Thomas Taylor, Dean of Student Services, at Shelton State Community College (AL) describe a strategy for getting younger students more engaged in a developmental sequence at their more appropriate levels and moving on toward enrolling in regular academic courses.

Vol. XXX, No. 5

February 15, 2008

In “Infusing Learning Into the Physical Environment,” Brent Knight, President at Morton College (IL), and Jason Kovac, Doctoral Student in the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin, describe a successful strategic for teaching history about the college and the community, and beautifying the campus simultaneously. Learning improves as students become more engaged with their physical surroundings.

Vol. XXX, No. 4

February 8, 2008

In “Going the Distance: Designing and Delivering a Simulated Clinical Experience,” Barb Morrison, Lynne Thibeault, and Debra Walker, Professors of School of Health and Community Services, Confederation College (Ontario, Canada), describe a successful strategy for supplementing the learning process for practical nursing students who pursue the curriculum from a distance, facing limited lab and clinical opportunities.

Vol. XXX, No. 3

February 1, 2008

In “Performance in the Cooperative Learning Classroom,” Jeannine W. Morgan, professor of Communications, St. Johns River Community College (FL), describing a cooperative model for student work and progress that can work in any discipline.

Vol. XXX, No. 2

January 24, 2008

In “Pop Tests: Valuable Instructional Tools,” William Lay, Instructor of Natural Sciences, Itawamba Community College (MS), describes an old idea applied to current classroom situations, all with successful results. This issue is another in our “Showcasing Popular Issues Series,” originally published in 2002, Vol. XXIV, No. 8.

Vol. XXX, No. 1

January 18, 2008

In “Who’s Your Audience?” Stuart Tichenor, Instructor, Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, describes writing assignments that provide meaningful relevance to the world in which his students live, from history to local perspectives.

In “Acclimating First-Year Students to College Coursework Expectations,” Michael Latza, Instructor of English, and Editor, “Willow Review,” at College of Lake County, (IL), describes a strategy for moving from basic, skill-building writing assignments to the more involved, helping students build a better foundation for improving writing skills.

Vol. XXIX, No. 29

December 7, 2007

In “Pop Tests: Valuable Instructional Tools,” William Lay, Instructor of Natural Sciences, at Itawamba Community College (MS), describes a traditional testing procedure that still works to keep students on-target and current with their assignments and class participation. This issue was first published in March 2002, and is being disseminated again as part of our “Showcasing Popular Issues Series.”

Vol. XXIX, No. 28

November 30, 2007

In “The Self-Help Book Paper: Getting Students to Read and Think,” Lora Cohn, Assistant Professor, Communication Arts, and Director, Master’s in Communication and Leadership, Park University (MO) describes a strategy for getting students learn how to use information that they glean from reading materials. Students must visit bookstores and browse!

Vol. XXIX, No. 27

November 16, 2007

In “Fun Projects: Generating Interest in a Diverse Classroom,” Julie Luscomb, Instructor in Computer Science, at Tulsa Community College (OK), describes strategies for incorporating fun projects into course activities that help computer-savvy students increase their knowledge and skills while helping not-so-savvy students develop skills at their own levels.

Vol. XXIX, No. 26

November 9, 2007

In “Practicing What You Teach,” Stephen Calatrello, English instructor at Calhoun Community College (AL), describes how working alongside students on select assignments increases their interest in the effort, gives them a new view of the teacher’s role, and changes the instructor’s perceptions of the students’ tasks and assignment challenges.

Vol. XXIX, No. 25

November 2, 2007

In “Fun-damentals of an Introductory Course,” John Thomas, Associate Professor of Business Law and Paralegal Studies, at Northampton Community College (PA), describes FUN assignments that turn students on to higher levels of interest and an improved grasp of content-rich material in an introductory course.

Vol. XXIX, No. 24

October 26, 2007

A reprint of the popular “Music Ensembles: Meeting Musical, Social, and Health Needs,” by Kerry Hart, now Alpine Campus Dean, Colorado Mountain College, this article describes a college attraction for all ages. This musical offering enriched and enhanced students’ total college experience, as it rekindled long-lost interests and provided a risk-free venue for musical expression.

Vol. XXIX, No. 23

October 19, 2007

In “Study Skills Marathon Fair,” Janie Pellish, Coordinator of Tutorial Services, at Berkshire Community College (MA), describes a unique approach to teaching study skills—a “course” that participants follow, winding through a room of 12 booths, representing skills and disciplines and tended by faculty, staff, and other experts.

Vol. XXIX, No. 22

October 12, 2007

In “Becoming an Academic Farmer: Cultivating a Culture for Student Success,” Raphael Turner, Assistant Dean of Enrollment Services, at Tomball College (TX), describes a template for promoting student engagement with the college and for a college’s maintaining its fingers on the pulse of the institution.

In “Malapropism Madness,” Peg Ehlen, Professor of English, at Ivy Tech Community College (IN), describes the sometimes-hilarious outcomes of spell-check mania. She tunes students into checking their auditory discrimination and reading skills in order to help avoid usage and spelling devils.

Vol. XXIX, No. 21

October 5, 2007

In “A New Faculty Orientation,” Eric Wildman, Associate Dean and Director, Willow Chase Center, at Tomball College (TX), describes an orientation that was so successful for new faculty that returning, veteran faculty demanded one of their own.

Vol. XXIX, No. 20

September 28, 2007

In “Encouraging Creativity,” Richard Marranca, Assistant Professor of English, and Sumalee Mahanarongchai, Lecturer in Philosophy and Liberal Arts, Thammasat University in Bangkok, describe the powers and the pay-offs to opening students up to being more creative in and with assignments that require more “brainwork.”

Vol. XXIX, No. 19

September 21, 2007

In “A Strategy for Improving Composition,” Sheryl Donovan, Instructor of Sociology, at Tri-County Technical College (SC) describes a successful in-class experiment to improve students’ writing.

Jerry Clavner, Professor of Social Sciences, at Cuyahoga Community College (OH), describes seven strategies that have helped students improve their study and learning skills, and improve his instruction along the way, as well, in “Stopping the Revolving Door: ‘Should’ve’ Doesn’t Help.”

Vol. XXIX, No. 18

September 14, 2007

In “A Non-Western Culture—A Hit in the Midwest,” Edwina Jordan, Professor of English and Language Studies, describes an international course, team taught by social science and English instructors. Students participate in the course via traditional classroom and Blackboard sites, as well as in an international fair day—with native dress, food, and culture—to which the public is invited.

Vol. XXIX, No. 17

September 7, 2007

In “A Pile of Rocks,” Carlos G. Gomez, Professor Fine Art, at the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, describes a student project—students assisted by visiting artists, collaboratively working to design and construct a unique serpent-shaped piece in the Rancho del Cielo to help interest the public in works of art. What the teachers and students took away from that project was unexpected with important lessons learned. Learn how a collaborative art project produced new learning for students, visiting instructors, and course instructor, and created a permanent piece of art in a nature reserve.

Vol. XXIX, No. 16

August 31, 2007

In “College 101: Making the Greatest First Impression” Felipe H. Chia, Professor of Management and Marking at Harrisburg Area Community College (PA), shares the advice he gives to students at the beginning of each term. Making great first impressions is important, and students appreciate learning firsthand what is expected and rewarded.