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Disability Statement

The University of Pittsburgh requires that the University’s official Disability Statement be included in all course syllabi. The statement is as follows: Disability Statement – If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and Disability . . . Read more

Educating Intergenerational Teams in Prevention/Literacy Strategies to Promote Positive Child Development and School Achievement

A commitment to the importance of preparing students for intergenerational work is reflected in Educating Intergenerational Teams in Prevention/Literacy Strategies to Promote Positive Child Development and School Achievement, a project to develop a new course. Project director Karen VanderVen, professor in the Program in Child Development, Psychology in Education, recognizes . . . Read more

Educational Pathology Modules Utilizing Virtual Slide Technology

Drazen M. Jukic will apply his 2004 ACIE grant to revolutionize microscopic pathology instruction and, at the same time, advance the medical diagnostic competencies of physicians in training at the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical School. Jukic notes that diagnostic competencies in reviewing and evaluating microscopic tissue slides are essential to . . . Read more

Effective Clicker Questions Promote Active Learning in Large Classes

Achieving student interaction and providing opportunities for practice with feedback can be challenging in a large class. Some professors use clickers to keep students actively engaged. Clickers, or student response systems, are hand-held mobile devices that allow students to respond to multiple choice questions included in the instructor’s PowerPoint slides. Students . . . Read more

Electronic Translators in the Classroom

By Joe Chilson, Guest Writer Ke Li is an international student getting her masters in accounting at Pitt. Even though her English is pretty good, she has an electronic translator that helps her deal with difficult English outside the classroom. Li uses the translator on her iPhone at the supermarket, when . . . Read more

Encouraging Students to Complete Assigned Readings

Edit your course reading list. Does every item on the list contribute to the learning objectives you want your students to achieve? If not, remove it. If a long reading contains an important section, identify those pages and eliminate the rest. Students are more likely to complete the readings when they . . . Read more

Exploring physical chemistry using mobile devices

Sean Garrett-Roe, Department of Chemistry, thought very carefully about last year’s course evaluations and acted on them.  While maintaining his primary goal of prompting students to critically evaluate fundamental principles of physical chemistry, Garrett-Roe restructured the delivery of his course material. While the time demands involved in shifting from a traditional . . . Read more

Flipping the class: Improving Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills in a Large Introductory Cell Biology Class

The Swanson School of Engineering, Bioengineering program, has experienced a surge in enrollment in the past six years. This increase in enrollment, coupled with a new emphasis on critical thinking and analytical skills development in bioengineering students, prompted Lance Davidson to rethink the delivery of his introductory cell biology course. . . . Read more

From Teaching to Learning: Faculty continue to find new ways to use Bloom’s Taxonomy

Many instructors find that Bloom’s Taxonomy is an excellent tool to help them write clear learning objectives that are useful for planning all phases of instruction.  Developed in the 1950s, the widely implemented taxonomy identifies six cognitive levels, increasingly more complex, and provides examples of verbs that communicate explicit ways that learners . . . Read more

Global diversity enriches religion classes

Fred Clothey Religious Studies I was increasingly interested in the contribution of minority communities and in the larger issue of what are the dynamics whereby diverse communities can share the same space.  I participated in the University’s diversity seminar in 1996 because I have long believed in the principle of . . . Read more

GradEXPO: Teaching Philosophies in Action

On April 5, 2012, six graduate student teaching assistants and teaching fellows, together with Arts & Sciences Acting Associate Dean Stephen Carr, convened at GradEXPO to discuss “Teaching  Philosophies in Action.”  Dr. Carr stressed the importance of teaching philosophies, not only as useful reflective statements on one’s own teaching, but . . . Read more

Grand Designs: Course to Encourage Empathic Rehab Design

For people living with disabilities, assistive technologies (e.g. wheelchairs) can be the most important factor in their ability to fully participate in society.  Jon Pearlman and Mary Goldberg, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology (RST), created a two-part project design course that will be offered in the Fall 2012 and . . . Read more

Groups Can Engage Students at Different Levels

Like many instructors and teaching assistants, I deal with students who have diverse levels of prior knowledge―both within a particular discipline (e.g. freshman versus senior science majors) and across disciplines (e.g. science majors versus humanities majors). The situation is problematic and makes it challenging to design effective assignments and conduct . . . Read more

Improving Medical Students’ Cultural Competency

(left to right) Thuy D. Bui , Brain A. Primack , Carl I. Fertman Photo by Jason Blair, CIDDE Brian A. Primack and Thuy D. Bui, School of Medicine, and Carl I. Fertman, School of Education, will use their 2005 ACIE award in their project entitled Improving Medical Students’ Cultural Competency through Developing Community Patient Education Materials: Health . . . Read more

Incorporating Diversity into the Curriculum

Many universities, administrators, and faculty in colleges and universities have recognized the value of incorporating diversity into the curriculum, and the University of Pittsburgh is no exception. While there may be sound ethical and social justifications for integrating diversity into higher education, there also legitimate pedagogical grounds for doing so. . . . Read more

Interdisciplinary Course on Health Record Technology

(left to right) Michael Spreyne, Valerie Watzlaf Medical errors have been cited as the leading cause of death in the United States, and some health care professionals as well as many experts in related fields outside the health care industry believe that our antiquated method of paper record keeping contributes to this . . . Read more

Keeping Online Learning Active

Active learning occurs when students are engaged with the course materials and/or each other using the CourseWeb tools using strategies that promote learning. Here are some guidelines to make your online activities more effective: Keep your students’ efforts directed toward the parts of an activity related to their learning, and . . . Read more