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Counseling Psychology News

RITI grants inspire faculty collaboration and partnerships

April 16, 2016
by Catherine Stephens, MERIT

Faculty and staff from across UW-Madison’s School of Education gathered at the Art Lofts on Wednesday, April 6, to share updates and highlight faculty collaborations through the School's Replicable Instructional Technology Infusion (RITI) grant program.

The group highlighted progress with innovation across disciplines supported by RITI funds, as well as new School collaborations that have emerged.

Updates included progress with modular course design coming out of the departments of Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education. Lynet Uttal and Alberta Gloria (Counseling Psychology) described how they are moving from a blended learning course to an all online course by developing modules using UW-Madison’s Case Scenario Critical Reader tool combined with the MOODLE platform. The work draws from topical content designed to support Cultural Responsiveness Education and Training.

Brian Phillips and Tim Tansy (Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education) shared updates about modular design and curriculum development to bring a Substance Abuse Instructional Toolkit to RPSE course work, and shared positive student reactions to TopHat’s student response system provided to RPSE 660 students this spring.

Felice Amato (Art) shared an overview of development of online course sites for Art 108, and Art 208. Online course development is underway with Moodle; the project includes video production, incorporation of class images and close captioning for Art 108/208.

Susan Miller Smedema (RPSE) provided this update on RPSE student use of SmartPens to foster universal design for learning:

“Students appreciated being able to share their notes and view their classmates’ notes prior to examinations,” says Smedema. “Criticisms included the smartpens’ bulky design, and technical difficulties with the Livescribe app.  Student’s grades seemed to be positively associated with the ability to share notes, however.  This is a relatively new technology, and we imagine with product refinements and improved app capabilities, this technology will be incredibly useful to universal design in instruction in the future.”

Next, faculty and staff visited the Art Lofts Glass Lab where Helen Lee (Art) dazzled the crowd with a live demo of glass blowing.  The glass lab includes four GoPro cameras strategically placed to video record glass blowing fine motor movement from different angles.  Video is played back using a RITI funded Smart Bench with Dartfish software to allow instructors and students to analyze and pinpoint specific, subtle movement around glass blowing techniques.

“The Glass Lab has used RITI funds to fabricate benches that allow for video cameras to be installed in key locales for capturing the movements that comprise the process of blowing glass,” says Lee, who oversees the university’s Glass Lab. “Additionally, an iOS app, Dartfish Express, is used as an educational tool with captured video: as a lesson guide, as a tool for marking up students’ processes, and as a comparison tool. The full version of Dartfish software is being utilized by Professor Kristen Pickett to more thoroughly analyze the range of movement students develop in the process of learning to blow glass.”

To wrap up, Picket (Occupational Therapy) provided a summary of a new collaboration with Lee to offer glass blowing workshops to patients with Parkinson’s disease.  This new research includes the study of what we can learn about the relationship between focused and intentional movement and the treatment of PD. (For more information, read this news story.)

Now in its second year, RITI funds have provided support to 15 projects across the School.   Grant highlights, lessons and progress are shared on the RITI grant web site. Going forward, MERIT staff plan to continue to offer grants focused on innovation, teaching and learning.  Please share your ideas and suggestions around future themes and topics that best support teaching and learning across the SoE.

Contact Catherine Stephens at MERIT more information.
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