Wimmer Faculty Fellows - Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

2014-2015 Wimmer Faculty Fellows

We are pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Wimmer Faculty Fellows. These fellowships are made possible by a grant from the Wimmer Family Foundation and are designed for junior faculty members interested in enhancing their teaching through concentrated work designing or re-designing a course, innovating new materials, or exploring a new pedagogical approach. Fellows work in close collaboration with Eberly Center colleagues and receive a stipend to acknowledge the work it takes to improve one's effectiveness as an educator.

DJ Brasier

DJ Brasier
Lecturer
Department of Biological Sciences, Mellon College of Science

DJ hypothesizes that students, even in early stages of their undergraduate career, learn concepts effectively and engage more deeply when they are exposed to critical evaluation of original scientific publications, rather than traditional textbook-and-lecture approaches. To test this hypothesis, DJ is redesigning several modules of Modern Biology, a large introductory undergraduate course. He seeks to replace a subset of lectures with learning activities in which students uncover and apply fundamental biological concepts while practicing skills for critically reading primary scientific literature. Activities emphasize applications of fundamental principles to issues of real-world significance to students, such as the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. In collaboration with Eberly colleagues, DJ is designing the learning activities as well as approaches to measure their impacts on student learning. He will pilot these strategies with 30 students during summer semester and then explore how to implement them at scale with 150 students in Fall 2014.

Jennifer Keating-Miller

Jennifer Keating-Miller
Special Instructor
Department of English, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Jennifer is co-designing a new, multidisciplinary course, Art, Technology & Conflict in Contemporary Northern Ireland, drawing upon learning resources from Art, English, and the Robotics Institute. Through reflective writing and mixed media projects, using technologies developed in CMU’s CREATE Lab, students will explore the role that technology can play in a conflict and post-conflict society, as well as its direct or implicit influence on artistic practice (visual and literary). The course will also include an immersive experience in Northern Irish culture in Belfast. Jennifer will also explore the feasibility of technology-mediated community engagement between students in Pittsburgh and Northern Ireland. Eberly colleagues will consult with Jennifer regarding course design and strategies for effectively integrating instructional technologies, and assessing student learning.

Ali Momeni

Ali Momeni
Assistant Professor
School of Art, College of Fine Arts

In Fall 2014, CMU’s Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe) will launch eight campus-wide, interdisciplinary concentrations and minors, providing integrative design experiences and connections to diverse networks of students. As a Wimmer Fellow, Ali is co- designing Introduction to Physical Computing, one of four innovative IDeATe “portal” courses for arts and engineering students. The course is project-based, promoting independent learning through online learning materials and hands-on collaborative learning in multidisciplinary teams during face-to-face sessions. Group projects “practice essential skills and challenge students to not only consider HOW to make things, but also for WHOM we design, WHEN time is ripe, and WHY the making is worthwhile/necessary”. Ali is consulting with Eberly Colleagues on the design and delivery of online learning resources as well as evidence-based approaches to collaborative learning and providing feedback on student work.

Joshua Reiman

Joshua Reiman
Visiting Assistant Professor
School of Art, College of Fine Arts

Joshua’s project seeks to enhance art students’ training in professional practice by infusing authentic, real-world experiences in a new interdisciplinary, graduate-level course. Students will integrate theory, critique, and art history references as they: (1) develop and create new works of art; (2) collaboratively propose and execute public art exhibitions in Pittsburgh; and (3) network and dialogue with working artists, curators, and critics. In particular, Joshua is working with the Eberly Center to explore and refine evidence-based teaching practices for assignments and classroom activities involving critique and peer feedback. He will also evaluate impacts of this course design on student learning and satisfaction as well as its potential as a sustainable, transferable model to augment undergraduate art education.

Stacy Rosenberg

Stacy Rosenberg
Assistant Teaching Professor
School of Public Policy and Management, Heinz College

In Strategic Presentation Skills, a core requirement for graduate students, Stacy seeks to maximize students’ opportunities to practice and receive feedback on key skills. She is exploring innovative approaches to engage students in peer critiques of presentations, both during class and online between classes, so that students engage with the assignment criteria from multiple perspectives. In addition, she will leverage video and screen capture technologies to deliver a portion of didactic instruction online. Consequently, more time in class sessions can be used to engage students through interactive learning activities. Stacy is working closely with Eberly colleagues to select educational technologies aligned to her teaching and learning goals and to implement evidence-based practices for multimedia learning, online instruction, and peer evaluation.

Shoba Subramanian

Shoba Subramanian
Assistant Teaching Professor
Department of Biological Sciences, Mellon College of Science

To strengthen students’ scientific inquiry skills, Shoba is redesigning her graduate-level course, Applied Cell and Molecular Biology, by implementing active learning and “just-in-time” teaching  strategies. Students will learn fundamentals online via readings and concept quizzes. Shoba will monitor quiz responses to diagnostically tailor what she teaches during class sessions “just-in-time”. Using lecture and discussion, the first 10-15 minutes of of class sessions will address misconceptions identified through the quizzes. Afterwards, students will engage in small group activities designed to apply the most challenging concepts and practice inquiry, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. For example, students may critically discuss the results of published research papers and their implications for mechanistically understanding human diseases, identifying additional research questions and the experimental designs needed to test them. The Eberly Center is supporting Shoba in the design of these classroom activities as well as the integration of educational technologies in her teaching.