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Enhancing Gateway Sciences Learning Grants

2011 Grant Recipients


Johns Hopkins University affiliates may access final projects reports here
 

Active Learning in General Physics
Julian Krolik, Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Physics faculty conducted field visits to peer institutions to evaluate different approaches to introductory physics instruction and gather data on their efficacy. Applying that information, the team developed a pilot curriculum to promote active-learning exercises in TA-led discussion sections of General Physics courses. A second, post-grant phase (Fall 2013) revised the lecture portion of the course to support a hands-on “studio physics” option for “General Physics.”


Applied Chemical Equilibrium and Reactivity, a New Course for Students with AP Chemistry Credit
Jane Greco, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

A new curriculum option targeted incoming freshmen who have successfully completed high school AP chemistry courses and for whom a two-semester introductory college chemistry course would be redundant (~60-80 students per year). Prior to enrolling in the second year chemistry sequence, students study topics not covered in high school courses and participate in an integrated laboratory that requires data analysis, n advanced problem solving, and discussion of experiment applications to real world problems.


Epidemiology, Pedagogy & Innovation (EPI)
Stephen J. Gange, Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health
David D. Celentano, Professor and Chairman, Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health

This project integrated a common pedagogical framework and refined the sequencing of topics across all epidemiology gateway courses - both face-to-face and fully online. The framework embraced a blended teaching/learning model that stresses active learning exercises, integrates common competencies in the use of technology, and revitalizes the laboratory experience.


Online Self-Paced Learning
W. Stephen Wilson, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

To provide resources that address individual students’ competencies, the Department of Mathematics produced videos to illustrate solutions to all textbook examples used in 10 introductory mathematics courses – approximately 250 videos for each course. Students can view the examples outside of class at their own pace, significantly increasing their exposure to, and comfort with, the content.


Peer-Led Team Learning for Introductory Chemistry: A Proposal to the Gateway Sciences Initiative
Paul J. Dagdigian, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Louise Pasternack, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

To promote active learning and critical thinking and to help undergraduates learn to use group study effectively and foster good study skills, formalized peer-led groups of 8-10 students were enabled to meet two hours each week for problem solving sessions. Each group was facilitated by student leaders who had previously mastered the course material. This expanded the peer-led team learning program (PLTL) already in place for “Calculus” and “General Physics” to the “Introductory Chemistry” sequence, a large gateway course taken by nearly 50% of JHU undergraduates.


Proposed Curricular Enhancements for Biology and Biological Sciences: Revamping the Freshman Experience
Joel F. Schildbach, Professor, Department of Biology, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

To expose freshmen to research experience, increase their knowledge of biological principles, and improve their problem-solving and teamwork skills, a freshman research course was developed. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education Alliance and its Phage Hunters Advancing Genomic and Evolutionary Science program enabled a phage hunting project lab to be offered through GSI. Students isolated and characterized their own bacterium-infecting viruses and annotated and published the sequenced genome of an isolated phage.


Spatial Reasoning Assessment and Course: A Proposal to the Gateway Sciences Initiative
Edward Scheinerman, Vice Dean for Education, Office of Academic Affairs, Whiting School of Engineering

To improve spatial reasoning skills vital to success in STEM fields, an online spatial reasoning assessment was designed for incoming freshmen who wish to pursue majors in engineering and the sciences. A new one-credit course was developed for those students whose assessment results suggested they would benefit from an enriched introduction to spatial reasoning skills.


Statistics Through Case Study: Gateway Science Proposal for Introductory Statistics
Avanti Athreya, Associate Research Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Whiting School of Engineering
Donniell Fishkind, Associate Research Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Whiting School of Engineering
Bruno Jedynak, Associate Research Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Whiting School of Engineering
Daniel Q. Naiman, Professor and Chair, Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Whiting School of Engineering
Fred Torcaso, Senior Lecturer, Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Whiting School of Engineering               

A new introductory statistics course was developed to introduce traditional statistical analysis course topics through the use of multi-disciplinary case studies. Students focus on six to eight case studies per semester, learning the necessary statistical theory in the context of questions that arise in a variety of disciplines across the curriculum.


The Active Learning eStudio Project:  An Experimental Teaching and Learning Environment for Gateway Science Courses at Homewood
Candice Dalrymple, Associate Dean, University Libraries and Director, Center for Educational Resources

To provide a teaching and learning space that supports active learning strategies and team collaboration, a new eStudio was established. The classroom was designed and constructed to serve faculty from science, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are replacing all-lecture instruction with student-centered, team-based, problem-based pedagogical approaches. Qualitative assessment was conducted in all courses; where student learning outcomes from courses offered exclusively through lectures was available, data were accumulated to compare the old and new teaching approaches.


Using Technology to Enhance Understanding in Gateway Sciences Courses
Kristina Obom, Program Director and Senior Lecturer, Advanced Academic Programs, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Patrick Cummings, Director, Center for Biotechnology Education and Senior Lecturer, Advanced Academic Programs, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Thomas Koval, Senior Lecturer, Advanced Academic Programs, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Robert Lessick, Associate Director and Senior Lecturer, Advanced Academic Programs, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Sherry Ogg, Senior Lecturer, Advanced Academic Programs, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

To help students to acquire laboratory techniques and research skills outside of class, instructors produced videos on processes commonly used in research labs, methods used to develop research papers, and basic methods used in biostatistics and bioinformatics analysis.