NatSci Digital Accessibility Coordinator

NatSci Digital Accessibility Coordinator

I am excited to share that I have taken on the role of Digital Accessibility Coordinator in the College of Natural Science. My responsibilities will include managing academic accessibility needs for NatSci courses, providing guidance on digital methods for teaching, providing professional development to faculty and staff, and networking with IT and other accessibility folks on campus. I look forward to promoting equitable and inclusive pedagogy practices in our STEM classes. 

Foundations of Neuroscience OER!

Foundations of Neuroscience OER!

It’s official! 

My Foundations of Neuroscience, Open Edition is published by MSU Libraries and Pressbooks. I am so excited that this work can now be shared and used freely in the neuroscience community. 

Foundations of Neuroscience is aimed at undergraduate students new to the field of neuroscience. The first edition specifically targets students enrolled in Neurobiology at Michigan State University and primarily contains topics covered in that course. For example, only three sensory systems are discussed in this version of the text. Future editions will continue to expand the number of topics and concepts presented (see below for a list of planned topics).

Following the principles of Universal Design for Learning, multiple means of representation will be provided for students to engage with the content. Clear, accessible text will be divided into short, easily digestible chapters that focus on one concept. Numerous images and animations will be paired with the text, and a captioned video version of the text is shared for each chapter. The text is written with the undergraduate student that is new to neuroscience in mind. Neuroscience terminology will be introduced in an easy-to-understand manner, and supporting content will be clear and concise to minimize cognitive load not associated with understanding new material.

Each chapter will end with an interactive quiz for student self-evaluation of the content. All quiz answers (i.e. both correct and incorrect) will provide feedback, so students can self-check their understanding at the end of each concept and receive immediate feedback about their learning.

Feel free to leave feedback or comments here!

OER Leadership Award

OER Leadership Award

Since I created and have been using an open education resource (OER) in my class, I was asked to participate in a faculty panel hosted by the MSU student government, ASMSU, yesterday in celebration of Open Education Week 2021. It was a great panel with multiple faculty sharing their experiences of using OER. I was surprised, though, by finding out that ASMSU was also honoring us with OER Leadership Awards as recognition for using OER in our courses. It always feels so great to be recognized for my work by students.

Faculty Teaching Prize

Faculty Teaching Prize

I was recently awarded the 2019 College of Natural Science Faculty Teaching Prize. It is an honor to be recognized for my teaching accomplishments by the college. Many thanks go to my Program Chair, Jim Galligan, and CNS Digital Curriculum Specialist, Stephen Thomas, for nominating me for the award. 

Read the College of Natural Science press release to see everyone who was recognized at the award ceremony. 

Neuroscience Sway Lessons

Neuroscience Sway Lessons

I have been trying to integrate more Office 365 apps into my course content, since I have been transitioning from Google Classroom to Microsoft Class Teams and Word. As part of my exploration of the different apps, I came across Sway and began playing. Sway allows for easy web page creation. As an individual with actual web design experience, at first I found Sway to be incredibly frustrating – I could not control where items went or their exact size, etc… But once I stepped back and accepted the program for what it was, I started having a great time.

I am going to incorporate Sway into my class and have student collaborate on presentations. To do this, though, I knew I needed to become a bit of an expert, so I decided to create some lecture-type lessons. Below are some of the neuroscience lessons I have created:

Neuron Structure and Function

Synapse Function