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Faculty Strengthen and Create Classes, Programs to Help Students Achieve

Faculty Enhancement and Instructional Development Awards Announced
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Cal State Fullerton’s Faculty Development Center has identified and awarded 20 instructional improvement projects to achieve the goal of helping students succeed.

One such effort is revamping a course that seems to be a bottleneck for many business students. Mira Farka, associate professor of economics, will use technology and interactive learning to help students taking Economics 315 – Intermediate Business Microeconomics.

“The bulk of the work will be to develop instructional videos where I review in detail the math concepts students need for the course,” explains Farka, who will also create videos showing problem-solving techniques and provide step-by-step demonstrations to solve some of the problems students face in the course. “I will then design online homework assignments that are interactive in nature (trial and error-type) which allow students to practice these problem-solving techniques.

“The hope is that by being exposed to lots of examples, practice and hands-on experience, student performance will increase and lower the failure rate,” Farka said. “Econ 315 is considered quite difficult by many students because of its heavy math content and the quantitative skills that are required. My goal is to share the videos with other instructors of Econ 315 so they also can use them in their sections.”

More than 50 applications were submitted for funding this year. The awards are funded by Academic Affairs.

Award recipients and the title of their projects are:

  • Joel Abraham, associate professor of biological science, “Introductory Biology Instructional Modules Based on Faculty Research Programs”
  • Wylie Ahmed, assistant professor of physics, “PHYS 211: Introductory Physics for Life and Health Science Majors”
  • Lucia Alcala, assistant professor of psychology, “Integrating a Service-Learning Component to Developmental Psychology (Psychology 361)”
  • Robert Castro, professor of criminal justice, “Immigration & Crime Experiential Learning Class”
  • Alison Dover, assistant professor of secondary education, “Podcasting, Critical Literacy and Learning to Teach: Emergent Literacy in Teacher Education Classrooms”
  • Mira Farka, associate professor of economics, “Overhauling a Bottleneck Course: Economics 315 Intermediate Business Microeconomics”
  • Cynthia Gautreau, associate professor of elementary and bilingual education, “Course Redesign to Integrate Collaborative Research and Support High-Impact Practices”
  • Yoon Han, assistant professor of art, “Interdisciplinary Collaboration Using California Drought Data”
  • Sarah Hill, associate professor of political science, “Journey in Advocacy: Policy Making in Sacramento”
  • Erin Hollis, associate professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics, “English Major Senior Seminar”
  • Hope Johnson, associate professor of biological science, “Advances in Microbiology – A New Upper-Division Laboratory Course”
  • Carrie Lane, professor of American studies, “Preparing a New Study Abroad Service-Learning Program in Denmark”
  • Risto Marttinen, assistant professor of kinesiology, “Pursuing Service Learning in Kinesiology Teacher Education Courses”
  • Eliza Noh, associate professor of Asian-American studies, “Asian American High-Impact Projects (HIPs) Project to Promote Undergraduate Diversity Research”
  • Jamila Moore Pewu, assistant professor of history, “Mapping Arts OC Digital History Project”
  • Zia Salim, assistant professor of geography, “Integrating Undergraduate Research Experience in an Urban Geography Course”
  • Laura Smith, assistant professor of mathematics, “Engaging first-year Students in Linear Algebra and Mathematical Programming Through High-Impact Practice Courses”
  • Terri Snyder, professor of American studies, “Coordinating and Building the American Studies Internship Program”
  • Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, assistant professor of human communication studies “Quantitative Research Group (QRG)”
  • Devon Thacker Thomas, assistant professor of sociology, “Revising Research Applications (Sociology 485) in Sociology”