Faculty Development Modules and Case Studies


Throughout the College STAR modules, we will be providing information about Universal Design for Learning. If you are interested in digging deeper now, you may want to consider viewing Information about the UDL framework found in the "Introduction to UDL" module, one of the CAST UDL Online Modules (CAST, 2009). Additionally, the National Center on UDL (2011) presents excellent information in their "About UDL" section.

Currently Available Modules

Typical undergraduates do not always understand or appreciate the importance of art to society. So Ms. Lillian Nave Goudas strives to help her students to see the relevance of her class in their lives and creates assessment strategies to involve students in knowledge creation. By using active collaborative quizzes Ms. Nave Goudas provides a real-world corollary to problem solving that increases the student's depth of knowledge in a relaxed and encouraging environment. Her collaborative quiz functions not only as an assessment tool, but also introduces the student to multiple ways of learning and sharing knowledge.

Faculty members are often in search of methods for presenting content that are beneficial in helping different types of college students learn. One approach, the Advance Organizer, is a visual organization practice which can be used at the beginning of a class or a new unit of study to present new information to students. It can also set the stage for building on existing knowledge from prior learning.

This is the alternative assessment model: giving students license to express what they have learned using methods chosen by them, rather than prescribed by their instructor. The result is a situation where barriers related to the format of assessment are removed, and student grades are more likely to reflect levels of student mastery. Instructors can continue to hold students to high standards for content mastery, and students can bring increased effort and creativity to their work.
This case study outlines a 90-minute lesson on the topic of social media, which can be used in a computer, English, or elective course. The activities have been designed to include options for engagement, representation, and action & expression. There are five overall aspects to the lesson: an introduction using PowerPoint, a paired activity called, “Exchange, Observe, Share,” and directed small group discussions. Entry and exit tickets are used at the start and finish. Readers will learn about the lesson activities and how to achieve the primary goal to help students assess and analyze the multiple impacts social media has on their lives. A special focus on the UDL principle of engagement is highlighted. Educators viewing this content will also be offered suggestions as to how they might adapt this lesson for their own needs, and clearly identify the “why, what, and how” of this lesson as a powerful learning experience for students.
The objective of this case study is to illustrate the potential for differentiated assessment (aka assessment empowerment) to enhance students’ level of engagement and satisfaction with their learning experience. Traditionally, teachers have decided what to assess and how it will be assessed. Conversely, differentiated assessment empowers students to choose how their learning is assessed. This pedagogical strategy is based on the assertion that students should have a voice in their learning in order to empower them.

This module covers information about two student record charts that are clearly linked to the UDL principle of Multiple Means of Engagement.

This module covers information about the use of clickers (response systems) to facilitate student interaction, formative assessment, and summative assessment in ways that are clearly linked to the UDL principles of Multiple Means of Representation, Multiple Means of Expression and Action, and Multiple Means of Engagement.

This case study provides an overview of how students were supported in the process of developing their research papers into video lectures, as well as a description of the procedure students followed to arrive at this goal.

Innovative teaching isn’t always informed by new developments. Sometimes it’s situated in the past, drawing from established methods proven to enhance student learning. Cooperative learning is one such strategy that has been revitalized in recent years by college faculty who want to engage students by involving them directly in the learning process.

This module covers information about Welcoming Learning Environments, which is clearly linked to principle III, Multiple Means of Engagement

Creative expressions of learning facilitates a deep-level learning that grounds students in sensory awareness and fosters student engagement. In going beyond the standard triumvirate of a test, paper, and oral presentation, creative expressions enable students not only to communicate their learning but to develop a “felt sense” of it, demonstrating their knowledge in an all-encompassing way. Creative expressions of learning supplement and complement, rather than replace, traditional assignments.

This module describes how effective use of relevant information like social media, and captivating scenarios, like fantastical stories, can capture student attention and increase engagement.

This module will address strategies for providing alternative options for auditory content (i.e., closed captions, transcripts) as a way for instructors to proactively support learners and enhance their learning experience through video and audio content. These strategies are relevant whether instructors teach using fully asynchronous online courses, blended learning experiences, or simply use audio/video materials in or out of class.

This module provides an overview of the flipped classroom design, and provides detail on the many ways traditional classrooms can be flipped to provide greater student engagement. A flipped classroom reflects Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, presenting both initial content, and opportunities for application of that content, to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Case Studies

Blended learning describes an educational model where classroom time in a lecture format is combined with online learning, and in-class group activities. The proposed module will describe the experience of using a blended model for increasing active learning in a nutrition course, while still providing lectures and pre-class video and reading materials. The professor, and teaching assistants will discuss their experiences, and course materials and methods will be provided.
In this case study Dr. Joe Wirgau shares tips and design elements that are useful when creating videos for his “flipped” classroom. Dr. Wirgau has a background in Chemistry, but this case study is broadly applicable to any discipline.
This module provides a practical example of how an instructor-centered classroom can be transformed by inverting the standard order of content delivery: making the teacher's lesson available for home viewing and helping students apply the content in class. This flipped approach allows learners to master the content in a variety of ways: via audio and visual cues at home; and in the classroom by reading and writing, physical movement, through peer learning, and with the instructor's guidance.
This case study will provide the rarely explored, student perspective on “flipped” classrooms. It is good teaching practice for educators to seek to better the student learning experience by taking student input. This case study will examine the strengths of a flipped class as well as setbacks and what could have gone differently from the perspective of a student.

This module covers information about game-based learning, which is clearly linked to all three principles of Universal Design for Learning–Multiple Means of Representation, Multiple Means of Action and Expression, and Multiple Means of Engagement.

This case study depicts a project-based learning method to improve student engagement, understanding, and mastery of the abstract theories within the online class environment. An overarching three-stage project was introduced to the students in an online Educational Psychology class, together with detailed project guidelines, grading rubrics, and discussion forums. Students were required to find a problem in their personal /professional life, decide on their project of interest, and apply the theories being presented in the course to solve the problem.
This module covers information about Inquiry-based Learning, which is clearly linked to the principles of Universal Design for Learning–Multiple Means of Action and Expression, and Multiple Means of Engagement.
Aligned with adult education theories, enacting democratic practice can have a positive impact on student learning and engagement. In this case study, I explore the role of power in curriculum and course design through considering approaches to involving students in the planning process.

Lecture Capture refers to a wide range of technologies designed to preserve information created in a classroom setting. In a traditional sense this could be considered student notes or distributed PowerPoint slides. Recently schools have placed greater emphasis on using video recording technologies for this purpose. As such, videos will be the primary focus of this module, which provides details on the types of technologies available to create a range of different types of recorded lectures, and places them within the context of the Universal Design for Learning.

The Livescribe™ smartpen is a technology tool used to provide linked auditory and visual information in a linear or nonlinear format. At this time, the Livescribe™ pen is the only smartpen that synchronizes written notes with recorded audio. Livescribe™ smartpens were developed to be used by note takers, such as students, who wish to audio record lectures which correspond to their handwritten class notes.

This module offers fun and fast ways to express and assess student learning each week. Students, individually or in groups, summarize the main lesson they learned in class that week by using a series of creative, expressive communication techniques. This module describes the instructional strategy for engaging students in otherwise wearying or intimidating courses, sharing the variety of creative communication devices that enable students to express what they’re learning. This module includes actual templates that teachers can download and use, electronically or on paper, online or face-to-face, to engage students in fast and fun reflective summaries of that day’s or week’s lesson.

Mnemonic strategies are commonly used across content areas to help students remember important information or concepts. When we talk about mnemonics, people often think of mnemonic acronyms that enable people to remember items through the use of a catchy word or phrase in which the acronym letters begin each of the terms in a list. For example, many people remember the colors in the rainbow using the acronym "ROY G BIV," which represents the colors in the order they appear in a rainbow-red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. But there are many other types of mnemonics.

Integrating practices of mindfulness in the classroom can develop essential affective attributes that support student success. Integrating classroom activities and assignments that incorporate self awareness, compassion, acceptance, and focused attention align with goals of Universal Design Learning (UDL) that aim to create students who are purposeful, resourceful, and strategic. This case study will outline several mindfulness practices for the college classroom that can be applied across all disciplines. Descriptions of students’ experiential reflections and the instructor’s observations will consider areas of challenge and success. The conclusion will provide educators first steps in facilitation for the pedagogical application of mindfulness that aligns with UDL goals and offer supplemental resources for further guidance in the inner technology of mindfulness.

Developed by Allan Carrington, the Padagogy Wheel is designed to connect Bloom's Taxonomy with Apple iPad applications (commonly known as "apps"). The Padagogy Wheel is divided into five segments that relate directly to the cognitive domains of Bloom's Taxonomy. Within the five segments of the wheel, subcategories explore each domain further with related action verbs, activities, and iPad apps. The goal of the Padagogy Wheel is for students to access the higher order thinking of Bloom's Taxonomy via iPad technology.

In this module, a faculty member in dance shares her experience using frequent, short writing assignments to prepare students to be successful in a longer, formal assignment.

At Appalachian State University (ASU), Mr. Jeff Goodman uses a model known as the 5E Instructional Model to introduce scientific concepts to his students. This model helps frame instructional practices for teaching course content in the following sequence: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.

With versatile features and a discreet, customizable toolbar, Read & Write Gold for the desktop offers digital supports to users at school, home, and work. Read & Write Gold integrates reading, writing, studying, and research support tools with commonly used programs.

In this case study, readers will learn about the racial disparity in graduate school programs in psychology and how tablets have been used to increase excitement and motivation in students. Readers will learn how we used Amazon Fire tablets to increase confidence and pride in Research Methods and Statistics students. Furthermore, readers will learn that we were able to significantly increase students’ confidence and pride in their research.
This case study describes a collective self-publication project I facilitated with college students in a freshman English class. Through a series of rigorously structured steps, the students composed and revised original pieces of personal narrative writing, arranged their pieces into individual chapters, combined their chapters into a multi-author manuscript, and published the resulting book, which we called Writing Our Truth: Stories of Struggle and Survival, using the KDP platform on Amazon.
Rarely can the world’s problems be adequately grasped within the four walls of a classroom. Service-learning is a pedagogical technique that combines experiential learning practices with community engagement and encourages personal growth through reflection in the classroom. Service-learning is not exclusive to student benefits: universities and colleges can increase community engagement and develop mutually beneficial relationships through this practice. Service-learning within a course is designed in a way so that the course objectives, tasks, and assignments align with student service projects that meet community needs. In this process, students engage in concrete experiences with thoughtful reflection to promote abstract conceptualization and create connections with course material. Students then utilize the knowledge gained in class with their service-learning sites through active experimentation.

Case Studies

Service-learning can be an incredibly rewarding practice for students, the community and instructors. However, the task of developing a service-learning program can be daunting. This case study describes how a service-learning component was developed in an established community nutrition course. Lessons learned from both students and service-learning partners are also discussed and developed tools are provided to assist with development and evaluation of other service-learning programs.
This Case Study will teach facilitators how to use low-barrier, low-resource instructional tools such as children’s puzzles to achieve targeted learning outcomes which are realized through a facilitated debriefing process. We explain and explore how to use puzzles in multiple ways as an activity, that when followed by a facilitated debrief, aids learners in translating and transferring the experience to their own lives, and in some cases, professional disciplines.
Introductory marketing courses run the risk of focusing too much on terminology and too little on developing the conceptual and practical skills needed to prepare students for more advanced study in marketing. This case offers an example of how an introductory marketing classroom shifts when structured around a semester-long, live-case-study project. In this project, students are challenged to immerse themselves in the learning experience by developing marketing plans for small, local businesses. Through the development of marketing plans, students learn the following skills critical for success in the marketing profession: assessing marketing goals and current marketing strategies; gathering, analyzing, and presenting relevant marketing information from a variety of secondary sources; and developing marketing objectives, strategies, and activities based on business goals and environmental realities. Students also practice professional communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills through their interactions with their clients and exercise their writing and presentation skills while completing, for most, their first professional deliverable, a marketing plan.
Taking a metacognitive approach—choosing forms of active learning that foster metacognition—can help faculty prepare students to make the most of active learning experiences while helping them become self-directed learners (Pelley, 2014). This module will focus on strategies and approaches instructors can take to become more metacognitive in their own professional practice and to use metacognition as they design and implement active learning in their classes.

This model promotes active learning, communication and team collaboration, while also emphasizing the importance of individual accountability. This module provides an overview of Team-Based Learning design, guidelines and strategies on ways to incorporate team-based learning into the classroom.

Case Studies

This case study aims to offer guidelines and suggestions on how I integrated flipped classroom and team-based learning within the context of an undergraduate developmental psychology course at Fayetteville State University.
Collaboration is an essential professional skill, yet group projects often evoke anxiety in upper-level students. The insight that inspired this 15 process was this: Instructors often ask students to work in groups without teaching them about group communication and how the best groups function. This omission can lead to difficulty in teams and a distaste for collaborative work overall. After listening to student concerns about group projects for years and drawing on information from conferences, workshops, literature, and discussions with colleagues, I developed this process with intentional remedies to ease the main issues that cause tension in group projects.
Part of the challenge for engaging students in the learning process requires understanding how and why teaching methods designed to enhance engagement impact student learning. In this case study, the theoretical context of engagement and practical basis for the implementation of team-based learning (TBL) in a general chemistry course taught by Dr. Rosa Bell at East Carolina University are addressed. Students’ perceptions of engagement, instructional practices, and learning in the chemistry course are also discussed.
The purpose of this case study is to describe how using STAR Legacy Pedagogy can assist learners in solving authentic problems. First described will be how the STAR Legacy Pedagogy promotes learning for diverse students who have varying levels of professional expertise in a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Secondly, the UDL alignment will be discussed. Finally, the methodology for integrating this pedagogy will be depicted, and student learning outcomes will be presented.

The modulus proposed here is about implementing an innovative technology using iPad to preserve information created in a classroom during lecture time. Most of the currently available techniques use cameras to capture either the class or screen. The proposed technique focuses on the content rather than the instructor and enables instructors to record the lecture, save the notes and share it with students through various formats. It provides teachers with a versatile tool to preserve information created in classroom setting like discussions, solved problems and notes, and helps them to improve the class performance by reusing and updating the previously created content.

This case study discusses assignments from a First-Year Seminar course taken by most first year college students at Appalachian State University. These courses have a shared set of learning outcomes with primary emphasis on critical and creative thinking, communicating effectively, and examining a single issue from multiple perspectives. Only the assignments in these seminar courses meant to encourage student self-awareness and self-monitoring are covered in this case study.

This module covers information about well-organized courses which are clearly linked to Principles I, II, and III of Universal Design for Learning–Provide Multiple Means of Representation, Multiple Means of Action and Expression, and Multiple Means of Engagement.

This module covers information about quizzing students to increase compliance with assigned readings, which is clearly linked to two principles of Universal Design for Learning—Provide Multiple Means of Representation and Provide Multiple Means of Engagement.

The syllabus also can serve as a bridge to all learners. A syllabus that provides options for completing assignments so that students can choose a format that plays to their strengths is practicing the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Case Studies

This case study makes explicit the connection of personalizing learning and co-creating course syllabi with Universal Design for Learning. It presents the study process and results of my research involving co-creating syllabi with my undergraduate students.

This module introduces Web 2.0 tools and showcases how instructors can use them to have students express their creativity, understanding, and application of material and learned information.

This case study examines the use of contemplative practices in an Honors seminar with eleven first-semester students. Honors students are typically strong in verbal, rational, linear, abstract, temporal, rational, and analytic intelligence—their left brains. Students in this course exercise many creative and contemplative practices to strengthen their intuitive, creative, spatial, relational, holistic, unconscious, Gestalt, non-linear, and non-verbal intelligence—their right brains.

This module discusses the use of multiple means of representation within the confines of a PowerPoint lecture. It highlights practices that engage and enhance student learning through different visual representations and access. Dr. Leist utilizes different representations to highlight patterns in information, encourage information chunking, and enhance understanding through pictorial depiction.

After three and a half years of teaching Composition and Rhetoric to first- and second-year college students at Appalachian State University, Mr. Jon Pope identified a recurring challenge in his students’ work: he was the only audience member. Whether the assignment was a personal narrative or an essay in biology, Mr. Pope seemed to be the only target audience that his students considered. To address this challenge, he decided to implement multimodal experiences in the classroom that were not only engaging, but incorporated numerous types of writing for specific and diverse audiences.

Recommended Modules & Resources