Dr. Jan Tillman is very aware that the advanced practice nurses in her leadership course are a heterogeneous group. They are older than the traditional East Carolina University student and bring years of clinical experience to the table. They are practicing nurses, moms, dads, veterans and have varied ethnic backgrounds. So she knew from the start that they would also bring a wide variety of learning styles to the table.

When a workshop on improving student engagement and learning through course re-design was offered at ECU, she was excited to participate. The workshop had a focus on two approaches—Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the Integrated Course Design (ICD) concept created by Dee Fink. It was sponsored by the ECU Office for Faculty Excellence and College STAR (Supporting Transition Access and Retention).

Inspired by the workshop, she spent the summer of 2015 revamping the hybrid distance learning course “Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence” to give her students several ways to both learn and demonstrate their knowledge of leadership principles. read more

College STAR News

  • Course ReDesign Helps Faculty Engage Students

    When you walk away from a workshop with clear direction on how to lecture less and engage students more, you can be confident that the professional development was time well spent.

    That's exactly how Dr. Dionne Sills Busio, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Child Studies at Appalachian State, felt after May’s Course (Re) Design Institute (CRDI).

  • Collaborative Quizzes Help Students Focus on What They Don’t Know

    Working with others in class is not a new concept, but Dr. Trina Palmer at Appalachian State is applying the idea to quizzes—in mathematics of all things.

  • Dr. Muller had lasting impact on College STAR program

    Although Dr. Dorothy Muller is retiring after 40 years, she talks about assisting students and faculty with the same level of enthusiasm you suspect she brought to her arrival on campus in 1977.

    It was a younger, pregnant new Ph.D. who arrived in Greenville with her husband in 1976. She made ECU one of her first stops and began her career with the university as a part-time adjunct professor of reading. The following year, she was on the faculty full-time--sharing her expertise on reading in content areas, a specialty which she now acknowledges as a pre-cursor to the concepts of Universal Design for Learning which she would champion through College STAR.

  • UDL Advocates receive Board of Governors Teaching Awards

    Two strong advocates of Universal Design for Learning have recently been given the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

  • Making History Come Alive

    Early in his career Professor René Harder Horst thought that instructors who failed to deliver a well-prepared formal lecture to their students were being “irresponsible.” This was how he had been taught in high school and college.

  • Private Facebook Group Assists Faculty Communication

    Making and maintaining connections can be a challenge when you are one of 70 faculty members teaching a First Year Seminar at Appalachian State. But a private Facebook group organized by Lillian Nave, UDL Coordinator in the Center for Academic Excellence, has proven to be a successful way for faculty and staff scattered throughout the campus to communicate, share ideas and help each other.

  • Immersive Retreat Provides Boost for First Year Seminar Faculty

    Sometimes you just need to get away from it all to focus on something new, and that’s exactly 18 Appalachian State faculty members did at the Wildacres retreat center in Little Switzerland, NC. It was only 30 miles from the university, but it felt like another world. The distance created an immersive opportunity to infuse their First Year Seminar (FYS) class with the principles of Universal Design for Learning.

  • Saturday Experiences Continue to Give Students a Boost

    Building on the success of two summer B.O.O.S.T. camps, Fayetteville State has offered additional support to area middle and high school students through the Saturday Experience.

  • Faculty Explore Mindful Teaching Practices

    “Being present” is a popular goal in this day of electronic distractions, and educators at Appalachian State University are taking it to a whole new level.   They are studying and embracing the practice of mindfulness and especially its links to Universal Design for Learning.

  • East Carolina University highlights the start of College STAR Phase 4

    East Carolina University recently released an article highlighting the start of phase 4 of the College STAR grant.