IMPLEMENTATION & RESEARCH AWARDS (Spring 2021)
Preventing Gender-Based Harm at UMBC: Designing and Teaching a Multidisciplinary Course (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Jodi Kelber-Kaye (Honors College) will create a 3-credit first-year seminar (FYS) course centered on educating undergraduate students about gender-based harm at all levels of society and empowering them to create change. In addition to traditional academic content consisting of lessons rooted in contemporary scholarship on gender-based harm and its impact, students will learn healthy relationship practices and skills through evidence-based prevention models and will exercise the knowledge they glean over the course of the semester through hands-on projects encouraging civic engagement and community activism. Evaluation of this project will entail short- and long-term studies on the impact of this course on campus sexual misconduct outcomes as well as a comparative study on the retention and well-being of students throughout their college careers. This project will create a context for further research on classroom-based prevention strategies, allowing UMBC to expand the field of gender-based harm prevention in higher education settings through evaluation and dissemination of this novel educational intervention model.
Assessing and Reversing Students’ Unpreparedness in Upper Level Biology Courses (Seed Grant) — Michelle Starz-Gaiano and Fernando Vonhoff (Biological Sciences) will collect data about why students do not prepare thoroughly before coming to class. The team will collect data to confirm their hypothesis that students do not have effective strategies for reading primary literature papers and thus find the content overwhelming, which decreases their motivation to carefully read the assigned learning materials. If this hypothesis proves to be correct, they will help students develop efficient strategies to bridge the gap between learning from textbooks and learning from primary, data-based literature by testing the method of annotating papers following strategies described on the AAAS Science In The Classroom website. By presenting the scientific content in a more digestible manner, the team will help students develop efficient strategies to read and understand scientific papers over time. The team will collect preliminary data on the efficacy of this method from the student’s perspective, from analysis on student performance using historical data from 2018-2020, and between course modules with and without annotated papers. The team will also collect preliminary data examining whether the application of this method can be used to stimulate students to be engaged in more complex assignments, which may lead to a deeper understanding of the class material and prepare them for future advanced challenges.
The Hrabowski Fund for Innovation exemplifies UMBC's commitment to investing in faculty initiatives that fuel creativity and enterprise and also create opportunities for student engagement.