UMBC is proud to announce the projects selected to receive grants in the 2021-2022 rounds of the Hrabowski Fund for Innovation competition.
IMPLEMENTATION & RESEARCH AWARD (Spring 2022)
Feasibility of Anonymous Grading for Reducing Performance Discrepancies across Student Demographics (Implementation and Research Grant): A multidisciplinary team led by Neha Raikar (Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering) will build an anonymous grading tool for in-class paper exams and quizzes. This tool will allow the team to test its hypotheses that anonymous grading can lead to reduction, if not elimination, of implicit bias during grading and improve the fairness perception amongst students, especially underrepresented minority students. The grading methods used for exams and quizzes are central to determining student rank, letter grade, and GPA. Unfortunately, grading by a teaching assistant or an instructor may suffer from implicit bias while grading, which can have a detrimental effect on student morale and performance. The team plans to collect data on anonymous grading in six Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering and Computer Science and Electrical Engineering classes, collect feedback from students, and perform statistical analysis on that data and historical data.
SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING & LEARNING AWARD (Spring 2022)
Nudging Student Metacognition by Predicting Exam Questions and Answers (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant): A multidisciplinary team led by John Fritz (Division of Information Technology) will expand on an assignment designed to promote metacognition in students in SCI 100, "Water: An Interdisciplinary Study." In the prior assignment, students were asked to develop a study guide for their upcoming midterm and final exams by predicting three multiple choice questions and answers expected on the exam. Next, they were assigned to groups where they "voted" on the best student-submitted practice sets using Bloom's taxonomy as a guide. Finally, students were asked to submit a one-page reflection about their preparation and performance after receiving their actual midterm exam score, and reflect on what they learned about their learning before taking the final exam. The team plans to: 1) streamline the process for students sharing and "voting" on peers' predicted Q&A sets, 2) seek student feedback by focus group(s) in Fall 2022, 3) assign the exercise again in Spring 2023, 4) compare midterm and final exam scores and final grades to prior terms since the assignment was piloted in 2017, 5) seek faculty partner(s) to pilot in Fall 2023, and 6) publish results.
SEED AWARDS (Spring 2022)
Theory to Practice: Collaborating with Practitioners to Improve Lesson Planning Instruction for Campus to Field Transition (Seed Grant): A team led by Kimberly Feldman (Education) will collaborate with school-based partners to intentionally strengthen the skills necessary for effective lesson planning to close the gap between the foundations developed in coursework and the day-to-day implementation in the field. The student teaching internship is a formative experience, but at times there is a disconnect between what is learned in courses and what is experienced in the field. Mentor teachers have shared feedback that candidates lack the skills necessary for effective lesson planning and struggle to transfer their experience from course assignments to contextualized day-to-day planning, and lesson planning is often cited as a struggle for interns who are not successful in the field. Mentor teachers and recent alumni will work with faculty/instructors to design lesson planning instruction for the internship orientation and Phase 1 internship. The team will assess the implementation using multiple quantitative and qualitative measures from field assessments already in place.
Broadening Participation of Women Undergraduate Transfer Students in COEIT: Designing an Interactive Technology for Affective Skill Development (Seed Grant): A team led by Andrea Kleinsmith (Information Systems) will design, develop, and evaluate a prototype system for supporting the social and emotional connection of women transfer students in the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) to enhance affective skills and build or solidify a sense of belonging and community. The project aims to design and develop an initial prototype of a mobile app that allows users to send representations of their current electrodermal activity (EDA) experience to a partner, such as a transfer student mentor/mentee. The team will then employ participatory design methods to enable them to better understand transfer students' specific needs and concerns with an affective support system and develop an initial set of affective EDA representations. Finally, the team will conduct a field test with the proof-of-concept system. The team will analyze the co-design sessions, the post-study surveys, and the post-field test review sessions.
ADAPTATION AWARD (Fall 2021)
Transforming Student Outcomes with High Impact Practices in Music Education (Adaptation Grant): Brian Kaufman (Music) will bring together adjunct faculty in music education for a curriculum overhaul aimed at transforming student learning outcomes by adapting, integrating, and sequencing practices within three core areas of the curriculum--social justice approaches, the creative process, and integrating technology. Faculty will form a learning community to determine desired program learning outcomes within these areas, examine syllabi across the curriculum, create new syllabi, and reflect on the success of the implemented changes. They will survey students and faculty to determine the impact of the project as well as considerations for future teaching and learning.
SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING & LEARNING AWARD (Fall 2021)
UMBC Community Read Pilot Project (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant): Elaine MacDougall (English) will collaborate with other members of the UMBC and surrounding communities to research the impacts of a newly conceived UMBC Community Read Program with the goal of moving forward with a sustainable design funded by the University. This program is intended to encourage members of the community to research and reflect on various events, programming, collaborations, and marketing that brings students, faculty, staff, alumni, and surrounding community members into a collective conversation surrounding important topics about our shared humanity and experiences. Framing the UMBC Community Read experience around civic learning, social justice, and civic engagement, we can encourage students as scholar-activists to take their experiences with the Community Read into the greater Baltimore community as agents of change. The team is invested in measuring the impact of this program and corresponding activities on student learning and engagement.
SEED AWARDS (Fall 2021)
Powering up the Narrative: Leveraging Digital Storytelling in First Year Programming (Seed Grant): A multidisciplinary team led by Mark Berczynski (Engineering Computing and Education Program), Sarah Jewett (Provost's Office), and Jamie Gillan (Montgomery College English Department) will bring the power and strength of digital storytelling into game design in a video game project in COMP 101Y. This course is designed to build skills in computational thinking and design within a community of underrepresented groups in computing. In COMP 101Y, student groups are asked to reflect on their own experiences as first-year students, and then create a video game that is an authentic and meaningful story about success in a college environment. For this project, the tools and methods of digital storytelling will be applied in ways that enhance the story narrative of the game, as well as deepen the sense of community within the course. If this outcome proves to be successful with one section of the course this spring, the team hopes to scale the work to all six sections by fall.
Predictive Modeling for Identifying At-Risk Students in Introductory Computer Science Classes (Seed Grant): A multidisciplinary team led by Murat Guner (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) and Anupam Joshi (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) will utilize predictive modeling, a data science approach that uses large datasets to articulate and predict patterns and future events, to support the Computer Science (CMSC) Department's goals of better supporting students and decreasing class repeat rates in the program. The team aims to develop a set of easy-to-use, adaptable, and sustainable predictive models for the CMSC program to use when making decisions about resource allocation for student support. These models will allow the CMSC program to assign a risk score to each student entering the Computer Science I (CMSC 201) course at the beginning of each semester.
Retrieving the Social Sciences: Expanding Students' Engagement with Science Communication and Public Outreach (Seed Grant): A multidisciplinary team led by Christine Mallinson (Language, Literacy, and Culture and Center for Social Science Scholarship) will promote and assess student participation as both creators and listeners of content in the recently launched "Retrieving the Social Sciences" podcast. This podcast by the Center for Social Science Scholarship highlights social science research and teaching at UMBC, with the goal of making research more visible to the public and interdisciplinary audiences through increased science communication. The team will have students create podcast episodes featuring course-based research, showcase exceptional student research via invited interviews, and work with faculty to assign relevant podcast episodes as part of coursework. The team will administer questionnaires to understand these students' perceptions of learning outcomes from podcast creation and/or listening and ultimately hope to build capacity for the podcast's long-term sustainability.
Proposals for the next round of Hrabowski Fund for Innovation grants are due by October 28, 2022. For more information and to apply, visit UMBC's Faculty Development Center website.
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.