2010-11 Title III Faculty Grant Awards

Title III Grant Award Recipients and Project Abstracts

Investment Game (OIG), Risk Perception and Student Performance

Dr. Rahnuma Ahsan, Accounting and Finance

Dr. Rahnuma AhsnToday’s finance students will be tomorrow’s investors, financial advisors or pension fund managers. A student who is learning investment theory in class today will be responsible for managing someone else’s life savings tomorrow! The importance of introducing students to the complexities of the real investment world cannot be overstated. Online Investment Game (OIG) is the closest the students can get to implementing theories learned in class and to gaining practical knowledge without losing real money. Poor design of OIG, however, can encourage excessive risk taking. This study will focus on developing a game that controls excessive risk taking behavior by incorporating a fiduciary-principal relationship. Analysis will evaluate the effect of game use on student risk perception and will test student ability to relate theory to practice.

The "My Book" Project: Developing Critical Thinking Skill in Freshmen Using Game-like Simulations

 Dr. Robert Duncan, Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Robert DuncanThe MyBook project will develop a library of scenarios to train students in critical thinking skills using the media channels and tools they are most likely to encounter in their lives. The training protocol will use simulations of popular websites like Wikipedia to engage students in critical thinking. Students will create their own online publication based on information that they have critically evaluated. The specific aim of this research program is to determine whether virtual simulations, where core game play provides opportunities to practice critical thinking skills, are better than traditional simulations. It is predicted that students who practice critical thinking skills using MyBook will perform better on indicators of critical thinking compared to students who practice critical thinking using traditional simulations.

Evaluating Mathematics Lessons Incorporating Graphing Calculators or Manipulatives to Actively Engage Students

Dr. Jane Keleher, Teacher Education

Dr. Jane KeleherThis research addresses the question “does active engagement with calculators or manipulatives in the math classroom increase students' conceptual understanding?” Student learning in a secondary mathematics methods class and in student-faculty collaboration in the field is investigated. Students will select a unit, collect an assessment that does not implement calculators or manipulatives, and write a unit plan assessment that includes student engagement with calculators or manipulatives. Comparative analysis of unit assessment skills and conceptual questions will provide quantitative data on student understanding, and analysis of written narratives will provide qualitative data. Findings will inform the pedagogy of active engagement in teacher education.

E-Portfolio Self-Reflection and Goal-Setting to Improve Student Achievement in the Media Production Classroom

 Dr. Michael Smith, Performing and Fine Arts

Dr. Michael SmithIn media production classes, Communication Technology majors presently use e-portfolios to showcase work and critique peers. Feedback from students has indicated that they like how the e-portfolio helps them keep their work organized. For this investigation, students will also be asked to regularly describe in their e-portfolios areas of strength and obstacles of concern. This self- reflection process will hopefully invite students to take risks and encourage them to refocus goals as the semester progresses, leading to higher student achievement.