Category Archives: GRAD 5104 Blogs

Blog posts related to the Preparing the Future Professoriate Course

Three aspects for better teaching ( Anchor concepts + Course design + Course outcomes)


Four “anchor concepts” for better teaching and learning

  • Concept 1: Teach toward equity, We should teach and provide everyone with the same resources regardless of their sex, gender, race, etc. Teachers, students, and peers should join together in learning communities to help each other in terms of enhancing and improving their knowledge. 
  • Concept 2: Construct and Connect, learning is a construction process that is improved by others’ prior knowledge and experiences. Collaboration between students is necessary for their learning experience.
  • Concept 3: Engage Students Actively: To keep students actively engaged, we must understand that some students resist learning, and student engagement can be enhanced. Teachers can utilize the interaction between active learning and motivation in the classroom to keep them engaged actively.  
  • Concept 4: Motivation Matters, Motivation is the center of active learning where it has two main sources intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. It also enhances students goal achievement and can develop their competency, autonomy, and relatedness which create a pathway to learning success

Backward Design Approach Explained 

Course design is an important stage when an instructor embarks on teaching a course. During this stage, the instructor has the opportunity to make decisions to improve course delivery, inventions, layout, and content. These improvements can help students’ levels of engagement and their learning experiences. For this section, I picked Backwards Design because it is very important and yet very powerful. ( You can choose any Course Design ) 

Backward Design is an interesting concept to use during designing a course that I am not sure I have seen instructors use. I personally experience fewer courses that professors hand out assessments before and after the course in comparison to the ones that do not. I would personally use it at the beginning of the course design because I will start determining the final outcome of the course and plan a way to assess my students and finally plan instruction and assignments such as assignments, books, online videos that will best enable students to meet the course objectives and be successful. 

Backward Design is a study design concept/strategy that allows the instructor to plan the course by determining the final learning outcome. It uses three strategies: setting the goals of the course (focusing on long-term learning), planning a proper assessment instrument to measure students’ learning, and providing resources that will help students meet the course objective.   

Course “outcomes” Explained 

Each course outcome can vary based on the instructor’s planning and course objectives. Thus, a learning outcome statement is important during the course design process. A learning outcome should state what students are able to do after finishing the course successfully.  Learning outcomes is useful during the course design process because planning them helps the instructor not only focus on the main outcome but also on the day-to-day interaction with the students. Type of general learning outcomes: 

  • Psychomotor: useful in developing thinking (problem-solving) skills to appropriately and efficiently manipulate specified objects in order to achieve a goal (e.g., using software for learning)   
  • Affective: useful in developing students’ emotional abilities  (e.g., attitudes, motivation, and values) 
  • Social—Appropriate: engagement and behavior with other people that are productive (e.g., cooperation, leadership, and negotiation skills) 
  • Ethical—Decision: Making decisions that consider the moral implications and ramifications that impact other people, animals, or the environment. (e.g., teaching engineering students to build a bridge or software engineers  to program a plan and these tasks can affect people’s lives ) 
  • Cognitive: relates to mental processes such as thinking, remembering, learning, and speaking. It is useful because it helps us to think about interventions that help students develop their remembering, learning, and speaking skills. (e.g., retrieval practices that strengthen students memories)


Zehnder, C., Alby, C, Kleine, K., & Metzker, J. (2021). Learning that matters. Myers Education Press.

Nilson, L., (2016). Teaching at its best (4th ed.). Jossey-Bass.

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On small change cane make a big difference in students learning!

One element of our group dissection that I would like to modify is the curriculum. I highlighted the curriculum since it is out of date in several majors. Students frequently wonder, “Why do I have to do this assignment?” and will have odd thoughts regarding the use of this work in real-life situations. Many instructors fail to clarify how the assignment would help students think and expand their understanding of the subject at hand. However, technology, industry, and skill tools are rapidly changing, and university curricula do a poor job of keeping up. According to research, when a subject is interesting and relevant to real-life application, and the goal of it is stated, students are more inclined to participate (Zehnder et al., 2021). I would expect that modifying the curriculum, like any other modification in police or guidelines made by the institution take a long time and would be a complex process. From my experience as in my RA and in previous graduate courses, even minor adjustments can take up to a year to be approved. As a result, instructors may tailor their courses to be as relevant and useful to students to apply in real-life settings. This collaborative effort can help students learn more effectively and be prepared to put their talents to work when they graduate.

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The Effect of Online Teaching on Faculty After Returning to the Traditional Classroom (BEFORE COVID-19)

For this blog post, I was interested in the reaction more like the effect of online learning on faculty after returning to traditional learning. This article follows a phenomenological research approach to understand faculty experience transition from online learning to in-person traditional teaching.  The article argues that there is little research in regard to instructors who transition from online back to in-person teaching. Specifically, those instructors often learn new learning approaches, techniques, and philosophies that they will bring and use in a traditional classroom environment.  The research goal is “to  explore the experiences of higher education faculty members who transition from the online classroom to the face-to-face classroom.” By using Mezirow’s (1991) transformation learning theory.

Research questions: 

“1. How are instructors’ perceptions of their role and their teaching practices altered when they return to instruction in a face-to-face classroom?

  1. What communication strategies do instructors transfer from online to face-to-face teaching? 
  2. What changes in face-to-face instruction can be attributed to the experience of online teaching?” (p.3)

Data was collected from multiple higher educational institutions (e.g., 4-year institutions,  Ivy league colleges,  research institutions, and technical colleges). The data collection approach was face-to-face interviews and field notes.  Findings, three themes were identified: faculty roles and teaching practices, faculty communication strategies, and faculty changes in instruction. (More details) 

I can see that when instructors teach online for a long period of time they develop new approaches that they will integrate into their classroom. This article was in 2018 prior to the pandemic which makes me wonder. If the pandemic has the same influence on the instructor teaching and did they transfer new approaches from their online teaching experience to the classroom.

For more details about the article click HERE!



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More about the Journal of Engineering Education 

Journal of Engineering Education 

Impact Factor: 1.569

Publisher: American Society for Engineering Education (United States)

Brief phrase describing the journal and its scope/audience: Journal of Engineering Education publishes high-quality peer-reviewed scholarly research in engineering education targeting scientists and practitioners that are interested in engineering education.

Overarching/Big Picture Motivating Issue: To help understand and increase the engagement of engineering students from all levels (e.g.,  undergraduate, master, and Ph.D) with public welfare to promote ethical responsibility among engineering students

Purpose of this Paper: To identify and analyze the challenges facing efforts to help increase the engagement of engineering students with the social and ethical implications of their work based on students’ experiences.

Open access: “authors who opt for open access pay an article publication charge (APC) to the publisher instead of a page charge. The APC for JEE is $3,000″ (JEE)  so the article could be available to the public

Read cool research in Engineering Education: JEE 

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ORI Case Summary: Neumeister, Alexander

The case of Dr.Alexander Neumeister, M.D from New York University School of Medicine, Langone Medical Center.

This case is really interesting Dr.Neumeister was responsible for various unethical research misconduct in psychiatric clinical research which was funded by both the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Grants number:  R01 MH096876 R01 MH102566, R21 MH094763, R21 MH096105, R21 MH102035, and R34 MH102871.

He is unethical to work lead to the inclusion of false information and fabricated research methods and results in four published papers that were fabricated

  • Association of in vivo k-opioid receptor availability and the transdiagnostic dimensional expression of trauma-related psychopathology. JAMA Psychiatry 2014 Nov;71(11):1262-70. Erratum in: JAMA Psychiatry 2014 Nov 7;71(11):1301.
  • Cannabinoid type 1 receptor availability in the amygdala mediates threat processing in trauma survivors. Neuropsychopharmacology 39(11):2519-28, 2014 Oct.
  • Linking plasma cortisol levels to phenotypic heterogeneity of posttraumatic stress symptomatology. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2014 Jan;39:88-93.
  • Association of posttraumatic stress disorder with reduced in vivo norepinephrine transporter availability in the locus coeruleus. JAMA Psychiatry 2013 Nov;70(11):1199-205

Particularly, He misrepresented the characteristics and variables of the subjects entered in the research by: “Combining data from multiple subjects to represent single subjects to justify financial payments, changing and/or instructing his staff to change, omit, or ignore clinical and psychiatric assessment data contained in the electronic and/or written research records, failing to conduct and/or document screening tests (i.e. pregnancy tests, urine toxicology, electrocardiograms, blood alcohol levels) to determine eligibility for each protocol, using outdated clinical and/or psychiatric assessments to determine eligibility for experimental and control groups, reporting the utilization of trained and/or licensed personnel to perform clinical and psychiatric assessments, when the specific training, certification, and/or licensing had not been obtained, including in subsequent clinical research trials and their associated publications, human research subjects’ data that were previously reported in, and Positron emission tomography shows elevated cannabinoid CB1 receptor binding in men with alcohol dependence. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 2012 Dec;36(12):2104-9” (Case Summary: Neumeister, Alexander (Links to an external site.))


It is surprising that someone in a prestigious University with 11.9k citations would be involved in such an unethical activity. Fraudulent data when it’s only numeric (i.e., participants’ responses in a survey)  is not right by any means, but conducting research on human beings without screening tests (i.e. pregnancy tests, urine toxicology, electrocardiograms, blood alcohol levels). Can put people’s lives in real danger. Many of his projects were nationally funded and he was using these resources to produce wrong information.  When other researchers from (None-prestigious universities) are searching for these resources to help our communities with their work.  The IRB can know so much (the information needed to approve the research). However, we as researchers must be responsible and transparent about our research for both the IRB and the public eye to gain their trust and to become a helping hand to our communities.

Dr.Alexander Neumeister eliminate himself willingly for a duration of two years (started in December 2019) “from any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility for or involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States” and he agreed to not participate in any PHS-supported research till a supervision plan is presented and approved by ORI and he agreed to keep accountability and compliance for the agreed supervision plan by the ORI.  There are few more restrictions that were applied please see the full article However, I am not sure if these resections are punishments that fit the crime.

Link: Case Summary: Neumeister, Alexander (Links to an external site.)

Blog link:  (ORI Case Summary: Neumeister, Alexander)

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Mission statement one: Virginia Tech

“Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public land-grant university serving the commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.”



What stood out to me the most is “The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission” which shows the importance of research within the school. While the statement doesn’t explicitly say the mission is centered around research, but the word “discovery of new knowledge” can be related to “research” where most discoveries happen within that domain. I understand that research is important whether it’s the center of the VT mission or not. 

As a researcher myself, I understand the importance of research to our community and our holistic knowledge. During my time at VT I worked with my research group to analyze undergraduate engineering students’ survey results regarding Covid to help the department make informed decisions to maintain students learning quality.  I can see three main points here, where research help making informative directions in the time of need, the university carried about teaching and learning and forced on minatin its standard and improved students learning experiences. These three points can directly relate to these aspects from the mission statement “teaching and learning, research and discovery… and improve the quality of life.”

Mission Statement two: Youngstown State University 

“An Institution of Opportunity: YSU inspires individuals, enhances futures, and enriches lives. 

As a student-centered university, Youngstown State University’s mission is to provide innovative lifelong learning opportunities that will inspire individuals, enhance futures and enrich lives. YSU inspires individuals by cultivating a curiosity for life-long learning; enhances the futures of our students by empowering them to discover, disseminate and apply their knowledge; and enriches the region by fostering collaboration and the advancement of civic, scientific, and technological development. YSU’s culture of enrichment flourishes in our diverse, accessible, and quality education.”



What stood out to me the most about YSU’s mission statement is “As a student-centered university” The mission statement also explaining the importance of life-long learning and how they want their students to apply their knowledge in different environments. My personal belief towards this mission statement is very inspiring and displays the aim of a university is to help students learn and thrive outside of the classroom. Where the aim of a university can be widely debatable and I do not want to go off-topic. I personally believe a mission statement should be students-focused and teaching-learning focused where students can expect a learning environment that is as important as doing research. 

My reasoning in choosing both schools: 

I chose to look at the mission statement of both Virginia Tech (VT) and Youngstown State University (YSU). VT is where I am currently attending and YSU is where I got my master’s degree. The location of both institutions in the United States of America, particularly Vt is located in Blacksburg, Va, and YSU is located in Youngstown, OH. While VT is R1 research (focus on research) institute with an approximate population of 36000, YSU is a mid-size public school with an approximate population of 12000 students and known for being an NCAA Division I institution. I saw this assignment as a great opportunity to reflect on the mission statement of both universities that I care about. 







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September 12, 2021 · 9:39 pm