Interactive Problem Solving in Genetics

Basic and Applied Sciences
Rebecca Seipelt

The purpose of this proposal is further renovate a technology-delivered section of the general genetics course to provide additional feedback related to outside of class problem-solving activities. 

Computer Science


Basic and Applied Sciences
Seo Suk Jai

Developed an on-line tutoring system for Computer Science I (CS-I), an introductory computer science course, offered by the Computer Science Department at Middle Tennessee State University.

The current laboratory manual for Computer Science I (CS-I) at MTSU contains a set of pre-written exercises selected for a typical CS-I student. A lab instructor works with a class of 30 students in a closed lab setting in which students solve problems by following the instructions in the on-line manual. A typical CS-I class consists of a wide range of students in their academic backgrounds. Some students have prior programming experience and much knowledge about computers whereas other students are not familiar with the computing environment at all. The existing labs are problematic because of their static nature in the sense that every student works on the same set of exercises in the same order.  Therefore, advanced students can get bored easily because of the lack of challenge while some students are struggling to understand the basic concepts introduced in the lab and sometimes get completely lost.  The goal of this project is to develop an on-line tutoring system that dynamically adapts to the needs of each student to provide personalized assistance to an individual student.

With the above goal in mind, we have designed the question tutor to help a student learn a concept by solving a series of questions that are dynamically chosen by the system.  When a student initiates the tutor for a specific concept, the tutor presents a sequence of questions that are related to the concept.  Each time the student submits an answer to a chosen question, the system responds with a correct solution along with a brief explanation.  In addition, the question tutor monitors a student's performance so that the tutoring session can be adapted to each student's current understanding. After grading the student's answer, the system chooses and present 

Developmental Studies

CAUSEweb Digital Library

Developmental Studies
Scott McDaniel

The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) is an organization comprised of over 30 institutions including two-year colleges, liberal arts colleges, small state universities and comprehensive institutions across the nation. Since the inception of the web, there have been many attempts to create portals to a host of statistical references (e.g. applets, lesson plans, videos). However, it has proven difficult for these sites to have the most up-to-date versions of these references. These sites rarely provide the user with information regarding the quality, usefulness, or appropriate uses of the resources.

The purpose of this project is to create a completely searchable digital library of statistical references. This library will provide a searchable well-indexed annotated links to useful materials found on the Internet. This library will also be using targeted Instructional Management Systems metadata standards that allows for harvesting (or federated searching) with other digital libraries.

The intended audience is anyone teaching statistics at the undergraduate level. This may also include high school teachers teaching AP statistics or professors who teach some graduate statistics courses would also find the digital library useful. There are currently approximately 800,00 students taking an undergraduate statistics class. The fact that the metadata from the library will be harvested by the Open Archive Initiative (OAI) and by other digital libraries opens yet another secondary audience. For example, there may be an instructor in political science who wants an applet or lesson plan on the statistics of polling. It may be difficult for a professor, who has had relatively few courses in statistics, to develop sharp lesson plans on polling. However, using an OAI based search he or she may find several applets, examples, and teaching tips that specifically address his or her needs. This will be an ongoing project that is expected to be completed in the summer of 2005.

Implication For Instructional Enhancement

Consider the following scenario: Janet teaches an introductory statistics class and is looking for a way to illustrate the binomial distribution. She comes to the site www.causeweb.org and types in "binomial distribution" into the basic search engine; she receives 3500 results. Far too many to cull through to find what she wants. Janet's background is in the physical sciences and statistics, not business and nursing, which is what her class is predominately composed. She then makes use of some of the advanced search features for narrowing her results. Since she has primarily nursing and business students, she checks these boxes to filter her search. She also wants an applet that students could use from their home computer. One of the top resources displays a link to a java applet that illustrates the binomial distribution along with exercises and lessons plans in easy to print PDF format. Additionally, Janet finds some real world examples that are explicitly related to both nursing and business. This project will be assessed by examining data on the use of the site (number or hits and number and type of searches performed). Additionally, evaluation by Science and Mathematics Program Improvement (SAMPI) will also be conducted. SAMPI is a center within the Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University. This external assessment will focus on the quality of the service provided and the success it creates in the classroom. This will be done in part by an online feedback form. Additionally, the registration process to CAUSEweb will enable SAMPI to randomly select users for additional feedback via an online survey. 

Educational Leadership

Flash Animation Movies of Cultural Case Studies

Education and Behavioral Sciences
Barbara Young

Engineering Technology

Development of Computer-based Laboratory Exercises for Simulating Industrial Automation

Basic and Applied Sciences
Ahad Nasab



Liberal Arts
Aleka Blackwell

This proposal is to develop reusable computer-based learning objects for use in English grammar courses (ENGL4510/5510 English Grammar and Usage). ENGL 4510/5510 English Grammar and Usage is a course offered every semester (on average five sections per semester in addition to three sections offered during summer sessions). It is a popular course because Education majors are required to take it. This is a combined undergraduate/graduate course, and as a result, a number of ESL teachers also enroll in the course to earn certification.

Students who work full-time (teach or student-teach) enroll in the evening sections (which I typically teach). The evening sections of this course have a waiting list every semester. These evening sections meet only once a week, and students in my sections of the course (which I teach through lecture and class discussion, powerpoint presentations available on WebCT, exercises with answers available on WebCT, in-class exercises, and several exams) have commented for years that while concepts are clear to them during class meetings, the material becomes confusing once they study it independently during the week. The material is, indeed, difficult (especially the abstract grammatical concepts), and students have to work hard to earn passing grades in this course. A good textbook is only partly helpful to students, and homework exercises have not been sufficient in helping students overcome their difficulties in this course. As a result, on a weekly basis, I find myself offering two-hour review sessions which 8 to 10 students from each section typically attend.

It is essential that students succeed in this course given that the majority of them will have to teach grammar concepts when they become school teachers, and some will have to explain these concepts to ESL students in their classes. To address this problem, I propose to develop computer-based learning activities for students in this course (activities which I will also make available to faculty teaching alternate sections of ENGL 4510/5510 and to the University Writing Center).

1.2 Objectives:

The materials I develop with this grant will be used to teach, review, and test the following major grammar concepts:

Constituent structure (In this course, students have to learn to identify noun phrases, verb phrases, prepositional phrases, adjectival phrases, adverbial phrases)

Verb tense patterns (Students have to learn how to create and analyze the English verb tenses including passive, active, and middle voice)

Complex sentences (Students have to learn how to identify and create simple, compound, complex, compound-complex sentence structures)

Discourse patterns (Students have to learn how to create interrogative, imperative, negative, affirmative, exclamative sentences) <li>Mechanics (Students have to master punctuation rules and other rules related to usage)

Ultimately, students in this course must learn the concepts well enough to be able to teach them not only to native speakers of English but also to ESL students who are likely to be in their classes once they become school teachers.

1.3 Procedure

I plan to create reusable learning objects of three different types: self-correcting quizzes, maze exercises, and interactive activities. I believe the variety will appeal to students. In addition, different concepts lend themselves better to different types of computer-assisted instructional activities. Each type of activity is described in turn.

1.3.1 Self-correcting quizzes.

Self-correcting quizzes will follow the format of the attached quiz (Sample A). Using Respondus, quizzes of this nature will be created for all of the major concepts taught in this course. Each quiz will include 10 questions with multiple options, each of which will provide feedback to the student.

Thanks to this grant, I developed 30 interactive grammar exercises covering a variety of topics, such as constituent structure analysis, English verb tenses, adjectival modification, and mechanics. These exercises are mazes.  Students are able to follow different paths in the maze each time they complete an exercise.  They can then return to the exercise and follow a different path to continue reviewing the concepts.  Within each exercise, I have included numerous explanations of difficult concepts and additional examples to supplement the information presented in the textbook. I have now used these exercises in my face-to-face and my online Modern English Grammar and Usage courses. The exercises are available to students within WebCT, and I can, therefore, also track whether students access the exercises and whether they complete them as assigned. Students have responded very positively to these exercises.  They seem to like the fact that there is no punishment for selecting a wrong answer.  Instead, they reach screens in which I explain their error (I also can praise them for seslecting an answer that's partly correct) and give them encouragement to continue.  In addition, they like that these exercises can serve as a text (with graphics and images) independent of the lecture notes and the course textbook. I have also developed 25 more traditional online quizzes for this course.  Students in my course may now access some of these quizzes for practice and others for a grade.


Creation of an Online Writing Center (OWC)

Liberal Arts
Trixie Smith

As a relatively new tenure-track faculty member in the field of composition and rhetoric, my duties in the English department as Associate Director of Writing Programs include overseeing the University Writing Center (UWC) and training the graduate students who serve as Writing Assistants in the center. It is my goal to advance the UWC's present program so that we can better serve the MTSU community of writers; these changes include enhancing the center's services through the expansion of technology and online resources. The English department is supporting my administrative duties by providing reassigned time from teaching in the fall and spring in order to oversee the UWC, among other responsibilities, but I have no such support in the summer; consequently, I am seeking ITD summer funds, for the first time, in order to make one specific improvement in technology for the UWC.

The purpose of this project is to develop an Online Writing Center (OWC), which would greatly extend the services of the UWC. The OWC would be easily accessible from the university's website, thus making its features (see IC for an explanation of these features) available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, an OWC would allow us to provide services to a number of students who do not traditionally use the UWC, including many commuting and non-traditional students with tight schedules, students who are afraid to work with someone in the brick and mortar center, and students enrolled in online courses, as well as limited services to members of the community, including alumni and MTSU partners, who may desire writing help but are unable to travel to campus. Additionally, area high school staff, students, and parents could benefit from a devoted OWC's information base and resources, while MTSU and the English Department would benefit from the positive promotion and image created by the site.

In "Online Writing Labs (OWLs): A Taxonomy of Options and Issues" [From Computers and Composition 12 (1995)] Muriel Harris, who designed one of the premiere OWLs at Purdue University, and Michael Pemberton, director of the writing center at Georgia Southern University, say that OWLs can "enhance and expand" the present work of writing centers while "tak[ing] advantage of the strengths of online environments" to work with "local conditions and writing center theory" (145). However, they warn that developing a local OWL (or OWC) requires analysis of all of the possible configurations that will work best for the goals of the local writing center, the mission and technology of the university, and the needs and technology of the students and community. In Taking Flight With OWLs: Examining Electronic Writing Center Work (Erlbaum 2000) James Inman and Donna Sewell argue that "Writing centers occupy a dynamic position at the crossroads of computers and composition, distance education, and composition theory, pulling ideas, theories, and pedagogies from each"

The purpose of this project was to develop an Online Writing Center (OWC), which would greatly extend the services of the UWC. The completed OWC is easily accessible from the university's website, thus making its features available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, the OWC allows us to provide services to a number of students who do not traditionally use the UWC, including many commuting and non-traditional students with tight schedules, students who are afraid to work with someone in the brick and mortar center, and students enrolled in online courses, as well as limited services to members of the community, including alumni and MTSU partners, who may desire writing help but are unable to travel to campus. Additionally, area high school staff, students, and parents benefit from the OWC's information base and resources, while MTSU and the English Department benefit from the positive promotion and image created by the site.

The new website includes an announcements page and revolving photo gallery of UWC events; basic information pages; a virtual tour of the center and its services; resource pages for faculty and students, which includes lists of services, links to all UWC handouts, and links to other online resources for research and writing; directions and a link to online tutoring, Sunday through Thursday nights 8:00 pm to midnight; and links to our newsletter published each semester, The Blue Writer.

Future plans for the OWC include adding an online scheduler, which will allows students to schedule (and cancel) their own appointments. We also plan to add a space just for the staff, so we can do away with the yearly paper version of the staff manual. Other additions will be made in accordance with center needs and user requests. I would like to thank the ITD Committee for their support of this project.

Health and Human Performance

Education and Behavioral Science
Sandy Neal

This project began the process of developing e-learning tools for use in a hybrid Master of Science in Health. Many HPERS faculty felt that the Masters of Science program was not suited for a traditional online degree; but felt that there were many opportunities in technology that could be of benefit to our program and our students. The ultimate goal of this project was to investigate the best delivery mechanisms that would combine the value of on campus delivery with those opportunities that online delivery can give and begin the process of converting the Master's of Science in Health to an Online/Hybrid option. It is my hope that the template developed during this semester would be the basic guide for this delivery method. While the ultimate goal of the project was not met, the short term goal was very successful.

The project involved designing a course template showing examples of pedagogical tools developed specific to this discipline. The course HLTH 6960 Health Dimensions was used as a pilot and the template was developed, shared with other faculty and presented at the ITD ShareFair. The template included a description of available mechanisms and their effectiveness in the subject area and detailed how the course could be designed to be taught using a combination of on ground and online class time (hybrid). Online tools such as online discussion boards, group projects, online testing and other traditional on-ground delivery mechanisms were modeled.

It was hoped that the first course taught through this method would be offered in Spring of 2005 as a pilot, but the department chair decided not to offer the redesigned course, due to the need for reassigning faculty resources to other areas. The template was presented and made available to other departmental faculty and several are using it in conjunction with their on-ground classes. 


Skill Acquisition for System Administration of Nightingale TrackerTM System and Development of Web-based Tutorial for Student Instruction

Basic and Applied Sciences
Anita Crocket

The purpose of this proposal is to request support for me to learn, set up, and maintain the servers and trackers for the Nightingale TrackerTM System and design a web-based instructional tutorial on the Nightingale Tracker system. The Nightingale TrackerTM is a home-health-oriented personal digital assistant (PDA) that incorporates a standardized language as a framework for collecting and analyzing patient and nursing data at the point of care. This standardized language is a nationally recognized and extensively researched community clinical vocabulary and classification system referred to as the Omaha System. The MTSU School of Nursing obtained (with TAF funds) the Nightingale TrackerTM System in the form of two servers, 22 handheld DataRover 840 PDA's and all accompanying software. I attended a training session at FITNE, Inc. (formerly the Fuld Institute for Technology in Nursing Education) in Athens, Ohio to become familiar with teaching the technology, with the expectation that computer technician support would eventually be in place. In the meantime, the Tracker has been piloted and fully implemented (every student in the course learns this capability) into clinical teaching in the N3270 Educative/Supportive Course with limited utility.

The students have access to the Omaha System software and use wired capability through analog connection to fax their client data. The students either fax from the client's homes or more typically fax when they return home in the evenings. In this process, client data is retained on the Tracker and, although some functions can be used, full capability of the Tracker is not available. This process in some ways defeats the intended purpose of this technology.

The Tracker allows for internet access, email capability, storage and retrieval of client data, and wireless capability (with an addition of modem card and wireless phone service which may be feasible in the future). Student learning would be greatly enhanced with full capability, both in speed and effectiveness. Supervision could be synchronous as well as asynchronous, providing immediate feedback to students. In the future students will need point-of-care electronic information processing skills in our complex health care system. Objectives for this faculty member are:

Attend the technical training session provided by FITNE. Inc. with the purchase of the system. That training involves learning Linux System as well as troubleshooting and maintaining tracker hardware and software.

Complete setup of the two servers with accompanying internet access. One of the crucial aspects of this process is adhering to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines in configuring the system. Since we deal with that aspect on a daily basis in the clinical settings, complete adherence will always be in the forefront of decision-making.

Establish the logistics of incorporating this aspect of the Tracker System for student learning and faculty supervision. I anticipate being able to implement it in the fall semester. Evaluation of this technology is an ongoing concern.

Design a web-based tutorial for the Nightingale Tracker System to be used in initially teaching students about it. When students learn from the Tracker itself, they get so involved with its capability and often miss key points in its operation. A tutorial initially before actually getting their hands on the Tracker will enhance their learning and reduce some frustration when they are alone with it.


An Interactive Tutorial for Shading and Rendering in 3D Graphics

Mass Communication
Guanping Zheng

There are four modules in the pipeline of digital animation: modeling, shading/rendering, animation and dynamic simulation. Shading and rendering are the process of assigning surface characteristics to models and defines the color and texture of the output images. Shading and rendering processes are introduced in the introduction course (EMC 3300) and continue in the intermediate and advanced courses (EMC 3310, EMC 4300 and EMC 4910).

Creating sophisticated shading network (shading material) is a complex process that requires the understanding of the hierarchy of the shading structure and the mastering of various techniques. This project seeks to provide supplementary materials for learning the theories/concepts and techniques in building materials for various surfaces qualities. <p>Objectives of the Project:

To build a web-based interactive tutorial for shading and rendering in 3D graphics and animation <li> To present related theories and concepts visually and interactively

To provide resources outside the boundary of classroom teaching

Program Design:

This interactive learning material will be web based. The documents will be available online and can be accessed by students in our digital animation program and the professional community. The tutorials can also be accessed within the 3D Animation program (Maya) used by all the animation courses.

Structure: Main Menu Items: * --- Shading Network --- Materials --- Texture --- Lighting ---Shading Network, an introduction

Materials: Lambert, Phong, Phong-E, Blinn, Anistropic

The final output of each of the above material is defined by a long list of parameters. Students are often confused byt what parameter needs to be manipulated to get the desired result. Detailed interactive illustration will be given in the tutorial. Please see the attached illustration One.

Texture; Procedure Textures, Bitmap Images, Procedures of Texture mapping

Normal mapping and Projection mapping, UV mapping for polygon surfaces. Students are often confused byt different projection mapping methods. Detailed interactive illustration will be given in this tutorial. Please see the attached illustration two.

Lighting: Types of lights: Directional Light, Point Light, Spot Light, Volume Light, Shadow

Students often have difficulties understanding how shadow is calculated in 3D program. Detailed interactive illustration will be given in this tutorial

Sample Material: Metal, Glass, X-ray shading, Dirt, Grass, Car Paint, etc.

Samples of shading networks will be illustrated and relevant images will be rendered. Please see the attached illustration three.

Procedures: All the materials will be built in Maya and assigned to appropriate models. 3D images will be rendered out corresponding to each material. Snap shots of the working screens will be taken to illustrate the procedures. Key concepts will be discussed via links to my own notes or to the online documentations. QuickTime movies will be used where appropriate to explain the concepts or present the shading results.

Timeline: This project will demand a lot of work involving numerous screen shots, image manipulation, procedure documentation and web authoring. I will finish most of work by the end of the summer and put the beta version to work for the Intermediate Animation class (EMC 3100). Further improvement will be made through the fall semester and beyond.

IMPLICATION FOR INSTRUCTION ENHANCEMENT (Including method of project evaluation, expected results, etc.) The created materials (images and QT Movie clips) can be used for lectures and can serve as supplementary references for students to access. It will certainly benefit all the digital animation students. Its visual and interactive feature will help students to under

Recording Industry

Mass Communication
Nathan Adam