A group of DSU faculty members led by Dr. Andrew Lloyd of the Department of Biological Sciences has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant that is expected to put the University in the forefront of institutions of higher education by implementing “cyber-learning” strategies to improve STEM instruction and increase student achievement and retention.
The three-year grant – which totals $399,908 – will enable DSU to invest in information technology resources that will facilitate the implementation of cyber-learning that use web technology that can provide a rich and immersive learning environment.
The grant will expand DSU’s distance learning infrastructure in support of the cyber-learning strategies, which will be broadly adopted throughout DSU’s biological sciences curriculum as well as in other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses.
Cyber-learning technologies will be used to implement inverted or “flipped” classroom model in the core courses for students majoring in the biological sciences. In a flipped classroom, learning activities that are normally carried out inside the classroom, such as lecturing and reviewing PowerPoints, take place outside of class, and learning activities that are normally completed at home, such as applying the course concepts in homework assignments, become the focus of in-class work.
“This grant will allow us to implement teaching techniques which research has shown to be effective in enhancing learning,” said Dr. Lloyd, the principal investigator of the grant.
Co-principal investigators of the grant include Dr. Leonard Davis, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences; Dr. Sabrina McGary, associate professor of biological sciences; Dr. Michael Boone, associate vice president of distance learning; and Dr. Rebecca Fox-Lykens, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.