Innovative Practices Spotlight

CAE Innovative Practices Spotlight


Dr. Dominique Dider, Professor, Biology

The Center for Academic Excellence is recognizing a faculty member every month in the CAE Innovative Practices Spotlight to highlight his or her innovative classroom practices and outstanding contribution to Millersville University.

Dr. Dominique Didier is being recognized in February for her exceptional use of MU Video in her Biology courses!

Please continue reading to learn more about Dr. Didier's exciting experience and to learn ways to incorporate innovative practices into your classroom…

1. What innovative practice did you incorporate into your classroom?

For my Biol 318 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Course I have students work as a team to prepare an educational video showing a dissection of an animal of their choice.  Students need to research the animal and incorporate not only anatomical descriptions but explanations about evolution and function of structures features in their video.

2. When did you implement the new practice into your classroom?

I teach this course every other fall semester and implemented this the first time I taught the course in 2012.

3. Did the students willingly accept the use of the new practice? What were the reactions of the students?

Surprisingly, students are not as adept at technology as one would assume.  The idea of creating a YouTube video is new to most students I’ve encountered in biology.  Fortunately, we have great resources through the Digital Learning Studio and my students have been able to take advantage of this resource for help using the technology and putting their videos together.

4. How has the use of the new practice positively affected the classroom learning environment?

Students really enjoy tackling their own project and they can pursue something they are interested in.  Other students enjoy watching the videos and learning from their peers.  More recently I’ve had the students prepare videos that can be used as teaching tools in the class and next time I teach the course, students will watch videos from the previous class to learn dissection techniques as well as aspects of anatomy.

5. How has the use of the new practice affected student engagement in the classroom and the level of participation?

Each year the videos get better.  I think next year being able to actually use student videos for teaching will really help student learning.

6. What challenges did you encounter when you were implementing the new practice?

The biggest challenge was getting the students up to speed on using the technology.

7. How did attending Camp IDEA or a CAE Professional Development session contribute to your learning and use of the innovative practice?

Camp IDEA was a great help.  I learned how to use D2L to supplement my course and am able to use D2L and MU Video as a platform to make these (and other) videos available to students to supplement their learning.