2012-2013 SOTL Pilot Project/Starter Grant Recipients
Jodi Eichler-Levine, Religious Studies
Memoirs and Meaning: The Role of Autobiography in Teaching About Women and Religion
During Spring 2013, I worked with 48 students in my 200-level "Women and Religion" course by altering both the readings and assessment from previous semesters. I focused the readings on memoirs and also asked students to write four intellectual journals over the course of the semester. I conducted a pre- and post-test and compared their first and final sets of journals for this project. Based on the pre- and post-tests, I found that students gained and retained a great deal of factual knowledge. Additionally, my qualitative analysis of the students' journals showed that, by the end of the semester, students: 1) developed more nuanced understandings of religion and gender, 2) engaged very personally with the material, and 3) demonstrated great empathy and intercultural understanding.
Susan Rensing, Women's and Gender Studies
Project Title: Student Blogging as Civic Engagement in the Women’s and Gender Studies Classroom
This research project was conducted in one section (25 students) of WS 201: Introduction to Women's Studies during the Spring 2013 semester. Each student created and maintained a blog that covered current events and issues related to the course content. I surveyed their civic engagement before and after the blog assignment, in addition to analyzing the content of their posts. The results showed that blogging facilitated civic engagement and encouraged students to self-identify as activists.
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