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ASU Faculty Showcases Innovative Teaching

Faculty, instructors, graduate students, and staff from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) recently met for the 3rd CLAS Demofest to showcase innovative teaching practices across diverse content areas. For this semester’s event, eight presenters from seven different departments and schools in CLAS shared and discussed their teaching, spanning a variety of course formats (face-to-face, blended, online) and different student enrollment (large lecture courses, small undergraduate and graduate seminars, etc.).

demofest posterHosted by ASU’s funniest professor, Dr. Mike Angilletta, in the School of Life Sciences’ Active Learning Classroom (LSC 180), presenters and attendees exchanged ideas ranging from service-based and case-based learning, using Virtual Field Trips and Augmented Reality to making teaching student-centered through social media, videos, humorous case studies, and meaningful course design. The following summary below lists presentations and resources from the 3rd CLAS Demofest.

If you would like to be part of future CLAS Demofests or have questions about presentations, please do not hesitate to contact the CLAS Instructional Design & Technology Team (

A special “Thank You!” to Amy Pate, Instructional Designer in SoLS, for her support in organizing the event and co-writing this blog post.

2014 CLAS Demofest Presentations

Service-Based Learning: Developing Leaders of Character through Partnerships within the Community (MIS 101/102)

CPT Robert Monk, LTC Daniel M. Roberts, CDT Katherine Richardson

Service-based learning is a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service. This form of learning emphasizes critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility.


Specimen-based Learning Tools and Augmented Reality Technologies (SoLS)

Dr. Melody Basham

An introduction to augmented reality technology and how the ASU Natural History Collections, Informatics, and Outreach Group are using this technology to promote literacy and accessibility to Natural History collections and their data.


iVFTs – immersive Virtual Field Trips for Interactive Learning about Earth’s Environment (multiple SESE/SHESC courses)

Geoffrey Bruce, Dr. Steven Semken

Detailed demo of the new iVFTs and the integration of the adaptive eLearning capabilities.


Using Case Studies to Teach Endocrinology (BIO 462)

Stephanie Bittner

Endocrinology has typically been a course heavy on memorization and lecture, but in Spring 2014, Dr. Pierre Deviche and Stephanie Bittner (ITA) set out to change this by adding a recitation designed around case studies. From medical emergencies to bullfrog farming and tigers trapped on tropical islands, thirteen case studies covered a large and engaging number of creative scenarios.


Designing Interactive Online Language Learning (SILC)

Dr. Carla Ghanem, Rebecca Berber-McNeil, Dr. Andrew Ross, David Parks

A team from the School of International Letters & Cultures presented strategies, organizational tools, and innovative practices for structuring and implementing real-time interaction among course participants. Although examples involved a German intermediate language course, they are applicable to other types of courses across a broad spectrum of the curriculum.

Patterns in Nature – 20 Years and Growing: Successful Hybrid Instruction of a Lab Course (PHS/MSE 208)

Frank Mayer

From Conception to Implementation – A large hybrid Science course (>400 students) for non-Science majors that incorporates two on-campus lab sessions during the 14 week semester. Frank Mayer showed what worked and what adjustments have been made to make this course successful.


Establishing Instructor Presence with Tutorial Videos (SOC 424)

Dr. Marcella Gemelli

Dr. Gemelli showcased her use of Camtasia Relay to record “how to” or explanatory videos on various topics for students in her online class (7.5 weeks). These often brief videos (<5 minutes) not only provide information on how to navigate through the course site or complete an assignment, but also establish and maintain important instructor presence.

Twitter (and other social media) in the Classroom: Examples from Political Ideologies, Problems of Democracy, and Media and Politics (POS 210/346/434)

Dr. Gina Woodall, Dr. Tara Lennon

Drs. Woodall and Lennon shared results from a study examining the use of Twitter in the classroom and its effects on classroom and political engagement. Furthermore, examples of using Facebook and vlogs (video blogs) effectively in the classroom were shown.