MT Rocks: The implementation of the MT Engage initiative in the Department of Geosciences at Middle Tennessee State University

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm Beren Auditorium
Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session

Session Chairs

Melissa Lobegeier, Middle Tennessee State University
Racha El Kadiri, Middle Tennessee State University
Jeremy Aber, Middle Tennessee State University
Mark Abolins, Middle Tennessee State University
Warner Cribb, Middle Tennessee State University
Clay Harris, Middle Tennessee State University
Henrique Momm, Middle Tennessee State University
The MT Engage initiative is part of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and focuses on enhancing student academic engagement. This is achieved through the use of high impact pedagogies, beyond-the-classroom experiences, and challenging students to use integrative thinking and reflection. Student-learning indicators in the QEP include: (1) the ability to connect relevant experiences and academic knowledge; (2) the ability to make connections across disciplines and perspectives; (3) the ability to adapt and apply information to new situations; (4) the ability to use effective, appropriate, and various forms of communication; and (5) the ability to demonstrate a developing sense of self as a learner, building on prior experiences to respond to new and challenging contexts. The MTSU Department of Geosciences' mission and core values align with the student-learning indicators of MT Engage. The Department of Geosciences utilizes various high-impact pedagogies within many classes including collaborative learning, problem and project-based learning and the incorporation of research components in many upper-division classes. Most geosciences courses include a beyond-the-classroom experience as most courses include a 2-3 day fieldtrip, which allows students to make connections to experience and transfer knowledge from the classroom to the real world. MT Engage has been implemented in 5 classes in the Department of Geosciences: Historical Geology, Environmental Geology, Hydrogeology, Invertebrate Paleontology, and Structural Geology. In MT Engage courses students complete a signature assignment and create content to be included into an ePortfolio to showcase the skills and abilities gained in each course during their academic tenure in the Department of Geosciences. This presentation will give examples of signature assignments used in these classes and discuss the effectiveness of the implementation. We will also discuss how the ePortfolio template will be used as the program assessment in place of an exit exam.