Making Change Happen

Part of the InTeGrate Middle Tennessee State University Program Model

Advice for Future Implementations »

Faculty Reflections and Stories »

High-Level Project Timeline

Fall, 2015

  • Program faculty members Abolins, Iriarte-Gross, and Langenbach revised their Spring 2016 syllabi to reflect the incorporation of the InTeGrate modules into their courses.
  • The project team met for 5 hours of face to face professional development and project management.
  • The project leader, Mark Abolins, developed faculty evaluation questions with evaluation specialist Herschell Parker.

Winter Break (late 2015-early 2016)

  • Johnston implemented InTeGrate materials in "International Agriculture."

Spring, 2016

  • Abolins implemented InTeGrate materials in "Introduction to Earth Science."
  • Iriarte-Gross implemented InTeGrate materials in "Contemporary Issues in Science" (Honors Physical Science).
  • Lisa Langenbach implemented InTeGrate materials in "American Public Policy."
  • Student performance and attitude data were collected on the above courses.
  • Faculty submitted written pre-experience evaluation responses to evaluation specialist Herschell Parker.
  • Science journalist and MTSU Geosciences alumna Dr. Jessica Morrison spoke on campus.

Summer, 2016

  • Winter Break and Spring student performance data was uploaded to InTeGrate.
  • Judith Iriarte-Gross attended part of the annual SENCER summer conference.

Fall, 2016

  • Abolins and Cribb implemented InTeGrate materials in "Introduction to Earth Science."
  • Abolins "took over" Pat Boda's "Environmental Issues, Impacts, and Sustainability" course for 3 weeks and implemented a module.
  • Student performance and attitude data was collected on the above courses.
  • Abolins, Iriarte-Gross, and Langenbach co-authored presentations ( SENCER poster (Acrobat (PDF) 1.1MB May5 17)) for the SENCER fall meeting in Washington, DC and the Tennessee Academy of Sciences annual meeting (TAS meeting presentation (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB May5 17)) . Langenbach traveled to DC to present a poster, and Abolins and Iriarte-Gross traveled to the Tennessee Academy of Sciences meeting to present a talk and a poster (Student poster (Acrobat (PDF) 571kB May5 17)). The first two authors on the poster were Honors students.

Key Aspects of the Program

Be flexible!

1. Multiple audiences and multiple levels. Reaching out to multiple audiences broadened the impact of InTeGrate at MTSU. Students learning with the help of InTeGrate materials ranged from those enrolled in a general studies introductory Earth Science course to Honors Physical Science students. Both introductory-level and upper-level courses were involved.

2. Let someone take over your course. The MTSU Stormwater program "took over" three days of introductory Earth Science each semester to host a campus clean up, and Abolins "took over" three weeks of an upper-level Physical Geography course to implement a module. A course "take over" can involve a partnership or collaboration, and it can be a way to replace lecture with service learning or active learning.

3. Multiple ways for faculty to prepare and engage. Abolins, Iriarte-Gross, and Langenbach spent hours together preparing in advance of implementation, and, ultimately, they co-authored presentations and each traveled to at least one meeting. In contrast, Johnston and Cribb downloaded and implemented materials themselves, and Boda invited a "take over" of her course instead of implementing materials herself.

Sustaining Change

Major use of InTeGrate active learning materials will continue every semester in one or two 125-student sections of general studies introductory Earth Science. Parts of the following modules will be used: "Humans' Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources," "Living on the Edge," "Hurricanes," "Climate of Change," "A Growing Concern," "Interactions Between Water, Earth's Surface, and Human Activity," and "Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources."

The MTSU Stormwater Program will continue to facilitate campus clean ups for up to 250 students enrolled in the general studies introductory Earth Science course.

Dr. Abolins ( will continue to seek partner teachers within MTSU and at local community colleges and high schools who are interested in bringing InTeGrate active learning into their classrooms. He seeks to help partners get started with InTeGrate or "take over" for a class period or two.

Within the context of civic engagement, Earth Science and the environment will remain an important component of an Honors Physical Science course enrolling approximately 15 students.

The annual Expanding Your Horizons workshop for middle school girls will continue to encourage participation by MTSU Geosciences undergraduate women workshop presenters.