In 2020, seven grants were awarded to Yale GSAS doctoral candidates to support the creation of innovative educational resources that promote learning in classrooms or other teaching settings. Please explore the range of projects that the Poorvu Center funded. You can find videos and abstracts from our 2020 awardees below.
“MacroMicroFossils,” Jack Shaw (Earth and Planetary Sciences)
MacroMicroFossils is a series of 3D printed microfossils with accompanying learning materials for classroom, outreach, and training purposes. We aim to introduce people to the uses and importance of microfossils in scientific research, primarily focusing on their uses in reconstructing ancient environments. In addition to physical kits, 3D models and learning materials will eventually be made freely accessible via our website.
Watch a short video about Jack Shaw’s project. Visit Jack Shaw’s project website.
“From Playscript to Performance: Envisioning Narratives Across Media,” Valeriia Mutc (Slavic Studies)
“From Playscript to Performance” is a digital tool for teaching drama through synchronous analysis of different media. The website explores various iterations of dramatic narratives: from the actual text of the playscript to a visual mise-en-scène and a physical performance. The first case study is dedicated to Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” and contains translated texts with embedded photographs of original productions, directorial notes, sound recordings, and video clips of performances. This synchronous and interactive presentation of the materials encourages the users to adopt the technique of “mental staging,” necessary for understanding any dramatic work and for its subsequent analysis. When used in the classroom as an alternative to reading of the playscript, the website prepares students for analyzing cross-media narratives, such as drama, dance, opera, or performance. Ultimately, “From Playscript to Performance” provides a framework for teaching drama online and helps students develop critical inquiry and interpretation skills.
Watch a short video about Valeriia Mutc’s project.
“Gender and the Politics of Citation: Equity and Inclusion in Music Pedagogy,” Alexandra Krawetz and Cat Slowik (Music)
Citation is an essential skill for humanities writing. But too often, it’s a skill that’s not taught explicitly, especially in music classrooms. As a result, citation remains part of the hidden curriculum, while uncritical citation practices reproduce structural inequalities, namely the undercitation of underrepresented scholars. To help solve this problem, we’ve curated a set of practical resources to help instructors teach thoughtful and equitable citation praxis. Our website includes a blog to introduce students and instructors to the problems and affordances of citation; an array of pedagogical resources for instructors; and a bibliography for further reading.
Our pedagogical resources address a specific set of learning objectives: students will define a variety of citational practices, identify and assess structures of power in citation, and ultimately create, apply, and refine their own citational value systems. Resources include a bibliometric analysis of the genders of authors cited in music history textbooks; a worksheet that teaches students how to interpret citations; and written prompts divided into the categories of defining citation, citation in the student’s own work, and the history of citation. Through these resources humanities instructors can demystify the hidden curriculum and foreground equitable and inclusive citation in their classrooms.
Watch a short video about Alexandra Krawetz and Cat Slowik’s project. Visit Alexandra Krawetz and Cat Slowik’s project website.
“Diversifying Music Studies,” Allison Chu and Tatiana Koike (Music)
Conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic music studies have come to the fore in recent years, as music scholars have increasingly pointed towards the field’s embedded implicit biases and prejudices. In response, scholars have moved to restructure and reframe curricula. However, such reform often results in token gestures, leaving institutional structures that privilege whiteness and maleness untouched. In our project, titled “Diversifying Music Studies,” we have created an online resource designed to help scholars in our field think through these issues as they move to decenter whiteness in their pedagogy and research. This resource is structured in two parts. In the “subject-specific information” section of the website, we have compiled a mixture of literature reviews, bibliographies, and stories from Yale Music Department affiliates that consider how scholars might responsibly address non-traditional canons and methods in their teaching. The second section of the website, “Researching in music studies,” considers how underrepresentation and marginalization of people of color impact archival work and research. The page presents music researchers with resources to help them critically evaluate their engagements with archival sources.
Watch a short video about Allison Chu and Tatiana Koike’s project. Visit Allison Chu and Tatiana Koike’s project website.
“So You’re Teaching Writing This Semester: A Guide for ENGL 114 Instructors,” Maria del Mar Galindo and Ben Pokross (English)
Our project is a guide for first-time instructors of ENGL 114, Yale’s freshman composition course that is frequently taught by graduate students in the humanities. This is often the first course that graduate students teach as an instructor of record, and the learning curve can be steep. Drawing on our own experiences, extensive interviews with student and faculty instructors, and scholarship on composition and pedagogy, we created this guide to provide a succinct but comprehensive resource on which new instructors can rely as they design their initial ENGL 114 syllabus and navigate their initial semester as instructors.
We wanted to focus particularly on instructors from underrepresented backgrounds who may face particular challenges adapting to the norms and expectations of teaching at Yale and feel unsure about where to look for help. This guide attempts to address the contextual, social, and institutional roots of the“imposter syndrome” new instructors face by offering our fellow graduate students a more inclusive and transparent approach to pedagogy and class design—an approach that aims to include more fully not only the students in our courses but also the graduate students who teach them, with our wide range of lived experiences and histories.
Watch a short video about Maria del Mar Galindo and Ben Pokross’ project. Visit Maria del Mar Galindo and Ben Pokross’ project website.
“Visual Narratives: Collaborative New Media Publication,” Anna Hill (English)
This collaborative publication was created as the final project for an undergraduate English course called “Visual Narratives.” In the class, students examined and discussed a range of experimental literary works like graphic novels, illustrated memoirs, and text-image poetry. This project asked students to work together to put theory into practice, producing their own joint-authored magazine of visual narratives that will be printed and made available to readers within and beyond the Yale community this spring. Encouraging students to work collaboratively and creatively cultivated an active, engaged classroom dynamic, inviting forms of connection that were particularly valuable during what could be an isolating online semester. It also allowed students to practice preparing their work for public audiences, and ultimately deepened students’ engagements with the course materials, illuminating new formal and theoretical insights about the texts on the syllabus as they worked on creating their own print object. Collaborative and creative assignments, this project suggests, can be promising tools with which to generate critical engagement in the classroom, at once intellectually rigorous, participatory, and inventive.
Watch a short video about Anna Hill’s project.
“Machine Learning for Single-Cell Analysis,” Daniel Burkhardt (Genetics) and Scott Gigante (Computational Biology and Bioinformatics)
This project created asynchronous, self-guided materials for a workshop on Machine Learning. As their website suggests, “the purpose of this workshop is to tear back the complexity behind single cell analysis. Participants will learn practical skills for analyzing single cell datasets and develop a conceptual understanding of the machine learning foundations behind each method. Participants will also receive an introduction to emerging trends in single cell analysis such as deep learning.”
Watch a short video about Daniel Burkhardt and Scott Gigante’s project. Visit Daniel Burkhardt and Scott Gigante’s project website.