Odyssey Grant Articles

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11875/4230


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    NurseThink for Nurse Educators: Next Gen Learning: Preparting our Students for the 2023 National Council of State Boards for Nursing, Inc (NCSBN)
    (2023) Pamela Slagle
    NurseThink for Nurse Educators: Next Gen Learning: Preparing our students for the 2023 National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN) I was fortunate enough to receive an Odyssey Grant to attend the NurseThink for Nurse Educators: Next Gen Learning: Fundamentals, NCLEX, and Beyond on February 17-18, 2023. At this conference I was able to learn several new techniques to be able to assist our students in preparation for taking their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Some of the topics that were discussed at this conference was on Test Item Writing to be able to write test exams that will mimic the new types of questions that the National Council is using. The test items should be revised to focus on the implementation of safe and effective clinical judgment while providing care. There was also a National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) Update on Clinical Judgement and Next Generation NCLEX. It has been researched that nursing clinical judgment is expected for new nurse graduates. Another session was on creative teaching strategies and how to bring the clinical judgment into the classroom. One of the things that I learned in this session to teach the didactic portion was to dress in a hospital gown and become the patient in the class and give information to the students such as labs and diagnosis and then allow them to do a clinical assessment and look for potential issues and treatments that their patients will need. Also, the need to bring evidence-based practices into the learning environments. In nursing we are using more simulation to be able to teach our students how to practice nursing without the potential for errors on “live patients”, but the importance of simulation is with debriefing the students to be able to reflect on how to become better clinicians through thoughtful reflection. So as educators, we need to be able to guide them in the debrief in which they may learn the importance of making those connections. One of the other areas that was important at this conference was discussion concept-based curriculum and NCLEX success. Currently at SHSU SON we are in the process of changing the curriculum to concept-based to be able to improve our students to take the Next Gen NCLEX. The reason for changing to concept-based curriculum is to assist the students to develop a higher-order of thinking and clinical judgment to connect with nursing practice. I was able to learn so many new things and concepts at this conference as well as network with other nurse educators from around the country. It was good to know these new items getting ready for the roll-out of the new Next Gen NCLEX for May graduates and that we are somewhat ready for the new changes. It was also good to be able to work with some of our faculty off site and learn together!
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    USGC Active Learning Activities
    (2023) Michelle Parker
    USGC Active Learning Activities I recently had the opportunity to travel to Athens, Georgia, for the USG (University System of Georgia) Teaching and Learning Conference. Most attendees were from different colleges and universities in Georgia, but they were thrilled that I had traveled from Texas to visit their conference. I chose this conference because of the wonderful sessions they offered for active learning and I was not disappointed. Though I regularly employ active learning techniques and strategies in my courses, learning about new activities I can bring to my students to empower them, encourage active learning, and give them new tools to take to their future classrooms is always fun. Dr. Mary Huffman from Georgian Southwestern State University presented one of the most enjoyable sessions - Hip Professors Integrate HIP Activities: Engage and Innovate Education. Since you all were not lucky enough to attend this fantastic conference and her fabulous session, I will share a few strategies and activities with you here. Wikki Stix Wikki Stix is a set of crazy little colored sticks or waxed yarn, to be more precise. They can be easily cut, molded, shaped, and bent. They don’t melt, dry, or harden. Wikki Stix can be manipulated in any form or fashion, but you can’t put them back together if you cut them. The great thing about Wikki Stix is that it can be used for a number of activities. Example activity Step 1: Each student gets a Ziploc bag of Wikki Stix. Step 2: Set the timer and challenge students to create symbols using the Wikki Stix to show what they know about their previous lesson Step 3: Discuss student symbols and the “why” behind them Artifacts and costumes Artifacts and costumes can be used to enhance instruction and encourage participation. They “hook” students into investigation and inferencing, incorporating the artifacts in the process. Costumes can be used in much the same way – for inferencing, to “hook” the students, etc. Example activity Split students into small groups of three or four. Gather a collection of artifacts and cases – artifacts and costumes in the case should match the case in geographic location and time period. Each artifact should lend itself to the “story.” Include objects and images. You could also include a Ziploc baggie with a “smelling” item. Add five or six items to each case. Have students makes inferences about the time period and the wearer of the clothing items and artifacts. Have students complete the USG presentation Graphic organizer to analyze historical traveling trunk documents, then hold a discussion as a whole group about each case or have students create a video or short response writing describing the “character” and time period/event from the case. For more ideas and activities from the conference, feel free to reach out to me. mrparker@shsu.edu
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    When Active Learning Isn't Accessible
    (2023) Leslie Anglesey
    The research on students’ learning outcomes students achieved through active learning seems irrefutable. While the research presents a compelling case for the adoption of active learning practices across all disciplines, my own experiences in the classroom often left me wondering about the range in learning outcomes among students in class. I used to chalk this variation among students’ experiences and outcomes primarily to individual students’ willingness to engage in educational approaches with which they may be less comfortable. This attitude, however, assumes that the classroom is an equal playing field in which learning opportunities are equally accessible to all students. Paying attention to the presence of disability in the classroom, however, helps us recognize that, as with all pedagogies, some students are privileged in active learning spaces. For students with a range of disabilities, active learning classrooms present unique educational barriers that are often addressed in traditional disability accommodations (Gin et al. 2020). Earlier this semester, I had the opportunity to present the initial findings from an ongoing research project with some of SHSU’s wonderful disabled students enrolled in ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302. In our hour-long interviews, these students are helping us understand what it is like for them to participate in a variety of active learning practices and what kinds of access barriers these practices present. These barriers include: ● Time. Because so much of active learning takes place synchronously for all students during class, disabled students may need additional time to complete tasks associated with active learning and, at times, attempt to mask or hide the fact that they need more time to complete a task in order to keep up with their peers. ● Distraction. The collaborative nature of many active learning practices presents opportunities for students to engage with their peers, but it also presents increased classroom noise and stimulation, which can be distracting to the point of creating additional roadblocks to students’ engagement. ● Comprehension. When active learning involves small or large group discussions, students in this study reported increased difficulty in following the conversation and in understanding what they should be taking away from discussion. Given these potential access barriers unique to the active learning classroom, it can be difficult to determine how to move forward. If active learning isn’t always accessible, what should we do? What if one student’s access barrier is another student’s access affordance (thus creating competing access needs). The disabled students in this study by-and-large identified both barriers and unique educational opportunities of active learning. Despite the complexity of educational barriers and access needs, there are steps that instructors can take to support more accessible active learning classrooms, such as: 1. Acknowledge and embrace the presence of disability in our classes. At least twenty percent of undergraduates in the United States have a disability. Whether or not students disclose their disabilities to us, we will have disabled students in our classrooms. Their presence isn’t a wrench being thrown at our perfect active learning practices; rather, listening and responding to disabled students’ experiences can help us create better learning environments for everyone. 2. Solicit feedback from students about classroom accessibility. Instructors do not—and should not—wait to receive an Accommodation Request Form to take steps to improve classroom accessibility. Inviting students to provide anonymous feedback about any access barriers they are facing can help us identify access concerns that we are not aware of and strategies for creating more inclusive learning spaces. 3. Use a variety of active-learning practices. Classrooms that become overly reliant on one or two active learning methods may unintentionally create classrooms that are uniquely inaccessible for some disabled students. Consistently offering a variety of classroom activities will create opportunities for a variety of students to engage with course material in ways that are meaningful to their learning needs. 4. Learn about and implement universal design for learning principles. While there is not one universal design for learning that will meet all students’ needs, UDL offers a framework for expanding access and promoting inclusive learning.
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    Stretching Beyond Space Limitations
    (2023) Heather Adair
    Though I’ve been deeply engrained in the instructional space re-design arm of Engaging Classrooms – QEP and in K-12 instances previously, attending the 2022 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference was awe inspiring. The opportunity to meet with innovative space planners passionate about removing physical barriers to active learning strategies in higher education helped clarify the work we have been doing at SHSU through the EC-QEP Space (re)Design Committee (S(r)D) since 2019 – and in my own instructional practices toward more active learning, regardless of the physical constraints. At EDU22, my co-presenter and I had the opportunity to share the S(r)D projects and gather feedback from others. In one session, Adam Finkelstein from McGill echoed feelings that matched our own, that “learning is not about spectating, it is about involvement.” Involving students in the learning process is at the crux of much of what we allude to when discussing active learning strategies – in our own instructional practices and through Engaging Explorations, ACUE, and in our S(R)D work. The conversations in the sessions and that along the poster session route included ways we can shape learning and student behavior by how we design (or configure) the learning environment. What message does the space communicate about learning? To the learner? To the instructor? Does it allow for cognitive inclusion that promotes engagement and equitable representation? I am always challenged to consider ways we can imply flexibility and promote interaction in our fixed-component spaces (wired computer tables, auditorium seating, fixed tables/chairs, etc.) or large-enrollment classes. I was reminded by many in attendance at EDU22 that active learning doesn’t always require high mobility or removal of all physical barriers (because, honestly, that’s not always possible). Engaging students cognitively and culturally, supporting autonomy and fostering collaboration, and promoting meaning-making can transport students from the sit-and-get to active engagement in the scholarly conversation and learning process. Sometimes I, too, am halted by the physical space and hesitant to make the lesson more engaging and interactive. Thanks to events like EDU22, the Teaching & Learning Conference, Engaging Explorations Summer Workshops, and similar events I have been able to pack my active learning toolkit with great ideas. The trick is to pick one or two and give them a try (or a couple of tries). Need ideas? Visit the active learning library in the PACE office or feel free to pick my brain anytime (I love to talk teaching strategy!).
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    Review of Two Teaching Strategies for the ATINER Conference
    (2023) Julie Albert
    In May 2023 I was able to attend the 25th Annual International Conference on Education at the Athens Institute for Education and Research in Athens, Greece. The conference had about 70 professionals in attendance including: professors, program directors, lecturers and research assistants and was focused on university level instruction. I truly enjoyed the city, peoples, food, and the conference itself. After listening to over 20 presentations from all over the United States and from over twenty other countries I have decided to focus on my two favorite topics. The first presentation was from Abigail Gonzales, Research Associate, University of the Philippines, College of Education, master’s candidate. Her presentation titled “Popularizing Math: Application of Mathematical Thinking Processes in Citizen Sciences” focused on the integration of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) five processes within the Science curriculum. The five processes are Problem Solving, Communication, Reasoning and Proof, Connections and Representation and are primarily used within a mathematics curriculum. Ms. Gonzales’ focus was on the integration of these processes in the field of science and their important role in the learning process for science students as well. Given that at least two of the five processes show up in any unit of science, the retention rate among students was more significant. Connections was the most used process which quite literally means connecting the new science topic to ideas familiar to the student. The second most used was Problem Solving which takes students to the most depth of learning. The least popular process was Reasoning and Proof which guides the students into a variety of methods of checking for accuracy and making sure that the answer makes sense. Ironically, the idea of making sure that your scientific observations made sense was the lowest ranking of uses. Her data show both that these NCTM processes do integrate into the science curriculum and are proving to show successes throughout the science field. The second presentation I would like to highlight is “Training Preservice Mathematics Teachers to Pose Good Questions for an Online College Algebra Course” presented by Dr. Carol Bell, a Professor from Northern Michigan University. Dr. Bell recapped a project her education majors had been working on to improve the writing of good problem-solving questions. The students in the study were junior and senior level undergraduate education majors. They practiced posing good questions, studied why this would be important and practiced the questions on their own classmates. This is intriguing to me because I teach prospective elementary education majors and I see the significance in providing our students with opportunities to see actual problems from the STAAR tests and to develop questions that would provide experience for them to later use in their own classrooms. Dr. Bell’s presentation made me realize the necessity to engage our students with higher-level questioning. As future educators these students will have better success challenging their students. This is a practice that would be very meaningful for the students at SHSU. I am very appreciative to the Odyssey Program for providing me the opportunity to attend this conference. I found it both educational and engaging. Meeting with colleagues from around the world and listening to their interests in both research and projects was very enlightening. Hopefully this conference will be one of many in the future.
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    Blended Learning & Unicorns: What's Choice Got to Do With it?
    (2023) Ashley Crane
    Blended Learning & Unicorns: What’s Choice Got to Do With it? Little did I know when I walked through the convention center doors at the 2023 Texas Computer Educators Association (TCEA) Convention & Exposition, one of my greatest take-aways would come from a simple poster session shared by a self-proclaimed “culture unicorn.” Prior to this convention, I had dabbled in the world of blended learning. A learner-centered methodology, blended learning leverages the purposeful alignment of traditional face-to-face teaching practices and technology-enabled learning opportunities to create a personalized learning experience. (Keynes, 2017) I read and watched videos, but struggled to understand how to strategically implement this powerful teaching method for the benefit of my students and myself. Then I met Candice Adcock, an Instructional Technology Coach from Mesquite ISD, who asked me to take a step back from the technology aspect of blended learning and focus on the kind of choice blended learning could offer my students. Providing students with choice empowers them to take ownership of their learning and positively impacts classroom culture as it builds community, creates a safe environment, empowers student voice, cultivates risk taking, and fosters collaboration. Blended learning emphasizes five elements of choice: • Place • Path • Time • Pace • Evidence of learning (Product) The key piece of information I was missing – the instructor doesn’t have to provide choice in all these areas. Rather, they should select one element of choice to focus on, especially when building up the practice of blended learning. Determining what choice to offer is complex and is dependent upon multiple factors. Some questions we should ask ourselves include: • Is there space for flexibility in choice within my course’s curriculum and/or timeline? • Do my students typically have electronic devices and internet available in class? At home? • How much control over the learning process am I willing to concede to students? • Do I have existing instructional material (recorded lectures, readings, videos, podcasts, etc.) that could be used to facilitate choice? • How much effort am I willing to put into preparing or restructuring lessons and/or assignments to provide choice? • Can I give myself permission to streamline my assessment and/or grading practices to keep students accountable while providing quick feedback? • Am I willing to fail forward with my students as we figure out the practice of blended learning together? With those questions in mind, the challenge now falls to me. What choice can I reasonably offer students in my courses? How can I use technology to support and/or leverage that choice? Can I, too, be a “unicorn teacher”? Many thanks for the Engaging Classrooms Team for awarding me the Odyssey Grant which enabled me to attend TCEA gaining this insight and more into the power and practice of blended learning. Keynes, J. M. (2017). Redesigning the Learning Experience. In E. C. Sheninger & T. C. Murray (Eds.), Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today (pp. 54–82). ASCD; Gale eBooks. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX7330800011/GVRL?sid=bookmark-GVRL&xid=2bacd5d8
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    Tips and Hints from a Teaching Professor Conference
    (2022) Faruk Yildiz
    I am new to The Teaching Professor Conference and took an opportunity to participate with the help of PACE Center Odyssey Grant. The conference traditionally offered in GA and LA every year, and I attended the one in Atlanta, GA June 3-5, 2022). I highly recommend this conference to my colleagues especially to junior faculty members. The next conference will take place in New Orleans, LA between June 9-11, 2023. All the presentations (workshops and sessions) are shared with the participants after the conference which is not typical for conferences I usually attend (I can share the presentations upon request). My participation in this conference equipped me with new skills and strategies that will augment my strengths as a teacher and mentor. Most of the conference content and/or sessions were the cutting-edge of the best pedagogical practices and supported with half-day workshops (fee required for the workshops). The conference featured plenary sessions, workshops, and non-stop networking through which I discovered researched-based techniques on how to connect with today’s students, use new technology, and apply active-learning strategies from nationally recognized experts. Some of the benefits - Learn theoretically sound ideas covering these topics: • Preparing Your Course • Assessing Learning • Student Engagement • Technology Tools for Teaching • Online Teaching and Learning • Teaching Specific Student Populations • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion • Teaching in the Health Services • Instructional Vitality: Ways to Keep Teaching Fresh and Invigorated • New Faculty • Faculty Support Workshop: I attended a half-day workshop about “Social and Emotional Connections in All Classes to Help Students Learn and Engage”. The workshop was a refresher where I had a chance to learn from other in the session and their experiences. The presenters discussed the literature relating to connectedness and academic success describing how attending to student’s sociality and harnessing the power of emotions can boost learning; identify a range of practical strategies to increase social and emotional connections to promote equitable student success for all class modes and subjects (Forms attached). A Session: Rubrics: A Win-Win I had an opportunity to practice preparing rubrics based on student learning outcomes (SLOs). The presenter discussed timesaving, assessment-improving strategies. This session is especially very good for the junior faculty members who are asked to prepare rubrics for their classes and program/degree, accreditation assessment plans. The details of benefits of a simple and powerful rubric, creation process, LMS and best practices were discussed during the session. The goals for the session was mainly a) gaining working vocabulary for SLO based rubric development, b) describe the basic components of SLO based rubrics. The Backward Design of rubric development was discussed which is helpful in rubric construction • Identify Desired Results • Determine Acceptable Evidence • Plan Learning Experiences Moreover, best practices for rubric developments were discussed • Start with your course SLOs • Components should be well defined • Specific rather than general • Use “student-friendly” language • Emphasize rubric before/during/after a task • Students should always have access prior to beginning a task • Return marked rubrics to students • Refine Notes from the Conference (Lessons Learned) • Reduced Civility and empathy due to Covid Pandemic – It is time to re-connect • Consider: How we can support our students and ourselves • Minding Bodies (2021) Students are not brains on sticks. Neither we are. • Belonginess, emotions, and positive relationships boosts learning or may shut-down learning • Better teaching leads to better learning • Book idea: Relationship Rich Education by Peter Felton and Leo M. Lambert • Book idea: Feeling a sense of belongings by Lisa Muns, PhD • Book idea: Belongings predicts success more than GPA by Bryan Dewsbury, PhD (Florida International University) • No need to ask students to turn on camera but highly recommend • Sometimes it helps to turn of the camera and watch others in the class. Do not look at yourself. • Socially anxiety is very important to research and understand. • Strategies for social connections – It is hard to manage in STEM fields due to content level • Help your students get to know you and get to know your students • Ask students about their strength and values – class survey • Share one or more phots with students • Design for emotions • Asynchronous online classes may not be a good way to deliver • The content I have/teach is not anxiety promoting. Instead, is FUN • Design for relevance • Tell Stories (Case study, related to topic, personal experience etc.) Outside the Classroom – Scholarship Advice for Teachers • Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; writing makes a ready, full, and exact professor (Sir Francis Bacon). • Why research and write o Keeps you current in the field o Keeps you interested o Keeps you from getting o Keeps you curious • Read as much as you can (audible books) • Start small • Write about what you find interesting • Write small (a paragraph) every weekday 52 (weeks) X 5 days = 260 days • Collaborate with others (Facultyfocus.com) • https://www.Teaching professor.com • Be willing to try something new • Learn the power of the revisions (words have power) • Learn the power of the peer reviews • Keep a list of future research projects • Peer review the work of others • Editing is easier than initial draft • Write while you research • Get and stay organized • Schedule research and writing time • Know when to stop researching • Have several projects in the pipeline • Break projects into sub-tasks • Network with authors in your field • “Done” is better than perfect • Do thorough literature reviews • Learn from specialists (Librarians) • Make things easy for your publisher (Follow the guidelines) • Track your submission • Be daring when submitting • Be grateful for the opportunity to teach and write Online Teaching and Learning • Creating and Implementing Multimodal instructions • Synchronous and Asynchronous learning options • How to track if instructors spend 2.5 hours/weekly (Meeting Carnegie unit) • The virtual/video factor • The transition team (champions, mentors, training, student support services) • A checklist is a must for multimodal/hybrid classes
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    Odyssey in Art and Science: Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History
    (2022) Melissa Mednicov
    During July 2022, I spent five days learning new skills and information about technical art history. I participated in the Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History (STITAH) at Yale University, a week-long intensive workshop on technical art history, co-organized by the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Yale Center for British Art, funded by the Kress Foundation. I am grateful for SHSU’s Odyssey Grant and the Department of Art which assisted in costs related to the workshop. This year’s theme was “Brush with an Artist” which focused on close looking and hands-on learning about paint, pigment, and different mediums. It is rare in art history undergraduate or graduate work to learn about technical art history (and art conservation which is closely tied to it) and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn. We learned about a range of processes, participated in workshops, and attended lectures, including but not limited to: infra-red imaging, ultraviolet light, x-radiography, materials and techniques of Bámgbóyè Equestrian Shrine Figure, project files with works in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, Italian tempera painting, gilding, production and application of oil paint in the northern European tradition, Japanese scroll painting, workshop on scroll and sumi-e painting, workshop on techniques of photographing in a museum environment, technical aspects of modern painting, and a keynote lecture on Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. At SHSU, my students often have medium-specific questions that engage with the materials used by artists, and this was one of my primary impetuses for applying to participate. Through hands-on learning, I gained better skills to answer those questions and new ideas of classroom implementation. For classroom implementation, we do not have a conservation lab for art on campus. While formal or visual analysis papers have regularly been a part of my classes, during the early days of the pandemic, I had refocused assignments. For Fall 2022, I have returned to a formal analysis paper with a focus on artworks on campus to support prolonged close looking and analysis. I have also restructured a research paper assignment to integrate the importance of close looking and visual analysis skills from the close looking assignment in addition to scholarly sources and critical analysis. The STITAH organizers at Yale are planning to continue to work with 2022 participants and my hope is that they can further support access to learning about conservation and technical art history with artworks in the SHSU University Art Collection. I am hoping to build further class assignments to engage students in technical art history with STITAH support. An additional benefit to attending the workshop is that I can now share more information about these kinds of career paths with students. Furthermore, through workshops with various conservators, we learned about various painterly approaches, issues with paint and canvas, and impacts of techniques. These will inform all my art history classes and my research. I participated in two projects at STITAH that I hope to develop on campus into assignments. One project included STITAH participants being given the conservator’s report on an object in the Yale University Gallery or the Yale Center for British Art collection and then work as a group to extrapolate to all participants and our leaders what we believed happened to our artwork. This project is difficult to recreate on campus without the conservator’s report, but I hope to further investigate ways to apply this project. Another example, we were given about an hour’s knowledge from conservators working on African sculptures then worked in groups to look closely and present findings. I hope to find ways SHSU can gain conservation knowledge about works in the SHSU University Art Collection to create similar assignments. In my art history courses, I strive to engage close looking and visual analysis to build students’ visual acumen and critical analysis skills. The workshop prompted me to consider how to do this in ever more meaningful ways on campus. Another aspect of the workshop is partnerships across disciplines, particularly between the arts and sciences. My hope is that my PACE newsletter essay also serves as an invitation for partnership, to find new ways to encourage partnerships between art and science to further develop new modes of classroom engagement.
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    From the Engaging Classrooms Workshop to Lasting Interdepartmental Relationships: How Receiving the Odyssey Grant Opened the Door for Future Collaboration
    (2022) Kinskey, Melanie E
    The 5-day Engaging Classrooms workshop not only provided me with a new set of tools for teaching my course, but also fostered a wonderful collaborative relationship with a faculty member outside of my department. While observing the facilitator, Ava Fujimoto-Strait, model an engaging lesson from her course, I immediately made connections between her work in the department of Environmental and Geosciences and the real-world, interdisciplinary science I incorporated into my elementary science methods course in the School of Teaching and Learning. Hearing details about Ava’s Hawaii Field Course began to help me think about the utilization of place-based learning as an approach to helping my students feel confident with their abilities to teach science. When Ava and I found time to meet, we discussed the parallels between our courses and she suggested I join her field course and find ways to leverage what I learn to improve the connections my teacher candidates make between science and the real-world. To help make this opportunity possible, I applied for, and was awarded, the Odyssey Grant, which allowed me to join her field course and attend her Hawaii-based field component of the course. While there I took note of the student-centered interactions as well as the socioscientific issues the students were engaged with. From this experience I have been able to immediately develop an environmental learning module for my methods course inspired by this trip, but the most important outcome of this experience is yet to come. During the summer of 2022, Ava and I will strengthen our collaboration by writing a proposal for a grant that will allow my preservice teachers to join her geoscience undergraduate students in the Hawaii field course. The overarching goal will be to provide positive, first-hand real-world science experiences that will transform my students’ affect toward, and future instruction in, science teaching.