Engaged Learning

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Dr. Gross and Innovative Teaching and Learning

Like most Kinesiology faculty, Dr. Melissa Gross works with students in her research lab. But her involvement with engaged learning goes far beyond that. An Arthur F Thurnau Professor and associate professor of Movement Science, she’s helping her colleagues transform the undergraduate experience through “flipped” classrooms, real-world consulting assignments, and global videoconferencing.

“Some of the most exciting changes are taking place inside the classroom,” she says. “The traditional lecture model has gone away. Instead, faculty are flipping their classrooms.”

What does a flipped classroom look like? “Through readings and video tutorials, students are initially exposed to course material outside of class,” Gross explains. “Then, in class, they might participate in debate, discussion, problem solving or team projects. When you walk into a flipped classroom,” she adds, “there’s so much movement and conversation, it can be hard to find the professor.”

Another example of engaged learning is a course being taught concurrently in Japan and Germany by Dr. Stefan Szymanski. Through video conferencing, students from across the globe learn together, talk together and work together on teams. In yet another engaged learning class with Dr. Dae Hee Kwak, students are producing case studies based on their own, real-world consulting with organizations such as the Detroit Tigers.

Of course, this new kind of learning requires new venues. As Gross notes, “Traditional stadium seating doesn’t work well. We need large reconfigurable classrooms, oversized monitors for group viewing, collaborative spaces, and everything on wheels.

Thanks to support from donors like you, our faculty and students are discovering new ways to teach and learn. Click here to help keep U-M Kinesiology ahead of the curve:


The IONM Program

A new and rapidly growing program in the School of Kinesiology is Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM), directed by Clinical Assistant Professor of Movement Science Josh Mergos.

IONM is a growing field that involves the monitoring of the central and peripheral nervous systems of patients undergoing surgical procedures such as orthopedic spinal correction (scoliosis treatment), cranial neurosurgery, and interventional radiologic procedures. IONM helps improve patient outcome by carefully assessing the functional status of nervous tissue, including spinal column tracts, eloquent brain regions, and peripheral nerve. This neurophysiologic information helps the surgeon perform a safer, and sometimes more thorough, procedure.

Movement Science students looking for exciting career opportunities in a growing field should consider IONM. U-M Kinesiology has one of the very first undergraduate IONM programs in the country, and thirty-eight students are now enrolled in it.

Thanks to support from donors like you, our faculty and students are helping doctors perform more effective surgeries. Click here to help keep U-M Kinesiology stable and strong: