Investigation of Strategies to Improve the Success of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Transitioning into Baccalaureate Studies in STEM Disciplines

Team

  • Matthew Lynn, PI, NTID Department of Science and Mathematics
  • Sandra Connelly, Co-PI, COS Gosnell School of Life Sciences
  • Annemarie Ross, Co-PI, NTID Department of Science and Mathematics
  • Carla Deibel, Senior Personnel, NTID Department of Science and Mathematics
  • Denise Lengyel, Senior Personnel, NTID Department of Science and Mathematics
  • Karen Tobin, Senior Personnel, NTID Department of Science and Mathematics

Abstract

Upon completion of NTID’s Laboratory Science Technology program, increasing numbers of students are choosing to pursue baccalaureate-level degrees in STEM fields elsewhere within RIT. This transition can be difficult for students who are not ready for the various commitments required for success in courses such as those offered in RIT’s College of Science (COS). We plan to investigate the factors that impact the academic performance of students who are undergoing this transition by using quantitative and qualitative methods to assess these students’ attitudes during their transition year for comparison with other students who are deaf, hard-of hearing, and hearing. We also intend to pair students with student mentors who themselves have made this transition in order to understand the situation from both perspectives and to support the students undergoing the transition. Our ultimate goal is to develop an intervention program for subsequent groups of students that undergo this transition.

Articulating Complex Discipline Specific Concepts in Introductory Statistics

Team

  • Carol Marchetti, PI COS School of Mathematical Sciences
  • Jane Jackson, Co-PI, NTID Department of Science and Mathematics
  • Penny Arndt, Senior Personnell NTID Science and Engineering Interpreting Team
  • Chris Kurz, Consultant, NTID Masters of Science in Secondary Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Program

Abstract

It is known that deaf and hard of hearing students struggle with some statistical concepts, often resulting from challenges in conversion of the spoken English to signed ASL versions of the concept, words that have multiple interpretations, and lack of visual representation of the concept.  The goal of this project is to document areas of difficulty and create communication strategies to help students better understand these topics. The project will use collaborative methods that involve students, interpreter, tutor, and instructor working together to develop these strategies, and we expect that the outcomes will include a variety of techniques, including fingerspelling, signed English, explanation in ASL, and displays or graphics. It is expected that several videos will be created to serve as a resource for RIT students, interpreters, and instructors of our Data Analysis course.  We will also document the process of developing these strategies with student participants as we work towards development of a model that could enable instructors in other disciplines to replicate this project.

Classroom Research for Preliminary Findings: Use of SLIM to Teach Content Areas to RIT/NTID Students

Team

  • Brian Trager, PI, NTID Department of Information & Computing Studies,
  • Gary Behm, Co-PI, NTID Department of Engineering Studies
  • Chris Kurz, Co-PI, NTID Masters of Science for Secondary Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Program

Abstract

Technology has become an integrated instructional tool in the classroom nowadays. A team of three colleagues and two deaf undergraduate students in STEM fields created a technological prototype (now filed as a provisional patent at USPTO) that includes an interactive communication center where information can be shown on both sides of the screen boards between the teacher and the students. Face-to-face communication is maintained as writing, showing illustrations and videos, and pointing to images are performed on the board. The team would like to investigate how this technology might be used to enhance learning for D/HH students and hearing students as well. How might it enhance information proximity to teachers for D/HH students to follow during lecture? This project will help generate preliminary findings on using the newly created prototype designed for teaching content areas (e.g., STEM-related fields, computer science, ASL) to deaf and hearing students effectively. 

Investigation of the Benefits of Using a Case Study Method to Teach Mechanical Engineering Fundamentals Courses to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Team

  • Wayne Walter, PI, COE Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Patricia Iglesias, Co-PI, NTID Department of Engineering Studies
  • Michael Schrlau, Co-PI, COE Department of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

The case study method of teaching is used routinely in college business programs but is not widely used in teaching engineering courses. Some examples exist in the literature that show that it engages hearing students’ interest and helps them better appreciate the importance of understanding fundamental principles, that otherwise may be somewhat dry and uninteresting. The authors have not found any articles in the literature where the method has been used successfully to stimulate deaf and hard of hearing engineering students. The hypothesis of this project is that the case study method will also engage the interest of deaf and hard of hearing students, improve their performance in these courses, and ultimately improve their retention.