Category: News

Feedback on Michigan Tech’s Online Teaching Training

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart
Michelle Jarvie-Eggart

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart (EF), Thomas Freeman (CTL), Janet Staker Woerner of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, PhD student Mary Benjamin (environmental engineering) and MiCUP undergraduate researcher Luis Fernandez-Arcay of Grand Valley State University surveyed the faculty who completed Michigan Tech’s online teaching training from 2019 through 2021 to determine how that training changed their approach to the design of a course, a lesson and their teaching in general.

The group’s work, published in the Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, found that the training provided essential pedagogical and instructional design education absent in most PhD programs, resulting in self-reported improvements in both online and in-person instruction. Additionally, the experience of learning online increased faculty empathy for students.

Jarvie-Eggart, M., Freeman, T., Woerner, J. S., Benjamin, M., & Fernandez-Arcay, L. (2023). Learning to Teach Well in Any Format: Examining the Effects of Online Teachers’ Training on University Faculty Teaching. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 23(2).

Darlene Saari Receives the Unsung Hero Making a Difference Award

Darlene Saari
Darlene Saari

Congratulations to all of our 2022 Making A Difference Award nominees and winners, who were honored at an awards program Jan. 4 in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

Senior Administrative Aide Darlene Saari was recognized as an unsung hero.

Darlene’s nominator says: While managing the many responsibilities she routinely handles with care and enthusiasm, Darlene is a constant and welcoming presence for our team and our students. She serves as the safety officer for our department, handles the extensive payroll, supplies, and other purchases required to keep things running smoothly, course scheduling, TPR processes, and the numerous reports required for budgeting and other purposes. With the addition of research active faculty, she now also helps to manage large research related expenditures. Darlene is always on call and ready to drop everything and run to a classroom to deliver supplies, batteries, assignment copies—whatever the team needs. She is our active-learning emergency classroom support. The tasks are endless and yet are always met with a passion to excel in everything she does. She takes great pride in her invaluable role in the Engineering Fundamentals department, and we are all very thankful to have her on our team.

Student Advice on Incorporating Academic Grace into Online Courses

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, Mary Raber, Brett Hamlin, and Amy Hamlin (EF), Marika Seigel (Provost/PHC), Thomas Freeman (CTL) and Michael Meyers (Physics) are co-authors of an article published in Studies in Engineering Education on December 19, 2022.

The article is titled “Weaving Academic Grace into the Fabric of Online Courses and Faculty Training: First-Year Engineering Student Advice for Online Faculty During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Faculty Responses in Studies in Engineering Education.”

PhD candidate in engineering education Amanda Singer of Ohio State University is also a co-author of the article.

This work examines the advice students had for faculty teaching online during the pandemic, as well as instructional responses suggested by faculty. It highlights essential student needs from faculty for understanding, flexibility and patience, which are defined as academic grace, and makes suggestions for incorporating academic grace into online courses.

Jarvie-Eggart, M., Singer, A., Seigel, M., Raber, M., Freeman, T., Hamlin, B., … Meyers, M. (2022). Weaving Academic Grace into the Fabric of Online Courses and Faculty Training: First-Year Engineering Student Advice for Online Faculty During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Faculty Responses. Studies in Engineering Education, 3(1), 99–126. DOI:

EF Faculty Present at IEEE’s Frontiers in Education Conference

Faculty from the Departments of Engineering Fundamentals (EF) and Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) presented the following works this week at IEEE’s Frontiers in Education Conference in Uppsala, Sweden:

  • “Implementation of Game-Based Programming into First-Year Engineering Coursework as a Means to Engage and Excite Students” presented by Ken Thiemann (speaker) and Brett Hamlin
  • “Shifting the Power Dynamic – Does Grading by Near-Peer Mentors Impact Their Effectiveness?” presented by AJ Hamlin (speaker) and Amber Kemppainen
  • “Comparing Team Evaluation Software (Team+ and CATME)” presented by Amber Kemppainen, AJ Hamlin (speaker), Matt Barron, and Mary Raber
  • “Work in Progress: Utilizing the MUSIC Instrument to Gauge Progress in First-Year Engineering Students” presented by Susan Amato-Henderson (speaker) and Jon Sticklen
  • “First Year Engineering Students’ Perceptions of the Role of an Engineer” presented by Amanda Singer (Ohio State University), Margot Vigeant (Bucknell University), and Michelle Jarvie-Eggart (speaker)
  • “Promoting Technology Adoption Among Engineering Faculty” workshop presented by Michelle Jarvie-Eggart (speaker)

Frontiers in Education 2022, Grand Challenges in Engineering Education, took place on October 8–11.

Frontiers in Education (FIE) Vision

We advance and re-define engineering and computing education to ensure that all students receive the best possible preparation for their future.

Frontiers in Education (FIE) Mission

ASEE and IEEE unite to create an inclusive venue where excellence in research, teaching, and creative activity are valued. We bring together a multidisciplinary global community committed to improving scholarship and practice in engineering and computing education.

Sky Hempel has Exceptional Enthusiasm as a Student Leader

Sky Hempel
Sky Hempel

Outstanding students, staff, and a special alumni were honored Friday (April 16, 2021) during Michigan Tech’s 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards Virtual Ceremony.

Sky Hempel was honored for Exceptional Enthusiasm as a Student Leader. Sky has served as a LEarning with Academic Partners (LEAP) Leader for the past two years. She is responsible for 24 students in the engineering fundamentals course and guides and monitors their work on in-class activities. Sky has shown passion and commitment to her students by listening and going the extra mile to meet with them outside of class. She is so enthusiastic that she is intentionally placed in the 8 a.m. section to motivate the students. Her nominator wrote, “Whenever I think of Sky, I just smile. She is full of sunshine, positivity, and energy. Sky is an excellent choice for this year’s Exceptional Enthusiasm as a Student Leader Award.”

By Student Leadership and Involvement.

Play 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards video
Preview image for 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards video

27th Annual Student Leadership Awards

Report on the Systemic Changes in the First-Year Engineering Program

First Year program architecture chart.

A conference paper was published for the First Year Engineering Experience Conference (FYEE), by AJ Hamlin (EF), Amber Kemppainen (EF), Brett Hamlin (EF), Norma Veurink (CEE) and Jon Sticklen (EF).

The paper is a short report on the initial results of the 2017 roll-out of a refresh for the First-Year Engineering Program at Tech. FYEE is an offshoot of the large First-Year Programs Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

This year, 2020, papers were accepted for the compilation but there was no physical conference due to the corona-virus pandemic.

Hamlin, A. J., & Kemppainen, A., & Hamlin, B., & Veurink, N. L., & Sticklen, J. (2020, July), Three Years After Rollout: A Report on Systemic Changes in a First-Year Engineering Program Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan.

Training Online Faculty

Michigan Canvas Users Conference graphic

Thom Freeman (CTL) and Michelle Jarvie-Eggart (EF) presented “Teaching the Teachers: A Case Study of Training for Online Faculty at Michigan Tech” at the Michigan Canvas Users Conference at Lawrence Technological University on March 6, 2020.

This presentation showcased Michigan Tech’s newly required course to teach online, ED5101, Foundations of Online Teaching. The session shared faculty’s reaction to the course as well as its surprising impact on faculty perceptions of techniques used in online learning.

ED5101 does TWO things:

  1. How to teach online: Introduces faculty to the structure and function of effective online classes, as well as online classroom management.
  2. How to design good lessons: Shows faculty how to design learning activities targeted at learning objectives, with aligned assessments.

Faculty feedback indicated one of the most valuable things they gained from the class was the ability to structure good lessons.

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart is a senior lecturer in Engineering Fundamentals and an affiliated faculty member in Cognitive and Learning Sciences.

Thom Freeman is a senior instructional designer and online learning specialist with the Michigan Tech Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning and an adjunct instructor in Cognitive and Learning Sciences.


Michelle Jarvie-Eggart on How to Succeed as a Freshman

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart
Michelle Jarvie-Eggart

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, a Michigan Tech graduate and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals, along with environmental engineering students, Amanda Singer and Jason Mathews, discuss the transition for first year students and tools that can make the transition easier.

Jarvie-Eggart, M. E., & Singer, A. M., & Mathews, J. (2019, July), Advice from a First Year Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania.


Much attention is paid to the transition from high school to college. Students who have recently gone through this transition may have some of the best advice to offer in-coming first year students.

Themes which emerged in this study, which corroborate other research include: time management, utilizing resources, hard work, class attendance, social activates and persevering through lower grades.

First and Second Year Business and Engineering Students Collaborate in Fall Class

UN Sustainable Development GoalsFor the past two years, students in “Introduction to Business” (BUS1100) and “Engineering Modeling and Design” (ENG1102) worked on project design teams to develop innovative solutions to a challenging problem. Mary Fraley (EF) and Jon Leinonen (CoB) developed this collaborative experience with design thinking guided by Mary Raber (PHC).

The students applied design thinking steps to empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test solutions centered on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Engineering Grand Challenges.

Students focused on topics including alternative energy, transportation, better medicine and others. The teams worked through design thinking collaboratively as was the intention for the project in addition to managing individual business and engineering tasks such as marketing plans and advertising as well as 3D modeling and hazard analysis, respectively.

To celebrate the finale of the semester-long project, design teams presented their work in a design exposition to be evaluated by faculty and staff from across campus.

Based on the judging, numerous awards will be conveyed to the project teams after the fall break. Because the design exposition occurred on the same day as the Idea Hub Open House, some design boards that exemplified the range of projects were also displayed at the open house.

By Mary Fraley.

eCYBERMISSION Team Has Fun at Nationals

Yooper Lights 2019LAKE LINDEN — Lake Linden’s eCYBERMISSION team reported back to the district board Monday about its recent trip to Nationals.

“We didn’t win, but we had fun at the competition,” said Olivia Shank, who competed alongside Rebecca Lyons, Chloe Daniels and Jenna Beaudoin.

To aid students walking to or from school in the dark, the team, named Yooper Lights, designed LED reflectors for students to attach to their backpacks.

This year, the Yooper Lights are working with Tech’s chapter of Society of Women Engineers, (SWE), which got a grant to make electrical engineering kits for fifth- and sixth-graders.

“Michigan Tech is really excited about it too, because they will use it for their alumni,” said coach Gretchen Hein.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.