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Union University Center for Faculty Development
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Teaching & Learning Grants > Interviews

Interview with Daniel Musselman, Music - recipient of the Teaching and Learning Grant-Other Activities

Daniel Musselman

1. Briefly describe what you did with your Teaching and Learning Grant.

I used the grant to fund work on an e-book textbook for a class I teach in the spring semester called “Arranging & Composition.” After searching for commercial texts that address the scope of the course as I teach it, I decided to take all my lecture notes and the course outline and flesh them out into a new textbook. Since I had the opportunity, I decided to make the book an e-book with the option for the student to print their own physical copy at lulu.com should they choose. Thus, I also used some of the grant to purchase software that would allow me to adjust the text in these various formats. I also needed the grant to obtain licenses and permissions from various publishers for many of the examples in the text.

2. How was your teaching and your students’ learning enhanced by this grant?

It allowed me to bypass much of the old “no textbook is perfect” quandary and tailor (or match) my teaching and their reference material in a very succinct way. It allowed me to actually be more comprehensive than I could have been in the past since the text can now function as a detailed resource. Thus, I can spend valuable class time on modeling, application, and the like. The rich media gives the students instant supplemental and supporting materials in a way traditional books (even ones that come with supplemental DVDs) cannot.

3. How did (or might) this grant award lead to other opportunities to further develop your teaching and enhance learning?

I learned a great deal about book design and online publishing through this project. The very tight integration of my course design and the book’s scope can potentially enhance student learning as well as help ensure that my teaching is as efficient as possible. Since I tried to format the e-book as a rich-media document, perhaps I could find ways to incorporate this with other classes and content thus enabling me to extend the classroom in an accessible way for today’s students.

 

"An appetite for knowledge and beauty exists in the human mind and God makes no appetite in vain. We can therefore pursue knowledge as such and beauty as such, in the sure confidence that by doing so we are either advancing to the vision of God ourselves or indirectly helping others to do so."
-C.S. Lewis; Learning in Wartime; The Weight of Glory