Naomi Fukumori, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of East Asian Languages and Literature

How Are You Teaching?

Comprehensive Focus on Student Participation and Engagement

Course Taught:

  • EALL 4200: Topics in East Asian Culture -- The Monstrous in Japanese Cutlure 


Naomi Fukumori, Ph.D., associate professor with the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature, infused her new course – The Monstrous in Japanese Culture -- with evidence-based instructional strategies to promote student participation “by creating opportunities for generating and assessing knowledge.”

In the past, Fukumori explained, she was reticent to implement student-centered activities in courses based on her comfort level with lecture-style presentations that encouraged dialogue in Socratic fashion. She identified enhancing student participation as a significant issue through student feedback, research on teaching and learning, and her own “discovery in the classroom” that students learn more from active learning and activities that provide immediate feedback to students.

Fukumori employed new technologies to provide innovative visual presentations of student participation (word clouds and charts of responses), concrete exchange of feedback among students through peer review; and involvement of other experts to broaden the method and content of the course and to connect students with additional resources.

“I’ve always known that active student participation in class was paramount to my sense of a course’s success,” she writes. “If students actively participate, it’s observable evidence that they’re enjoying the class. But, what is of greater import is the experiential learning that a course and instructor can facilitate, and I focused my IR efforts in creating, implementing, and assessing student activities that would produce evidence of effectiveness for student learning.”

She originally chose an individualized pathway to completion of IR, but, after having taught the course and reflecting on the results, participated in the Drake Institute Digital Humanities Pedagogy Endorsement led by Leigh Bonds.

Fukumori assessed her instructional adaptations through direct and indirect methods, including student participation in Top Hat, public presentations, and peer reviews, as well as Student Evaluation of Instruction. She also tracked direct student communications, and reviewed student performance on assessments that aligned with the implemented strategies.

“The methods I used gave me a chance to see how creative, curious, and motivated students can be when given the proper contexts, guidance, and trust,” she concluded. “Most of them enrolled in the course because they already were aficionados of Japanese monsters or of monsters generally. They had much they wanted to share and discuss. The activities I implemented as part of the IR gave students chances to test out ideas without the risks of the more conventional graded assignments, and this ultimately resulted in the students doing better on the graded assignments.”

Read more about this (re)design.