Department of Social Sciences Highlights
Fall 2013 - Spring 2016

Fall 2013

Blackboard Lesson Plan Standardization

In an effort to standardize specific lesson plans and assignments in General Education classes, the Department developed a method for centralizing the digital distribution of classroom materials via a separate web page.  Courses that utilize these “shared” resources simply need to add a link to them in their Bb course shell.

This has lead to a more organized and consistent delivery of standard course material that has provided the framework for the delivery of assignments pertaining to the Essential Learning Outcomes of the College within the Department of Social Sciences.

Modified FYE 125 Course

In cooperation with Student Services Staff, Faculty within the Department of Social Sciences have contributed to the further development of the FYE 125 course.

This is a project that is still in process so it is difficult to determine if the outcomes have benefited students or not.

Personal Behavior Management Seminar

Faculty from the Department of Social Sciences delivered a seminar in Personal Behavior Management and Time Management to students enrolled in the FYE 125 course.

Clear benefits to students include increased skills in core time and task management.

Development and Implementation of a “Certified Online Instructor” Program

Faculty in the Department formulated a process/course through which new instructors would be oriented to best practice for course delivery through online medium.  While the certification process was not supported after the pilot, elements of the course and the expectations for online course delivery remain important parts of the ongoing effort to improve our online course offerings.

Conference Presentations

The Department Chair, Mark Kavanaugh, presents two sessions at the Atlantic Coast Teaching of Psychology Conference in New Jersey.

  • Assessing AAC&U General Education Learning Outcomes in Introduction to Psychology
  • Integrating Instructional Design Theory into Clear and Structured Online Lesson Plans
Spring 2014

Technology Integration into the Mental Health Curriculum

Across a number of courses the Faculty in the Mental Health program have introduced a number of technological innovations in course design and delivery.

  • Interviewing and Counseling
    • Clearly teaching Interviewing and Counseling in an online format presents challenges.  In the Spring of 2014 Faculty utilized the free online video conferencing software WebEx to facilitate interpersonal and therapeutic communication among the members of the class.
    • Initially the Faculty attempted to utilize Collaborate, the video conferencing solution built into Blackboard.  This software solution proved to be unreliable and WebEx was very successfully adopted.
  • Case Management
    • One of the essential learning outcomes in Case Management is for students to engage in public speaking (oral communication).  Having students do this in an online format presents challenges.
    • To meet this challenge Faculty have adopted a number of tools that enable students to craft online visual and auditory presentations.  These tools include:
      • PowToons
      • PowerPoint
      • Prezi
    • Tutorials on how to use these tools were created and presented as standard content for both the face-to-face and online versions of this class.
    • Students were challenged to learn these applications and apply them so quickly to assignments.  Providing students with adequate support and instruction in these programs is an ongoing goal of the Department.
  • iPad Integration
    • Again within the same Case Management course there is requirement for students to formulate groups and engage in developing an intervention project aimed at meeting real needs in their communities.
    • In order to document these projects Faculty have incorporated the use of KVCC’s iPad collection and the app “Storehouse” as a standard delivery platform for audio, video, visual, and text information related to these projects.
    • Student engagement in these projects was much increased through the use of the technology.  Students were better able to capture the excitement and impact of their community projects.

Updated Schedule for Mental Health Courses

During this particular semester we continued to offer a set of Mental Health courses in condensed format on Saturdays.  These failed to enroll.

It was decided that we would change the course offerings/rotations in the following ways:

  • The current Tuesday/Thursday schedule of classes would remain with all the 100-level MHRT/C required classes being offered face-to-face in the Fall semester and all the 200-level MHRT/C required classes being offered face-to-face in the Spring semester.
  • ALL 10 of the required MHRT/C courses would be offered during both the Spring and Fall semesters.

Maintenance of Online Faculty Orientation Website

Department Faculty developed and continue to maintain a website (with links being placed in a specific Bb course) that provides orientation for Faculty to a number of tutorials and important documents and policies.

Content of this website, which is available to all Faculty and Staff at KVCC, include:

  • Introduction to KVCC
    • Messages from key staff, maps, directions, and the history of KVCC
  • Working at KVCC
    • Information on shared terminology, faculty contracts, Faculty Association and Senate information, and direct links to policies and procedures
  • Using the Portal
    • Visual tutorials on how to utilize the KVCC Portal to see class lists, cancel classes, submit grades, and reporting attendance
  • Teaching Excellence (under development)
  • Blackboard Primer
    • Links to tutorials related to nearly all aspects of course design and delivery in Blackboard.
  • Advising
    • Links to tutorials on how to use the Portal and understanding Financial Aid when working with students.
  • Classroom Management (under development)
  • Technology
    • Links related to how to utilize the “thin client” computers current installed at the Alfond Campus, the set up and use of WebEx for both Faculty and Students, and links to resources related to the telephone system.

Department Faculty update and develop these online resources.  All Faculty at KVCC are automatically enrolled in a Bb course managed by Department Faculty.  This course contains direct links to all of these resources.

These resources have enabled Faculty to have quick access to answers which enable them to better serve our students.

Click HERE to review the site.

Presentations at Staff Development

Department Faculty presented a variety of programs at Staff Development Day, including:

  • Using Rubrics
  • Designing Engaging Classroom Activities
  • Basics of Blackboard
  • iPad Applicatons in the Classroom

Department Chair completes his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology

The Department Chair, Dr. Mark Kavanaugh, completes his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology through Walden University. His dissertation is titled "The Effect of Social Ability on Learning Outcomes in Online Learning".

Summer 2014

Blackboard Support and Standardization

Department Faculty were involved in the development of an initiative to provide support for Faculty in regard to using and standardizing Blackboard. IT now refers these support questions from Faculty to the Department Chair.

Essential Learning Outcomes Project

The Department has taken a lead in the area of Essential Learning Outcomes. Faculty facilitated a group process to develop and define the Essential Learning Outcomes that will be the focus of Institutional Assessment. We then have begun the development of a strategy to review the teaching and assessment of Essential Learning Outcomes across the campus in all programs.

Fall 2014

Transition to the Alfond Campus

Starting this Fall the entire Social Sciences Department was relocated to the Alfond Campus. The Department Chair and the Communication instructor are now housed at Alfond as is the Education Program and the Mental Health Program.

The Department continues to offer General Education Social Sciences course to both campuses and to numerous off-campus sites.

Staff Development Presentations

Department Faculty presented two topics at the Staff Development event:

  • Teaching Essential Learning Outcomes Across the Curriculum
  • "I can't find anything!" - Results from a survey of students on the use of Blackboard

Both presentation were well received and serve as a basis for the ongoing initiatives related to Essential Learning Outcome assessment and the Standardization of Blackboard.


Department Faculty participated in the development of the TAACCCT IV Grant application. Initiatives related to the Mental Health program that were incorporated into the application include:

  • Recrutment and hire of a Mental Health Program Coordinator
  • Refinement of existing online Mental Health classes
  • Creation of Stackable Certificates related to:
    • Substance Abuse
    • Crisis Intervention
    • Vocational Rehabilitation
    • MHRT/I
    • Behavioral Services
  • Exploration of the "Program on an iPad" initiative to develop classroom materials that can be delivered entirely on the iPad platform.

KVCC was awarded this grant.

Spring 2015

TAACCCT IV Grant Implementation

The following steps have taken place or are planned to take place during the Spring of 2015.

  • Hire of a Graduate Intern to research and develop a unique First Year course for Mental Health (done)
  • Purchase equipment to create a video recording studio for both Faculty and Student use (done)
  • Provide technical support to select Faculty and Part-time Faculty who wish to refine their online offerings (ongoing)
  • Identify the key job duties of the Mental Health Program Coordinator (done)
  • Advertise and begin the interview process to hire hte Mental Health Program Coordinator (upcoming)
  • Develop and implement a state-wide marketing initiative for the Online offerings in the Mental Health degree program (upcoming)

Education Program Director

This semester represents the first semester without a Program Director for the Education programs. We are currently in the process of reviewing roles and responsibilities related to the regular functions of the Education programs (Early Childhood Education, Autism, and the teaching out of Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program) and the implementation of the Cohen grant supporting the online Early Childhood Education program.

Initiaties to be anticipated for this Spring include:

  • The reframing of the Online Early Childhood Education program to be truly online.
  • The development of a new state-wide marking plan related to the Online Early Childhood Education program.