Limed: Teaching with a Twist
Season 2, Episode 4

Justin Shaffer teaches Anatomy and Physiology, among other Biomedical and Chemical Engineering courses at Colorado School of Mines. He introduces the idea of PodCases, using popular podcasts to engage his students with real-world examples of course concepts for case study. Our panel includes Cara Frankenfeld, an epidemiologist and public health scholar from MaineHealth Institute for Research; Jill McSweeney, Elon University’s Assistant Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning; and Gianna Smurro, a third year Cinema and Television Arts and Journalism major and Center for Engaged Learning Student Scholar at Elon University. The panel talks about the value of podcasts as an engaging tool for content delivery, an alternate modality for diverse learners, and a way to bring outside ideas, perspectives, and expertise into a teaching environment. PodCases present a fun way to connect the concepts and applications to real-world stories and examples.

View a transcript of this episode.

This episode was hosted by Matt Wittstein and edited by Jeremiah Timberlake and Matt Wittstein. Limed: Teaching with a Twist is produced by Matt Wittstein in collaboration with Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning.

About the Guest

Headshot of Justin Shaffer

Justin Shaffer is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and a Teaching Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering and in Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Justin teaches anatomy and physiology, introductory biology, chemical engineering, and biomedical engineering courses and does education research on the efficacy of high structure course design with specific attention to strategies that promote student success in intro STEM courses. Justin also has a passion for faculty and future faculty development in the areas of course and curriculum design and assessment, evidence-based teaching strategies, and discipline-based education research, in which he works with individuals and departments through his independent side-venture Recombinant Education. You can learn more about Justin at his website and on his LinkedIn profile.

About the Panel

Headshot of Cara Frankenfeld

Cara Frankenfeld, PhD, is a Faculty Scientist, specializing in biostatistics and epidemiology, at MaineHealth Institute for Research, where she conducts population health research. Previously, she worked for two years launching and teaching in the Master of Public Health Program at the University of Puget Sound, and prior to that, she worked for 11.5 years as a faculty member in the Department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University, where she also served as a Director of Graduate Programs for four years. At George Mason University, she also worked to launched and administer a faculty development program for early career tenure-track faculty. Over her career, she has designed and taught more than 18 courses in a variety of formats for graduate and undergraduate students and has completed additional training to expand her skills in on-line and hybrid teaching. You can learn more about Cara’s experience and work at MaineHealth and LinkedIn.

Woman standing in a wooded area. She's wearing a black jacket and a scarf with various shades of red. She has glasses on top of her head, and she's looking back over her shoulder.

Jill McSweeney has worked in Educational Development for almost a decade. She began her work at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she completed her PhD, and is now an Assistant Director for the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and an Assistant Professor at Elon University. She actively engages in scholarship around educational development and the scholarship of teaching and learning, publishing in journals such as Teaching and Learning Inquiry, the International Journal of Academic Development and The International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. She approaches her teaching and educational development work with the focus of facilitating a space where learners and colleagues can create connections and meaning with themselves and their learning/teaching. To learn more about her teaching and ongoing scholarship, visit her on Twitter or her Faculty Profile.

Headshot of Gianna Smurro

Gianna Smurro is a third -year student at Elon University studying Journalism and Cinema & TV Arts with a minor in Political Science. As a CEL Student Scholar, she is providing a student perspective on a three-year research seminar on Work-Integrated Learning. She is also a Communications Fellow at Elon and a communications and editorial intern for Bringing Theory to Practice.

Resources Related to this Episode

National Science Teaching Association. 2023. “NCCSTS Case Studies.”

Shaffer, Justin. n.d. “Materials – Recombinant Education.” Recombinant Education – What’s in your teaching DNA?

The Panelists’ Favorite Podcasts