Michigan State University: The First M.O.L.I.E. Trailblazers

Glenn Stutzky is a clinical instructor of social work at Michigan State UniversityExternal Web Site Icon. He recently made headlines for his unusual course syllabus, which, you guessed it, included Zombies!

Glenn wrote, "As a college instructor, it is always a challenge to capture the students’ attention even when you’re teaching a course they are required to take and pass. An even bigger challenge, and the one I was facing, was how to get students to take a look at my new elective class (meaning not required) on Catastrophes and Human Behavior. I asked my grandson, almost college-aged himself, for his advice. It was short and to the point. “Just don’t be boring, Gramps.” OK, don’t be boring. But how to go about making something like catastrophes interesting?


The answer came from the most unlikely of places – the federal government – CDC to be specific. While I wasn’t surprised to see CDC had excellent information and resources regarding disaster preparedness, I was shocked to find Zombies helping to deliver the message. Here the federal government had gotten cool and I had missed the memo! Following CDC’s lead, I adopted and built upon the agency’s Zombie-themed approach. My twists include having the country’s first embedded librarian in a college course (I call her the Head Zombrarian) and a Catastrophic Event Simulation. It worked! Thank you, CDC." 

They made a bold statement at the Meaningful Play 2014 Conference. Their interactive workshop unlocked our imaginations about the pedagogical power M.O.L.I.E                     (Multimedia Online Learning Immersive Environment); a term coined by this  inspiring team. Their course received AT&T's Best Fully Online Course Award of Excellence. They inspired us to Dream BIG! Their work inspired the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation to began "The  M.O.L.I.E. Initiative" at UMW!