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The Iris Center for Faculty Enhancement

The Iris Center for Faculty Enhancement

The Iris Center at Vanderbilt provides a wide variety of resources in the form of case studies, turtorials, fact sheets, a searchable database of web resources, an online glossary and much more to ensure that general education teachers, school administrators, school nurses, and school counselors are well prepared to work with students who have disabilities and with their families. The resource materials here will help both general education students and general teacher education faculty learn more about working with students with disabilities to help them access the general education curriculum. Teams of experts at the Iris Center are creating a range of course enhancement materials, including interactive modules for student-use, and an array of resources for faculty. Such course... Show More
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Dan Bacon
Dan Bacon (Faculty)
1 year ago

The IRIS Center is a wonderful resource for teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  I teach in the Departments of Child & Family Development, as well as Special Education, and there is a wealth of content that is applicable in both fields.  I have been successful in finding content that aligns nicely with my courses current learning outcomes, and have found wonderful resources which allow me to expand my learning outcomes as well.  

In particular, I have utilized the Collaboration, Disability, Diversity, and Early Intervention/Early Childhood IRIS Resource Topics.  Each IRIS Resource Topic contains a myriad of modules, activities, videos, information briefs, and more.  I have found it useful to both assign an entire module, and have also had success picking and choosing individual resources to embed into existing lectures.   

I appreciate that the IRIS Center has a focus on evidence-based practices (EBPs).  Utilizing EBPs is something I stress with my students; IRIS not only focuses on them, but it provides students with link and outlets to find out more information on the topics as well. Furthermore, it does so while using clear and consistent terminology, which will be important as the students enter their professional lives.  

Another feature I appreciate is the IRIS Center’s simple navigation.  The content is well organized; each module includes a Wrap-Around Concept Map, which organizes the material within the module and also directs the user toward related modules.  As an instructor this helps me identify other useful content to assign, and for curious students, it would allow them to easily find more information on their own time.  

From an editorial perspective, IRIS is very well designed.  The content is well written and free of grammatical error.  Additionally, the graphics and animations are visually appealing and well organized.  

In assigning the IRIS modules to students, I have only received positive feedback.  The students report it is easy to access and navigate, and that the time estimates given are relatively accurate.  While much of the content is only accessed online, there are options to print many of the resources as pdfs.  It is also nice that many of the videos provide the option of viewing a transcript.   

I will continue to incorporate content from the IRIS Center into my courses, and am grateful such a wonderful, free, resource exists for students and educators to benefit from.  I hope more instructors will take advantage of all it has to offer as well.

Used in course? Yes
Time spent reviewing site: 20+ hours