November 17, 2009-  This months session was Teaching Summer Immersion with presentations from Rick Thompson, Dean of School of Math and Science, Claudia Lingertat-Putnam, Department of Educational Psychology, and Carrie Hulligan from the Department of English. 

          Rick Thompson began the discussion by talking about a class he taught at McMurry University on how to become an astronomer in three weeks. Thompson talked about the “mayterm” courses that were provided to students. These classes were “outside the box” type of courses which created an opportunity for courses to involve travel and field work. Thompson continued by talking about the outline of the course which includes basic observational astronomy topics, computer software, instrumentation, and details of running an observatory. Thompson also talked about the difficulties faced due to this immersion course such as travel expenses, weather, range of backgrounds and abilities of the students, and lack of support. Finally, Thompson discussed the benefits this program has on students. 

          Next, Carrie Hulligan, an instructor from the English department, talked about her unique experience teaching therapeutic writing and literature during summer 2008 and 2009 online. Many of the challenges Hulligan faced was condensing information into a six week program without compromising the integrity of the class, as well as trying to get students involved and motivated online. One way to do so, Hulligan separated assignments into low and high stake assignments on blackboard, including a mini bio in order to create the dynamic seen in the traditional classroom. Overall, Hulligan’s main objective was to create a tone thats inspiring for students. 

          Finally, Claudia Lingertat-Putnam who teaches in the counseling department, talked about her experience teaching a hybrid course usually taught as a graduate course. Lingertat-Putnam saw the immersion format as an opportunity for something different with the intense material covered in the class and skill building. Challenges faced begun with the way summer immersion is marketed, because the class is offered during the summer Lingertat-Putnam found it difficult to get students serious and committed to the three week course. At the end of the presentation, Lingertat-Putnam talked about the syllabus for CSL 597: Counseling Bereaved Children, course outline, and assignments students are involved in during this program. 

Below you will find the materials each presenter shared during the session. To hear this session, as well as past Provision sessions, please visit the “Session Podcast” link.


CSL 597: Counseling Bereaved Children

Dr. Claudia Lingertat-Putnam 


Class Participation & Attendance        20%

Given the intense nature of the immersion format, students are expected to attend all class sessions, be on time, and actively participate in class, including online coursework (case studies, blogs, etc). Students are expected to be prepared for each class by having completed all assignments on time. Participation includes regular involvement in class discussions, small group, in-class exercises, class presentations, online work, blogs, wiki’s and other related activities. Late assignments will not be accepted. Each missed class (traditional or online) results in a drop of half a grade for the entire class (i.e. A to A-, A- to B+, etc.).   


  1. Personal Reflection Paper        15%
    Based on personal experiences and the readings, students are to explore the meaning of grief & loss in their own lives. DUE 5/19/09. Write a 4 – 6 page typed, double spaced paper in at least 12 font and answer the following:
    1. What experience(s) have you personally had with grief & loss?
    2. What does your family consider an appropriate emotional expression and integration of the loss?
    3. What are your family’s gender rules for handling the loss/death?
    4. Do certain types of death carry a stigma (i.e. suicide) or are especially traumatic (i.e death of a child)?
    5. What are your personal beliefs about life after death? Do they match your family’s beliefs about what happens after death?
    6. What are your family’s culturally prescribed rituals for managing the dying process, the deceased’s body, the disposal of the body, and the commemoration of the death?
    7. Which of these beliefs do you maintain to this day?
    8. How do these beliefs influence you as a counselor, particularly when counseling bereaved children and their families?


  1. Integration Assignment         10%


    Using one of the choice books, students will apply: 
    • the stages of grief from Kubler-Ross;
    • Bowbly and Parkes’ 4 phases of mourning; and
    • Worden’s phases of grief


    to the main characters in the stories. Write up your findings in an APA style 3-5 page typed, double-spaced paper using at least 12 font. Examples from the whole of the book chosen must be included. DUE 5/28/09. 
  1. Case Studies          20%
    Using assigned case studies from Fiorini & Mullen (2006) and Webb (2002), students are expected to:
  1. answer all questions from each case (individually) and post appropriate responses on Blackboard using the blog feature.
  2. Additionally, students will work in small groups to search for websites/online resources that contain information on the issue presented. Each student will share their findings (the site addresses, etc.) on their group’s page and add some comments about what they found.
  3. Students must also respond to someone else’s subtopic in their group. Responses should be in-depth and reflective, indicative of the critical thinking expected of graduate students.


    Case studies Week One:  (F&M) Gabby, pg. 95; Renee, pg. 113; (W) Ch. 3 Questions pg. 67
    Case studies Week Two: (F&M) Larry, pg. 72; Samantha, pg. 182; (W) Ch. 7 questions pg. 162 
  1. Resource Wiki          35%
    Students will construct a Wiki (a collaboratively built webpage) for parents, counselors, and youth at This assignment consists of four components which are all due 5/29/09 at 9 p.m.  


  1. Journal Article Review/Annotated Bibliography     10%
          Pick a topic related to counseling bereaved children (get approval from professor). Find 5  current articles (within the last 5 years) on this topic. Articles must be from peer  reviewed, professional journals. Write up an annotated bibliography (APA style) on these  articles (one paragraph summary of article) and post it to the Wiki at the URL above,  from here on out referred to as the class Wiki.  
  1. Book Reviews & resources        10%
          Find 2 books that parents, teachers or counselors could use as resources when working with  bereaved children and/or adolescents. You may use books listed in the supplemental reading  guide or find them on your own. The books can be: activity books, children’s books, or a  resource guide for parents/professionals. They must be a minimum of 25 pages in length  each. Write a book review for each book (see example handed out in class) including the  reference in APA style for each resource & post it to the class Wiki.  
  1. Web-based resources        5%
    Each student is required to post at least 4-5 links to current video, articles, resources, etc. that bereaved children or caregivers could access if looking for help on the web. Post to class Wiki.  
  1. Field Experience Blog        10% 
          Volunteer at a bereavement camp, visit an agency providing services to bereaved children  (e.g. Haven, Hospice), or interview someone close to you about their experiences with  grief, loss and death as a child. These experiences must be completed during the  immersion course (i.e. you cannot use past experience for this assignment). Write up a  750 – 1,000 word summary of your visit/interview (including the date completed) on the  PBWiki as a blog entry. Emphasize what you learned that would be helpful to others  (other counselors, other bereaved persons, etc.) Please do not post full names on the web;  use initials or first names only. Post to class Wiki. 

CSL 597: Counseling Bereaved Children

Course Syllabus 

    5/11 M Part I: Foundations (F & M) Ch. 1; (W) Ch. 1& 11
          Children and Grief  
    5/12 T Vicarious Traumatization (W) Ch. 2 & 15
          Assessment    (G)  Ch. 14; (F&M) Ch. 2
          Cultural Implications Personal Reflection worksheet
                      Review of assessment tool
                      Cultural chapter jigsaw 
    5/13 W Play therapy
          Guest Speaker: Dr. Maria Fast
          Traumatic Grief (W) Ch. 8
                (F&M) Ch. 10 
    5/14 Th Online Case Studies Week One 
    5/18 M Part II: Loss
          Death in the Family (W) Ch. 3, 4, 5
                      (G) Ch. 4 & 5
                      (F&M) Ch. 5
                      Case Studies Week 1 due 6p.m.  

      5/19 T Suicide (W) Ch. 6

          Crisis Intervention/Postvention Services (W) Ch. 9; (G) Ch. 13
                Personal Refl. due 

      5/20 W Violent Death  (W) Ch. 7, 10, 16

            Community Violence  (F & M) Ch. 9 

      5/21 Th Online  Resource Wiki

                        Case Studies Week 2  

      5/26 T Part III: Interventions

            Using the Expressive Arts

            Guest Speaker, Joan Horgan Case Studies Week 2 due 6 p.m.

            Interventions  (W) Ch. 11 

      5/27 W Bereavement Groups, 

            Art & Storytelling (W) Ch. 12, 13 14


    5/28 Th Intervention and Counseling  Integration Paper Due

            Endings and Closure 

    5/29 F Online Resource Wiki Due 9 p.m.
Students Responses to Online Course
ENG 106, Texts and Contexts: Therapeutic Writing and Literature, Instructor Carrie Holligan
“I think that this class would be drastically different if it were not online. Since it is an online class it gives the discussion a sort of uninhibited feel. Because we have back and forth discussions through the message board, it makes it less threatening and more anonymous. I think more is said than would be said in a traditional classroom setting. I find it a lot easier to post something than raise my hand every time I have something to say. I like that I can go on anytime I want and look at what people have written. I like that i can respond no matter how long or short my response is. I also like how much of a grade is based on our discussions….i have ADHD and what really helps is just being able to focus on what I have to say and getting it down rather than focusing on everything else. At the same time, the  discussion board gives you a chance to think before you write so you do know what you want to say. Sometimes I lose my thoughts when I am trying to explore something in a discussion and but the message boards help to get what i have to say down more accurately…i have also found that it’ s easier to see who a person is without ever seeing them  in person. I think that I have gotten to know the other students more than i would have in person. Not seeing them in class or outside class has allowed me to be more involved in their emotions and stories. I believe this is partially because there is no physical person to draw a conclusion from.” 
“When i signed up for this class, i guess i just expected it to be a lot of reading, i did not expect there to be so much writing involved. I have never been very confident about my writing. I pride myself on being a somewhat articulate person, but i have never felt that i did a good job expressing myself in writing. So all the writing involved has been quite a challenge for me. It has also been very eye opening for me. I feel like just a few weeks of writing has made me a more confident writer…The online community can make it difficult to communicate like a regular classroom. By responding to each others posts, it makes it much more like a discussion.”
– Tarah
“Sometimes in a classroom setting i feel self-conscious sharing my thoughts and opinions with everyone. However, i never felt this way during the online class. I also feel that everyone else in the class was more open than usual. I liked able to read everyone else’s posts. In a regular lecture class there isn’t time for everyone to share their thoughts but being on blackboard gave us a chance to see everyone’s take on the readings. It was very interesting to see the different ways people analyzed the readings. After reading my classmate’s posts i often learned something new that i had not caught from the reading. I also learned much more about each of my classmates than i would have in a normal classroom.”
– Kelly
 ” This is my first online class and i must say that i have really enjoyed it. To be honest, i think we all have those days when we don’t feel like sitting through a long lecture and tend to space out a bit. However, with this type of set up I am able to read the materials and other people’s posts in my own time when I would like to and don’t have to listen to someone else talk for an hour. Also, i feel that i am much more open because of the online component. In a classroom setting i am usually very quiet and reserved. I am not one of the people to get up in from of the class to read the story i wrote the night before. Another thing i really enjoyed about this class is how open everyone is. I was in a math class with Lucas and sat next to him for an entire semester and as he pointed out in a reply to one of my posts, we have learned so much more about each other in these few weeks than we did in a few months. We have all gotten to know each other on a deeper level, many of us have shared our most inner thoughts and feelings in our posts.”
“So far i’ve really enjoyed the class. The workload is just the right amount and i really like the discussion board online. I get to post things on my own time which is great because i can be a bit of a night owl. I like the peace and quiet of being up after has gone to bed. I can think better that way without being stuffed up in a library. I also think that the message board is great because I’m not a big participant in class discussion. In a regular classroom i can be shy at times (i feel overpowered by bigger personalities) or my mind will be running through the 700 things i have to do that day. So i feel like i get heard a lot more here. The anonymity of the posting is also great. I know they see my name attached to the post but that’s not the same as seeing the person every day. On the same note it’s also interesting that the people in this class also know me a lot better than any other classmates i’ve ever had. I would never raise my hand in a traditional class and admit to the fact that i’m bipolar and my mom’s had depression her whole life and has attempted suicide twice. But writing and it via this forum has helped.”
“I think the set up of the course works very well. It is important to encourage students to comment on each others’ discussions board threads. It allows for a greater sense of community. It also requires that we read each others’ thooughts gaining a greater perspective on the pieces. I have found all the feedback from other students in the course to be positive and insightful. I also enjoy reading the thoughts of my classmates.” 


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