Eight faculty have been recognized by the Center for Teaching Excellence for innovative work in linking courses, creating exemplary online courses, restructuring courses around interaction, integrating service learning in new areas, and more.
From top left: Meigan Robb, Lydia Rodriguez, John Taylor, Francisco Alarcon, William McPherson, Lynn Shelly, Werner Lippert, and Azad Ali
An additional 115 faculty involved in the Reflective Practice Project, a faculty professional development program, have also been recognized.
Honors were presented at the center's annual awards dinner on April 26.
Professor Lydia Rodriguez, Foreign Languages, and Professor Francisco Alarcon, Mathematics, designed an online course that demonstrates exemplary online pedagogy and instructional design. The Mayas: Culture, Literature, and Numbers provides a variety of activities, individual guidance, and an emphasis on meaning-making with attention to multiple learning styles.
Profesor Lynn Shelly, English, made diversity central to the intellectual content of her basic writing course at IUP at Punxsutawney. The course, which comprises students from the local area and from Philadelphia, was themed “Understanding Ourselves and Others.” Students read about, researched, discussed, blogged, reflected, and wrote an essay in response to the question, “Is growing up in the city mostly different or mostly the same as growing up in the country?” Through this semester-long assignment, students came to understand and appreciate the details of one another’s daily lives.
Professor Aza Ali, Technology Support and Training, received the Heiges-Lamberski Award for Experiential Learning. He effectively integrated service learning into a seminar course in business technology support, having students design and implement technology projects for several nonprofit organizations in the local area.
Professor John Taylor, Geosciences, redesigned an upper level paleontology course to maximize student learning. His pedagogical progression has led to significant changes in his approach to classroom teaching (from lecture to interactive strategies), lab exercises (more challenging), exams (more focused on critical thinking), and field trips (more structured and systematic).
Professor Werner Lippert, History, and Professor William McPherson, Technology Support and Training, linked their courses—History of the Modern Era and Introduction to Business—as part of the Eberly Connections program. Students enrolled in these courses worked in 20 small teams to research and design a business plan for a product, service, or business typical of a historical time period and presented their work at an end-of-semester showcase, complete with period costumes.
Professor Meigan Robb, Nursing, was nominated by Professor Theresa Shellenbarger, chair of the Department of Nursing and Allied Health, for this new award. Robb was recognized for her exemplary teaching, specifically her focus on student motivation, active learning, and development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Center for Teaching Excellence
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