Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2010

Faculty Award winner

Susan D. Gosnell

 College of Health and Public Affairs

 Health Professions

Teaching isn’t teaching unless learners are learning!

In order for students to learn how to learn and to think deeply and critically, the traditional model of teaching must be readdressed. Students cannot learn these skills by sitting passively, listening to a lecture and then attempting to regurgitate the content on an exam. Rather, learning must involve active participation with the content, the faculty and peers.

While my philosophy is ever changing, today I believe the following to be true:

  • Adult learners are mostly self-motivated but often need direction and reinforcement of appropriate learning strategies. Once they have attained these, they should be responsible for their own learning.
  • Faculty should take the role of facilitator and mentor rather than the dispenser of knowledge, and avoid supplying all the answers. Rather, point the students in the right direction to discover for themselves.
  • Outside reading must be completed before coming to class in order to be prepared to participate in the planned activities. The content should be read again after class to reinforce understanding of complex concepts.
  • Clear and concise feedback is imperative for students to make progress especially as related to the skills needed for critical thinking and problem solving.

Medical knowledge and technological advancements in diagnostic imaging are progressing at such a rapid rate, that by the time a student graduates, much of what they learn has become obsolete. Therefore to continue growth within their chosen profession, students must be provided with much more than just knowledge, they must develop their own cognitive tools and habits. My role is simply to start them on their journey.