Year Awarded: 2011
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication
My goals in the classes I teach are for students to not only develop foundational knowledge and skills in the topic area but also to develop enthusiasm about the subject, learn about themselves, and learn how to learn. Although these goals may be reached in different ways depending on the semester and the course, one emphasis runs through most of my classes—I typically place a strong emphasis on having students gather either primary data or firsthand experience about the subject they are studying:
Even though I‘ve been teaching undergraduate students for 15 years, I find myself constantly stretching to determine what is the best way to reach the particular type of students in the specific subject area of each class. So I continually seek student input on assignments and alter them in line with feedback I receive. Whatever the specific details of the project, though, I believe that by dealing with a phenomenon firsthand, students can develop an intuitive understanding of an issue that transcends reading the textbook, listening to my lectures, and even class discussion. I hope that they learn not only cognitively, but also affectively, and that they add to their repertoire of skills, so that in future classes or careers they can be more effective at gathering knowledge for themselves.