The Provost Teaching and Learning Fellows recently held their last meeting of the 2018-2019 academic year. This group of faculty is charged with leading discipline-based teaching and learning initiatives in their respective colleges. At this meeting, each of the cohorts discussed challenges observed in their individual colleges, their goals for the 2019-2020 academic year, and how they plan to work towards achieving them.
The College of Engineering found that its increasing enrollment numbers have made student experiences in lab courses more difficult. Students are not getting enough hands-on experience with the experimental platforms that are representative of realistic and complex engineering systems because there is simply not enough equipment to go around. The cohort of fellows from Engineering plans to address this problem in the coming academic year through the integration of an augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) platform into select courses.
The cohort from the Scheller College of Business will explore opportunities to apply a blended-learning approach to their courses in order to enhance the quality of a traditional classroom education. The group is examining how peer business schools, as well as other colleges within Georgia Tech, have incorporated digital platforms into their courses in order to get a better idea of how to do the same with their own. A second focus area is how to integrate more leadership topics into the curriculum, in addition to the leadership programs the college already offers. Towards this end, the fellows have gradually begun to infuse leadership topics into their own courses. For example, Dr. DJ Wu recently invited Lalit Dhingra, founder and CEO of EnSignis, to address leadership in his course on Electronic Commerce (MGT 4056). The fellows also participate in the Dean’s advisory board where they contribute to discussions about other ways to integrate leadership into the curriculum of courses at Scheller.
The College of Design’s cohort plans to increase awareness of excellence in teaching within their college through a teaching award. Specifically, they plan to collaborate with student organizations within each school of the college to select and honor the winning faculty member at an annual event. This award will be funded by the Dean, but winners will be chosen by students.
The cohort from the College of Computing’s goal is to enrich the graduate computer science curriculum by offering cross-cutting courses with topics that integrate multiple areas of research. Dr. Santosh Pande described the problem this initiative addresses like this: while cutting–edge research in the field requires the expertise of experts from multiple areas, graduate students traditionally focus on building expertise in one primary area. These cross-cutting courses will enhance graduate education in the College of Computing by helping graduate students see how they can use their area of expertise to contribute to these emerging research topics. These courses will be team taught by multiple professors with expertise in different research areas. In the spring, the fellows hosted an event where those who have taught cross-cutting courses discussed how to make these types of courses most effective. They have identified several faculty members interested in the initiative and plan to continue fostering dialogue among them as they plan and teach their courses next academic year.
The cohort from the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts will address the challenge of teaching the liberal arts at a technology-focused school. In the spring, they hosted a panel discussion where several faculty members addressed the topic, “Controversial Topics in Contentious Times: Teaching the Humanities and Social Science at Georgia Tech.” Moving forward, each fellow will develop a separate project to take initiative in addressing this challenge: Dr. Narin Hassan will explore strategies to create a more mindful, empathetic, and just environment in which to discuss social justice issues; Dr. Carla Gerona is writing an essay that analyzes the pedagogies of digital history; and Dr. Gordon Kingsley will be focusing on the integration of online education into the liberal arts.
The fellows from the College of Sciences will identify opportunities to improve the professional development of Teaching Assistants (TAs) to help them to become effective teachers in today’s learning environment. To do this, the cohorts are collecting information about teaching resources offered by the university, what is currently being done for TA professional development in other institutions, and surveying graduate TAs on what they believe could be added to improve TA training. They will use this data to develop a TA competency model to set a clearer standard of performance for students in training to be teaching assistants.
Over the 2019-2020 academic year, the Center for Teaching and Learning will partner with each cohort to support their initiatives. We will update the campus community on the progress of these exciting programs!
2018-2020 Provost Teaching and Learning Fellows
College of Computing
- Polo Chau (Associate Professor, Computational Science and Engineering)
- Santosh Pande (Associate Professor, Computer Science)
College of Design
- Christina (Young Mi) Choi (Associate Professor, Industrial Design)
- Benjy Flowers (Professor, Architecture)
College of Engineering
- Tom Fuller (Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
- Kamran Paynabar (Associate Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering)
- Dong Qin (Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering)
- Devesh Ranjan (Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering)
- Julian Rimoli (Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering)
College of Sciences
- Flavio Fenton (Professor, Physics)
- Ruth Kanfer (Professor, Psychology)
- Jake Soper (Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Ivan Allen Colllege of Liberal Arts
- Carla Gerona (Associate Professor, History and Sociology)
- Narin Hassan (Associate Professor, Literature, Media, and Communication)
- Gordon Kingsley (Associate Professor, Public Policy)
Scheller College of Business
- Manpreet Hora (Associate Professor, Operations Management)
- DJ Wu (Professor, Information Technology Management)