Faculty Successes

CTL is spotlighting a teaching strategy shared with us by a faculty member. Teaching online has been a new learning experience from many of us, CTL staff included, and we are learning a lot from instructors about what works best for them in their classes. If you have a faculty success story please consider sharing it with us at ctl@umass.edu!

 

 

Sophie Horowitz, Philosophy

How does one create videos that students want to watch? Sophie Horowitz, Assistant Professor in Philosophy, teaches large introductory courses of 100+ students with teaching assistant-led discussion sections.  In the Spring 2020, she made the switch from in-class lecturiing to engaging her students with the course content through brief pre-recorded videos.  Read more about the design and impact of her pre-recorded videos, including a short video in which she talks about her strategies and tips. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda Woerman, Biology

How do you keep students motivated and engaged in large online classes? Many instructors worry that students in their large classes feel disconnected and disengaged. Amanda Woerman, Assistant Professor in Biology tackled this issue by providing students with a variety of ways to actively participate during the synchronous portion of the class and through asynchronous engagement activities. Read more about her strategies, tips, and next steps. 

 

 

 
 
 

 

Elizabeth Porto, Business Communication

Looking for a novel way to build community during the first weeks of class? For the past few years, Elizabeth Porto, Senior Lecturer II, has been showing students’ brief introductory videos during class over the first few weeks of the semester. In addition to building community over time in an inclusive and memorable way, her students learn how to introduce themselves professionally and personally, an important goal she holds for her students. Read more about her approach, goals, and next steps.

 

Michele Cooke, Geosciences

Did you know that many students – not just deaf or hard of hearing students – benefit from captioning of presentations? Live captioning might be easier and more reliable than you think, according to Michele Cooke, Professor in Geosciences, who has conducted a study with undergraduate student Celia Child (Bryn Mawr College) on auto captioning built into widely available software. Read more and watch their video, in which they demonstrate the effectiveness of strategies that use artificial intelligence based auto-captioning tools to greatly improve live presentation accessibility. 

 

 

Mzamo Mangaliso, Management

Wondering how to inspire academic integrity in test-taking?  CTL is highlighting the excellent work of Mzamo Mangaliso, a faculty member in the Department of Management and former Lilly Fellow for Teaching Excellence.  Faced with the problem of students cheating on his exams, Professor Mangaliso revised his approach to teaching by educating his students on ethics, writing exam questions that stressed higher order thinking, and making savvy changes to how his tests are administered.  He analyzed his exam results and it’s working wonders!  Read more on academic integrity and test taking.

 

 

 

Yanfei Xu, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

"How do you diversify the curriculum in a STEM class?" CTL is spotlighting Yanfei Xu, an Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering who was recently recognized by COE’s  Deans Diversity Equity Inclusion Curriculum Challenge.  The College of Engineering has asked faculty members to step up to the challenge of integrating issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the curriculum. Professor Xu responded to this challenge by developing a lesson on making solar manufacturing processes more equitable and exposing students to literature on bias in engineering. If you have a faculty success story please consider sharing it with us at ctl@umass.edu!

 

 

Steve Petsch, Geosciences

What are the benefits of reaching out? The CTL interviewed Steve Petsch, Associate Professor in the department of Geosciences, about some success he has found in engaging students who may be falling behind in his 200-person general education course. Reaching out personally to students has helped them feel cared for and learn professional communication habits.  Read more about Steve’s strategies and the impact of his outreach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda Woerman, Biology

How do you keep students motivated and engaged in large online classes? Many instructors worry that students in their large classes feel disconnected and disengaged. Amanda Woerman, Assistant Professor in Biology tackled this issue by providing students with a variety of ways to actively participate during the synchronous portion of the class and through asynchronous engagement activities. Read more about her strategies, tips, and next steps.