A paper on “Teaching First-Year Interdisciplinary Students to Use Computational Design Software in the Context of a Spatial Thinking Course” was recognized as best conference paper at the 2012 IEEE/IEDEC Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Education Conference in Santa Clara, CA, in March. That news is of special interest to the TLC because it was co-authored by Barbara Berry, a TLC educational consultant. Read more about Barbara’s work on her profile page.
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Jerry Li (above right with President Andrew Petter), a TLC learning technology systems consultant, was one of 107 SFU authors honoured by the SFU Library at its annual Celebration of SFU Authors reception on Tuesday (March 20). Jerry co-wrote a chapter on “Using Social Media to Empower Learning Resources Evaluation and Recommendation Across Boundaries” in Social Media Tools and Platforms in Learning Environments, edited by Bebo White et al. The book discusses opportunities and challenges for “Education 2.0” and presents current research on social media in learning environments, addressing both technologies and social factors and policies. It includes many case studies and experience reports. Besides working for the TLC, Jerry is a PhD student in the Educational Technology and Learning Design Program in the Faculty of Education, past president of the Canada-China Society of Science and Technology (2007–2011), and an invited blogger for the Vancouver Sun’s online Chinese edition (taiyangbao.ca/author/jerryli/).
SFU’s annual Teaching Excellence Awards demonstrate the high priority the university places on teaching that can enhance the learning experience of students. The adjectives used by students to describe the three 2011 recipients, announced in February, indicate the depth of the influence an exceptional instructor can have on the up-and-coming generation.
Lynne Quarmby (above), a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is “inspiring.” Ash Parameswaran, a professor in Engineering Science, is “super approachable and nice” besides providing “SUPER clear explanations.” Jamie Mulholland, a lecturer in Mathematics, is devoted, passionate, creative, and fair.
The three instructors employ varied approaches to teaching. What they share is a love for their disciplines and a passion – and ability – to communicate this enthusiasm to their students. A theme that runs through their conversations about teaching is the importance of connecting the subject matter to the “real world” of their students. For example, Parameswaran challenges his students to create a “MacGyver-style” radio from everyday items.
All three instructors were honoured with $2,000 awards at SFU’s annual awards dinner on February 27. We will be posting video interviews with these exceptional members of the SFU community in the weeks ahead. Read more about their contributions here.