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Campus Teaching Showcase

We are currently accepting nominations for the 3rd Annual Campus Teaching Showcase!

Nominations are due Monday, October 23. For a nomination form and nomination instructions, click here.

Picture of nomination

Since Fall 2015, the Faculty Center highlights not only the excellence in scholarship of its faculty members but also their excellence in teaching. Every member on campus is eligible to nominate a full-time or part-time faculty for their outstanding teaching approach. Active learning strategies and/or methods that address disabilities (see "Guide to Creating Access: Accommodating and Teaching Students with Disabilities," published by the Banacos Center) will be given preference.

This year, we are especially interested in pedagogy that explicitly promotes inclusivity and takes an anti-racist approach.

Once selected, the award recipient will prepare a 15 presentation in which the faculty will give a teaching demonstration and the audience will take on the role of the students. There will be time provided for a question and answer period.

Teaching Showcase Award Recipients (Fall 2016)

Dr. Heidi Bohler (Movement Science, Sport and Leisure Studies)

Teaching Games for Understanding

Using Constructivist Teaching Principles In this session, participants will engage in an activity that is taught using the Teaching Games for Understanding Instructional Model. The model is a constructivist model that was developed with the intent to make games and children at the very center of learning, moving away from teacher-centeredness. Bunker and Thorpe (1982) proposed that all children be involved in decision-making through tactical awareness so they will gain understanding and meaning, leading to attraction to and contribution in the game. Proponents of the model seek to develop games players that are skillful and who have an understanding of tactical decisions to be made in games (Griffin & Patton, 2005). A typical sequence is as follows: 1) modified game that “sets a problem to be solved”. The rules, space, equipment may be modified and students are given something to think about as they play. 2) The teacher organizes a discussion activity where students share ideas and understanding. The discussion can be in the form of turn-and-talk, whole group question and answer, “show me” what you did, brain storming sheets, etc. 3) The teacher then builds off of students’ ideas and experiences to relate to the big ideas of the topic and link to expertise in the field. 4) Students then engage in a situated practice of specific skills in a particular scenario or situation. Students are given multiple attempts and opportunities to refine their skills in a situated context. 5) After practice, students then return back to the initial modified game, where they apply the information and skills they just processed and worked on. This cycle, in its simplest terms is a “play-discuss-play” cycle.

Dr. Mary Keator (English)

Transforming Reading: A Performative, Contemplative Approach to Deep Reading and Inquiry.

Thomas Merton remarked, “The contemplative is not just a man who sits under a tree with his legs crossed, or one who edifies himself with the answer to ultimate and spiritual problems. He is one who seeks to know the meaning of life not only with his head but with his whole being…” In World Literature, I employ contemplative pedagogical methods to help students engage in, embody, and discern the hidden meaning in the literary texts they are reading. In this teaching showcase, I will explain what I mean by performative reading, and then provide an opportunity for participants to experience a performative reading practice.

Dr. Karen Loeb and Dr. Tamara Smith (Sociology)

Our approach to teaching is structured to enable students to learn from the materials presented, as well as learning through active participation. We are both comfortable lecturing, and put a lot of effort into the materials we present in class. Neither of us use lectures ‘straight from the book’. We utilize a variety of visual tools, current research, and demonstrations in our lectures to capture students’ attention and develop their learning. While we both incorporate lectures into our classes, we also present material and viewpoints through a variety of other techniques and activities, including classroom discussions, papers, and visual demonstrations.

Dr. Diana Schwartz (Movement Science, Sport and Leisure Studies)

Sport has historically been viewed as a male domain. Females have been seen as psychology, emotionally, and physically inferior to males and, therefore, less suited for sport participation. During my presentation, I will demonstrate an intellectual exercise I developed, to be used in a flipped classroom, on-line class, or face-to-face class, that encourages students to view gender and sport through a different lens. Through the use of symbolic gender role reversal, students are presented with the notion that sport has been and should be a female domain because males are inferior to females. The advantages of this teaching methodology are as follows: (1) it is an efficient and effective approach to presenting information in a manner that is accessible to all students; (2) it eliminates tangents by the presenter and prevents students from creating conversations that lead the class away from the objectives of the lesson; (3) it requires students to think; and (4) it engages and excites students.

Dr. Summer Williams (Psychology)


Our generation of students today are immersed in social media, so the question is whether or not our teaching reflects this and utilizes it as a tool to reach students? Twitter has rapidly become the premier social media site for communicating news, ideas, and opinions in an immediate manner that is easily sharable and accessible (not to mention current!) Social media sites like Twitter can be a teacher’s secret weapon for engagement! When students take their learning into the “twittersphere” by commenting and sharing on material they are reading and digesting, they are offered a platform to express their thoughts, albeit, bite-sized. Twitter is just enough for teachers to garner engagement outside the class, then turn it around and use it effectively as a launching point of in-class discussion, where deeper level dissection of the topics can occur.

Teaching Showcase Award Recipients (Fall 2015)

Dr. Ziblim Abukari (Social Work)

I have adapted a hybrid model of the “Flipped Classroom” concept called the ‘Blended Classroom’ or ‘inverted classroom’ which combines the traditional face-to-face classroom with online learning into my introduction to research methods in social work class. There are several variations of this model so I have chosen a model that combines Crouch and Mazur’s (2001) “Peer Instruction (PI)” and Hostetter et al.’ (2013) ‘Team-based Learning (TBL).’ The PI and TBL models require that students first gain exposure to course material prior to class, and use assignments (in this case, quizzes, case studies) to ensure that students come to class prepared. Under this model class time is structured around mini lectures and discussion of conceptual questions. This goes on until the majority of the class demonstrates a good understanding of the concepts. Videos and PowerPoint slides are posted online for students to review prior to class, and other class assignments vary from week to week ranging from the pop quizzes mentioned earlier known as readiness assurance test (RAT) to short reflective questions. Test and assignments are also completed individually and in groups, and the course written assignment is broken down into smaller units over the course of the semester.


Dr. Julian Fleron (Mathematics)

Picasso said, ``It takes a long time to become young.’’  I went to a Free School as a young child.  It was a perfect, natural environment to learn and to grow.  As I moved to traditional education I lost important parts of that great, natural, free spirit that characterized my early education.  I rediscovered it as I learned about constructivism as an undergraduate.  As a teacher I use these experiences to build rich, supportive, inquiry-based classroom environments where students are the center of the learning process and they explore mathematics in more natural, inquisitive ways.

For more about Dr. Fleron's work on "Discovering the Art of Mathematics," click here. To visit his personal website, click here.

Dr. Andrew W. Habana Hafner (Education)

Comm.Unity (Hafner, 2012, 2013) is a concept proposed to each new learning community as a hope for building a positive, shared, and dialogic space. Building Comm.Unity (communication + unity) stems from a collective attention to our language and communication in order to build unity around recognizing and critically engaging diverse perspectives and tensions in the educational process.  It is conceived as a transformative third space where the self, collective, and global spaces are present and engaged through educational processes in working across language, culture and identities. I have introduced in my courses at WSU in relation to critical pedagogies for English Language Learners (ED363) and Schools in American Culture (ED220) which includes building group norms to open the course. This presentation is an example of our critical engagements around understanding how to build a critical consciousness in our work around intersections of language, culture, power, and social identities, especially in working with English Language Leaners and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Dr. Catherine Savini (English)

As a writing instructor, I aim to teach students rhetorical flexibility so that they are able to communicate effectively in unfamiliar contexts. I work to motivate students by asking them to identify meaningful problems and pose burning questions and by asking them to drive the direction of the course. When possible, I ask my students to write in real life genres for real world audiences. Reflection is also a central component of all of my courses because if students don't reflect on what they are learning, they will not transfer skills, knowledge, or ways of thinking to new contexts.  The more I get involved in the civic engagement initiative on campus, the more I wonder about how much time universities devote to teaching students to write in academic genres; are we giving public and professional genres short shrift, especially if we want our students to be engaged citizens.