Two professors enhance classrooms with $500 grants from CETL, QEP
Two faculty members recently won mini grants from Think On!, Texas Wesleyan’s and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). Dr. Kalpana Pai, associate professor of accounting, and Dr. Benjamin Miller, visiting assistant professor of biology, were each awarded $500 to purchase technology to promote critical thinking and student engagement in their classrooms.
Critical Thinking With the iPad
Pai currently teaches undergraduate and graduate accounting courses at Texas Wesleyan. In the past, she has taught economics, finance and statistics. She plans to purchase an iPad to help her students improve their critical thinking skills.
By adding the Doceri app, the instructor or student can write on the tablet from anywhere in the classroom and the material will display on the Smartboard. Doceri acts as a remote control for the desktop to which it's linked, which allows students work on problems in a way the entire class can see.
Students will practice being objective, logical and systematic in applying the accounting principles taught in the class. They will be able to communicate their ideas, decisions and conclusions to the class using the iPad as a tool.
“I think using the iPad in class would help to engage students effectively and make them think critically while allowing them an opportunity to apply analytical reasoning to problems we work on,” said Pai.
Exploring Cardiac Physiology
Miller plans to purchase heart rate, pulse and electrocardiogram sensors to use in his anatomy and physiology classes. These will allow students to see the body’s reactions to stimuli firsthand. The tools will also let the students conduct their own research.
“My goal here is to enhance critical thinking by having students use this technology to collect, analyze, and present scientific data in the human anatomy and physiology lab that is related to cardiac physiology,” said Miller.
“We were happy to award these grants to Dr. Pai and Dr. Miller," said Dr. Nakia Pope, Director of the CETL and the QEP. "They are using technology to help students solve problems and experiment – two key components of critical thinking. This is the exact sort of thing the QEP and CETL are built to encourage.”
Both professors will prepare a grant award report detailing how they used the technology in the classroom and share their experience with the Texas Wesleyan community at a CETL Workshop in the upcoming semester. CETL hopes to continue to award small grants to faculty in future semesters.
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