2008 Teaching with Technology Award Recipients
Prize Recipient: John Walsh
Title: Associate Professor of Gerontology
School: Davis School of Gerontology
Department(s) or Affiliation: Bio-Gerontology/Striatal Synaptic Research
John Walsh, associate professor of Gerontology, has been a faculty member at the Davis School of Gerontology for over 17 years. In that time, he has consistently received teaching evaluations that are among the highest in the school. This is true, whether he teaches large or small classes, residential or online courses. However, most of the time he is teaching larger classes due to the popularity of the courses he teaches. He was the first member of our faculty to recognize the importance of online education at USC and was instrumental in helping the dean create an incentive for faculty involvement. His strategy worked, and the Davis School of Gerontology now offers two undergraduate online courses and two separate online master's degrees. Walsh has always shared with his colleagues in Gerontology, including his speaker engagement at the Center for Excellence in Teaching's 'Technology-Enhanced Learning' event in March 2008.Walsh has developed a new system for course delivery, which has the huge advantage of being for both residential and online instruction, and for the so-called "blended" model. He received a grant from the Provost's Office in 2007 to develop a teaching tool and he has turned that support into a new online program for course development to be used by instructors across the entire USC campus. He and the education technologists at the Davis School of Gerontology have created an online tool for instructors to easily load content into a prefabricated course template. The up loading tool allows instructors to upload 2D PowerPoint images, text, narration, 2D and 3D animation and video clips. Walsh developed a prototype course on Parkinson's disease using the Adobe Flash technology, which is engaging and interactive.
Prize Recipient: Chi Mak
School: College of Letters, Arts & Sciences
Department(s) or Affiliation: Chemistry
Chi Mak has been bringing creative technologies into the general chemistry teaching program and is a leader in the use of web- and computer-aided instruction in and out of the classroom. Mak has worked in a team environment with colleagues in the chemistry department, including Dr. Bruno Herreros, who is the department's director of instructional computing and shares his findings and experiences within the department and with colleagues outside of USC (TEL colloquia in 2006 and 2008), and with the American Chemical Society. Mak has a long history of engaging technology toward improving his student's learning experience at USC.
Mak has transformed the learning experience for students enrolled in his CHEM 115 honors course. By using a $20 screen/voice capturing program, he records videos of the lecture sessions that he makes available to students online. Borrowing an idea from his colleague Gene Bickers, in USC's physics department, Mak also records individual homework solutions and makes these available online. This gave students on-demand access to step-by-step video solutions for all of their assignments with voiceover 24/7, allowing for deeper reflection and understanding of complex chemistry problems. Mak also chose to share his stipend with Bruno Herreros.
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