Faculty Honored for Innovative Use of Technology

Interim Commissioner of Higher Education David L. Buhler honored Utah’s college and university faculty for their use and implementation of technology into distance learning and classroom instruction.

During a recognition luncheon held May 23, the commissioner presented 18 faculty members from Utah’s 10 public institutions, including five from Weber State University, as recipients of the 5th Annual “Utah System of Higher Education Exemplary Use of Technology Award.”

The instructors were recognized for their innovative use of technologies in their teaching such as podcasts of lectures, course text developed through a student-produced wiki, or a verbal narrative recording to enhance written feedback on assignments.

“These awards highlight the impact of effectively incorporating technologies into distance learning and classroom instruction,” remarked Interim Commissioner Buhler. “Today’s students are coming to expect to use the same social media tools – such as podcasts, wikis, and web video – for education as they already do for entertainment. We applaud the innovative work and commitment of the award recipients.”

Each of the following WSU honorees received an Award of Merit.

David L. Ferro
Department of Computer Science
Technology Enhanced Instruction and Mentoring

During sabbatical leave, David Ferro collaborated with faculty at the University of Tampere,
Finland, on a research project on the use of student response systems, or “clickers.” The study
found that clickers have potential as a peer evaluation tool. David is a campus leader in
investigating alternatives to Weber’s enterprise LMS; he has taught online using tools such as
Sakai and Moodle and disseminated information on these experiences to the broader campus. He
has inspired other faculty members to research innovative technologies that could improve student
instruction.

Evelyn Draper, Valerie Gooder, and Lori Hart
Department of Nursing
Innovative Use of Technology

Weber State University’s Department of Nursing recognized the limited critical student-faculty
interaction of online course instruction as well as the added demands of in-class instruction.
Evelyn Draper, Valerie Gooder, and Lori Hart adapted online and face-to-face curriculum in Weber
State’s RN-BSN program to a hybrid teaching format. This new teaching format allows for the
convenience of online classes balanced with in-class interaction with professors. Students learn
theory online, and then travel to campus for scheduled day-long interactions with faculty focused
on application activities.

Jan Hamer
Department of English
Creative Use of Multiple Media

When Weber State University licensed Turnitin, a plagiarism detection application, Jan Hamer explored this tool in-depth, becoming quite adept as using the inline markup grading tool to provide students with
quality feedback on writing assignments. She uses the plagiarism tool to teach students the
importance of citing sources. She uses Wimba Voice Tools to add verbal narrative to her written
feedback. This combination of technology tools makes Jan’s feedback highly valuable to students
who say Jan goes the “extra yard” in being responsive to their academic needs.

Visit  utahsbr.edu for more information about the Utah System of Higher Education.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:

Spencer Jenkins, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Utah System of Higher Education
801-321-7110 • sjenkins@utahsbr.edu

 

Author:

Spencer Jenkins, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Utah System of Higher Education
801-321-7110 • sjenkins@utahsbr.edu