Professors win award by using technology to help students learn
From University Daily Kansan
By Aaron Knopt
Five University of Kansas professors received recognition last Friday for finding innovative ways to use computer technology to enhance the learning experiences of students in their classes.
The professors were the winners of the sixth annual Quest for the Best competition to design new uses of technology in course instruction. The competition is sponsored by the University's Academic Systems for the Training and Use of Technology in Education (ASTUTE) Center.
Each of the professors received $4,000 to buy hardware and software for their departments. The professors will use the equipment to bring their plans to fruition. The ASTUTE center also will provide the professors with student employees to help with the implementation of their plans.
The five winners were Lisa Bitel, associate professor of history/women's studies; Lawrence Davidow, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice; Tae Lim, assistant professor of aerospace engineering; Glenn Prescott, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science and Herbert Tuttle, assistant professor of engineering management.
Bitel said she intended to develop an online library of medieval art produced by and for Christian women. She said she would use the library in her course instruction and as a portion of a larger collaboratively-developed Web site about Christian women in Europe between 500 AD and 1500 AD.
Bitel said ASTUTE's money would help her to find the images, load them on the Web, design the Web page and connect the visual library to the other component of the Web site.
Davidow and Tuttle plan to develop online simulations of situations that their respective students would experience professionally.
Davidow said that he would develop online multimedia case studies that pharmacy students could use to experiment in a risk-free environment before working with real patients.
"A lot of times they don't have self confidence," Davidow said. "The idea of the computer application is to let them gain some confidence in themselves, let them see some consequences of their actions and yet not be so afraid to make a decision."
Tuttle said that he would create an online course that would put students through all the rigors of managing engineering projects.
Lim said that his goal was to use computer technology to present three-dimensional graphics during lectures to his Aerospace Computer Graphics class, rather than continuing to rely on printed transparencies.
"Many students find it very difficult to visualize a three-dimension image of an object when it is presented on a two-dimensional plane," Lim said.
Prescott said he intended to develop an online course in Digital Signal Processing that would incorporate animation to illustrate underlying mathematical concepts.
"The mathematics, which predominate the course, will be brought into reality so that students can learn the materials more effectively and be able to relate the math to what is going on with images," Prescott said.
More information about the Quest for the Best winners and the ASTUTE Center is available online at http://www.ukans.edu/cwis/units/astute/index.html.
For more information, contact ITTC.