Four N.C. State instructors and staff were honored with the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence for Teaching and Learning with Technology at a ceremony in Talley Student Center on Monday, February 22. Anna Howard (College of Engineering), Amanda Robertson (College of Design), Warren Jasper (College of Textiles) and Jack Neely (Office of Information Technology) were selected by a panel of anonymous judges from a group of 16 nominees. John Meyer (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) received an honorable mention for work on his course on General Entomology.
“The nominations this year covered a wide range of course offerings, from large classrooms to seminars, from undergraduate to graduate, and across multiple disciplines,” said Sarah Stein, chair of the Gertrude Cox Awards and associate professor in the Department of Communication. “In the nominees–all of them–the judges cited the dedication, commitment, creativity, and tremendous energy put into teaching with technology. Their work is a tribute to the quality of teaching at N.C. State.”
The nominees can serve as a valuable resource for our faculty and instructors on the N.C. State campus, Stein said. A description of all winners and nominees’ projects, the impact of that project, and details about the technology tools used are available on the Gertrude Cox Award nominations Web site.
Interim Provost Warwick Arden presented the awards and spoke of the impact these nominees are having on the quality of instruction at N.C. State.
“I’m so proud of the way our faculty approach engaging our students in such innovative ways,” said Arden. “And it really isn’t a matter of just what we say to our students. It’s a matter of how we present the material to our students.”
This year’s Cox Awards were given in two categories, the Award for Innovative Excellence for Teaching and Learning with Technology and the Award for Infrastructure Project.
Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Teaching and Learning with Technology
Anna Howard, teaching assistant professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, won for her course MAE 206: Engineering Statics.
The judges described Howard’s accomplishment as follows:
“Dr. Howard teaches 400-500 students in a course that is a threshold course for advanced courses in the field. Using the teaching methods and tools she has assembled has resulted in a 10% decrease in students with grades of D and F over the previous year’s measures. Dr. Howard uses LiveScribe, an electronic writing tool that allows her to capture and reproduce in real time the sequence of her thinking as she talks through calculations the students must master. She engages the students using clickers and in-class polls and quizzes, and has conducted in her own assessment of the impact of her teaching and class structure on student learning. Dr. Howard’s achievement in her course provides models for the revamping of large class instruction in a manner that utilizes multimedia tools appropriate to the subject.”
Amanda Robertson, adjunct assistant professor in the College of Design and senior multimedia designer in DELTA, won for her course ADN 219: Digital Imaging.
The judges had the following to say about Robertson’s course:
“Ms. Robertson demonstrates exemplary use of a wide range of commonly available software and modalities at NC State to create an environment ideal to the expression of the class content in an online critique-based course. The course uses Ning to create a course studio space to provide secure group design environments that support intense group activities and critiques within and across work groups. Tools such as Second Life, Word Press, VoiceThread, and Elluminate in a Moodle setting allow strong collaborative efforts even among students who never meet in person. The course has attracted students from across NC State and is an exciting model for teaching the use of technology and at the same time critical perception of the ends to what those tools are used.”
Learn more about Robertson’s Digital Imaging course.
Gertrude Cox Award for Infrastructure Project
Warren Jasper and Jack Neely, Realm Linux
The judges described the contribution of Realm Linux as follows:
“The Gertrude Cox Award for Infrastructure Project is given to Realm Linux, and to two people who have been essential to its development. Warren Jasper, a professor in Textile Engineering Chemistry and Science in the College of Textiles, and Jack Neely, Linux Czar in the Office of Information Technology, have contributed in a significant way by their integration of the Linux operating system into the NC State computational environment. Making an alternative operating platform available opens up new world of computing to faculty and students that is truly an extension of cyber-infrastructure capacity. This project draws on NC State’s traditional strengths in Computer Science and Engineering, creating an environment that brings robust power to teachers and students in a variety of lab, classroom, research, and personal work environments. Realm Linux is an Open Source application and in the keeping of NC State’s land-grant mission, it significantly enhances access to learning tools for everyone.”
The Gertrude Cox Award was created in 2001 to honor the creative pedagogy of NC State’s faculty and technical staff and their work in integrating new technologies into effective teaching strategies. The award, which was endowed in fall 2002, is sponsored by the Teaching, Learning and Technology Roundtable (TLTR), Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) and the Office of Faculty Development.