Tag Archive for Center for Pedagogical Innovation

Dierker, Mukerji Honored as Women of Innovation

Lisa Dierker

Lisa Dierker

Lisa Dierker, professor of psychology, director of pilot programs for the Center for Pedagogical Innovation, and Ishita Mukerji, the Fisk Professor of Natural Science, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, professor of integrative sciences, were both honored at the 12th annual Women of Innovation Awards. Presented by the Connecticut Technology Council, the awards celebrate the energy, creativity and success of women and students from Connecticut’s science and technology community.

Both professors were honored in the category of Academic Innovation and Leadership. The celebration was held April 6 in Plantsville, Conn.

Dierker was honored for her work developing a curriculum to introduce students to a passion-driven, project-based course in applied statistics, data analysis and programming. Through a growing network of high schools, community colleges, and universities as well as a massive open online course (MOOC), she is dedicated to creating real access for women and other underserved populations, both locally and across the globe.

Ishita Mukerji

Ishita Mukerji

Mukerji was recognized for her research focused on the study of protein-DNA interactions to understand the mechanisms of gene expression, DNA replication and DNA repair. She previously served as dean of science and mathematics at Wesleyan, where she helped to establish the Wesleyan Math and Science Scholars program and the College of Integrative Sciences.

Wesleyan MOOCs Topic of Academic (Technology) Roundtable

On Oct. 29, the Academic Technology Roundtable (AtR) focused on Wesleyan's Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), from design to implementation.

On Oct. 29, the Academic (Technology) Roundtable (A(t)R) focused on Wesleyan’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), from design to implementation. A(t)R lunches are designed to promote conversation, cooperation and the sharing of information, ideas and resources among faculty members, librarians, graduate students and staff.

Speakers included Jennifer Rose, professor of the practice and research professor of psychology, and Dan Mercier, instructional design director for the Center for Pedagogical Innovation.

Speakers included, at left, Dan Mercier, instructional design director for the Center for Pedagogical Innovation, and Jennifer Rose, professor of the practice and research professor of psychology.

Center for Pedagogical Innovation Creates Academy for Project-Based Teaching and Learning

Chris Othon, assistant professor of physics, is teaching a project-based teaching and learning course. (Photo by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry '19)

Chris Othon, assistant professor of physics, is teaching a project-based teaching and learning course. (Photo by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

A new Academy for Project-Based Teaching and Learning will encourage students and faculty to build knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to complex questions, problems and challenges within and across disciplines.

Hosted by Wesleyan’s Center for Pedagogical Innovation, the Academy’s project-based approach includes teaching significant content at the heart of each academic discipline, and cutting edge competencies in problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity/innovation.

“The Academy will help us build capacity to increase the number of courses in the undergraduate curriculum that incorporate project-based teaching and learning methods,” said Lisa Dierker, professor of psychology and director of pilot programs at the Center for Pedagogical Innovation. “We hope that this initiative will further our efforts to provide students with a pragmatic liberal education that will serve them well beyond their four years at Wesleyan.”

Long Thanh Bui, visiting assistant professor of American studies, is teaching Asian American History, one of five project-based teaching and learning courses at Wesleyan this fall. 

Long Thanh Bui, visiting assistant professor of American studies, is teaching Asian American History, one of five project-based teaching and learning courses offered at Wesleyan this fall. (Photo by Will Barr ’18)

As part of the Academy, six Wesleyan faculty are teaching introductory project-based courses this fall, including Bill Johnston (HIST 381, Japan and the Atomic Bomb); Chris Othon (Physics 113, General Physics); Brian Stewart (Physics 115, Newtonian Mechanics); Kim Diver (E&ES 332, Introduction to GIS); Roger Grant (MUSC103, Materials and Design) and Long Bui (AMST 231, Asian American History).

Wesleyan’s commitment to project-based learning stems from its demonstrated effectiveness and opportunities for transformative education, Dierker said.

Davis Foundation Supports Academy for Project-Based Learning

Lisa Dierker, professor of psychology and director of pilot programs for the Center for Pedagogical Innovation, received a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation in July. The three-year grant worth $300,000 will support the new Academy for Project-Based Teaching and Learning.

The Academy for Project-Based Teaching and Learning, which is under development, will encourage students and faculty to build knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to complex questions, problems, and challenges within and across disciplines. The cornerstones of the project-based approach include significant content at the heart of each academic discipline, and cutting edge competencies in problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity/innovation.

Dierker will oversee this program and work with Wesleyan faculty, faculty at collaborating institutions, educational consultants, and supporting staff, to coordinate pedagogical and curricular development efforts. The Academy will be housed within and supported by Wesleyan’s new Center for Pedagogical Innovation and Life Long Learning Center.

The Davis Educational Foundation grant will support faculty stipends, course relief or course overload pay in the academic year for faculty participants, honoraria and travel support for outside consultants, travel support for faculty and collaborators, evaluation and a culminating meeting of project participants.

The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’ retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarket.