Faculty members creatively tapping into technology to teach courses were recently were added to eLearning’s virtual Wall of COOL at Cal Poly Pomona.
The Wall of COOL (Celebrating Outstanding Opportunities for Learning) award celebrates excellent online, hybrid or technology-enhanced courses that improve the learning experience and promote student success.
The following 2019 award winners were recognized at an awards event March 22:
In a sensory evaluation of foods class (FST 3180), Assistant Professor Gabriel Davidov-Pardo combines course design, metacognitive strategies with technology to provide a holistic learn-by-doing experience. Through a SPICE grant, he acquired industry-standard software RedJade, which enables the conducting of a variety of sensory tests. He also used grant funds to buy tablets and a smartboard so that multiple tests can be done simultaneously.
“I am a true believer in active learning,” he said. “I also have developed knowledge surveys, so students know where they are standing before the course and where are they standing after the course. That helps me with assessment.”
Chemistry Professor Jodye Selco was recognized for her course on modeling the fundamentals of physical chemistry (CHM 3010). In the course, which she converted from hybrid to online only, she teaches the content of the class and also how to use the technology. Blackboard’s collaborative tools help students engage and collaborate, and Selco uses the eLearning Quality Matters Blackboard Course Template make sure the course structure is clear and easy to follow.
“One of things I get asked about this course is now that I have many more students, how do I keep students engaged,” she said. “If you connect your content with the real world, it makes the real world much more understandable no matter what the content actually is, and the students will be engaged.”
Music lecturer Vernon Snyder was recognized for his introduction to music course (Music 1000). Snyder uses a customized e-textbook to engage students, as well as multimedia content and online quizzes to assess student progress. The students also learn piano exercises through video tutorials he provides.
“It gave me an opportunity to reevaluate and reorganize in a way that was needed,” he said of the technological elements of the course. “The actual digital platform offers a wealth of benefits.”
The Collins College of Hospitality Management’s lecturer Jason Zhang teaches a course in food and beverage operations (HRT 3830). His students can access online training documents and videos focused on real-world restaurant technologies and practices, so that more classroom time is focused on hands-on learning.
“Things change, especially technology, every year,” Zhang said. “So, we bring in new technologies, we test new technologies, we bring them into the classroom, so we can get students fully prepared for when they graduate. We are always looking for new and better ways to do things.”
Visit the Wall of Cool website to learn more about the program and the faculty members recognized.