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Posted: November 6, 2007

Pitt Teaching Excellence Fair features award-winning educational projects

(Nanowerk News) Cutting-edge methods, innovations, and technologies will be featured at the University of Pittsburgh’s annual Teaching Excellence Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the J.W. Connolly Ballroom, Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland.
Sponsored by the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence and coordinated by Pitt’s Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education (CIDDE), the fair celebrates faculty initiatives and innovations related to teaching and the use of instructional technology. The fair features presentations by winners of the 2006-07 Innovation in Education grant awards on their prize-winning teaching projects.
“The Teaching Excellence Fair celebrates the many important teaching initiatives at the University of Pittsburgh and thereby illustrates the important role of teaching at our University,” said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor James V. Maher. “The fair will feature the projects funded annually under the auspices of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence’s Innovation in Education awards program. I encourage all faculty to take advantage of this special event.”
The fair will include small-group discussions on teaching and learning facilitated by faculty who have been recognized for their teaching excellence, informative sessions on teaching-related topics such as promoting student motivation and developing a teaching portfolio, and demonstrations of new instructional support software and technical resources, including Blackboard’s new content system, the Student Response System for classroom feedback and assessment, and antiplagiarism software.
Joe Grabowski, associate professor of chemistry in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, will lead a presentation on the Innovation in Education grants program and application process.
The titles of the 2006-07 Innovation in Education award-winning projects and their directors follow.
Internationalizing an Undergraduate Curriculum—Larry Shuman, professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs; Jay Rajgopal, associate professor and Graduate Program director; and Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor and Chair, all in the Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering.
A Hands-on Approach to Nanoscience—Ping Furlan, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh Titusville.
Globalization and History—Richard Oestreicher, associate professor, and Christian Gerlach, assistant professor, both in the Department of History, School of Arts and Sciences.
Instruction + Practice + Feedback = Ability: An Equation for Success in Improving Students’ Oral Presentations—Karen Curto, visiting lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, and Trudy Bayer, assistant professor of biology, Slippery Rock University.
The Studio for Creativity: Writing on the Water—Fiona Cheong, associate professor, Department of English, School of Arts and Sciences.
Bridging the Ethics Gap Through International Dialogue—Valerie Swigart, associate professor, Department of Health Promotion and Development, School of Nursing.
Computer-Assisted Learning: Bringing Real World Decisions Into the Classroom—Kristine Schonder, assistant professor, and Neal Benedict, assistant professor, both in the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, and Rhonda Rea, regional medical liaison in metabolism, U.S. Medical Affairs Division, Sanofi-aventiis.
A number of sessions will be Web cast in real time for those unable to attend the Nov. 7 presentations. The link, at, will be live on the day of the fair.
Source: University of Pittsburgh
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