Our third Deans’ Teaching Showcase member for spring 2018 comes from Dean Johnson in the School of Business and Economics (SBE). Johnson has selected Jeff Wall, assistant professor. During his brief time at Tech, Wall has already been recognized as the SBE Teacher of the Year Award and with membership in the Academy of Teaching Excellence. Johnson credits Wall’s teaching success to his “humble, demure and genuine passion for students combined with a deep knowledge of his field.”
In his nomination, Johnson also emphasized Wall’s flexibility: “From the freshman intro course to the advanced graduate MBA and Master of Data Science course, Jeff has the ability to effectively teach a wide range of topics and class levels. Jeff consistently receives high teaching evaluations and positive comments from students across this spectrum. I believe this is due to Jeff’s ability to make each student an active valuable member of the class.”
When asked how he helps students feel included, Wall emphasizes using projects and a need for a “safe” environment to enable learning. He elaborates, “In the classroom, I seek to foster an environment of mutual respect and to create an environment where it is okay to experiment and make mistakes. During experiential learning sessions, student teams are asked to present their work to the class for critique. Students see that all of the teams make mistakes. These sessions help to reinforce the idea that making mistakes is an important part of the learning process. From these sessions, students see what common mistakes may occur in practice and how to avoid or remedy them in the future.”
Wall will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.
-by Michael Meyer, Director, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning