Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Jacoba and Dr. Evgeny Chugunov, who each received a Teaching Innovation Award at the December 2, 2019 Senate meeting.
Dr. Sarah Jacoba, Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages, was nominated for her integration of social and digital media in her French courses. Students in her literature course on representations of the body, for instance, maintained a weekly Tumblr blog in which they examined non-normative images.
In doing so, they went beyond traditional writing assignments to become producers of online content. In her Stylistics and Composition course, according to the Department Chair, Dr. Jacoba “departed from a more traditional approach, opting instead to offer more current, real-world, technology-based equivalents of assignments.” In her French Oral Skills, students were asked to not only prepare a cover letter and CV but to create a LinkedIn page.
Particularly successful was her selfie assignment in which students used the Google Arts and Culture app, which matched their selfies with a face in a painting. They were then asked to write a creative assignment based on the match. Students particularly praise this assignment for its creativity and for generating student interest and engagement. Her students commend her for her innovation in developing relevant and engaging assignments. As one student writes, Dr. Jacoba uses “original and engaging” methods “to teach the conventional writing process and study of literature.” As another student writes, “her innovative style helped me to be a successful student.”
Dr. Evgeny Chugunov, Assistant Professor in the Department of Music, was nominated for his development and introduction of an interactive master class into his piano instruction. As Dr. Chugunov describes, the interactive master class is “an essential addition to individual piano lessons, allowing a student to break out of the traditional isolation, interact with other music-loving students, share piano literature, and acquire a valuable set of essential professional skills.”
It helps to create a learning community, and helps students to develop their “critical thinking and understanding in a practical setting.” In addition to helping students develop their artistic abilities, the interactive master class “develops students’ pedagogical skills, which are especially important since most students will become piano teachers.”
As one student notes, the interactive master class allows students “opportunity in both the performance area and in refining our teaching skills. I love teaching, and I value the chance these masterclasses give me to further develop as an artist and teacher.” A prominent music teacher also commends Dr. Chugunov’s innovation, noting that it “opens up opportunities for students and teachers to present and discuss what interests them in the areas of piano pedagogy and technique, which results in the development of confidence in teaching and artistry.”