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Advances in Teaching Technology Showcased at St. John’s Forum

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Exploring the new, state-of-the-art technologies used to strengthen teaching and research at St. John’s, more than 100 members of the University community attended the third annual Faculty Technology Forum on the Queens, NY, campus.

The event, held at the D’Angelo Center on Monday, October 23, was sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning, the  Office of Information Technology, the Office of Online Learning and Services, and University Libraries.

Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President of St. John’s, welcomed administrators and more than 30 faculty members who presented their work in The School of EducationSt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the College of Professional Studies, and The Peter J. Tobin College of Business.  

The professors demonstrated projects involving new technologies, including “Videogames, Makerspaces, and Expansive Meaning Making,” “Ethnography with Instagram,” “Essential Study Abroad Apps,” “Enhancing the Use of Pharmacokinetics in an Inpatient Internal Medicine Service with a Medication Dosing Calculator,” "High-Performance Computing in the Classroom," and "Interactive Textbooks as a Form of Active Learning" 

Reflecting one of St. John’s strategic priorities, a variety of technology upgrades have been instituted to enhance the teaching and learning environment at the University. “Over 80 percent of all classrooms have been renovated with cutting-edge technology tools and infrastructure upgrades,” Dr. Gempesaw said in his opening remarks, “and over 100 classrooms now have lecture-capture technology.”

Dr. Gempesaw introduced the forum’s keynote speaker, Mark Serva, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics at the University of Delaware. Dr. Gempesaw previously served as Dean of Lerner College and Vice Provost for Academic and International Programs.

“I wanted to share with you some history about Mark Serva,” said Dr. Gempesaw. He described the “revolution” in problem-based learning (PBL) that began in the 1990s. “Fast-forward 25 years,” said Dr. Gempesaw, “and Mark is one of the nation’s leaders in the area of problem-based learning.” The student-centered approach allows students to master subjects by seeking solutions to open-ended “problems.”

Dr. Serva delivered a presentation entitled “Active Learning and the Use of Team- and Problem-Based Learning.” He guided attendees through a series of group and individual quizzes and exercises demonstrating how students learn best.

“Within the concept of team-based learning,” said Dr. Serva, “we want students to have the opportunity for collaboration and to share knowledge. The information does not need to come from me, but from everyone.”

This is one of several events held throughout the year that provide faculty with a venue to share their experiences incorporating technology into teaching and research. Two more events are scheduled for the spring semester, on January 10 and May 31. 

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