T3 - Transforming Teaching through Technology

Although the goals of the T3 Program have been accomplished as of September, 2011, the learning and sharing of new ideas and methods will continue among the faculty into the future .

St. John’s vision of empowering “diverse learners with quality education for life” took on new vigor with a 1.5 million dollar grant from the United States Department of Education under its Strengthening Institutions Title III program.  The University’s project, called T3 - Transforming Teaching with Technology, was on the cutting-edge in the use of technology in education, and initiated new faculty development and curriculum enhancement projects. T3 provided interested faculty with opportunities to explore the use of technology and information literacy in their teaching as well as the use of critical thinking and active learning strategies.  The focus was on core curriculum courses and initially on the Scientific Inquiry course.  Ultimately, both full-time and adjunct faculty were invited to participate in the program which had two foci: faculty development and curriculum development.

Eighteen faculty, chosen because of their expertise in the various aspects of the program, were selected as participants in the first stage of this grant.   This website provided information on the developing project so that the entire University could share in this exciting opportunity.

Contact Information

Cynthia Phillips
Director, Center for Teaching & Learning
[email protected]

Gina (Marandino) Robinson
New Media and Communications Specialist
ro[email protected]

Kathryn G. Shaughnessy
Associate Professor and Technology Librarian
[email protected]    

More Information

Research Literacy
Forms the basis for lifelong learning.  It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments and to all levels of education.  IT enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.  An information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use of information ethically and legally

Research literacy, while showing significant overlap with information technology skills, is a distinct and broader area of competence.  Increasingly, information technology skills are interwoven with, and support, research literacy.

Information Fluency
Using critical thinking skills and appropriate technologies, information fluency integrates the abilities to:

  • Collect the information necessary to consider a problem or issue
  • Employ critical thinking skills in the evaluation and analysis of the information and its sources
  • Formulate logical conclusions and present those conclusions in an appropriate and effective way

Information Fluency may be envisioned as the optimal outcome when critical thinking skills are combined with information literacy and relevant computing skills.

Computer Literacy
Rote learning of specific hardware and software applications.

Technology Fluency
Fluency with technology focuses on understanding the underlying concepts of technology and applying problem-solving and critical thinking to using technology.  Information technology fluency focuses on a deep understanding of technology and graduated increasingly skilled use of it.

Problem-Based Learning
A contextualized approach to teaching where the instructor serves as a facilitator, and students engage in individual and group research to solve problems with multiple solutions.  Having its origins in medical education, PBL is often compared to case-based instruction, though its use of case studies is often more open-ended.  PBL offers the students the flexibility and leeway to construct their own approaches and solutions as the instructor adopts the role of guide, tutor, and evaluator rather than the traditional lecturer.  A key difference in PBL education is that students are taught ways of accessing resources for research, instead of being given a specific set of required resources.  PBL encourages interdisciplinary research, team participation skills, self-directed learning, and student-student and teacher-student interaction as students assume increasing responsibility for their learning.

Critical Thinking
In contrast to traditional methods of passive learning requiring rote memorization, critical thinking can imply a number of activities where students conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information.  Critical thinking is a self-reflective process that requires the ongoing assessment and evaluation of one’s own thinking process.  Often critical thinking will imply a healthy skepticism as rejecting, or suspending judgment.  Solving problems, fashioning inferences, and calculating likelihoods are all associated with critical thinking, as is examining and testing possible solutions to see if they work.

Critical Pedagogy
In opposition to the “banking concept” of education, what Paulo Freire called the traditional manner by which teachers seek to “deposit” information into their students’ heads for later withdrawal, critical pedagogy drives students to examine social, political, and economic contradictions within their fields of study, so that ultimately student might have the necessary critical tools to study and promote social justice.  Freire’s answer was a problem-posing teaching, where students and teachers are co-investigators in a mutual dialogue.

Extended Year

Anthony CirelliTheologyDaSilva Academic Center, 3rd Floor718-390-4059
Brenda Lopez OrtizCurriculum and InstructionSullivan Hall, Room 434718-990-7686
Diane ParavazianDiscover New YorkBent Hall, Room 340718-990-2684
Emese IvanSport ManagementBent Hall, Room 230718-990-7451
Florin CatrinaMathematicsSt. John Hall, Room 334 L718-990-5372
Harold MerrittSport ManagementRosati Hall, Room 202718-390-4522
Jaime E. RodriguezSocial ScienceBent Hall, Room 435718-990-6806
Jonathan FowlerScientific InquiryBent Hall, Room 201718-990-6808
Lawrence F. PitilliLiberal StudiesBent Hall, Room 221718-990-2034
Sue Ford ToxicologySt. Albert Hall, Room 305718-990-6220
Timothy CovilleAccountingBent Hall, Room 357718-990-8307


Year 4

Jason ArensteinInstitute for Writing StudiesMarillac Hall718-990-6923
Craig BaronPhilosophyBent Hall Rm 207 
Octavia DavisInstitute for Writing StudiesSt. Augustine Hall 
Zachary DavisPhilosophySt. John Hall718-990-5256
Robert DelfinoPhilosophyDaSilva Hall Rm 336718-390-4048
Michael DempseyPhilosophyBent Hall Rm 244718-990-1680
Harry DennyInstitute for Writing StudiesSt. Augustine Hall Rm 155718-990-6919
Fr. Patrick FlanaganTheologySt. John Hall718-990-5432
Anne GellerInstitute for Writing StudiesSt. John Hall 
Paul GyllenhammerPhilosophyBent Hall Rm 209718-990-6805
Robert LestonInstitute for Writing StudiesStaten Island718-990-6925
Patrick LyonsManagementBent Hall Rm 404718-990-7404
Marilyn MartoneTheologySt. John Hall Rm BA-4718-990-5423
Regina MistrettaEducationDaSilva Acad. Ctr. Rm 352718-390-4491
Stephen RzoncaDiscover NYBent Hall Rm 273(917) 514-8888
Sharon SeeClinical PharmacySt. Albert Hall Rm 107718-990-2474
Benjamin SillimanAccountingManhattan 
William TorgersonInstitute for Writing StudiesSt. Augustine Hall718-990-2939
Christopher VogtTheology 718-990-5407
Melissa YatesPhilosophySt. John Hall718-990-5682


Year 3

Phyllis ConnDiscover New YorkDaSilva 337718-990-8009
David FarleyInstitute for Writing StudiesMahoney Hall 
Reginald EzePhysicsSt. Albert Hall 
Neil JespersenChemistrySt. Albert Hall 323718-990-5221
Joseph SerafinChemistrySt. Albert Hall 333718-990-5226
Steven GrahamChemistrySt. Albert Hall 335718-990-5217
Marilyn Jean Dono-KoulourisDiscover New YorkDaSilva 350718-390-4106
Enju WangChemistrySt. Albert Hall 333718-990-5225
Pavel LevinPhysicsSt. Albert Hall 
Qi LuPhysicsSt. Albert Hall B-37718-990-6437
Mostafa SadoqiPhysicsSt. Albert Hall B-30718-990-1862
Ikuko FujiwaraInstitute for Writing StudiesSt. Augustine Hall 150 
Marianallet MendezInstitute for Writing StudiesSt. Augustine Hall 150718-990-6918
Chiara CilleraiInsitute for Writing StudiesDaSIlva 339718-390-4157
Tracey Anne CooperHistorySt. John Hall 244E718-990-5223
Susan Schmidt HorningHistorySt. John Hall 244N718-990-6928
Heidi UptonDiscover New YorkBent 339718-990-1331
Robert FormanEnglishSt.Augustine 116718-990-7552


Year 2

John GarinoUniversity LibrarySt.Augustine Hall 313718-990-1835
Paula Kay LazrusDiscover New YorkBent Hall Room 340A718-990-2685
Elizabeth AlbertDiscover New YorkBent Hall Room 337718-990-2681
Enio Solisio (Adj)Biological SciencesSullivan Hall 
Ales VancuraBiological SciencesSt.Albert Hall Room 243718-990-6287
Michael Soranno (Adj)Mathmatics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences  
Natalia Koneva-Hanson(adj)Biological SciencesSt.Albert Hall718-990-6288
Roberta HayesBiological SciencesDaSilva Academic Center 300718-390-4077
Brook LauroMathmatics, Science and Computer ScienceBent Hall Room 268718-990-7475
Alison HyslopChemistrySt.Albert Hall Room 338718-990-5218
Elise MegeheeChemistrySt.Albert Hall Room 317718-990-5276
Joseph Comunale (Adj)PhysicsSt.Albert Hall 
Stanley Davis (Adj)PhysicsSt.Albert Hall 
Irene Fogel (Adj)Early Childhood and Adolescent EducationSullivan Hall 
Carol WhyzmuzisMathmatics, Science and Computer ScienceBent Hall Room 217718-990-7953
Susan Blum (Adj)Mathmatics, Science and Computer Science  
Peter Laneri (Adj)Mathmatics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences  
Deborah Gelman (Adj)Mathmatics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences  


Year 1

Nancy BeckerLibrary & Information ScienceSt.Augustine Hall 414718-990-1452
Frank CantelmoBiological SciencesSt.Albert Hall 219/215718-990-5941
Victor CesareChemistrySt.Albert Hall 326718-990-5692
Edith ChasenPhysicsSt.Albert Hall B34718-990-1863
Theresa DiBartoloMath, Science & Computer ScienceBent Hall 228718-990-7472
Anne DranginisBiological SciencesSt.Albert Hall 210718-990-1651
Aliya HolmesEarly Childhood/Adolescent EducationMarillac Hall 118718-990-2578
Judith KraussSocial SciencesBent Hall 437718-990-5822
Richard LockshinBiological SciencesSt.Albert Hall 258/263718-990-1854
Lori MurphyDiv. of Academic Support ServicesSt.John Hall 106718-990-6668
William NieterSt. John's College, ESPSt.John Hall 145718-990-6170
Jeffery OlsonOnline Learning ServicesSt.Augustine Hall 417718-990-5705
Marybeth RuscicaUniversity Learning SupportSt.John Hall 106718-990-6566
Kathryn ShaughnessyUniversity LibrarySt.Augustine Hall 304 A718-990-1454
Benjamin TurnerUniversity LibrarySt.Augustine Hall 304B718-990-5562

Developing Critical Inquiry Skills across the Core Curriculum

Specific Tasks To Be Completed: Year 1Primary ParticipantsMethods InvolvedTangible ResultsFrom/To
Train 15 lead faculty in skills and techniques of critical inquiry; initial group develop prototype training model for rest of faculty15 lead faculty; external consultantsWorkshops, round tables, forums, lectures, research, site visits to exemplary programs15 faculty fully trained in all three components of critical inquiry10/1/05-5/31/06
Revise Scientific Inquiry course5-person team of lead facultyApply principles of problem-based learning to reconceive coursePilot revised syllabus for Scientific Inquiry course5/31/06-9/30/06
Create and implement Faculty Development program in critical inquiry15 lead facultyTeam assigns sections to each participant; Project Directors assemble for editWritten plan and schedule for additional faculty to be trained in critical thinking5/1/06-9/30/06
Two working groups formed (Scientific Inquiry and Faculty Development)15 lead facultyWorkshops, round tables, forums, lectures, research, site visits to exemplary programsWritten plan and schedule for additional faculty to be trained in critical thinking5/1/06-9/30/06
Begin remodeling of space for Faculty Learning Lab and installing hardware and softwareIT support team along with campus facilitiesIT will take lead with facilities to develop and implement installation planCompleted installation of 20 computers, furniture and server in Faculty Learning Lab11/1/05-
Specific Tasks To Be Completed: Year 2Primary ParticipantsMethods InvolvedTangible ResultsFrom/To
Design one-year plan to pilot newly developed courses in year 3Lead faculty teams; externalSeries of planning meetings; drafts of plan; revisionsComprehensive written plan and timetable to pilot new courses using problem-based learning strategies10/1/06-8/31/07
Design problem-solving activities and learning modules for Scientific InquiryLead faculty teamsApply principles from workshops and research; develop cases and problems to be used at SJNYSet of usable cases suitable for SJNY students and faculty10/1/06-5/31/07
Design faculty development programs in use of problem-based learningLead faculty teamsSeries of planning meetings; drafts of plan; revisionsWorkshops and other faculty development sessions; additional Scientific Inquiry faculty trained
(full-time and adjuncts)
Design assessment plan for new Scientific Literacy courseLead faculty teamUse simple 2x3 matrix plan to select pilot sections for assessment of student learning outcomesValidated results of students’ learning critical thinking and problem-based learning skills10/1/06-6/1/07
Complete remodeling and installation of Faculty Learning LabIT teamIT will take lead with facilities to develop and implement installation planLab complete, including software10/1/06-
Specific Tasks To Be Completed: Year 3Primary ParticipantsMethods InvolvedTangible ResultsFrom/To
Fully pilot revised Scientific Inquiry course using models and applications developed in year twoLead faculty; additional faculty teaching sections of Scientific InquiryUse new syllabus and problem-based learning skills and examplesStudents learn new critical thinking and scientific inquiry skills (problem-based learning)10/1/07-9/30/08
Replicate and extend problem-solving actions in Scientific Inquiry courseLead facultyApply principles of problem-based learning to reconceive courseAdditional sections using problem-based learning in Scientific Inquiry10/1/07-9/30/08
Implement Critical Inquiry skills program to new group of facultyLead faculty; additional facultyWorkshops, round tables, forums, lectures, research, classroom visits to observe pilot coursesAdditional faculty trained in principles and strategies of problem-based learning and critical inquiry10/1/07-9/30/08
Integrate training program in Critical Inquiry into Faculty OrientationAll new facultyUse of materials developed to present methods during orientationAll new SJNY faculty will be trained in use of Critical Inquiry methods and materials2/1/08-
Assessment of revised pilot Scientific Inquiry CourseProject Directors, Institutional Research & external consultantSurvey and outcomes assessmentData to inform refinement of pilot5/1/08-
Development workshops and presentations for Critical Inquiry SummitProject Directors, Lead Faculty, general faculty population; external expertsSharing successes; roundtable discussionsCommitment by 10 additional faculty to integrate methods into their teaching by Year 4; Proceedings of conference10/1/07-4/15/08
Specific Tasks To Be Completed: Year 4Primary ParticipantsMethods InvolvedTangible ResultsFrom/To
Design critical inquiry and problem-based learning strategies for Discover New York courseLead facultySeries of planning meetings; drafts of plan; revisionsWritten pilot syllabus; additional faculty complete training in critical inquiry and problem-based learning10/1/08-1/31/09
Pilot critical inquiry design to a second core course (Discover New York)Lead faculty and other facultyUse new syllabus and problem-based learning skills and examplesResults of course evaluations and assessment battery will inform revisions to course design1/1/09-5/31/09
Develop self-paced learning module in critical inquiry for use of faculty in developing new syllabi for additional coursesLead facultyConsultant-led team will build the moduleSelf-paced module in critical inquiry available for faculty and student use7/1/08-9/30/09
Add more core curriculum courses using critical inquiry and problem-based learningFaculty teaching in core curriculumUse new syllabus and problem-based learning skills and examples20% increase in core courses sections using critical inquiry and problem-based learning strategies10/1/08-9/30/09
Faculty (new, experienced, adjunct) will be trained throughout the academic yearLead and participating faculty; Center for Teaching and LearningOn-going workshops, roundtables and presentations by faculty who are using new methodsPresentations will reach a majority of faculty, either through orientation or ongoing workshops10/1/08-9/30/09
Specific Tasks To Be Completed: Year 5Primary ParticipantsMethods InvolvedTangible ResultsFrom/To
Broaden faculty use of problem-based strategies to social sciences, natural sciences, humanities and professional programsAdditional faculty across the disciplinesPilot syllabi; faculty workshops, forums, roundtables, classroom observationsAdditional faculty across the disciplines develop new or revised syllabi using problem-based learning10/1/09-9/30/010
Design and conduct summative assessment of revised core curriculumProject directors; evaluation teamNSSEWritten assessment tools; student and faculty data collected10/1/09-9/1/10
Document student success in critical inquiryProject directors; evaluation teamNSSE and other internal and external measuresIncrease in students reporting active and collaborative learning experiences10/1/09-9/1/10
Document faculty success in applying problem-based learning strategiesProject directors; evaluation team; participating facultySample syllabi; faculty surveys; FSSEDocumented use of problem-based learning strategies in 50% of core courses in all five undergraduate schools and colleges10/1/09-9/1/010
Dissemination of methodsProject directors; participating faculty; IT teamPresentation at professional conferences; paper presentations; publicationsA variety of works published; participation of presenters in at least 5 professional associations10/1/09-9/1/10