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Lecturers Recognised for Outstanding Work
14/06/2022

Two lecturers at The UWI Cave Hill Campus have been recognised for outstanding work during this academic year by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). Lecturer in Chemistry in the Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Dr. Leah Garner-O’Neal, and Lecturer in Management, Sonia Mahon, received the CETL Partner Award on Tuesday during the Centre’s Virtual Teaching and Learning Week, for going beyond the call of duty to work in partnership with CETL.

 

Garner-O’Neal said while she did not expect it, she felt honoured to be recognised. “The truth is that I can’t say that I have done anything extra. I just think that I do what is required. Teaching is something that I am passionate about; I am passionate about seeing my students succeed,” she said. The Chemistry lecturer explained that she adopted the flipped classroom approach to ensure that her students received the best instruction. “Students go to a classroom for a lecture, that’s the time they spend with the teacher. And they take notes and then they go away from the class and they try to understand what they had been exposed to. Then the teacher might give them some tutorial questions to help cement it and later the students get an exam to test whether or not they understood the concept. So being in the lecture is a passive undertaking. Passive in the sense that all they’re doing is sitting down and listening. But … in the flipped classroom approach, what happens is that the passive part of it is done at home. I produced a set of videos for each content area, about five to ten minutes each; and they were able to go through those videos at home at any point in time that they thought most appropriate,” she stated. Dr. Garner-O’Neal presented her findings on the flipped classroom approach on Thursday, as part of CETL’s Teaching and Learning Week.

 

Lecturer in Management, Sonia Mahon, said she was “surprised and delighted” to be recognised by CETL. She explained that lecturers had to pivot quickly over the last two years in order to continue to ensure the smooth delivery of classes to the students. On Thursday, as part of this year’s Teaching and Learning Week, she presented the findings of her research into why students decided to come to campus to write their assessments during the pandemic. “The assessments for Social Sciences were virtual but proctored by the Respondus software, (an online testing technology solution). Some students opted, despite their unease of coming out of their bubble, to come to campus to write their assessment rather than do so remotely. So about 12 percent of students in semester one in that particular class, and about eight percent of the students in semester two for that particular class chose to come to campus… There were three themes that came out of the research, and the most prevalent theme was technical issues … with their infrastructure. In semester two it still remained the dominant feature but was followed closely by the attitudinal theme. Many students were unwilling to install the software on their systems and preferred to come to campus to use the IT resources. The three themes were captured under technical, environmental and attitudinal themes,” Mahon stated. She also praised CETL for providing a support system for teaching staff.

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