Response from Zoran Milovanovich
What have you learned from your project about the principles and practices of good teaching that you would like to share with your colleagues?
The work on this project and similar projects that I have done over the last ten years has proven to be very beneficial to expanding my expertise in this field. It has been long accepted truth that the quality of academic program depends greatly on the quality of its faculty and the quality of the academic support infrastructure. Therefore, it is important for faculty members to stay on the "cutting edge" of knowledge in their academic disciplines and to embrace new educational methodologies that have the potential to greatly enhance learning experience of our students. I believe that my work on this type of the projects has very much contributed to my ability to competently assume the academic responsibilities arising from the use of new technology.
In what way(s) did this project help your students gain new knowledge or skills?
As my experience has already shown, the form of interactive environment I created for my students offers many distinct pedagogical advantages. Different learning style and personalized learning environment allow students to learn at varying paces. It also enhances experiential and active learning, and accelerates the acquisition of knowledge. With interactive Web course tools, learning is definitely more student-based. Instead of information being fed to them, students can control its flow and scope. They can establish their own pace of discovery, undertake problem solving and, after communicating information, get feedback on their work.
In what way(s) has your grant-funded project changed the way that you teach?
While it can be effectively used as a distance learning module, the Internet/WebCT based course content I created is not intended as a substitute for physical classroom environment. Rather, it is viewed as a supplemental framework for course delivery, assessment, and interaction. It is a step toward creating asynchronous learning environments, i.e. learning that is time and place independent.
I still maintain my regular class schedule. However, the content of my classes has changed very much. Delivery of the course material has become multidimensional, including lectures, audio and video components, and research modules.