Faculty perspective: Jessica Anderson

Jessica Anderson, Ph.D., is a clinical assistant professor of building construction management. She is one of two recipients to be awarded the 2014 Dwyer Award for Undergraduate Teaching in the College of Technology. Students vote for the recipients.

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My teaching style

I try to find new, innovative ways to make my students more interested in the class. This usually involves motivating my students and giving them as much hands-on work as possible. I find that when motivation is established, the teacher and student can engage in a learning experience that is centered on the student. Also, when the teacher and student collaborate to create the ideal learning environment, both are able to continuously improve their knowledge.

My teaching philosophy

I always tell my students to look at their courses as part-time jobs, their professors as different bosses and their fellow students as colleagues. The students need to learn how to adapt to different teaching styles, find out what the professors expect of them and accommodate accordingly. This will help them in the future when they look for jobs as they will know what type of employer they would like to work for.  They will be able to look beyond the income offered and more at the company culture.

Keeping students engaged

I do this by making sure I am constantly changing the material that is covered in class to adapt and adhere to what is relevant in the industry today. I also try to find out how they like to be taught and I teach them accordingly.

What sets Technology apart

The application of the material; the hands-on, the labs (time and space). In Technology, we also like for our professors to have worked in industry and be experts in their fields. This way, they actually teach the students from experience as opposed to only from textbooks.

What new students can expect from a College of Technology class

They should expect professors who care for them and care that they learn. It is like a family atmosphere. As long as the student is willing to engage in the course, they can expect a high level of commitment from their professors and can also expect to bond with their fellow students and professors who share their interest.

Research

As a clinical faculty member, I do not participate in a lot of research. However I have participated in various research opportunities such as student motivation within technology disciplines, curriculum design, green construction in residential applications, historical preservation and residential construction.

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