Traditional versus Agile Methods

Congratulations to Dr. John Burrow in the College of Business for his innovative BUAD 471 course! He was awarded one of the CTE&I’s Box of Awesome which created an “on the spot” celebration and recognition for his pedagogical model that took an innovative approach to teaching project management.  He certainly moved his teaching outside of traditional methods by integrating an agile learning model to support authentic project management.

At the beginning of the semester, his students were awarded “UMW Bucks” to use and support the development of a course-level project. Over the course of the semester, students must “pay” to outsource writing assistance in the Writing Center and for time to create in the UMW Think Lab.  Students’ quickly learned about contracts and the power of negotiation when establishing prices for services rendered AND then a curve ball is thrown into the mix! Students have to adapt to deadline and budget changes – much like real-life scenarios.

I have often found that innovation doesn’t happen in isolation. This  project that would not have been possible without Dr. Gwen Hale, Director of the Writing Center, and Shannon Hauser, Technical Services Specialist, UMW Think Lab, along with Kennith Machande, Associate Provost and Interim Dean, Dr. Christopher Garcia, Associate Professor, and Ms. Lucy Quann, Office Manager for their support and involvement. I look forward to the end-of-semester sharing of student projects and planning next steps for a post-project assessment to make visible the contributions and benefits of this pedagogical approach.

Dr. Burrow shared, “we have great students (pictured below) that are fun to teach and to challenge.”

Building Community in the Classroom and on Campus

Dr. Caitie Finlayson, Assistant Professor

Geography Department

Caitie hit a home run with her “Building Community in the Classroom” workshop, co-sponsored with CTE&I. Caitie’s commitment for community building was clearly visible as she shared her pedagogical work and provided evidence-based research practices that can be used over the course of the semester.

This workshop created an opportunity for 12 faculty (across our three colleges and from all career stages) to engage in  a meaningful exchange of challenges. We shared our successes too!  Lots of good ideas that sparked our ‘rethinking’ about the importance of building community within our classrooms.

Faculty reported that they appreciated having time to talk about and share out pedagogical practices. In case you missed this engaging workshop, Caitie prepared Building Community in the Classroom There are lots of creative and collective advice on ideas and strategies that can easily be implemented.

I was excited to hear that Brookfield’s Critical Incident Questionnaire  that I shared when I first came to UMW was being implemented. I find this to be a great tool, that can be adapted to support community building and pedagogical research.