A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Archive for May, 2013

Transformative Teachers

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 31st, 2013

Gone are the days of a student slipping quietly into the back of a classroom and going unnoticed. Today’s university professors have students engaged in a variety of innovative ways—and they are looking for results.

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Lean-Forward Pedagogy

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 31st, 2013

Mark Sample College of Humanities and Social Sciences Mason English professor Mark Sample is an excellent example of a faculty member who has embraced technology and social media tools and made them part of his teaching practice. “As opposed to a lean-back pedagogy, with students leaning back, slack, in their chairs, I have tried to…

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Online Discussion Tools

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 31st, 2013

Jeff Offutt Volgenau School of Engineering When Mason software engineering professor Jeff Offutt was invited to teach in Sweden, he was flattered but knew there was no way he could be away from his work and responsibilities in the United States for an extended time. So he decided to look into online tools that could…

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by Andy Brown, MFA '01 on May 30th, 2013

Allison Frendak-Blume School of Public Policy Students in the Peace Operations Program focus on the study of international interventions that aim to restore or maintain peace and stability in areas affected by conflict or natural disaster. They learn about post-conflict reconstruction, recovery, and development, as well as diplomacy and security. To prepare them for careers…

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Virtual Worlds

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 30th, 2013

Kevin McCabe Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and School of Law For students who have taken ECON 496 Economics of the Metaverse, class work is, in part, playing a video game. Designed by Mason economics professor Kevin McCabe, the course—lessons, presentations, even field trips—is completed within a virtual world much like the online game Second…

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Experiential Learning Best Practices

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 30th, 2013

Susan Hirsch and Agnieszka Paczynska School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution In a field such as conflict analysis and resolution, it is common for professors to use role-playing and simulations to engage students in the classroom, but Mason professors Susan Hirsch and Agnieszka Paczynska wanted to take a closer look at experiential learning and how…

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Hands-on Research

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 30th, 2013

Ali Weinstein College of Health and Human Services Inova Fairfax Hospital and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are just two of the clinical research settings in which rehabilitation science professor Ali Weinstein has placed undergraduate students this semester. These placements are a part of Weinstein’s 3-credit class, RBHS 490 Clinical Research Internships, which she…

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Distance Education

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 30th, 2013

Shahron Williams van Rooij College of Education and Human Development If you are a student in the Instructional Design and Technology Program, there’s a chance you might never be on campus and meet with your professor Shahron Williams van Rooij in person. Williams van Rooij, who was a software developer in the corporate world before…

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Project-Based Design

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 30th, 2013

Chris Totten College of Visual and Performing Arts When students showed up for GAME 232 Online and Mobile Gaming last semester, they didn’t just receive a syllabus—they got a client. On the first day of class, the students discovered their semester’s work would be to render a pair of mobile apps aimed at electronic tablet…

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“Flipped” Classroom

by Colleen Kearney Rich on May 30th, 2013

Amin Jazaeri College of Science In a flipped classroom, the lectures are online, and class time is used for interactive work. Mason physics professor Amin Jazaeri, PhD ’07, flipped one of his classes last year “by sheer accident.” He received a grant to develop materials for an online course and was concerned about the effectiveness…

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