Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
May 18, 2005
First U of G Provost's Award For Innovation in Teaching and Learning with Technology Presented
The first recipient of the Provost’s Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning with Technology was announced yesterday by University of Guelph provost Maureen Mancuso at the Teaching and Learning Innovation conference.
Pathobiology professor Darren Wood, who received the $5,000 award, was recognized for his effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Wood integrated a case-based, reasoning-focused software teaching tool called Diagnostic Pathfinder into the doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) curriculum.
“The human presence in guiding the learning process has its own unique and critically important contribution, but if there are ways that technology can enable us to do this better, we should take advantage of this and look for ways to use technology in the curriculum,” said Wood, who added that he feels honoured to receive this inaugural award in only his third year of teaching. “I would like to thank my department chair, John Prescott, for encouraging me to pursue this as an area of scholarly activity.”
Diagnostic Pathfinder helps students develop and refine their ability to correctly diagnose veterinary medical conditions by guiding them through the diagnostic reasoning process, reinforcing accurate data interpretation, and providing a visual application for communicating reasoning and immediate expert feedback. The software was largely developed by the Biomedical Informatics Research Group at Iowa State University which invited Wood to join its educational research effort as an academic partner.
Mancuso said Wood’s use of this tool in a blended learning environment “led not only to higher student achievement and satisfaction but also to significant restructuring to the course involved, in order to further maximize the benefits of the integration. His work serves as a model of how learning technologies can augment traditional classroom approaches.”
Wood has been teaching at OVC since 2002 and was selected to receive the honour by a committee chaired by Mancuso and made up of four faculty members; staff from the Learning Commons, Teaching Support Services and the Office of Open Learning; and a student representative.
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