Current and Past Recipients
I began the Ursula Williams Fellowship with two questions: How can I use technology to encourage confidence in new language learners? How can I enhance transferability, that is, the ability to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in my classroom to future courses and authentic interactions? After having explored many available technologies, I worked with experts from the CSLC and the Kaneb Center to develop eportfolios as a tool for “flipped assessment”. We developed an eportfolio template and a series of assignments around it to allow students to take ownership of their own assessment. Students continued with meaningful learning as they worked through four tasks: 1) organize their work from the semester, 2) evaluate their own performance and progress, 3) reflect on how their work fits into the course goals, 4) explore how they can apply what they learned to future situations and courses.
While exposure to available technologies and the support in developing the eportfolio project were valuable, the Ursula Williams Fellowship provided me with the greatest professional growth through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). SoTL tools help me to evaluate the efficacy of my teaching, the way I incorporate technology, and the design of my assignments. The Fellowship allowed the building of a strong relationship with my generous, supportive, expert colleagues in the CSLC and the Kaneb Center . I look forward to continuing that relationship and our work together.
During my tenure as the inaugural Ursula Williams fellow, I worked on the project of designing the Hybrid First Year Chinese course. This is a 5-credit course targeting highly motivated students who are willing to spend more time improving their oral proficiency. The course adopts an innovative format that combines traditional classroom instruction and online self-learning. Students learn grammar through vivid and feasible online tutorials and quizzes. Class time is optimized for enhancing students’ proficiency through intense drill work and authentic communicative tasks. The class meets four times a week and requires one additional hour of online study by students.
The Ursula Williams Fellowship allowed me to concentrate more of my time on learning the necessary technology for the project. I met and consulted regularly with colleagues from the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Office of Digital Learning. Their unfailing support, guidance, encouragement, expertise at various stages of the fellowship have been inspiring. I feel tremendously grateful for the opportunity that the fellowship has provided me. I look forward to incorporating what I have learned into my instruction of Hybrid First Year Chinese in Fall 2015.