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Teaching With Technology Prize Winners

USC College's Colin Keaveney and Charles McKenna received their awards at the fourth Teaching With Technology Conference.

By Mary Bruce
May 11, 2010

From left: Elizabeth Garrett, vice president for academic planning and budget; Colin Keaveney, assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian; Charles McKenna, professor in the Department of Chemistry; Susan Metros, associate vice provost and deputy CIO, Technology-Enhanced Learning; and Ilee Rhimes, chief information officer and vice provost for information technology services. Photo credit Christine McDowell.

From left: Elizabeth Garrett, vice president for academic planning and budget; Colin Keaveney, assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian; Charles McKenna, professor in the Department of Chemistry; Susan Metros, associate vice provost and deputy CIO, Technology-Enhanced Learning; and Ilee Rhimes, chief information officer and vice provost for information technology services. Photo credit Christine McDowell.

USC College faculty Colin Keaveney, assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian, and Charles McKenna, professor in the Department of Chemistry, were awarded the Provost’s Prize for Teaching With Technology at the fourth Teaching With Technology Conference held May 4 at the Davidson Center.

The prize recognizes faculty achievements in teaching and learning through the integration of technology into courses and curricula.

Elizabeth Garrett, vice president for academic planning and budget, presented this year's prize. "The Teaching With Technology Prize was established to foster an environment of experimentation and collaboration, one in which the faculty are encouraged to deploy new technologies in teaching and are recognized for their vision," Garrett said.

Keaveney was acknowledged for highlighting the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive by integrating French-language video testimonies into his French 250 literature course, "Paris as Seen by Writers, Filmmakers and Photographers."

To recreate the historical context for a French memoir of a Jewish girl deported to Auschwitz during World War II, Keaveney used video excerpts from testimonies in the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's visual history archive. Studying these videos allowed his students to engage firsthand with the difficulties of comprehending historical trauma. The students embedded video clips into their own oral presentations.

In March, Keaveney gave a presentation on pedagogical issues related to the use of testimonies to a plenary session of the International Digital Access, Outreach and Research Conference, which was held at USC. This plenary was attended by cross-disciplinary faculty and librarians from 23 universities worldwide.

McKenna was recognized for the wide array of innovative technologies he has incorporated into the Chemistry 203 class "AIDS and Drug Discovery," which he created nearly a decade ago. The course has been Web-based since its inception and consistently has been filled to capacity with more than 300 general-education students each semester.

McKenna was an early adopter of educational strategies now widely practiced, such as creating an on-demand video and audio archive of recorded live lectures and putting all course materials online for anytime access.

He has enlivened Chemistry 203 through the real-time classroom participation of experts from around the world, video podcasts, a completely virtual laboratory, interactive Web quizzes and "instant grading." All these innovations use readily available hardware and software that are transportable and scalable.

At the graduate level, McKenna made it possible for chemistry students at the University Park campus and pharmaceutical sciences students at the Health Sciences campus to take live, online courses on each other's campuses.

The Teaching With Technology conference was established in 2007 to create a forum for USC faculty to share innovative uses of technology in teaching and learning with their colleagues and the larger university community.

"The conference provides a valuable forum for highlighting faculty innovation in the use of technology and supports the university’s strategic goal of harnessing technology to create learner-centered environments," said Susan Metros, associate vice provost and deputy chief information officer of technology-enhanced learning in the Information Technology Services division.

This year's event drew a crowd of 190 faculty, staff and students from 29 schools and departments.

The program emphasized the role of collaborative networks in teaching practices, research and learning. Highlights included a keynote address by Andrew Lih, visiting professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and author of The Wikipedia Revolution. Lih's presentation connected recent developments in journalism and the information marketplace to efforts in education that harness collective intelligence.

The conference was sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the ITS-TEL Center for Scholarly Technology.