More than 110 UA - Pulaski Technical College faculty have improved their teaching practices through a program with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). This rigorous, evidence based, 25-week course engages instructors with independently validated research to improve student achievement and close equity gaps. ACUE Focus is a question and answer series where faculty share their experiences with ACUE.
Instructor of Visual Arts, UA - Pulaski Technical College
School of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Education: M.F.A. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, B.A. University of Central Arkansas
1. What ACUE Cohort were you a part of?
I completed ACUE in May of 2019.
2. What do you teach and how do you think you benefited from the ACUE course?
I teach a general education survey of the key artists, works, and movements called Introduction to Visual Art and an introductory level studio course in illustration and painting techniques called 2D Design. When I came into the ACUE Cohort, I had been teaching the same classes for almost a decade. The course gave me the opportunity to look at what I was doing and how I was doing it with a new perspective. The challenge of trying new techniques each week was something I knew I needed, but I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't in the Cohort. Having those new things to try made me more creative as an educator.
3. Best thing you learned from ACUE?
The best thing I learned from ACUE was to ask for student feedback. It feels great to know that I don't have to guess about how a topic landed. I can just ask them. There is relaxed atmosphere of mutual respect and dialog in my classes that I can say ACUE helped me to build.
4. Do you think your students benefited from you taking the ACUE course and if so, how?
Yes, I know they enjoyed and still enjoy some of the techniques I learned. I have asked them! Also, I believe I am at my best when I feel challenged and excited. I think they can feel that excitement and energy.
5. What was your favorite module in ACUE?
I don't think I can remember specific modules, but I still remember and use many of the techniques like Fishbowl discussions, skeletal notes, collecting quick student surveys, and even name tents. Name tents are amazing! I am learning that event organizers are using a color-coded name badges to allow people to communicate their comfort level with social contact. I am going to adapt that idea with my name tents and let students show me how comfortable they are with speaking up in discussions.