Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2011

Faculty Award winner

Christopher Geiger

 College of Engineering and Computer Science

 Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

My teaching approach inside and outside the classroom is based on my view that an instructor, in addition to being a supplier of knowledge, is a facilitator of knowledge. In my opinion, an effective teacher should have sound fundamentals and command over the theoretical concepts as well as a broad knowledge beyond the realms of the particular course being taught. Thus, he/she can provide useful interdisciplinary examples that make learning interesting. Furthermore, I feel it is my duty as a professor to excite the will to learn in my students. My passion and enthusiasm are where it begins, and, if displayed during the presentation and discussion of basic and advanced material, they are contagious. Previous experience has convinced me that, when students become enthusiastic about the subject matter, they remain interested and engaged and tend to retain the course material very well. The more actively engaged students are in a course of study, the more successfully they learn. In addition, their confidence soars, often extending beyond the classroom into many aspects of their lives.

I believe that a person cannot learn a subject unless he/she spends a considerable amount of time completing assignments. In order to understand more advanced topics, the fundamental concepts should be mastered. This mastery only comes with practice. I also recognize that students learn in different ways and at different paces. Therefore, I strive to achieve a balance between three different types of learning tools—lectures using multimedia instructional tools, individual work assignments, and group work assignments. I always encourage my students to be active participants in class by asking questions, taking part in class discussions and sharing related individual experiences.

In conclusion, teaching is a very rewarding experience, and I truly enjoy it. It is also a learning experience for me, where my aim is to continue to grow as an educator through continuous experience, study and feedback from my students.