Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2012

Faculty Award winner

Terri Fine

 College of Sciences

 Political Science

My foundational approach to teaching is that content expertise must be transmitted well to a diverse learner population. While the substantive content goals are the same for every student, students come to me as individuals, with different interests, background knowledge, and skills. I try to draw every student in and teach needed tools to succeed.

I reinforce existing skills and teach new ones. Each course includes both formative and summative assessment using at least three assessment types (i.e., essay exams, research and reflection papers, Internet learning assignments, oral presentations, group projects, discussion, multiple choice, simulation, debate, deliberation, document/media analysis) no matter the instructional mode. One advantage to this approach is that no one course component weighs so much that a student can fail a course based on one assessment.

I help students plan through effective academic advising, including help with résumés, personal statements, MA/HIM/PhD theses, and scholarship applications. I avail myself for presentations to student organizations and other classes, provide interviews for students writing for other classes, and write dozens of recommendation letters for current and former students.

I am engaged in curriculum, program, and assessment development. Since Fall 2008, I have developed three new courses, developed curriculum, and trained teachers teaching middle and high school civics and government. I was also invited to serve as content specialist for the Florida Department of Education in two capacities: (1) developing the upcoming statewide end-of-course exam in seventh-grade civics and (2) textbook adoption for seventh-grade civics and Advanced Placement US Government.

As Associate Director of the Lou Frey Institute at UCF, I have developed both face-to-face and online sections of POS 2112 to be offered to high school students taking this course for dual enrollment credit as part of the Institute’s Civic Leadership Academy.