Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2012

Faculty Award winner

Jill Fjelstul

 Rosen College of Hospitality Management

 Tourism, Events and Attractions

My goal for the golf and club management curriculum is to build an academic program and reputation that resonates throughout the golf and private club industry. I have highlighted two dimensions of my teaching philosophy complimenting such a goal.

My role as a professor is to create an optimal learning environment that stimulates academic growth, critical thinking, and practical knowledge of the industry. My teaching effectiveness and efficiency rests on my ability to understand the student learner. It is my belief that learning will be compromised if the environment is not compatible with the learner. The majority of my students represent the Generation Y population. Research has shown that Generation Y generally exhibits a short attention span, breeding boredom if they are not engaged. Thus, I create an optimal learning environment for my students by: (1) utilizing industry literature to highlight current issues and trends, complementing the textbook material; (2) scheduling guest speakers to share insight not found in textbooks and to challenge students with industry-related case scenarios that require critical thinking; and (3) incorporating tours of private clubs as significant learning components in my classes to provide students with practical private club experiences.

I implement various instructional methods to encourage interest and engagement during and beyond the classroom experience. As previously mentioned, Generation Y tends to become bored without variety. Therefore, I incorporate various teaching methodologies to enhance interest and engagement in and beyond the classroom (e.g., technology, collaborative assignments, experiential learning). The following provides examples and a rationale of the methodologies chosen. (1) Technology: A large segment of Generation Y processes information visually. For compatibility, I utilize video clips as a vehicle for discussing current events and/or other topic areas related to the scope of the course. In addition, I have redesigned seven golf and club management classes into a mixed-mode offering to complement this generation’s desire for technology-based education. (2) Collaborative projects: In today’s world, communication is heavily centered on technology. Thus, I require group projects to balance the communication platform, to encourage engagement, and to promote teamwork. (3) Experiential learning opportunities: I complement classroom learning with industry inspections to bridge the gap between book knowledge and real-world implementation.