Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2013

Faculty Award winner

Suha Saleh

 College of Health and Public Affairs

 Health Professions

As a teacher, I learned that students are motivated not only by enthusiasm but also by organization, clarity, scholarship, and good teaching techniques of classroom conduct. Motivation is as important as intelligence in influencing student learning. Studies have found that motivation ranks above intellect, peer influence, and teaching in success in college learning. Teachers must believe in themselves and work at becoming the best instructor possible, considering their individual characteristics. Good teachers should understand that students have different learning styles and different motivations to learn. Based on this understanding, teaching strategies should be designed to involve all students. Also, teachers themselves should be continuously learning new methods of teaching to improve and enhance their teaching and performance.

Since I started teaching 12 years ago, I learned and developed several teaching approaches. In teaching Biology, I used various technologies and pedagogical techniques to make learning exciting and interactive. In addition to conventional teaching methods, I used multimedia and animation as well as guided group discussions. I taught several pathophysiology-related courses with clinical-diagnosis applications. In these classes, I combined regular classroom teaching with technology enhancement through the use of Blackboard. I used the case-study approach in all clinical topics that I taught to stimulate student discussion and to maximize understanding and connection to real-life applications.

At my current position at the Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Program at UCF, I teach pathophysiology lectures. During my first year at UCF I taught this class face-to-face and online. It was not long before I realized pathophysiology should be offered as a sequence of two classes. I modified the course and prepared the curriculum for Pathophysiology I and Pathophysiology II. I developed face-to-face and fully online curricula for pathophysiology and incorporated several engaging and applied teaching methods.

I have a strong passion for teaching and learning, and I cherish every minute I spend on these endeavors. As a teacher and a researcher, I make sure to stay up to date on new research related to the topics I teach. My teaching experiences have helped me effectively integrate research and education.