Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2016

Faculty Award winner

Jill Fjelstul

 College of Hospitality Management

 Tourism, Events, & Attractions

My goal has been to build an academic program and reputation that would resonate throughout the golf and private club industry, for the promotion of our program, to prepare our graduates for successful career placement, and to expand my teaching experiences for personal and professional growth. I believe my philosophy towards teaching compliments such goal. The following outlines three dimensions of my teaching philosophy, the rationale for each, and the methodologies chosen.

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 upon my ability to encourage engagement throughout the course, challenge my students beyond their current knowledge, and closely monitor their understanding of the targeted material. Aside from my previous efforts in changing all of my classes from face-to-face to mixed mode, in the past few years, my classes have received a major course content overhaul. For example, theory was incorporated into my lectures, which had been absent in previous years. I also spent an enormous amount of time with the industry. My experiences have been subsequently transferred into course content.

I implement various instructional methods and modalities to encourage interest and engagement during and beyond the classroom experience. I developed two classes into fully online experiences for the Fall, 2013 semester. Thus, I presented material with an entirely different mindset, realizing what I put on the webcourses will have immediate impact on their learning. For example, I narrated every single PowerPoint slide delivered during the Fall 2013 semester to not only provide written concepts but to explain well beyond the PowerPoint text. I also expanded assignments to better compliment the material than in years past. As I reflect over the experience, I truly believe I experienced the greatest growth as a professor thus far in my career and am deeply convinced my students benefitted from the process and my delivery.

My interactions with students, colleagues, and administrators exhibit professionalism, leadership, accountability, and consistency. I showcase this dimension of my teaching philosophy with my students by requiring a "setting your leadership standards" exercise in each of my classes. The ultimate goal of this assignment is to assist my students in their transition from student to professional. To introduce this assignment, I freely share my personal leadership standards and expectations with my students. I do so to provide credence for the required exercise and to literally allow my students to monitor and assess my professionalism, leadership, accountability, and consistency throughout the entire semester. I then charge my students with the assignment.