Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2016

Faculty Award winner

Charlotte Trinquet du Lys

 College of Arts & Humanities

 Modern Languages & Literatures

Like organisms, institutions and their instructors must adjust in order to thrive, while maintaining a certain degree of continuity with past practices so as not to abandon their accumulated knowledge. Consequently, my pedagogical methodology is evolutionary: I try as many techniques as possible, retain successful methods, and adjust promising ones based on feedback from students and colleagues.

What never changes, however, is that I always respect a set of fundamental that are aligned with UCF's mission and goals: 1) my attitude is respectful of students and their learning; 2) my classrooms and my courses are inclusive and cater to the diverse nature of UCF students; 3) I use different teaching techniques and assessments adapted to a variety of learning styles; 4) my classes are conducted in a relaxed atmosphere encouraging learning; 5) my syllabi are rigorous and oriented towards preparing students to gain problem-solving expertise and think creatively and critically; 6) I am committed to the Orlando community, offering students real-world experiences by giving them opportunities to meet and work with local business owners, schools, non-profit organizations, etc.; 7) I use up-to-date and appropriate technology relevant to students' lives.

All my courses are organized as seminars, where context is given priority. Discussions happen in a fun and relaxed setting, where everyone is invited to share knowledge. I use a communicative approach where everyone is involved by means of tools ranging from repetitive techniques to a Socratic Method. Sometimes a lecture is necessary, but I keep an interactive forum where I engage my students' knowledge so that they feel a part of the story. While constantly adjusting to their levels of learning, I use these diverse methods so students quickly rise from Knowledge to Evaluation.

Thanks to my wide range of interests, I constantly encourage students (and myself) to bring in various angles to the topics studied. Every subject gains by being examined from different points of view, with approaches to different disciplines, and supported as much as possible by diverse media and new technologies. This allows relating the subject to students' varied backgrounds, tastes, ages, and interests. The outcome of these keystones is higher motivation and curiosity.

Assignments are challenging in order to prepare students for their professional or academic future. Often they are based on collaborative projects and research rather than memorization. In a world where information is at the tip of our fingers, I fundamentally believe that it is more important to teach how to decipher facts from fiction and to make educated choices. My assignments refute the necessity of cheating, and prepare students to enter the competitive world awaiting them. Because of the nature and the number of assignments each semester, it is very difficult not to do well in my classes; my students are always engaged, interested, and learning meaningfully. My grades are high because my students are eager to participate in every aspect of the course. Finally, whenever possible, my courses go beyond the classroom walls and interact with the real world by fostering projects for the local community and schools, or engaging students into communicating with French or Francophone pen-pals (or video pals).