News

Published:

January 31, 2017
 
Tagged: College of Arts and Sciences, Adelphi University, Department of Art and Art History, Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Environmental Studies

Hands On, Clicker Off: Reshaping Education at Adelphi

Adelphi University


Environmental studies students in the field

From outdoor recreation to museum visits and lab research, Adelphi students are learning in new and exciting ways. While traditional classroom syllabi are still alive and well, the university’s experience-based educational practices serve as a launchpad for student self-discovery.

Susan Briziarelli, Ph.D., acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, oversees various experiential learning opportunities that link the classroom with the real world. Environmental studies students hike, kayak and camp, while art majors travel to New York City to attend museums and galleries. “Coming to class doesn’t necessarily mean simply listening to a lecture,” Dr. Briziarelli said.

Small class size is also crucial to student engagement. Tuval Foguel, Ph.D., professor and department chair of mathematics and computer science, sees his classes—which usually number around 20 students—as a shared dialogue, not a transmission of information. He asks open-ended questions and waits for students to volunteer the answer, then cultivates discussion around the responses. “Sometimes the incorrect answer can actually be more productive,” Dr. Foguel noted. “It gets students to think about the question and understand it in a more nuanced manner.”

Assistant Professor Eugenia Villa-Cuesta, Ph.D., believes knowledge is best acquired by practical work rather than theoretical study. She heads a biology lab populated by several undergraduate students who engage in high-level research. Classrooms are often structured around a faculty-student hierarchy, but there is no pecking order in Dr. Villa-Cuesta’s lab—she encourages students to mentor each other and calls the lab group a second family. “We don’t focus on the product, we focus on the student,” Dr. Villa-Cuesta explained. “We care about their person as a whole and try to foster their confidence.”

Associate Professor Brian Stockman, Ph.D., who runs a chemistry lab dedicated to drug development, is a strong believer in the power of hands-on learning. He’s seen many students embark on a journey of growth and empowerment—one that begins with lab research and ends with ownership of their education. “I can see exactly when that switch flips,” Dr. Stockman said. “It’s when the student stops asking me, ‘What are we doing today?’ and starts saying, ‘Here’s what I did. Come look at what I found.’”

 

For further information, please contact:

College of Arts and Sciences
p – 516.877.4120

Tagged: College of Arts and Sciences, Adelphi University, Department of Art and Art History, Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Environmental Studies