Fei Xue of West Hartford, an assistant professor of Mathematics in the University of Hartford’s College of Arts and Sciences, was honored with an Innovation in Teaching and Learning Award at the University’s annual Faculty/Staff Kickoff on Wednesday, Aug 29. The award honors faculty members who have shown exceptional dedication, innovation, and effectiveness in their teaching, as well as extensive interaction with students.
Xue’s imaginative applications of educational technology and interactive learning tools have put him at the forefront of a department with a history of pioneering pedagogical innovations. One method he used to enhance his students’ understanding of calculus is group quizzes. After students take a quiz individually, Xue asks them to break into small groups and the members work as a team to present a solution. The ensuing activity and conversations are stimulating, with students helping students and students questioning students, all the while developing critical thinking and teamwork skills.
Xue has also introduced a new generation of Student Response Systems (clickers) that allow students to input numerical solutions and has created an extensive problem set that takes advantage of the technology. He also uses “flipping,” which gives students the opportunity before class to watch videos he has created of class material. Xue’s videos combine several approaches to a mathematical problem. As a result of his efforts, student engagement has improved significantly.