Liangfei Qiu and Michelle Darnell
Professors Liangfei Qiu and Michelle Darnell were recognized for successfully infusing technology in their teaching with the College's annual Judy Fisher Award.

Innovative teaching methods in ethics, big data earn professors notable honor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Management Lecturer Dr. Michelle Darnell and Dr. Liangfei Qiu, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management, were recipients of the 2015 Judy Fisher Teaching with Technology Award.

The award is given annually to the Warrington College of Business professor(s) whose teaching best exemplified the use of technology over the past year.

Dr. Darnell was recognized for her innovative work in her Ethics in Global Business course where she successfully utilized Canvas—the university’s learning management system—and leveraged the advantages of the College’s Active Learning Studio, which blends the use of technology with collaborative learning. Among Dr. Darnell’s innovations were:

• Created online support tools like “student outline pages,” which provided students a clear understanding of assignments and deadlines.
• Opted for online quizzes instead of paper to expedite grading and allow her more time to plan meaningful classroom activities.
• Utilized Canvas’s features and tools to enhance peer interaction and collaboration.

Additionally, Dr. Darnell had some students in one section of her class participate synchronously from a remote location to capitalize on the Active Learning Studio’s embedded technology and experiment with new options for distance learning.

“Many students in this class had an opportunity to experience working in virtual teams while in class, a skill that is arguably becoming increasingly important in business,” Dr. Darnell said. “It is imperative that students are given the opportunity to develop the skills needed to successfully utilize technology in their professional lives.”

Dr. Qiu was recognized for his work in the department’s popular Business Intelligence and Analytics track where he teaches Business Database Systems II and Data Analysis and Decision Supply. Allowing students to visualize data is a priority for Dr. Qiu, who uses a computer-based experimental platform—that he designed—to translate abstract theoretical notions into tangible evidence. He employs other data visualization tools such as Gapminder, JMP and STATA to further engage students and create an interactive and lively classroom environment.

“When I taught ‘the wisdom of crowds’ in my data analysis class, I led an experiment on prediction markets,” Dr. Qiu said. “Students participated in the experiment via a computer system I designed. They were encouraged to experience a learning-by-doing process, and understood complicated business concepts in a straightforward manner.”

Dr. Qiu has successfully translated that classroom interactivity online. He has established interactive learning communities on Canvas—allowing for internal course communications and online surveys, which supply vital feedback—and Facebook.

The Judy Fisher Teaching with Technology Award helps encourage the College to continually innovate in the field of teaching with technology. The award was established in memory of Judy Fisher, Ph.D. She joined the faculty in 2001 as an Instructional Technologist and was the first person ever employed by Warrington to bridge the gap between the faculty and technology staff. As a unit highly dependent on advanced technologies, Fisher’s background (a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology, coupled with more than 25 years of business consulting in instructional design) enabled her to have a profound effect on teaching with technology. The College is proud to honor Fisher, who passed away in 2007, and her many contributions to the teaching and learning environment through this annual award.

Learn how Michelle Darnell and Liangfei Qiu infuse technology in their teaching on YouTube.