February 12, 2014
Joe Moore

Nominee Selected for 'Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology Award'

Rebecca Aldrich, Ph.D., was nominated based on her occupational science course redesigned for the Learning Studio.

Learning Studio
The Learning Studio, which is located in Des Peres Hall. File photo

Rebecca Aldrich, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, has been named Saint Louis University's nominee for the Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology Award given by the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning.

Aldrich was nominated based on the work she completed in the Learning Studio, the state-of-the-art teaching space designed by faculty and students that provides flexible furniture combined with a range of innovative technologies and programs. 

Faculty members are awarded opportunities to teach in the Learning Studio through a competitive Innovative Teaching Fellowship that is given by the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL). Fellows experiment with new teaching strategies to create engaging and interactive learning experiences designed especially for today's learners.

The Innovative Teaching Fellowship allowed Aldrich to redesign her spring occupational science course and facilitate four weeks of real-time interactions between undergraduates at SLU and first-year occupational therapy students at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Students discussed topics such as culture, justice and politics, with the goal of infusing global perspectives more directly into their occupational science and occupational therapy education.

"In so many ways, Dr. Aldrich's work in the Learning Studio exemplifies the goals we have for the Studio and for the Innovative Teaching Fellowship that supports it," said Debra Lohe, Ph.D., director of the CTTL. "Beccy willingly experiments with new ways of engaging students and facilitating learning, while also remaining firmly rooted in her own pedagogical values. She takes full advantage of what the Learning Studio has to offer - radically rethinking her courses so that she can work with 25 students at a time there, taking full advantage of the flexibilities of the space to foster deeper collaborative learning and, importantly, fulfilling the vision of the faculty-student team that designed the Studio for a space that would create meaningful 'dialogue across distance.'"

The University is eligible to nominate one full-time faculty member who has contributed in the most highly creative ways to teaching, learning and technology in higher education. Candidate selection for the Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology Award is based on a University-wide search. The award winners will be announced at the 25th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning during the week of March 24 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

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