Partnership in Educational Innovation

FRI, JAN 27, 2006 (53:26)

David Helfand discusses how his kernel of an idea to improve an electromagnet spectrum analogy back in 1999-2000 led to the Columbia Center for New Media Technology and Learning’s (CCNMTL) substantial role in the creation of “Frontiers of Science,” a new course in Columbia College’s core curriculum. He outlines in detail how the Center played an instrumental role in the creation of the course text, Scientific Habits of Mind, and the design and execution of the course’s educational principles as well as the logistics of implementing a lecture-seminar combination course for over 500 students each semester. Helfand emphasizes how CourseWorks not only allows for seamless communication and document sharing between students and faculty, but also how it allows unique collaborations amongst the faculty as the course is carried out week by week. Along with Ryan Kelsey, he also discusses the ongoing evaluation work and feedback process involved in improving the course from year to year. David Klatell discusses CCNMTL’s role in helping the Graduate School of Journalism rethink its teaching practices through the use of the case study method enhanced by technology. Through a demonstration of “Building the Front Page of the Washington Post,” the first case jointly created by CCNMTL and the Journalism School, he outlines how placing control of the classroom in the hands of students was an important goal for their new Master’s program. He emphasizes the challenges of working with a unique group of faculty, who are typically from the professional world, as well as the effort required to build cases with real value for a field that has never tried this method of teaching. He ends by setting a goal for the creation of a new case study authoring office inside the Journalism School.

+ BIO: David J. Helfand

Dr. David J. Helfand is professor of Astronomy at Columbia University, where he has taught for over 30 years. Professor Helfand’s research has covered many areas of modern astrophysics, including radio, optical, and X-ray observations of celestial sources ranging from nearby stars to the most distant quasars. He is involved in a major project to survey our galaxy with a sensitivity and resolution a hundred times greater than what is currently available. The goal is to obtain a complete picture of stellar birth and death in the Milky Way. Professor Helfand received a Presidential Teaching Award and a Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. At Columbia, he realized a long-term goal to introduce a science course into the university’s famed core curriculum. In addition to his teaching duties, Professor Helfand lectures extensively on science to the general public, has appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Science News, and is featured in the National Geographic Channel’s Known Universe.

+ BIO: David Klatell

David Klatell is a recognized expert on the development and management of journalism education and training programs. He has advised universities and professional organizations in more than 20 nations across Europe, Africa and Asia. Until 2008 he held the positions of Vice Dean and Academic Dean at the Journalism School. Before joining Columbia University, he served as chairman of the journalism department and director of the School of Journalism at Boston University, where he taught for 17 years. He has also taught and lectured at many universities, including Harvard and MIT, where he was co-director of The News Study Group, a journalism research center. Professor Klatell was a professional broadcast journalist, winning awards as an editor and producer of news and documentary films. He is the co-author of two books about the business relationships between television and sports, and his articles about television have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major newspapers and magazines. He served for many years as chairman of the jury for the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards in broadcast journalism. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Boston University.

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