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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Michael Sorice

   

The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Michael Sorice, assistant professor of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, for his dedication to incorporating novel teaching methods that engage students in the classroom.

Dr. Sorice teaches two upper-level undergraduate outdoor recreation courses and a graduate course focusing on the linkages between the environment and human outcomes. His teaching style introduces students to key concepts through activities and discussion about real-world situations. For example, he has used situations such as the Stadium Woods and the department's research forest for activities and dialogue in his undergraduate classes.

Following the engagement in such relevant topics and discussions, Dr. Sorice’s students are then asked to synthesize that information through additional readings. In this way, Dr. Sorice scaffolds student learning through the provision of an introduction to concepts prior to encouraging students to dig deeper by way of reading and reflection.

Michael credits his development as an effective educator to his work with the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER); specifically, its instructional consulting and its New Faculty/Early Career Teaching Certificate workshop. Michael shared “the concepts and tools provided by CIDER helped me prioritize activities and approaches that increase student engagement and promote learning.”

After participating in CIDER's workshop, Dr. Sorice's teaching evaluation scores increased markedly and were accompanied by positive student comments. Regarding his teaching style, one student remarked, "class was interactive and exams allowed us to contemplate the knowledge effectively," and regarding the application of tools, "[He] gave assignments that helped me better understand the content of the class." Michael continuously tries to think of ways to innovate in the classroom to enhance the learning environment, and his students are affirmatively acknowledging his efforts.

Homepage: http://sorice.frec.vt.edu/





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