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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Deborah Good


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Deborah Good, associate professor of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, for using student-based technology, accompanied by critical thinking exercises to increase student learning in all the courses she teaches.

Dr. Good has taught a variety of courses with the main (and most important) goal of instilling life skills and confidence in her students for continuing their learning once they graduate. Her teaching approach can be summarized by three goals: (1) To develop communication skills, (2) to address the range of student learning styles with effective pedagogies, and (3) to integrate current research and critical thinking strategies. As the instructor for a senior writing and oral presentation-intensive course, HNFE 4004 with about 30 students per semester, Dr. Good believes that students in science disciplines should be able to communicate research findings both to the public and to fellow scientists. To address the range of student learning styles with effective pedagogies, Dr. Good has taken many of the trainings offered by TLOS/NLI and CIDER, and has received a Technology-enhanced Course Design Specialist certificate and Master Online Instructor certificate. Students use technology every day in their social lives, and Dr. Good tries to take advantage of their familiarity with these platforms and integrate technology. She also routinely uses the current scientific literature in all of her courses, and teaches methods for critically evaluating content of these articles. She says, “While students don’t always “get” the importance of reading the current literature, I think most eventually see how this training benefits them.”

Dr. Good’s students appreciate the attention she puts into the instruction she delivers to them. She received a “Thank a Teacher” note in 2015 thanking her for “the time and enthusiasm that she put into teaching the class”. On another assignment, a student stated, “I liked the assignments that everyone had to post because they simplified difficult concepts & made them funny or interesting, & easier to remember”. And with regards to her approach to maximizing the effectiveness of the Scale-Up Classroom, one student commented, “It was very helpful getting to learn some of the material before class and then getting to absorb what was being discussed, instead of constantly writing down notes”.

Past highlights of Dr. Good’s teaching accomplishments include selection as one of eight Lilly Teaching Fellows (UMASS-Amherst), and the Assessment of Student Learning with Technology Award (UMASS-Amherst), and multiple funded grants including, USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant (2007, $139,000 Virginia Tech), 4-VA Competitive Teaching-Research Grant (2015, $22,000, Virginia Tech), ICAT mini grant (2016, $3000, Virginia Tech). She has also authored multiple peer-reviewed papers related to pedagogy, and present her research at National and International conferences on pedagogy.


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