University of New Orleans opens Center for Teaching Innovation

Beth Blankenship has been chosen as coordinator of UNO's new Center for Teaching Innovation.
Beth Blankenship has been chosen as coordinator of UNO's new Center for Teaching Innovation.
The University of New Orleans is launching its Center for Teaching Innovation, which will serve as a resource for faculty to learn newly developed teaching methods to reach today’s students.

The Center for Teaching Innovation opened last week on the ground floor of the Liberal Arts building with longtime UNO English professor Beth Blankenship at the helm. The center will eventually be moved to a permanent home in the Earl K. Long Library once renovations are completed there.

Blankenship said her goal will be to build a set of valuable teaching resources over time as the center picks up steam. She plans to hold a number of training sessions for different classroom technologies used at UNO and help develop faculty capacity for web-based learning.

Blankenship said the center will also aim to re-imagine teaching methods in order to cater to the new learning styles of students entering the university.

“We want to address the most important questions on the topic of instruction,” Blankenship said. “What’s the future of the 75-minute lecture? Is that going by the wayside? Is that something we need to at least have alternatives to? What are the learning styles of students we’re getting out of high school now?”

Nicklow, provost and vice president for academic affairs said the center is important for a university focused on student success.

“The way to make sure our students are successful is making sure we have the best trained instructors with pedagogies that are designed for today’s students,” Nicklow said. “Our goal is to make better teachers – we can do that by making sure our faculty members have access to the latest knowledge, skills and technology."

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