Faculty Fellows Selected for 20-21

Faculty Fellows 20-21Tennessee Wesleyan University released the 2020-2021 Faculty Fellows selections earlier this spring. The group will represent the faculty in developing tools and practices to best engage students and provide an excellent learning environment.


The TWU Teaching Innovation Fellows Program is a Title III-supported initiative designed to increase student academic success, performance, and persistence by promoting student engagement through the use of high-impact, evidence-based teaching practices throughout the university—particularly in courses identified as having a high proportion of students at risk of non-persistence and thereby promoting the rate of student retention.


TWU Teaching Innovation Fellows are leaders among their peers in advancing evidence-based practices that promote student academic success and engagement. The Faculty Fellowships fall into three categories: Open Educational Resources, Flipped Classroom, and Quality Matters.


Open Education Resources (OER)

Coined by UNESCO, OER are “materials that are in the public domain or release with the intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaption, and distribution.” OER have grown in popularity as an alternative to textbooks and other materials, resulting in cost savings for students.


The Faculty Fellow will develop and coordinate an OER campaign to further inform faculty and students on the resources available and promotion of their use campus wide.


OER Fellows:

Alexandra Sharp, Assistant Professor of Library Science


Flipped Classroom

A flipped classroom is an instructional approach in which students acquire content knowledge outside of class and then apply this knowledge through active-learning strategies during the regular class time. Multiple studies have shown this approach to improve student attitudes, preparedness, engagement, and interaction. For the students who do not thrive in a traditional lecture style, the flipped classroom provides unique learning experiences and productive challenges.


Flipped classroom requires modification of course structure and presentation, and content creation which allows students to access away from the classroom. The Faculty Fellows will develop and coordinate opportunities for faculty to experience and learn how to develop flipped classrooms of their own.


Flipped Classroom Fellows:

Dr. Sharon Brown, Professor of Mathematics

John Ferguson, Assistant Professor of Theater

Dr. Jackson Gainer, Assistant Professor of Biology


Quality Matters (QM)

Quality Matters began in the early 2000s by faculty within an online consortium. With a growing number of students attending online courses, they wanted to provide a way to ensure the quality of those courses.


As higher education is increasingly leaning on online delivery course work, faculty find themselves teaching courses which are traditionally taught face-to-face, in the online format. QM review provides proven, tested preparation strategies, knowledge of best practices in online course design and delivery, and effective processes to assess these courses and programs for quality assurance.


QM Faculty Fellows will develop and coordinate opportunities for faculty to learn and implement best practices in online course and program design.


Quality Matters Fellows:

Dr. Beau Whitsett, Assistant Professor of Education

Brandy Henderson, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Viktoriya Stepanova-Todd, Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Ana Barrios, Associate Professor of Spanish

JJ Hulet, Assistant Professor of Communication