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BSC School of Arts and Sciences Received a Smart Board through Collaboration with Elizabeth City State University

  • Created
    Friday, November 02 2012
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

(Bluefield)--Bluefield State College has established a research collaboration with Elizabeth City (North Carolina) State University (ECSU) to participate in the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The ultimate objective of the program is to infuse Critical Thinking (CT) as a tool in learning and teaching. "It is believed that CT efforts could help to bridge the gap between prepared and underprepared students and promote improved student learning outcomes," explained Dr. Tesfaye Belay, BSC Associate Professor of Biology. "The collaboration is exemplified by the participation of faculty members from 14 institutions in training workshops."

Following Dr. Belay's five-day MSEIP workshop at ECSU last summer, the BSC School of Arts and Sciences received a smart blackboard and accessories worth $8000. The smart blackboard is already installed in a Basic Science Building classroom and will be available in early November. All BSC faculty members may use the faculty in teaching their courses through scheduling and receiving the permission from the office of the Dean of School of Arts and Sciences. All faculty members utilizing the smart blackboard will write a report detailing their experience in its use and its effectiveness in the teaching process. Dr. Belay will compile and submit to MSEIP a progress report, aggregating the faculty members' individual reports on the use and impact of the smart blackboard.

Each summer, the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program will present a workshop at selected institutions of higher education among the 14 MSEIP colleges and universities. Dr. Julie Kalk, BSC Assistant Professor of Physics, has been selected to join the MSEIP collaborative project involving ECSU and BSC. Dr. Kalk and Dr. Belay will attend a workshop hosted by Dillard University in New Orleans, LA next May. After each summer's training workshop, Dr. Kalk and Dr. Belay will infuse CT into their respective courses of physics and biology to measure, appraise, and then provide evidence of CT infusion/effort in a report to the MSEIP every semester.

Following the second summer workshop, it is anticipated that another smart blackboard will be offered to BSC in 2013, according to Dr. Belay. The infusion of CT has been already implemented in his General Biology 101 online course. "Bluefield State College students are more motivated and prepared to study and learn about biology through the incorporation of CT assignments online," he concluded.