How I Teach
December 23, 2022
A curated collection of stories in which UD professors explain how they teach introductory classes
First-year students, prospective students (and some of their parents) wonder and worry how they will handle the academic transition from high school to college. In a series of stories, UDaily speaks with University of Delaware professors who teach courses commonly taken by students during their first year on campus. The subjects include biology, calculus, writing, political science and sociology.
Kassra Oskooii teaches with a diversity of educational activities and material, but also his continual awareness of the diversity of the students themselves. He said he thinks about their diversity of race, gender, ethnicity, personalities, political views and academic backgrounds.
Prof. Haritha Malladi says a willingness to learn ‘is the only mindset you need’ to begin to learn engineering. She directs the College of Engineering's First-Year Engineering program and teaches Introduction to Engineering.
“Science tells us how we learn,” said Agnes Ly, associate professor and director of undergraduate advising in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Ly uses that idea to develop multiple strategies to help students find the study methods most effective for them in all their classes.
Delaware has an $8 billion farm economy, but few incoming students have agriculture experience. Mark Isaacs, associated professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, introduces students to the diverse career choices in agriculture and related fields.
Darryl Flaherty tries to make sure his introductory-level world history class is interesting and accessible to students of all majors, allowing them to explore and develop something that they're interested in or concerned about, and then connect that to the broader history of humanity.”
Basia Moltchanov wants students to experiment with new words and everyday phrases in Spanish, to laugh and make mistakes because, with practice, that is how human beings learn and use new languages to better engage with the rest of the world.
Seth Shabo, associate professor of philosophy, encourages students to open their minds and use abilities that they were never prompted to use before and maybe that they didn't really know they had. Such skills transfer to many other fields.
Kedron Thomas helps students explore cultures while boosting their academic skills. Cultural anthropologists explore all aspects of daily life, from identity and gender to health and family, particularly how they differ in different parts of the world.
Associate Professor Veronique Petit offers a grand tour of the stars, planets and black holes. She helps students absorb the information via modules, visuals and time-management tools in this online class, which is also available through UD's Early College Credit Program.
Sheldon Hewlett, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said he believes that anyone can be an engineer. In the class he teaches for first-year students, he sets out to help aspiring students make that happen.
Support for Academic Success
UD’s Office of Academic Enrichment (OAE) provides numerous skill-building resources, most of which are free of charge. Students may also utilize the Blue Hen SUCCESS platform to connect with their academic adviser or access additional resources on Advising Central.