Waterloo lecturer recognized with award for excellence in teaching

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A continuing lecturer at the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering is the recipient of a national award for innovative teachers.

Carol Hulls is a winner of the 2016 Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) / Brightspace Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning. She is a founding member of the Engineering IDEAs Clinic at Waterloo. The initiative incorporates hands-on activities into all engineering programs at the University.

Carol Hulls standing in classroom

Carol Hulls, a continuing lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, has won the 2016 Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) / Brightspace Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning.

Hulls uses experiential learning in her classes, as well as other innovative techniques. Instead of a whiteboard or chalk board, she uses a tablet PC, and she records what she is writing on the screen and the audio of her voice so that students can see an idea as it’s developed and hear the explanation. She has also moved four hours of programming facts online so that the focus of her in-person lectures is on tackling programming design, not recitation.

“Faculty members who engage and inspire their students enhance the learning experience and play a key role in equipping Waterloo graduates with the tools they need to succeed,” said Ian Orchard, vice-president academic and provost at Waterloo. “Carol Hulls’ dedication to her students’ learning is commendable, and we are delighted that she is receiving this deserved recognition.”

Hulls says she is always willing to experiment with a new technique if it could potentially improve student learning.

"I want my students to be innovative engineers, willing to try new approaches and learn from failure to make a better design,” said Hulls, a Waterloo alumna who began teaching in the Faculty of Engineering in 1999. “In the lecture hall, lab, and also online, I welcome and practice innovation, only the goal for me is learning and having my students experience the joys of engineering.”

The awards ceremony will take place on June 23 in London, Ontario during the 2016 STLHE Annual Conference. Each of the five winners will receive a two-year membership in STLHE as well as $2,200 toward travel and registration costs for Brightspace’s annual users’ conference, FUSION 2016, and STLHE’s Annual Conference.

About the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is Canada’s top innovation university. With more than 36,000 students we are home to the world's largest co-operative education system of its kind. Our unmatched entrepreneurial culture, combined with an intensive focus on research, powers one of the top innovation hubs in the world. Find out more at uwaterloo.ca.

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