Dr. Erik Laursen, adjunct associate professor of education, was named the latest recipient of the SPCS Innovations in Teaching Award during the School of Professional & Continuing Studies faculty award celebration on January 11, 2018.

The annual award, given by the SPCS Adjunct Faculty Advisory Committee (AFAC), recognizes a member of the adjunct faculty for innovations in teaching along 14 dimensions of innovation. Awards are announced at the annual faculty awards ceremony, held during spring faculty meetings.

Nominations for the award are accepted from faculty and students in SPCS. Nominated individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Adjunct faculty member in SPCS
  • Exhibits high level of innovation in the classroom
  • Generates impact on student learning
  • Role model for other faculty
  • Exhibits creativity in the classroom

When awarding a winner of the SPCS Innovations in Teaching Award, AFAC members seek nominees who best exhibit the deepest level of instructional innovation and creativity in the classroom, innovation that results in a material and definable impact upon student learning and furthers the mission of SPCS to “enrich lives and careers for the 21st century.”

Laursen’s nomination letters articulate the creativity and innovation he brings to the classroom. While making a mundane but critical task like developing a research study and getting IRB approval for the study is challenging, Laursen uses “grouping strategies, elements of online instruction, and individual student conferencing in his course to best support his students throughout their research.” He works to “create a classroom environment that is supportive while helping students professionally critique others’ research.”

These supporting letters also highlight the impact his creativity and innovation have on students. One nomination letter reports that “students in his class are highly knowledgeable about educational research and their topic of interest... and have an impact on their own students in their classrooms as they further investigate their topic of interest.” Furthermore, Laursen “helps students see that teachers are researchers every day and that the cyclical nature of research lives on their own classrooms.”

These experiences also “inspire students to go on to PhD and EdD programs based on the work they do in his class.”

Laursen is the third recipient of the annual SPCS Innovations in Teaching Award. He joins fellow adjunct professors Sarah Beth Calveric and Dirk Burruss in winning this award.

Adjunct Instructor, Information Systems
Adjunct Associate Professor, Education
Adjunct Associate Professor, Education
Member, AFAC