Gladys Swindler wins FHSU's faculty innovation award

HAYS, KS -- Gladys Swindler, instructor of computer and information systems, has been named by a faculty recognition committee as the recipient of the university's Outstanding Teaching Innovation Award for her performance in the College of Business and Leadership.

The faculty recognition program rewards outstanding teacher innovators and outstanding mediated classroom teachers from each of the four colleges of the university. Two other special awards -- Teacher/Scholar/Innovator of the Year and Faculty Adviser of the Year -- are also part of the program. Recipients are selected by a committee chaired or appointed by the respective college deans.

One award is given each month over the period August through May. Swindler is the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Innovation Award for October. She received a check for $300 and a university lapel pin that signifies teaching excellence. Two-thirds of the financial award is provided by the university and the other third comes from Commerce Bank of Hays, which established a fund with the university to help recognize outstanding faculty teaching.

To win the Outstanding Innovative Teaching Award from the College of Business and Leadership, a faculty member must use innovative approaches for instruction and show evidence of original contribution and increased learning effectiveness.

According to the selection committee, Swindler routinely schedules all her classes in mediated classrooms or computer laboratories. Her classes have all been enhanced by the extensive use of Blackboard, a computer program that provides student-faculty interaction over the Internet.

"In the spring semester of 2001, she researched, tested and recommended that all sections of Introduction to Computer Information Systems 101 use the Skills Assessment Manager program, which tests software skills in Word, Excel and PowerPoint," said Dr. Robert Meier, chair of the Department of Computer and Information Systems. "Because of her leadership, baseline software competency data have been collected for about 300 first-time freshmen. Results of the data analysis will be used to determine whether the software coverage needs to be modified."

An FHSU graduate, Swindler joined the faculty of the College of Business and Leadership in 1988. Her innovative use of technology in teaching was recognized previously when she won the Mediated Classroom Teacher Award in the spring 2000 semester.

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