Hayes wins FHSU's mediated classroom teacher award for April

Kaira Hayes, associate professor of psychology, has been named by a faculty recognition committee as the recipient of Fort Hays State University's Mediated Classroom Teacher Award for her performance in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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/Innovator of the Year and Edmund Shearer Faculty Advisor 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. Hayes is the recipient of the Mediated Classroom Teacher Award for April. 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 Mediated Classroom Teacher Award from the College of Arts and Sciences, a faculty member must use innovative approaches for instruction and show evidence of original contribution and increased learning effectiveness.

In a letter of nomination for Hayes, the College of Arts and Sciences Awards Committee wrote, "Ms. Hayes has utilized mediated technology in classes from large (100+) sections of General Psychology to upper-division/graduate courses in Physiological Psychology. Among the several strategies employed by Ms. Hayes is the presentation of PowerPoint lecture outlines on the projection screen in the classroom. These outlines generally include main topic headings, subtopic headings, and, on occasion, definitions. All lecture outlines can be accessed and printed from Blackboard. Students are asked to print a copy of these lecture outlines prior to class.

"Since these outlines are available before class, Ms. Hayes observes that 'students spend much less time in class mindlessly copying PowerPoint slides into their notebooks ? and more time spent listening to me and to other students' questions and comments.' She also observes that 'the tempo of the class is improved and that we can actually go into more depth on some topics.' In addition, Blackboard is used to keep students' grades in all classes."

"Not only does using Blackboard in this manner allow students to check their grades at any time," Hayes said, "it also promotes the students' responsibility in earning a grade."

"Finally, teaching General Psychology during the summer session poses another problem that can be addressed with the use of technology," the committee wrote. "The fact that class sessions are two hours and 40 minutes long means that lectures for the entire time create attention span problems for the students. Therefore, Ms. Hayes incorporates 'labs' periodically during class time. Some labs were completed online in the computer lab in Martin Allen Hall and some labs were completed in the regular classroom. Students learn through a different format."

"Students were able to spend more time in class engaged in exercises and activities that are designed to promote critical thinking and analysis of topics," Hayes said.

Hayes came to FHSU August 2001 as an assistant professor in psychology. She received a bachelor of science in psychology and a master of science in general and experimental psychology from Emporia State University. She is completing a doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

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