Balakrishna Pai, director of instructional laboratories in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, has been selected to receive the 2016 Class of 1940 Course Survey Teaching Effectiveness Award.
This award recognizes no more than 40 Georgia Tech faculty members who excel in the eyes of their students measured by their scores on end-of-course instructor evaluations. Only faculty members with a high response rate and a near-perfect evaluation score on the Course-Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS) are considered and nominations are not allowed.
Many traditional laboratory courses teach students experimental procedures as if they were cooking recipes, largely out of context from why they might be needed for real-world applications—not in Pai’s class.
“What makes Bala’s class so special is that he challenges and empowers his students to find their own problem to investigate,” said Joe Le Doux, associate chair for undergraduate learning and experience in the Coulter Department. “His class is extremely motivating to students. Congratulations to Dr. Pai for creating a such a significant learning experience for our students.”
Last semester, Pai’s students were challenged to find and work on a problem having to do with cancer. Because the playing field is so large, students have a lot of freedom to determine what they want to learn. They carry out actual research on a real-world, significant health issue that affects millions of people around the world.
The awards is given by Georgia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL). Award recipients will be recognized at the Center’s Celebrating Teaching Day on March 14, 2017.
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology