[Skip to Content]
TILL Teaching Innovation Award


2021 TILL Teaching Innovation Award Winners

We were blown away by the response to the inaugural TILL Teaching Innovation Award. The selection committee received 22 well-qualified applications and awarded four outstanding achievements in teaching innovation. All four innovations can be used as models for implementation across multiple content areas to improve student engagement and learning outcomes.

Teaching Innovation Award winners will be featured in a concurrent session at the 2022 Celebration of Teaching and Learning and receive a $1,000 cash prize. You can read more about their outstanding teaching innovations below.

TILL Teaching Innovation Award Winners

Learn about how this new award honors innovative teaching at UofL.

2021 Award Winners

Assistant Professor Angela Storey /

Angela Storey, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences, University of Louisville

Revitalizing ANTH 201 with a Peer Educator Program

About the Teaching Innovation

Using her background in active learning pedagogies and learner-centered teaching, Dr. Storey overhauled her GenEd course, ANTH 201, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and created the Peer Educator Program (PEP). The redesign revitalized the course. ANTH 201 is now a sought-after GenEd course that consistently fills each semester. Beginning in 2017 and running for eight semesters (even throughout the pandemic), the PEP has had 40 participants from 22 majors as of fall 2020.

The PEP is centered on a small, one-credit course, ANTH 430, Practicum in Anthropology Education. Students enrolled in this class are called Peer Educators and are taught active learning pedagogy and curriculum development. They design, create and lead “bonus sessions” for ANTH 201 students without Storey present. The course not only expands their knowledge of anthropology, it also helps them grow in the practice of teaching and in the process of teaching each other. For the ANTH 201 students, the bonus sessions led by the Peer Educators make learning fun and engaging and help students connect with one another.

The PEP is being considered by other departments across the university to increase active learning in the classroom. As one Peer Educator shared, “This focus on and critical engagement with active learning pedagogy allowed us to deepen our understanding of the course concepts and better serve the 201 students by designing lesson plans around evidence-based techniques that foster real, durable learning.”

Assistant Professor Kathy Gosser /

Kathy Gosser, PhD

Assistant Professor and Director of Franchise
Management & Entrepreneurship
College of Business, University of Louisville

Using Podcasts to Increase Student Engagement

About the Teaching Innovation

When Dr. Gosser found that most of her students were not viewing the lectures in her Management 301 course, she knew something needed to change. With her background in management and organizational behavior, Gosser decided to create weekly podcasts full of real-life case studies and management examples. She bought a professional microphone, recorded in Panopto and uploaded her podcast instead of lectures. Students didn’t have to watch; they could just listen. She found that 80% of students were listening and 95% completed the episode – huge increases from 17% viewing and 65% watching her entire lectures.

Her students enjoyed being able to listen to course content on their own schedules while doing other things — at the gym, while making dinner, or just as a break being away from the computer. One student shared, “At first, I would watch the Panopto presentations but would not take away much from them. Once Dr. Gosser switched to the podcasts, my interest and knowledge level began to take off. Listening to someone tell real life stories and apply the concepts is always more interesting than just learning the textbook material.”

Gosser expanded her podcast to include weekly industry guests, mostly CEOs and top business leaders. Students benefit from hearing relevant content and seeing how it can be applied in real life.

Assistant Professor Rachel Hopp /

Rachel Hopp, PhD

Assistant Professor
Biology Department
College of Arts and Sciences, University of Louisville

Taking Active Learning Online

About the Teaching Innovation

As the pandemic forced educators and students alike to get comfortable with online teaching, Dr. Hopp endeavored to make sure that her virtual classes were active learning spaces. In her face-to-face biology classes, Hopp used evidence-based pedagogy to good effect: she led a series of interrupted mini lectures (based on pre-assigned readings, homework, and videos) while students worked on activities in groups of 3 or 4. To develop and build the STEM concepts, students would work on an activity, gain feedback, and go back to working on an activity.

Hopp devised a way to translate this face-to-face approach to online learning. She wanted students to be able to stay connected to her AND the larger classroom (in case they had questions or got stuck) while being able to continuously talk in their small groups. By combining two web conferencing tools, she was able to keep her live, synchronous course consistently engaged for 50 to 75 minutes at a time. Hopp uses MS Teams and Bb Collaborate, but any two webinar services can be used, as long as there are breakout room options.

Hopp continually assesses course effectiveness by asking for student feedback and is agile with pedagogy. By asking how her students like to learn, she can identify learning outcomes that meet those preference and is able to offer activities and assessment focused on those specific outcomes.

Building an Online Makerspace

About the Teaching Innovation

In 2016, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering introduced two newly redesigned courses for first-year engineering students. ENGR 110, Engineering Methods, Tools, and Practice I focuses on fundamental engineering skills and is predominately classroom-based. ENGR 111, Engineering Methods, Tools, and Practice II is focused on application and integration of the fundamentals, and is conducted in a 15,000 sq. ft. makerspace called the Engineering Garage (EG). It relies heavily on teamwork and collaboration through problem-based, project-based and discovery-based coursework.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced ENGR 110 and 111 to move to remote delivery, instructors sought to retain a heavy focus on teamwork and decided to implement Classroom Response Systems (CRS) since they are proven to increase active learning.

Class was conducted using MS Teams and CRS methodology, primarily Mentimeter, was implemented. A CRS allows students to respond in real-time to questions on a screen. It has been shown to improve student attention, engagement, and attendance, while stimulating discussion and providing feedback to students and instructors.

Remote design challenges were also implemented. Students submitted iterations of design files which were printed and tested in the EG by Instructors/TAs. Instructors/TAs provided feedback, including test videos, via channels in MS Teams so the entire class could learn from it.

About the Award

This annual award honors the University of Louisville’s outstanding faculty who demonstrate a commitment to student engagement and learning through their work on one or more innovative teaching practices.

The TILL Teaching Innovation Award highlights the TILL’s goals of (1) implementation and promotion of evidence-based teaching practices and (2) fostering student engagement, learning, and success. Up to three faculty members from any of UofL’s campuses receive this award each year. TILL Teaching Innovation Award winners may be self-nominated or nominated by their peers. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of peers, Delphi Advisory Board members, and Delphi Center staff.

TILL Teaching Innovation Award

For questions regarding this award, contact:
Dr. Jen Anderson
Program Director, Teaching Innovation Learning Lab
Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning
502- 852 -8503