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Dr. Ellen Neidle receives Creative Teaching Award for 2023

Dr. Ellen Neidle

"Five faculty have received Creative Teaching Awards for 2023." Link to original article here.

The Creative Teaching Awards recognize UGA faculty for excellence in developing and implementing creative teaching methods to improve student learning. These awards are presented annually on behalf of the Office of Instruction to faculty who have demonstrated either the use of innovative technology or pedagogy that extends learning beyond the traditional classroom or creative implementation of subject matter that has significantly improved student learning outcomes.

Ellen Neidle
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Ellen Neidle, a professor in the department of Microbiology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, teaches the thrill of true experimental discovery. She developed her “Experimental Microbiology” lab using active learning to inspire her students to test new hypotheses toward solving complex issues.

Rather than teaching experiments with known outcomes, Neidle involves her students in authentic research projects and includes them in the entire process of experimental design, implementation, and analysis. The goal is to motivate creativity, instill curiosity, build confidence, and foster independent thinking. Students learn cutting-edge molecular biology techniques and read current literature. Neidle encourages her students to keep accurate, meticulous records, and her students’ work has contributed to publications in peer-reviewed journals. The emphasis on publication helps students understand the value of their contributions, and critical communications skills develop naturally. At the end of the course, students give final presentations to a small group of faculty members. One student commented that Dr. Neidle “molded this course into something amazing, and to me, a life-changing experience. In the course, I was able to do real experiments and contribute towards something significant in the greater world.”



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