OXFORD, Miss. – Nichelle Robinson, an associate professor of teacher education at the University of Mississippi, will serve as the university’s first provost fellow in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, or CETL.
During the one-year fellowship, Robinson will begin building a video database focusing on interdisciplinary inquiry and discussion. The videos will tap into UM’s expert faculty resources on a variety of issues.
“I’m envisioning a TED Talks format where two to three instructors discuss a topic within 15 to 30 minutes, with one instructor serving as a moderator,” she said. “Think about Brown v. Board of Education. I know what I think about it from an education perspective, but what would someone in the political science department have to say about it? What about a faculty member in history?”
Starting in August, Robinson will begin creating such videos within the School of Education as part of an elementary education social studies course in the fall and a special education law course in the spring. The videos will provide an interdisciplinary view of different issues related to these courses by incorporating other UM faculty into classes.
The video database will be hosted on the CETL website and be organized by topic so users can find them online. After the first year, she hopes to expand the project by collaborating with other UM academic units in 2015.
“For example, a huge interest of mine is the civil rights movement and its impact on the state of Mississippi and our university,” Robinson explained. “A conversation I would love to participate in and share with my students would involve me, someone from the William Winter Institute and a third participant from African-American studies, history or political science.”
CETL was established in 2007 to enhance student learning by improving teaching at university. The center provides all UM faculty, including adjuncts, teaching assistants and graduate instructors, with resources and assistance in teaching.
“We are pleased that Dr. Robinson is our inaugural Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning provost fellow,” said Noel Wilkin, UM associate provost. “She is a dynamic educator who is enthusiastic about using technology to improve collaborative teaching and enhancing the content of the topics offered in the classroom. Her project has the potential to advance collaboration among faculty and between departments for the purpose of enhancing instruction.”
Robinson holds three degrees from UM, including a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree in special education and a doctorate in elementary education. She worked as a special education teacher in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee for more than eight years before returning to UM as a doctoral student in 1999, and previously held faculty positions at the University of Memphis.