November 7, 2016 | By Alumni Relations | Back to news

Four WSB faculty who were recently named Inspired Learning Chairs will be given opportunity to explore educational innovation initiatives that enhance student learning.

The Inspired Learning Chairs were established in 2015, as part of the Morgridge Match initiative, to support, recognize, and reward extraordinary scholars who are advancing business education at the Wisconsin School of Business. The competitively awarded grants provide faculty members one year of funding to devote time to educational innovations. With generous gifts from Michael E. Lehman (BBA ’74), Cindy (BBA ’75) and Jay Ihlenfeld (Ph.D. ’78), and John (BBA ’71) and Anne Oros, the chairs provide the opportunity to push the boundaries of education and reimagine the ways in which WSB students interact with their coursework.

“Faculty engagement is a critical element of the innovation culture we’re building at the Wisconsin School of Business,” says Suzanne Dove, assistant dean for academic innovations. “The Inspired Learning Chair is a unique way in which our school furthers our educational innovation efforts by offering institutional support for teaching and learning ideas from our world-class faculty, giving them the time and space to design and experiment with new ways to inspire students.”

An award committee will choose the Inspired Learning Chairs annually upon review of a submitted proposal detailing the scholar’s planned educational innovation.

The uniquely positioned Chairs focus on new ways to enhance student learning. The Chairs enable WSB to advance one of its top priorities: inspiring student learning through innovative curriculum and learning experience design and delivery, at scale.

From interactive textbooks to more efficient grading systems, the 2016 Inspired Learning Chairs offer innovative solutions to challenges faced in the classroom. Learn more about the Inspired Learning Chairs’ projects:

Michael E. Lehman Distinguished Chairs for Inspired Learning in Business

 

Assistant Professor of Risk and Insurance Anita Mukherjee and Assistant Professor of Operations and Information Management Hessam Bavafa

 

Assistant Professor of Risk and Insurance Anita Mukherjee and Assistant Professor of Operations and Information Management Hessam Bavafa are refining the large-enrollment analytics course they teach together with a learning technology platform that improves the assessment and feedback process. Mukherjee, who completed her Ph.D. in applied economics, and Bavafa, who earned his Ph.D. in operations and information management, both from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, will develop a partially automated grading process that provides detailed, timely feedback that will help more than 800 students improve more quickly between course assessments. The project aims to enhance student learning by focusing on data accuracy, critical thinking and communication, and data visualization.

Cynthia and Jay Ihlenfeld Chair for Inspired Learning in Business

 

Associate Professor of Management and Human Resources Maria Triana working with students

 

Diversity and inclusion have become core components of business. A new course, Diversity in Organizations, proposed by Associate Professor of Management and Human Resources Maria Triana, will enable undergraduate students to understand differences and bias, assess their own implicit biases, and understand how and why bias can be institutionalized. Triana, who earned her Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Texas A&M University, aims to educate students about the opportunities and challenges of diversity, and better equip them in leadership, self-awareness, and initiating change in future workplaces.

John and Anne Oros Distinguished Chair for Inspired Learning in Business

 

Professor of Risk and Insurance and Hickman Larson Chair of Actuarial Science Edward Frees

 

An advocate of open educational resources, Professor of Risk and Insurance and Hickman Larson Chair of Actuarial Science Edward Frees aims to create an online actuarial textbook that is freely available, translatable, and interactive. Free access to such a textbook can transform actuarial education beyond the boundaries of UW–Madison by reducing costs and offering equal access to course content. The text’s online format encourages active, independent learning by engaging students in the material through reflective writing, quizzes, educational videos, and interactive statistical code. Frees envisions a global online actuarial community that supports and maintains the development of freely available texts. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.