Educational Initiatives Awards

25 April 2001 | The Committee on Teaching honored two recipients of the Educational Initiatives Award for 2001 — the College of Chemistry for Digital Chem 1A and the Department of Anthropology for Multimedia Authoring in Anthropology — at the campus’s annual Teaching Award Ceremony, April 25.

The honor consists of a $10,000 cash award presented annually to a department or unit that has created a program or initiative that makes a significant contribution to undergraduate education.

Digital Chemistry 1A
With an annual enrollment of 2,000 students, Chemisty1A is required of all science and engineering majors. Lecturer Mark Kubinec and Professor Alexander Pines of the chemistry department designed “Digital Chem 1A,” unveiled for 1,250 students last fall.

Their new system allows students to review their introductory chemistry lectures online, by coupling clearly presented Powerpoint slides with a digital video of the classroom presentation. Students may search lectures by key words, repeat sections they did not understand, and complete homework assignments using an automated quizzing system.

“Now colleges and universities, and even high schools around the world, could possibly have direct access to Berkeley class lectures,” says Chemistry Professor Richard Saykally of the innovative course design. “This is bound to have a tremendous impact, especially on small and poor school systems throughout the world that might not otherwise have any science teaching at all.”

Multimedia Authoring in Anthropology
Under the direction of Professors Margaret Conkey, Rosemary Joyce and Ruth Tringham, the Multimedia Authoring Initiative uses multimedia tools to teach anthropology, especially archaeology.

Students learn a variety of software programs and use these in presenting content-rich projects dealing with archaeological concepts, theories, discoveries and cultural histories.

As part of the project, the faculty members created a small multimedia teaching laboratory where new courses are developed and existing courses may be substantially revised.

In “The Poetics of Time and Place,” a large College of Letters and Science course taught by all three professors, lectures are combined with multimedia authoring. Each class section acts as a production team to create a multimedia interpretation and presentation of the archaeological data. A project on the Angkor Wat ruins in northwest Cambodia traces the history, excavation, theft of artifacts, and myths surrounding the site, using written text, video, still pictures and sound.

See for information on the Educational Initiatives Awards.


Four receive Distinguished Teaching Award
Martin Covington named Presidential Chair in Undergraduate Education


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