LETU professor wins award

POSTED: Friday, June 8, 2012 - 10:04pm

UPDATED: Friday, June 8, 2012 - 10:14pm

LeTourneau University professor of psychology Dr. Vicki Sheafer won the Frank Costin Memorial Award for Excellence at the 34th Annual National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology conference for her poster titled "Using Drama to Enhance Learning of Classic Experiments in Social Psychology."

Her research poster was judged by institute faculty as best promoting quality teaching methods. Her award included a certificate, a check for $250 and a complimentary registration to a future NITOP conference.

Sheafer’s poster drew on the long history of psychology using drama as an active learning technique with many different kinds of psychology courses and for a variety of purposes. Sheafer has adapted a technique of having undergraduate social psychology students develop dramatic scripts to describe their research, then present the play to the class. Each play had to be at least 15 minutes long and was followed by a 17-question evaluation survey filled out by each of the 28 class members to assess their work. The questionnaire used a 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) likert scale.

Sheafer’s research results showed that students enjoyed both participating in the activity and also watching the plays of others, that it allowed them to be creative, caused them to work hard, was interesting and helpful, and recommended that the professor continue to use the assignment in the future.

Runners up to the Frank Costin Award were a team from Auburn University with a poster on assessments.
Sheafer also was named the recipient of LETU’s Robert H. Selby Teaching Scholar Award in 2010 for exemplifying the highest standards of teaching excellence.

“Dr. Sheafer has a long tenure of dedicated service to LeTourneau University,” Dean of Education Dr. Wayne Jacobs said. “We are pleased that she, once again, is recognized for her contributions to the psychology profession. She represents the teaching scholar that LeTourneau University is proud to have working with our students.”

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