Sean Simonson, professor and director of the Human Performance Lab in the Department of Kinesiology and faculty at the Center for Teaching and Learning, was recently appointed a Senior Fellow at the Academy of Higher Education.

Through his work with the Process-Oriented Inquiry Learning Project, Team-Based Learning and Center for Teaching and Learning, his scholarly interests moved from exercise and environmental physiology to the study of teaching and learning.

These interests led Simonson to create a research project focusing on students’ course assessments.

“I became interested in using students’ course evaluations to measure teaching performance.” He said. “I was concerned that it was not a representative portrayal of the teaching and sought alternative approaches.”

Simonson found an alternative approach with Megan Frary, an associate professor in Micron’s College of Materials Science and Engineering in 2017. They began collaborating and were awarded a National Science Foundation grant. With support from the grant, they developed a framework for evaluating teaching effectiveness, also known as FATE. They have continued to use grant funding to implement and study the framework.

“A Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow is the recognition and validation of the teaching and learning work you have done through an unbiased external review,” said Simonson. “It is also my motivation to continue to develop and move my efforts beyond my own teaching and other individual educators to influence and inform teaching policy and setting at both the institutional and national levels.”

“This is a huge international honor and we are very pleased that Shawn is being recognized for his outstanding work in the classroom,” said Linda Ransdell, Chair of Kinesiology.

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