Apr. 19, 2021

Associate Professor Reto Geiser is among nine faculty who received the 2021 George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, which honors top Rice instructors as determined by the votes of alumni who graduated within the past two, three, and five years.

The winners of this year’s awards are being honored during an unprecedented time at the university. Rice University asked the recipients for their thoughts on what they’ve learned teaching amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reto Geiser, Associate Professor of Architecture:

The past year has undoubtedly been challenging for students, faculty and administrators alike, and while everyone has made a huge effort to adapt their teaching to a remote delivery, we were all reconfirmed in our belief that a direct and immediate exchange in the classroom cannot be replicated in virtual space. This is particularly evident in artistic, design-based courses and seminars with applied, hands-on components that combine critical thinking with making. The design studio is an incubator for ideas, an environment in which students not only learn from their instructors, but equally also from each other, outside of class. But despite all the aspects of in-person teaching I sorely miss, the inevitable asynchronous delivery of my lecture course has encouraged me to reconsider the structure of my teaching, and to use my time with the students more productively by completely flipping the classroom and encouraging active engagement with the course material. While I look very much forward to engaging students in person again — to be exposed to their amazing energy and intellectual curiosity — some of the insights gained in this unsolicited experiment of the past year will continue to influence my work as an educator, and remind me that change always brings opportunity.

Read the full news article here: http://news.rice.edu/2021/04/19/9-recognized-with-award-for-superior-teaching-6/

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