From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Faculty Feature: Dr. Brandon Moore
Dr. Brandon Moore is an imposing figure. I am sure that students are struck by his stature when he walks into his biology classroom. I know that they are struck by their creative experiences in his biology classes. Brandon was a college and professional football player in his early life. He was recruited by, and played for, Steve Spurrier at Duke. He also played several years as a tackle for the New England Patriots.Brandon understands that students possess a variety of personal learning styles. Some learn more effectively through auditory methods, such as classroom lecture. However, many students are visual or tactile learners. The use of assignments that combine these learning styles work to serve the educational needs of a diverse university classroom. An example of classroom assignments combining individual learning styles took place on Tech’s campus last spring in the teaching of Biology of Reproduction. In a collaboration between Brandon of the School of Biological Sciences and Mary Louise Carter of the School of Art, classroom instruction went beyond memorizing anatomical terminologies and physiological mechanisms. The students were tasked with designing and producing clay teaching models and stop motion films that demonstrated complex concepts of Reproductive Biology. These hands-on assignments challenged students to gain a more complex understanding of their subject matter and to incorporate real-world career skills such as artistic creativity, project planning, execution, and problem solving. The students rose to this challenge by producing detailed and imaginative products that demonstrated deeper learning and mastery of the assigned subject matter. The class experience was capped with the students presenting their works at a public “gallery showing” last May at the Enterprise Center entitled “Models and Moving Pictures: Visual Communication of the Complexities of Biological Reproduction”. At this venue they gained public speaking experience and received much-earned positive feedback on their efforts from the attendees. Brandon plans to expand his use of art incorporation and active learning exercises such as these that engage students in their own education and empowers students to construct new knowledge on their own. Brandon is now leading the formation of a multi-disciplinary faculty group with the aim of fostering collaborations in STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Mathematics) and active-learning. Special thanks to Brandon and Mary Louise for offering our students an unparalleled educational experience.