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Anna Dollár receives Ohio Faculty Innovator Award

03/10/2011

Anna Dollár
Anna Dollár, associate professor of mechanical and manufacturing engineering at Miami University, was among 10 statewide recipients of the University System of Ohio’s Faculty Innovator Awards, which recognize creative ways that reduce the cost of course materials for students while also improving educational content.

Dollár co-authored an interactive, web-based engineering statics course as part of the Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative (with Paul Steif of Carnegie Mellon). A learning dashboard of 18 modules – each based on a set of learning objectives, with expository tests and interactive exercises – record student answers and provide the results in aggregated form to instructors.

This information helps instructors identify student difficulties and focus classroom activities on specific concepts and skills that need reinforcement. This course material is being used at many institutions in the system and saves each student from $80 to $140. It has been used by thousands of students at 13 institutions across the country, including Miami and Sinclair Community College. Ohio savings total more than $26,000 through this initiative.

Students, administrators or other faculty members nominated professors who they felt were benefiting students by lowering classroom expenses. A panel of national and state experts selected the winners from the many nominees.

Dollár joined Miami’s faculty in 2000. She received her master’s degree and her doctorate in mechanical engineering from Krakow University of Technology in Krakow, Poland. She received the 2006 E. Phillips Knox Teaching Award from Miami.

In 2009, three Miami faculty received the Faculty Innovator Award —Jason Abbitt, assistant professor of educational psychology; Michele Dickey, associate professor of instructional design and technology/interactive media studies; and Janet Hurn, senior instructor of physics at Miami University Middletown.

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