Dr. Stephen Tsui Receives the Sony Electronics Faculty Award

Dr. Stephen Tsui, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, is one of four CSU faculty members to be honored this year with the Sony Electronics Faculty Award for Innovative Teaching with Technology. This award is made possible by the CSU Office of the Chancellor and Sony Electronics, Inc., in partnership with Intel Corporation. It recognizes four early career CSU faculty members, acknowledging their current and potential innovative use of technology in delivering quality and affordable education to their students and encouraging continued achievements in teaching that leads to student success.

There is an explicit and thoughtful connection between Dr. Tsui’s use of technology and the goal of making students more successful in his class. Dr. Tsui uses a “flipped” classroom approach to teach introductory physics. Rather than making a video of himself giving a lecture, Dr. Tsui uses a stylus on his iPad with the app Explain Everything to teach lessons that are uploaded to YouTube for students to watch as their homework assignments. During class time, the students collaborate in small groups to solve problems on a small whiteboard. Their work is photographed with a digital camera outfitted with an Eye-Fi memory card and uploaded to Flickr where all the students in the class can review the work and leave comments for discussion. Data was collected on the students’ use of the photo archive and the results were published in The Physics Teacher, a peer-reviewed and widely read teaching journal. Also, by facilitating a classroom environment that does not use a traditional textbook, Dr. Tsui is achieving a substantial cost savings for students. In another class, Dr. Tsui’s students use iMovie to produce animated movies that demonstrate the motion of objects. The students’ movies are shared with the entire class on Vimeo, for comment and discussion.

Dr. Tsui is to be congratulated on receiving the honor of this prestigious award and is to be commended for his innovative use of technology to engage students and facilitate student success.