Helen Y. Chu

UO Libraries

helenc@uoregon.edu | 541-346-1235

In my classes you will:

  • Make connections to lived experiences and real-world challenges.
  • Interact during exciting, participatory class meetings.

I was invited into the Teaching Academy because:

  • I was a member of the Working Group on Active Teaching and Learning.
  • I participated in a Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching.
  • I participated in the UO Summer Teaching Institute.
  • My teams and I support and advocate for our faculty’s digital scholarship/digital pedagogy academic technology needs.

In what ways are you working to make your teaching inclusive?

The University of Oregon is dedicated to the principle of equal opportunity in education, research, and service. The UO Libraries reflects this commitment by ensuring that collections, services, and facilities are accessible to all users and inclusive as possible. We routinely check the accessibility and user experience of the systems we license or build. We facilitate captioning and transcription services for video.

Recently, we built audio-visual sound reinforcement into almost all classrooms, lapel and/or handheld microphones in dozens of medium and large classrooms, as well as assisted listening systems into over a dozen large classrooms.

To support our faculty who develop course materials, we offer workshops and integrate best pedagogical practices in to all our workshops, and offer at least one per term where faculty learn, hands-on, how to develop accessible course materials. We share articles on inclusive teaching practices that leverage academic technologies that benefit all students, but disproportionately so for at-risk students and/or underrepresented and/or disadvantaged students.

What do you do in terms of professional engagement with the teaching and learning culture on campus or nationally?

I’m honored to serve as a board member of the Provost’s Teaching Academy and to co-lead the online pathway of the Summer Teaching Institute. I support the work of the UO Libraries Center for Media and Educational Technologies, the Office of the Provost Teaching Engagement Program, Science Literacy Program, and Student Success Advisory Council.

I try keep up on the scholarship of teaching and learning by using the UO Libraries’ easy new portal to scholarly publications, Browzine. Browzine makes it easy for me to find the scholarship in areas both within and beyond my areas of expertise. I also read as well as the publications, research, and activities of organizations like EDUCAUSE, ARL, ACRL, AAC&U. I also serve on the board of the EDUCAUSE Leading Academic Transformation among other organizations.

In what ways was your teaching in this course research-led—informed by research on how students learn and inflected by UO's research mission?

We in the UO Libraries are trying to incorporate more and more evidence-based practices form the scholarship of teaching and learning into our workshops. While some of our work necessarily is nuts-and-bolts, we always try to provide the context – if not lead with it – for how and when and why to adopt/adapt academic technologies to meet your learning goals. We do this because we value faculty time and try to help you find the proven solutions that are most likely to be helpful.

What is your proudest professional achievement?

Anytime I get to advocate on behalf of faculty and students, or to amplify the voices of faculty and students, in a way to make real change, is a great day at work. One of those moments came from the LMS review and migration process I helped lead. 190 faculty, staff, administrators, and over 4,000 students participated in the process to review, select, implement, and migrate from the previous learning management system to Canvas. The migration process was scheduled to take place between Spring Term and Fall Term in 2015, in which staff worked with every faculty member to migrate 27,000 courses and 25,000 students. Everyone was so focused on making this the best experience possible and as a result, LMS usage and adoption is up consistently by 20% campus wide and 450% in the law school. The intense migration process also helped many campus units develop closer working relationships that has since made a number of additional, unrelated projects go much more smoothly, and launch a number of careers in educational technology for the graduate employees who supported the effort.

What’s the most inspiring classroom moment you’ve experienced?

Faculty often invite me to their classrooms to observe their teaching. One of the most inspiring classrooms moments I’ve witnessed was in a non-math course taught by a Teaching Academy member. The professor invited students to work in six groups of six students – on three different problems that involved problem solving and calculus. Once a group reached a solution, they found the other group working on the same problem to compare solutions. Every student in the room was engaged, actively working with each other to compare answers, troubleshoot each others’ calculations, and problem-solving approaches. Groups debated and then presented solutions to the entire class, affording students the opportunity to teach each other. At the end of the class the instructor announced that calculus would also be part of the mid-term, and the class cheered. I was so impressed that I nominated the professor for a teaching award.