Jagdeep Bala

Jagdeep Bala


jagdeep@uoregon.edu | 541-346-4953

Courses: PSY201 Mind and Brain, PSY305 Cognition, PSY383 Psychoactive Drugs, PSY433/533 Learning and Memory, PSY438/538 Perception, PSY450/550 Hormones and Behavior

In my courses you will:

  • Make connections to lived experiences and real-world challenges.
  • Learn with and from peers.
  • Understand what it means to be at a research university with the chance to gain new knowledge.

I was invited into the Teaching Academy because:

  • I participated in the UO Summer Teaching Institute.
  • I was a Fellow in the Teaching Online CAIT Group.

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

One way in which I make my classes inclusive is by encouraging students to learn together. Both through small group discussions and group projects, I encourage students to share reading reflections, responses to prompts, or solutions to problems following individual reflections and explorations. I choose readings, discussion questions, and debate prompts carefully with the deliberate intention to include and generate multiple perspectives. This allows students to include multiple perspectives in their learning as well as exposes them to multiple learning strategies. This is successful because I take the time to create a respectful learning community within my classes. Both through modelling and through instructions, I provide clear expectations for interactions within the classroom and plan ahead for possible differences. For example, I set aside time to discuss aspects of group dynamics before setting up groups for the term and assign preparatory readings and reflections before addressing potentially sensitive topics in class.

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

I take every opportunity to grow as a teacher. Since I teach about Learning and Memory I have a deep and sustaining interest in research on how learning strategies and memory mechanisms relate to pedagogy. For example, I was one of the early adopters of flipped classroom teaching, which allows me to help students consolidate learning in multiple ways as well as develop active learning peer groups within my classes. More recently, through my work on the Online CAIT, I have focused on making my online courses more inclusive, interactive and engaging learning communities.

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?

Here is one example of my research-led teaching in my online Cognition (PSY305) course. I focused on developing an interactive learning community while enhancing my own online presence for the class. I updated two assignments and added:

  1. Discussion boards for concept clarification. Students were required to ask questions and give substantive answers to peers’ questions. The discussions were student generated and student centered, but also gave me ample opportunity to both participate in and moderate conversations.
  2. Peer editing of term papers with a detailed rubric. Putting students in two roles for one assignment—writer and reviewer—gave them an opportunity to develop perspective in two areas. Students not only read a peer's paper about research on a topic other than their own but also engaged in deep analysis of the scientific conclusions and their applications to real-life scenarios. In addition, they practiced editing and writing skills by giving and getting feedback on their papers.
  3. Weekly instructor reflections and summaries tying together the week's lessons, students' contributions, and my thoughts about the class’ performance on more challenging concepts.

What is your favorite TED Talk or podcast?

It's a tie—“Perspective is Everything” (Rory Sutherland) and NPRs Everyday Ethics.

Who is a role model for you?

My mom. To me, she personifies wisdom, generosity and strength in the face of adversity.