Brett Jones, professor of educational psychology in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and Donald Orth, Thomas H. Jones Professor in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, are recipients of the 2016 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.
The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research presents the award annually to one or two Virginia Tech faculty members who have shown ongoing dedication to scholarship in the realm of higher education teaching and learning.
Jones joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2006, after seven years as a professor at Duke University and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
As an educational psychologist and motivation scientist, Jones said his scholarship aims to contribute to motivational science research and theories while also helping teachers apply the research findings to their instruction. Jones developed the MUSIC Model of Motivation and all teachers can use it to inspire their students’ engagement and success.
“My primary research aim has been to help teachers and professors understand what is known about motivation science and how they can use it to motivate and engage their students in learning,” Jones said.
Jones earned his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Orth joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1980 after he completed his graduate degrees. He has earned multiple awards related to teaching and learning during that time, including outstanding faculty awards from his department and college as well as university-wide distinctions, such as the Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholar Award and William E. Wine Teaching Achievement Award.
While teaching courses primarily in the applied sciences related to fish, wildlife, and water conservation, Orth emphasizes teaching practices that promote problem-solving skills. “I believe this is the most important learning outcome for college students. Problem-solving also permeates the practice in my discipline,” Orth said. “I emphasize the value of contextual thinking and integrative thinking, along with the broad array of soft skills that are needed by the effective, thoughtful citizen and employee.”
Orth earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University and his master’s and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University.
All Virginia Tech instructional and research faculty and graduate students are eligible to apply. To learn more about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, contact the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research.