Professor Infuses Technology into Curriculum

  • Michael Nojeim

Michael Nojeim, also known as Dr. Mike to his students at Prairie View A&M University, received the 2017-2018 President’s Teaching Award. The program coordinator and associate professor of Political Science teaches a wide range of classes including American Government, U.S. Foreign Policy, International Relations, and Middle East Politics, to name a few. “Some students say my classes are high-energy, high-octane power hours,” said Nojeim. “They are usually not straight lecture; rather, many of them are filled with interactive exercises.”

Nojeim uses both low-tech and high-tech exercises to get things moving. “For example, I use the ‘Snowball Method’ which is an exercise where students can be anonymous while submitting input. It protects them from embarrassment while also increasing participation,” said Nojeim. “I also use ‘Eyes Closed, Thumbs Up’ and ‘Ticket out the Door.’ For ‘Ticket out the Door,’ I tell students to write down what they learned or what they didn’t understand. I also take polls where they can choose their assignments, quizzes, and tests. Be mindful, there are restrictions, such as one has to focus on reading, one has to have a significant writing component, etcetera. In turn, these methods give my students agency; they learn to own their education, they are more invested, and it increases their mindset of wanting to succeed — that’s why I’m here.”

Some of Nojeim’s high-tech exercises include using the applications ‘Poll Everywhere’ and ‘Kahoot!’ Like his low-tech methods, both apps encourage participation, which leads to classroom discussions. “My goal is to tap into my students’ incredible creative potential and release this energy back into my classroom,” said Nojeim. “My entire career is student-centered. My students are like having kids, and everyone wants their kids to go farther than they did.”

This is Nojeim’s 15th year teaching at PVAMU and his 28th year teaching overall.

###

-This story by Marchita Shilo originally appeared in Academic Insights.