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September 03, 2004
UD Professor Selected for National Study

Paul Jeffries, associate professor of philosophy and religion, is one of fifty college-level instructors across the country selected to participate in a national study conducted by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion and the University of Notre Dame in the 2004-2005 academic year.

Nominated for the award and selected as a highly effective teacher of introductory theology and religion, Jeffries commented, "This study will give me an opportunity to more self-consciously consider how my teaching strategies can influence student learning in our religion courses." He continued, "Insights gleaned from the study should also help us think about how we can serve the University's mission more effectively through our teaching."

The study on Teaching Introductory Theology and Religion: Lessons from the Practices of 50 Effective Teachers will involve anonymous responses from questionnaires, reflection papers, log entries, and interviews of students participating in the Judeo-Christian Journeys class taught by Jeffries. In addition, students will complete the Individual Development & Educational Assessment (IDEA) survey. The IDEA rating system focuses on student learning rather than the instructor's teaching practices or personality. The Wabash Center will provide these resources, plus an honorarium of $250. Results of the study will be disseminated in publications and workshops.

Dr. Jeffries was also awarded two other grants for projects this academic year, $10,000 from the Valparaiso Project for Practicing Our Faith with non-traditional pre-seminary students and $1,750 from the Iowa College Foundation for student/faculty collaborative research on The Virtues of Passion: Reflections on the Ethics of Emotion with UD philosophy major, Christoffer Heindel (C05).