“Experience is a great teacher, if we are paying attention,” says Bob Herrick. He should know. He has been teaching at the college level for nearly 35 years, and he has another 13 years of industry experience with Bell Telephone Laboratories and ITT International Advanced Technologies.

 To be successful in either area, he was required to see his work through the eyes of the customer. As a professor, his customer is the student, and the needs and characteristics of the university student are constantly changing.

 “The opportunity to transform our academic environment to one that continually adjusts itself to learners’ characteristics and the evolving needs of the real world is exciting and intriguing,” Herrick says.

 He is no stranger to adapting his classroom or his teaching style to fit student (or his) needs. Individually, he has implemented several educational technologies, including eHomework, in his courses to create a real-time, immediate feedback system for his students. With a colleague, he co-developed “The Art and Technology Workshop” to promote active learning with national and international educators. They also redesigned the electrical engineering technology analog curriculum to fit the way most people learn. This endeavor led to published textbooks.

 As he prepares for his work with PPI, Herrick looks forward to the teaching innovations that will create a holistic, integrated educational environment.

 “Students must adapt to becoming lifelong, self-learners and be able to integrate new and unfamiliar technologies and processes,” he says. “Students must also develop secondary interests to more fully utilize their mental capabilities for innovation and creativity.”

 

Background: 
M.S. in electrical engineering, Purdue University
B.S. in electrical engineering, Michigan State University