University of Wisconsin Stout | Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
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Wan Bae began teaching in UW-Stout's Mathematics and Computer Science Department in Fall 2008. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Denver in November '07, an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Denver in June '04, and a B.S. in Architectural Engineering at Yonsei University, South Korea.
Wan Bae teaches Computer Science I to mostly freshmen; Computer Science II, for other majors like Multimedia; and Computer Graphics. Bae’s favorite course is computer Science I because she has “the most confidence” in that class.
To help her students understand the material, she conducts a five-minute review at the beginning of class. “I insist they ask about the work from the previous class,” she said. “If they don’t, I continue to ask if they understood it or have questions, and eventually they will ask.”
Bae felt it was hard for her, as a first-year teacher, to talk about a teaching strategy she considers her favorite. As a student, she liked knowledge and competence in a teacher. No matter how boring the lecture was, if the teacher knew what they were talking about, she learned. Wan likes working with students one-to-one, but noted they came to her office more when she was a teaching assistant in graduate school than they do now. Also, Stout students can get help in the Computer Science lab. On the other hand, students in math classes always come by.
When she was in graduate school, she worked with her advisor to develop tools to teach Java. They worked with Greenfoot, software developed by the University of Kent in the United Kingdom. The materials were designed for young students but they found the program helped engage the college students in the process of learning programming language. When she used this innovation at Stout, she had very positive results; students call the group projects “awesome,” “complex,” and “authentic.” Students implemented a 2D game program using Java and they evaluated all projects, including their own.