Teaching excellence

The Engineering Society would like to extend their congratulations to Dr. Ivkovic, who was selected by the Teaching Excellence Award Committee as this term’s recipient of the Engineering Society Teaching Excellence Award. This award recognizes an instructor (professor, lecturer, or laboratory instructor) for their contributions to ensuring the academic success of their students. More specifically, the award recognizes an instructor who has employed non-conventional teaching techniques, allowed opportunities for experiential learning, and showed a commitment and dedication towards ensuring academic success for students.
Congratulations on receiving the Teaching Excellence Award Dr. Ivkovic, and thank you for everything you’ve done to help ensure the academic success of your students!

Dr. Ivkovic received a record number of nominations this term, many of which described his efforts to go above and beyond to ensure the success of his students. A frequently cited example is Design Dayz, an event co-created with Thomas Willett and supported by Sanjeev Bedi and the Engineering Ideas Clinic, that is designed to emphasize the importance of the knowledge his students will be gaining in their classes. Instead of holding lectures for the first two days of the term, students work in teams to design, prototype, and build a launcher in order to compete in accuracy and distance challenges. The fun and challenging experience gives students opportunities to demonstrate their ingenuity and learn what engineering is all about!

In addition to this opportunity, his nominations emphasized his approachability and dedication to student success. This care shines through in his teaching philosophy, which he describes as keeping the theory practical. This ensures that students have motivation to learn the material, as they can see the value in the content. Moreover, by providing a supportive environment and proving to the students that they can learn and apply the content through real-world examples, Dr. Ivkovic is able to push his students to succeed. By doing so, he is able to see a few of his favorite parts of being a lecturer come to life; seeing his students reach their own, unique
potential and applying their knowledge in their careers (co-op or otherwise). For him, an important part of being a lecturer is recognizing individual student needs, and finding ways to ensure those learning needs are met so every student is able to reach their full potential.

One method he uses to help students individually is to ensure he is accessible through a variety of platforms. In the past, he has used Skype and Piazza to keep lines of communication open between him and students, and has recently started using Slack based on feedback from his classes. He also holds extra workshops to help students with important non-class related aspects of student life, such as the co-op process. Additionally, to keep classes interesting, he uses Kahoot quizzes and constantly updates his knowledge to ensure that it is current and can be shown to be applicable to the student’s lives. Through keeping classes interesting, Dr. Ivkovic is able to effectively inspire his students to academic success.

For students to continue to achieve success, Dr. Ivkovic encourages them to “Always Be Creative” in every aspect of their lives, be it problem solving, how they present themselves, and in finding efficient solutions. Through his application-based teaching, he is obviously able to inspire many students and The Engineering Society thanks him for encouraging success and approachability within his classes!

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