USC News

show menu search
Science/Technology

Chrystal and Yacoob awarded technology prize

by Kevin Durkin
The group attended the sixth annual Teaching With Technology conference.
From left, Elizabeth Garrett, Sandra Chrystal, Susan Metros and Sajjad Yacoob (Photo/Tony Chiu)

Sandra Chrystal, professor of clinical management communication at the USC Marshall School of Business, and Sajjad Yacoob, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, were awarded the Provost’s Prize for Teaching With Technology at the sixth annual Teaching With Technology conference held on May 1 at the Davidson Continuing Education Center.

Each year, two awards of $5,000 are granted to faculty members who have found dynamic and innovative ways to integrate technology into their curricula.

USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett presented the awards.

“Technology has become a key component of our efforts to ensure that USC students engage with a challenging, multifaceted curriculum that encourages intellectual inquiry, reflection and scholarship with consequence,” Garrett said.

Chrystal, who also serves as USC Marshall’s vice dean for online and executive education and chief information officer, was acknowledged for her skill in creating assessment tools, such as metrics capable of measuring the impact of technological strategic objectives.

Last spring, USC students were invited to develop proposals for a social media-driven public awareness campaign competition designed to support first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program. Chrystal’s students were USC finalists and won an honorable mention at the national level.

In 2004, Chrystal created an advanced business-writing course blending in-classroom and online instruction. She also was an early adopter of now-common tools, such as wikis, Web conferencing and social media, and she is known for holding office hours on WebEx, as well as Skyping in guest speakers from China, England, Mozambique and elsewhere.

Yacoob, who also serves as the Keck School’s assistant dean of student affairs, was recognized for his work deploying technology to enhance clinical reasoning.

Since 1997, Yacoob has accumulated a multimedia archive of more than 1,000 case studies and lectures, incorporating digital images, as well as video and audio clips. His archive is based on patients treated at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), and it also has been used to help train more than 3,000 Keck School students to generate differential diagnoses in real-world scenarios. This archive has been utilized as the foundation for multimedia-based small-group mentoring sessions and large-group lectures.

Yacoob also played a key role in the development of CHLA’s electronic medical records system, helping to design a curriculum around it that addresses issues of quality, safety ethics and professionalism. Yacoob travels frequently as a consultant to medical centers in the United States and abroad.

The theme for this year’s Teaching With Technology conference was “Where Is Learning?” Participants explored how technologies can foster meaningful collaboration and student engagement in a range of teaching modalities, from traditional classroom settings to entirely web-based courses. Highlights included a keynote address by Tracy Fullerton, associate professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and director of USC’s Game Innovation Lab. Fullerton’s presentation focused on “Reality Ends Here,” an experiential game that employs social learning challenges for the school’s incoming students.

Susan Metros, associate chief information officer for Technology-Enhanced Learning and associate vice provost for USC Information Technology Services, was on hand to congratulate the winners.

“As events like this one make clear, information technology has become increasingly central to an ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue in higher education,” Metros said.

More than 180 faculty, staff and students from 26 USC schools and departments attended this year’s conference.

The Teaching With Technology conference began in 2007 as a forum for USC faculty to share how the innovative use of technology enhances their teaching with colleagues from across the university. It was sponsored by the Information Technology Services’ Technology-Enhanced Learning Center for Scholarly Technology and Learning Environments, the Office of the Provost, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and the USC Libraries.

More stories about: ,