Lori Nelson drawing on a lightboard.An early adopter of the Looking Glass technology, Lori Nelson actively engages her biology students and promotes the development of a growth mindset in every course she teaches. She was honored with this year’s WSU Tri-Cities Distinguished Teaching Award in recognition of her commitment to improvement, thoughtful approach to course design, and development of classes that are creative, interesting, and fun.

A career-track assistant professor, “Lori Nelson brings knowledge and interest to every course and employs microlessons as supplemental instructional tools. Students write about their values as they relate to science and their future careers, reflect on their exam performance, learn to develop improved testing strategies and write advice to future students in the course,” said WSU Chancellor Sandra Heynes during the award presentation. “These types of meta-cognitive activities have been shown to have multifaceted benefits, including creating a learning environment that is equitable and inclusive for learners from all backgrounds.”

Lori Nelson on the WSU Tri-Cities campus with her teaching excellence award.

The Looking Glass is a virtual teaching technology that allows instructors to draw on a specially lighted pane of glass and address their audience via a camera on the other side of the glass; the video is then flipped horizontally so that the writing appears correctly for the viewers.

Nelson also supports undergraduate student research and endeavors to provide opportunities to all students in her lab-based courses. Beyond the classroom, Nelson reduces barriers for undergraduate research by allowing any interested student to participate as a research assistant, regardless of their experience, standing, or schedule. Her open access approach and commitment to an inclusive experience is an inspiration for all WSU faculty.

Top image: Nelson delivers course instruction using the Looking Glass

From WSU Tri-Cities Marketing and Communications