Jack Trifts, Ph.D.
As former Dean of the College of Business, Jack Trifts, Ph.D., is an accomplished academic administrator and researcher. His noteworthy research has advanced the field of finance, but it’s in the classroom where Trifts, Professor of Finance, is most energized.
“The heart of a great education, and a Bryant education, is a close and active relationship between students and faculty,” Trifts says, “with faculty lecturing less and coaching more. Our students learn by doing — making a spreadsheet, presenting their work, leading a discussion.”
Trifts presents his lectures online in advance of class time, a technique that yields more student-faculty engagement. “Education is not just about learning facts,” he says. “Instead of spending our time together lecturing, I want to spend more time challenging the students to think about real issues” – including how financial markets and the tools of finance work throughout a business enterprise.
His Faculty Innovation Grant provided the technology that enabled him to embrace a flipped classroom approach and transform his teaching style.
“I am absolutely convinced that the learning process is fundamentally better in a flipped environment,” he says. “The amount of learning has increased and the amount of student satisfaction is even higher.” Why? Because Trifts can focus more on facilitating, tutoring, and coaching students – in teams, small groups, or one-on-one – through his dynamic in-class exercises that challenge students to compare, and evaluate their findings.
“We need [faculty] who are always pushing the boundaries and asking: ‘What can we do next year?’ ” Trifts says. Faculty Innovation Grants allow faculty to do just that.
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