SoTL Scholar Spotlight: Upsorn Praphamontripong

By Kristin Sloane

Upsorn Praphamontripong

Next up in our SoTL Scholar Spotlight series is Upsorn Praphamontripong, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science within the School of Engineering and Applied Science. She joined the SoTL Scholars program in 2019 and, since completing the program, has disseminated her research at two international conferences. Read more about how Upsorn plans to continue sharing her findings with the SoTL community and using the knowledge and skills she gained to reflect on her teaching.


Q: Why did you want to join the SoTL Scholars program?

A: As a teaching track faculty, I have always been interested in exploring and experimenting with educational pedagogies to maximize the student learning experience. The SoTL program appealed to me. It provides a systematic approach that can help me enhance my teaching. Also, it provides a supportive community where educators from [multiple disciplines] can share ideas and strategies.

Q: For your SoTL project, what were your research questions? What did you set out to learn about your students’ learning?

A: Software testing is a crucial activity to verify that programs fulfill requirements and to ensure software compliance. It is an essential skill for software developers, but teaching software testing in a college setting is challenging. Students lack motivation and appreciation for the benefits that can be derived from software testing concepts. Many students believe that software testing is uninteresting and unnecessary. I set out to take a close look at course design and to study how interactive learning influences students’ motivation, engagement, and perception of the use of software testing.

Q: Do you have any future plans to continue sharing your work with the SoTL community?

A: In addition to sharing the preliminary findings with the Software Testing Education community (ICST TestEd 2020) and the Software Engineering Education Community (EASEAI 2021), I am gathering more data with a focus on diversity and equity. I hope to share my work [at a] SoTL-focused conference.

Q: How has the SoTL Scholars program and/or your study findings informed your teaching?

A: The program has guided me through all necessary processes, in particular, the IRB (Internal Review Board) process. The study has reinforced some of my teaching methods, including interactive learning, hands-on experience, extended analogy, and bridging the gaps between academia and industry through a cross-course collaboration. Additionally, the test early, test often, test small [approach], and test reflection and correction appear to reduce anxiety and allow students to focus on mastering the concepts. Through my study, I have also begun to integrate class activities to create an inclusive learning environment.

Q: What does it mean to you to be a SoTL Scholar?

A: It allows me to learn from and share with other scholars with similar interests in [different disciplines]. It keeps me thinking and reflecting on my teaching and continuing to investigate approaches to improve students’ learning experience.


For questions about the SoTL Scholars program, email Lindsay Wheeler at lsb4u@virginia.edu. For questions about the SoTL Scholar Spotlight series or if you're a SoTL Scholar alumni who would like to be featured, email Kristin Sloane at ks8yx@virginia.edu.

 

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