Beckman and Rochlin Named UC Berkeley Teaching Fellows

Haas faculty members Sara Beckman and Dave Rochlin have been selected as UC Berkeley Lecturer Teaching Fellows for the 2014–2015 academic year. 

The Lecturer Teaching Fellows Program supports participants in generating dynamic tools and resources for enriching and/or innovating teaching practices on campus.  Ten to 12 Fellows are selected each year to participate in workshops and work in teams on areas of interest to the university. Beckman and Rochlin will focus on improving student self-reflection as a teaching and assessment tool.

Beckman is a pioneer in design thinking and, after many years of teaching courses in new product development (NPD), created the Haas School’s Problem Finding, Problem Solving (PFPS) course, a core course in the Berkeley MBA innovative leader development curriculum that gives students a deeper understanding of how to frame and solve problems by leveraging tools and methods from critical, design, and systems thinking. While she continues to teach at Haas, Beckman was also recently named chief learning officer at the College of Engineering’s Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation where she has created a minor in design and innovation and aims to enhance experience-based learning.

Rochlin has served as both a lecturer and the executive director of the business school’s Haas@Work applied innovation program since 2010. The program develops and delivers project-based courses through partnerships that allow prominent international corporations to work with the school’s students and faculty to identify and drive new innovation initiatives.  Recent partners in these efforts  include SAP, PayPal, Citi, HP, Nike, Nissan, and Verizon. 

Beckman and Rochlin have been using student self-reflection as a key learning and evaluation tool in  their NPD, PFPS, and Haas@Work courses.  In addition to asking students to thoughtfully evaluate their learning during the semester, at the end of the semester they use self-reflection papers to encourage students to synthesize course goals and learning and to think more deeply about how the materials and frameworks they have been working with can be applied in their lives and future work.

“Self-reflection is complicated because it’s both an assessment tool and a learning tool,” says Rochlin. “What we are trying to do is find the right balance between the two.”

“Particularly in experiential learn-by-doing models, students tend to focus on the ‘doing’ at the expense of learning,” Rochlin adds. “We believe that better-crafted and articulated reflection assignments will make students more open to learning and transformation. For Haas students, this should also carry over into their professional lives, reinforcing the School’s Students Always Defining Principle.“

Beckman and Rochlin hope the tools they develop as part of their participation in the Lecturer Teaching Fellows Program will be useful both at Haas and across campus, including for the new undergraduate minor in design and innovation,  which will serve students in all departments.

Sara Beckman and Dave Rochlin, new UC Berkeley Lecturer Teaching Fellows for 2014–2015.