University of Vermont Assistant Professor Victoria “Vicki” Hart, PhD, was honored with the 2021 University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA®) New England Region Exemplary Teaching Award.
Hart is an assistant professor of medicine who teaches in the UVM Masters in Public Health degree program offered through UVM Continuing and Distance Education and the Larner College of Medicine. She specializes in epidemiology and biostatistics and believes that data provide a powerful means for uncovering public health problems and identifying effective interventions.
As a public health faculty member, Hart has learned that not every epidemiology or biostatistics student shares her level of passion for these subjects. This realization inspired her to conduct research on improving pedagogical approaches to quantitative subjects in various classroom settings. Hart’s research seeks to identify the best practices for the various modes of online and in-person learning, such as online modules, curriculum, discussion boards, and student interactions.
“Online environments, for all their benefits, can also be hard,” she says.
“I love teaching, so I really enjoy researching ways to do it better. I’m looking for teaching methods that work best in asynchronous online environments – but even more specifically, in public health sciences, how do we best teach quantitative courses?”Dr. Victoria Hart
Outside of UVM, Hart is involved with an online learning consortium where she attends conferences to stay current on trends and changes in online learning. She is a member of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and the Transformative Education expert panel.
“The ability to study online has broken down barriers for students who wouldn’t be able to make it to campus. And with telehealth, I think the pandemic has ushered in a new era that is here to stay,” she says. “Practitioners will need the ability to communicate quantitative findings to their patients, and developing best practices in online quantitative teaching can help with that.”
“The vision for the Larner College of Medicine MPH program is to advance health through innovative, accessible, and worldwide education,” said Jan Carney, MD, MPH. “In just a short time, Dr. Hart has created innovative educational approaches to teach epidemiology, the language of public health and a cornerstone of scientific research. Her innovative teaching strategies ensure that our graduates are prepared to face today’s public health challenges.”
The 2021 UPCEA® 2021 Regions Week will be held Oct. 18 – 21, 2021. This year’s event will be completely virtual and free to all UPCEA® members. For more information, please visit: UPCEA.