Engaging with Academic Innovation


Shannon Deer // Accounting

For years, student participation in class has largely felt like pulling teeth. Whether it is early mornings, post-lunch classes, or just general disinterest in a subject, engaging students can be tricky even for the most seasoned educators. As a core objective of Mays Business School to create impactful knowledge, Shannon Deer, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs and Clinical Assistant Professor, has found a way to create a vibrant learning community.

“The cost of innovation may be born upfront, but the dividends payout for years,” Deer poignantly stated. Known around Mays for her inverted classroom, Deer found a way to get students to buy into their education by assigning them pre-work before class so that she could eliminate lectures and focus on helping students think critically. “Videos and written text last forever…” Deer said of her unusual methods. “Using those two tools, among many others, means I never have to repeat myself, but the students can hear it over and over again.”

To Deer, Academic Innovation is essential to meet students’ evolving learning needs and preferences. Never compromising solid pedagogy for student preference, Deer is always seeking to find the perfect union between the two to create an even more ideal learning exchange.

“Academic Innovation is often about breaking something that works, so when you put it back together, it’s even better.”