Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

Dabas to be Honored on Cal Poly Pomona’s “Wall of COOL”

Published Date: Jan 17, 2018 1:45:00 PM

Associate Professor Chitra Dabas

An apparel merchandising and management professor has earned recognition for her efforts to utilize technology to enhance her students’ learning experience.

Associate Professor Chitra Dabas was selected to be honored on Cal Poly Pomona’s “Wall of COOL,” a competitive award that the university’s eLearning office gives to courses that effectively use technology to aid students’ learning and success. “COOL” stands for “Celebrating Outstanding Opportunities for Learning.”

Dabas credited instructional technology staff for assisting with the active-learning, flipped-classroom approach to her students, where they are introduced to course content at home and practice learning it during class.

“Pre-recorded material along with online assignments and discussions support the flipped classroom approach that I use in this course,” she said. “Students engage in active learning in class sessions via case studies, group activities and discussions.”

Dabas teaches an advanced retail buying class, AMM 350. In the class, students learn about apparel buying processes, strategic positioning, assortment and seasonal plans, and purchase order management for multiple apparel retail tiers.

The students must develop strong analytical skills, using computers, and making oral and written presentations. Among the technological applications they use are Adobe Connect, video editing program Camtasia, and the presentation and interactive whiteboard app Explain Everything.

The Wall of COOL review committee, which was composed of faculty, students, and eLearning personnel, praised Dabas for making sure that her course was accessible for students with disabilities.

It also cited her use of the Quality Matters framework to ensure that the course objectives, activities, and grades were aligned, to engage students constantly, and emphasize organization and ease of navigation. 

“I should also mention that all of our student reviewers had Chitra’s course as a highly-rated choice, even saying they wished they could take the class, because of its sheer supportiveness of student success,” said Victoria Bhavsar, director of Cal Poly Pomona’s Faculty Center for Professional Development and the eLearning Team.

Dabas and other faculty who were selected for the 2018 Wall of COOL honor will make presentations at the university’s joint CSU Symposium/Polyteach event, April 13 and 14.

“I am thankful to the faculty center team for providing resources and support that have guided my growth as a teacher,” she said.

Dabas is the third instructor from the Huntley College of Agriculture to earn the Wall of COOL honor.

Lecturer Amanda Marsh (’08, ag biology; ’16, M.S., agricultural science) was honored last year for her work with Plant Science 300, an upper division general education course on insects and civilization.

Ron Heimler, an apparel merchandising and management lecturer, was recognized in 2012 for his work on two different courses.