A Word From Jack

In my 56 years as an educator, many things in the classroom have changed dramatically, however, my goal to promote student engagement and student learning has remained steadfast.

Jack NarayanThis, in part, is what led me to my latest role here at WebAssign as Chief Academic Officer. It is in this role that I now have the ability to further my goal of promoting student engagement and learning. This fall I will begin a series of blog posts that will explore new theories and strategies to promote student learning and increase student engagement. The blog will also feature interviews with faculty and students, book reviews, highlights from academic conferences, and trending topics in the teaching community.

For example, one of the issues I will explore here is the lack of preparation for college. Many students graduate high school, without having learned how to study or how to learn new concepts. Many lack problem-solving skills as well as the basic procedural knowledge of learning. This presents significant challenges for instructors. We need to help students understand that learning is hard and that it only becomes fun after they experience some success. I will interview instructors who have tackled this issue in their classrooms and find out what advice they have for their peers.

The blog will also share case studies exploring the use of new tools in the classroom. For example, WebAssign’s newest tool for instructors, Class Insights, was developed to help instructors pinpoint specific challenges students are experiencing. By analyzing student performance data, instructors can provide support in a targeted manner. The companion tool for students, My Class Insights, lets students easily review their progress and seek help where they are struggling. Enabling instructors and students to access real-time feedback on performance can have an immediate and positive impact on learning and outcomes. I plan to reach out to a number of instructors after the fall semester and report their feedback on these exciting new tools.

I would also like to encourage you to connect with me around the topics of student engagement and student learning. Please feel free to email me with questions and comments, or to share your best practices, at jnarayan@webassign.net.

Here’s to the start of a successful 2015-2016 academic year!

WebAssign Welcomes Jack Narayan, Ph.D., as Chief Academic Officer

Jack NarayanWebAssign recently appointed Jack Y. Narayan, Ph.D. as Chief Academic Officer for WebAssign. In joining WebAssign’s executive team, Dr. Narayan will represent the academic community regarding such topics as trends in education technology and evolving teaching models. The CAO role aligns with WebAssign’s deep connection with its faculty customers and company mission to provide high-quality online instructional solutions that enrich the teaching and learning experience.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Narayan to WebAssign,” said Alex Bloom, WebAssign president. “For many years, Jack has successfully integrated technology and hybrid instruction models in his courses. His studied and practical use of online tools and multimedia to improve education make him an ideal addition to the WebAssign team.”

“Instructional strategies that integrate a variety of technology tools, such as WebAssign, are effective in improving students’ chances of success,” said Narayan. “I am delighted to join the WebAssign team and help WebAssign continue to deliver advanced and relevant product features and services to the academic community.”

Dr. Narayan is a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Mathematics at SUNY Oswego, which he joined in 1970. From 2000 to 2004, as Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at SUNY Oswego, Dr. Narayan obtained a number of significant national and state grants for Mathematics Reform to enhance student learning. For more than 20 years, he has implemented emerging technologies, including WebAssign, and cognitive science developments in large classes of Finite Mathematics and Applied Calculus. Additionally, he is involved in various programs to increase student participation from underrepresented groups in mathematics and science. Dr. Narayan holds a B.S. Honors in Mathematics from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Lehigh University.

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Narayan to our team!