Utilizing Technology for Critical Thinking

Dr. Larry C. Holland has practiced his student-centered approach to the teaching process in his finance classes in the College of Business by strongly embracing new techniques made possible by technology.

Each spring, he provides leadership to three students participating in the collegeā€™s independent study with Delta Trust & Bank. During this class, the students study the investment style of Berkshire Hathaway Chair Warren Buffett. This study is capped off with a trip to the companyā€™s annual meeting in Omaha. Former students call it the most eye-opening experience of their undergraduate years.

As Holland finds new technology solutions to enhance classroom learning, he shares his discoveries with fellow faculty through UALRā€™s Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence.

His clever use of a tablet PC in a face-to-face class as a wireless ā€œvirtualā€ whiteboard allows him to carry the tablet to students in the classroom and let them work a problem at their desk while the work is projected on the screen for the entire class to see. His idea to make it possible for students to participate in a face-to-face class by logging into Blackboard is melding the convenience of online education to the benefits of real-time interaction.

ā€œDr. Holland is absolutely one of the best professors that I have ever had in class,ā€ said Darryl Harpool, director of training and development at Acxiom Corp., who earned an executive MBA degree at UALR. ā€œHe demonstrates and requires more than just a mastery of information but critical thinking skills.

He is not just looking for the ā€˜correctā€™ answer but the methodology and logic behind the answer and conclusions.ā€

Holland came to UALR 16 years ago. He earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1968, an MBA from the University of Tulsa in 1975, and a Ph.D. in finance from Oklahoma State University in 1995.

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