Terri Nelson, Ph.D.

California State University, San Bernardino

Terri Nelson, Ph.D.

Terri Nelson, Ph.D., professor in the World Languages and Literatures Department at Cal State San Bernardino, is recognized for her innovative approach to curricular and faculty development.

Nelson is a nationally recognized practitioner of the Reacting to the Past (RTTP) pedagogy, which immerses students in role-playing debates to increase their awareness and appreciation of art, philosophy, diversity and significant historical events. By using RTTP, she has successfully redesigned courses on the French Revolution, French Impressionistic art, ancient Athenian democracy and the Mexican Revolution, among others. These capstone courses achieved higher numbers of successful outcomes, compared to the historical average, with over three-fourths of the students reporting spending more time engaging in RTTP courses than in any other course.

To further students' understanding of a complex French time period, Nelson also created an online game, “Paris Occupé," which encourages students to express more nuanced emotional, moral and philosophical stances in French. The project was selected as Editor's Choice in Digital Humanities Now in April 2016.

Nelson has provided leadership in faculty development at the campus, system and national levels. As the associate director of CSUSB's Teaching Resource Center, she designed and led 15 faculty workshops and year-long programs on pedagogical innovation, with a focus on the design of online courses. She also led faculty learning communities to promote online teaching tools, such as PlayPosit and Slack. Nelson has delivered over 100 presentations on various teaching-related topics at local, regional, national and international conferences.

“Dr. Nelson is an outstanding professional development leader, a highly effective and innovative teacher with demonstrable impact on student success and lifelong learning, and a pathbreaker in pedagogical exploration of technology-enhanced learning," says Mihaela Popescu, Ph.D., professor of communication studies at CSUSB.