Interview: Terri Bourdon, Senior Instructor at the Virginia Tech Math Emporium

This interview is about Virginia Tech's innovative mathematics education structure, the Math Emporium, a gigantic computer lab in an off-campus mall that provides a workplace and test site for undergraduate online courses. Since no one website is especially informative about what exactly the ME is/does, many of my questions are more general, though I'm especially interested in responses to the ME both from students and other educators. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Dear Ms. Bourdon,

My name is Eric Garneau, and I'm a reporter at Learn.org, the world's largest education and career help desk.

We have a daily blog, the Education Innovation Guide, that promotes unique and interesting technological developments in the worlds of education and literacy. We read about Virginia Tech's Math Emporium and are really impressed with its innovative use of technology to deliver student-driven instruction. If you have the time, we'd love to interview you about the Emporium for one of our posts.

I've attached a short set of questions that can easily be answered by email in your free time. If you would prefer to conduct the interview by phone, please let me know and we can schedule a Skype call.

It would be great if you could return the questions along with a photo of yourself by August 26, 2011. However, this is a flexible deadline - if you can't make it, please just let me know.

A little more about us: Learn.org is a free information source and career helpdesk. We reach over 30,000 daily visitors and have answered over 22,000 questions related to career and education. We're also advancing education innovation by funding technology projects, including over $25,000 in donations in 2010. These are some of our recent interviews:

Dr. Veronique Izard, on whether mathematics concepts are learned or innate

• Monterey Institute of International Studies graduate student Nelle Sacknoff, who travels the world to see how technological innovation is employed in various countries

• University of Washington psychology grad student Teri Kirby, on improving the free information source Wikipedia

We think our readers would really enjoy reading about Virginia Tech's unique program.

Thank you for your time,

Eric Garneau

Learn.org

1. Can you tell us a bit about your personal and professional background? How did you become involved with the Math Emporium?

2. When did the Math Emporium get its start, and what inspired it?

3. What do you feel are some of the benefits that come from using a structure like the Math Emporium?

4. Are there any unique challenges that arise from the Emporium being situated in an off-campus mall? Or, on the other hand, are there some unexpected benefits?

5. What classes are taught at the Emporium?

6. How do students respond to having classes off-campus and taught solely on computers? Do you think more are excited by the chance to direct their own learning, or do any end up feeling slightly disconnected by the whole experience?

7. How do Virginia Tech's faculty feel about the Emporium? There've been signs of long-term success in students who take advantage of it; is this anything you're looking to expand into perhaps other courses or disciplines? Or is the model even repeatable?

8. Is there anything further you'd like to tell our readers about the Math Emporium, math education at Virginia Tech or anything else?

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »