Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight: Jesse Blocher
Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Jesse Blocher, Assistant Professor of Finance, talks about his teaching philosophy and interests:
I teach Corporate Valuation to MBA, MSF, and MAcc students at the Owen Graduate School of Business. Students come into my class motivated to learn, but often want to cut right to a “recipe”. My main challenge is to push them to understand the theoretical underpinnings of *why* they do certain things and so develop a broader (and more useful) skill set. My secondary challenge is to fit in all the topics needed to finish with a useful tool set of skills.
“I run a ‘flipped’ classroom because I believe that my in-class time is best used to clarify confusing topics and to push into more advanced areas rather than to introduce simple, beginning concepts that can be picked up through readings or online videos.”
My teaching philosophy incorporates active ‘learning by doing’ applied to real-world problems. Finance has a heavy emphasis on problem solving skills, and I believe that those skills are only developed through practice. I run a ‘flipped’ classroom because I believe that my in-class time is best used to clarify confusing topics and to push into more advanced areas rather than to introduce simple, beginning concepts that can be picked up through readings or online videos.
In class, I either have class-wide discussions based on readings/videos the students have read/watched ahead of time or we do in-class problem solving. For the discussions, I ask questions and guide the discussion and often try to generate questions. For instance, there may be two approaches that seem to be in conflict, or two different equations to compute the same value. For in class problems, I set them up to work on the problem, encourage working together, and circulate to help as needed.