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Dr. Pradeep Karla
November 2012


Winner of CETLA's 2012 Teaching with Technology Award, Dr. Pradeep Karla joined Howard's faculty in 2009 as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy. As a pharmacy professor, Dr. Karla does everything: He is a lecturer, Ph.D. mentor, class advisor, journal editor, editorial board member, and principal investigator. He even won the prestigious New Investigator's Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. At the same time, he teaches a full load of courses such as Pharmacokinetics, Pharmaceutical Sciences Lab, Pharmaceutics, and Pharmaceutical Calculations. Yet, despite his workload, he has found time to experiment with new technologies to improve teaching and learning, technologies such as Classroom Presenter, which he featured in his winning application for the Teaching with Technology Award.

Judges from the University’s Teaching, Learning & Technology (TLT) Committee voted for Dr. Karla because his implementation of Classroom Presenter improved faculty-student communication, delivery of the subject matter, student engagement, and active learning. Classroom Presenter, developed at the University of Washington, is a free web-based tool that enables students as well as the professor to write comments, questions, equations, and figures on a professor’s KarlaPowerPoint slides during a lecture (see the figure below). As a result, Classroom Presenter allows students to interact with faculty and classmates during a lecture in “real time.”

With a Howard University Excellence in Teaching Grant and support from the School of Pharmacy’s Center of Excellence, Dr. Karla tested the Classroom Presenter technology during Academic Year 2011-12. He divided each class into 4-5 groups and provided each group with a tablet PC loaded with the lecture slides. Then he opened his PowerPoint lecture in Classroom Presenter on his own PC and connected his PC with the groups’ tablets via Classroom Presenter (see the figure below). At this point, he asked students to write equations, solve problems, present images, or send text messages reflecting their understanding of the lecture. He also encouraged students to suggest additions to the lecture material.

When Dr. Karla conducted anonymous evaluations, the majority of the students in all four classes reported that Classroom Presenter increased their engagement and facilitated problem-solving and case study analysis. Moreover, in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Calculations, the majority of students said that Classroom Presenter increased their understanding of the lecture and helped them more clearly pose Karlaquestions and express their views. Across all four classes, 90% of the students agreed that Classroom Presenter had improved their learning experience (click here for details).

Clearly, the feedback channels provided by Classroom Presenter created a dynamic learning environment, something Dr. Karla has sought to create since he arrived at Howard. No wonder class after class has honored Dr. Karla for his teaching excellence: During his brief tenure at Howard, he has earned an Appreciation Award from the Pharm D Class of 2012, another Appreciation Award from the Pharm D Class of 2013, a Professor the Year Award from Pharm D Class 2014, and an Appreciation Award from the Pharm D Class of 2015. His Teaching with Technology Award was long overdue.



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