William Turkel recognized for excellence in teachingApril 20, 2021
With notes from Keri Ferguson, Western News; photo by Paul Mayne
Congratulations to William Turkel, Professor in the Department of History, who was among the 2021 recipients of the Western Awards of Excellence in Teaching.
Turkel received the Western Award for Innovations in Technology-Enhanced Teaching. This award recognizes and rewards the contributions of faculty members who have significantly improved the experience and outcomes of their students through the intentional incorporation of technology into their teaching practice.
Turkel is a pioneer in the field of digital history and a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. A unifying thread across Turkel’s teaching and research is his use of technology to explore the past.
His methods offer students hands-on opportunities to experiment and gain confidence with digital technologies. In courses ranging from Digital Research Methods to Spy versus Spy, Turkel’s students learn how to “scrape” images, reproduce artifacts from digital scans, and use code and interactive mapping software. Applying this knowledge not only transforms how students think about conducting historical research, but also gifts them with enduring skillsets and digital literacies.
Turkel’s impact on teaching and learning extends far beyond Western. His open-source, open-access textbook, Digital Research Methods with Mathematica allows scholars and students to learn about the innovative techniques Turkel uses in the classroom. This open-source approach reflects his generosity and desire to empower others through his teaching.