Matthew McCarter, associate professor of management in the UTSA College of Business, was named the recipient of the Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award during the UTSA University Excellence Awards.
Established to honor former UTSA College of Engineering professor Richard Howe, the award recognizes faculty for sustained excellence in developing signature learning experiences for undergraduates beyond the traditional classroom environment.
“I feel privileged to receive the Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award,” said McCarter. “Dr. Howe’s research on solving complex organizational problems suggests that a hands-on approach to learning is effective in helping students use theory to solve real problems.
“My use of simulation-based learning gives students hands-on experience at managing organizational behavior. I hope I can continue to be an effective teacher and create new simulations to help undergraduate students become better leaders.”
Since joining the College of Business in 2013, McCarter has become a student favorite because of his innovative teaching style and classroom exercises. Popular exercises have included the Group Paper Clip Project which allows students to experience the functions of management and negotiation. Students are given a paper clip and must make a series of trades that result in a final item of considerable more value. The final item is then donated to charity.
“Through this exercise the students take the skills they learn in class and put them into practice in the real world to provide a real organization with something of value,” he said.
In another project called the Rainmaker, undergraduate teams identify a policy at school, work or within an organization that would be beneficial if changed. Then, they must identify the issues related to this policy and meet with the key decision maker to persuade them to make the change. The students are not graded on whether they get the policy changed, but on the process they used to plan, organize and execute the plan.
“Simulation-based learning is where students experience a case through roleplaying,” said McCarter. “They enjoy these activities because if their plan works they can celebrate their achievement, but if their plan does not pan out as they had hoped, they can learn from their mistakes with low costs and try again.”
In recognition of his interactive style of learning, McCarter was inducted into UTSA’s Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars and received the UT System Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016.
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