Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning

Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning

The Power of Blended Classrooms with Denise Cruz

December 02, 2021

In 2020, Denise Cruz, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia, worked with the CTL through a Provost’s Innovative Course Design Grant to transform her large lecture course in Asian American Literature into a blended format. Today, we speak with Denise about the profound impact the new course format has had on student engagement, motivation, and collaboration in her class, and the dead ideas in teaching that she confronted as she designed and taught it. Spoiler alert: the redesign was so successful that Dr. Cruz was awarded both the Presidential Teaching Award and Mark Van Doren Teaching Award. Transcript available at


Denise Cruz presents her course redesign project at Columbia’s 2021 Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium: