Director of Instructional Technology - Office of Medical Education
Associate Professor
Preventive Medicine

MEMPHIS TN 381632275
Tel: (901) 448-5538


  • Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, Instructional Systems Technology, (Minor: Higher Education/Philanthropy)
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin, Madison, Curriculum and Instruction
  • B.A., Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, Drama and Speech

Research keywords

Team Based Learning
Active Learning
Interprofessional Education
Asynchronous Learning
Online discussions
Service Learning
Audience Response Systems
Online Mentoring
Virtual Environments
Case Studies in learning
American Indian technology use

Research keywords

Team Based Learning TBL Active Learning Interprofessional Education Asynchronous Learning Online discussions Service Learning Audience Response Systems Online Mentoring Virtual Environments eTesting Case Studies in learning American Indian technology use

Area of teaching/subject

I like to teach, but I care about learning. Ask any of my students and they will tell you it is one of my constant refrains.  This begs the question of how do I think instructors support learning. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.

Diverse courses call for diverse learning theories to help the students learn the material.  Some course material is best delivered using behaviorist methods, while some is best delivered using cognitive science methods. Some course material is best delivered by constructivist methods, and some courses require the use of a combination of the above. As instructors we need to move past the doctrinaire pedagogical/androgogical arguments of the last century and realize that context is important and requires diverse teaching methods.

All instruction, regardless of the theoretical underpinnings, should be student centered and lead to life long learning. This requires that as instructors we need to take the role of guide from time to time. There is theoretical and research support for the concepts, methods, and skills necessary to be a successful instructional designer, media specialist, or educational technology leader. Allowing for student interaction with content materials is one of the major challenges of instruction. It is my responsibility as a teacher to prepare students to use the theories and research in their chosen field. I must guide students to be intellectually curious, able to identify challenges and issues and devise strategies to address them. It is also important that I help them develop some idea of how they want their professional careers to develop. 

In order for learners to interact with and learn the material it is necessary for them to be active participants in the classroom. I believe as a teacher it is necessary to devise strategies for students to actively build on prior knowledge and see how new material can support or bring into question that knowledge. Often this process is facilitated by interaction with other students. I frequently use small groups for students to work out issues and to access each othersí ideas and work. I refer to these groups as professional team experiences because educational technology students are going into a workplace where working in teams is required. I need to help them develop the ability to work in teams, especially with other team members that have diverse views other than their own. Having students working in teams means that, as the instructor, I must give up some of my power to the students. The willingness to let student-to-student interaction serve as the method of content delivery is important in educational technology because all our students will be going into careers where they will be instructors, and each of these team sessions serves as a practice opportunity for them.

Instructors need to consider that learning styles differ among students. We should foster learning through varying our students' tasks, to address and allow for practice in diverse learning styles. To improve learning, instructors should develop activities that are meaningful and that use language that is appropriate for the students; and instructors need to provide feedback in a significant and timely manner. One of my major goals is to prepare students to become productive citizens. By my giving students real-world tasks which provide opportunities to practice and perform in a variety of learning settings, and by demonstrating high expectations for success, students will be able to transfer that learning to the workplace.

Class room discussion is an important element of studentsí interaction with content, each other, and the professor. Much of my research has had a direct effect on the use of discussion in my classes. In order to facilitate these discussions I work hard to frame the task clearly, provide training so students can play roles that put them in various mindsets, create an environment that either is actually a real-world experience or is as close to such as possible, and finally, to have the students produce some product from the discussion.

I believe that as faculty members we have a responsibility to students that goes beyond the classroom and make every effort to be available to meet with students and address their individual needs. Motivating students to participate in classroom activities has been one of my major teaching efforts. Students are unlikely to benefit much by just sitting through a lecture each class period.  I design activities that compel them to interact with the content and each other.

I have worked with other faculty to improve my teaching, develop collegiality, and collaboration. This has included discussions with teaching award-winning faculty, observation of their classroom techniques, and having them observe and evaluate my classroom performance. The number of presentations and published articles that are collaborative efforts reflect my commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration with students and faculty.


  1. Brescia, W., Kenaga, H. & Shreve, R.. Negatively Worded Questions (NWQ) in M2 Examinations: Correlations with Overall Test Performance..
  2. Brescia, W., Kenaga, H. & Shreve, R., Geller, A., Park, V., & Norwood, K.. Providing Feedback on Student Learning in Large Classes..
  3. Cesari, W., Brescia, W., Cheema, A., Coffman, C., Creek, A., Torris, C., Mencio, M., Clayton, S., Weaver, C., Weaver, J.. Medical Spanish. MedEdPORTAL.
  4. Honebein, P., Chen, P. & Brescia, W.. HyperMedia and sociology: A simulation for developing research skills. Liberal Arts Computing, 1, 9-15.
  5. L. Sprabery, W. Brescia. Diabetes Mellitus: Diagnosis, Prevention and Goals of Therapy. MedEdPORTAL, 2011.
  6. W. Brescia, S. Van Voorst. Tying the Surgical Square Knot. MedEdPORTAL, 2010.
  7. C. Russell, R. Shreve, P. Hofmann, M. Scarbecz, C. Scheid, W. Brescia, C. Schwab, M. Robinson. Assessing Teaching Activities on an Academic Health Science Center Campus.. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 3 (3), 2010.
  8. R. Rosenthal, W. Brescia, C. McDonald, S. Vuthipadadon. Choice of Four Primary Clinical Placements in a One-Month Clerkship: Who Performs Best on the Shelf Exam, and What Does it Mean?. Academic Psychiatry, 6 (34), 454-455, 2010.
  9. W. Brescia, C. Mullins, M. Miller. Project-based Service-Learning in an Instructional Technology Graduate Program.. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning., 2 (3), 2009.
  10. Brescia, W.. Online learning and teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 1 (39), 181, 2008.
  11. Brescia, W., & Miller, M.. Technology in higher education graduate programs: Toward utility and opportunity. In D. Wright and M. Miller (eds.). Training Higher Education Policy Makers and Leaders, A Graduate Program Perspective, 177-187, 2007.
  12. Brescia, W., & Daily, T.. Economic development and technology-skill needs on American Indian reservations. American Indian Quarterly, 1 (31), 23-43, 2007.
  13. Brescia, W., & Daily, T.. Economic development and technology-skill needs on American Indian reservations. American Indian Quarterly, 1 (31), 423-434, 2007.
  14. Brescia, W.. What successful mentors do: Research based strategies for new teacher induction, training, and support. Mentoring and Tutoring, 1 (15), 119-122, 2007.
  15. Brescia, W.. Web-based teaching and English language teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 5 (37), 807-808, 2006.
  16. Brescia, W., & Swartz, K.. Global perspectives on e-learning: Rhetoric and reality. Educational Technology Research and Development, 2 (54), 2006.
  17. Mullins, C., & Brescia, W.. Project based service learning articles. Ohio Digital Commons for Education (ODCE) 2006 Conference, 2006.
  18. Brescia, W., & Murphy, C.. The role of educational technology professionals as perceived by building administrators. Proceeding of the Society for information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference, 2006.
  19. Brescia, W., & Cline, T.. Online calculator training in mathematics and technology. Journal of Cases on Information Technology, 2 (8), 1-29, 2006.
  20. Johnson, C., & Brescia, W.. Connecting, making meaning and learning in the electronic classroom: reflections on facilitating learning at a distance. Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 1 (6), 2006.
  21. Brescia, W., & Miller, M.. What’s It Worth? The Perceived Benefits of Instructional Blogging. Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education 5., 2006.
  22. Brescia, W.. Media literacy: Transforming curriculum and teaching Schwartz, Gretchen Brown, Pamela U. British Journal of Educational Technology, 3 (37), 496, 2006.
  23. Brescia, W.. Mentoring the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders. Journal of Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 4 (17), 2006.
  24. Brescia, W.. Strategies for improving discussion in virtual communities. Encyclopedia Of Virtual Communities, 2005.
  25. Poda, I., & Brescia, W.. Training to improve electronic information literacy in higher education in Sub Saharan Africa. Encyclopedia of Developing Regional Communities with Information and Communication Technology, 2005.
  26. Poda, I. & Brescia, W.. Burkina Faso, West Africa: A case study of internet development and usage in higher education in emerging countries. Community Technology Review, 2005.
  27. Brescia, W., Shadden, B. & Johnson, A.. Computer use among adults aged eighty years and above. Connections for An Ageless Society (1), 12-14, 2005.
  28. Brescia, W.. Orientation of American Indian students to workforce technology needs. Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 1 (13), 62-68, 2005.
  29. Brescia, W., & Miller, M.. Enhancing graduate student performance as threaded discussion leaders in a web-based proposal writing course. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 4 (6), 385-396, 2005.
  30. Brescia, W.. Using mentoring to improve online discussions. [Electronic version]. The Mentoring Connection, 1 (1), 2005.
  31. Brescia, W.. Developing a telementoring taxonomy to improve online discussions. Mentoring Through Technology: Challenges and Possibilities, 2005.
  32. Brescia, W.. Coaching skills a handbook. British Journal of Educational Technology, 6 (36), 1090-1091, 2005.
  33. Brescia, W., Jackson, J., Tarvin, T., & Ott, C.. Designing and developing web-based continuing legal education. Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 2/3 (23), 171-192, 2004.
  34. Brescia, W.. The creation of the center on philanthropy as an example of planned change: A case study using the CLER model. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 3 (14), 343-357, 2004.
  35. Brescia, W.. Teachers and teaching technology at the University of Arkansas: How I use WebCT in My Classes. Relative to Teaching newsletter of the Teaching Faculty Support Center, 2004.
  36. Wagner, R., Gorman, D.R., Bonacci, J.B., Brescia, W., Brown, B., & Hunt, S.. Psychomotor performance and learning style effects of a computer-based interactive multimedia program. Journal of Athletic Training, 2 (39), S-105, 2004.
  37. Brescia, W., Miller, M. T., Poda I., & Murry, J.. Orientation practices for effective distributed learning coursework: Students speak their minds. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 3 (7), 2004.
  38. Brescia, W., Swartz, J, Pearman, C., Williams, D., & Balkin, R.. Peer teaching in web based threaded discussions. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 2 (3), 2004.
  39. Poda I., P., Brescia, W., Murry, J., & Miller, M.. Orientation issues for distributed learning programs in graduate education. Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 1 (12), 38-45, 2004.
  40. Brescia, W.. Grantwriting in instructional technology. ARNOVA Teaching Section Newsletter, 1 (1), 2004.
  41. Johnson, A., Brescia, W., & Shadden, B.. Seniors and computer use: What do we know?. Perspectives on Gerontology, 2 (9), 4-9, 2004.
  42. Brescia, W., & McAuley, S.. Student perceptions of learning in a web-based tutorial. Journal of Educational Research & Policy Studies, 2 (3), 45-66, 2003.
  43. Brescia, W.. A support taxonomy for improving online discussions. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 4 (9), 289-298, 2003.
  44. Brescia, W., Duffy, T., & Schaumburg, H.. Distributed learning environments: promoting student interaction. Enhancements: How using Technology Changes What Faculty Do, 1998.
  45. Canton, M., James, D. & Brescia, W. (ed.). RCMS: Mentoring guide for community colleges. Division of Human Resource Development of the National Science Foundation, 1995.
  46. Brescia, W.. Mentoring resources on your computer. Mentoring Connection, 1995.
  47. Brescia, W., Carr A., Chen P, Garfinkle R.. LockerMedia: A constructivist approach to personal meaning-making in a U. S. history course. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Technology and Education, 3, 129-131, 1992.
  48. Brescia, W.. Strategic plans for securing necessary resources for high quality education for American Indian/Alaska Native student. Indian Nations at Risk, 1991.
  49. Brescia, W.. Philanthropy and the American Indian. Native Americans in Philanthropy, 1990.
  50. Fortune, J. & Brescia, W.. Standardized testing of American Indian students. College Student Journal (23), 2, 1989.
  51. Brescia, W.. Daybreak Star: The Herb of Understanding, an article on the history of the publication. Native Press Research Journal, Seattle (4), 15-18, 1987.
  52. Brescia, W.. Choctaw oral traditions relating to their origin. The Choctaw Before Removal, 1985.
  53. S.M. Lee, W. Brescia, D. Kissinger. Computer Use and Academic Development in Secondary Schools.. Computers in the Schools, 3 (26), 224-235, 0209.