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Howard Rosenbaum

Frederic Bachman Lieber Memorial Award -- Founders Day 2005

Associate Professor of Library and Information Science
School of Library and Information Science
Indiana University Bloomington
Appointed to IU faculty, 1993
B.A., Hamilton College, 1975
M.A., Syracuse University, 1976; M.L.S., 1986; Ph.D., 1996

Rosenbaum, Howard S.
Howard Rosenbaum
Print-Quality Photo

Howard Rosenbaum's research topics include, among others, customer relationship management and trust in e-commerce. Those topics might be considered a metaphor for his relationship with his students, who are very satisfied "customers" of his courses. For Rosenbaum, however, learning is not a product to be bestowed through lectures, but rather a set of critical thinking and problem-solving skills that students acquire through their own active engagement.

"I aspire to create learning experiences that change the way students think," he says. "If I do my job, students should be prepared to move easily into careers as information professionals, with a strong set of technical skills and a sophisticated understanding of the social and organizational contexts in which they will work."

Rosenbaum's courses often have a strong service-learning component, including a course in which students redesign Web sites for local businesses. Another advanced course that has garnered international attention is Electronic Commerce (L561), in which teams of students start up and operate an online business. The teams design online storefronts, stock them with digital goods, and compete for market share for nine weeks, selling their products to real shoppers -- from around 400 business school students in five countries -- who use fake digital money.

"This course, along with Howard's other course that I took this semester, were two of the best courses I took while in SLIS," said one student in a recent evaluation of L561. "He is a gifted teacher and made every class a wonderful learning experience," said another student.

"Each term I am impressed by the consistently positive comments from students in Howard's classes," says Debora Shaw, executive associate dean, School of Library and Information Science (SLIS). "He seems able to take any course and make it both enticingly practical and filled with theoretical understanding."

Rosenbaum's teaching materials are used internationally; the syllabus for his Electronic Commerce course is listed on at least 38 Web sites, and he has received requests to use his materials in classes at the University of Sydney, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Herzlia Interdisciplinary Center in Israel, and Athens University of Economics and Business in Greece, among others.

Recognition of his pedagogical excellence includes the prestigious MIRA Award for Technological Innovation in Education (2003), the Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology, the 2001 Trustees Teaching Award from the School of Library and Information Science, and four SLIS Teaching Excellence Recognition Awards (1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001). He was also awarded a Sun Microsystems Academic Equipment grant and an Ameritech Fellowship, both in 2000.

Dedicated to continually improving both his own teaching and helping his colleagues, Rosenbaum has been an active participant in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning program and the Pew Inquiry Circle on the IU Bloomington campus. He also serves as a mentor to his junior colleagues, who "benefit significantly from his ability to articulate and assess teaching opportunities, performance, and evaluation," says Shaw. "Indeed, some of the new faculty members are joining him in the 'don't miss this professor' category." Patricia M. Allen, adjunct instructor, concurs: "Howard's willingness to share and encourage adjuncts demonstrates his true excellence as an educator."

His work has also extended to curriculum design and redesign for several courses in SLIS's Master of Library Science program, an introductory course for the School of Informatics, and several summer courses. He also coordinated the development of curricula for the then-new Master of Information Science (MIS) degree program, and in the fall semester of 2004, was appointed MIS program director.

"His creativity, support, and commitment help to foster a campus climate that will increasingly recognize the desirability of scholarly teaching that is grounded in evidence and framed by theory," says Jennifer Meta Robinson, director of the IU Bloomington Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program.

"Dr. Rosenbaum visibly enjoys teaching and interacting with students," says Blaise Cronin, SLIS dean and Rudy Professor of Information Science. "It is clear to me and to all of my colleagues that he is an exceptional teacher."