Deogun completes FIRST Advanced Program

Feb 01, 2024      By Victoria Grdina

Jitender Deogun
Jitender Deogun

School of Computing Professor Jitender Deogun recently completed the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Faculty-Led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST) Advanced Program.

The FIRST program, formerly known as the Peer Review of Teaching Project, is a professional development program that provides a model for how faculty can document and assess their teaching and students’ learning. The FIRST Advanced Program provides faculty with an opportunity to pursue their teaching from a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) approach with a close-knit community of inquisitive teaching scholars. Past participants have presented their projects at conferences, published manuscripts based on their projects, and won teaching innovation awards for their ideas.

Deogun’s SOTL project examined the effectiveness of group activities on students learning intuitive and critical thinking. Deogun’s research and survey analysis found that while many students enjoy homework and exams as group activities for learning intuitive and critical thinking, a mixture of individual and group activities is preferable, as some students may not put an equal share of efforts in the group activities. His survey findings also showed that while other STEM disciplines have created a culture of intuitive and critical thinking, the field of computer science and engineering has not, likely due to the new and developing nature of the field.

“We have a long way to go to develop a culture of intuitive or critical thinking in computer science and engineering,” Deogun said.

Program participants spend one semester attending meetings, completing assignments, submitting projects as presentations to a conference or journal, and presenting at the program poster session at the end of the semester. They also receive a $500 stipend upon successful completion of the program.

Deogun presented his research at the poster session and completed the program in December 2023.

“I have participated in the Advanced Program more than once, but recently the program has been updated, so I thought it was time to participate in it again, and it was worth it,” Deogun said. “It will help me design my lectures to emphasize intuitive and critical thinking in teaching of my classes.”

Faculty interested in participating in the FIRST Advanced Program can apply here or send questions to Eve Brank ( or Jody Koenig Kellas ( The next deadline to apply is Feb. 9.