My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching interests focus on networked and social learning, specifically with regards to design, implementation, usability, and evaluation of emerging technologies for teaching, learning, scholarship, and professional development. From this domain, I have delivered training modules, instruction, and research seminars on how technologies are influencing and challenging education from K-12 and higher education.  I believe that social learning and open education course design engages my learners to participate in research, writing, and projects to support effective instructional methods.

In the courses I have taught, I have prepared both undergraduate and graduate students with strategies and knowledge on how to use social media to enhance their scholarship, supported instructional designers in implementing technology-enhanced learning and enabled practitioners to examine the use and implementation of online learning in varied contexts.  In my current role as a Lecturer in the College of Information, I support both undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in the Department of Learning Technologies and Information Studies. I have contributed innovative strategies to improve the curriculum content, instructional design, and course delivery of classes each term. My experience in online, blended, and face-to-face instruction has permitted me to implement innovative approaches to for leveraging technology to advise students, offer technology-mediated learning environments, and prepare my learners with relevant experiences connected to occupational needs.

Teaching online and blended learning environments over the past 5 years, I have had the opportunity to interact and engage 3327 students in my courses. My faculty role has offered me insights on how to support virtual teaming, develop collaborative projects, and design meaningful approaches to engage undergraduate, masters, and doctoral learners. My teaching philosophy centers on technology-enhanced pedagogy that foster student–centered learning environments. These learning experiences are designed to be meaningful, engaging, and authentic.

Ultimately, my teaching philosophy advises and is informed by my research interests and agenda. Online, blended, and face-to-face learning initiatives should be supported by instructional practices that foster real-world experiences, enable us to provide opportunities for fulfillment, and allow learners personally develop. In these learning environments, I see myself as the facilitator to provide challenge and support as students explore their passions, enhance their skills and knowledge, and become self-directed learners. I introduce and encourage my students to join online learning networks not only to find the value of these groups; however, to be active participants and encourage life-long learning opportunities. As learners engage in these networks they become contributing members of these communities of practice. I have supported connected learning through an online conversation on Twitter with hashtagscommenting on student blogs, hosting peer review on Google Docs, offering constructive feedback, offering manuscript writing workshops, and supporting student learning by holding in-person and online (Skype or office hours.

As an educator, I attempt to model the value of networked learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. I demonstrate how online participation, as an open scholar, is critical and valuable in social learning networks. I strongly believe my examples of connected learning has not only enhanced my professional development, it has engaged my students to join the community of practice. For example, learners have participated in using the #EdTech hashtag on Twitter, joining the weekly #sachat for Student Affairs, or bi-weekly Academic Advising Chat (#AcAdv), and collaborate with early career scholars/doctoral students in the #PhDChat community.

To be an open and connected educator you have to be willing to share, reflect, and participate in a way that is accessible to your learners. I am a self-declared geek and a self-taught techie who has an enthusiasm for engaging others in online collaborative learning, and I reflect about my own scholarship by tweetingblogging, and presenting in social, digital spaces. I personally value being an open educator as it provides my learners and myself with common interests and learning experiences, which is reflected in my own teaching philosophy and practice.