Since joining the University of Memphis faculty in Fall 2005, I have taught 6 different Instructional Design and Technology graduate courses. Of those 3 were brand new courses for which I developed the course curriculum and resources. In the past two years I have significantly revised 4 of the courses as requirements in our graduate program have changed and research and technology have evolved. A frequent addition to my teaching responsibilities is the supervision of students in practicum and research. I am currently the advisor of four master’s and nine doctoral students and serve on a total of sixteen doctoral committees.
Philosophy of Teaching
As a teacher educator, my philosophy of teaching is learning-centered and is comprised of several components. I believe that students should be actively involved during the learning process and that learning should be both challenging and enjoyable. Learning should be interdisciplinary providing students the opportunity to learn from each other. I also believe that teachers tend to teach the way that they were taught making modeling of great importance. Learners should find personal relevance to, as well as be able to make connections between what is being learned and their classroom instruction. I believe in multiple representations of knowledge and understanding, and I am committed to acknowledging students’ varying ability levels and strengths.
As presented in the diagram, my primary interest is to help teachers more effectively integrate technology with the processes of teaching and learning. Teacher education provides me an avenue to work with educators at all developmental levels from early preservice to seasoned expert.
Quality of Instruction
As a learner-centered professional my responsibilities at the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis have provided me with opportunities to teach graduate and undergraduate methods courses and educational technology classes as well as opportunities to mentor student teachers. These experiences have helped me better tailor my instruction, resources and activities to meet the developmental needs of the teachers and future teachers with whom I work. I think these hallmarks of my teaching are evidenced in my student evaluations and informal feedback. At the University of Memphis the results from SIRS and SETE evaluations have revealed I often meet or exceed all program, college and university norms. The University of Mississippi teaching evaluations and administrative feedback all demonstrate above average to outstanding ratings. Students’ informal feedback in email messages, cards, notes, etc. also demonstrates that my courses, teaching and mentoring have had substantial positive impact on them.
Creative and Innovative Teaching Practices
ICL 7051/8051: It’s All Fun & Games until…Games, Simulations and Microworlds in Education
This seminar was the result of a University of Memphis TAF Research Grant that Dr. Michael Grant and I were awarded. Students surveyed the latest research in the rapidly growing area of educational gaming and played/used many of the “hottest games out there.” Moodle, an open source course management system (a free alternative to WebCT) was used in this web-enhanced course. My primary teaching responsibility was related to the effective integration of non-educational games in educational settings and the students’ development of an instructional unit.
IDT 7052/8052: Instructional Technology and the Learner
In Fall 2006, in keeping with my belief regarding multiple representations of knowledge, I began providing students the option to use blogs, wikis, electronic journals and podcasting to reflect on their learning instead of requiring them to always reflect in written narrative or via the online discussion boards. I also added the option for students to use emerging technologies like Podcasting and digital video to present their Instructional Technology Leader Presentations.
IDT 7061/8061: Computers, Technology, Learning and the Classroom
IDT 7064/8064: School Change and the Internet
In Summer 2007 I began making use of online video to enhance instruction. For example, videos demonstrating a teacher effectively integrating spreadsheets with teaching and learning help students further develop their ideas for implementing this technology in their own classrooms.
IDT 7060/8060: Technology Tools to Support Learning
I developed and implemented this web-enhanced course and it was added to the program in Fall 2006. In Fall 2007, after teaching it for two semesters and reflecting on student feedback, I significantly revised the course aligning the content with the ADDIE instructional design framework on which students can scaffold learning and experiences in this and future IDT courses. At that time an exit interview was also implemented as the course’s culminating activity.
IDT 7078/8078: Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0
I spent 13 months developing this new seminar and first taught it in Summer 2008. Students survey the Web 2.0 technologies and services most commonly used in K-12 settings and begin developing and interacting with their own professional learning network. In this seminar students develop learning goals centered around their individual professional development needs and interests through the use of individual learning contracts. In addition to traditional face-to-face class meetings some sessions are facilitated through the use of video conferencing and live streaming video, in online meeting applications such as FlashMeeting, and through asynchronous technologies such as wikis, digital video and audio, group blogs and microblogs.
This course was taught in Summers 2008 and 2009. In both instances students collaborated using wiki technology to co-author the Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0: Tutorials and Resources for Teachers eBook, which can be viewed at here. This work has been well received and was jointly nominated with the rest of my wiki for a 2008 International Edublog Award for Best Educational Wiki. It was exciting for the students to see that their efforts and contributions to the educational community were valued.