education should be transparent; that students should hear and understand why a teacher does what she does, including structuring a course, specific assignments, and grading.
communication is a social activity between human beings, and as such, classrooms focused on communication should be collaborative in nature.
teachers should be approachable and available to their students as often as they possibly can be.
teachers should strive to accommodate different types of learners by mixing teaching styles, including lectures, videos, activities, and workshops.
students should not only learn things, but processes and strategies for doing things, as well as ways to adapt those processes and strategies for different contexts.
students should learn to think like users; that far too many students learn to communicate from their own perspective, but far too few truly learn how to understand what users will do with their documents.
students learn better when they can make connections between what they are learning and their personal and professional lives.
students should extend their work beyond the classroom to campus organizations, local communities, professional contexts, and Internet communities.
students should leave my classes with practical skills—including technological skills, design skills, research skills, and identity management skills—that they can implement in the workplace.
reflection should be an important part of any course, as it makes tacit knowledge explicit, reinforces learning, and allows students to examine and broaden their understanding and assumptions.
online courses should be customizable to students’ needs; that students take online courses for flexibility, and rigid course designs don’t service this unique population.
online teachers should strive to bridge the online gap by creating personal connections, both between themselves and their students and between individual students.
From synchronous webinars to screencast tutorials to webcam capture mini-lessons, videos play an important role in my online teaching. I believe that students in online courses should not be forced into text-based learning by the affordances of Blackboard and other online platforms.
The video below is intended to welcome students of TWC 421: Principles of Writing with Technology to the course. I introduce myself to students, walk them through the course structure, show them the various parts of the Blackboard site, and let them know what is coming up in the first week of class. I record a welcome video like this one for every online class I teach in order to put a face and voice to the interactions students will have with me.
I created the video below for TWC 411: Principles of Visual Communication. I found that students in the class are indebted to textual literacies and are often confused or overwhelmed by the prospect of sketching document designs. The video is intended to allay those fears and explain both the value of sketching and—along with this video—the process students in the class will follow for sketching, giving feedback, receiving feedback, and revising.
Gallery of Student Websites
Click the image below to browse websites my students have created for my classes.