My Teaching

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My professional teaching experience relates to digital media, technology, public administration, and Web development. This experience comes from working at the University of Missouri as a Teaching Assistant and later as an Instructor. The courses I have taught each used learning management systems like Blackboard and Sakai. Drawing on these experiences, I am always mindful of the pitfalls associated with online teaching. As such, my teaching-style is pragmatic and technologically critical. I try to integrate asynchronous activities into my classes wherever possible. Despite its potential benefits, online education is time-consuming and sometimes ineffective.

Courses

As a graduate Teaching Assistant, I aided in course instruction for four elective library and information science courses. Later, as a course Instructor, I worked in the Digital Media Zone, which is a support environment for digital media and Web development courses in the College of Education. My responsibilities included managing all aspects of course instruction. I also helped to revise two of these courses. A list of these courses may be found in my curriculum vitae.

Philosophy

Although my competencies relate to information technology, my teaching philosophy is based on an older, more traditional style. This approach is rooted in the liberal arts. By fostering student-teacher interaction, and the study of interdisciplinary subject matter, my goal is to do more than help students find a job. Instead, I hope to prepare students for a life in the information society where they can contribute to the common good in ways of their own choosing. Although I believe that technical skills are valuable, I am also mindful that a single-minded emphasis on them by educators can discourage independent thinking and lead to negative social consequences.

Over the past thirty years higher education has changed. Gone are the days of generous state support and abundant tenure-track jobs. Globalization, automation, and the rise of the service sector of the economy have left middle class wages stagnant. In response, more people are now earning college degrees. Many of these degrees are in science, engineering, technology, and medicine; however, efforts to teach the liberal arts are frequently criticized as obsolete or incongruous with economic growth. I deny all of these arguments. Instead, I see the liberal arts as comparable with contemporary and emerging scientific disciplines. My teaching aim, therefore, is to bridge gaps between these professions and the skills responsible for sustaining public life. Without capable and dynamic citizens, I believe that a democratic society cannot endure.

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