Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy of teaching has evolved from years of teaching experience in higher education settings across a variety of courses and teaching/learning contexts (online, face-to-face, blended, overseas/study abroad, undergraduate, Masters, doctoral — list of courses taught provided below).

My views on what I value in teaching also arise from my own interests in design, creativity, and learning psychology. There are several key themes, often integrated in practice, which I believe in and aim for, including:

  • Deep/meaningful engagement with content
  • Learning by design
  • Care/concern for student experience and learning

Deep/meaningful engagement with content

Learning is most powerful, and most likely to make a lasting difference in the lives of students, when it requires students to engage with the content in meaningful ways.  This means going beyond surface level engagement, so that students not only receive content in the form of readings and direct instruction (which are valuable and a part of my teaching), but also that they do projects that push them to work with content at deeper levels, and in ways that are relevant to their lives and interests. I frequently plan activities and projects in which students work with the materials and content from the readings, discussion and lecture, and then go on to engage with these ideas to create projects that have applicability to their own professional, research, and educational interests.

Learning by design

Teaching is an act of design, and I believe that learning can be most powerful through the process of design-based activity or inquiry.  One of my goals is always to encourage creativity in students, in the hopes that as teachers themselves they will also seek opportunities and find ways to apply this in their professional work and thinking. Seeing learning as most powerful through the lens of design I look for activities that will allow students to create something (an educational artifact, teaching tool, lesson, video, podcast, or anything that will be useful in their own thinking, teaching, or interests). I feel that the process of designing something helps students internalize the knowledge they acquire along the way, and learning occurs more organically.

Caring/concern for student learning

A key attribute of my approach is a strong feeling of concern and caring for students’ learning and their experience in my courses.  I mean this not merely in the sense of empathy or feeling for the students (which is of course important), but in my primary concern that they have a positive learning experience, feel more empowered about their learning and knowledge of education, technology and similar issues, and that they leave the course having learned skills, ideas and approaches that will serve them well going forward.  Whether in online, hybrid or face-to-face teaching, I make it a point to know each student and their work.  I provide extensive personal assistance to students, both with technology skills, and with larger-scope ideas of shaping their projects and interests, and encourage them to communicate with me personally and regularly throughout the course with questions or with any academic needs.

Student Feedback

Below are examples of feedback provided by students in my courses. These are teaching evaluations from students from the recent several years in which I taught at Michigan State University, prior to coming to ASU. Forms are anonymous and sent after grades are submitted for student objectivity. A complete record of my SIRS forms are below:

Past Courses Taught

Spring 2016

Instructor; Arizona State University, Division of Educational Leadership & Innovation
Courses: TEL 791 (Systems Change & Leadership); TEL 504 (Learning & Instruction)

Fall 2015

Instructor; Arizona State University, Division of Educational Leadership & Innovation
Course: TEL 791 (Systems Change & Leadership)

Summer 2015

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Courses:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings); CEP 815 (Educational Leadership); CEP 822 (Educational Research Methods)

Spring 2015

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Courses:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings); CEP 817 (Learning by Design).

Fall 2014

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Course:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings)

Summer 2014

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Courses:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings); CEP 815 (Technology and Leadership); and CEP 822 (Approaches to Educational Leadership)

Spring 2014

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Course:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings)

Fall 2013

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Course:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings)

Summer 2013

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Courses:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings); CEP 815 (Technology and Leadership); and CEP 822 (Approaches to Educational Leadership) – co-taught with Dr. Punya Mishra, and William Cain

Spring 2013

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Course:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings)

Fall 2012

Instructor/Co-instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education.
Courses:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings); CEP 917 (Knowledge Media Design) – co-taught with Dr. Punya Mishra)

Summer 2012

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Courses:  CEP 800 (The Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings); CEP 416 (Teaching and Learning with Technology); CEP 822 (Approaches to Educational Research).

Spring 2008

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Course:  CEP 882 Online (That which moves us: The nature and design of compelling experiences) – co-taught with Dr. David Wong

– Created, organized and uploaded class materials/modules to the web. Generated and facilitated class discussions online. Helped students troubleshoot technology and assisted with student needs, questions, etc relating to the course. Assisted with all student evaluations and grading.

Summer 2007

Co-instructor, Overseas program in Plymouth, England; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education
Courses:  Courses: CEP 800 (Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings); CEP801 (Psychological Development: Learner Differences and Commonalities); CEP822 (Approaches to Educational Research).

– Co-taught several courses in educational technology and theory in overseas setting. Co- created curriculum for entire first year program, based on past curriculum and new ideas. Presented lectures and direct instruction in technology applications and educational topics. Facilitated course discussions. Assisted and tutored students during technology lab sessions. Conducted student evaluations and grading

Spring 2007

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education.
Course:  CEP 882 Online (That which moves us: The nature and design of compelling experiences) – co-taught with Dr. David Wong

– Helped create web-based curriculum (adapted from on-campus course), designing modules and learning activities for online learning. Created, organized and uploaded class materials/modules to the web. Generated and facilitated class discussions online. Helped students troubleshoot technology and assisted with student needs, questions, etc relating to the course. Assisted with all student evaluations and grading.

Summer 2006

Co-instructor; Overseas program in Plymouth, England; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education.
Courses:  CEP 800 (Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings); CEP801 (Psychological Development: Learner Differences and Commonalities); CEP822 (Approaches to Educational Research).

– Co-taught several courses in educational technology and theory overseas. Co- created curriculum for entire first year program, based on past curriculum and new ideas. Presented lectures and direct instruction in technology applications and educational topics. Facilitated course discussions. Assisted and tutored students during technology lab sessions. Conducted student evaluations and grading

Fall 2005

Co-instructor; Overseas program in Plymouth, England; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education.
Courses:  CEP 817 Online (Learning Technology through Design)

– Assisted with curriculum development/course materials for online learning. Created, organized and uploaded class materials/modules to the web. Generated and facilitated class discussions online. Helped students troubleshoot technology and assisted with student needs, questions, etc relating to the course. Assisted with all student evaluations and grading.

Summer 2005

Co-instructor; Overseas program in Plymouth, England; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education.
Courses:  CEP 807 (Capstone in Educational Technology), CEP 816 (Teaching and Learning across the Curriculum), CEP 817 (Learning Technology by Design)

– Co-taught several courses in educational technology and theory overseas. Co- created curriculum for entire first year program, based on past curriculum and new ideas. Presented lectures and direct instruction in technology applications and educational topics. Facilitated course discussions. Assisted and tutored students during technology lab sessions. Conducted student evaluations and grading

Spring 2005

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education.
Courses:  CEP 817 Online (Learning Technology through Design) – co-taught with Dr. Punya Mishra

– Assisted with curriculum development/course materials for online learning. Created, organized and uploaded class materials/modules to the web. Generated and facilitated class discussions online. Helped students troubleshoot technology and assisted with student needs, questions, etc relating to the course. Assisted with all student evaluations and grading.

Spring 2004

Instructor; Michigan State University, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education.
Courses:  CEP 817 Online (Learning Technology through Design)  – co-taught with Dr. Punya Mishra

– Assisted with curriculum development/course materials for online learning. Created, organized and uploaded class materials/modules to the web. Generated and facilitated class discussions online. Helped students troubleshoot technology and assisted with student needs, questions, etc relating to the course. Assisted with all student evaluations and grading.