My teaching philosophy involves a mix of instructional approaches that I select and tailor to fit each teaching and learning situation. Much of my experience is in teaching adult learners in the post secondary environment from faculty enrolled in professional development courses, graduate students in educational technology, to undergraduate students in teacher education, computing science, arts, and business. The diversity in my experience has been a key determinant in how I approach teaching in the classroom. I venture to expose my learners to an array of instructional strategies and contexts which expands their learning potential and offers them new ways of thinking about teaching and learning.
I believe in active learning and active teaching. Learning is an active, effortful process in which learners set academic goals and then monitor and regulate their learning in attempt to achieve those goals. As an instructor, I believe it is my role to facilitate student directed learning and provide the strategies necessary to facilitate goal attainment. Through this facilitative process I create a learning environment where the students feel safe to explore and express ideas in new and innovative ways.
I endeavor to improve student learning through the pursuit and implementation of sophisticated instructional technologies and design practices. I have been involved in the design and delivery of learning environments from conception to implementation for post-secondary, government, K-12 and military settings. My involvement in various e-learning projects, such as the design and development of learning objects for the Government of Alberta, teaching and designing online courses for the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan University, and in the consulting and design of 3D Simulations for military and aerospace have solidified my commitment to the use of instructional technologies to engage students in new and innovative ways.
I believe that learners are members of a social community and are the greatest asset for teaching and learning. Students are connected by what they do together and engage learning through a collective sense of meaning. In my classroom I encourage learners to reflect upon and engage in dialogue that enables them to consider alternative perspectives, critically engage in a topic from many different angles, and develop a broader understanding of issues encompassing education and other domains. This enables students to think critically and creatively in solving challenges that confront them.
Life-long learning begins with the ability to think creatively. Creative thinkers can accommodate change through reflective learning and innovation. Involving students actively in the learning process makes the experience in my classroom more dynamic and the students more reflective about their learning process. In my experience, if students are actively engaged and reflective about their learning, they become more accommodating to change and more accepting of innovation both inside and outside of the classroom context.
My teaching goals are embedded and expressed around three distinct themes that I aim to develop over the course of my career. They are as follows:
- Discovery: As a Scholar. My research focuses on educational measurement, virtual learning environments, and the role of agency in learning. Agency is the capability of individuals to consciously choose, influence, and structure their actions to achieve a desired outcome. As a teacher, I aim to promote the development of agency in my pre-service teachers as they discover their own professional practice.
- Learning: As a Teacher. My teaching interests are in the areas of classroom assessment, measurement, research methods, educational psychology, and instructional technology. To help focus my own reflective growth as a teacher, I aim to keep abreast of recent developments in educational practice, to incorporate technology into my instruction, to always seek better methods for conveying the subject matter, and evaluate my students objectively and comprehensively.
- Engagement: As a Member of the Community. As a member of the academic community my role is to develop and support opportunities for life-long learning, promote the connection of educational theory to practice, and provide leadership in addressing current issues in the field. My goals as a broader member of the academic community is to continue to support opportunities for engagement by being involved on local university committees, professional associations, and provide reviewer and editorial assistance to professional and teaching journals and book publications. Further, I aim to share what I am doing with the community as well through attendance at local and national professional conferences.