We are the Program for Online Teaching, a group of volunteer faculty helping other faculty teach better online.

Our focus is on pedagogy as the guiding force for using technologies for teaching.

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Pedagogical Philosophy
Pedagogical Philosophy avatar

by Joanne Carrubba

OK. I am a bit behind on posting this. Lets just admit the end of the semester, and the planning of new courses for the summer and fall got the better of me.

BUT, that being said, I would like to talk about my pedagogical philosophy. As I have gained experience and embraced online teaching, I find that my pedagogy becomes increasingly student-centered. I want to do more group work, which is challenging online, and I want to have actual discussions, not just have them write weekly essays. I want them to have to find their own information, so I tend to give bits and pieces, rather than giving all of the facts to the students. I believe firmly that giving them structure, and scaffolding to help them understand your expectations, then setting them loose to complete the assignments on their own increases their learning. Beyond that, it gives everyone in the class a better experience.

I find I do less testing in a traditional sense as well. I have always struggled with testing as a gage of actual learning. I have been assigning more projects, which, for me, as an art history and humanities instructor, prove learning in a more well-rounded sense. Yes, they can memorize enough vocab to fill in the blanks, but what if they have to do a Thinglink, with at least 10 links, 3 of which must be either audio or video, and 3 must be their own talking points?

My goal has changed from just teaching them the material I am to cover to teaching them how do exist, work, and do research in a structured online environment. I think that will be more helpful to most students down the road, as they will be working and interacting in that environment daily.