Teaching

My teaching experience is primarily in the design, development, evaluation and utilization of information and communication technology for educational purposes. My current teaching appointment is at the University of Florida. However, I have taught at numerous institutions, including the University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of North Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State College at Jacksonville and St. Johns River State College. Much of my teaching experience is actually in the disciplines of computer science and information systems in which I taught software development for many years. I provide my instructional resources, such as my syllabus or assignments, on the web for my students to access. Most of my instructional materials can be accessible via a course management system (e.g., Blackboard, Cavnas).

My Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy of teaching has been influenced by many experiences, perspectives, theories, philosophies, and my own research. I do not subscribe to a single theory or method of teaching because I strongly believe most things depend on context (e.g., learning environment, students, subject-matter, etc.). However, there are some underlying principles that guide my decision-making as a teacher, which I call the Five Rs of Teaching. This parsimonious framework includes: Respect, Realistic, Relevance, Reverence, and Robustness.

Respect refers to the two-way interaction between a student and a teacher. As a teacher, I must have respect for my students. I must treat them like I want to be treated. Conversely, I expect my students to respect me the same way I respect them. I believe respect is a key ingredient for a successful scholarly relationship and is conducive with teaching and learning.

Realistic refers to setting high and attainable goals for my students, and creating a learning environment that will closely resemble what my students will encounter outside of the academy in their professional careers. This belief is closely related to situated-learning environments, which have been connected to better transfer of learning.

Relevance refers to incorporating the appropriate combination of subject-matter, tools, theories, and timely information from our environment. As a teacher, it is critical that I equip my students with the tools, skills and information that is relevant to their professional careers. I have observed faculty members ‘fall behind’ the times because they continue to teach what they are comfortable teaching – not what is most relevant to students.

Reverence refers to the way I believe students and teachers should approach the openness of ideas, beliefs, philosophies and theories in the halls of the academy. As a teacher, I believe it is incumbent upon us to uphold this important tradition and impart a sense of collegiality in our students.

Robustness refers the goal of empowering my students to be dynamic, flexible and competent in everything they do. As a teacher, I believe it is very important to build a strong foundation in our students so when they enter their professional careers they can think critically, solve problems, learn on their own and easily adapt to change.