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College Teaching Internship Journal Research in Educational Services Kent State University Kent, Ohio

This journal will bring observations, feelings, opinions, and thoughts to a readable state for others to learn from my experiences regarding teaching within higher education, particularly through an 100% asynchronous (online) course tailored for students pursuing a graduate degree within Kent State University’s (KSU) College of Education, Health & Human Services (EHHS). During the journaling process, I will share my experiences by highlighting the [fully online] teaching environment which includes all interaction with student users.

Expectations As I aspire to become a member of the professoriate in a Higher Education/College Student Development/Student Personnel-like academic unit in the near to distant future, I sought to enrich my knowledge base in teaching by advancing from teaching undergraduate students to graduate students. It is with this student population in mind that I intend to invest my time, energy, and attention to provide a quality learning experience to graduate students as they prepare themselves to become or continue as engaged individuals in their respective fields. This opportunity to work with graduate students had arisen from my initial contact with my faculty mentor and co-instructor, Dr. Jason Schenker, in the Evaluation and Measurement department within EHHS at KSU. During this time, I will also remain in contact with Judy Lightner, the College Teaching Internship supervisor at KSU. With my supportive network, available literature, and the opportunity at hand, I have developed and aspire to meet the following outcomes:

Create an interactive, online environment in which students can actively initiate and sustain original sharing of thought

Formulate effective teaching and learning material to optimize information retention

Communicate effectively with all parties with whom I connect for the internship

Follow policies and procedures of Kent State University and within the syllabus

Make myself available to students who wish to go into deeper detail or require additional information regarding course content

Learn effective ways to practice work-life balance

Though I have high expectations for myself and my students, I intend to orient the online student user towards a positive and enriching experience that will ultimately result in a successful course for myself, my co-instructor, and my students.

The Course For three (3) weeks, I will be co-teaching a section of KSU’s EVAL 65511 course (Research in Educational Services). Between May 21, 2018 and June 10, 2018—KSU’s intersession during the summer course scheduleI will be collaborating with Dr. Schenker to best support our online learners, who are graduate students enrolled in a degree program within EHHS. The class has no set meeting times, though is divided into three week-long learning modules that start on Monday and end on the following Sunday at 11:59:59 PM EST:

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Week 1: Modules 1 through 5

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Module 1 Educational Research: Its nature and characteristics

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Module 2 Review of the Literature

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Module 3 Evaluating Research Reports

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Module 4 Evaluating Research in Your Field

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Module 5 Research Design in Quantitative Research

Week 2: Modules 6 through 10

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Module 6 Experimental Research Designs

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Module 7 Applying Knowledge of Experimental Research Designs

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Module 8 Quasi-experimental Research

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Module 9 Applying Knowledge of Quasi-Experimental Research

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Module 10 Non-experimental Research

Week 3: Modules 11 through 15

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Module 11 Applying Knowledge of Non-experimental Research

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Module 12 Research Design in Qualitative Research

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Module 13 Historical & Ethnographic Research

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Module 14 Applying Knowledge of Qualitative Research

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Module 15 Mixed Methods Designs

For more course information, please refer to the syllabus as made available on my ePortfolio under Educator.

College Teaching Experience

Initial Reflection As I write this first journal entry, I think back to the first College Teaching Internship that I did during the spring 2016 semester at Walsh Universitythe process under which I went to acquire and fulfill my teaching internship. I am thinking of all the piques and valleys that I experienced during that internship, as well as the numerous other courses that I have taught over the last three years. What can I learn from these teaching experiences, and even more so from my learning experience as a student in tertiary education? An even bigger question: How can I prepare myself to become an active member in teaching at the graduate level?

Before

Convenience is a big thing (I think) when it comes to summer teaching. I knew that I would look for a teaching opportunity during the summer, because I habitually teach two to three courses during the fall and spring semesters. The courses that I usually teach are at the undergraduate level and are French related. While I enjoy teaching French and engaging others in conversation about French language and culture, I know that I have to think about my future as a graduate faculty member, so I shifted my attention to teaching a graduate-level course. I had reached out to several graduate-level faculty at KSU to inquire about any co-teaching opportunities, but to my dismay, I had received all “not at this time” or “you’re not ready” responses…until I got one saying “of course I would…that would be very helpful!”

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I reached out to Dr. Schenker at the end of the spring 2018 semester for two main reasons: (1) I noticed that over summer, he was going to be teaching six sections of various

courses over the course of the summer terms, and (2) I wish to become a better researcher so that

I may contribute to my field with published literature. The twist that I enjoy most about this

opportunity is not only two aforementioned reasons, but also the fact that the course is taught 100% online! I have never really taught a course completely online before, but I have integrated online learning/teaching before in some of my previous courses that I have taught. Luckily, Dr. Schenker was open to having a co-instructor for the course! Prior to the start of the course, I had inquired about the course curriculum that I would be using with him, as well as the course material/textbook. Before sharing all material with me online, we decided to meet

face-to-face so that we could go over what the course would look like and what my role would be during the course. Dr. Schenker and I met for our first one-on-one meeting so that we could go over the College Teaching Internship Application & Mentor Agreement. We discussed that the course is pretty set in stone in its structure of modules, so I need not worry about textbook selection or syllabus development, but al other components to the course were “open range” (e.g., development of exams/assessments, student assignments, instructional materials, grading). I asked how he had set up the EVAL 65511 course in the past, which results in a ‘course copy’ on Blackboard Learn. Once I received access to the course by Dr. Schenker adding me on as an instructor user, I was then able to see all the shared and hidden elements of the course. It seemed that I had brought some ideas to Dr. Schenker’s attention about Blackboard; I have taken many online courses and created online course components via Blackboard Learn, so

I felt comfortable sharing some ideas with him. Having had taken the same course that I would

be co-teaching [during intersession of summer 2015], I thought back to my experiences as the student. I asked Dr. Schenker what he thought about regarding discussion forums. Discussion forums would be the main medium of assessing student knowledge, which is a tool used for discussing and sharing ideas asynchronously so that discussions can carry on 24/7, wherever students or faculty may be” (Boettcher & Conard, 2016, p. 67), Rather than any face-to-face, brick-and-mortar requirement for students, students have, in a way, an “almost limitless” (p. 67) discussion experience. I asked Dr. Schenker if he had set up the discussion boards to where students could not see other students’ initial posts before submitting their own post first. Seeing

that this was a new feature to him, he told me that I was free to set up the course that way to see how it would work and to see if it would be effective. Since he has taught the same course for several years, I knew that he would be able to speak to any changes in student responses, including length, authenticity/originality, and creativity. The only other assessment piece of the course will be ‘self-assessments,’ or rather, short five-question quizzes that revolve around some of the modules (not all modules will have a quiz). I remember doing these during the section that I took a few years back, and I would agree with Boettcher and Conard (2016) when they say, “The quiz tools in LMSs [learning management systems] are excellent for keeping students on track, increasing learning, and minimizing instructor time on grading” (p. 183). This ‘robotic assistance’ is quite valuable in providing automatic, immediate feedback to the learner, as well as reduces time for the instructor to have to manually grade each quiz while having to read and respond to discussion forums. I had asked Dr. Schenker if there was a “START HERE/Syllabus Quiz” in place for students to take. He shared that he had made one in the past but has not used it in a while. I offered to make

a quiz that would stress important parts of the syllabus that I felt would be important for students

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to recognize; rather than just asking general questions, I had decided to make a syllabus quiz using hypothetical and fact-driven questions, as derived from the syllabus. For 1.5 extra credit points (which is a lot if you consider the whole course being out of 90 points), students could, but we not obligated to, respond to the following questions:

1. You can complete the self-assessments from the discussion boards. (False) I want students to be able to recognize the navigation of the online course room and the importance of knowing where to access certain links and assignments.

2. What are the requirements that you must meet to do well in this course? Select all that apply.

- E-mail the whole class every week and share my thoughts on the readings No, because students are to be engaged in the discussion forum environment.

- Participation in assigned activities and discussion Yes, as explained above

- Complete reading of chapters and topics before beginning units Yes, because discussions and self-assessments are based on general ideas taken away from the readings, as well as specific concepts that are learned from truly reading the chapters of the textbook

- Complete all self-assessments Yes, because all are necessitated for the student’s final grade

- Contact Dr. Schenker and Evan every week with questions via phone and/or e-mail No, because in the syllabus, although students may reach us via phone or e-mail, we encourage students to ask questions in a discussion forum format under the ‘Ask the Instructors’ forum which is the first forum that students see when they access the discussion topics.

3. I post my response to the readings and engage with students through the Learning Module page. No, students post their responses using the ‘Discussion Boards’ feature of Blackboard, however, students may access material and information on the module from the Learning Module page.

4. When you refer to the required text and/or other literature, should you cite the references? (Yes) To encourage students to work at a graduate level, I added this question so that students would immediately start to process citation practices to avoid any plagiarism. I wanted to stress the use of APA style citations, but the syllabus noted that students could use any citation format, which had me very curious as to why.

5. How long do you have to complete a self-assessment once you start?

- 30 minutes

- 24 hours

- 1 hour and a half

- 1 hour (answer) I wanted to make sure that students knew how much time they had to complete the self- assessments because I remember when I took the course, there were one to two students who posted on the ‘Ask the Instructor’ board about how long they had to take the quizzes. That was a defining moment that made me think about adding this question to the Syllabus Quiz.

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- Knowles U1/D1 (answer)

- My first post the class

- Knowles, Beyoncé UNIT 1 DISCUSSION 1

- Knowles U1 As outlined in the syllabus, students should write like the first choice.

Before the start of the course, I also went through the whole course room to make sure that all the links were indeed active and that everything seemed navigable (see appendix A). It seemed more on the aesthetic end that I was working on making sure that all the font was the same across the board; I did not want a student to look at something and think Oh, they just copied and pasted it…I can tell from the white highlighting behind the text on a gray-boxed area. I know that always irritates me (for some reason). Dr. Schenker had already sent the welcome e-mail to the class a week and a half prior to the official start date (May 21, 2018), but I decided to make sure that I made myself known during the pre-week period (Boettcher & Conrad, 2016), too. I sent my students a copy of the following e-mail on May 14, 2018:

Hello all,

My name is Evan Faidley, co-instructor to Dr. Jason Schenker for the EVAL 65511 Research in Educational Services course during Kent State University’s 2018 intersession. It is great to get to eMeet you and have the opportunity to work with you through the next three weeks, engaging each other to talk about research.

***********************************************

First and foremost, here is some information about me:

I received my B.A. in French from the University of Akron in 2014, then shifted to my M.Ed. in Higher

Education & Student Personnel and my M.A. in French Literature at Kent State University. After having completed both of those degrees, I decided to pursue my current academic path: my future Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, with a focus on career development and faculty engagement.

I actively serve as an educator, graduate assistant, advisor, and mentor throughout the Kent and Akron areas.

You may see me working in Cartwright Hall as the graduate assistant to the Division of Graduate Studies, or at the University of Akron where I teach French. BUT, I am not stranger to a good coffee shop. If not at any

of these places, online is also good through Blackboard or via e-mail.

Lastly, I do enjoy a great deal of traveling. It’s interesting to be able to say that I’ve seen more of Europe than

I have of my own state (Ohio) or the rest of the United States. Oh well!

***********************************************

For your records, I have updated the copy of the syllabus and course schedule on Blackboard, as well as

attached them to this e-mail. I also recommend taking the START HERE quiz found under the Syllabus and Course Schedule page on Blackboard. Who wouldn’t want to earn some extra credit points, right?

Lastly, you will notice in the syllabus that a large portion of the course is centered around engaging through discussion posts. When you click on a discussion topic, it will show a “post it” message, meaning that you will need to create and publish your initial post to the topic, including references in APA citations, before you see your other classmates’ posts. Once you have submitted your initial post, you will then be able to comment on your peers’ posts.

I look forward to a great three-week intersession with you and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Merci beaucoup, or thank you much, Evan Faidley, M.Ed., M.A.

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Once I sent this e-mail, I realized: (1) the course room had been finalized, (2) the syllabus/course schedule was all set, and (3) I was ready to get my first online teaching experience started!

During Week 1. WHAT A WEEK! I immediate thought back to the Teaching Online Courses course I took during my college teaching certificate program, and I must say…that course was a life saver! I truly get me ready to think about how I wanted to engage with my students, and co- instructor. Dr. Schenker and I both believe that students should make an online presence at the beginning of the course in a fun, personalized way. Students had the option of sharing who they are through the ‘Introduce Yourself to the Class’ discussion board. All the students rightfully did so and shared their name, their academic program, their relationship with research/what they hope to get out of the course, and a fun fact about themselves. I would check at the start, middle, and end of the day during the first week to see if any students had posted their introduction. During the first week, all ten (10) students made their post to which I responded with a welcome and some questions that would help engage us into conversation. In some shape, way or form, I found a way to connect with my students. If students voiced concern about having to “survive through the intense, three-week course” (kind of a common theme among students), I was able to provide some ideas as to how they could find their personal success in the course (e.g., creating a pace of a module a day, doing all initial posts then response posts, taking self-assessments right after reading). Boettcher and Conrad (2016) say that “multiple learners may well be ‘on stage’ at the same time contributing and thinking, but every learner is experiencing the learning experience somewhat differently” (p. 28). I know that each student follows a different learning style, which I completely acknowledge and understand. I, myself, learn differently online, and definitely differently during courses that are condensed into three weeks! At the beginning of the week, I think there was a mentality among students to “get as much done as possible and get my gears in motion,” but as the week went on, not much was being done…until the “last minute,” or rather the last day (Sunday) afternoon into the evening. Either way, students were able to complete their work before the deadline, but it was interesting to see student engagement throughout the week, or a lack thereof from time to time. As students posted their initial discussion posts, I would take the time to read them and see if I could glean some similarities among students, and even some differences. As I was going through discussion posts, I would formulate a working document with bullet points that I could use to bring the week to a close; my intent was to create a post for each module under a discussion forum titled ‘Course Notes.’

a post for each module under a discussion forum titled ‘Course Notes.’ Figure 1: Sample list

Figure 1: Sample list of unit summaries

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Among my summary thoughts, I would share what I found with Dr. Schenker and see what he had to say. Ultimately, the unit summaries served as a combined series of observations among student posts between Dr. Schenker and myself. Grading…was…exhausting! I thought I would grade as students posted their initial post and I would save their grade as a draft so then I could finalize the grade (using the rubric attached to each unit’s initial and response posts, totaling to three (3) points per unit). I decided to only grade the student if they had their initial and response discussion post completed for the module. I wanted to make sure that students were receiving constructive feedback as quickly as possible so they could make any changes to online writing if needed. For example, one student had created a post and did not cite anything and, unfortunately, they lost a half point because there is a part on the rubric that says that cited references are required. I made sure to mention that in my feedback so they could prepare for the next discussion post. That same student took my feedback and made the appropriate changes, but was citing the textbook incorrectly. As I mentioned before, there was a slight mention in the syllabus from Dr. Schenker that students would be able to cite literature in the citation style that best worked for them. Luckily, I can recognize a good portion of different citing styles from my previous studies, but I encouraged students to consider using APA style since that is what social sciences/education professionals use in their writings. Continuing with the grading topic, I felt obligated to grade as much as I could so that students could view their grade in real time. I wanted students to be able to learn from already graded and commented posts. This feeling to have to always grade before the end or slightly after the end of the module took up a lot of time throughout the week. I was able to complete all the grading, which was followed by Dr. Schenker taking a look at my feedback and grading style to students (to be discussed during our mid-course meeting during week 2). Ultimately, I was up until 2:30a.m. on the Monday after the end of the first module because I knew that some students would want to start on Module 2 that same Monday, and that feedback can indeed help, I think. Things went well overall during the first week, and I was able to help several students individually, those who reached out to me via e-mail regarding how they were feeling the course was going for them with their personal and professional work schedules. I took the time to actively listen to each student’s thoughts and questions, as well as respond with my feedback, suggestions, and willingness to cooperate and work with where they are. I had one student reach out to me who would be considered an adult, non-traditional student who was a full-time, high school teacher (and during the intersession, K-12 school years are coming to a close, which means that teachers are working tirelessly to balance their own work and teaching with taking this online course, and maybe others). The students reached out to me after I had commented back on their introduction post, and I must say that I truly enjoyed the energy that they were radiating from their posts! It really reminds me of me and my rhetoric when I am engaging in online (or even face-to-face) discussions. The student shared their sincere concern with taking the course and having to balance everything together while making sure that he does well in the course. I decided to weave an empathetic approach to my response because I was in the exact same predicament when I took the course back in summer 2015; though not in a full-time teaching role at the time, I was working 60+ hours between several jobs (just like the student in question). After having formulated a response, I received a response back that really made me feel like I was doing something righttalking about alternatives to the course if the three-week version was too fast, and providing some minor extensions to response posts. Working with the

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student in this capacity really showed a difference in the student’s work and engagement with others.

Week 1…DONE!

Week 2. So…Blackboard Learn had an update. This is comes as no surprise since major LMSs get periodic updates, but this was more than just a small update. The entire aesthetic of the Blackboard Learn changed to where it was no longer a side-to-side window view; the new version had more of a mobile look/feel to it, hence amore of a condensed, tightened view and experience for the student and instructor user. Luckily, not much had changed too dramatically or in functionality. Some instructor functions had been reorganized, but nothing too serious or time consuming had come from this update. I used the same practices that I implemented during the first week, but I decided to be wiser with my time in grading. I had the chance to meet with Dr. Schenker at the beginning of the second week so we could discuss how the course is going thus far. I was first interested in his observations of the discussion posts initiated and between students to see if there is a difference in quality since students could not see other students’ posts before posting their own. He shared that there was a large difference between the originality and authenticity of student responses to the prompts. He mentioned that in the past, many students would wait until the end of the week when several other students would create an initial post to then take parts of other people’s posts to create their own, thus unoriginal work. He shared that as he was reading initial posts, students really shined in showing their personality, as well as their level of understanding of the topic(s). Dr. Schenker said that he would definitely use this feature in future online courses to better challenge and stimulate learning among students. I asked Dr. Schenker to share his feedback on the comments and ideas that I shared with students on their first week-worth of discussion posts. He said that compared to the previous sections that he has taught of this course, the comments that I left were rich in description and were appropriate. The suggestions that I shared with students would help advance them not only in the course, but also throughout their professional career by thinking about their writing habits. Weirdly enough, I find joy in grading…which is considered bizarre by several of my colleagues, but I feel that I am learning something on my end, and I can add something to the student’s learning. As I mentioned in my expectations of this course, I wanted to be able to better understand research designs, and I feel that with what the textbook said and the shared thoughts/perceptions of students really helped to shape my understanding of quantitative research. Before the week ended, I was contacted again by the adult, non-traditional student as mentioned in my week 1 reflection. The student felt comfortable enough to contact me to share that they did not understand a chapter, and more importantly, the reason as to why they would need to know/learn pre-/post-test control group design versus posttest-only control group design. To best explain this, I took the initiative to not only compose an e-mail with explanations of the two research designs, but also bring the student’s teaching occupation into the explanation. I did some research to see what the student had done in their work to see if there was anything that I could use as an example, and I was able to find a news story from the student’s local news that highlighted a project that their students did. I took that news story and shaped a hypothetical example, which the student responded back to saying that it was extremely helpful! I also located an article that took their specific teaching subject into a pre-/post-test control group design. To

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my surprise, I shared the article with the student, who then CC’ed me into an e-mail to their superintendent saying that they had read an article for their online research class that would be great to discuss at their next department meeting to see if they could implement a similar project into their curriculum. This made me think about what Boettcher and Conrad (2016) share regarding students learning and not having to learn all course content. “In brief, the goal for each student is to master a slice of the pic, but to be sure that the slice includes the whole of the center with the core concepts and principles” (pp. 33-34). This statement makes me think about myself as a student with courses that I have taken. I do not believe that one person can truly master everything, but they can surely master something(s). For me, it feels like qualitative data is where I find more success and mastery, but that is because I have been exposed to the qualitative research designs more so than quantitative. This falls into the same category with the aforementioned student; the students shared with me that they had not taken advantage of many opportunities that are quantitatively explicit in nature, but the student shared that this was a great start so that learning more about quantitative research design could become easier.

WEEK 2…DONE!

Week 3. The last week. I had already posted the shared thoughts between Dr. Schenker and myself for the last module, and was ready to welcome the student into their last week of the course. As I started to get ready for the week, I was thinking about the feedback that I would value from my students on their experiences as my students. I created a Qualtrics survey that would share their experiences with my and Dr. Schenker, so that I could then turn their comments and Likert-scaled responses into professional development opportunities. After having discussed with Dr. Schenker, I was able to offer all the students the survey with a half point extra credit, which ultimately moved some students from one letter grade to the next. If 90% of the students responded to the survey, then I would apply the points. I was able to receive a 100% return rate from my students, all whom shared their comments with me. As this last week is coming to an end, I spent time responding back to discussion posts and taking the time to provide feedback to students via Blackboard Learn’s Grade Center (so the feedback is one-on-one). Overall, students did marvelously the last week. Neither to my surprise nor anticipation, things went smoothly the last week of the course.

WEEK 3…DONE!

After

As I look over my journal and refer back to the expectations that I had set for myself at the beginning of this teaching experience, I amazed about how much I have learned about online teaching, especially in only three short weeks. While serving a role as an instructor, I like to think about how my students are feeling, or rather how I feel as a student in relationship to my instructors. One part that I find as a student weakness is my inability to wait for grades; I value immediate feedback so that I may embed my instructor’s feedback into my future work…not to please them, but rather to approach the work with their recommendations and see how I will feel. I took my perception of time into consideration while I was responding back to discussion posts and grading because I recognized that this was a short course, and students need feedback continuously throughout the course. I,

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myself, thought that students may be asking themselves when their grades would be posted, and I wanted to make sure that students did not have to wait too long before seeing feedback from Dr. Schenker or myself. One other approach I made to make sure that student are not only taking feedback from the instructors was encouraging them to really look at the students’ posts. “[t]he goal of your [the instructor] feedback might expand to encourage the students to be listening to each other, and to note similarities or contrasts in the thinking or experiences of others” (Boettcher & Conrad, 2016, p. 167). To support this tactic, I would refer to other students’ posts in my feedback to the student in their grade, so that they may venture to those students’ posts to better understand a concept, or just to solidify their knowledge base. This experience as it relates to grading has helped shape my idea of work-life balance, needing to know when to separate work from life so that I am not always on the computer. I spent more time on the computer reading and grading than anything else over the course of the three weeks. I know that the work- life balance will not come easily to me because I enjoy working so much and being able to shape students in their learning brings me a feeling of success and fulfillment. I just need to learn more about that balance that I will need, especially when I consider the three factors of service, research, and teaching all together. There is one big takeaway that I have learned as a result of this online, co-teaching opportunity. I feel that my happiness in life, both professional and personal, derives from working with others in a facilitating role, thus in a teaching capacity. This was my first % online teaching experience I do hope that it is not my last. I truly enjoy working with LMSs and designing curricula to where students can creatively become engaged with the material and each other to learn and grow as upcoming or continuing professionals. Though I have ample experience teaching French, I have become more and more drawn to higher education. The experiences that I have lived within campus life as a community member, tied with the academic experiences as an interactive learner, have afforded me the right tools to collaborate with my students in an andragogical teaching-like structure. I enjoy active listening and speaking with students regarding where they are (a) in the course and (b) in life. I feel that is what makes an effective faculty advisor, as well as teacher in the [virtual or brick-and-mortar] classroom.

References

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R.- M. (2016). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Appendix A Screenshot of entry point page (Home) of course classroom using ‘Starry Night’ theme

Appendix A Screenshot of entry point page (Home) of course classroom using ‘Starry Night’ theme