Teaching Philosophy and Methodologies

Engage. Reflect. Innovate.

I believe that I am a catalyst. Engaging students in the learning process, motivates them to develop and deepen their knowledge throughout our applied management curriculum, and allows them to build professional traits and skills through continuous self-reflection. Identifying general education competencies enhances their confidence to become ethical, innovative, hospitality management professionals.

Description of Teaching Methodologies

My teaching exemplifies the practice of the Living Lab Model of Pedagogy, including high-impact educational practices, place-based learning, open pedagogy on the OpenLab and general education assessment of student learning.

High Impact-educational Practices[1], Living Lab Model of Pedagogy

Collaborative Projects We never work alone yet we do not always know how to work with others towards a common goal. I believe it is important to create an environment in which students can practice collaboration, a skill that will impact not only their experience as a student but throughout their professional experience as well.

Collaboration is embedded in my courses from day one. Instead of reading the syllabus line for line, I ask students to write their goals on sticky notes then find others with similar goal. Students then review the learning outcomes of the course and then make connections between their own goals, those of their classmates and of the learning outcomes of this course. This makes their goals visible, encourages interaction and makes the learning goals of the course more tangible. See “Syllabus Exploration” in appendix C for an image of the activity.

First-year Learning Communities (FYLC) FYLC is recognized for making significant positive impacts on student learning, especially for those from underserved communities. I have been involved with FYLC at City Tech since 2011 and teach in a traditional model whereby “students take two or more linked courses as a group and work closely with one another and with their professors1”. The simple pairing of classes is not enough, it is deep engagement that further contributes to student success. Therefore, simply grouping students together in shared courses is not what creates a positive impact on a student’s experience; rather, I seek to guide student through practices that include place-based learning, open pedagogy on the OpenLab, collaborative assignments and oral presentations.

Writing Intensive Course (WI) Writing is a process. In my WI courses students practice process. They pre-write, conduct peer review, and revise their work.  Peer feedback, when properly structured, including explicit instructions from the faculty member, is a valuable method of providing feedback before formal assessment is conducted. Peer feedback supports the concept that learning is a process and allows students to identify their own strengths and weaknesses while also giving support to their peers. The fact that WI courses is the only high-impact educational practice that is required for all student’s at City Tech (not once but four times) supports the importance of the impact on learning. See Appendix D for evidence of a peer review outline supporting the writing process in HMGT 1101.

Undergraduate Research This practice requires significant time, dedication and mentoring outside of the classroom for both student and faculty. For undergraduate research to be effective it necessitates the teacher to “connect key concepts and questions with students’ early and active involvement in systematic investigation and research.”

Place-based learning, Living Lab Model of Pedagogy My belief in the benefits of place-based learning is influenced by John Dewy’s work and this statement in particular: “Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” When developing a lesson plan, I do not consider how to best share information but how to stimulate curiosity and the desire to learn. My teaching practices bring students out of the classroom and encourage active participation in each session. My practice of place-based learning is influenced by the four components of Kolb and Kolb’s (2012)[2] experiential learning spiral – experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting – describe the structures of learning experiences that fellows learned to design. Learning is conceptualized as a spiral, rather than a cycle, as the learner’s development deepens with each successive experience and resulting reflection, thought, and action.

Open pedagogy on the OpenLab, Living Lab Model of Pedagogy Open pedagogy equips students for technological literacy through reflection, peer feedback, collaboration, and e-portfolios. I promote development of technological literacy throughout a student’s collegiate experience by employing open pedagogy on the OpenLab in all the courses I teach. During HMGT 1101 students reflect on their responsibilities as a student and learner and share their semester long learning on the OpenLab. Sophomore students analyze the beverage industry through place-based learning activities, reducing the challenges of studying wine and beverage management, yielding deep learning. Students in their junior and senior year who participate in the Walt Disney World College Program, reflect on their learning through e-portfolios, synthesizing their formal classroom studies with their experiential learning activities.

Assessment of Student Learning, Living Lab Model of Pedagogy I believe a successful learning environment can be identified through thoughtful assessment of student learning. Part of that assessment should be open communication about the process. Each assingment lists the student learning outcomes, in addition, students are provided rubrics and assess their own work before submitting an assignment. This makes the assessment more transparent and their ability to achieve the objectives of the assignment more thoroughly.

In addition to assessment for my own and student purposes I have participated in college wide data collection of oral communication, information literacy, and critical course outcomes. As of fall 2019 writing will be added to this list.

First-year Experience Dwek, Duckworth and McGuire write about mindset, grit and metacognition. These driving forces influence my teaching philosophy profoundly most specifically how I teach first-year students. A great tool for me to enact my methodology includes the use of The Companion for First Year Students at City Tech. This valuable resource recognizes the unique challenges students face as they transition to the responsibilities of being a college student. Developing new social circles and navigating greater responsibilities both at home, in the workplace and academically is often met with challenges.

Student Advisement My teaching methodology continues even as students walk out of my classrooms. I try to motivate, engage and prepare students for academic and professional success. As an advisor I seek to motivate both faculty and students to be engaged in the advisement process and prepared to take the actions needed to work towards their own personal goals. Advisement sessions are designed for student success. I ask more questions than students do, I seek to elicit the feeling of comfort, well-being and accomplishment. Students should leave knowing they have a path to succeed.

Show What You Know In Ritchart, Church and Morrison’s Making Thinking Visible, many strategies are presented but most of all, my assessment methodologies is inspired by this statement:

When we make thinking visible, we get not only a window into what students’ understand but also how they are understanding it. Uncovering students’ thinking gives us evidence of students’ insights as well as their misconceptions.

Quizzes and exams, are used to measure student learning of the areas I assess, however, students have so much more to express. Upon identifying this, I sought a way to include an open-ended question on all quizzes and exams and “show what you know” was developed. Now, the question “Write, in detail, something you learned about [insert topic] that is not included on the exam.” is on every quiz and exam I give. Students have expressed appreciation of this question and have even developed strategies to answer it effectively.

[1] Kuh, George D. 2008. High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities. National Center for Education Statistics, 2015

[2] Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2012). Experiential Learning Spiral. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 1212–1214). Boston, MA: Springer US. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_23