Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

I am very pleased that after six years at the College of IST I have taught nine difference courses. I have been encouraged to teach many different courses that at once reflect the breadth of the IST curriculum, while also touching on many aspects of my own scholarly interests. One of my goals, as an educator, is to enable my research to inform my teaching and vice versa. A central element in my teaching is the development of a reflective practicum for undergraduate and graduate students of IST. A reflective practicum is one in which three relationships are reconstructed: the relationship between the student and the body of knowledge, the relationship between the student and faculty and the relationship between expertise and ethics. My goal is to create a cadre of critical student thinkers around the issues of public institutions using technologies. The graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in IST represent the future policy setters, implementers and analysts in information science and technology research, development and policy. This is facilitated by my hands-on learning model, which promotes thinking and content expertise through the use of realistic scenarios or problems. Behind this overt goal is the intention to create critical thinkers who are interdisciplinary. As I send my graduates out into the world they will not be confronted with problems that fall neatly along disciplinary lines. They will be challenged with global problems, which will require technical, social, information and contextual solutions.

At the undergraduate level I have taught our introductory survey course (IST 110) both to our general IST student population, as well as specifically to honors students. I initiated and developed this honors course as a result of winning a Schreyer’s Honors College teaching development award. Also at the undergraduate level, I taught IST 301: Information and Organizations and IST 431: The Information Environment. These two courses have allowed me to blend my interests in institutions and organizations, the social context, and ICTs both in my research and in my teaching. Recently, I taught two undergraduate courses — IST 445H: Global Trends in World Issues and SRA 471: Informatics, Risk, and the Post-Modern World, — which allowed me to extend my interest in coordination across governments, NGO (non-governmental organizations) and international organizations into the classroom.

At the graduate level I taught three courses: IST 531 (effectively social theory and ICTs), IST 541 (social science research methods for ICTs) and IST 590 (our research colloquium). This package of classes encouraged me to take a hand in the research conducted by our graduate students across the entire program, not merely my own student advisees.

Most rewarding of all are my advising activities and my guidance of student research activities. In all, I have sat on thirty-one graduate student thesis committees and five undergraduate Honors thesis committees. I have been chair or co-chair of ten graduate student committees. As of June 2009, two of my Ph.D. students and one master’s student have graduated. I expect another Ph.D. student and master’s student will graduate before the end of 2009.