My lifelong passion is to prepare individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively participate in the world of today and tomorrow. I believe that knowledge and education is the foundation for a civilized prosperous society. I believe that there should be no barriers to education and that educational opportunities should be made available to all who wish to learn, regardless of their current situation or past experiences.
My concept of teaching
As an instructor, I instill a sense of individual purpose, self-value, and courage in each student, motivating them to reach beyond what they can currently see.
I have the responsibility to help my students master the course learning objectives. To encourage student participation, I use active learning techniques to draw individuals into class discussions and group projects. I aim to inspire my students with a desire to learn more on their own.
Through a process of learning and hands-on exercises, students discover their values, increase their commitment, and challenge themselves to grow and learn. While gaining practical, real-world knowledge and computer skills, students develop critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving, and information and resource management skills.
My teaching methods
The computer science discipline is founded on and continues to grow by finding solutions to real problems. Due to the complex nature of computer hardware and software, solving problems with computers is rarely a simple process.
I teach my students how to engage in this problem-solving. I help students learn how to build a computer from scratch. There is a particular joy student experienced by solving a challenging problem as building a computer. This interactive approach to teaching allows students to feel that reward.
As a teacher, I monitor how students are comprehending class materials, by asking them questions about computer software and hardware functions and help them repair misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions. I use digital resources, diagrams, computer-generated animations, instructional videos, and hands-on demonstrations.
Since 1998 I have actively employed the use of technology in my teaching. At my Institute, I was the first to introduce computer-administered testing, computer-assisted learning units, online instructional videos, and web-based courses. I have found that students significantly advanced their computer literacy and technology skills and I have incorporated these digital resources as part my approach to teaching.
By using active learning techniques, I engage students with questions and what-if scenarios. I find students more engaged when actively participating than when they are merely listening to a lecture.
I use their responses as a foundation to gauge their comprehension of class objectives. I choose a path that leads from the students current understanding to a broader or more conventional one. The students understand my approach and they find it easy to ask me for help.
For example, I will give a detailed hands-on explanation on internal computer system hardware and mechanism along with the basics of electricity. I will also detail simple computer application commands by showing a flowchart representing its processes and by executing several executable commands of the application.
When I sense that students do not sufficiently understand a particular process, I will reteach with a step-by-step problem-solving approach from a different perspective.
Speaking and writing clearly and concisely is essential. I adapt and remain flexible in how I teach and explain these concepts throughout the class. I often see from their non-verbal expressions that they experience relief and pride when they have contributed to the solution.
During class, I inject contexts such as descriptions of who developed the hardware or software, the design, and what are its functions.
Letter grades are given using a standard percentage point evaluation as outlined on my course syllabi. I allow students to resubmit assignments and homework enabling them the opportunity to better their grades and even allow students to expand classwork assignment and quiz to engage their abilities best. I make it my business to try to understand the student's point of view, before attempting to give them my own.
The students are aware they will perform weekly quizzes, participate in paired projects, and complete a total of four exams.
I understand that different students, and different groups of students, learn and test in different ways. I facilitate these differences among students by remaining observant and flexible.
After a quiz, I listen to the student's concerns and develop a way to best address that student's needs before the next exam.
Enthusiasm is critical to excellent teaching, and I always set an excellent professional example in appearance and approach to written and verbal solutions and conversation.
When I teach the same course, no two classes see entirely the same lecture notes, assignments, or classroom discussions. Each class is a new experience, a unique opportunity for my learning and growth.
Students provide new ideas and suggest improvements. I believe it is important to accept feedback whether it be negative or positive. Other educators are also excellent sources for input and new ideas.
Online classes provided by the Harvard Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning (“Higher education Teaching”) taught me how learning works, processes, and theories around memory, communication, comprehension, motivation, metacognition, and attention and how to implement rapport building techniques in order to create a positive, supportive, and inclusive learning environment.
For example, I understand the value of backward design framework, traditional and non-traditional organizational teaching skills used for lesson delivery, the principles and tools needed to ensure effective, relevant, and comprehensive assignment and syllabus design.
Throughout my teaching career, I have always looked for better ways of teaching. In the computer sciences, I am an active member of the Computing Technology Industry Association; Association for Computing Machinery; Association of Information Technology Professionals; and IEEE Computer Society.
In the adult education field, I am an active member of Coalition on Adult Basic Education, The National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.
It remains my lifelong goal to empower myself through knowledge and training continually!