Teaching online and in the classroom
Online business professor, David Britt, and traditional classroom graphic design professor, Andrea Glover, recently spoke about favorite teaching methods and why they like their method of teaching.
What do you like best about your teaching method?
Britt: I love the flexibility I have by using different learning assets in an online course. I utilize textbooks, professional books, publications, magazines, newspapers, videos and other multimedia methods. All of these assets can be (and usually are) digital. All of our students and faculty are given access to the CSU Online Library to find academic and professional peer-reviewed articles that support our learning objectives without leaving their home.
I also love the flexibility that professors and students have with the library and classroom being on their telephone, tablet or laptop. While I love the breadth and depth of these assets, the challenge may be to sometimes tame the technology. By that, I mean that I must be careful not to overwhelm the students with too much information.
Glover: I love seeing students go from not knowing anything about the technical programs we use such as Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, to watching them grow and come out of a class with specific skills. It’s great when they start applying those skills to freelance work or to a project at their church, especially after just one class.
I had a veteran in my class a few years ago, and one project we did sparked an interest that he has since turned into a company making leather goods. Graphic design students create a portfolio and have a lot of work to show. Many of our graduates have jobs lined up or find jobs very soon after graduation. Our graphic design department is doing something right. We complement each other and work as a team. Students are able to see a good example of Christians working together and using their talents to do what God has called them to do.
What are your favorite teaching methods?
Britt: I am an avid, some may say rabid, traveler. My classroom is my computer. The activities of life provide teachable moments all the time. For every class, I provide a weekly video preview for
the learning objectives. I take my students with me wherever I happen to be in the world that week. I try to connect the lesson themes that week with activities in my location. For example, in the marketing class I teach, one of the discussion forums talks about what Starbucks Coffee needs to do when they expand to an international location. For the discussion that week, I shot the preview video from a Starbucks coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The students were able to see firsthand what I was talking about.
Glover: I am good friends with colleagues from Savannah College of Art and Design, and I frequently ask them, what are you looking for in a designer? I also ask friends at large companies for tips. I tell my students, here are the trends professionals are seeing and incorporate those things into lectures. I also show students my own work and discuss real life situations where I exhibit my work. I work to keep information modern. I go to conferences and learn what professors around the country are doing. Graphic design is changing all the time, so I have to keep up with what colors are trending and what consumers are buying. I also design my presentations with relevant pictures and fonts and try to use my creativity in the classroom.