My favorite vacation spot in Canada is Shuswap Lake as shown in Picture 1. I spend as much time at our lake home as I can. In addition to spending time at the lake, I read content from technical experts in emerging technologies (AI, Blockchain, and quantum computing) and near-term futurists. This was reflected in an email present from a former staff member in Picture 2. My favorite reads always involve systems thinking, cyber security and the impact of technology innovation on commerce. I am still a raving fan of Dr. Peter Senge and his systems thinking approach. I was blessed with having a small group multi-day session with him just after the first publication of his Fifth Discipline book. Based on my experience, there is a tremendous need for systemic thinking leaders and a systemic approach to applying technology.
Question 1: What is the most important characteristic of high-quality online learning environments and why it is important?
Answer 1: Learner engagement is the most important characteristic of high-quality online learning. The learning process is not transactional in nature. Instead it involves a learning outcome framework of external guidance combined with a motivated and inquisitive learner. The result is a more capable graduate with a holistic perspective of the world that is able to evolve with the world around them.
Question 2: What is one thing that you have learned about teaching online (or face-to-face if you haven’t taught online) in the last year and how has it impacted your practice?
Answer 2: Over the last several years, I have been an online learner, but not an online faculty member. My closest experience is using blended learning with in-class learners. I am looking forward to learning as much as possible about being a fully online faculty member and relating that knowledge back to my online learner experience. The goal is to is to combine my online learning experience and the TRU faculty learning experience to hone my skills in this area.
Question 3: What questions do you have about online teaching and learning?
Answer 3: While I have many questions, the key question is what is the most effective way to develop my online faculty skill set to become a great online faculty member just like those I had the privilege to learn from.