My Recent Courses
Developing Digital eLearning Environments
Provides an in-depth overview of both theory and practice related to online distance education. The principles identified and the issues studied in the course are applicable across a variety of settings, including but not limited to: K-12 classrooms, universities, community colleges, business/industry; and health care. This course examines the theoretical framework, historical development, pedagogical issues, and practical applications of both online and hybrid elearning education. (Rutgers Graduate School of Education, online, Fall 2015. Original course development by Dr. R. Novak)
This course offers students the opportunity to practice research and writing skills by focusing on the idea of information in modernity. Established practices in the production, distribution, and consumption of information are being disrupted by the tremendous wave of innovation that is currently flooding the Internet. This wave is evident whether we consider companies, such as Dropbox or Facebook, that have attracted in excess of sixty million users, or look to the tremendous proliferation of free, user-generated content inspired by the advent of social media channels such as YouTube, Tumblr or Twitter. In either case, examining these trends more closely depends on a more thorough and properly historicized understanding of information. One way to think about this is in terms of a knowledge revolution. The seeds were laid long before the first computers – in fact, we can find important foundations as far back as the Enlightenment. During the modern era the cultural influence of information has continued to generate a very distinct argument about how best to incorporate scientific methods and paradigms into art. Through individual research and writing, students will engage with the critical debates that have shaped the history and development of information, from the origins of writing to the machine algorithms of today. Assigned Reading will include essays from: Claude Shannon, James Gleick, Katherine Hayles, Alan Liu, Rita Raley, Siva Vaidhyanathan, and others. (Course development and teaching; Cooper Union Spring 2014, web-enhanced classroom)
This course introduces students to social media through experiential, hands-on, learning. Students enrolled in the course become better learners, users, and creators of social media. Progress through the course involves collaborative, team-based, multi-stage work producing a social media project. This semester-long project includes the creation of a Minimum Viable Prototype (MVP) and a proposal outlining its technical, design, and business components. A huge thanks to guests from Carrot Creative, TinyBop and One Month Rails. (Course development and teaching; Cooper Union Fall 2013, web-enhanced classroom) Further details here.
Online Writing Seminar
This three-week course is designed to prepare incoming college students for the rigors and expectations of college-level writing. Working with daily virtual class-room meetings, assigned reading, and homework, students have an opportunity to get a head-start for college. This course offers students individual attention in a supportive yet rigorous environment. Through this process, they gain the confidence and clarity they need to write effectively in the humanities and social sciences. (Course development and teaching; CU Summer 2013, online)
Documentary Production, Online
This course connects the qualitative methods of the social sciences and the humanistic concerns of the arts through the study of documentary subjects as captured by writing, photography, film, and web-based tools. Students will develop digital media production skills through hands-on learning produce a micro-documentary project, including all stages of production, from brainstorming to presenting the final product. (Course development and teaching; Capstone NJIT Summer 2012 and 2013, online)
Introduction to Art History: Modern to Contemporary
This two-semester art history core course, developed as part of the Foundation year for students in the School of Art but open to all students, is organized around a set of themes running through the history of modernity from the 18th century to the present. Within specific themes, significant works, figures and movements in art/design will be presented chronologically. Students will be able to identify and critically evaluate significant works, figures and movements in art/design in the modern period; be able to describe the main social and political contexts for the changes in art/design over the last two hundred years; and engage, in writing and class discussion, with theoretical perspectives on art/design production. The course will involve museum visits. Grading will be based on class participation, papers, and exams. (Cooper Union two-semester sequence, 2011-2014, classroom)
As a research scholar and university educator specializing in the fields of communication and digital environments, I design courses to achieve a variety of learning outcomes including: art and media literacy; currency with new communication technologies; collaboration and teamwork; and improvement in written and spoken communication. Incorporated into the classroom through course objectives, assignments, and methods of assessment, these learning outcomes foster student communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills. Proficient in these skills, students are thus better positioned to achieve their professional career goals.
Preferred Learning Tools & Environments
Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Balsamiq, Proto.io, Camtasia, Google for Education, iMovie, Webex, GoToMeeting, Moodle, Sakai, SuccessFactors, Blackboard, Canvas