Fall 2019 Report

This semester my goal has been to begin envisioning myself as a future professor. This means the beginning of the development of my teaching philosophy and the understanding of the initial skills/ideas needed to teach. The following is a report on all the activities and preparations I have been undergoing during Fall 2019.

Throughout the semester, when time has allowed, I’ve been constructing my personal website, which I plan to use in tandem with a canvas course. My personal website currently consists of personal information such as my resume, GitHub and other assorted business links. My personal website also serves as a blog where I document all GAANN related writings. Eventually, I’d like to adapt my website to contain my teaching portfolio, class notes, and extra resources. As I’ve mentioned, I‘ve begun working on a sandbox canvas course in tandem with my personal website. So far I have been learning the basics of canvas such as file uploading and development of modules. My plan is to further expand my practical knowledge of constructing and maintaining a canvas course in Spring 2020 when I begin acting as a TA for my teaching mentor.

Every Tuesday since August I have been attending a graduate teaching seminar (ITSC 8665), which has been fundamental in developing my teaching philosophy and gaining an understanding of basic teaching concepts. The seminar has covered different topics such as the following: teaching techniques (i.e. active, inquiry-based and traditional lecture based learning methods), developing class syllabuses, developing learning environments, planning and organizing courses, and developing teaching philosophies. Of course, the seminar has covered a wide variety of topics but these have been the most influential. As a first semester teaching seminar the largest emphasis has been on developing a class syllabus and outline along with a teaching philosophy. I plan to continue the teaching seminar up until the point I begin teaching. My biggest takeaway so far has been on the development of my teaching philosophy which I expect to continue to progress as long as I am teaching. An on going version of my teaching philosophy will be located on my personal website.

On November 11th, 2019 I attended the CTL Poll Everywhere seminar which was an overview and introduction to Poll Everywhere. The seminar demonstrated the following ideas: how faculty and students see and use Poll Everywhere, how to setup Poll Everywhere for faculty and students, how to create poll questions, how to import a canvas course, how to integrate Poll Everywhere into slides, and how to download Poll Everywhere extensions. One of the more interesting ideas I took away from the talk was the fact that you can actually use LaTex within Poll Everywhere. While this might seem like a simplistic feature, it actually makes the writing of mathematical equations significantly easier. One of the down sides to Poll Everywhere when being used for grading is that only two types of questions, multiple choice and clickable images, can be transferred to canvas’s grade book. The rest of the question types must sadly be manually input into the canvas grade book. Overall I found the seminar useful and I plan on attending more CTL seminars to further expand my knowledge base.

Lastly, I have spent about three-fourths of the semester seeking a machine learning teaching mentor. I have finally been able to switch my mentor to Dr. Lee who will begin to teach an interactive undergraduate machine learning course starting Spring 2020. This class holds great promise as the class design is a mix between traditional lectures and active learning. My hope is to begin gaining practical teaching experience in the course I hope to one day teach.