October 2012 Sloan-C Certificate Featured Graduate - Marjorie Castillo-Farquhar
Our Sloan-C Certificate Featured Graduate of the Month is Marjorie Castillo-Farquar, an Instructor at Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA.
When Marjorie entered the Sloan-C Online Teaching Certificate (OTC) program, she was teaching basic adult education classes as an adjunct faculty member at Bellingham Technical College in Washington state. During her first college teaching experience she designed her first hybrid ABE Reading course. She enrolled in the OTC program because she wanted to become certified to teach online. Following Marjorie's introduction to online teaching as her institution began to explore Blackboard, she realized that online education was becoming more and more a part of the future of education. Not wanting to be left "in the dust," and in a position where she was going to jump in to teaching online "with both feet," she set an intention to truly learn the craft of online teaching from the ground up.
Not only did the program support Marjorie in developing a clear vision of online course quality, it also shaped her teaching philosophy. Because the program placed Marjorie in the role of online learner, she experienced presence and interaction firsthand. In her portfolio project, she wrote, "Both the engagement piece and the learning community piece were at the forefront of my mind as I worked at the design of my course... being in the OTC course I had something to draw from, i.e., my personal experience, on how I might [implement these] well. In the OTC course, the readings and activities, and the questions were themselves, very engaging and drew my attention, so I looked for content material, and designed questions around that material that would also engage the students."
Marjorie selected workshops from Sloan-C Institute's offerings for her program electives where she focused on Podcasting, Audio and Video, and Workload Management. In these workshops, she "found very useful ways to continue to provide quality teaching, even within a more structured grasp on my time, from the many examples given on how to use and reuse material." Marjorie notes that "I do that with my classes now more than I’d ever done it before, and it has also helped me keep myself more organized."
After completing, Marjorie notes her motivation to continue learning and practicing her craft.
"I want to take more courses, particularly those that will help me create more engagement in the classroom. I see it in my classroom, already, but I work with students who are quick to give up and it is my desire to help them see the benefits of staying in school, especially to see how the online offerings can meet their schedules/needs and make it easier to do so. I also want to learn more about podcasting and blogging and how to use social media to reach my students. I see that students are very adept at these skills, so I want to tap into them for my student population."
The Sloan-C Institute recognizes the importance of quality, sustained professional development with enough support and feedback to be successful as a learner amid the many demands for faculty time and energy. Marjorie's mentor Shari McCurdy-Smith recommended her for this feature.
Congratulations, Marjorie - Sloan-C is proud to have you as our Featured Graduate!
To learn more about the Sloan-C Certificate for teaching and improving online courses, visit http://sloanconsortium.org/sloanc_institute#cert