Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2016 – Stony Brook: Stephanie Foote
Stephanie M. Foote, Ph.D. is a Lecturer in the Higher Education Administration Program at Stony Brook University, and a Professor of Education in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies, Faculty Fellow for High-Impact Practices in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Kennesaw State University. A recipient of the McGraw-Hill Excellence in Teaching First-Year Seminars and NODA Outstanding Research award, Dr. Foote’s scholarship and consultative work span a variety of aspects of student development and transition, including: the role of first-year seminars and experiential pedagogy on student engagement in the early college experience; the community college transfer student transition; self-authorship development; engagement and learning in online environments; and high-impact educational practices.
Dr. Foote is a member of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition National Advisory Board, a faculty member for the Center’s Institute on Developing and Sustaining First-Year Seminars, and developed and has taught the online course, Fostering First-Year Student Success for the Center since 2010. Dr. Foote is also the editor for the Journal of College Orientation and Transition (JCOT).
Through active and engaging learning opportunities in all teaching modalities, including my online courses, I strive to create an environment where students will think more deeply, and ultimately, more critically. In my experience, active learning does not always produce critical thinking or learning, but coupled with intentionality and opportunities for reflection, students are more likely to get to those “a-ha” learning experiences. Although the graduate students I teach online at Stony Brook are often adept learners, they need opportunities to reflect purposefully and assimilate disciplinary learning.
I attempt to help students make these connections through activities and assignments that bring the course material to life. I also strive to personalize my online classes through video introductions, weekly update videos, short narrated “lecturettes,” and establishing presence through contributions to online discussions. I have found that my online teaching experiences have only strengthened my teaching because they have challenged me to think differently about student engagement. Online teaching has been one of the most profound experiences in my career.