Online Teaching

SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2021: Niagara – Laura Scaletta

Laura Scaletta

Laura Scaletta

Laura L. Scaletta is a Professor of Psychology and the Coordinator of the Psychology A.S. Degree Program.  Laura earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Brock University in Ontario, Canada, and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology, specializing in Neuroscience, from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  For almost three decades, she has been teaching at Niagara County Community College and was approached in 1999 to develop and teach one of the first online courses ever offered, at a time when the Learning Management System was Lotus Notes.  For the past year, Laura has been assisting in the development and implementation of an Associate in Science degree in Psychology, which officially began matriculating students on January 1, 2020.  In addition, she actively participates in the content review of the textbook Psychology in Your Life by Grison and Gazzaniga, where she is featured in the third edition.

If I could build a time machine and access my online course from 1999, I would not even think it was mine.  The way that I currently design my courses, present the course material, utilize online resources, and encourage student engagement is completely different today than it was back-in-the-day.  This enormous transformation has been made possible by technological advances, but it was my responsibility to learn and to use them too.  I deeply care about the quality and content that I deliver, and I am determined to have my online students receive a thorough, rigorous, yet enlightening education.  I believe students can instantaneously assess whether their educators are passionate or indifferent about teaching.  I refuse to become the latter.  

I am lucky that I teach Psychology, one of the most fascinating sciences in the world.  The quantity and variety of online resources and tools that I can use is overwhelming, and sometimes difficult to find, but they have made my online courses rich and exciting.  On the other hand, students have access to online resources as well, not all of which are factually correct.  Every day, I struggle to combat the psychological myths and inaccuracies that students have found on the Internet:  No, a full moon does NOT cause people to become violent, Sigmund Freud was NOT the father of Psychology, and all humans use 100%, not 10% of their brains.


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