Online Teaching

SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2022: Buffalo – Chris Cohan

Chris Cohan University at Buffalo

Chris Cohan
University at Buffalo

Chris Cohan, Ph.D. is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, at the University at Buffalo. His research interests and teaching are in the area of neuroscience. He is a strong advocate for the integrated teaching of neuroscience and the use of online resources to make learning more effective. He received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for excellence in teaching in 2005. He received the Siegel Award for excellence in teaching 7 times from medical student classes for teaching during the preclinical years of medical school. Chris is also director of UB’s two brain museums that provide an opportunity to see human brains and hear about their awesome capabilities.

I was an early adopter of internet use in my courses, realizing the power of online educational tools to promote learning. Multimedia resources can enrich educational instruction, making  difficult subjects easier to understand. Visual, auditory, and video media are extremely powerful in providing multiple ways for students to learn difficult content more effectively. When the internet first became widely available, I realized its power in providing access to educational information without restrictions on time or place and the opportunity to accumulate resources for students to promote self-directed learning. I developed the skills for creating web-based resources by enrolling in on-campus educational technology tutorials and through my own self-directed learning. I created a web site for my courses and developed interactive tutorials along with my students that helped reinforce concepts that were difficult to grasp in lectures and readings. Interactive tutorials provided a way to engage learners in a process that is focused, relevant, engaging, and fun to complete. I believe that being an effective online educator requires our guiding students to the most relevant resources to help them learn. We can help students by providing course-specific resources that go beyond text-based content, allowing them to interact with concepts in ways that are different from our lectures and readings. While much of the information that is currently available online is text- or video- based, it is still important for us to develop interactive resources that engage students and guide them through the learning process.



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