SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2022: Farmingdale – Deanna Devlin
Dr. Deanna Devlin is an Assistant Professor for the Center for Criminal Justice Studies at Farmingdale State College. She obtained her Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2018 and her M.A. degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2015 from the University of Maryland. In 2013, Dr. Devlin received her B.S. degree in Criminology from The College of New Jersey. Her research areas of expertise include juvenile delinquency prevention, school safety, and policy evaluation. She specializes in investigating school crime prevention strategies such as the effects of police officers in schools. Dr. Devlin has worked with various criminal justice agencies and organizations in the field evaluating policies and programs to contribute to our understanding of evidence-based practices. Her recent work has appeared in Crime and Delinquency, Journal of School Violence, and Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice.
Dr. Devlin has been teaching courses in a variety of modalities, including traditional face-to-face, online and hybrid, for several years. She is also a Distance Learning Mentor at Farmingdale State College which entails hosting workshops, delivering presentations, and working with faculty members one-on-one and in groups to provide guidance on best practices for teaching online.
Distance learning is becoming increasingly popular in today’s world, and I enjoy teaching online and hybrid courses greatly. However, it is often the case that faculty are hesitant to teach online courses because they feel that there is not enough interaction and engagement with students. Similarly, students are often reluctant to take online classes as many indicate that they will not get a chance to really know their professor and classmates. Together, this shows that there is an impression that online classes are not interactive or engaging. It is a passion of mine to dispel these notions. I love to research and explore tools that humanize me as a professor in online courses and provide opportunities for the students to work together. For example, I will often replace traditional discussion forums with an interactive discussion where students record audio or video of their comments to generate more of a conversation and students actually get to hear from their classmates! In my opinion, it is important to leverage key features of technologies that can make classes more engaging. It is also my belief that simple steps on the faculty end can go a long way in contributing to student success in online courses. For example, sending reminders, providing checklists, and creating organized folders of material can all help students to stay on task. As a Distance Learning Mentor and a SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador, I am committed to providing my insights to others and will always continue to seek ways to improve myself as an educator.