SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2022: Farmingdale – Jessica Seifert
Jessica Seifert, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Farmingdale State College. She received her doctorate degree in Biomedical Science at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in 2006 and performed post-doctoral research at NYU School of Medicine until 2014, when she joined the Biology Department at FSC. She is trained as a Developmental Biologist and performs genetic analysis using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Her current research focuses on identifying genetic causes of ovarian tumors in Drosophila.
My first experience with online learning was as a student during my Post-Doctoral training. I enrolled in an online course called “Scientists Teaching Science” sponsored by the New York Academy of Science. I was impressed by the quality of the course work and as a working mother of young children, the flexibility was priceless. In 2017, I took advantage of the opportunity to transform “Introduction to Bioinformatics” into an online course. This course is centered on computer-based analyses; in an online environment, students are able to complete work at their own pace, as opposed to being rushed in a classroom setting. I find students appreciate this flexibility. My number one goal as an online instructor is to create a strong positive presence in my courses. Creating an effective learning community in an online environment can be challenging and I have found that robust communication is key. I want my students to feel comfortable reaching out to me directly when needed. I maintain individual communication with students weekly, letting them know when they have exceeded expectations and providing suggestions to help them improve their performance.