Faculty Success Stories profile faculty members who are engaged in innovative teaching practices in face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses. Each story follows the same template in showcasing faculty work, and addresses the role of academic technology, learning goals, student and instructor perspectives, and assessment. Each story also contains a sample of the teaching practice in action – via video, screenshots, photographs, or other means.
It's often said that misery is the mother of invention, and quite candidly, I was never satisfied with the Heavy Duty Truck Technology technical writing textbook that we used, nor was I keen on any of the other like textbooks available. I wanted to create a technical writing textbook that would blend well the academic with the practical. After interviewing many HDTT leaders in the field and online research, I was able to put together a textbook that would satisfy our enrolled program students and their future employers.
At the time (2010-2012), we were trying to boost enrollment – so we were trying to capture students who wouldn’t be able to participate in our program on a Monday-Thursday schedule. People like stay-at-home moms for whom trying to afford daycare and come to school was too much, or someone who couldn't give up their daytime job in order to come to a daytime program, or distance learners who could only come to campus one day a week.
The goal for this project was to reduce the hands-on laboratory time by half. We delivered some of the lab prep online to see if students could come to campus and complete the lab in half the time (compared to traditional courses). Instead of having a guided practice lab, where instructors demonstrate and give students time to practice, and students read the materials or looked at the films and came to campus ready to go and do it. That’s exactly what we have our hybrid/online students doing every week. This reduces our visual – or need to be with them on campus – to one, two-hour session a week for each course. For scheduling, we picked Tuesdays because it’s the day of the week least likely to be have a holiday, campus event, or release day – because we couldn’t afford to lose a lab night.
There were a couple of classes that we decided that we were going to pre-record lectures for, so that the students would have a library of content that they would be able to have and to save or to use for resources and to reference. When they would get to the end of the program, they need to go back and review content for say, the imaging class (which is extremely technical). They could pull those recorded lectures back out, and they could listen to those recorded lectures and reread through that material and be able to bring it back up for study purposes.