Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2017

Faculty Award winner

Iryna Malendevych

 College of Health and Public Affairs

 Criminal Justice

My teaching philosophy is predicated on the basis that regardless of the type of personality, learning style, or level of pre-existing knowledge, each student can master a reasonable understanding of any concept. Motivation and personal example are the keys to successful learning. It is very important to address the heterogeneous levels of understanding in the entire class, not only the level of a specific group of students.

Teaching is a process that changes with every interaction. During face-to-face courses, it is essential to move among the students while lecturing and engage them in discussions. To facilitate note taking, it is important to provide examples that are not in a textbook or ask students for their examples from real life.

In online classes, it is very important to increase student interaction by including group projects and student only discussions. It is essential to give weekly/bi-weekly assignments to keep students reading the required material. It is important to consider the student knowledge of the technology.

Practical experience is paramount in one’s career success. Offering students ways to engage in community outreach tasks, service-learning projects, and volunteering projects is vital for their educational and networking process.

I believe that humor helps students retain information; therefore, I teach with humor (where appropriate). I also believe in allowing students to personalize their assignments to reflect their personal experiences and interests.

I believe in utilizing new strategies to convey information to students, being flexible, understand their abilities and needs, and being open to altering assignments due to immediate feedback, class size, or online platform.

In all environments, it is crucial for the instructor to be available for face-to-face help. Maintaining frequent contact with students via e-mail or instant chat is also necessary for their successful performance in the class. To facilitate this, the instructor must be available during flexible time period.

I believe in providing prompt, specific, informative, and encouraging feedback to students to facilitate the educational process and improve their next assignment. I believe in fairly evaluating the students’ learning via different types of assignments (timed tests, written assignments, group projects, etc.). I believe in using feedback from students to improve any aspect of my courses.

Respect and fairness for every student is vital.