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Statement	of	Teaching	–	Michael	Wilder	
At	heart,	I	am	an	educator.		Although	my	experiences	have	guided	me	down	many	path...
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  1. 1. Statement of Teaching – Michael Wilder At heart, I am an educator. Although my experiences have guided me down many paths including online education and technology, it is teaching that forms the basis of my passion. The conviction that I am making a positive impact on someone’s life through education motivates me to choose this profession as my calling. As an educator, my teaching philosophy is tempered by years of experience, mentoring, and educational theory. From my early days as a high school English teacher in inner-city Los Angeles to years providing mentoring and training in a university-level teaching and learning center to my current assignments teaching higher education journalism courses at UNLV, I have made a conscious effort to always improve my technique. I believe that teaching and learning should be student centered, engaging, active, and personal. My teaching philosophy is highly influenced by learning theory. I believe in following Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction during a lesson: eliciting prior knowledge, facilitating interaction between all course participants, and providing students with opportunities to practice what they have learned (with suitable feedback) prior to assessment. I believe in being aware of the limitations of human cognitive architecture and designing instruction that is appropriate to match these limitations. I also believe that teaching and learning is a social activity. We all learn from each other. My primary learning objectives revolve around 21st century skills for contemporary learners: collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, flexibility and adaptability, critical thinking, and problem solving. I believe that while canonical educational content is important for learners in order to be culturally and technologically literate, I also believe that the value of knowledge is contextual and ever changing. Skills that provide students with the opportunity to work together, to seek out relevant knowledge, to be prepared to evaluate the validity of that knowledge, and to be able to apply that knowledge in novel ways, will prepare students to adapt to the many changes that we face in contemporary society. These core philosophies have influenced how I teach Interactive Media Design (both introductory and advanced) for the UNLV School of Journalism. Instruction is scaffolded, providing a framework that allows students to explore and seek knowledge that is relevant and applicable to their professional area of interest. Once students become proficient with the essential tools and techniques provided in the introductory course, they are given the opportunity to select learning paths that are adaptive, active, and relevant. Using multiuser blogging techniques, I have developed an innovative learning environment where students are able to produce articles for online publication that encourages peer review and collaboration. Students are provided with the tools to take ownership of their learning environment, customizing it to suit their needs and abilities. Students have responded very favorably in testimonials and in student evaluations. The structure of this course has received the prestigious “Effective Practice” award from the Online Learning Consortium.

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