My teaching interests focus on online education, and more specifically, the design, use, implementation, and evaluation of technologies for teaching, learning, and scholarship. Within this domain, I have taught courses focusing on the future of education, instructional design, the use of technology in K-12 and higher education, design/delivery of online/hybrid education, the use of emerging technologies in education and training, the use of an inquiry and participatory mode of education entitled Adventure Learning. I have also taught introductory and advanced research methods courses for doctoral students. The courses I have taught have prepared teachers to use technologies in their classrooms, equipped doctoral students with strategies and knowledge on how to use social media to enhance their scholarship, supported instructional designers in implementing technology-enhanced learning, and enabled practitioners to examine the use and implementation of online learning in varied contexts.
My teaching philosophy centers on technology-enhanced pedagogies that foster student–centered learning environments that are experiential, social, meaningful, engaging, and authentic. Ultimately, my teaching philosophy informs and is informed by my research interests and agenda. Online learning and hybrid education endeavors are most frequently guided by arguments of efficiency, reduced costs, expanded course offerings, and reaching more (and different kinds of) learners. My perspective is that technological innovations allow us to do much more. Online and hybrid education, supported by powerful pedagogies that foster real-world experiences, enable us to provide opportunities for fulfillment and personal transformation. In such environments, I see myself as responsible for providing challenging and meaningful opportunities for learners to explore their passions and enhance their skills and knowledge. I also see myself as providing scaffolds and expertise to help my students succeed in my courses, in their future/present careers, and in their lifelong quest for learning and growth. For instance, I often introduce my students to online communities that they can join providing them with opportunities to become contributing members of professional communities (for more on this, see my paper Veletsianos, G. (2011). Designing Opportunities for Transformation with Emerging Technologies [pdf]. Educational Technology, 51(2), 41-46).
While we can ask learners to participate in online networks/communities, I believe that we can take an additional step and model such practices. I model online participation by being an open scholar and by involving my students in open practices (e.g., in past courses, I have asked students to hack our course syllabus). Open educational practices are valuable because they allow us to learn from each other and explore common interests. For example, in my Instructional Design & Technology course, we study one instructional design model, and by the end of the course students gain an in-depth understanding of that model. One of my favorite activities is to ask students to critique the model and to compare it to a model of their choice. I ask them to do this comparison in the form of a digital story using tools and technologies that might make the process of critiquing instructional design models engaging and unique. This activity allows room for creativity while maintaining rigor, and enables my students to take ownership and generate knowledge that can benefit others. Sharing such artifacts in an open manner online, also allows students to see the potential impact that their work can have.