I tailor the structure of class time, the content of lectures, and the type and frequency of assignments to what I hope students will take from the course both in the short- and long-term. Examples of course goals include:
developing and asking better questions;
improving media, data, digital, and cultural literacies;
understanding the concept of intersectionality;
engaging in respectful and informed dialogue;
understanding the concept of social construction;
reading a table, chart, or map in an article, book, or online;
understanding the concept of institutionalized oppression;
starting to write and cite like a real social scientist; and/or
completing IRB paperwork for a research project.
In order to maximize student engagement, I utilize a variety of pedagogical practices in my undergraduate and graduate classes in pursuit of blended learning:
a semester-long digital group project (financed by a Digital Seed Grant for Blended Learning) in place of a final paper;
a paperless class (i.e., in which I post all syllabi and reading material online; assignments are turned in online, I return grades and feedback online, students book office hours appointments with me online, and I facilitate writing workshops online);
assigning other kinds of “texts” for analysis (e.g., news articles, clips from news shows, pieces of legislation, and documentaries) in order to bring "the sociological imagination" and the history of policy and economic context to bear on the real world and current events;
and assigning primary texts by diverse scholars and from an array of disciplines, methodologies, and theoretical traditions in order to expose students to breadth and depth of thought.
I am keenly aware of the multiplicity of issues facing students today — those relating to mental and physical health and ability, natural disasters, family, and financial need — and strive to be a listening ear, an advocate, and an accommodating professor throughout all the challenges they face not just as students but as people. It is my duty and a central aspect of my pedagogy to make my classroom as safe as I can for marginalized students, and for students who are still learning about themselves and others.