Taking My Teaching to a Whole New Level – Johnny Rider, TUN

Dear Colleagues,

Below is the latest blog entry from Johnny Rider, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health and Human Services at Touro University Nevada. Johnny is currently enrolled in the ACUE course Effective Teaching in Higher Education.

Jim O’Connor Ph.D.

ACUE has taken my teaching to a whole new level. As a new assistant professor, I did not have much experience teaching in a classroom. I did not have a specific method for designing my courses. I took what I learned as a clinical educator and tried to apply it to a classroom of students. I was receiving good reviews from my students, but I knew there was room for improvement, however, I was unsure of where to begin. I was fortunate to be a part of ACUE early on in my career. ACUE has provided me with evidence-based strategies to develop my courses and improve student achievement. ACUE has guided me through a process of discovery and refinement as an educator.

ACUE has given me the tools to develop powerful course outcomes and design engaging lesson plans. I now have a clear vision of what I want my students to learn from my courses and I know exactly what steps I need to take as an instructor to help my students meet course objectives. As I progressed through the ACUE course and implemented the many innovative strategies provided, I saw positive changes in the courses I was teaching and my confidence as an instructor. Fewer students asked for clarification on my rubrics and assignments after revising them based on ACUE’s recommendations. I incorporated new methods of obtaining student achievement and feedback during the semester and was able to adjust my lessons to improve student motivation and engage under prepared students. I learned how to utilize in-class and out-of-class time more effectively with more engaging class discussions and active learning techniques. I refined assignments to be better aligned with course outcomes and learned how to provide more valuable feedback to help students become more self-directed learners.

Thanks to ACUE, I now see my responsibilities and opportunities as an educator with a different lens. I recognize the abundant evidence that I can implement to become a more effective instructor. I have also been inspired to look for ways to conduct research in my own classroom. ACUE has positively impacted every aspect of my teaching and guided me on a path of professional development that will shape the rest of my career.

Johnny Rider, MS, OTR/L, CEAS, CPAM
Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy
College of Health and Human Services