Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2016 – HVCC: Linda K. Ryder
Linda K. Ryder, MA, MFA, MSCDIT, COLT, is the Senior Instructional Designer in the Hudson Valley Community College Center for Distance and Online Learning, where she develops curriculum for and conducts the Pedagogy of Effective Online Course Design and Delivery training.
I also teach Modern Art History, Art History Survey II and History of Fashion for HVCC’s Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Broadcast Communications department. I have been teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, and working in academic technology integration, I.T. project management, arts integration, curriculum development, faculty development, and education theory and practice for over 30 years.
When I first became involved in online learning in 1997, I immediately saw the opportunity to expand the teaching and learning mission beyond classrooms and lecture halls. I envisioned more democratic access to education, more differentiated instruction to support a wider range of learners, and richer learning environments with simulations, media, communication and contextualized links to resources digging more deeply into topics of interest. Even then, working with the technology limitations that existed at the time, the simple communication tools and global access to expertise was thrilling. The online learning environments evolved rapidly, and those of us who committed to the field have had to evolve with them. I have built a major part of my career around supporting and encouraging fellow faculty to take this rewarding journey, and helping them adjust to a constantly changing technology landscape, while staying true to their disciplinary and teaching passions.
The positive responses to well-crafted online activities and course structures have been documented in student feedback at many institutions, including HVCC, and I hope to be an exemplar in quality and innovation in my own courses. For the past 2 years I have been researching immersive and virtual environments for teaching and learning, and the use of game design strategies for student motivation and knowledge acquisition. Combining these strategies with the expanding toolkit of online learning tools has been an exciting and rewarding direction to explore with students.
I am delighted to be part of COTE and the SUNY system, where online learning is clearly viewed as both an art and a science, well within the reach of all participants.