Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2017 – Adirondack: Wendy Johnston
Wendy L. Johnston is the political scientist at SUNY Adirondack, a community college in the foothills of the Adirondacks. Wendy received BA in English from the College of St. Joseph, Rutland Vermont, and received her MA in Political Science from the University at Albany (SUNY). Wendy has received SUNY Adirondack’s President’s Award for excellence in teaching, junior faculty and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.
I am fortunate to teach a broad array of political science courses, including Introduction to Political Science and Political Thought, American Government, State and Local Government, Constitutional Law, International Relations, and Comparative Politics.
I have always valued the opportunities afforded in an online environment, connecting my American Government students with students from California, Maryland and Texas via a private social networking site. While the courses were taught in the traditional face-to-face modality, the social media platform allowed the opportunity for students to reach beyond their campus and community and discuss political events and course concepts with students from across the country.
I developed American National Government for the online platform in 2012. As a community college with an open admissions mission, the online platform afforded me the opportunity to connect with a broader group of students and has allowed me to continually refine my pedagogy. In 2015, I took steps to go textbook free in American Government, connecting students to primary sources, journal articles, and governmental institutions. This spring I am resurrecting the social media project. SUNY Adirondack’s American Government students (online and face-to-face) will be connected with students from the University at Houston, to discuss course concepts and current political issues.