Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2019: Canton – Marela Fiacco
Marela Fiacco, Ph.D., is a Health Care Management Assistant Professor at SUNY Canton and the Curriculum Coordinator for the Healthcare Management Program. She teaches in a program that can be completely entirely online and has developed numerous online classes. She graduated from Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee with a Bachelor of Business Administration and then, attended Middle Tennessee State University, graduating with a Master’s in Business Administration. She earned her Ph.D. in Business, with a concentration in Healthcare Administration.
She serves on the Online Course Review Committee, a governance committee responsible for ensuring quality of the online education and implementation of online policies and various initiatives. She has also served as a peer reviewer for over 50 online courses and was the first faculty to pilot the Flex class delivery in the fall of 2017.
“The first course I taught at SUNY Canton was a microeconomics online course delivered in BlackBoard in 2006. We, then, transitioned to Angel and back to BlackBoard. As we evolved through different platforms, one of my goals was the student engagement. To me, it is the most important aspect of online learning. Today, majority of my students take online courses because of the convenience of online course delivery; however, they do expect the classroom engagement and connection to their instructor.”
“One of the greatest advantages of teaching at the SUNY school is the access to various resources and trainings. I took a Quality by Design course, which helped me learn about various engagement strategies that my SUNY peers are utilizing in their respective online courses. I feel that, as an instructor, it is my obligation to deliver high quality online courses with relevant content, tools for engagement, and continuous improvements.”