Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2019: Fredonia – Angela McGowan-Kirsch
Angela McGowan-Kirsch is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at The State University of New York at Fredonia where she studies communication from a rhetorical perspective and serves as the department’s internship director. She has been at SUNY Fredonia since 2015 teaching courses such as communication and leadership, communication theory, persuasion, political communication, and rhetoric and criticism. Dr. McGowan-Kirsch’s research focuses on civility, polarization, and bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate. Aside from chairing Fredonia’s America Democracy Project committee, she is also member of the National Communication Association, Rhetoric Society of America, and the Organization for Research on Women and Communication.
Dr. McGowan-Kirsch began teaching online in 2016 when she wanted to offer summer courses in the areas of persuasion and mass media and society. She successfully completed Fredonia’s “Building Your Online Course” certification program and is an active member of Fredonia’s Council of Online Learning. She hopes to help expand Fredonia’s offerings to Open SUNY while also working with others to develop the university’s online course and program offerings.
“While teaching online courses, I have witnessed firsthand the benefits of offering classes online. For example, online classes provide students with access to higher education, and the ability to learn from faculty and students whom they may never have interacted with otherwise. Through attending workshops, readings books, and meeting with mentors in Fredonia’s Office of Online Learning, I have added additional interactive features to my online courses. Consequently, I have noticed that students who are anxious participating in face-to-face classes are more prone to sharing their thoughts in an online class. It is exciting to see how an online class can foster students’ confidence and communication abilities.”
“Additionally, as many companies are moving their training and development into online or hybrid courses, online learners are better prepared for future workplace training. Those enrolled in online classes develop strong self-discipline and time management skills. Obtaining these transferable skills early allows students to succeed in a virtual environment that exists in today’s workforce. While an online platform may not work for all learners, it is can effective tool for those who prefer to learn independently, have a flexible schedule, and customize their learning environment. I look forward to continuing to grow the number online courses that Fredonia offers.”