Professor of Teaching, Philosophy and Arts One
Office: IBLC 373
ArtsOne Seminar Website
I started teaching in the department of Philosophy at UBC in 2004, and am thrilled to be able to teach in Arts One nearly every year since 2005. This program is a great forum for doing the kind of intensive, interactive, and interdisciplinary work that I feel is important for genuine critical inquiry and an engaged, active education. It is also a fantastic way for students to start their first year, getting to know a small group of engaged, intellectually curious students as well as a professor in a small group setting. Many of the students I have taught over the years in Arts One have kept in touch with their classmates (and sometimes me) long after their year in Arts One is through.
Before coming to UBC I taught for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County, a two-year, transfer campus of the University of Wisconsin system. I found the small class sizes and the liberal arts focus on that campus to be a great atmosphere for students beginning their college careers, as it offered ample opportunity for discussion, for honing writing skills, and for integrating disciplines through close contact between professors and students in different departments. I believe the Arts One program offers Arts students at UBC a similar opportunity for starting their university studies off well, and I feel fortunate to be able to participate.
I earned my PhD in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000, focusing my graduate studies on the work of feminist and Continental philosophers such as Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Michel Foucault. Here at UBC I have taught courses such as: Introduction to Philosophy; Moral Theory; Sex, Gender and Philosophy; and a fourth-year seminar in Continental philosophy that usually focuses on Michel Foucault and one other French or German philosopher.
I have an online teaching portfolio that I recently prepared (2015-2016), which you can see here.
My research has lately moved towards studying issues in teaching and learning, or what is formally known as the “scholarship of teaching and learning.” In particular, I am doing research on the value of peer feedback for writing, such as we do in Arts One. In fact, I and a research team have gathered data from one of my Arts One seminar groups to study how students use peer feedback on their essays to improve their writing, and whether that changes over the course of the many peer feedback sessions we have in tutorials in Arts One. We are still finalizing the results from that study.
I also do research on open education and open educational resources (OER), including open textbooks. OER and open textbooks are educational materials that are free of cost and that are licensed to allow instructors and students to revise them. Along with others I am studying how students and instructors perceive the quality of these resources, and whether they provide a useful alternative to costly textbooks. You can see one of the reports on this research I have collaborated on so far, here: Exploring Faculty Use of Open Educational Resources at British Columbia Post-Secondary Institutions.
You can find much more about my research at my website.
Outside of teaching I spend as much time as I can with my family, including my 9-year old son who is currently into anything having to do with science, coding, or art. And cats; he is the biggest cat lover I have ever known (fortunately we have two cats!). I also sometimes participate in open, online courses, often about teaching and learning. I write posts about those on my blog. In particular, I often participate in an open, online digital storytelling course called DS106. You can see my posts about DS106 on this site.