I applied for the PTP Program because I wanted teaching to be a main component of my career. Like my skills in research, I wanted to develop my teaching through learning from professionals and creating my own independent project. Through this program, I have been able take workshops, be mentored by a faculty member, and design and teach my own course. I have now shifted from my abstract ideas about teaching that I have garnished through being a lab Teaching Assistant and know what it really takes to make a course.
The evidence that I provided for you in this portfolio is to show that I created assessment for a course with a specific goal - to critique conservation - and found that their self-reported learning outcomes were in line with my intentions. This is incredible to me! I would not have been able to that without the training and guidance within the PTP program. In compiling this portfolio, I was able to take all the feedback given to me and use it to assess not just my teaching, but the course itself. With their help, I am able to continue working on my communication with students to better support student (and my) learning.
Through this project, I have a course development model that I can use for future courses with a broad range of goals. I would love to teach a field methods course and general Ecology course, where the goals would be different from the critique-based format that I used in Conservation for the 21st Century. However, I look forward to creating more assessment that challenges students to think critically and re-assess their assumptions.
My teaching philosophy has changed quite a bit from before this program started. I used to be focused on simply engaging students and being cognizant of my active learner bias. Through this course, I had the opportunity to create material that was engaging and variety of assessment that was a appealing to different types of learners. I have learned through my experience that I do not always have to actively try and engage students, but rather give them the freedom to explore.