Therese D. O'Neil, M.Ed.

Assistant Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

As a business educator since 1974, I bring teaching experience in high school, the business sector, community college and higher education. Holding a Bachelor and Master degree in Business Education assists in my expertise in teaching at all of the aforementioned venues. In the high school setting I taught everything from typing to shorthand (yes, I’m that old!), Business English, Business Math, Computer Applications, COBOL programming and much more. Since the early 1990’s I transitioned secretaries in the business sector from the computer into DOS, then from DOS into Windows. I created my own manuals and held workshops in WordPerfect, dBase III Plus, Lotus 1‑2‑3, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Access, Excel and Word. My Community College experience was in the secretarial field as well, teaching Office Machines. Currently I am teaching the Microsoft Office products and Computer Literacy in higher education. I have numerous published peer-reviewed publications in State, National and International Conferences. I began my interest in teaching at a distance in 2005, developing a course for my university called ‘Geeks Bearing Gifts’. It was a senior synthesis course and very popular. To prepare myself to teach online, I first took an online class, to get the student perspective. I then took a course at Penn State’s World Campus entitled ‘Introduction to Distance Education’. Following that I continued my professional development in the pedagogy (or shall I say ‘andragogy’) of teaching at a distance by taking a course at Clarion University of Pennsylvania titled ‘Media Strategies in Distance Communication’, and one at Millersville University of Pennsylvanian titled ‘The Dark Side of the Internet’. I continue my interest in teaching online by being a part of the Sloan Consortium (one of my papers was published at their 2011 annual conference). I am also a member of the Magna Publications group which has great articles and webinars for which I attend to further advance my teaching skills at a distance. I am a hands-on instructor. This is paramount in learning at a distance, as student-to-instructor interaction is essential to the learning of the student. Lastly, I feel that instructors should never do for students what they can do for themselves. It was legendary University of California, Los Angeles basketball coach John Wooden (1997) who wrote: “Why can’t we realize that it only weakens those we want to help when we do things for them that they could do for themselves?” (p. 15, as cited in Gabriel, 2008, p. 22). This does not mean we ‘present’ a lesson and let the student learn on their own; quite the contrary, we ‘teach’ the lesson, and let the student discover the material through discussions or projects. I believe in learner-centered teaching, active learning and formative assessment as these allow the student to practice what they are learning. That is why I explain several times in my lectures that it is best to interactively work with my lectures. Skill builder exercises are available for students to evaluate his/her comprehension of the material. The bottom line is I really enjoy teaching online and would like to be a part of the Udemy premium instructors.

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