Faculty Spotlight: Faby M. Gagné, PhD

Faby-gagne-300nDr. Faby Gagne has been teaching since 1997. She began teaching online in 2007 because she was interested in the increased opportunity to work with non-traditional students.  She tells us that flexible working hours are a perk too.

Faby has lots of good advice to offer to online faculty.  She wanted to remind faculty that Teaching online can be time consuming, and so it’s important to be organized and to manage time wisely.  She shared some ways that she has done this. 

  • My expectations regarding deadlines are outlined in the syllabus. None of my Granite State College students have questioned my policy about deadlines once I explain that deadlines are set in fairness to others in the course. Penalties are kept to a minimum. I’m also very flexible with extensions.
  • For discussions, I set very clear expectations about number of postings and content of postings. I use Excel to track and grade all discussion postings. I also track the number of times I make comments to students in the discussions.
  • In order to create a presence in an online environment, I access the course on a nightly basis and make weekly changes to the course by posting a new introduction at the top of the course.
  • One very helpful tool is the one-on-one forums that are very easy to set up. It is the BEST way for me to communicate with my students with respect to their progress. 

Over time, the way that Faby has interacted with online students has changed.  At first, she mainly interacted with students in writing, via course forums and emails. Now, she also uses chat sessions, video, audio, and telephone meetings including Joinme, Skype and Facetime.  She has also encouraged her students to use Dropbox in order to share files more easily.

 

“My role as an educator is to guide students in their own learning of social science research”.

Faby attributes several reasons for her success as an online instructor.  She says, “Having a faculty mentor was very helpful to me. Attending the workshops on Moodle was critical.” And, last but not least she points out, “Chuck Bagley has been a fantastic resource!

To contact Faby you may send an email to: fmgagne@go.granite.edu