Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Rosemarie Joy Alonzo-Schulte: I’m a Member of STP, and This is How I Teach.

17 Apr 2019 5:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

School Name: University of Roehampton London – Online & University of the People - Online

Type of School: Public Universities. Both universities have a diverse student body that represents the six continents – Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Australia.

Classes you Teach: Undergraduate and Graduate psychology courses including Research Project (Master’s Thesis) Supervision

Average Class size: In undergraduate courses, class size ranges from 15 to 40 students. While in the graduate courses, class size ranges from 15 to 25 students. Supervision of master’s thesis varies from 4 to 15 students. 

Tell us about your favorite lecture topic or course to teach.

Out of all the psychology, undergraduate and graduate courses - psychopathology, personality, and health psychology are the courses that I enjoy teaching as I found that most students someway and somehow relate to the topics with their personal experiences, and at times discovers something new about themselves. As much as I love teaching these courses, I like organizing and presenting the materials in a way that makes it easier for the students to understand which can stimulate discussions that foster learning and engage the students in active learning.

These courses that I enjoy teaching are aligned with my research interest which reflects on the student’s masters thesis that I am supervising that has an emphasis on how adverse environmental experiences (stress, trauma, social disadvantages, alter development processes) shapes emotional, cognitive and neurobiological development throughout childhood and adolescence that predicts the increased risk for psychopathology, particularly in adulthood.

What are three words that best describe your teaching style? Interactive, Engaging, and Supportive.

What is something your students would be surprised to learn about you? I am a licensed clinical psychologist and currently in active psychological practice. I amfrom Houston, Texas but presently residing in Alberta, Canada. Psychology is not my first undergraduate studies, but Business Administration.

What’s the best advice about teaching you’ve ever received?

Teaching using a learning platform can be challenging compared to teaching in a classroom as being familiarized with the different learning software is vital in facilitating the course/class, engaging the students to participate in activities must be sustained and students tend to need more support. Because of this, flexibility, adaptability, and communication are imperative.

The best advice that I learned from my professors and mentors are keeping it simple even if the course material is difficult as it enables the students to learn the material and knowing after the course is over that they have learned what should be is the rewarding part of teaching.

What book or article has shaped your work as a psychology teacher? I love the books that are authored by Oliver Sacks in particular, The Case of the Colorblind Painter as it clearly displays the relationship between cognitive processing and behavior. 

Briefly describe a favorite assignment.

Writing a research proposal is my favorite assignment as it demonstrates the student’s subject of interest, why it interests them, and showcase their writing skills. Based on the students’ feedback, they find this assignment challenging, but they are also excited in doing an activity that they have not done before.

What teaching or learning techniques work best for you? Active learning is my teaching/learning style which allows inclusion of the different learning styles and motivates students to be engaged learners.

What’s your workspace like? Tons of paper all over my workspace. It is evident that the semester term is over when all the paper disappears, and everything is organized.

Tell us about a teaching disaster (or embarrassment) you’ve had and how you dealt with the situation.

When I was new on teaching online, I announced the date and time of the synchronous class and realized the day before the scheduled date that some of my students are geographically located in places wherein the date is a day ahead of North America. Luckily, that day I managed to show up although I was ten minutes late and good enough some of my students are still online waiting. I ended up facilitating the class though slightly disorganized. Because of this error, I ended up giving two synchronous class instead of one and sending emails that contains some materials and resources that I did not manage to cover during the synchronous class.

At the time that I made this mistake, all I can do is go with the flow though I was really flustered. Now, when I look back, it always brings a smile on my face. 

What are you currently reading for pleasure? Recently, I became enthused about the holistic approach such as meditation that I ended up reading Aware, the science and practice of presence.

What tech tool could you not live without? Collaboration app is essential in teaching and communicating with students, and the use of SPSS to validate the students’ statistics work.

What’s your hallway chatter like? What do you talk to colleagues most (whether or not it is related to teaching/school?)

In the faculty lounge forum, the discussion between faculty members tends to be more suggestive as the topics that are most talked about pertains to student’s situations or circumstances such as academic integrity or inappropriate/unusual behaviors. In some instances, a faculty member might discuss an activity that they intend to introduce or already presented in class that is out of the ordinary that usually creates a lot of buzz.

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