I have taught English at years, and I am enrolled in his Ed Tech 001 course about how to teach online. I am about to offer a relatively new course here, Introduction to the Short Story, and I thought I might try doing it as a hybrid. I would not have even considered that idea had I not heard that Sabri was teaching a course to help neophytes like me learn to use WebCT and other online resources.
years, and I am enrolled in his Ed Tech 001 course about how to teach online. I am about to offer a relatively new course here, Introduction to the Short Story, and I thought I might try doing it as a hybrid. I would not have even considered that idea had I not heard that Sabri was teaching a course to help neophytes like me learn to use WebCT and other online resources.
He has been a tremendous teacher. His warmth and support have been consistently evident as he buoys us up when we might otherwise drown in technical jargon. As a busy professional, I am accustomed to doing things efficiently. Imagine my frustration to find myself bumbling along as I learned my way around in Sabris online class and the shell he created for the course that Im developing. With patience, Sabri always promptly answered my questions and encouraged me to persevere. Many of my classmates, like me, had initial reservations about teaching and learning online, so Sabri has had to deal with some anxiety and even occasional resistance. With clear replies, good humor, and sympathy as needed, he saved the day more than once. Sabri regularly dropped in on the discussions, and I learned from the variety of reactions to the many topics he raised, ranging from general teaching philosophy, the unique challenges of online interaction, and criteria for evaluation.
At the required on-campus orientation session, Sabris enthusiasm was contagious. He quickly made it clear that he would help us succeed, and he has been true to his promise. His teaching is definitely student-centered. He has handled students individual needs very sensitively, adjusting assignments to suit each learners objective in taking the course. In one assignment, he asked students to review an online textbook he was considering adopting. He responded with openness to both positive and negative critiques; I think students felt safe to be candid because Sabri had built up trust. We knew he wanted our real opinions, and we knew he would not be angry or put us down if we didnt have the reaction he might have anticipated or hoped for.
To teach online successfully, a person needs more than just good teaching skills. S/he also needs to be a master at using the medium, and Sabri is that. Judging by the questions some students have asked, he has been called upon to deal with one technical issue after another. He clearly knows what hes doing, and he is good at explaining, demonstrating, and having us experiment with online tools. And when something just goes plain wrong, I can imagine him throwing up his hands and laughing, Well, thats technology for you! In other words, no matter how committed he is to teaching in general and online instruction in particular, he does not take himself too seriously. A little laughter goes a long way in making technology more friendly to the technophobe.
Sabris attitude, combined with his abilities, make him an outstanding teacher. He leads by example, and when I offer my first hybrid, I will regularly ask myself, What would Sabri do? when I am striving to do my best.