Welcome to my teaching ePortfolio!
In 2009, after approximately 7 years of practicing law, I finally admitted that something was missing and decided to make a change. So, I started teaching as an adjunct “on the side” for a local institution while continuing my practice. It wasn’t long before I realized that I really hated being a lawyer and that teaching was what I was meant to do. I eventually shifted from full-time practice to doing contract legal research and began piecing together adjunct “gigs” across institutions enough to make it my full-time job.
Almost immediately, I embraced the use of technology in the classroom and as a method of “alternative” learning. Though I had not taken any online classes as an undergrad or in graduate school, I definitely saw the value and trend on the horizon. Every class that I taught – whether it be for the paralegal training program at the local technical college or the freshman composition course at the local 4-year institution incorporated the institution’s LMS (then, WebCT). The only school I taught for that didn’t integrate some form of learning technology was the local law school; this surprised me since both legal research and court filings were becoming more and more electronic. It didn’t really matter that much, though, because I soon found that the courses I enjoyed teaching the most weren’t the law or paralegal classes but the writing classes. I began focusing all of my efforts on finding those classes to teach and improving my ability to teach them.
As I began teaching writing more and more, I started to see limitations within the LMS (then, Blackboard) with regard to delivery of instructional materials. I developed a teaching website to use with my various classes at various schools alongside the schools’ LMS and even presented about it at a local teaching and learning conference. Soon, though, I saw other issues arise regarding differences in outcomes or course objectives and required textbooks and other materials, as well as differences in learners, at the various institutions, that made a one-size-fits-all teaching website ineffective. I knew there had to be “a better way” but I just wasn’t sure what it was yet.