In this Progressive Pedagogy Group on hastgac.org, we recognize superb, innovative professors and their classroom innovations. Today, we feature Professor Virginia Yonkers at the University of Albany who tells us about herself and her classroom innovations in group learning and leadership as well as partnering with universities abroad:
Professor Yonkers holds a Phd in Curriculum and Instruction, International MBA and MA TESoL. Research interests in Groups/Group Communication, Collaborative writing, and international online projects. She teaches Group Communication, Leadership in Groups, Intercultural Communication, Speech Presentation. Either leadership in Groups or Speech Presentation
Prof Yonkers writes: "I design tasks that bring my students out of the classroom. For Leadership in Groups, I often send in-class groups out of the classroom to complete a task using leadership skills they are studying. For Speech presentation, my students are working with a class in Brazil to create digital speeches.
I use Kolb's experiential learning model (Experience, Reflection, Generalization, Experimentation) since this was the basis of my teacher training. But it is important that students have a natural occurring experience (not artificial in the classroom) so they learn how to handle complex problems and situations. For communication it is important they actually practice communication to improve their skills.
You can find out more about Professor Yonkers' research and teaching at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Virginia_Yonkers/research