Jonathan Allred, M.Ed., currently works at Utah Valley University as an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Graphic and Design Technology Department. Prior to this assignment he was an adjunct instructor at Utah Valley University for the Technology Management and Engineering Graphic and Design Technology Departments. He has professional experience as a project manager and designer for Cloward H2O, a world renowned water engineering firm. He received his Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences from Utah State University with an emphasis in distance education. He has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Technology Management, an Associate of Science (A.S.) and an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Drafting from Utah Valley University.
Teaching Philosophy Statement
Teaching is a dynamic process which implements the most effective techniques for delivering the content to provide opportunities for learning. It is my responsibility, as an instructor, to provide my students with the knowledge and opportunities to not only succeed in the classroom, but to prepare them to use their acquired skills for employment opportunities in the industry. This goal is achieved by focusing on the following teaching strategies.
I promote understanding of the course content by creating effective teaching materials which appeal to the various learning styles of the diverse students taking my courses. I created instructional modules for my EGDT1040 AutoCAD class which promotes understanding of the software and engages the students by solving a real world problem. The students’ objective, at the end of the module, is to use the software to design a missing mechanical arm so a windmill can function properly. I place the students in groups to discuss the characteristics of the missing part, its function, and any constraints with other parts in the windmill mechanism. I feel it is important to create an active learning environment for the students through in-class demonstrations and peer to peer interactions. Three additional instructional modules complete with instructional demonstrations and practice problems test the knowledge taught by the individual modules. The modules include a transcript for each video to increase accessibility for the students.
I use scaffolding teaching techniques in my demonstrations to teach new course material. I motivate the students to move beyond the content in class and explore more of the software on their own. For an assignment, I review an object of the student’s choice and provide constructive comments concerning my expectations for their completed drawing. The students use their knowledge and the class standards to create a document by which the object can be manufactured. This assignment is a type of formative assessment which allows me to evaluate software competencies, give constructive feedback, and provide the students the freedom of selecting an assignment which engages their interests.
I approach my in-class demonstrations as an opportunity to not only deliver instruction, but to educate my class on current industry standards. I share my experience as a Project Manager / Designer and identify ways by which the software helps to eliminate human error or detail the construction methods for different projects. This allows the students a chance to hear about the real-world application of what they are learning. I have found that discussing the drafting profession excites the students about their future opportunities as drafters and designers. The course work is also based on real-world assignments which expose the students to work from the various drafting disciplines. I also encourage my students to bring problems from their work which can be solved with the AutoCAD software, to make instruction more personal, meaningful, and applicable to their daily lives.
Employers are looking for employees who have software knowledge which can be applied to solve a multitude of different problems. I provide learning experiences which teach the students to visualize the process by which their object will be created. I have them evaluate their own drawings for the necessary information to create the finished product. I coach them on how their drawings may be improved or introduce new commands to help them complete a more detailed drawing.
I evaluate the students’ understanding by using a variety of assessment methods. I use the summative assessments of a mid-term and final as a way to evaluate what the student has learned and can apply under a timed deadline. I use other formative assessments to identify where the students are lacking in knowledge and tailor instruction to address those issues. The students’ completed windmill part, created in the AutoCAD software, is a type of performance assessment which helps me evaluate if the students have developed the software competencies required from the course. I review the progress of the students regularly and use class time to observe their individual thought processes for creating a drawing. In my AutoCAD class, true learning occurs when the student can apply their knowledge to create professional drawings of objects not required by the course curriculum.
I use student feedback at the end of the course to improve my teaching and to research effective teaching strategies for future courses. I also conduct formal and informal research queries to identify best teaching practices for my courses. Current and future research opportunities provide me with the required knowledge to integrate the latest teaching strategies in technical education. It is a privilege to provide opportunities for learning to the students of UVU.