Hassan Khosravi

Research achievements and breakthroughs are critical to the growth and reputation of universities, however, the very core of any post-secondary institute is its students and facilitating their learning. I strongly believe in the importance of excellent teaching and have dedicated much of my time during the last decade towards this goal.

My teaching career includes instructing roughly 20 different offerings, with class sizes ranging from 50 to 350, of the following 9 distinct courses to a total of roughly 2500 students while managing over 100 tutors.

My teaching experience has provided me with opportunity to study and incorporate a variety of pedagogical methods and tools into my teaching; develop highly engaging lecture content that supports active learning; develop management and supervision skills while teaching classes with high enrollment; experience co-instructing courses that are offered in multiple sections; actively participate in teaching-related committees; and research and study the effectiveness of different pedagogical methods in post-secondary education.

As an educator, I strive to enable my students to:

  1. become active learners. I create an engaging learning environment with the use of pedagogical techniques that promote active learning and invite students to be interactive and engaged in learning. As an example, I strongly support the use of Classroom Response Systems (e.g. clickers) in my lectures because they (1) provide students with the opportunity to be openly involved and to participate in answering questions anonymously without being shy or afraid of peer pressure; (2) help students in maintaining their attention, as some students finding it challenging to remain focused during the entire lecture time; (3) allow students to compare themselves with their peers and inspire a level of metacognition that might not otherwise be possible, and (4) assist me in assessing student comprehension and revealing misconceptions about a given topic, so I can adjust the pace of presentation and explanation strategies to fit the audience accordingly.

  2. develop their own vision, reasoning, and practical skills. I design my lectures based on the Think-Pair-Share strategy, which provides students time for (1) thinking and formulating their response on a given question, (2) discussing their response with a peer, and (3) sharing their response with the entire class. For large classes, I use clickers to effectively implement this strategy.

  3. prepare for future employment. I use authentic assessments that engage students with tasks similar to those undertaken by professionals in their disciplines. As an example, in my database management and data structures courses, student pairs were asked to implement an online database system and a social network analyser as products and market them to potential buyers.

  4. study in a social, student-centred learning environment. I am strongly in favour of and frequently use online discussion boards such as Piazza in my courses. Through the use of discussion boards, students learn to articulate their opinion, provide support for their views, develop arguments, and listen and relate to the views of others. I also frequently use peer-learning environments such as PeerWise, which is designed to engage and satisfy students by instilling ownership; help build communities and recognise participation; and provide rich, timely peer-generated feedback.

  5. develop an appreciation for inquiry, investigation, innovation and research-based activities. I invite my students to work through rediscovering knowledge during my lectures. During their rediscovery, my role is to guide them towards the solution. I start my discussions by introducing a naive way of solving a problem and then asking the students to work in groups to first find the undesirable side effects of this method and then try to come up with a superior solution for replacing it.

  6. become team players. I use many team-based activities and electronic tools that facilitate peer review in collaborative team projects so that teammates can provide constructive feedback for one another. The peer review process also assists with the fairness of the grades.

My teaching has been well received by my students. My average evaluation score over all of the courses that I have taught across three different institutes, on a scale of 1 to 5, for student responses to the statement ”Overall, the instructor was an effective teacher”, with 1 indicating ”Strongly Disagree” and 5 indicating ”Strongly Agree” is 4.42.