James Kaemmerer, a fall 2020 masters graduate, is back with the geography department, this time as online development support specialist. His role, in part, is to help professors prepare classes for online delivery as well as develop courses for a new multi-million dollar Geospatial-Intelligence Learning for Academic Program (GLAP) contract.
In addition, he will assist the department with online branding, quality control and developing online tech and lab support. He will also serve as the point person for faculty questions and requests for online course development assistance, says Soren Larsen, department chair.
Courses he will be working on include: GEOG 1100 (Regions and Nations); GEOG 3040 (GIS I); GEOG 3830/7830 (Remote Sensing); GEOG 3840 (Cartography); and GEOG 7840 GIS I. For the GLAP program, he will work on GEOG 3840 (Cartography); GEOG 3040/7840 (GIS I); GEOG 4940/7940 (Advanced GIS); GEOG 4790/7790 GIS for the Social Sciences; GEOG 3830/7830 (Remote Sensing); GEOG 4860/7860 (Advanced Remote Sensing); GEOG 4710/7710 (Spatial Statistics); GEOG 8750 (Research Design).
Here are some questions asked of Kaemmerer by the Geography Department to introduce him in his new role:
Geography: How did your degree prepare you for this position?
Kaemmerer: The degree was obviously beneficial in the sense that when developing online courses in geography, it helps to know geography. But the position really draws from my experience as a teaching assistant during which we included online instruction elements, including some wider experimentation in online content delivery and GIS lab assistance during the past spring semester.
Geography: What interests you most about your job?
Kaemmerer: As an educator, I’m always interested in exploring how best to engage with students. While I remain a strong supporter of in-person instruction, I recognize online teaching will increasingly to have a role to play in that. This job offers an opportunity to develop effective online pedagogy now to better serve our students into the future.
Geography: Are you taking classes, as well?
Kaemmerer: My grandmother once referred to me as a “perpetual student.” While I’m sure she meant that in the most loving, grandmotherly terms, she wasn’t wrong — certainly not these days. While I finished my masters degree a couple months ago, this fall semester I will take one more class to earn an additional graduate certificate from the geography department. So I’ll remain a graduate student through (at least?) December.
Geography: What do you hope to learn most from this position?
Kaemmerer: What are best practices for effective online teaching, and how can we apply them to our online courses this fall in order to help geography continue to be a university leader in quality, engaging instruction? …also, this is chance for me to learn good teaching practices from the faculty and then steal their ideas to advance my own career.
Geography: Anything else?
Kaemmerer: I’m thankful to the department and the university administration for this opportunity.