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Jan. 22, 2021 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Bridging the gap between expanding education and finding time to expand that education has always been crucial to Eastern Oregon University professor Amanda Villagómez.
Years of taking and teaching online courses has shaped the way Villagómez, an education professor, designs them. She will share her insights in an EOU Colloquium at 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28 via Zoom.
Her research started when her career at EOU began in 2013. She has found structured learning environments critically important, even in virtual or asynchronous settings.
Villagómez said her own experiences of teaching in rural areas and teaching at EOU have opened her eyes to what rural teachers may be looking for in courses to grow professionally. The many different scenarios in which teachers are studying make a flexible, asynchronous model key to success.
“A lot of people teach in rural areas and they would love to be able to still have a face-to-face, in-person experience for their learning, but based on where they’re located, that’s not feasible—or just the demands of a teaching career and often having families or other obligations—it’s hard to find a program that would work as far as scheduling,” Villagómez said. “Our model is set up as asynchronous because that’s what fits many individuals who are in-service teachers in rural areas, and often in multiple time zones.”
Villagómez has obtained a degree endorsement through EOU’s online courses and has engaged in other forms of online learning. Student feedback, as well as her own experience in a student role, have helped shape the courses she designs. Student input has always been crucial, Villagómez said, because it allows her to create a model that is specific to the needs of EOU students.
She sees value in interacting with other educators nationally, as well as internationally, through online education.
To learn more about EOU Colloquium or future presentations, visit eou.edu/colloquium.
To join Amanda Villagómez’s colloquium presentation, click here.
Written by PR Intern Emily Andrews
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