Mary Ann Tobin, PhD

Teaching Philosophy


Calls for accountability in higher education require us to meet the needs of twenty-first-century students whose expectations are measured against real-world, job-related goals. Students must master not only the theories and practices of their chosen fields, but also the technologies of their careers. Throughout their lives, they must rapidly and continually adapt and adopt innovative tools and challenges to the status quo. In order to prepare students to thrive in an environment of constant change, educators also must keep up with technological innovations, create relevant course content that is applicable across the disciplines, and maintain rigorous academic standards in multiple delivery formats. Therefore, I develop multimedia course content for my students in order to engage them in their own learning, and I regularly assess the effectiveness of that content by measuring their comprehension of it in assignments and class discussions. I also incorporate cross-disciplinary, authentic materials into my courses so that students recognize the value of the course beyond its completion. I measure learning through performance-based assessment tools that are clearly aligned with demonstrable, observable and measurable learning objectives. Moreover, I remain mindful that my students must meet the requirements of other courses and may be supporting themselves and their families while completing their programs, which was my own experience on my journey from earning an associate's degree to completing my doctoral degree. My students, therefore, benefit both from my content expertise and from my experience of having taken several pathways of study as an adult learner.