Who or what sparked your initial interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning?
My initial interest in SoTL was ignited by my experiences as a part-time research and teaching assistant, and subsequently as an instructor and trainer at various educational institutions. The pandemic especially highlighted this interest, as we had to transition classes and examinations to a fully online format. Encountering a diversity of teaching formats, including asynchronous, synchronous, hybrid, and fully online classes, as well as a range of class sizes, made me acutely aware of the complexities and nuances of maintaining effective teaching across various formats. This compelling challenge of enhancing student learning and engagement in such varied settings led me to explore SoTL more deeply, in search of innovative solutions to these educational challenges.
What SoTL project are you currently engaged in and excited about?
I am currently engaged in SoTL projects focusing on developing and implementing an Integrated Dynamic Teaching approach. This approach distinctively integrates major learning pillars — academic support, technology support, learner well-being, and community engagement — into a cohesive teaching strategy. I am particularly excited about these projects as they transcend traditional teaching aspects by integrating modern technological tools. This method not only fosters critical thinking but also equips future engineers with marketable skills essential for their career success.
What questions in SoTL are you excited to answer in the future?
In the future, I am keen to explore questions concerning the efficacy and scalability of the Integrated Dynamic Teaching approach, especially when aligned with emerging teaching technologies and AI-based resources. My interest lies in adapting these methods across varied disciplines and educational levels to boost student engagement and learning outcomes. A significant area of focus will be the effective integration of AI and Extended Reality (XR) in education, mirroring how calculators and computers previously transformed learning environments. Additionally, I aim to explore how SoTL can embrace diverse knowledge and skill backgrounds, fostering an educational landscape where students can thrive in their unique talents and prepare for varied community roles. Ultimately, my objective is to empower students in discovering their passions and guiding them towards meaningful careers and community contributions, upholding my profound responsibility as an educator to our institution, students, and society at large.
Why should others get involved in SoTL?
Others may get involved in SoTL because it offers a vital platform for enhancing educational practices and student learning outcomes. SoTL promotes a reflective, evidence-based approach to teaching, encouraging ongoing improvement and innovation in educational methods. Engagement in SoTL enables educators and institutions to contribute to the wider academic community, sharing valuable insights and strategies that benefit learners globally. Involvement in SoTL also ensures educators stay current with emerging educational technologies and pedagogical theories, maintaining their effectiveness and relevance in an ever-evolving educational landscape.
“Empowering education in the age of AI requires a bold vision: to turn advanced technology into a beacon of learning, fostering skills that shape adaptable, innovative minds for a future full of possibilities.”
What is something everyone should try in Kelowna?
Take a hike in Myra Canyon for a mix of beautiful nature and interesting history, along with a good workout. Also, riding a bike through the green vineyards and pretty paths of the Okanagan Valley, especially in the summertime, is a special and fun experience you won’t forget.
What is your favourite song or band?
Picking a favorite song is hard since I love all sorts of music, especially tunes from different cultures around the world. Traditional music really speaks to me. Keyhan Kalhor’s kamancheh and setar performances are some of my favorites. Also, I have immense appreciation for Hans Zimmer – his compositions are truly masterpieces.
What is your favourite animal as a pet?
Definitely Teddy, golden retriever. He’s more than just a pet; he’s a real friend.
If you’re interested in hearing more about Dr. Yousefi’s project, or wanting to collaborate on other projects, connect with him at email@example.com.