Mathematician Maultsby Is Introducing New Instructional Technologies
Teaching Associate Professor Bevin Maultsby is dedicated to creating an impactful, immersive online learning environment in her NC State courses.
Maultsby was hired as a coordinator of Distance Education for the Department of Mathematics in 2016 to increase online course offerings at NC State, and as a teaching associate professor in the department, she puts her knowledge of instructional technologies to good use. Currently, Maultsby shares her expertise in online education with colleagues at NC State in her role as a DELTA Faculty Fellow
Maultsby’s passion for distance education began when she was an undergraduate student. During her time as a distance education student, she was able to receive, complete and turn in assignments through mail, and she became interested in finding better ways to provide quality education for all students from a distance.
“I think distance education gives us a way of being able to provide quality education to lots of different types of students, including students who might not be able to always be on campus,” she says.
Among all of the instructional tools available to her, Maultsby loves Moodle the most. She likes to make centralized Moodle sites for her courses so that students can access all course materials and technologies at one location. Maultsby also values providing immediate feedback for students on practice math problems through instructional tools such as WebAssign, WeBWork and Moodle Quizzes, as well as through higher-level assessments, such as writing proofs submitted through Gradescope.
“It’s important to encourage assessments that are auto-graded and give students feedback, helping students by telling them right away if they are on the right track or not,” she says.
Maultsby has also built a video collection of lectures through Panopto to provide students with an additional resource for learning, even when they are unable to be on campus.
After a few years of teaching online, Maultsby was ready to share what she knew. As an instructor, she had attended many DELTA workshops and felt that she had taken something meaningful from each one, so she decided to get involved with DELTA was the best way to share more of her knowledge.
“One thing I have enjoyed as a Faculty Fellow is getting to share ideas with other instructors who are doing similar activities in their classrooms,” she says. “I like talking to faculty in other departments and other fields because there are lots of different perspectives that they can offer in teaching.”
So far, Maultsby has made the most of her time as a Faculty Fellow by participating in a trial for Yellowdig, an online forum for students, and she has enjoyed seeing the reactions her students have to this new type of instructional technology. Considering herself a Moodle “nerd,” Maultsby was also excited to write a DELTA News article on various features within the learning management software that instructors can utilize as a Faculty Fellow. Looking forward, she is eager to guide instructors as they adjust to the new Moodle upgrade this summer.
A challenge that Maultsby hopes to overcome as an online instructor experimenting with many instructional technologies is keeping students engaged and forming relationships with students in an online environment.
“I think the biggest challenge when teaching online is that you don’t get to see your students’ reactions to the material that you are teaching, and it can be harder to form a personal relationship with them.”
Returning to in-person teaching after fully remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic inspired Maultsby to continue seeking out impactful instructional tools that will help instructors overcome these types of challenges.
“On the one hand, because of the pandemic, there is a renewed interest in delivering quality in on-campus instruction and not becoming over-reliant on videos and remote teaching, but on the other hand, one thing I think my colleagues have enjoyed is going paperless with assignments,” she says.
Going forward, Maultsby hopes to explore more digital technologies and teaching methodologies that are in the best interest of her students.
“You have to make sure that every decision you make is ultimately for the benefit of the students,” she says.
Interested in sharing your knowledge and learning from other instructors? Apply for DELTA’s Faculty Fellow program! Applications will be accepted beginning April 19, 2022 as part of this year’s DELTA Grants cycle.
This post was originally published in DELTA News.