Guest Post: Creating Positive Learning Experiences by Nicole Selvaggio

Nicole Selvaggio in a classroom
Communications Instructor Nicole Selvaggio

For me, creating a positive learning experience is at the core of my teaching pedagogy. When I think about what a “positive learning experience” is, I instantly equate this to meaning my students feel a level of success, confidence, and community throughout their time in my classroom. Truly, their success is my success, and I begin every semester by asking myself: “How can I help my students succeed?” 

Therefore, a successful positive learning experience in my COM classroom is one where my students are engaged with the material, see our classroom as a safe space, and ultimately feel empowered by their writing capabilities. 

I believe a vital component of creating a positive learning experience is for my students to feel seen, heard, and respected. This, in turn, helps them obtain and retain our class’s concepts. Embracing diversity and reflecting upon real-world issues is a hallmark example of how we achieve this in my classroom. We read texts by diverse authors, have stimulating class discussions about current events, and even use multiple modals for writing inspiration, such as digital photography, Ted Talk videos, and music.

In my online classroom, I strive to foster a learning experience that is just as positive as the one my students receive in my traditional face-to-face classroom. With one-on-one video conferencing, weekly assignment reminders, interactive class discussion boards, and comprehensive grade feedback on every assignment, my students always know they are supported throughout every step of their COM journey with me. My extensive online course development training has also helped me ensure that my online classroom is inclusive and accessible for all of my students’ needs. My utilization of close-captioning on my lecture videos, alt. text for images, and accessible fonts and colors all yields an inclusive learning environment for my students of all abilities. 

Last but not least, my students use writing as a tool for looking at themselves intrinsically. Journaling and self-review activities are just two of the many ways my students engage in reflective practice. In doing this, my students see that writing is more than something they “have” to do; instead, it becomes more about what their writing CAN do. 

Nicole Selvaggio is an Instructor of Communications. If you’d like to contact Nicole, please contact the CTL and we will forward your message to Nicole. Be sure to reference this post in your message.