Teaching

My Class Persona

In brief, I’ve been teaching at the college level since the Fall of 2013.  Before that I worked as a peer tutor in a writing center, doing one-on-one sessions that focused on helping students become more effective writers.  Probably the biggest connection between those two jobs that I draw is that students are smart and capable, but nobody wants to look foolish in front of a bunch of other people.  From day one, I try to bridge that gap, letting students feel like their prior knowledge is valuable and letting them know that I don’t know everything.  When I’m in front of the classroom, I bring a lot of energy, but I try very hard not to buy into the ‘sage on the stage’ mentality.  If I have been lecturing for a bit, it is likely time for a group activity or some reflective writing, maybe a whole class discussion.  I ask a lot out of my students both in terms of workload and critical thinking, and because I take the time early every semester to earn their trust they tend not to let me down.  If I had to pin down one school of thought that informed my pedagogy most, it would be social constructivism.  I give students criteria for their work, and there are obviously expectations on my part, but all of that is carefully negotiated.  If students can make a compelling case for why/how an assignment should be different, I listen.

 Class Documents

Composition I: This course introduces the core principles of the study of writing.  Over the course of the semester, students are asked to engage with multiple genres meta-cognitively, using the form as they study it.

Composition II: In this class, students are asked to take the principles of writing studies and apply them in field research.  Students perform a semester-long research project on a subject of their own choosing, applying the methodologies of writing studies in their work.

Fundamentals of Game Studies: This is a course that I would love to teach.  In it, students will learn the core principles of game studies broadly, and then apply them in their own analysis of games and gaming.

Evaluations

The graph below represents how students rated me in their evaluations compared to the university average for that semester. Complete Evaluations

eval graph

Classroom Observations:

Fall 2014 Observation

Fall 2017 Observation

Student Feedback:  Here’s a sampling of some of the feedback students have given in their evaluations.

“Always respectful, listens carefully to the opinions and concerns of students. Answers as best as he can, and directs us to helpful sources of information if he can’t help himself.”

“I like how Mr. Murnane taught us differently than our high school teachers did. He wanted us to think for ourselves with little requirements and gave very useful feedback. he was always available in office hours, after class, and via email. The course was nicely paced out even with the hurricane affecting us. I feel that I am a better writer and it is easier for me to analyze things because the way Mr. Murnane taught us and did not spoon feed us.”

“When giving feedback, Professor Murnane, took a lot of time to read through every student’s essay and gave each of us guidance in how we can do better for the final version in our portfolio.”

“I really appreciate the feedback and multiple in-class peer reviews conducted during the duration of the course, they were able to point out multiple flaws and give new ideas of how to write constructively. Before entering this class I wasn’t very educated on how to write a paper correctly that would allow the reader to clearly understand my ideas.”

“He cared about our ideas.”

“He was the best teacher I’ve had all semester. He has a very easy-to-breakdown assignment criteria”

“He is passionate about the course. He wants you to do well in the course as long as you do the work that is assigned you should score a good grade. I think his grading is very fair, and he tries to get you to think critically which is essential in what the overall assignment is, everything is done for a very useful purpose.”

“Very understanding teacher who always takes our opinions into consideration”

“The professor was down to earth and very straight forth with his expectations. The class felt fair, and I actually learned how to become a more successful writer. I liked the class so much I requested the professor again next semester.”

“The ability to choose what research you want to do, as well as the support that he gives both in class and during office hours”

“love this teacher! really cares if his students succeed, was great and explained everything thoroughly.”

“Goes out of his way to take an individual approach on each student whether they are motivated or not, and if they are involved in class or not. Cares a lot about his students.”

“it was a fun environment to be in. Especially when we walked around to look rhetoric on campus. Professor Murnane did a great job teaching this course.”

“Class discussion was always intriguing rather than just the professor talking.”