About Tara


“So, what do you do?”

At a basic level, I support the university’s digital publishing, online learning, iTunes U, and other special projects and initiatives. What that translates to in terms of daily work is that I work with both the broader university to help enable special projects or instructional design through the implementation of various teaching and learning technologies, plus I also support our team internally in the work that we do for the university. The daily manifestation varies from helping faculty teams make decisions about online course building to designing and illustrating materials for digital books. It’s tremendously fun, and I definitely work with some of the most efficient, motivated, organized, interesting, humorous people.

Before this position, my background was primarily in higher ed teaching in a few different programs centered around language. Courses I have taught include:

  • first year composition
  • literature surveys
  • advanced research writing within the disciplines
  • intensive English courses for intermediate to advanced second language learners
  • graduate and undergraduate composition for second language learners

My time teaching afforded me many opportunities:

  • experiencing different universities — a smaller public school and a much larger one
  • working with diverse student populations: first-generation, nontraditional, online learners, international and second language learners, advanced graduate students
  • teaching through different modes: traditional face-to-face, hybrid courses, interactive television distance courses, online only courses, flipped courses
  • working across different learning platforms at different universities

And essentially, teaching for me was about learning what people respond to and engage with, and how to make the work of instructors efficient and effective. Universities are busy places full of people working toward accomplishments and often balancing a great many needs at once, both their own as well as those of others. I really enjoy the work that I do and helping people — whether a faculty, a graduate teaching assistant, or the unknown, abstract MOOC student across the world — to reach the next point in their process.

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