Dr. Kelly Donahue-Wallace

Kicking off our newest feature, the Teaching Excellence Spotlight, is Dr. Kelly Donahue-Wallace, Professor of Art History in the Department of Art Education and Art History, as well as the Women's and Gender Studies program at UNT. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in a variety of formats. She has created three award-winning online courses for the university: Art and Businness, Art Appreciation for Non-Majors, and Art History Survey I.

How long have you been teaching?

I have taught at UNT for 17 years.

How have you worked on developing your teaching skills?

My father was a teacher, so I have been honing my teaching skills my whole life. I learned how to deliver good lectures while in graduate school. But my real education in teaching skills came as I developed my first online course. I learned about learning outcomes and aligning assessments to them. I learned about pacing instruction and seeking deeper learning than the simple regurgitation of memorized information. Since then I have constantly pursued new teaching skills, including learning about blended learning for the last Quality Enhancement Plan and flipped classrooms, which is how I teach today.

Did you ever take formal classes or trainings on teaching in graduate school? What about later on in your teaching? 

Nothing of the like was offered when I was in graduate school. I took one online class on how to develop online classes once. I learn much more from peers at conferences and reading the scholarship of teaching and learning.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced teaching in an online classroom, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is making sure that students have everything they need to feel comfortable in the online class. This requires massive planning up front and lots of anticipating questions and concerns.

How would you describe your approach to teaching?

I am highly experimental. I try new things all the time. When I am in the classroom, the noisier the room is the better. I want students constantly talking with each other and engaging the material in an active way.

What resources do you find most helpful to your teaching practice?

Academic conferences, workshops, CLEAR, and websites like arthistoryteachingresources.org are all very helpful.