Jeffrey Cochran

Jeffrey Cochran

College of Education


Education
M.S. in Elementary Education- Northern Arizona University, AZ
B.S. in Elementary Education - Northern Arizona University, AZ

About Jeffrey Cochran

Jeffrey Cochran has been a resident of Arizona his entire life.  He was born in Safford and now resides in the beautiful pines of Payson, AZ.  Along with him, his wife Chellsey and two children, Jeffery and Camille also enjoy living in the beautiful mountains where they love hearing the bugles of elk and riding back-roads on their UTV. 

As an educator, Jeffery has spent his time in a science classroom teaching 7th and 8th grade regular science along with sections of Honors Curriculum.  Being active within the school climate and athletics has always piqued his interest.  Coaching baseball and basketball at the high school and junior high levels has been part of his experiences as well.

Jeffrey graduated from Northern Arizona University with both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees.  His Master's degree was earned in Elementary Education and done completely online, similar to the format at Grand Canyon University. He has been facilitating online with Grand Canyon University for over one year, teaching mostly Curriculum, Methods and Assessment courses for Math and Science.

 

How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?

Facilitating courses online has been a valuable learning experience for me.  Being in the Junior High setting can bring on challenges that are quite different than working in an adult environment.  It is wonderful to interact with other adults that all have the same goal in mind; to become an effective teacher in the classroom.  I love being able to assist my students in attaining that goal and really enjoy seeing my students put forth amazing work. Many of my students come into my courses fearing math and science but with the vast amount of resources out there to pull from nowadays.  I attempt to show them it can be done, done well, done with a purpose in mind and to put their fear away.

Having an effective mentor in my first course was a tremendous Blessing as well.  My mentor showed me the ropes and was there to answer questions late at night.  That set a great positive tone I was able to build in my courses thereafter. 

 

What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?

Above all, communication in the online format is big.  I provide a weekly housekeeping agenda to my students that always has the rubric and syllabus information copied and pasted into the email. I was fortunate enough in my studies to have great facilitators that communicated effectively and delivered helpful information through my courses.  Housekeeping items like this helped me, so I assume it would be helpful for my students as well; having the rubric and syllabus information for each module can help me out with grading aspects too.

Another effective method I have found is to check into the Cyber Cafe often.  I like to read about my students and get to know them.  For Cyber Cafe and student introductions there are several questions I have my students answer; some relating to their studies, some relating to their likes/dislikes.  By doing this  early on, I can get a good idea about writing styles and generally have an idea of the work my students will put forth in the class.  It is good to know if my students have a family, children or any other important, meaningful things to them.  If someone takes the time to post up about their family, dogs, vacations, etc. I want to make sure that they know I care about that as well.  A lot of information can be gathered about my students this way and is something that I really enjoy having in our classrooms.

 

What is a GCU online student success story you can share?

There are several, but one strikes me as the biggest success story. A student had just recently found out his parent had a terminal illness and would be passing away soon.  Giving it his all, he completed the course and did so very well.  Along the way he would give me updates about how things were going for his family.  Of course, there were times he would request extensions due to traveling purposes and I would grant them to him.  Throughout the course, we developed a good relationship and I was fortunate to help with questions and be there for this student. a couple months after the course ended I received an email from him explaining that his father had passed and he was very thankful for my help. 

This brought to light the importance of keeping in mind that "life" happens to my students, just like "life" happens to me.  Being a little bit flexible in some cases goes a long way for others and it is always good for me to keep this in mind. I too, would hope to have some flexibility if I needed the assistance.