Matthew Drumheller earned a B.A., M.A., M.Div. with a focus in theology and religion, and a graduate certificate in religion and society studies from Oxford Graduate School. He also has seven professional certificates ranging from writing and professional proofreading to technical writing and instructional technology.
He has been an educator for over 20 years in traditional and online settings, and has fulfilled many roles in education. Some include undergraduate thesis advisor, honors advocate, at risk advocate for first year students, faculty mentor and trainer, faculty specialist, and subject matter expert in designing online courses.
Matthew has been an adjunct faculty member for Grand Canyon University over 10 years, and has worked in the private sector as a trainer in management, leadership, and communication. He has also been published in journals, books, and popular media; his most recent publication was in the Journal of Academic Ethics. He also serves as a tier 1 peer reviewer for the Journal of Business Ethics and the International Journal of Decision Making Ethics. He does not plan on slowing down in 2013 and will be published in cooperation with colleagues from New York and Oxford.
How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?
I have been with GCU since the early years of their online programs. I appreciate the opportunity to teach for GCU in order to obtain fruitful experiences first-hand while learning how to best utilize technology in education. Teaching for GCU has given me great insight into developing and tailoring education with technology in ways that a traditional educational environment would never afford. I have fallen in love with online education and see it as the future for the on-the-go mobile society.
What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?
Teaching is about building relationships and imparting knowledge during the process. One strategy I have adopted is a multi-pronged approach of facilitating conversations in the discussion forums; this is where the heart of learning takes place. With practice, I have found that adding enriching dialogue with personal experiences, interesting article links, and challenging questions work well to create powerful learning experiences.
What is a GCU online student success story you can share?
Life continues to happen while students take class. This became very clear to me when I had a student write and tell me they had been diagnosed with cancer. It was treatable, but the issues of mortality became very real to the student. The theology course quickly turned into an exploration of ideas about what it means to live a meaningful life and how to face the unknown with courage. It was a remarkable time that gave me the chance to help someone cope with a life-altering diagnosis and think through it in ways that helped them cope with the challenges ahead. I, too, learned about life as much as I taught at that time.