The Graduate College welcomes new faculty fellow Brian Horvitz, Associate Professor of Educational Technology in the College of Education and Human Development at WMU. Since 2015 Dr. Horvitz has served as Program Coordinator of the Educational Technology Program, which places him on the front lines of online education. He teaches technology for elementary education, introduction to educational technology, and creating online courses. His research interests include online teaching in higher education, the use of technology in teaching in higher education, and preparing pre-service teachers to integrate technology in learner-centered classrooms using a mixed-methods approach.
With two articles in press for the Community College Journal of Research and Practice and a publication in Innovative Higher Education (2015), Dr. Horvitz is an active scholar. In 2015 he received a National Science Foundation grant along with Co-PIs Regina Garza Mitchell, Andrea Beach and Charles Henderson. The Online Technical Education in ATE-Funded Programs grant is synthesizing what has been learned about online technical education in 38 Advance Technical Education (ATE) projects and making connections to the broader literature about what is most effective in online technical education. With his strong background in teaching and research, Dr. Horvitz now adds a strong service component to his C.V. with his appointment as Faculty Fellow in the Graduate College for the 2017 academic year. He will work with Associate Dean Christine Byrd-Jacobs to improve the online orientation for incoming or prospective graduate students and assist with other online training offerings. Currently graduate students must share an online tutorial with incoming undergraduate transfer students. Since the needs of undergraduate and graduate students are radically different in many ways, developing and implementing a graduate-specific online orientation will greatly improve service to incoming students. Currently only incoming students who have been awarded a graduate assistantship participate in a day-long training that is offered in the fall semester. Funded students comprise about 20% of the total graduate student body, so a significant portion of graduate students are missing out on a comprehensive orientation. The vision for an online orientation is to provide to prospective and newly admitted graduate students helpful information on resources and services available at WMU in a convenient format. Online access means incoming graduate students can become familiar with Western Michigan University services to meet their needs at any time, during any semester or session. We anticipate that this will help new students feel more connected with the university as they begin their graduate programs.