Faculty Spotlight!

Natalie Munoz
Assistant Professor, Modern and Classical Languages

Munoz Natalie earned her BA in French at Fresno State and left to pursue her MA and Ph.D. in French at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Natalie discovered her passion for the French language when she was an exchange student in high school and got the opportunity to spend time in France. Upon coming back to her hometown of Fresno she wanted to continue learning the language. 

What is one teaching tip that you would like to share with your colleagues or with your younger self?

Flexibility for students. “I was not going to join HyFlex at first, but after a few of my students expressed scheduling challenges I asked them what they would think about the model.” Natalie’s students had scheduling conflicts with jobs or the commute between job and school was complicated. When Natalie informed them of HyFlex the students saw a solution to both permanent and temporary time conflicts that would normally prevent them from taking certain courses. 

Natalie’s HyFlex courses have been great for students who have had life come up where they cannot make it to class. Natalie still uses group work, presentations, and elements of the traditional classroom with the flexibility for students to engage from home. Natalie also integrates things like learner surveys, flexible assessments, and other forms of flexible pedagogy.

Natalie and her students made the decision to have online exams which allows them to use the class session for exam reviews. Due to factors like weather, illness, or schedule changes students who normally attend in person have been able to join via Zoom. Natalie recommends faculty to learn how to utilize HyFlex for a more flexible and equitable learning experience for students.

Has the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) helped to better your teaching and learning to engage students for success? If so, how?

Natalie facilitated training for other faculty on HyFlex through the Center for Faculty Excellence and felt she learned a lot from those she was training. She saw her colleagues brainstorm flexible practices that made for a better learning experience and made additional changes to her own courses. One thing that Natalie recommends for other faculty is to engage in HyFlex instruction with the purpose of it being different from in-person and different from online. Natalie believes HyFlex is its own experience and has its own benefits and challenges. The Center for Faculty Excellence offers Learning Communities for HyFlex instruction. 

 

 

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