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Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2018 – Hudson Valley: Mark Petersen

Mark Petersen

Mark Petersen has been an instructor in Art History for the past 11 years at Hudson Valley Community College, where he is also an instructional designer. With a B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. in art history, and an M.S. in instructional design, Mark has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in art history and instructional design since 1981. In this time, he has published numerous articles and conference papers in both instructional design and art history. In 1993, Mark became the first instructor in the U.S. to integrate computer aided design into an art history curriculum. A highlight of his years at HVCC was the opportunity, in 2008, to design a virtual campus in Second Life, an undertaking that was supported by a President’s innovation grant.

In my online courses, I emphasize to my students the concept of art as “A dialogue between generations, which creates a visual culture across time.” My approach to teaching online can be summed up in a perspective that I enthusiastically share with both my art history students and the faculty with whom I work as an instructional designer: namely, that an online course represents the ideal matrix for an informed dialogue between learners, which promotes a potentially boundless culture of learning. In view of this, I love the fact that, in Latin, the word “Doctor” means “Learner.” No less so than my students, I am engaged in the life-long enterprise of learning. I see my role vis-à-vis my students as that of a fellow learner who has simply had more time in which to advance along the learning curves presented by the subject that we are covering, and the tested and ever-emerging technologies that, within the immersive environment of online education, facilitate and enrich our knowledge and understanding of that subject.

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