Focus on Faculty: Corey Polk

Corey Polk teaches CPST 247-Computer Concepts and Applications and in her online classroom, students have a very unique experience. Here is how Corey describes it:

When working in an online classroom, it’s really easy to fall back on traditional teaching methods, mainly—the instructor lectures and the students listen. This isn’t exactly exciting in the classroom, and it is a snooze-fest online. If I can’t see my students, how can I know they’re engaged? This is why I believe the online environment is a great opportunity to completely rethink teaching. While you might think interactivity is nearly impossible in an online classroom, this simply isn’t the case. I like to foster a sense of community by encouraging students to chat with one another and participate in real-time discussion.

"Many students start out feeling trepidatious or uncomfortable using technology, but by the end of the semester—they are not only tweeting and talking about building websites, but they are completely proficient in the skills needed to excel in our increasing virtual job market. It’s pretty amazing." ~Corey Polk

All of the students are online at the same time, and equipped with headsets. By focusing on a learner-led model, participation is crucial during our synchronous time. They are totally engaged. We work on projects, deliver presentations, work in groups, and learn new tools together online. All of the lecturing is done ahead of time, and is available to students in video form the week prior to class. I also work very hard to make myself accessible to students throughout the week. Plus, we chat on forums to fill the time between classes. By encouraging exploration, creating a sense of community, and having fun—the students benefit more from our class time, while I get to guide them on their journey.

Corey Polk lives in Southern California, where she is a Business & Education Segment Content Producer for the popular online training site, She has been in the tech education space since 2006, where she began as a creative trainer for Apple Inc. Corey began a deeper journey into learning through the pursuit of her Masters in School Technology at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Ed., where she graduated in 2011. Corey also has experience as a freelance designer and multimedia consultant, online higher ed instructor, and as an Instructional Designer in corporate and academic settings. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors, swimming, practicing yoga, painting, and having a good laugh with friends and family.