Alex Rockey

Meet the Managing Editor of The Wheel

As the managing editor of The Wheel, I thought it might be a good idea to introduce myself. For this reason, I took some time to answer some quick questions about who I am and what I do for The Wheel and Academic Technology Services. 

Describe your job in Academic Technology Services. What services do you provide UC Davis faculty?

I am a graduate student researcher (GSR) for ATS. I am part of the Instructional Design team and help assist faculty as they design online or hybrid courses or integrate innovative technologies into their courses to improve student learning. In addition, I am the managing editor of The Wheel. In this role, I manage the publication schedule, work with our guest bloggers, and collaborate with the editor-in-chief, Dr. Andy Jones, on using The Wheel to best serve faculty. 

What prior work and academic experiences best prepared you for this job?

As a previous high school English teacher, I found that sometimes the smallest habits made a huge impact on student learning. For example, writing down key ideas during a class discussion helped signal to students important takeaways from our discussion. I’ve also seen how the myth of the digital native is truly a myth: students benefit from direct instruction on using technologies for academic and professional purposes. These experiences illustrate considerations that guide me as I assist in the development of online and hybrid courses, considerations that are strengthened by my masters in education and my current research interests in online education as I pursue my Ph.D. in Education. 

What are some favorite recent ATS projects?

Too many to name! I love working here, and I love the variety of projects of which I get to be a part. If I had to name a few, I would say: 

  • The digital literacy module I am collaborating on with representatives from the library, the University Writing program, and Stanford. 
  • The emergency closure resource we developed to guide faculty in the case of campus closures.
  • The mobile learning research project I have been working on with colleagues- this has been an enjoyable and productive collaboration.  

Name a challenge or opportunity that you think people in your position will face five years from now.

With the increasing prevalence of online courses, it will become a more and more common experience for undergraduate students to take online courses even if they attend a resident university like UC Davis. I think one of the big challenges this will bring is fostering interactions between students and instructors. Students and instructors can interact in meaningful ways in online courses, but instructional designers and instructors need to thoughtfully consider planning instructor-student interactions in the design of an online course. 

What do you do for fun when not working at ATS?

My time teaching and learning in Colombia taught me that I love to travel! Other than that, I really enjoy doing little projects around the house, such as painting, building benches, and reading gardening books (even though I do not garden).  

Under what circumstances should faculty at UC Davis reach out to you?

Certainly if I am working on a project with them! Other than that, faculty can reach out to me for questions and I can direct them to appropriate contacts or resources. 

What is the best way for you to be contacted?

Email me at arockey@ucdavis.edu 

Post Author: Alexandria Rockey

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