Now that StraighterLine also offers professor-led online college courses, we thought you might want to know a little more about our professors. We’ve asked each of them to answer a series of questions to help you decide whether you want to enroll in their courses or stick with our more traditional self-paced courses. As with everything else here at StraighterLine, like publishing student course ratings and average pass rates, our goal is to give you the information you need to make the right choices for you.
And with that, it’s time for you to get to know Professor Kelvin Bentley:
What excites you about StraighterLine’s Professor Direct?
I think StraighterLine’s model is a great option for students. It provides them with an affordable way to begin or continue their college education. I like the fact that I will be able to assist students as they move through my courses even if they elect the self-study option.
What course/s do you teach at StraighterLine and why should students signup for them?
I currently teach Introduction to Psychology. Interaction with my students is very important to me. I will engage students through the use of weekly discussion boards and web conferences using technologies such as Google Hangouts. I will also provide students with recent, real-life examples of psychology-related concepts to facilitate student learning.
What do you like about teaching online that you can’t do in a traditional classroom?
Online education provides students and instructors the freedom to learn together without the confines of specific time or a specific location. I like facilitating courses in which students don’t have to listen to me lecture for several hours in a physical classroom. I use my role as an online instructor to provide students with access to instructional content to help them think about the concepts they are learning and then I like having on-going weekly discussions about what they are learning.
Why did you become a professor? What motivated you to become a teacher?
My original plan in graduate school was to be come a practicing clinical psychologist. As I moved through my graduate studies, I had the opportunity to serve as both a teaching assistant as well as an adjunct instructor. I really enjoyed working with students and helping them be successful in my courses. This led to my decision to seek a full-time teaching position after earned my doctorate.
What is your favorite way to learn? Do you recommend this to students?
I learn the most effectively when I am exposed to information in various formats. I don’t always like to simply read about a topic. I enjoy short video clips about a topic as well as engaging in multimedia simulations for specific topics such as learning how to do something specific (e.g., YoutTube videos on how to fix a computer problem). I think it is important to provide students with content in various formats given some students learn in different ways.
Tell us about your favorite hobby or your favorite way to spend time away from work.
I really enjoy running and traveling to new places. I have run in 4 half-marathons since 2009 and I would like to run at least one marathon in my lifetime. I also love visiting new places with my wife and our 2 1/2 year old daughter. We recently took our daughter to Hawaii and before she was born my wife and I visited different areas in Australia. We would love to return to both places especially Australia.
Note: This is a picture of my wife Courtney and daughter Kate after I completed the half marathon race during the 2011 Rock & Roll Marathon in Nashville, TN.