ProCom’s very own Dr. Eva Woyzbun has been honoured with the Dean’s Teaching Award for her exceptional course design and teaching. Nominated by Dr. Catherine Schryer and Claudio Carosi (MA Communication & Culture), Dr. Woyzbun spearheaded the recent redesign of CMN 279 Introduction to Professional Communication, Ryerson’s second largest course, which doubled in size this year. Dr. John Shiga, ProCom professor and chair, shares:
“Since 2015 when Eva joined ProCom, our students have benefited from her exceptional course design and teaching in our BA and MPC programs. Eva creates rich learning experiences for our students through creative technology integration, engaging learning materials, and unique class activities and assignments.”
As Course Coordinator, Dr. Woyzbun drew from her teaching experience to make CMN 279 more interactive and engaging for students and create a space where they learn from personal experience. Collaborating with CUPE course instructors, technical support and the Office of eLearning to name a few, Dr. Woyzbun had only four months to redesign this hybrid course, which was delivered to over 2000 students this year.
“Nobody had done this before… There are so many faculty who are familiar with the course and I wanted to bring their voices to the table and share the benefits of making it a rewarding course. I could have sat down done it all myself, but it was a better product at the end of the day when I had input from other people.”
Realigning key instructional components in the course design, Dr. Woyzbun took advantage of the course’s online space to create a unique, flipped, blended, and hybrid learning experience for students.
“It’s flipped so that some of the learning is done before class and students come to class ready to do things as opposed coming to class just to listen. We also had to coach instructors on how to redesign their workshop materials to better integrate the online components and make the lecture space more interactive.”
Only in phase one of a three-year process, the newly revamped course is already getting rave reviews from students and lecturers alike. Working with her team to make the course easy to teach, especially for new instructors, Dr. Woyzbun notes that lecturers supported the changes very early on. And students?
“We conducted a student satisfaction survey in the fall and it was good overall. The students are not only enjoying the hybrid but learning more effectively because it encourages them to engage with the material more conscientiously. The preparedness has improved, the outcomes are improved, and students are more motivated. Generally, they seem very satisfied.”
As for what’s next, Dr. Woyzbun is open to putting her new project management talents to good use. “It was a good experience for me. I learned a lot and can take what I’ve done and apply it to other courses that need to be hybridized and scaled up.”
Until then, you can find her in the classroom. In addition to CMN 279, Dr. Woyzbun teaches CMN 443 Contemporary Intercultural Communication, CMN 324 Strategic Storytelling in Industry, CMN 288 Communicating for Social media and CMN 305 Strategic Public Relations, as well as the MPC elective PC 8104 Crisis Communication.
Past ProCom Dean’s Teaching Award recipients include:
By Susannah Maxcy