Below is Dr. Holliday's teaching philosophy written for her ALLH 220 - Fundamentals of Nutrition (face-to-face and online) students.
After over 10 years of working full-time as a registered dietitian in various settings ranging from clinical to community-based, I decided to obtain a doctorate in nutrition so I could teach nutrition in a university setting. I felt that with a strong and diverse workforce background, followed by an advanced degree in nutritional sciences, would prove valuable in the classroom. My goal is to not only teach nutrition, but bring it to life by immediately applying the concepts to your situation. I also feel that I can augment and enhance your understanding of nutrition with my “real world” experience in five different states (the reason for state hopping is another story)! My goal is for you to take the “book knowledge” coupled with my work “real life” experiences in nutrition and immediately start applying these concepts to you or your families eating habits. I want to encourage you to embrace the statement: healthful eating habits last a lifetime.
It may seem cliche, but you should challenge yourself to learn something new every day. Learning does not only take place in the classroom. In fact, most learning takes place outside of the classroom. Take advantage of every learning opportunity. Critically analyze nutrition books, fad diets, movies, reports from the news media.. everything around you. You will quickly find that almost everything is connected. The more you learn, the quicker you will realize this. Interaction and application are essential to learning. Talk through ideas. Make them relevant to your life. Decide what you will do with your new knowledge. If you don't use it, you'll forget what you learned.
Finally, don't base your learning on a grade. While an "B" might be easily achievable for some students, it might be a real struggle for others to earn that grade. While I have to be objective in my grading, you should strive to be subjective in your evaluation of your own learning. Did you receive a "C", but learn a lot? If so, you succeeded.
It shouldn't be a surprise that my goals for the course align with my teaching philosophy. If you're already read the welcome letter, you know that my overall goal is for this course to change your life. That's a big goal.
I believe that students learn best when subject matter is immediately relevant. I, therefore, try to make the course as student centered as possible. I want you to create your own learning experience. Part of my job is to help you develop the skills to do that. We will focus on critical thinking skills and the application of nutrition knowledge to real-life problems. With these skills and a basic understanding of nutrition, I am confident you will take what you’ve learned and make it applicable to your life.
I will help guide you through the course and will always be available to answer questions. I will share some stories and key learnings from my previous experiences, but will keep this to a minimum and relevant to the topic. Again, the course isn't about me; it is about you! I am always working to improve the course. If you ever find a mistake or if a link doesn't work, please let me know right away.
I sincerely hope that you all enjoy the course and do well in it!
A Final Note: This course is part of your education. If you decide that you are just going to do the minimal amount of work to pass with little effort and engagement, there is not much that I can do about it. I am asking you now, though, to not do that. Your college education will impact your life in ways that you could never imagine. Take advantage of every single minute, every lesson, every opportunity. I know that you are busy, and I am willing to work with you so that you can succeed. Do me a favor: give me your best effort!