Meet Professor Jack Waskey

Dr. Jack Waskey is a favorite of eCore students because of his incredible depth of knowledge and research, dry wit, and no-nonsense approach to helping students succeed.
Q. What do you teach? I am a Professor of Social Science at Dalton State, where I teach American government, Introduction to Philosophy, Logic, and World Religions. My other job is writing professionally, usually for encyclopedias. I have retired recently from my ministry job as pastor of a Presbyterian church. I am now Pastor Emeritus, but do preach or engage in other ministry from time to time.

Q. What do you see as the differences in teaching face-to-face classes and online?
Surprisingly what may be the biggest difference for me is that online students seem to “talk” more than students do in class. I get to know them better. So we share more about government and other matters as they arise. It is also easier to give students personal attention to their writing and discussions than it is in a face-to-face class where others are present and may inhibit open discussion.
It is also the case that in online courses with a large enrollment the student may not be missed as quickly as a student will be in a face-to-face class.

Q. What do you do differently teaching eCore than a face-face-face class?
For certain we discuss more. If I disagree I will usually ask questions to evoke thought or to create an opening for introducing new information. Usually students are more open to this. I have a large body of articles that I can just paste into the course. For example, cancer and wood chips arose as a topic last semester. I posted an article on the subject which was written for the Encyclopedia of Cancer.
In a face-to-face class, the exchange would have been oral and posting an article for students to read later is just not the same. So the impact is more dynamic online.

Q. What has surprised you about teaching online? Or a certain event that stands
out in your mind?
The first time I taught online the platform was much more primitive than it is today. So it was a panic on my part. This made be very sensitive to students with technology problems. Even now, changing over to the unfamiliar D2L will rekindle some of those old feelings.
Other events are the old days of having student final exams snail-mailed to me. There was one that did not arrive until the morning of the day I was flying to Austria for a late summer tour of central Europe. Other similar issues have occurred. Or there have been occasions a student had a disaster to strike and working online to help was more than would occur normally with a face-to-face class student.
I have also been surprised that most of the students who make it to the mid-term stay the course and develop a survivor attitude. Usually they have a “I’m a success” attitude at the end of the course. This is good because teachable students need to become tough-minded and dedicated to achievement.

Q. Name some online class interaction techniques that you have found to be effectivethat may have surprised you?
Patiently asking questions helps students to gain new perspectives. This works in discussions, and with weak, missing, or mistaken views in papers.
Personal exchanges also help. It is easier online to be personally one-on-one than it is in a class room of 30 or 40.

Q: Tell us about an interesting event that happened on a trip or recent
Before Christmas 2011 my wife and I traveled to Dubai to see our new grandson. One evening in Dubai we were going to eat dinner at a North Korean restaurant, but the leader of North Korea died that day so we went to a Muslim Chinese restaurant instead.
We went home via Istanbul and Barcelona. In Istanbul it was exciting to explore the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. We then went to Barcelona and discovered that they prefer to speak Catalan rather than Spanish. Well, so much for taking Spanish lessons. In Barcelona we celebrated New Year’s in a hotel with a fun group of Europeans. It was safer than celebrating in the thick crush of the crowds in the streets of Rome as we did celebrating the coming of 2009. It “rained” champagne that night as Romans like to shake and spray it into the air.
In the summer of 2012 we toured western Turkey, seven Greek islands in the Aegean Sea and Athens. In the summer in Turkey a very interesting thing was to see the vast olive tree orchards of Anatolia. It was also interesting to visit Troy and Ephesus. In Athens it was delightful to dine on our hotel roof top with our New Zealand friends with the Parthenon all alight above us on top of the Acropolis. Food was good too!

Q. Tell us a secret - something about yourself that you think your students would
find interesting, strange or fun.
I play in a guitar group that is mostly older men. We have had a lady, but she had health issues and had to drop out. We meet to do mostly hymns. Although, “Christmas in Dixie,” is like a few others we play one that’s fun but not religious. We usually perform for churches, nursing homes and sometimes at entertainments. Lots of fun!

Dr. Waskey and many other incredible eCore professors are available at Come and take a look.

1 comment:

  1. i love those spices sold at the exit gate of Ephesus!