60 Seconds with Dr. Cortney Grubbs, eCore Instructor and Scary Movie Lover

What is your title and what is your current non-eCore job?
I'm currently an Assistant Professor of English and the Teaching Matters Conference Coordinator at Gordon State College.  I teach composition, poetry, American literature, world literature, and special topic courses.

What are the two main reasons you teach through eCore?
I am passionate about online education because it provides opportunities to some people who would not otherwise be able to earn a degree. Yet, convenience and easiness cannot be confused; one of the other reasons that online education is so rewarding for both students and teachers is because of its rigorousness. Online education requires more--and continual--dialogue between each (and every) student and the professor. In other words, a student is simply unable to sit in the back of the classroom and remain unnoticed; participation and growth is not only encouraged, it is required.

What do you do differently now than when you first started teaching through eCore?
In my first class, I kept most of my dialogue with students about their ideas restricted to the "hidden comments" section of the gradebook. I would generally respond to discussion posts but really interrogate ideas; but, I realized this is not how I taught in traditional courses and my students (and I) were "missing out" on dynamic discussions. So, now, I try to incite more discussion between students and critical consciousness by asking questions, helping students develop their ideas, and "playing devil's advocate"; and, I focus more heavily on writing and grammar in my comments (in the gradebook).

What would you do to your eCore course if you had a "magic wand"?
Students' computer would actually blink, dance, and sing--like an alarm--every day when they have committed to log-in and engage the course :-) Then, if they still ignore that, I will come on the screen and begin trying to motivate them--reminding them why they are enrolled in the course (and college). And, voila, everyone's "on the right track" for success again!

What's one of the coolest things you do in your eCore classes?
Honestly, I pride myself in creating a community; I want all of my students to feel comfortable discussing ideas and questions with each other and myself. I also like to think that I allow flexibility while maintaining the course's integrity. Something that I instituted a couple of semesters ago (and it seems to work effectively) is to provide a deadline for portions of the units' assignments; for instance, all activities to help write an essay are due one day (but graded as soon as each individual student completes the smaller assignments)--before the actual essay is submitted. This allows students with complex scheduling concerns to complete their work when it's most convenient--and it encourages students who enjoy "working ahead" to do so. So, while "hard deadlines" still exist, there is flexibility that students are not penalized for having intense work and/or family schedules.

Other than yourself, who do you think is a simply fabulous eCore instructor, and why?
I'm so fortunate that I can't count because I must mention a few individuals on the eCore team that I believe are absolutely fabulicious! Christy Smith, Ashleigh Paulk, Reynard Van Tonder, Michael Harris, and (last, but certainly not least!) Brett Miles--I cannot sing their praises enough! They are passionate about helping both students and teachers reach their potential; and, no matter how silly my questions are, they never make me feel like I'm bothering them...even with the incredible amount of work they are responsible for!

Tell us a secret - something about yourself that few people know.

I'm easily startled, which entertains my friends. I love viewing scary movies, especially sci-fi and supernatural thrillers--but I'm afraid to watch them by myself! And, it doesn't matter if I've seen the film before...I will still scream, jump, and cling to whomever is brave enough to watch the film with me!


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