Faculty Highlights

Faculty Stories

Bernie Gaidosch

How TLX collaborate with Bernie transforming in-class to fully online and making decision to drop a real textbook for his unique teaching experience?

Bernie is a professor from the LAS department and has taught Film Studies courses at GBC since 1998.

He has worked with Stella and Evelyn in the TLX since 2017, developing his two asynchronous online film courses GHUM 1079/Film Studies and LHUM 1201/The Evolution of Filmmaking. He has also participated in PD events sharing his experience with online course development at the Advancing Learning Conference in Ottawa in 2019 and the 2022 Open Education event in Toronto.

The reason he keeps teaching is a combination of sharing his long-time interest in filmmaking with his newfound excitement about the use of technology to bring students from around the world together in his online classroom in “real” time. “Feeling the ‘immediacy’ of having remotely detached students from everywhere work collectively on group filmmaking projects has brought a whole new freshness to my teaching experience,” he says.

It was important for him to drop the textbook in favor of Open Access resources because it removed an obstacle to students accessing the course materials, consequently increasing retention rates and overall student success.

Technology has enhanced his teaching experience through using digitally formatted elements for his courses to create a technologically enabled teaching/learning environment. These features included template development, creative use of Open materials instead of pricey textbooks and having students apply closed captions and Creative Commons licences in a move toward more authentic learning that has a place “out in the real world.”

He shares that his experience with developing his courses into an online mode has been nothing short of “transformative” for him. Having taught “forever” in an on-campus classroom setting, his initial skepticism about online teaching/learning had more to do with such ontological issues as “can students legitimately learn this way?” than it had to do with more practical questions. To overcome these challenges, Stella worked patiently with him through this phase to where “the penny dropped” and he understood its validity and its many affordances.

In the process, learning activities and assessments were transformed into more authentic experiences for students and more opportunities for Essential Employability Skills development were incorporated. Ultimately, he says, working with an Instructional Designer gave him a broad and deep grasp of ways to discuss the pedagogical aspects of newer modes of teaching.

Lights, Camera, Action: Student Filmmaking in an Online Course

Bernie Gaidosch’s Film course and the creative, authentic assessments that resulted in increased student engagement and a wonderful range of additional positive outcomes. The following is the link to the presentation, with links to resources at the end, including a 2-minute video on how students can edit the auto-captions on their YouTube videos, so they’re AODA-compliant, how to add a Creative Commons license to a YouTube video, and Bernie’s list of Top 100 Films!

Presentation Slides

Dropping the Textbook & Making it Real

Bernie, a Film Studies professor, Stella, an instructional designer and Evelyn, Learning Technologies Specialist, discuss their experience of replacing an expensive publisher’s textbook.

Presentation Slides

Howard Gerhard

Focus on Faculty

It was late in the Fall of 1968, at the same time that George Brown College was welcoming its first students, that Howard was hired to teach ESL by the Toronto Board of Education. And early in 1969 George Brown incorporated the ESL and many other programmes from the Board as the College evolved into an important, downtown post secondary institution. 

As an Associate Master at the newly formed, expanding College, Howard taught upgrading (BTSD) at the College St. campus until he was transferred to the not-quite-completed Casa Loma campus in 1971. From here he taught everything from English to a class of Manpower Programme parolees to Sociology to nursing students out at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in the city’s west end. Through it all he was attracted to the possibilities of using technology in his teaching...a little wary but attracted. (He was the first in his office who could manually thread a 16 mm projector in under 30 seconds.) 

After all, Bill Davis, Minister of Education who had put together the College system in Ontario advocated use of the latest technology: “Educational Television should be developed to the maximum: open circuit, with the employment of the video-tape recorder to preserve publicly televised programs for use within the College timetable; closed circuit, to enhance instruction, and to cope with the weight of numbers.” 

The College continued to grow. One night in the 80’s Howard went to sleep an Associate Master but awoke a Professor and bought his first personal computer soon after. The age of the personal computer in education had begun. As the College was extending itself to serve international students, he used a forerunner of Collaborate on GBC’s first LMS, WebCT, to teach a course for denturist students living in such far flung sites as Seattle, Johannesburg, and Las Vegas  

His interest in technology was eventually focused in the late ‘90’s and early 2000’s on creating a course called the ‘History of Technology’ which he lovingly developed, revised, deconstructed, threatened to dump, revamped and offered in many guises over the next 20 years. 

Being neither a technophile nor a technophobe, Howard has tried to familiarize himself with “the latest” without compromising his critical sense. He is constantly asking himself, after the novelty has worn off, whether the ‘latest and greatest’ is really a step forward in the teaching and learning exchange. How is it benefiting student learning? How is it aiding him as a teacher? 

He is currently experimenting with a number of exciting projects in educational technology:  the inclusion of a video game, ‘Adventures Along the Silk Road’ developed in conjunction with the Game Programming department; a virtual reality segment for the in-class delivery of his course, developed with the help Ian Crane of TLX; and the use of various and sundry software programmes in the asynchronous online and face-to-face hybrid versions of his course with help from Adeesha Hack, the TLX representative for LAS. 

PowerPoint quiz to be able to play it.

Presentation Slides