Stacy’s journey into educational technology began while teaching 7th grade religion.
Even before class began, some students had decided they would hate the course and religion in general, because it was “boring”. Amused and undeterred, Stacy challenged both their assumptions of a religion class and what she as a religious person would talk about. In her 8th grade classes, she integrated philosophers, even those arguing against the existence of God, and for her 7th grade classes, she introduced religious topics through a familiar language– technology. The students were more willing to engage content when asked to create digital products instead of writing papers. Soon, the class assumptions stopped—but, more importantly, the religious assumptions stopped. Breaking her own assumptions about teaching helped Stacy break her students’ assumptions about religion and faith.
During an internship at the UVA Center for Teaching Excellence, Stacy coached multi-disciplinary faculty on course design, participated as a small group leader for the Course Design Institute, and co-authored a research article on how professional development workshops can encourage faculty to embrace new pedagogical models. While completing an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, Stacy collaborated with Debbie Gin of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) to design the first mixed-methods empirical study on faculty development needs in theological educators across the U.S. and Canada. These experiences, along with others, convinced Stacy that seminaries need someone with expertise in education and ministry to help leverage research-informed teaching and learning practices. So, she started Learning Forte.
Learning Forte supports organizations and individuals seeking to increase their capacity to offer formal and informal learning opportunities in hybrid and digital environments.