Techno-News Blog

December 5, 2015

Maine professor ensures course is taught, even after he dies

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:15 am


John Broida, a longtime University of Southern Maine psychology professor, died of pancreatic cancer last year. After the startling diagnosis last summer, Broida rushed to complete an online Psych 101 course he was developing. Two months later – just days after the course began – he died. Broida was a farsighted adopter of online teaching, broadcasting his lectures live to remote locations as early as 1988. “It was really important to him. He loved teaching,” said his widow, AnneMarie Catanzano. The students never expected to meet Broida in person. The three-unit course is completely “asynchronous,” meaning there are no “live” sessions where a professor meets online with students through Skype or chat rooms. With his pending death, Broida knew he needed someone to curate “a course in a box,” someone to send email reminders, check in on students, answer questions and keep track of how students were doing. For that, he turned to friend and fellow USM psychology professor Michael Stevenson.

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