Oct. 24, 2022

2022 Faculty of Arts Teaching Awards Recipient: Dr. Victoria Guglietti

Dr. Guglietti is an Instructor in CMF and a recipient of this year’s Faculty of Arts Teaching Awards
Photo of Dr. Guglietti
Photo of Dr. Guglietti

Congratulations to Dr. Victoria Guglietti of CMF for receiving the Faculty of Arts Teaching Award as an Established Teacher! The Faculty of Arts Awards and Celebration of Excellence recognizes outstanding achievements among faculty, staff, and alumni across various categories. The awards were presented virtually this year on May 10.

Dr. Guglietti teaches a wide range of courses within CMF. She encourages students to become curious, ask questions, and identify and challenge internal biases by employing critical reflection, experiential learning assignments, and problem-solving within small groups. Dr. Guglietti utilizes deliberate listening as a method to discover students’ unique needs, backgrounds, and interests. She then applies this knowledge to make course material more accessible and impactful for students. She is also a leading voice in how EDI principles and Indigenization can be advanced in classrooms in meaningful ways.

We caught up with Dr. Guglietti back in August when she shared some insights and values that inform her teaching practices.

What kind of learning environment do you try to facilitate in the classroom?

I try to make students feel that they come into the classroom with valuable experiences and knowledge that they can use to better understand what they are learning. I want them to feel and know that they are partners in the class and not passive recipients of information. For this reason, I ask students to engage in class discussions and critical reflections of their own learning. I want them to know that their experiences matter and [that] learning only happens when they make this learning their own unique experience.

What are some ways in which you have structured course material in consideration of the unique needs, backgrounds, and interests of students?

I have learned that less structure is sometimes better. I typically ask students to write or research topics of their own choice. I have also recently moved away from written essays. In many of my classes, students can choose the format of their assignments (vlogs, podcasts, websites, etc.). For the last two years I have been committed to expand[ing] the experiential component of my classes and I now ask students to design and take part in experiences in which they must “do” and “feel” to learn. On this note, I am quite excited about a future collaboration between my COMS 591 and ENGG 521 [classes] in Fall 2022. Students in both classes will be working on creating a chindogu, a useless invention. My goal is that communication students study cultural and communication practices by doing art in a context of trans-disciplinary collaboration.

In what ways have EDI principles and Indigenization been incorporated in your classrooms?

The point of departure is to listen and be willing to learn. A classroom that values students’ experiences and invites their collaboration in the learning process is an environment open to EDI principles. For me, a big challenge is to make room [for] authors of different backgrounds in my outlines. Many of the “mandatory” readings and ideas, particularly in introductory classes that I see as constitutive of my discipline are overwhelmingly white and male, and I need to look beyond that. However, the diversification and Indigenization of the content is just a first step. I also need to honour different modalities of expression and knowledge. And I am still working on that because my academic training taught me that there are some formats and forms that are “more legitimate” than others. So, I see an emphasis on experience and feeling as a necessary step in our journey towards EDI. I want students to also learn from their feelings and their bodies. I am learning to do this, and I am grateful to my students who have been incredibly supportive in this journey. I am also looking forward to any opportunity offered, particularly by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, to learn and make my classes more open to different needs and worldviews.

Dr. Guglietti is teaching Communication Research Methods, Advanced Studies in New Media and Society, and the Capstone Seminar in Communication and Media this fall.