Faculty Spotlight: Duane A. Bedell – Health Informatics Program
Duane Bedell is an instructor at UNE Online in the Health Informatics program. He’s passionate about the field of education and works diligently to set his students up for success in the field of Health Informatics.
Duane earned his MA in Educational Technology from the University of Michigan-Flint, his BS in Information Technology and Security from Baker College of Flint, and is currently in the process of earning his Ed.S. and Ed.D. in Education Leadership from the University of Michigan-Flint.
Duane’s areas of expertise include Computer Science, Educational Technology, Information Technology, Computer Information Systems, Content Management Systems, Data Networking, Servers, and Software Assurance – all of which make him a great fit for the Health Informatics program at UNE. The three courses he teaches for UNE are ‘Computer Science for Health Informatics Professionals,’ ‘Database Design, Standards, Access, and Modeling,’ and ‘Data Analytics & Visualization.’
Duane generously agreed to be the focus for our latest Health Informatics Faculty Spotlight. Here’s what he had to say about UNE Online, and his role in the success of our students:
How do you use your position to best support students?
I try to reach out to each student and encourage them to not only complete their assignments but to also do some self-reflection. I advise them to step back and think about their course from other angles, in order to get a grasp on how this course fits into their bigger picture.
I urge my students to reserve at least two minutes each day for self-reflection, to ask themselves “How did I do this?” or “How could I do this differently, in order to do it better?” I find in my own life that a habit of self-reflection has helped me look at things from different angles while also keeping an eye on the big picture. My students have told me that this practice of self-reflection has helped them to not only achieve their academic goals but also is an accelerator in becoming successful in their career and personal life.
I also enjoy giving my students personalized feedback. I like to propose different points of view for them to consider on their topic, whether it’s a slightly different academic standpoint or a broader professional workplace perspective that they may benefit from considering.
Online classes are clearly different from classes that you’d take on campus in a classroom. The personal interaction that’s so valuable in a classroom has to be simulated in some other way, so I work to intentionally foster a sense community among my online students.
Each week, in each of my classes, I host a live session via video conference. Through these video conferences, the students and I are able to have a dialog similar to those found in a traditional classroom. I find that this format has worked to strengthen the relationships between me and my students, and among the students themselves.
These sessions are not required, but it speaks to their effectiveness and the high value of the content that the sessions are extremely well-attended, with more than 80% of students logging in live for each session. And if the students can’t make it to the live session that week for whatever reason, they can view the recorded session and catch up on what happened that week.
I have an educational technology background, so I use that expertise to promote classroom interaction as well. For example, in my classes, we use various technologies and tools to present projects. My students use PowerPoint in conjunction with Screencast to record presentations with voiceover narration, allowing us to put a face with a name and encouraging that personal touch on projects. I find that this interactivity really promotes the students’ best efforts.
What do you feel sets the UNE Online Health Informatics program apart?
I feel that the Health Informatics program at UNE effectively incorporates real life work experiences and employer expectations into the curriculum. I use a hands-on approach and present real-world scenarios to my students, emphasizing the need for them to develop critical thinking skills for problem-solving. In this line of work, critical thinking is essential.
I also feel fortunate to be working with UNE staffers such as the Health Informatics Program Manager Megan Landry, and various other faculty members, all of whom are passionate about the program. We all have the same goal: to see that students are set up to be successful in the health informatics workforce.
How do you feel that you prepare students for the real world?
Throughout each of my courses, I incorporate actual case studies and real-world scenarios so the students can propose their own solutions. I also make sure that the scenarios I select will expose my students to situations they would not necessarily have experienced in their particular field. In this way, they are required to consider problems from diverse perspectives as they develop that particular industry skill. I believe that this is one of the ways UNE gives our students the edge to become successful in health informatics.
Do you have any insight into any up and coming career paths for Health Informatics?
There’s a lot of potential in data visualization right now. We have access to so much data, we don’t know what to do with it. The challenge now is not data collection, it’s data interpretation.
Up-and-coming jobs will entail looking at raw data, interpreting it, and presenting it in a format that is understandable to key stakeholders, so that they can use the data to inform their opinions and make decisions on a broad range of topics. The skill of data visualization and interpretation is an asset to virtually every organization.
Anything else to add?
I can say that since I’ve come on board, the program at UNE has been a natural fit. I look forward to being active in the program and helping my students succeed in the field of Health Informatics and beyond.
Thank you, Duane, for sharing your insight!
If you are interested in learning more about our Health Informatics program, or if you are interested in pursuing a career in Health Informatics, please reach out to an Enrollment Counselor at (855) 751-4445 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out an online application now at online.une.edu/gateway-portal-page. We look forward to hearing from you!