Teaching

Dr. Khan the Teacher

Teaching has always been my passion. As evident from academic journey, I have been associated with the teaching role since 2005. Over these years, I have learnt and continually reinvented myself to become a better educator. Viewing teaching as an ongoing journey that advances with time and experience, I have embraced diverse experiences and invested the time and effort to benefit from diverse areas of interest. Spending my initial years in a a developing country, I have witnessed how education changes lives. I have also seen how quality education can change individuals, societies, and countries at large.   

My teaching experience is truly international. I have taught at universities in three different countries—Pakistan, UAE, and the United States. For more than fifteen years, I have been actively involved in the development and instruction of various courses in business, education, communication, and analytics.

Dr. Khan’s Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is about a healthy attitude towards life. It is a value system that defines our profession as not only a source of learning, but also as an institution of mentorship and guidance.  It is this healthy attitude towards life that I adopted teaching as a profession where I can do my part in building a better future for our children. My goal as a teacher has been very focused on the need to impart quality education to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

My role as an educator derives its greatest strength from the realization that I can make a positive difference in the lives of others. I contribute by creating a nurturing environment for my students and facilitate their learning to help them be innovators and critical thinkers. My approach to teaching reflects my experiences with my own teachers and mentors, as well as my belief that classrooms provide unique places to explore emerging ideas. I know how much I have benefitted from excellent, dedicated teachers, and my goal is to similarly contribute to the professional development of my own students.

I enjoy working with both undergraduate and graduate students. Such inquisitive minds need an encouraging environment and timely guidance. In order to bring out the best in students, they need to become engaged learners so that their abilities and skills can develop. I subscribe to the Japanese concept of Kaizen or “continuous improvement”. I believe that students can achieve their personal and professional best if they continue to make small changes every day, ultimately leading to substantial positive impacts overtime. The process of continuous improvement demands that students reflect upon their daily routines. In this way they can be more engaged academically with what they are doing.

My teaching philosophy can be summed up around three core points – Learn, Inspire and Lead. As an instructor, I have the responsibility to help my students understand the meaning of learning as a life changing experience. I strive to make learning enjoyable and inspire students to discover the merits of course contents. I believe that every individual can be a leader in his/her own right. The objective of student learning is to build vital life skills and instill the leadership skills that take individuals forward.

Diversity and Inclusion. I greatly value diversity. This is not limited to racial diversity, but diversity in thought, reasoning and scholarship emerging through belonging to different backgrounds and life experiences. It is my belief that diverse opinions and varied perspectives provide an opportunity to inspire and empower students through careful reflection of complex and conflicting issues.

My teaching evaluations highlight that I come to class well prepared and eager to include my students in the discussion. When possible, my courses emphasize discussion informed by selected readings and current events. I strive to combine a solid theoretical foundation with hands-on practical knowledge derived from my strong commitment to the professional realm. I therefore enjoy sharing my experiences and insights with students and have taught undergraduate and graduate courses both online and face-to-face.

Learn

As an instructor, I have the responsibility to help my students understand the meaning of learning as a life changing experience.

Inspire

I strive to make learning enjoyable and inspire students to discover the merits of course contents.

Lead

I believe that every individual can be a leader in his/her own right. The objective of student learning is to build vital life skills and instill the leadership skills that take individuals forward.


I have strived to make my instruction, research collaborations, independent studies, and advising relationships meaningful and rewarding for students. My teaching record at Ohio University demonstrates that I am an effective educator. I make strategic use of resources to involve students towards quality learning. In addition to lectures and videos, I often employ a case study approach in engaging students with topics such as big data, media ethics and social responsibility, strategic social media, use and entrepreneurship. I have also covered topics including political, health, and government communications, media theories, and organizational use of new media technologies.

My analytics and research methods courses at Ohio University have built student engagement. I have taught courses in social and data analytics, quantitative research methods, global media systems, communication and development, and digital divide. My teaching has immensely benefited from my research and ongoing professional development activities. I also employ latest analytic tools to equip students to engage in problem solving and effective storytelling. Some of the tools that I have employed include data gathering, analysis, and visualization software.

Teaching analytics courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels help equip students who have little programming background to harness the power of data, engage in effective storytelling, and make effective decision making. I employ a three-pronged strategy to enhance my teaching goals: 1) simplify analytics techniques and acquaint students with latest research and practice; 2) make data analytics fun and less daunting through fun, in-class activities and tutorials; and 3) connect learning to best practices in the industry and enhance their job prospects. The very nature of the analytics field mandates that I continually revaluate my teaching methods and incorporate newer analytics tool, and make improvements as needed. Keeping in view diverse learning styles, various pedagogical approaches are employed to encourage critical thinking and nurture creativity. Besides case readings, research papers, and hand-on analytics tools, students are also given a degree of autonomy so that they can explore topics that interest them in the wider realm of analytics.

Students new to the field of data analytics are often surprised when they need to find questions from a raw dataset that they need to answer. This requires that they are trained in data gathering, cleaning, analysis, and visualization. With big data and analytics, there is a learning curve especially for students who are in social science, humanities, and business. This is the kind of challenge that I wholeheartedly embrace in my teaching because I believe in interdisciplinarity and going the extra mile. Data skills provide a strong edge to our students in the job market.

Graduate level instruction is more research focused. I see teaching and research as highly interconnected and therefore endeavor to provide students in the classroom with the theoretical and practical knowledge. Grounded in theory, I often employ a data storytelling approach in engaging students. For example, in teaching a robust analytics tool for data visualization, Tableau, I encourage students to practice data analysis interpretation techniques via real data sets. In other instances, students learn about social network analysis using NodeXL and Gephi. The emphasis is not only generating appealing diagrams and network charts, but on making them meaningful, explaining a phenomenon, and telling a compelling story.

As affiliate faculty in the Communication and Development program (Com Dev), I teach and mentor masters level students in the art and science of research. I teach a graduate course in research methods which prepares students not only in data collection and analysis from a quantitative and qualitative perspective, but this course culminates in the form of a publishable quality paper. In this process, students also learn about SPSS data analysis, interpretation and reporting of results.

Overall, I enjoy working as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students, advising them through their educational journeys. This has been a particularly valuable experience for me in terms of honing the skills and interests of individual students, mentoring them, and developing a sense of how best to support individual working styles. I have used my teaching skills to impart analytics skills via the SMART Lab platform. The SMART Workshop Series educates faculty, staff, and students with the latest data analytics techniques.

Courses

MDIA 6130x – Research in Social Data Analytics (graduate analytics course)

This course highlights the interdisciplinary research in social data that arises from human interactions online. Based on lectures, readings, and hands-on tutorials, the course will focus on collection, analysis, and visualization of social media data. The course is reading intensive and conducted as a graduate-level seminar.

This course introduces various data analytics methods for extracting meaning from data. The aim of the course is to build data analytic skills for novice and intermediate researchers. The course comprises two primary parts: (1) Focus on theoretical principles, approaches, and challenges in social data (2) A course research project in which students apply the knowledge gained in the first half of the semester to produce research papers of publishable quality. 

MDIA 4130 –Social Media Analytics (undergraduate analytics course)

There is an increasing realization amongst social media managers that data generated via social media can enable informed and insightful decision-making. Individuals, organizations and businesses are employing social media analytics tools to better understand human behavior in online communities. This course introduces students to concepts, tools, and best practices in social media analytics. The course will also acquaint students with the use of various software tools and techniques for analyzing social media interactions. Emphasis is on providing a thorough understanding of social media, analytics, and measurement strategies for organizations and businesses. Based on readings, cases studies, tutorials, and analytics assignments, the course will also focus on collection, analysis, and visualization of social media data to build analytics reports as part of an overall social media plan for an organization/business.  

MDIA 4011 –Media and the Digital Divide (undergraduate course)

 The course steeps the student in some of the most current literature on the quicksilver proliferation of new technologies throughout the world, with emphasis on who has access, command, and knowledge about these technologies and who is lacking and why. Readings explore the contours of the Digital Divide as it shapes and is shaped by culture amid shifting cultural and geopolitical climates.

MDIA 6082 Introduction to Research in Communication & Development (Graduate course)

This course is one of the core courses required for students in the Communication and Development Studies graduate program. It introduces students to essential principles associated with conducting graduate level research. The course covers critical elements of scholarly research in both quantitative and qualitative realms and includes training students to find answers to questions through various established research techniques. Students are acquainted with the overall research projects through lectures, discussions, and scholarly readings. The course culminates with a research paper that is of publishable quality. Over the semester, students learn to implement a research idea, access scholarly research and write a literature review, be cognizant of ethical considerations in research, gather and analyze data and present their findings.