Since joining St. John’s faculty in 2008,
Patrick Walden, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication
Sciences and Disorders, has introduced several technology-driven
learning initiatives to enhance his students’ learning experience.
They include a video-enhanced online education course and a
continuing research study that enables students to gather data
through in-person meetings with subjects.
First offered in Fall 2011, his course — Observation Skills in
Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology — develops students’
clinical observation skills by means of video-taped therapy
sessions led by leaders in the field. Dr. Walden put the course
online to give his students access to a wider variety of therapy
sessions than they otherwise would be able to observe. The material
is drawn from Dr. Walden’s and other professors’ own practices as
well as from commercially available videos.
“Ensuring that everyone is looking at the same thing allows
instructors to point out why certain practices are more effective
than others,” said Dr. Walden. “It results in more exciting and
informative, interactive discussions.” Students supplement their
video viewing by doing seven hours of field
Dr. Walden is currently using a Faculty Growth Grant he
received from the Center for Teaching and Learning to take a course
in video editing. “I am committed to continuing to find ways to use
technology to enrich my teaching,” he said. His immediate goals are
to add voice overs and expand the video by updating existing
recordings of sessions conducted at the Speech
and Hearing Center in Queens. “One of my long-term goals,” he
added, “is to create a comprehensive video archive as a resource
tool for future students.”
In addition, by leveraging the Staten Island campus’s upgraded
Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Laboratory, Dr. Walden was
able to design and implement a new independent research project.
The study compares the amount of air leaving the nose versus the
mouth during speech, depending on age, gender and geographic
accent. Using the lab’s sophisticated, acoustic-enhanced equipment,
Alexa Lazzarotti ’13C is among the students testing subjects in
Lazzarotti is studying a cross-section of Staten Island residents.
Future student researchers will measure these patterns in subjects
from the South.
“The experience is giving me the chance to learn how to use the
kinds of equipment I’ll need to master as a professional,” said
Alexa. “It’s also helping to differentiate me from other graduate
school applicants in my field.”