Spotlight on Faculty: Instructional Designer Bryce Battisti improves student learning across the college
Posted: September 29, 2016
Bryce Battisti has been teaching science in a traditional classroom setting and online at Bates Technical College since 2011. In 2016 he started serving as the college’s instructional designer, where he helps align outcomes, assessment and instruction.
Bryce earned his high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree in ecology in New Zealand. He earned a master’s degree in biology in the US. In 2008, he earned his Ph.D. in science education from the University of California, Davis. He then went on to teach biology, botany and zoology in universities in Vietnam and Bangladesh.
Bryce now lives on Vashon Island with his wife and four children. He enjoys cycling, kayaking and gardening.
- What inspires you each day?
I don’t seek inspiration, so I’m pleasantly surprised when I find it. At work, I am inspired by the learning, growth and change my students and colleagues show every day. At home, I am inspired by the growth of my children and my garden. My wife inspires me with her boundless depth for caring and compassion.
“I have the opportunity to help improve student learning college-wide, rather than just in my own classroom.”
- How did you choose your particular field?
Did you ever want to do anything else? When I was 11 years old, my family moved from the arid slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Western Colorado to the Puget Sound region. I was so impressed by the Sound and its creatures; I told anyone who asked that I wanted to be a marine biologist. I always enjoyed biology in school, but it wasn’t until age 21, after two years as a missionary, that I realized what I found most personally fulfilling: teaching. I then spent 10 years in higher education gaining the qualifications to teach at the college and university level. I also learned that I wanted to help improve the quality of undergraduate education.
- What attracted you to Bates Technical College and what is your mission?
I came to Bates because of the college’s strong support for full-time faculty rather than the over-reliance on adjuncts you see at many area colleges. I enjoyed teaching biology and creating online classes during my first four years. Now, as the college’s instructional designer, I have the opportunity to help improve student learning college-wide, rather than just in my own classroom.
- What’s the best part of your job so far?
I most enjoy times when I am able to help someone learn something new.
“My students want to learn as much as they can as efficiently as possible.”
- What is your favorite part of working with non-traditional students?
Before Bates, I mostly taught academic students who excelled in school and received good grades for the sake of getting good grades. My students at Bates show an intensity and focus that comes from a deeper source. Their intensity often comes from the knowledge that no one is going to get them through school – they know it is up to them to succeed. I think their focus comes from the stress and time crunch many of them are under, balancing children and employment while going to school. My students want to learn as much as they can as efficiently as possible.
- What advice would you give to someone who’s considering finishing their degree, or an adult who is enrolling in college for the first time?
Be sure your incentive for finishing your degree or certificate is strong enough to help you make and keep schoolwork a consistent priority all the way through.