October | Matthew Tyler has long-lasting relationship with CCU
by Josh Kisner
Matthew Tyler, instructional designer and technologist in the Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning (CeTEAL), goes above and beyond his professional duties at Coastal Carolina University to cater to the needs of faculty, staff, and students.
Tyler, a South Carolina native who attended Green Sea Floyds High School near Loris, S.C., was introduced to the University early in his life through his grandmother. He would often spend his summers with her at work on campus when she served as a CCU staff member before retiring. Tyler enrolled at CCU, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in history, graduating summa cum laude and No. 1 in his class. He earned the President’s Award for having the highest-grade point average in the class of 2014.
He then earned a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2015, an Ed.S. in instructional technology in 2016, and a graduate certificate in online teaching and training in 2018.
Tyler officially started his professional career in 2016 in a full-time position with CeTEAL as a faculty developer and instructional technologist. But, he has worked with CeTEAL much longer. “I started in CeTEAL as a student worker in 2014 while I was working on my B.A. When I was working on my M.A.T., I was offered a graduate assistantship in CeTEAL,” said Tyler. “My original intent was to be a high school history teacher, but I really enjoyed working with faculty in higher education. In 2016, right before my Ed.S. was conferred, I was offered a full-time position in my department, where I have been ever since.”
In December 2018, Tyler was hired as an instructional designer and technologist, providing faculty development training and consultation regarding online course design, instructional design, Microsoft education products, Moodle, and the integration of educational technology into face-to-face and online courses.
“I have witnessed Matthew grow from a student employee to a graduate assistant to a full-time employee,” said Jean Bennett, assistant director of CeTEAL. “Matthew has a love of learning and has grown in his understanding of pedagogical practice in teaching in all environments, including online courses, blended/hybrid courses, and face-to-face settings.”
Tyler was nominated as a Chauncey’s Champion by Eric Konig, Ph.D., lecturer of biology, for helping him with various aspects of using Moodle. According to Konig, Tyler displays a tremendous amount of empathy, and says that he is one of the finest people he has encountered at CCU.
“I was in need of technical help with Moodle and Matthew was there to help,” said Konig. “Matthew always has time to help me, and he creates an environment that makes it comfortable to ask for his help. It is an honor to know him and call him a true friend.”
Tyler began consulting Konig regarding Moodle and set up recurring meetings with him to familiarize him with the learning tool. He helped him by showing steps to complete different tasks and having Konig repeat the steps until he knew how to do it himself. After a series of meetings, Konig became proficient with Moodle, but was eager to learn about the additional features it had to offer that could aid in teaching students biology.
“This made us both very happy and fulfilled because we were able to reflect on his growth and realized that he was able to use the tool independently,” said Tyler.
Tyler values the work he does in his role because it has a direct correlation with the success of the students at CCU. Faculty members come to CeTEAL seeking knowledge and training on different learning and teaching tools they can use to further their impact on their students’ higher education programs. As faculty gain more knowledge on the different tools that CeTEAL has to offer, they become more confident in the classroom, which translates into increased student satisfaction and retention.
In the workplace and in his personal life, Tyler values support and trust. He says these values are made possible through confidentiality, reliability, empathy, and responsiveness. Tyler displays these values by understanding the point of view of those who seek his help. He also says that faculty members come to him in confidence to discuss what issues they are having, and he feels they are able to work together to develop an immediate resolution. Tyler works closely with faculty or staff members who seek his help and provides personalized recommendations to fulfill their needs.
“He has provided exceptional service to faculty through the sessions he offers through CeTEAL, and his one-on-one consultations. I have received several emails from faculty expressing their gratitude for Matthew and the quality of their time together,” said Bennett. “Matthew amazes me by how many people he knows on campus. His gracious personality allows him to connect genuinely with others.”
When Tyler is not working in the CeTEAL office, he enjoys training and spending time with his German Shepherd puppy, Walther. He also tries to attend as many car shows as possible. Even when he is not working, Tyler can be found supporting Teal Nation at many different Coastal Carolina sporting events.
Tyler says that faculty development in higher education involves many different realms. In order to be effective, he has to think like a faculty member and keep up with research on developing trends in higher education. Tyler continues to display many different aspects of a Chauncey’s Champion as he is always willing to help when the opportunity arises.
“I love how the CCU administration values faculty development and continues to allocate resources that allow us to do our job most effectively,” said Tyler.
Visit coastal.edu/ceteal to learn more about CeTEAL at CCU.
Chauncey’s Service Excellence Champions are University employees (faculty or staff) who perform service-oriented actions that go above and beyond their job duties and that meet at least one dimension of service quality. These employees are recognized for outstanding performance and embody the Feel the Teal initiative. To nominate someone for Chauncey’s Champion, visit coastal.edu/feeltheteal, fill out the form and submit it. Approved nominees will receive an exclusive Chauncey’s Champion gift as well as consideration for additional recognition. Visit coastal.edu/feeltheteal/champions/champs.php to view all the Chauncey’s Champions.