Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
Dr. J. Otaola’s academic preparation and his professional development are two-folded. Dr. Otaola has a higher degree in Biology and a PhD in Education. Also, his professional development and research have run on both facets. Dr. Otaola lectures graduate and undergraduate-level classes. These have been her duties for the past 20 years in Education and Biology at several universities. This two-folded vision gives Dr. Otaola a special perspective when guiding educators in the teaching of sciences in school.
Besides lecturing, Dr. Otaola has participated in projects related to the creation of instructional software for the preparation of teachers. Some of these projects were funded by the USA Department of Education. He has also given seminars for faculty on the use of Technology in the Classroom. For example, he has taught the use of Visual Basic for Applications with PowerPoint. Furthermore, Dr. Otaola has created and then maintained the University web site on the Internet for five years. Also, for several years he has chaired the committee for faculty training in Educational Technology and other technology-related work. Other aspects related to the management of technology can be seen in his resume. He gathers a wealth of experience in education and, at the same time, a wide range of software expertise in technology. As Instructional Designer for Online Learning, he has developed several online courses as Evolution, Biostatistics, Bioethics, and Computers’ Literacy. Many of these courses have been developed in a bilingual context helping students articulate the learning and teaching of sciences from another perspective
Dr. Otaola’s interests in research include Instructional Design for Online Learning, Bilingualism, students’ preferences, retention of online students, and archival data analysis from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). This type of research helps the institution to modify, adapt, or create online courses with existing and new technologies. This is a dynamic field, therefore requires a constant watch of what is going on.
Other occupations include conferences, lectures, and presentations related to instructional practices and teaching. Dr. Otaola has worked in several environments related to education and research in different institutions in Puerto Rico and abroad.
Born in Spain, he has also participated in some international scientific research projects funded by France (ORSTOM), Germany, and Venezuelan governments. First, he served as Director of the Lymnological Research Station South of Orinoco River in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. Then he was appointed to the Marine Research Station in Margarita Island (EDIMAR), in Venezuela, where he has worked as researcher and Director of Research.
Dr. Otaola has publications covering different faces of scientific knowledge and educational spectra. For example, as biologist he has published the Embryonic Development of Apistogramma ramirezi, "Presence of Nutrients and other Abiotic Factors in the Culebrinas River", a quantitative study of nutrients, pH, temperature, and turbidity in the Culebrinas River of Puerto Rico, and the Carta Pesquera de Venezuela in Biology. In the field of Education: Freddie: The Story of a Pebble, Constructivism across the borders of Switzerland, Russia, and the USA, and numerous other divulgation articles of minor importance.
Dr. Otaola is proud of chairing several doctoral students’ committees as Contributing Faculty at Walden University. Also, he is full-time faculty at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico in the Sciences and Mathematics Department and at the Graduate School of Education. He has also served over time as Dean of Faculty in various opportunities. His classes include The Teaching of Sciences at the Elementary School, Bioethics, Biostatistics, Ecology, Education foundations, and Sciences Methodology.
Dr. Otaola has a BS in Zoology, a MS in Marine Biology, and was admitted to PhD In Marine Biology by the University of Puerto Rico and has a PhD in Education (Instructional Design) from Capella University. He is fluent too in Spanish and French.
His teaching philosophy lies on the conviction that every human being has the potential to attain whatever goal, if it is deeply desired. The task of the educator is helping students discover what hinders and impedes their growth as persons and as professionals, show them how to work on overcoming these impediments for succeeding in whatever endeavor they are committed to, and enjoy their victory.