Best of: Professor

Assistant Professor of Social Media Daniel Faltesek has worked at Oregon State for six years.

Angel Xuan Le, Practicum Contributor

Daniel Faltesek

To a student, New Media Communication is just a class for media. With his colorful suits and surplus of La Croix, Daniel Faltesek shows the world that it’s way more than that. 

Daniel Faltesek is an assistant professor of Social Media at Oregon State University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa and has been teaching media studies at OSU for six years. 

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Faltesek has taught multiple courses from basic to advanced courses relating to different facets of media. As a New Media Communications professor, Faltesek believes students should be given definitive information that can be adapted to the rest of their lives. 

“Information is weird,” Faltesek said. “Most of the information that is easily verified and can be proven to be concrete fact is not the information that really matters. The information that really matters are at fault with what we generally call social facts. They’re not things like how many people are unemployed, and the things about society, like what unemployment means. These things are all really complicated constructions. In 2017, you have way less editing happening in media. You have way more access to the means of distribution. You’re in a whole new world of information.”

Faltesek also wishes to promote self-reflective learning in a student in ways that they think about their thinking. A student should learn the flexibility to apply their knowledge not just within the classroom, but also with varying situations, according to Faltesek.

“Every class has different learning objectives. So there’s going to be different things you get from each one,” Faltesek said. “What I really want students to leave with is not necessarily normative content. I don’t have a list of knowledge bits that I want them to spray back at me. I want them to leave with a greater capacity for understanding and taking on new challenges. I want them to leave with a higher sense of self-efficacy. That they feel like they understand what’s going on and that they can affect change.”

Faltesek continually revises and updates his teaching methods to better assist with student success. Through his research, he wants to give the most up-to-date and interesting ideas for students. 

“The students at the end of the day are everything,” Faltesek said. “Research is fine. I really like it. I like publishing books and whatever else. The biggest change you can make as a university professor is the change you make in your students.”