Independent Instructor, Ohio State University
- Sociology 3464: Work, Employment and Society (11 semesters)
- Sociology 2367: Urban Social Problems (4 semesters)
- Sociology 1101: Introductory Sociology (4 semesters)
- Sociology 2345: The Social Structure of American Society (1 semester)
- Sociology 4998: Undergraduate Research in Sociology (supervised 6 undergraduate research assistants)
Teaching Assistant, Ohio State University
- Sociology 3463: Social Stratification (1 semester)
- Sociology 1101: Introductory Sociology (1 semester)
Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
- Sociology 102: Social Problems (2 semesters)
- Sociology 255: Sociology of Sexuality (1 semester)
- Sociology 250: Sex and Gender (1 semester)
Work, Employment and Society
This is an upper-level course that is taken by sociology majors and engineering, business, public policy, and international studies students. After an overview of theories of work, this class primarily focuses on insecurity at work and inequality at work. Students learn how work and the economy have been restructured over the last several decades, and how this has led to an increase in job insecurity for most workers. They also learn how class, race, and gender inequality are created and reproduced in the workplace. This class combines lecture with small and large group discussions and group activities such as a role play between garment workers and the board of directors of a clothing company. The first paper for this class gives students the opportunity to learn practical research skills by observing a workplace and writing a paper in which they apply concepts from class to the workplace they observed. For the second paper, students critically evaluate a workplace ethnography book of their choice. The final paper gives students the opportunity to research a problem related to work and employment using both class and outside soures, and propose a solution to this problem.
Urban Social Problems
This is an intermediate level, writing-intensive class focused on urban social problems. The class also provides an overview of urban social structures and how they lead to social problems. This class combines lectures with small and large group discussions and group activities such as planning a budget for a family living on minimum wage, and analyzing food deserts using maps and census data. In this class students also learn practical research skills by learning to access and use census data. For their first paper students research a topic such as segregation, homelessness, or gentrification using census data, class readings, and newspaper articles. For their second paper students research an urban social problem using outside sources, and propose a solution to this problem. Students also have the opportunity to analyze and reflect on course readings through reading response papers.
This an introductory course where students learn basic sociological concepts and apply them to the real world. This course combines lectures with small and large group discussions and group activities such as analyzing commericials and comparing toys marketed to boys and girls. In addition to exams, students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned through a number of assignments where they must complete an activity and write about it. In addition to teaching this course in-person several times, I have also taught this course in online and hybrid formats.
I have been teaching and designing classes independently for the last five years, and I am continually adapting the classes I teach to ensure I am an effective instructor. Over this time, I have developed two goals I believe all sociology classes should meet: 1) Help students to understand the causes of and search for solutions to social problems and 2) teach practical, hands-on research skills that students can use to apply sociological concepts to the real world. It is important for students to understand social problems and how they came about, but it is also important to think critically about these problems and consider solutions. This is especially vital because many sociology students go into fields where they may be making or influencing policy or serving the public. Additionally, creating solutions to social problems requires students to think critically about these problems and use a variety of sources to research them, which encourages the development and growth of both critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With regard to my second goal, in many sociology classes, students read and learn about the research of others, but aside from research methods classes, most students never have the opportunity to conduct research on their own. It is important for students to gain practical, hands-on experience conducting research. This encourages understanding of social phenomena and application of sociological concepts and helps prepare them for graduate school and a variety of jobs.
Selected Comments From Student Evalutions
“Ms. Klainot–Hess runs her class very well. She uses lectures, videos, documentaries, readings, and in–class activities that all work well together. People learn in different ways, and I really appreciate the variety of formats she uses. She has always been prepared with PowerPoints and all materials, posts things online so they are easy to access, gives clear directions for our larger at–home assignments, and returns grades quickly. She obviously puts in the work and takes pride in her class.”
“Professor Klainot-Hess is by far my favorite professor I have had at any college I have attended and here at Ohio State. Lectures can be very draining and boring, but she made sociology interesting. She was also very helpful and always willing to provide help in or out of the classroom to help you understand and earn the best grade for the class you possibly could. I can’t thank her enough for making what I thought was going to be a very difficult subject to study because I had no interest in it very interesting. I actually want to major in sociology now.”
“I enjoyed Professor Klainot-Hess’s material and the class in general. We touched on some interesting current events and it certainly was an eye opening class. Professor Klainot-Hess seems very passionate about her course and it was a pleasure having her.”
“This class was a lot more interesting than I expected. The documentaries, group activities, and lecture videos were all engaging and interesting. You can tell the teacher is interested in the subject. She was nice and accommodating whenever I had conflicts with class. “