My approach to teaching is centered around the principle of developing students’ critical abilities and creative thought, rather than conveying a specific corpus of knowledge. As an instructor, I have found out through my experience in the classroom that the most useful service I can provide students who come from multiple disciplines and diverse backgrounds, is to help them become attentive and critical readers and spectators, to be able to detect and question cultural assumptions under context, to provide rational arguments for their acceptance or rejection of a given stance, and to be attuned to the complexity of literary, artistic and historic events and processes, avoiding simplistic interpretations. I work personally with my students to provide fair and balanced opportunities and to accommodate a broad range of learning modes, abilities and backgrounds, assuring that each one of us has all the tools and help they need to be successful.

Student Evaluations

"Roy brought a unique literary perspective to the classroom, which made my Modern Hebrew course more interesting than the other Hebrew courses I have taken in the past. The readings that Roy assigned were enjoyable, as their purpose was not only to expose us to the language used by Israeli writers, but also to think critically in order to discover themes and metaphors within the writing. Roy had each of the students in our class lead a discussion about a certain reading. This assignment challenged me to engage actively with the text, and use my own Hebrew vocabulary to explain the text to my peers. I found our in-class group discussions to be incredibly useful and effective, because everyone had a chance to ask questions and actively participate in class. I always felt as though Roy was speaking with us, rather than to us because he encouraged us to speak up as soon as we were unsure about a particular word or concept. Roy’s emphasis on active participation and critical thinking make him an outstanding instructor."

"Roy has become one of my favorite instructors since being at Bloomington. He was relatable in discussion and communication, very knowledgeable of the materials we covered, and always prepared for class. He always gave great feedback on our work and was eager to help students improve their performance or work. He was entertaining and engaging in lecture and I wish I could take a course with him again. I also attended the most that I could as it is was my favorite class on my schedule."

"Advanced Modern Hebrew was an incredible opportunity for me to improve my Hebrew skills, by brushing up on previously learned material, learning new material, and being comfortable with understanding the overall material being presented. However, I strongly believe that if I didn’t have Roy Holler as a professor for this course, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn nearly as much as I did.

As this was my fifth Hebrew class at Indiana University, I found that Roy’s teaching methods have been far more effective than those before him. For example, Roy would choose random students to ask the same questions to, over and over again, and wouldn’t stop until he made sure that all of his students had a complete understanding of the material he was going over. When he noticed I was struggling with the new material being introduced to the class, he asked me to stay after class to remind me of his out-of-class office hours, in a very polite and helpful way. This made me feel comfortable coming to him for additional help, so I took him up on his offer. Roy made himself available every day before class to meet with me for 30 minutes.

During these meetings, we’d go over past homework assignments and tests to see what I could improve on, upcoming homework assignments so I’d have a clear understanding of what the assignment is, and general questions I had from the class before or for the upcoming class.

Not only was Roy a great teacher in the classroom for making sure all of his student’s were getting the most out of his course, but his flexibility to work around class times to help out the students that really needed the extra help truly makes him a remarkable teacher."

"One of the many reasons I enjoyed this course was because it made much literature and art accessible to us, when I often feel it is not presented that way to students other than those in literature or art programs. I am a biology major, so the last time I was studying literature was four years ago in high school. I was intimidated to take this course at first, worrying that I wouldn't be able to keep up with other students. While challenging, I felt as though this course was doable by all sorts of students, and provided an opportunity to enjoy and explore literature in a way that was both informative and rewarding."

"Professor Holler had a great grasp on the concepts and themes of every story we read and was very fair in his grading of course material. It was somewhat harsh grading on bigger assignments, but this was done to foster better writing skills in the field of literary analysis (and he gave in-depth feedback), so it was absolutely a positive aspect to his teaching. He was respectful of the students and the ideas they expressed in discussion. The assignments in the course were a perfect balance of discussion-based activities, reading, short papers, and longer writing assignments. The goals of the course were effective in educating and fostering an appreciation for artistic pieces and movements throughout history and the concepts which lay behind them. It was never overwhelming."