List of Technologies
Software and Learning Management systems:
Standardization of Technology: How do we adjust to multiple software packages?
Charlie and Lawrence suggested that in courses like Statistics, multiple software packages can create situations in which students use different software packages. For example, Charlie uses Minitab in his courses, which is no longer supported by Apple products. Rather than presenting a problem solution in multiple packages, he will demonstrate a solution in only one application.
Practical Approaches to Using iClickers in the Classroom
Both Scott V. and Mark L. were identified as experienced users of iClicker technology. Scott uses them in his third year class and Mark uses them in a first year class on Human Biology. Both Mark and Scott recommend using iClickers since they: are liked by students, provide a sense of the learning to the instructor, enhance engagement during lectures, and reduce the threshold of participation by anonymizing answers. Mark uses them to perform opinion polls, ask fact-based questions such as those on his exams, ask difficult concept questions, and introduce new material. Scott links his use of iClickers directly to his learning objectives and gives the students regular quizzes. He mentioned that he has slowly integrated their use into his class and that he has compiled a bank of questions, however, he cautions that the iClicker questions may be more superficial than what might be encountered in an exam.
In response to a question from Margo about pedagogical literature, Barb put forward that the selection of the tool and how it is used must enable students to engage with the material, other students and even the instructor. The technology should be intentionally integrated into a course design to maximize the “affordances” of the device in the context in which it is being used. For more on affordances read Donald Norman.
What’s currently in the news on clickers in the classroom?
Engaging Students with Social Media
As a chronic facebook user in my personal life, I (Nienke) have been trying to think of ways to include it in my classes as a teaching tool. Thus I was very happy when Nicole brought up the idea of using social media to enhance discussions in her courses. Nicole uses WebCT discussion boards for her classes, however, students often leave logging-in to the last minute, which affects the quality of the discussion. Furthermore, the discussion in WebCT is asynchronous (using discussion threads) rather than synchronous (such as a live chat or text messaging). Since students often interact on Facebook, the login barrier is removed, and would ideally create a more natural discussion flow.
What would a facebook page for a class look like?
Caveats: Erasing the page at the end of each term is not as straightforward as a WebCT reset. If participation is being marked then each contribution would have to be tracked manually. Students may still be more interested in other pages than the course page. Discussion may still require careful management by instructor.
Resources to explore: