IDE Week 4 Technology and the Future

Since there is not much time but a lot to get done, I think simple is the best course of action. I try to incorporate at least one video into a class. I use different videos depending on the course because some students see me in more than one class and also, I try to scaffold and/or introduce new ideas and concepts in different courses.

I want to use LibSurveys again to get students’ topics and an idea of their abilities or struggles with research before we meet in class. Surveying is a general form of data-driven assessment – not personalized, but useful for proof of students’ struggles with research, either because they have never used a library before or they have never had a library class. I also plan to test a recall assessment quiz I created after reading Make it Stick. The idea is more a recall exercise for students (so they can see how much they remembered) and less an assessment for how much they learned (it can be used that way as well, but I do not ask for their names so it is more a general class assessment). On second thought, I think I will save that for ENG 112 classes – I would have to rewrite a few of the questions since they ask about thesis/research statements.

My primary reason for using videos in class is to break up the monotony; to have something different from me talking or the class filling out a worksheet, but also to get a concept across. When teaching keyword synonyms, I use the From Question to Keyword video. For the ENG 111 classes, I plan to use a PiL UW iSchool video about the struggles students have with research as an icebreaker, so they understand they aren’t alone in getting frustrated, and that research is difficult and not something to be taken lightly. The video is old, but still relevant. In the communication classes, I use the Research as Conversation from the UNC Writing Center. A little on the nose, but I try to use humor in my classes as well.

I am always looking for ways to improve my instruction. I would like to use technology to engage students, but I cannot use complicated technology because I spend too much time helping those 3-4 students who are not good with computers get set up. I have used clickers and see the merit if use properly – something I have not done and therefore do not use them anymore. I also do not like the idea of students using their phones to text responses at their expense – but maybe I need to get over that. For now, I will focus on improving my lesson plan and pedagogical techniques.

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