At one session today, we considered how to use PowerPoints in the classroom without it becoming a glorified overhead. The issue is how to keep the class student-centered instead of teacher-centered. Generally with PowerPoint, the teacher is in control and students are passive. I came away agreeing that giving students a preliminary handout of the slides would prepare them better to respond.
Later we attended two shorter sessions. One had interesting suggestions for creating a Master Course Site on a course management system (like Blackboard) to act as a repository of materials for instructors who teach different sections of the same course. Such a site could help to unify the sections and ensure common course outcomes, even though instructors would have leeway to vary the content in their own sections.
Sara and I split up in the afternoon. I listened to a seasoned online professor discuss how online courses offer a more level field for students with disabilities. A later poster presentation related to the discussion of accessibility reinforced the necessity to create websites that follow current regulations. I will be sending out such information to faculty who have recently created sites in their courses.
We ended the day at the technology showcase, but there was too much to see at once, and we’ll be back there tomorrow. More about that to come….
Sara will tell you her impression of clickers in the classroom.