Wednesday’s panel discussion on “New Approaches for Improving Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Classes,” led by CNDLS Assistant Director for Science Programs Janet Russell, featured a discussion of technology-related pedagogical approaches by Mark Rom, Matt Carnes, Matt Hamilton, Frank Ambrosio, and Heidi Elmendorf.
Mark Rom (Government) and Heidi Elmendorf (Biology) introduced methods of using blogs and discussion boards. Rom explained how his blog, which collected an astonishing 2,328 posts and 1,901 comments this semester, is part of a larger strategy to engage his 150 Government students as active participants in the class. Elmendorf views her class discussion board as a safe space for her 250 students to share questions and uncertainty. Matt Carnes (Government) and Matt Hamilton (Biology) explained different ways they incorporate i>clickers in their classrooms: for example, Carnes asks different types of questions ranging from true/false statements to open-ended “what do you think?” queries, while Hamilton has used clickers to demonstrate concepts of probability. Finally, Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy) shared his thoughts on lecture capture software’s potential both as a means to catch up students who miss class and as a way to deliver content to students in advance of class discussions.
These interesting panel presentations raised many questions among the audience and panelists, ranging from the logistical (“Where do I get these materials and technologies?”) to the pedagogical (“How do you assess their efficacy in student learning and engagement?”) The discussions around these questions as well as the entire panel presentation will be available in video form soon.
If you are interested in finding out more about using or assessing technological tools in the classroom, please contact us.
The Provost’s Seminar continues Thursday with a presentation on “Big Concepts and Instructional Bottlenecks: the ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ Approach” by David Pace, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Freshman Learning Project at Indiana University. For more information, see this description.
Yesterday, Julie Reynolds (Duke University) gave a presentation on undergraduate thesis advising – watch for materials from that discussion to be posted soon.
Today, please join us for a faculty panel discussion on “New Approaches for Improving Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Classes.” The panel, led by CNDLS Assistant Director for Science Programs Janet Russell, will feature faculty from a number of disciplines:
Matt Carnes (Government) and Matt Hamilton (Biology) will discuss strategies for using clickers in large classes.
Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy) will share what he learned from using lecture capture software for the first time last fall.
Heidi Elmendorf (Biology) and Mark Rom (Government) will talk about how they incorporate online discussion into their courses.
Panelists and audience members will explore how small group work functions in large courses.
The discussion will be held in the Philosophy Department Conference Room (New North 204) from 1-3pm.
Tomorrow (Thursday) will feature a presentation entitled “Big Concepts and Instructional Bottlenecks: the ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ Approach” by David Pace, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Freshman Learning Project at Indiana University. For more information, see this description.
Each semester, CNDLS offers Blackboard training sessions on a variety of topics, including Blackboard basics, communication and collaboration tools, assignments, and assessment tools. The presenters cover not only the technical aspects of Blackboard use, but also pedagogical strategies and best practices. Faculty can also request customized training and individual consultations at any time through the Blackboard Help Request Form.
This year, the Provost’s Seminar on Teaching and Learning will offer three opportunities for faculty to participate in ongoing discussions about teaching, learning and the curriculum.
Tuesday, January 19th, 10-12
English Dept. Conference Room, New North 311
“A Systematic Approach to Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Theses”
Featuring: Julie Reynolds, Department of Biology, Duke University
Wednesday, January 20th, 1-3
Philosophy Dept. Conference Room, New North 204 “New Approaches for Improving Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Classes”
Thursday, January 21, 10:30-1:00
“Big Concepts and Instructional Bottlenecks: the ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ Approach” Featuring: David Pace, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Freshman Learning Project, University of Indiana
Please note that the dates for these workshops have changed since the original posting. These are the correct dates.
CNDLS is pleased to announce a new series of spring workshops focusing on Web2.0 tools. These Friday workshops, which will be presented in collaboration with the Gelardin New Media Center, will be open to Georgetown faculty, staff, and students. At each workshop, presenters will introduce a particular set of tools and lead a discussion on how these tools might be useful in educational contexts.
A recent article in the Washington Posthighlighted some of the issues surrounding students, technology, and contemplation explored at CNDLS’ December 2008 Symposium “Teaching to Connect the Heart and Mind” and by last semester’s guest speaker David Levy in his talk “No Time to Think.” The article quotes Symposium keynote speaker Arthur Zajonc, who refers to “the very hurried world of gadgets [students] normally live in.”
In December, CNDLS’ Eddie Maloney and Theresa Schlafly, along with Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy), traveled to Florence, Italy to present a paper on the MyDante and Ellipsis projects at a conference co-sponsored by the Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale, Minstero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, and the Library of Congress. More information on the conference, entitled “Empowering users: an active role for user communities,” can be found here.
The paper written by Eddie, Frank, Theresa, and CNDLS’ Bill Garr, entitled “MyDante and Ellipsis: Defining the User’s Role in a Virtual Reading Community,” can be found here.
These assignments enhance students’ abilities to create and share knowledge – vital skills for competing in a globalized economy. But while our classrooms are adapting to the necessities of the 21st century, our assessments are often stuck in the Stone Age. If our students are expected to master new skills—moving from the recitation of facts towards the creation of knowledge, for example—we need to develop new ways of measuring and evaluating those skills. But how can we develop assessments that accurately measure these new ways of learning and knowing?
A good place to start the conversation is online. HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) has initiated a forum which invites discussion, collaboration, and commentary around Assessment 2.0. Visit the site, share your ideas, and be a part of a frontier movement in education. CNDLS staff members are happy to be a part of this conversation with you.
Please contact us with any ideas or questions you may have!
At the event, Caitlin Olson, the director of program partnerships and initiatives at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, shared information about the site’s design, construction, and future exhibits. Brian Rafferty (COL ’79), chairman of Project Rebirth, updated students and faculty on the progress of the Project Rebirth documentary film—also entitled Project Rebirth— which is scheduled to be released in 2010. He also showed a four-minute clip of the film, which is directed by Georgetown alumnus Jim Whitaker (COL ’90).
CNDLS’ Randy Bass, who is in his third year of working with Project Rebirth, discussed how he’s been using the project in his first-year writing classes. He stressed the importance of building a robust, digital library to cultivate a powerful virtual learning environment for study of the Project Rebirth resources. Michael Kessler, a visiting assistant professor of Government and the assistant director of the Berkley Center, spoke about the collaboration between the Berkley Center and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The two institutions recently sponsored a faculty panel called “After September 11th: Change in the Academy?” that explored how 9/11 has affected various academic disciplines.