CTLT Dialogues

The Blog of the Center for Teaching & Learning with Technology

Archive for April, 2008

Using short videos to help students learn

Posted by Cathy Kelley on April 29, 2008

An article in today’s Chronicle of HIgher Education provides some ideas about how to use short home-made videos in your class to help your students learn better. This article describes how some professors will work through a single problem or example and record it outside of class time. Students often find these short, highly-targeted videos to be far more useful than full-length lectures.

The article also provides ideas about low-cost, easy-to-use technologies that can be used to produce these videos. Some of these technologies are available to FDU faculty members in our Instructional Design Studio, located on the first floor of Dickinson Hall on the Metropolitan Campus. Starting this summer the studio will be open again five days a week.

Young, Jeffrey (2008). Film School: To Spice Up Course Work, Professors Make Their Own Videos. The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2, 2008.  http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i34/34a01301.htm

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Article Alert: Free online textbooks?

Posted by Cathy Kelley on April 25, 2008

A short article in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education describes a company that will start publishing free online textbooks next year:

Rampell, C. (2008). An Online Company Tries an Unexpected Publishing Model: Free Textbooks. The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 24 2008. http://chronicle.com/free/2008/04/2614n.htm

What do you think? Would you consider using a free online text in order to save students money?

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Using guest speakers

Posted by Cathy Kelley on April 7, 2008

Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education includes an article by James Lang concerning the effective use of guest speakers in the classroom. Lang describes his uninspiring experiences using a guest speaker, and contrasts his experience with that of a colleague who routinely uses guests with great results.

Lang’s analysis suggests that the key difference is that his colleague makes a point of integrating the guest speaker’s appearance with the learning objectives of the class. “The speaker has to play an essential role in fulfilling the learning objectives of the course; if that doesn’t happen, the students will have little incentive to take advantage of what guest speakers can bring to a classroom, and the guest speakers won’t understand what they can contribute.”

Lang’s advice pertains to the face to face classroom – but like all good teaching advice, it has a direct analogue in the blended or distance class as well. Think about how you could apply Lang’s advice to the use of a Global Virtual Faculty member.

Lang, J.M. (2008). Guest Speakers. The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7 2008. http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2008/04/2008040701c/careers.html

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