Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seminar on Teaching and Learning

The latest Seminar on Teaching and Learning concentrated on best practices using Moodle. Different members of the faculty presented how Moodle transforms their teaching (and student learning!) Jake Falconer showed his Spanish class, concentrating on how students use the forums to peer edit. He also uses the chat feature, assigning students a time for online chatting in Spanish. Jade Yu Qian uses Moodle to organize online language and cultural tools for her students. Her students can get additional listening time in Chinese through videos and podcasts. Matt Gettings showed his Stats class, highlighting how he links to definitions and articles he wants students to read while analyzing the statistics in the readings.

On a different note for Moodle use, Joe Repczynski demonstrated how easy it is for a teacher to create a podcast on a laptop and post to Moodle. He has a student record all the Wednesday Chapel speeches and post to a Moodle course. Karen Gold and Erin O'connell (who team teach American Studies) showed how they were able to create connections between the English and History disciplines within their course. They also noted that when time was scarce for meeting together, they could each go in and tweak the course.

Susan Chase showed how the library extends itself with Moodle by not only creating general research courses on the many different types of resources available to students but also individual classes to support specific curriculum projects. She showed as an example the freshman Civics class. Freshmen are given instruction in finding book resources, in using two databases, and in creating advanced searches for the Internet. In addition to the research components, students are given instruction in saving to their P:drives on the network, creating folders to store classwork, and to organizing Outlook with folders for the documents they retrieve from databases.

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