Some Lessons Learned

See also Teaching Philosophy

After experimenting with different technologies, I have learned some valuable tips for using technology.

Always Have a Plan B

When doing class presentations, it's always good to have a back-up plan whatever it may be. Some backup plans have included:

  • Maintaining links outside of ANGEL as well as inside ANGEL
  • Saving a local copy on my laptop
  • Print out Web sites before coming to class

It's OK To Repeat Reminders

Originally, I had all my weekly assignments in the syllabus, but students reported getting confused on which week it was. So I began including weekly assignment tasks within the document to be handed in. I also repeat due dates on the ANGEL drop box as well as in the syllabus.

For final exams and papers, I also send reminder e-mails.

Keep Grading Simple

I find that most discussion boards can be graded on a check, check-plus, check-minus system...much like you would grade live discussion. If you want a more complex piece of weriting, it may be better for students to turn in formal drafts

For dropbox items, I found that I had better luck incorporating colored text with my comments into the Word files that students submitted. I was able to provided detailed feedback in one place so students could see what part of the assignment I was referring to.

The more simple the process, the quicker students will get feedback.

Test, test, test

If you want students to use a new technology, it's important to use and test how it will work before you give it to students. I assigned my students a blogging assignment, but I made sure I had created a blog first so I could see what problems students might encounter.

About Me

I am an instructional designer and have taught several lingiustics courses at Penn State.


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