Category Archives: Technology and Pedagogy

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Sample Computer Science Course Site

Here’s another sample site, this time for a computer science course at Mary Washington. The site is simple, with the information flow more or less exclusively from professor to student. It’s also a little difficult to negotiate retroactively (assignments, for example, aren’t found in a easily discerned single place). The result is a strong case for organizing a site using categories as you go, but was probably useful for student and professor as the class was in session.

The main reason I’m posting it, however, is for those of you who’ve been talking to me about homework and quiz options might find this post particularly useful. The professor has set up a form that will email him the answers to the questions once the students answer. He also uses a more traditional format, having students download an ms word homework assignment which they then email to him. The advantages to this are of course a lack of paper, etc. Ideally, though, one would probably want a solution that doesn’t involve email, but rather stays on the course site, don’t you think? Continue reading

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Class Site and Group Research Project

Below you’ll find two sites which were used for the same class, a Macaulay Honors College Class called ‘The Peopling of New York City’. Both sites use a platform very similar to what you’ll be using in the fall. I like these largely because they’re relatively simple–while often we benefit from students who can do amazing things with our sites, this is a relatively standard set up that (I promise) any of you will be able to do by the end of the Fall 2011 term. One thing I do want to remind you of (and I’m sure I’ll be saying this again), don’t be intimidated by sites like this–we’re looking at what took an entire term to build, and each of these started as bare bones sites, with just a syllabus and a not much more.

To the sites then. The first is the class’ main site, which I imagine most of you will imitate to some degree. Here we have a syllabus, resources, a page where students post short writing responses, and guidelines on larger projects (the equivalent of a handout). Much of what’s here is going from professor to student, except the student responses. Click the image to be taken to site itself, and have a look around.

Below, then, you’ll see the second class site, which is the student-directed research project. This is nicely done, and most pages are within most student capabilities (maybe with a little help from your community facilitator)*. It’s a nice project, with video, a pleasant look, and a rigor that I think the students can be proud of. You can click this image to have a look as well.

*if you’re curious, this page is one students will be able to do with just a little training. This one is a bit trickier.
To the sites then. The first is the class’ main site, which I imagine most of you will imitate to some degree. Here we have a syllabus, resources, a page where students post short writing responses, and guidelines on larger projects (the equivalent of a handout). Much of what’s here is going from professor to student, except the student responses. Click the image to be taken to site itself, and have a look around.

Below, then, you’ll see the second class site, which is the student-directed research project. This is nicely done, and most pages are within most student capabilities (maybe with a little help from your community facilitator)*. It’s a nice project, with video, a pleasant look, and a rigor that I think the students can be proud of. You can click this image to have a look as well.

*if you’re curious, this page is one students will be able to do with just a little training. This one is a bit trickier. Continue reading

Posted in Gallery of Sample Course Sites, Technology and Pedagogy | 4 Comments

A big list of useful Plug-ins

Joe Ugoretz has kindly broken down the plug-ins that are most useful to the faculty he works with, who use a system which has features much like the OpenLab (and the commons LivingLab site as well). Basically, wordpress (and buddypress) are customizable to the degree that one activates plug-ins, which is a fancy name for ‘tools.’ I spoke about them a bit last week, such as the one that allows you to insert a calendar for yourself or your students. One problem, though, if you’re not inherently endlessly curious about wordpress and buddypress, is sifting through them, to keep on top of what’s available. Here on the commons, for example, if you click plug-ins, which you can find here:

You’ll get this:

You can see that even on this system there are presently 139 (!) plug-ins you might use. Pretty overwhelming, especially given that you might have to page through all those pages to find what you’re looking for (there is a search function, so do use that–but wordpress developers like to give things funny names). Add to that this: Around the world, wordpress developers have created (as I type) 14,682 plug-ins!

Anything we can find that helps us break off pieces that are more useful for our pedagogical purposes, then, helps. You can find Joe Ugoretz’ whole post here on the commons. Scan about halfway down and you’ll see it. It’s a very valuable summation.

More importantly, let us know if any of these are features you think will be useful for you next term! We’ll certainly do our level best to accomodate any requests.
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Teaching and Learning with Twitter

Mark recently posted an article from the New York Times on using Twitter in the classroom. I’ve been interested in using Twitter in the classroom, particularly to offer that backchannel experience. Students would be able to comment electronically during a … Continue reading

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