2013 TLTR Pilot Projects

Developing the Writing Online Open Course, a longitudinal support course for writing instruction

Moriah McCracken, Assistant Professor, English Writing and Rhetoric
Ryan Hoover, Assistant Professor, English Writing and Rhetoric

We are looking to implement a flipped-classroom pedagogy style in the ENGW Basic Writing classes. The pedagogy will be based on the Writing About Writing curriculum, a new standard that involves students learning complex theories and research about composition in the First Year Writing curriculum in order to gain declarative and procedural knowledge about writing. The flipped approach we propose will be idea for a basic writing class as students will have time to process and work with theories outside of class, leaving class time to be dedicated to discussion and practice.

Mathematics Tablet Project

Monica Cicciarelli, Math Lab Director

Clickers have enabled me to help students be more engaged with class, but are difficult to use without using PowerPoint as the teaching platform. I find PowerPoint to be a poor teaching source for the classes I teach; there is no way to be as actively engaged as working the problems by hand. Small details are lost when students cannot watch the problems being worked by hand, and the ability to see which parts of a math problem take the longest (or shortest) amount of time to work is also lost when the steps are being projected line by line with a click of a mouse.
I have currently been using my own tablet (purchased used on Craigslist for ~$100*) with great success in my Math for Liberal Arts class this semester. I create handouts for the class to print and bring so we may speed up some of the note taking. The focus then becomes working and discussing problems, and not on copying the problem description that we are going to work. I am also able to create graphs and diagrams beforehand that can be projected and annotated during class.
I have been able to help students with 504 accommodations greatly with using a tablet. I save the lectures as a PDF and email them to the students after class. Students are less burdened with getting all of the notes copied and can engage more with the content. (The opportunity to have the notes emailed is open to all of my students as long as they are attending and taking their own notes during class.)

Education e-Book Reader Project

Judy Leavell, Associate Professor, Education

As background for our need, Westlake High School students read many books in e-book format. E-books are used with elementary school level guided reading group lessons in Boerne ISD. In some areas of the country, educator policy makers are advocating use of e-book materials in schools, sometimes to the exclusion of paper print materials. While some embrace the concept, there are also some difficulties such as students’ complaints of not being fully conversant with the operation of a particular device, not being experienced in allocation of technology resources for pedagogical purposes, or having concerns about negative instances of eye fatigue and its effects on engagement. This project would equip SEU education majors to fully use the advantages and possibilities e-book format offers, while analyzing potential limitations or challenges through self-analysis. The idea is to have e-book/e-material equipped devices that would allow economic storage of central yet extensive text materials used for a class. The stored content can also have application in other courses, allowing transfer and connection of content and skills. For example, children’s literature is taught as a class but selections of children’s literature are used in other classes in the program (on the SEU campus and in the field). The storage of materials allows a more fluid transfer of connections. Adequate training to equip students to use the features of the device would be provided. Once aware of the possibilities, the students would be expected to use the device enough to develop greater skill and efficiency. Along this journey, students will keep digital diaries documenting their progression. With basic skills in place, students will explore issues of alternative pedagogical uses in a classroom. The goals are to increase skill and frequency in the use of electronic book content while reflectively analyzing skill and process effects.
Objectives are:
1) increase exposure to and use of e-book materials to the point of skilled capabilities.
2) conduct on-going analysis of individual response to this skill development.
3) apply planning for pedagogical differentiation for learning within a class and across classrooms and locations.

Spanish Subjunctive Grammar Tool

Miguel A. Niño, Associate Professor, Spanish

The idea I am proposing for a Technology Pilot is the use of computer-based multimedia learning environment for the teaching of the Spanish complex sentence in the acquisition of the Spanish subjunctive mood. The use of words, sounds (voice recorded or music), videos, graphics and animation will be brought together to explain to third semester students via the linguistic cognitive approach the sequencing of the Spanish syntax. Hopefully, this visual tool will help them better manage the abstraction of the Spanish complex sentence by focusing primarily on the subjunctive mood.

Chemistry Project

Jeffrey Potratz, Post-Doctorial Associate, Chemistry

 Idea: Create a Prezi page that contains (among other items) video demonstrations of the organic chemistry 1 lab experiments that students will perform throughout the semester. Students will access the Prezi page online and watch video clips that are embedded on the page in order to familiarize themselves with the lab before they come to class.
 Goal: By watching a 2-5 minute video demonstration of the lab they will perform before they come to class, the students will be better prepared for the lab and more instruction about the chemical principles behind the lab can be discussed rather than mere instructions about how to technically do the lab procedure. Too often students are overwhelmed by learning the new techniques associated with lab experiments and they ignore the scientific principles that are  happening to focus on the task of simply performing the experiment.
     This summer I want to video record a student/ and or myself performing organic 1 lab experiments. This video will then be edited by using time lapse features and scene selection. On some sections of the video, text will be overlaid on the video to highlight important ideas. Background music will be playing through the video. These videos will be embedded on a Prezi page that will also contain other useful information for the students who are in organic chemistry labs. (safety info, info on how to operate the IR instrument, etc.) Next fall all organic 1 lab students will be required to watch the videos before they come to class to perform the experiment.

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