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Snow Day? Keep Class Running with a Little Technology

Posted by on Friday, January 29, 2010 in News.

Worried about the effect of today’s snowpocalypse in Nashville on your teaching?  This might be a good time to experiment with some technology to help you communicate with your students if you or they can’t come to class.  Last fall, CFT Educational Technologist Rhett McDaniel put together a guide for instructors preparing for a widespread H1N1 flu outbreak.  The guide included several ideas for using technology to keep class moving even when face-to-face meetings aren’t possible.  These ideas are equally applicable during weather that prevents class attendance.

Course Communication
Using an online threaded discussion can help keep open the lines communication between you and students. The CFT has developed a teaching guide that outlines how to design and moderate online discussions.

Student Interaction
Blogs can aid student interaction by allowing students to keep a learning journal, comment on posts from other students, and give students an environment in which they post reflections on course content or assignments.

Additionally, a wiki will allow student groups to work collaboratively at a distance by giving the ability to share and edit content over the Web. Read the Center’s teaching guide on using blogs and wikis for instruction for ideas on how you might incorporate a blog or wiki into your course.

Web-based document sharing applications like Google Docs or Zoho might also prove useful to students as they complete group projects and assignments.

Access to Course Content
Posting audio or video recordings of class assignments or lectures can make content available to students from home.  The CFT has created a resource that explains your options for posting media content, and guides you through the resources for podcasting at Vanderbilt.

Providing online access to course documents helps students who cannot come to class connect to course materials. Homework assignments, case studies, and other course materials can be placed on electronic reserve by the library and posted to your OAK course. In addition, the library has created a guide for using library resources in OAK or a stand-alone course Web page.


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