Category Archives: CTL Idea Exchange

How to Create Video Lessons

Lecture-01

Choosing to produce videos for your students can make an incredible difference in their education. If you read last month’s blog post, you’ll remember it focused on faculty experiences utilizing this resource. While we explored the “Why” of creating video lessons for class, we hardly touched upon the “How”.

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Why I Create Videos for My Students

this image shows a computer screen displaying a video paused on an instructor teaching at a blackboard.As the use of technology grows, meeting your students’ learning needs becomes more feasible. This month, we’re shining a spotlight on instructors Shaun Sarcona (MACA), Sam Sarkissian (BIOL), and Mark Champagne (CHEM) who create videos and post them online for their students. Although the three instructors represent different concentrations in the college, their stories all followed similar narratives.

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How to Connect with the Modern Learner

“If you want to change a relationship, change the way you act in it.”

When Dr. Christy Price, psychology professor from Dalton State College, began her keynote speech at Macomb Community College’s Faculty Development Day, her intent was to inspire continued action toward the increasing students’ successful behaviors. Price’s research on modern learners provided insight as to who our students are as a population and how instructors can reach them.

picture of President Jim Jacobs at Faculty Development Day

President Jim Jacobs reviewing the College Highlights at Faculty Development Day

She organized her findings into the five following categories for engaging Millennials.

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Free Textbooks, Quality Courses, Student Engagement, and More!

(What You Missed at ETOM 2014)

Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) Theater graphic. The running headliner is the keynote speech, titled "Open Educational Resources"November was an especially stimulating month for several Macomb faculty and members of the CTL staff. On November 7th, we trekked northeast to attend the 2014 Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) Fall Conference at St. Clair County Community College. Through a multitude of breakout sessions, this conference spotlighted faculty and staff from Michigan colleges and universities, giving them a space to share how they use technology to enrich education.

We tracked down a couple of participants and asked them to share their experience.

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How to Avoid Cyber Security Threats

We read about it in the news every week – “JPMorgan Chase Hacking Affects 76 Million Households”, “A massive leak of private Snapchat pics — and an era when even ‘disappearing’ photos can reappear”, “Dropbox Blames Security Breach on Password Reuse” – corporations we trust are failing at keeping our private information safe. But is it entirely their fault?

Padlocked computer monitor.During October, the United States celebrates the 11th year of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). The theme this year is “Our Shared Responsibility”; meaning we cannot hold one person, corporation, or government solely responsible for internet security. No, cyber security threats are the forest fires of the internet, and only you can prevent them. Continue reading

Shape Up Your Syllabus!

The beginning of fall semester is a constant battle to redefine the balance among school, work, family, and personal time. It can be overwhelming, but there is a simple step you can take to help lighten that load. Update your First Day Handout!

Syllabus …Thrilled? You should be! The most effective syllabi are integral resources and communication documents for students and instructors alike. Revising your first day handout will help keep you organized for each class session and ward away repetitive questions about assignment due dates and absence policies. Here we offer some helpful resources to make updating your first day handout more efficient.

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The Best Recipe for Most Effective Lectures

RecipeWhen it comes to brain food, higher education offers the richest dishes. Instructors are master chefs in a fully stocked kitchen with a main course in mind and a hundred different ways to prepare it.
And, as you know, the preparation of a lesson is just as important as the delivery. It can make the difference between a bland dish and one bursting with flavor. Here’s one recipe to help you brew up a memorable course.

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Click it -> Learn it -> Share it: Social Media’s Role in Education

Can YouTube video clips improve the lessons you teach? Will encouraging students to use Twitter reap academic benefits? Does blogging provide an effective means for instructors to connect with their class?

SocialClassroomIn short, yes, all of the above are possible.

Before continuing, let’s define “social media”, that often-used term. Whereas media refers to a means of communication (newspaper, television, or radio), social media takes those channels one step further, allowing people to interact with the presented content and with each other. The ability to have a two-way conversation is what sets it apart from traditional media.

Though the expression is beginning to feel stale, the opportunities social media provides for communication and learning are still fresh for educators across the globe. Continue reading

No, no, don’t go over your notes … you need to get into notes.

During the semester we frequently provide students with opportunities to interact with (1) their peers, (2) the professor, and (3) the course content. Interacting with peers usually means group work and discussion; interacting with you often takes the form of questions and dialogue. Interacting with the content can mean reading the textbook and other sources, identifying and mapping key concepts, articulating and questioning disciplinary assumptions, and taking notes. This month we’ll focus on simple strategies for helping students improve their note-taking skills.

Notebook Open Page

In her June/July 2013 Teaching Professor article, How to Help Students Improve Their Note-Taking Skills, Maryellen Weimer writes:

“A lot of students need the teacher’s notes because they aren’t very good note-takers themselves. They practice stenography rather than note-taking, trying to get down the teacher’s words exactly. That way, even if they don’t understand, they can memorize what the teacher said and find it on the test. But that’s not learning. … (As) they are preparing for an exam (students) will tell you they plan to ‘go over’ their notes. To that I have always responded with horror ‘No, no, not go over … you need to get into your notes.’”

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Five Tips on Retaining Student Engagement

Daydreaming

Summer is just around the corner and our minds are beginning to wander. It can be tempting to daydream, especially after the past four frosty months, but we need to stay focused. Now is the time to reinforce the lessons taught throughout the term and confirm that your students are capable of applying them. We’ve spoken with some instructors at Macomb Community College and they have provided a few tips on how they manage to keep engagement and retention high through the end of the semester.

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