Faculty Tech Talk series launches with Best Practices in Online Teaching

Check out Dr. Barkley Brown’s and Dr. Cooperman’s presentations in the videos below!

On Thursday, September 16th, Dr. Elsa Barkley Brown from the Department of History and Women’s Studies and Dr. Bernard Cooperman of the Department of History discussed their best practices in online teaching at the first ARHU-sponsored Faculty Tech Talk event.

Dr. Barkley Brown spoke first about the need for online instructors to help students overcome their insecurities and feelings of isolation resulting from the lack of a physical presence in an online environment. She recorded a series of small audio messages to introduce the students to the course, orient them to the course material, reinforce deadlines, and also to give feedback after assignments. To connect with students on a more personal level, Dr. Barkley Brown established online office hours, where students could come and chat, and a discussion board where they were assigned to reflect upon course material and interact with one another. She stressed the need for instructors to re-think assessments when moving a course online: since students readily have access to facts via Google and Wikipedia, evaluating student ability to synthesize material is more valuable than testing rote memorization.

Dr. Bernard Cooperman’s talk focused both on his organization of course material in a notebook application NoteTaker and video lectures which he created using the screencasting program Screenflow (note that both products are Mac OSX only). Like Dr. Barkley Brown, he emphasized the importance of personalizing the course for the students, and made his video lectures more conversational in tone with a dash of humor in order to keep students entertained and engaged with the material. Overall, Dr. Cooperman advises faculty who plan on videotaping their lectures to do so in front of a camera, not in front of a classroom, and to leave plenty of time for editing and production.

Overall, the event was a very successful start to our Faculty Tech Talk series, and I’m looking forward to the next discussion on October 21st on Using Twitter to Boost Student Engagement with Julie Enszer from the Department of Women’s Studies. Hope to see you there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *