Faculty Blog

Webcameras that Facilitate Better Conversations Virtual Guests: Perhaps “OWL” Being See You…??

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies What is this? Have you tried using a basic computer web camera to capture conversations in a classroom? Prof. Loewen has experimented with dozens of methods since 2009. With the arrival of the REL digital lab at UA’s Department of Religious Studies in 2021, things have changed. Among

Registration Open for Active Learning Initiative (ALI) Workshops

Registration is now open for the Fall 2021 Active Learning Initiative (ALI) workshops. This workshop is required in the first two years of appointment for assistant professors (both TT and renewable contract). For those TT assistants who are interested in an ASPIRE semester, they must complete this workshop before they apply. The workshop takes place

Remind Students to Check Their New Email in the First Week of Class

Some students might not be seeing emails because they didn’t notice the shift from Google to Microsoft O365. To ensure that all of our students are receiving messages, please remind your students during the first week of class that they should be using Office 365 to access their email. Students can access email through any

Discussing Readings with Hypothesis: Tips to Create Small Groups

by Nathan Loewen, A&S Faculty Technology Liaison Hypothesis is a tool in Blackboard that makes students’ reading active, visible, and social. It is quite easy to add a Hypothesis-enabled reading to a Blackboard course shell. Your students can then annotate, as well as read and reply to annotations posted by all other students in the

Using Flipgrid for Class Discussions: Tips and Precautions

by Nathan Loewen, A&S Faculty Technology Liaison Melissa Green recently hosted a Blackboard RoundTable where she remarked that Flipgrid is now among the UA-licensed platforms. Anyone can use their UA email (username@ua.edu or username@crimson.ua.edu) on the Flipgrid Sign Up page to “Sign up with Microsoft.” My colleague Jennifer Roth-Burnette suggested I contact members of the

Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Workforce: An Adobe Creative Campus Collaboration Recap

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Meagan Bennett and Nathan Loewen presented remotely to the Adobe Creative Campus Collaboration event. They discussed some aspects of how UA approaches the extraordinary conditions of 2020-2021. If you scroll down a few paragraphs, you will see what Sebastian Distefano took away from our presentation, he wrote, “Knowing

Creating Learning Communities with WordPress, Slack, and Adobe Creative Cloud

Presented by Nathan Loewen at the 2021 Adobe for Education’s Creative Campus Collaboration on April 14, 2021. Two Perspectives I wish to talk about specific methods I and my colleagues adopted for pre-, inter and post-pandemic teaching.* I come at this with two perspectives: Teaching – As a freshly-tenured professor of religious studies at a

Using Discord + GitHub to Organize Small Group Active Learning

by Nathan Loewen, Faculty Technology Liaison & Department of Religious Studies Based on an interview and materials shared by Dr. Traci M. Nathans-Kelly, College of Engineering at Cornell University I recently spoke to Dr. Traci Nathans-Kelly, who is a partner teacher for Games Design courses at Cornell University, where they have used Discord for Spring 2020

Discord App Adds Options for Remote Learning & Teamwork

by Nathan Loewen, Faculty Technology Liaison & Department of Religious Studies Someone responded to the survey for Last Week’s Teaching in 2020 with a comment about the Discord app. It turns out plenty of people use Discord for teaching and learning (Several teachers in France and Quebec are adopting Discord). Here are the experiences of

Technical Writing Class Serves Local School During COVID

by Donna Branyon, Department of English If asked to define technical writing, one might mention rocket science, brain surgery, computer programing, or biochemical crystallography. However, all occupations and fields of study — not just those associated with science and industry — utilize technical writing. On the first day of English 319 (technical writing) in spring