Online Learning

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

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

16 Community-Building Ice-Breakers for Zoom

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Among the many objectives for the first day of class, for some teachers, is to create a sense of community. Many of the strategies used face-to-face may be adapted to the online environment. Here are some ice-breakers that have worked in the past. They may be adapted to

Three Ways to Construct Supportive Online Courses

by Jaimie Choi, Department of Psychology As COVID-19 swept the country, many of us have transitioned to virtual teaching, using diverse platforms that deliver online lectures. Unfortunately, despite the convenience of being able to lead a lecture in our pajama pants, there are many studies that cast light on the psychological pitfall that follows being

Social Reading Supports Student Success (e.g., Hypothesis)

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Maintaining engagement and a sense of community is valuable no matter how strange and extenuated the conditions for teaching and learning. 24 UA courses used the new Hypothesis tool in Blackboard (found in your “build content” menu). Hypothesis allows teachers and learners to add a layer of commentary

Using Gradescope to Give Detailed Feedback on Assignments

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies/eTech Did you notice the “Gradescope” option under the “Build Content” option in your Blackboard courses in Fall 2020? Perhaps you also noticed the Gradescope resources posted by the Center for Instructional Technology? Thanks to the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and