Integrating Technology

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

Last Week’s Teaching in 2020 – Episode 6

Faculty and staff are being asked to do so much in Fall 2020, but the circumstances of the doing aren’t visible. That is just as true for students this fall. We can pause to think of our colleagues and our students — the ones who’ve excelled despite everything, the ones who seem like they’re holding

Messaging with Slack Improves Class Communication

by Lauren Horn Griffin, Department of Religious Studies I’ve been using Slack, a communication and collaboration tool, with the students in my Fall 2020 course REL310, “REL Goes to the Movies.” The app has given me more insight into student understanding and progress (those formative moments) than the live discussions where only some participate. Due

Social Reading in Undergraduate Courses

by Matt Smith (Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies), Andrew Deaton (History), and Camille Morgan (Anthropology) How might a class read together remotely? One way is to assign a reading and then have students respond on a discussion board. Compared to Blackboard’s Discussion Board, the Hypothesis app has both drawbacks and benefits. One drawback, for

Transition Multiple-Choice Exams Online: A Large-Enrollment Solution

by Diana Leung, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry In 2020 the changes brought about by COVID-19 forced me to transition my normally face-to-face classes to an online format. This fall semester I teach two sections of a freshman Introductory Chemistry class (CH 104), each with about ~200 students, and an Organic Chemistry II (CH 232)

Electronic Whiteboard Options for Online Lectures: iPad & Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

by Diana Leung, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Alabama. After the need for social distancing due to COVID-19, I had to transition my face to face classes to an online format. My teaching style relies crucially on the use

Engage Students with Socially Distant Annotation of Course Texts

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies I hope that you and yours are keeping safe, healthy, and well this summer. With the University’s plan in place for Fall 2020, you might be taking more concrete steps in with your syllabus and course designs. Some of your planning might involve UA-supported online platforms and software.

Five Rules For Engaging, Legible Presentation Slides

by Xabier Granja, Department of Modern Languages and Classics Picture this: you are teaching a content class that is not based on visual material. Maybe you cover centuries-old literary works or political movements that did not spark a major artistic style, so you have to rely on text. We live in an age where 92%

Insights From Around the Nation—in Alabama’s Teaching Theatre Course

by Alex Ates, Department of Theatre and Dance As I exasperatingly jogged between terminals to catch the connecting flight from Boston, Massachusetts to Birmingham, Alabama, I couldn’t help but reel with delight by how wildly this semester was functioning. One day, I would be working with undergraduates in Boston, the next, in Tuscaloosa. As flexible

Teaching Through Re-Reading

by Albert D. Pionke, Department of English Although not specifically designed with the classroom in mind, Mill Marginalia Online offers instructors in philosophy, history, law, Classics, and English and European literature and culture the opportunity to incorporate Digital Humanities research results and methods into their courses. Each of these major subject areas is amply represented