Integrating Technology

Something’s in the Way: Struggling Students in Large Courses

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Since it is almost Thanksgiving, many students will be leaving UA for home, where they will inevitably be asked, “So, how are things going?” Here is a short story about a student who dropped by my office this term: Last week, a distraught student stopped by my office

All-Access Teaching

The ubiquity of digital media and telecommunications leads to claims that “the world is flat” and that everybody has access to almost all services and information. Tom Friedman rather ominously says that this ubiquity of access establishes an “iron rule”: “whatever can be done, will be done. And if you are not doing it, it will be done to you.”Is this actually the case? Is everyone subject to this iron rule? Does everyone have an all-access pass?

Is “Learning Management System” a Misnomer?

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Is there a difference between “course delivery” and “teaching,” or are these equivocal terms? What does it mean to deliver verses to teach? Think about this for a moment in pedagogical terms. Do the following make pedagogical sense? Delivering a learning objective. Delivering a formative assessment. Delivering the

My Students are Not Missing the (Power) Point

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies I met Ollie Dreon at The Teaching Professor Technology Conference last week, thanks to a travel grant from CCS. His recent blog post, “Hating on PowerPoint: My Take,” confirms that I am doing the right thing this term. My 153-student REL 100 course makes no use of that now-ubiquitous program. I used to be

These Aren’t the Grades You’re Looking For

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Today is the final day for the entry of mid-term grades for lower-level courses. As a new faculty member at UA, I had already noted the provost’s blog entry on entering these grades. I teach a 100-level course, so I have until midnight tonight to do so. According to the FAQ

Hey! You! Get Onto My Cloud.

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Much has changed since 1967 — getting on or off someone’s cloud, for example. A lot of companies want you to be on their cloud. Since the beginning of the fall 2015 term, several folks have approached me with questions about which cloud to get onto. Some faculty want it

Altman Teaches Intro Course with Twitter

by Jessica Porter, Office of Educational Technology (eTech) Michael Altman, an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, explains how he incorporated Twitter in his large, 150-student Introduction to Religious Studies course, and he offers advice for those considering using Twitter in their own courses. What were you goals for using Twitter? I was trying to find

Teaching with Mathematica

Mathematica is a software program designed to help math, science, and engineering students explore and grasp mathematical concepts. It also gives faculty the tools needed to easily create supporting course materials, assignments, and presentations. Robert Nelson, an English professor, and Marco Bonizzoni, a chemistry professor, share how they use Mathematica in their research and teaching: Teaching

What’s the Best Length for a Tegrity Recording?

Faculty can use Tegrity, the lecture capture tool licensed by the University of Alabama, to record their in-class lectures or provide supplementary videos that automatically upload to Blackboard. The in-class lecture recordings, as you might imagine, tend to last about an hour or more. But research shows that for best results, videos should be less