Blackboard Pro Tips Part 2: Stepping Up Students’ Blackboard Literacy

feet going up steps

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies “We couldn’t find it on Blackboard!” Maybe you heard this about your syllabus? I heard this from my class after I returned their assignments online. Some people could not find their grades. Others could not find the general feedback I wrote about the assignment. Others still could not […]

Read Moreabout Blackboard Pro Tips Part 2: Stepping Up Students’ Blackboard Literacy

Blackboard Pro-Tips Part 1: Tweaking Your Course Shell

Mug with saying "like a boss"

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies The College of Continuing Studies likely houses the most people on UA’s campus with a total mastery of Blackboard Learn. If you use Blackboard and want to quickly learn how to optimize it for your teaching, then the folks at CCS may well have the answers you are […]

Read Moreabout Blackboard Pro-Tips Part 1: Tweaking Your Course Shell

8 Reasons Why Your LMS is Awesome for Teaching and Learning (Yes, Eight)

Cat looking up

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies This week, I learned about digital literacies.* My workshop leader was Jade Davis, the Manager of Digital Projects at Columbia University Library. Right at the beginning of the workshop, she stated why she loves the LMS. I have previously expressed skepticism about the LMS. Dr. Davis helped crystallize how […]

Read Moreabout 8 Reasons Why Your LMS is Awesome for Teaching and Learning (Yes, Eight)

Let’s Get Digital, Digital (Humanities)! Part One

Michelangelo's David connected to a computer

The Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC) opened in 2010. At the beginning of my second year at UA, I just now discovered the ADHC and its amazing home in Gorgas Library Room 109A . I arranged for a consultation with Emma Wilson yesterday. We enjoyed a vibrant discussion about how my teaching might deploy a digital humanities project. […]

Read Moreabout Let’s Get Digital, Digital (Humanities)! Part One

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

Student waiting during office hours

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 to ask about withdrawing from my class […]

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

Is “Learning Management System” a Misnomer?

Is there a difference between “course delivery” and “teaching,” or are these equivocal terms? What does it mean to deliver versus to teach? Think about this for a moment in pedagogical terms. Do the following make pedagogical sense? Delivering a learning objective. Delivering formative assessment. Delivering the ability to compare differing perspectives. Delivering the critical thinking. I am not […]

Read Moreabout Is “Learning Management System” a Misnomer?

My Students are Not Missing the (Power) Point

Dr. Loewen's religious studies class

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 a power-pointy power user. But in 2010 […]

Read Moreabout My Students are Not Missing the (Power) Point

These Aren’t the Grades You’re Looking For

Droid from Star Wars

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 posted by the University Registrar, this is […]

Read Moreabout These Aren’t the Grades You’re Looking For