Blackboard Learn

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

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies 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

Power-Using and Hacking Blackboard

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Do you use Blackboard in your course? I do. Here’s why: I think it’s easier for me, as well as the students, to have a simple, one-stop place to find and do everything related to a course outside of class. Now beginning my second year of teaching at UA, I find

Resources for Creating Accessible Blackboard Shells

by Jessica Porter, Office of Educational Technology (eTech) There has been a lot of talk about accessibility lately, and you may be wondering how this applies to your face-to-face classes. The truth is accessibility touches all aspects of your course, from multimedia to course documents, and it’s a good idea to ensure this content is

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

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

Quick Tips for Online Teaching

Allison Hetzel, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, shares how she manages her online courses and offers tips for connecting with distance learners. How do you reduce anonymity and build community in your online courses? I work to connect with my class as often as possible. I make sure that I am part of the class