I have come to believe that a syllabus should be a dynamic learning tool. To that end on the first day of class I randomly select some students to download my syllabus. Using the classroom projection system, they explore in the syllabus embedded links to such things as a paper I wrote about how I teach and they begin using a tool (Research Randomizer) for drawing random samples and for randomly assigning participants to conditions.

Here is the syllabus I use in my PSY205 “Statistics and Experimental Design Course.”

my.carrollu.edu

MY.CARROLLU.EDU
How useful do you find these links? How might they be improved?

I am moving towards requiring that all my students demonstrate to me minimal mastery of my technology enhanced teaching and the learning tools which I introduce into the classroom.

Here is an example of a Quizlet benchmark: Example 1: Quizlet.

Here are two examples of StarQuiz benchmarks:  Example 1:  Starquiz  and Example 2:  StarQuiz.

How helpful are these links? How might they be improved?

I also am increasingly incorporating screencasts made by me (or by my students) into the class as additional instructional support—especially as I teach SPSS. Though I realize that there are an abundance of such resources on YouTube (and even on LinkedIn!), I still see some value in my personally producing them (or having my students do so).

Here are some screen casts that Simpson research assistants Tia and Ariana made for me to demonstrate their mastery of using screen casting software tools:

And here is one of my SPSS screen casts made at home with the help of Leo the Dog:

p1090351

Should I continue to produce these even though their production quality may not be “professional”?

 

 


Posted by Professor David Simpson

Professor of Psychology, Carroll University (USA), Lover of Dogs, Reading, Teaching and Learning. Looking for ways to enhance cross-global communication and to apply technology learning tools.

7 Comments

  1. Hi Dr. Simpson,

    I personally enjoy learning from the instructive videos created to supplement learning in your PSY205 Stats class. This helped me understand the content better because I am a very visual learner. I used to use Quizlet quite a bit when I was in high school, but now in college I like to make hand made flashcards. I like to use hand made flashcards because I believe I learn better that way. I can see why Quizlet is a popular form of studying due to all the “games” and interactive learning tools Quizlet uses. Quizlet is also beneficial because you can see any public flashcards that any person makes. This can be helpful for homework help if you do not understand a topic as well as seeing another way to look at a certain topic.

    Tia

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  2. Hi Dr. Simpson,

    I think it is beneficial to use systems like Quizlet as it really allows students to test their knowledge. It can be a little picky at times, however, so even if students have the correct answer if they have a spelling mistake or wording that is different from the original wording, it marks it wrong. Still beneficial, nonetheless.
    Like Alison and Lizzy stated, I prefer my own notes but I do understand the draw to Quizlet, especially in our technology heavy society.

    I also think it is wise to utilize videos inside and outside of the classroom. I personally learn better when I see something done. Students who are visual learners will greatly benefit from these video tutorials. I do not think it is necessary to “professionally” produce a video. If a person has the tools, time, and good quality videos, that get the point across, that is more than enough. I find that the videos you, and/or your team, produce allow students to see a step-by-step walk through of these tools. Many times seeing something once or reading about it/taking notes on it is not enough for students, myself included, and having videos there as an aid is extremely beneficial.

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  3. Hello Dr. Simpson,

    How useful do you find these links? How might they be improved?

    Personally, like Alison, I like making my own flashcards because it helps me learn the information better. However, when I do not have the time to make my flash cards I use Quizlet a lot. It is very helpful to have other types of studying techniques besides the flash cards, such as the game options.

    How helpful are these links? How might they be improved?
    These links are very helpful for people who have a hard time focusing or do not like studying because of all the different options one is able to use. They could be improved by possibly adding more options than what they do have or maybe including a study break during their session time of studying so they have to take a break and think about what they just learned.

    Should I continue to produce these even though their production quality may not be “professional”?

    Yes, these videos have fine quality and are very helpful for students as well as faculty. These videos are useful for the students to look back on and hear/see information they may have forgotten. Also, they are able to replay these videos over and over till they are able to fully understand the information. The faculty is able to benefit from these videos to as they may be able to use this software for their classes.

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    1. Thanks, Lizzy. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. In fact, you commented twice! Figure out why you responded BOTH via WordPress and CU. -DS

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  4. Hello Dr. Simpson,

    How useful do you find these links? How might they be improved?

    Personally, like Alison, I like making my own flashcards because it helps me learn the information better. However, when I do not have the time to make my flash cards I use Quizlet a lot. It is very helpful to have other types of studying techniques besides the flash cards, such as the game options.

    How helpful are these links? How might they be improved?
    These links are very helpful for people who have a hard time focusing or do not like studying because of all the different options one is able to use. They could be improved by possibly adding more options than what they do have or maybe including a study break during their session time of studying so they have to take a break and think about what they just learned.

    Should I continue to produce these even though their production quality may not be “professional”?

    Yes, these videos have fine quality and are very helpful for students as well as faculty. These videos are useful for the students to look back on and hear/see information they may have forgotten. Also, they are able to replay these videos over and over till they are able to fully understand the information. The faculty is able to benefit from these videos to as they may be able to use this software for their classes.

    Like

  5. I personally do not use Quizlet to study for my exams. I prefer making handwritten flashcards for myself with words and phrases that will help me remember the concepts and better connect the concepts with an example. I think handwritten notes 1) help the student remember information because they need to write it out and 2) help students write their own definitions and key words to make connections. However, I think each individual learns differently and Quizlet can be a great tool for those students. Every student is different and some students will always take the easy road and just simply memorize. However that being said, there are great students who put in the effort and would benefit from Quizlet or Starquiz type apps to increase their understanding. I think the resources should be out there so students can either rise to the occasion or take the easy road if they desire. That is not up to the teacher, but rather the student to use the resources wisely.

    As for the videos, I think they are of perfect quality. I think they have an element that other students and faculty can relate with. Not everyone has the funds or time to make suburb videos, but our videos are of good quality that can help others learn, grown, or get advice from. I think that is the key component: what do others take away from our videos?

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    1. I appreciate your thoughtful comments, Alison. Current research supports your suggestion that students will learn more through making their own flashcards—and that there are many different ways of learning (though “learning styles” and “teaching styles” are more metaphor and stereotype than science-based.

      I find your comments about the videos especially interesting. I am toying with the idea of having each student CREATE something of quality for the course. A screen cast; a learning ancillary.
      DS

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