"Spring Further Into Technology": Workshop Highlights

"Teach and Take" might have been the title of a recently-held technology workshop organized by the Teaching Resources Center (TRC) for instructors with advanced technology skills. At "Spring Further into Technology," each participant was required to share her latest technological feats with the gathering and, in turn, learned from the tips and tricks shared by others. About a dozen instructors attended the two-day institute, which focused on using technology for instructional purposes. Here is a small sampling of the instructional technology shared at the workshop:

Kevin Roddy, lecturer in the UC Davis Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program and former Director of the Arbor, showed his stylistically-spare but data-rich Medieval and Early Modern Studies at UC Davis site (medieval.ucdavis.edu). The site features links as varied as course information for the classes he teaches and the entire text of the Qur'an. Roddy has made sure to present data in different forms to suit various learning styles, such as kinesthetic, visual, and aural.

Simone Monnier Clay, a specialist in 19th and 20th century French literature, shared her course site (trc.ucdavis.edu/french), complete with a link to the UC Davis Club Francophone, which she heads, and tourism links to French-speaking countries around the globe. Clay has also posted her two books on this site, stating "I really believe in sharing material." Viewers are free to browse, read, quote from, or print her texts, and clearly they are doing so: not long ago she received an email from a professor in Russia writing to thank her for making her books available free for those who can??'t afford to buy such items.

Beth Post, Academic Coordinator for and lecturer in Psychology, demonstrated an online resource used in her Research Methods class: coglab.wadsworth.com. Coglab is both a learni ng tool and data generator for undergraduates and Psychology instructors. This site permits students to run online experiments by using themselves as subjects in a variety of cognitive tests. The site was selected following an intensive search by Post for such a teaching instrument. Post also uses the Web to hold online office hours via the MyUCDavis chat room and has, on occasion, taught her class long distance via video rather than cancel a class while she was traveling for a research project.

Faculty members interested in using technology for their own classes should contact the TRC (752-6050) for advice on how to get started, or check out the TRC Web site (trc.ucdavis.edu/trc) for a schedule of workshops and classes. Quarter-long help is available through the Educational Technology Partners program; for more information on ET Partners, visit etpartners.ucdavis.edu.