As the pandemic unfolded, faculty, staff, and students at UF pivoted quickly to new modalities for teaching, learning, and working. In response to these changes, CITT paused our popular in-person Course Mapping Camp workshop and adapted it to be delivered online in a flexible synchronous format.
Just in time for a unique teaching semester filled with students simultaneously online and in classrooms comes FREE access to a popular engagement and assessment tool—iClicker Cloud! This question tool allows all instructors, even those with large enrollments, to quickly check for understanding or survey background knowledge and adjust their lecture accordingly.
The first day of class is always stressful. When I was a student, first day introductions always made my heart beat too fast. What interesting fact would I share with everyone? What impression will I leave? I was 18 and would quietly repeat the same line in every class: “My name is Leslie Martinez (maiden name) and I love to read.”
My least favorite misconception about learning is the—often implicit—belief that, if a test or assignment is difficult to complete, it is a good reflection of how deeply a student understands the knowledge and skills they are supposed to be learning. This assumption seems logical on the face of it: A difficult assignment means the student was challenged, which means the material was challenging and the student needs a better grasp on it to succeed. However, relying on unexamined notions of difficulty ignores the many things that can complicate a student’s ability to demonstrate learning and can mean that assessments don’t accurately measure a student’s progress and abilities because their knowledge is obscured behind difficulties that have no bearing on the course content.
Across the country, colleges, and universities have created engagement programs, outreach initiatives, and academic centers geared towards improving student outcomes, however, that alone may no longer be enough. In higher education, it is imperative for institutions to adapt to meet the needs of the current student populations during the ever-changing fast-paced world of the twenty-first century. Students have come to expect uniquely blended experiences that combine reality and the digital world in all aspects of their lives – education is no exception. Incorporating game design into your course deserves exploration as a potential vehicle for delivering information to and engaging students.