MUW faculty members were offered workshops earlier this month to help broaden their abilities when it comes to teaching students.
The courses taught instructors how to better utilize software and online resources such as Camtasia, YouTube, Google Handouts and Blackboard. The effort was headed by Rick Frazier and Dr. Martin Hatton, the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, through Faculty Development.
“I think the interest was already there,” said Frazier. “The question was what can be used, what can be supported and what can we be trained on to be the most effective?”
Dr. Thomas Richardson, the Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, noted that media is always evolving and students’ needs evolve with it.
“We understand students learn in different ways, so this allows us to vary our methods and help them learn,” Dr. Richardson said.
The process began when Dr. Hatton and Frazier started identifying online tool experts among the faculty members and figuring out what tools were best for the current batch of classes. They then began developing and offering the workshops to instructors.
“It’s helped broaden the conversation,” Dr. Hatton noted.
The workshops were not mandatory, yet they received a good response from the W faculty. Instructors were interested in new ways to teach, and the workshops can be applied to any type of class.
“To teach is to learn twice,” Dr. Hatton quoted from French philosopher Joseph Joubert.
One of the focuses of the workshops was Camtasia. It is a software platform designed to create video presentations and tutorials. Instructors can use a webcam or most other recording devices to create a video file that can be edited and formatted for YouTube or other online services.
Camtasia can also be used to create instructional videos as users can record voiceovers for simultaneous video recording or pre-existing video. It is very helpful for lessons where it is easier to show than to discuss.
The classes ran from Sept. 2-12, with other workshops being developed for the future.