Millions of people all over the world play online or other screen-based games and find them highly engaging and exciting. What if we were to take game-based elements and design them into a course? Dr. Alex Nagurney and Instructional Designer Patrick Smith developed a freshman level Psychology course that uses simple game-based elements to help engage and challenge students, all without requiring a complete overhaul of Dr. Nagurney's teaching methodology.
The Faculty Showcase in November featured Nagurney,a former Texas State instructor in Psychology, now a faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Smith, an Instructional Designer from ITS. Dr. Nagurney joined the session via video-conferencing technology.
Nagurney and Smith shared details of the course design, the research behind the choices made in the development of the plan, and specific data gathered from students regarding their perceptions of the learning experience, both before and after the game based elements were introduced. They discussed further research planned in this area and implications for using similar techniques in other disciplines and distance learning environments.
Use the Faculty Showcases tab above to view past presentations. ITS Faculty Showcases are one-hour events that provide an opportunity for faculty to network and to learn about teaching methods and strategies from other faculty. They are held several times a year. The format is informal. Bring your lunch or enjoy the snacks provided by ITS while listening to Texas State faculty share their experiences and tips for teaching.
Oppression. Racism, sexism, homophobia. Does it exist in your world? What do you do about it?
You may recognize the problem of oppression, but feel frustrated or powerless about having the ability to change it.
A new film titled Parrhesia, by two professors at Texas State University, produced through Instructional Technologies Support, focuses on eight people committed to anti-oppressive living and what they do to combat oppression on a daily basis. Dr. Shawn Patrick and Dr. John Beckenbach, professors in the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education and School Psychology (CLAS) wrote and directed Parrhesia with Dr. Salwa Khan from Instructional Technologies Support (ITS), who produced, shot and edited the film over a period of a year and a half. The film was funded through an ITS CREATE grant which covered the costs of production.
In the film, eight ordinary people confront the reality of oppression in their lives and take viewers through the difficult journey from discomfort and silence to boldly speaking out.
Parrhesia which runs 66-minutes, was shown as part of the university’s Common Experience topic Exploring Democracy's Promise: From Segregation to Integration.
While Tech Tools Workshops are over, many of the resources that presenters shared are still available. These resources let you learn about technologies that can inspire you, or that simply provide practical knowledge to help you teach. See Tech Tools Resources
Participants in the Tech Tools workshop on using Camtasia-Relay saw faculty examples of Cam-Relay recordings and then got step by step instruction on how to use the software to create their own short video recordings.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Award for Excellence in Online Teaching. Visit the award website for information about the eligibility criteria and the nomination process. The award recipient will receive $2500, and up to two runners-up will each receive $1250 at a recognition reception.
Both ITS and ETC collaborate throughout the year with faculty in the planning and development of various instructional and technology related projects. An innovative recent project involved the use of a virtual world where pre-service teachers could try out techniques to manage student behavior.
Instructor Julia Meritt collaborated with Instructional Technologies Support (ITS) to create a second grade classroom in Second Life where her real-life students could practice classroom management in the virtual world. Meritt worked with Emin Saglamer, the technical lead on the project and Salwa Khan, who assisted with conceptualizing the project.
Meritt says the experience was a new one for her students who found both advantages and disadvantages as they played their parts in the virtual classroom.
The Media Production team recently collaborated with the Aquarena Center to document the historic removal of the Submarine Theaters. The video, which has been very well received, uses a blend of time-lapse photography, graphics, and audio to tell the story of the submarine theater removal.
To see more work by the Media Production team please visit https://vimeo.com/album/1983597
To inquire about video services Media Production offers please call 512.245.2398.
Using Clickers in the Classroom
For Dr. Debra Feakes, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, a student response system, commonly called clickers, is a way to quickly gauge student understanding of course material. Feakes explains that with large classes, clickers provide all students a way to participate, while giving her a read on how well students are making sense of her lectures.
The clicker system currently in use at Texas State University is called Turning Point and is produced by Turning Technologies. Students buy the response units, and the software that faculty use to manage use of the system is available through Instructional Technologies Support. Here, Dr. Feakes shows the process of using the system in conjunction with PowerPoint.
New for faculty are Tracs and Gato Open Lab hours. Stop by the lab and ask any questions you may have. These are not full-length workshops and are operated on a come-an-go basis. Registration is required.