Tips for Making Amazing Videos on Your Smart Phone

Tips for Making Amazing Videos on Your Smart Phone

By Jerry Pearson
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Terry Campus

Whether you are recording live footage in your classroom to add to your teaching portfolio, making an educational demonstration for your students, or just snapping a quick video for fun–these tips should help you get the most out of your smart phone’s video recorder. Continue reading

The Mindset Module in Education: Helping Students to Find Their Big Why

The Mindset Module in Education: Helping Students to Find Their Big Why

By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

If you are a hobbyist, an entrepreneur, or just a lifelong learner looking to explore new territories of expertise, you may have come across one of the ten million online courses floating around the internet.

Usually it happens like this. You’re interested in golf or something, so you do a search on Google for something golf-related. You click around on a few sites. Then for the next SEVEN MONTHS you get targeted with ads on Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Twitter for some online program that will help you master your golf swing or something like that.

Okay, maybe my examples aren’t exactly dripping with showing details. Obviously, I’m not a golfer. Continue reading

Communication Skills for Nurses: Engaging Activities to Use in Your Classroom

Communication Skills for Nurses: Engaging Activities to Use in Your Classroom

By Kimberly Hopkins MSN, RN
Nursing Instructor
Delaware Technical Community College
Owens Campus

One of the many foundational skills that I strive to pass on to future nursing students in one of my pre-nursing courses is effective communication. In this post, I want to share a few activities that I use to make the topic of communication skills for nurses as interactive as possible. How else can communication be taught if not interactively? The goal of these activities is to show students that there are many ways to communicate in nursing.

The first activity involves the following picture. Take a look at it and note what you think the drawing depicts.

 

Kimberly Hopkins 1

Do you see a mouse or an old man? When I display this optical illusion to students, I ask them to explain what they see and then debate over why the picture shows one image over the other. The goal is to help them understand that perception isn’t always objective, and that communicating a difference of perceptions isn’t always easy.

In the second activity, I divide the class into pairs, with one student acting as the patient and the other as the nursing assistant. The patients leave the room for a little while while the nursing assistants study the following image:

Kimberly Hopkins 2

When the patient returns, the nursing assistant’s job is to describe to the patient how to draw the picture without ever having seen it. The catch is that the patient isn’t allowed to ask any questions. Once everyone has had a chance to give it a try, I show them the correct image and let them discuss their results.

We then do variations of the same activity with different images. In one method, the patient is allowed to ask questions – but no hand gestures are allowed. In another, the nursing assistant is not allowed to give verbal directions, and must instead write the directions down while the patient is still outside of the room.

These activities provide students with a chance to realize that communication comes in many forms, and that these different forms can lead to different misunderstandings. The variation in which students are forced to use written directions, for example, often reveals that not everyone has the same understanding on how many sides to an octagon!

All in all, these activities to reinforce communication skills for nurses are great fun. They prepare future nurses for the workplace by helping them realize that communicating with their patients isn’t always as easy as as they might expect.

Why I Added Research,Writing, and Presentation to My Math Class

Why I Added Research,Writing, and Presentation to My Math Class

By Rachel Chase
Mathematics Department
Delaware Technical Community College
George Campus

After attending an undergraduate research conference, I was inspired to implement a research driven assignment into the statistics courses I teach. Over the last few semesters of trials and tribulations, I have learned much about what works and what doesn’t. Continue reading

Let the Students Teach

Let the Students Teach

By John Burbage
Bio/Chem Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

If you have ever taught a class in an accelerated format, you know how hard it can be to keep the student’s attention for three, four, or even 5 hours. To keep the students engaged, I like to include a project that requires the students to become the teachers. Let me share with you an example that I have used in a five hour Environmental Science class. Continue reading

After the Flip: What to Do With All That Extra Class Time

After the Flip: What to Do With All That Extra Class Time

By Kate Lind
Nursing Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Owens Campus

After teaching in the K-12 sector of education, I was initially shocked at how difficult it was to involve active learning at the collegiate level.

At the high school level, I developed a Medical Program, using Learning Focused Strategies (LFS) as the delivery system. This meant concept mapping to encourage students to make connections and understand vocabulary, activities to break-up the monotony of a block class, and many formative assessments to ensure students were doing more than treading water.

Coming into higher education was eye opening, but I discovered we are teaching such heavy content that we have to find a delicate balance of creating a foundation with information and engaging learners in various ways. Continue reading

What’s the Big Idea?

What’s the Big Idea?

By Holly Hermstedt
Education Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

Personally, I love reading research in my field.  I enjoy knowing what’s new and what’s working best, and digging into a journal article is fun for me.

For my students?  Not so much. Continue reading

4 Squares and a Diamond: Using Graphic Organizers for Engineering

4 Squares and a Diamond: Using Graphic Organizers for Engineering

By Diane Calloway
Environment/Civil Engineering
Delaware Technical Community College
Owens Campus

It started with Traverse Calculations and Coordinate Geometry in my Surveying Principles class. The students were having difficulty with the flow of the calculations, so I told them to take out a sheet of blank paper.

The looks they gave were entertaining. 

I could read worry in the eyes of some: Is she going to give us a quiz?

…excitement in others: This is new…wonder what she’s going to make us do.

…and bewilderment too: What on earth, paper? I thought all the notes were on Blackboard! Continue reading

Feedback Quizzes Turn Zeros to Heroes

Feedback Quizzes Turn Zeros to Heroes

By Margie DiPasqua
Math Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

I thought teaching a certain chapter in my math class had gone really well. My students paid attention to the lectures, did reasonably well on group activities in class, and generally acted like they knew what was going on, even if they waited until the last minute to do homework.

Then test day came.  Continue reading

Learning While Driving

Learning While Driving

I often like to use my commuting time as thinking time – I put on some instrumental music and let my mind ponder the projects of the day. I’ve recently come to enjoy using that time for learning by listening to podcasts. They are often just long enough to take up the whole ride and they leave me with new ideas to consider.

Teaching in Higher Ed is top of the list of recommended podcasts for those of us who do just that. Dr.Bonni Stachowiak, the host, is an Associate Professor of Business and Management at Vanguard University of Southern California.

The podcast is always an encouraging conversation about teaching in a college setting – its joys and its challenges. The people in the interview chair are people who do this work, and who spend a great deal of time thinking about how to be effective. I often feel like I am sitting in a living room absorbing a conversation among colleagues – but it’s the kind of dialog that invites you to think about teaching in new ways.

For example, a discussion with Sean Michael Morris focused on the ways that instructional design can be very mechanistic. Another episode featured Amy Collier on “not yet-ness” – a concept that highlights the potential dividends of experimenting with emerging technologies and techniques in creative ways. These episodes challenge me to think more expansively about the big ideas I want to explore in my courses. They pointed out the tension between a planned course structure and freedom to explore that has been worth pondering.

Other episodes are more practical than philosophical. Jim Lang shared some of the key ideas in his new book, Small Teaching, which advocates for introducing easy-to-implement, research-based techniques in your teaching that can make a big difference in outcomes. Researcher Pooja Agarwal gave an overview of the importance of retrieval practice (vs. rehearsal) when we want to retain learning, and Natalie Houston discussed how habits are formed and changed.

Paying attention to our own professional development can be hard when our lives are so full. I find listening to this podcast to be relaxing and thought-provoking at the same time – and a great way to spend my time on Route 1.

The topics of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast include teaching strategies, educational technologies, productivity tips, and more. Bonni is the epitome of the reflective instructor, and her curious nature is ever evident in the interviews. You can subscribe to show notes to get additional articles and links related to each episode as it comes out – yet another treasure trove of good ideas.

The Teaching in Higher Ed podcast is coming up on 100 episodes, and the library is worth checking out. Enjoy your drive!