Get Your VERB On!

Get Your VERB On!

By Dr. Richard Kralevich
Associate Vice President for Information and Instructional Technology
Delaware Technical Community College

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and a few of his colleagues had a thought.  Their idea – develop a framework that educators and student alike could leverage to better organize and understand the learning objectives associated with their shared educational experience.  Since that faithful day, educators like you and me have devoted countless hours discussing, debating, and deliberating over how to find the right verb for the job.

Recently, I came across a few visual representations of Bloom’s Taxonomy that might help to make that deliberation a little easier. Hopefully, these resources will come in handy the next time you’re struggling to pen that perfect instructional objective.

So get out there and get your verb on!

A 3 Dimensional Model Of Bloom’s Taxonomy
Source: teachthought

Take Action: Verbs That Define Bloom’s Taxonomy
Source: MindShift | KQED News

Bloom’s Taxonomy Overview
Source: Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching

Working Towards Better Classroom Discussions

Working Towards Better Classroom Discussions

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

I’ve always been amazed by good discussion leaders.

You know, the sorts of people who can ask just the right questions at just the right times to just the right people in order to evoke participation from an entire room.

Maybe it’s just because I don’t have much time to practice leading discussions. Despite what you might imagine, we don’t have much time for discussion in my English classes – we’ve got too much writing to do! It might be a different story if I taught literature, but my classes are pretty much focused on research and composition.

Now, my faculty development classes generally offer more room for discussion. Though, since I’ve never seen myself as much of a discussion leader, I tend to shy away from them in favor of other instructional strategies.

Recently, though, I decided it was about time to start thinking about working towards getting better at leading discussions, so I did what any bookish introvert would do: I started reading.

Now, this post isn’t going to provide an in-depth literature review of my research on classroom discussions. Instead, I’m going to give you a quick overview of two of the sources I have perused and then share a guide that I created for myself as a tool for leading better classroom discussions. Continue reading

Sustaining Student Engagement and Motivation

Ish Stabosz - marathon

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

If you’re anything like me, your motivation comes in waves.

At the start of a project, you’re all gung ho to dive in and get it done.

Then you get deep in it and realize just how draining all the fine details are. You get stuck in the weeds, so to speak, and your engagement with the project drops.

Maybe you start finding creative ways to procrastinate: You realize how messy your desk has gotten. You decide that stack of papers would be really fun to grade. You notice every 10 minutes that your coffee cup has gone empty. Continue reading

“Go Forth and Reuse!”

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

Last month, the New York Public Library announced the addition of almost 200,000 items to their digital collections. In their announcement, they make it clear that these are free to use without restriction with the following words:

No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!

Ever wonder how 1857 New York City was laid out?

NYC 1857

Or maybe what floor plans looked like in the early 1900s?

Floor Plan 1900s

Or how MIT classrooms were designed more than a century ago?

MIT classroom

The collection is big, and it provides some great material for use in your lessons. Consider how your discipline has changed in the past century? What conversations could you start with your students using an artifact that shows that change?

Explore the collection your self at http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/ and share your finds in the comments.

Peer Observation, Self Reflection

canstockphoto19768682

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

Author’s Note:

Last semester, I had the pleasure of teaching the first-ever offering of IDT G91: Peer Observation, for employees at Delaware Tech. This course provided participants an opportunity to observe their colleagues in the classroom and reflect on those experiences. Because it was my first time teaching the course, I also completed all of the observation hours and assignments. This post is a slightly modified version of my final reflection on the course.

I share it to inspire educators everywhere to consider the benefits of peer observation, whether through a formal program or something much more organic that starts at the water cooler. I have also included, in several captions, testimony that others enrolled in the course offered to be shared.


 

I’m the instructor in this course, Peer Observation, so shouldn’t I already know everything about it? What do I really have to reflect on?

In a word: everything. Continue reading

Core Teaching Strategies from Karl Kapp

Teaching

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

“Being a great professor is an art and a science,” says Karl Kapp in the introduction video to his latest course offering on lynda.com.

You might recognize Kapp’s name from some of my previous posts. He’s the author of The Gamification of Learning and Instruction, a book that sparked much of the thinking that went into my English 102 Zombie Survival Game, and his keynote speech at the 2015 RECAP conference at West Chester University taught me to look at games in a whole new way–eventually inspiring my most popular blog post to date.

So, when I got wind of Kapp’s newest course on Lynda called Core Strategies for Teaching in Higher Ed, I was immediately interested. Kapp’s course promises techniques that he’s honed during his almost 20 year career as a college professor. Some of the topics to be covered include understanding your students, teaching a love of learning, grading fairly, developing critical thinking skills, continually improving your teaching, and adapting to a changing environment.

Check out the course introduction video here. If that gets you interested, you can view some of the other materials for free by clicking on the “Chapters” heading.

And, if you’re interested in viewing the entire course, but you don’t have a lynda.com account, they offer a 10-day free trial. The course provides 2 hours of material, easily viewable within the free trial period.

In fact, with 10 days, you’ll probably have enough time to check out Kapp’s Gamification of Learning course as well!

More Tools Then You Can Ever Fit on Your Tool Belt

canstockphoto6250316

Click to enter the exciting world of ClassTools.net

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

Are you looking to add a few tools to your teacher tool belt?

Are you looking to add a few too many tools to your belt?

Are you looking to add so many tools that the buckle snaps?

Then check out ClassTools.net

From simple countdown timers to fakebook pages, from QR codes to instructional video games–this site has it all. It’s tons of fun to explore, and even if you don’t use any of their tech tools, you’ll probably leave your visit with a new idea or two.

Is Learning a Job?

canstockphoto16918384

By George Cognet
Department Chair, Computer Information Systems
Delaware Technical Community College
Owens Campus

I have been in the field of technology for over 33 years. Although some may call it work, for me, it is not.

Instead it has been 33 years of having fun, playing with “new technologies”, and getting paid for it–call me a geek.

Continue reading

Convert Your Word Document into a Blackboard Quiz

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

Ernie Kulhanek, who’s posted for us several times in the past, recently shared this handy tool with me. Apparently, the College of Southern Idaho has developed a web application that allows you to paste in text from a Microsoft Word document (or similar word processor), click a button, and automatically convert the quiz into a format that can be deployed in Blackboard.

Step-by-step instructions for this process (care of High Point University) can be found by clicking here.

This web app supports multiple choice, multiple answer, true/false, essay, fill in the blank, and matching questions. Each type of question requires very specific formatting, so be prepared to put all those hours of tedious citation practice back in your freshman Comp class to work (snicker, snicker!).

If you are building a test from scratch, you would probably be better off just building it directly in Blackboard. However, if you’ve got a bunch of paper quizzes that you are interested in converting to an online format, this tool could make your life significantly easier.

It’s important for users to realize that this is not a standard supported function of Blackboard. So, if you are going to give it a shot, be prepared to do the leg work on your own, and keep in mind this disclaimer from the College of Southern Idaho:

This quiz generator is freely available for public use with no guarantees as to its accuracy, completeness, or usefulness. It is provided with no support, although it is appreciated if any bugs found are reported back to the author.

That being said, Ernie Kulhanek assures me that he tried it out with one of his tests and the process worked just fine.

Finally, here’s a handy YouTube video that shows the tool in action:

Teaching Matters

Smart Phone

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

If you’re looking for more even opportunities to share and receive useful teaching resources, check out the DTCC Teaching Matters Facebook Group. Faculty from around the college share their creations and finds from around the web. Join the group, hear from your fellow faculty, and share something of your own. It’s a community where educators get together to focus on what matters most for student success: teaching.