Infusing Technology into your Course
In an era of increasingly value-conscious, multi-tasking students, most effective instructors are searching for ways to provide richer, more personalized and relevant learning experiences. Infusing technology into your course - even if it seems like a "low-tech" discipline - is an especially effective way for achieving this goal.
Throughout our earlier tips, we have emphasized the value of regularly communicating with your students via email. Doing so vastly improves clarification of course objectives and assignments, and reduces the confusion so often common in orally presented information. In addition, encouraging students to submit drafts of assignments to you as an email attachment has been shown to substantially improve the quality of their final product, and reduces time management roadblocks for both professors and students.
We cannot here begin to touch on the array of potential benefits of the Internet in your instruction. Remember also that one of the major goals of higher education is to develop "life-long" learners. With the decreasing half-life of information in our society, and the increasing pace at which all of us seem to manage our lives, it is critical that we, as the contact experts, provide students with information about the best resources for facilitating their self-paced learning, in both the short- and long-terms.
In its classrooms, most colleges and universities are today providing increased amounts of technology to increase student engagement in, and retention of, instructional material. While anything can be overdone - there are other ways to present besides PowerPoint - it is critical for an effective instructor to be proficient in a range of delivery methods. Establish a relationship with and regularly seek out your mentor (access page on this website), and/or make yourself aware of professional development activities made available through your institution and other providers in your area. Or, use one of the Internet search engines to access an answer to your needs.
Employers and other non-student stakeholders in the higher education enterprise are increasingly using technology to improve their productivity. If we are going to provide them with truly qualified graduates, we must foster those skills through our instruction.