Improving Teaching with Technology Symposium Covers Emerging Trends

Faculty and staff are invited to attend the “Improving Teaching with Technology Symposium” at Samuel Merritt University’s Oakland campus where presenters will discuss emerging trends and best-practices for using new technologies in SMU classrooms. View the PDF flyer for the event here.

Note: Date postponed until January.

The symposium, which will include talks on how professors integrate such technologies as video, podcasts, and cell phones into their lessons to better interact with students and improve learning outcomes, reflects SMU’s commitment to innovative teaching practices, said Valerie Landau, Director of Assessment in Academic Affairs. Landau (in blue) is pictured with Penny Bamford, Assistant Academic Vice President.

Landau said of the estimated 120 fulltime faculty members at SMU, about 50 have received mini grants that support reflective teaching practices, which puts the campus ahead of the curve when it comes to experimenting with innovative methods.

“I haven’t heard any other schools in the country getting this level of participation from their faculty in experimenting with new forms of teaching at this level,” Landau said. “We’re setting emerging trends and finding best practices in our field.”

Landau said some of the presentations will cover how professors can use video in creative ways, which can help students prepare for topics before they enter the classroom and engage with the lecture more fully. In some classrooms, for instance, students can use their cell phones to video each other’s mock health examinations, which they can immediately critique and peer review. Podcasts can also improve student outcomes, she said.  

Even the software SMU uses to review student learning outcomes and comprehension of the curriculum is revolutionary, Landau said.

“With this data, we’re leapfrogging into true competency-based education,” Landau said. “We are collecting artifacts and data that demonstrate what the students have truly learned, not just test scores they receive.”

Donna Breger Stanton, a professor in the Occupational Therapy departments, used a real-time student response system called Socrative, where student answered questions via cell phone.

“The survey results indicated that 100 percent of the students found Socrative to have helped their learning and 97 percent recommended its use in the future,” she said.

View the event page.

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