Director of Undergraduate Studies and Teaching Professor, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful and amazing ITS is in supporting instruction. For several years now, ITS has participated in the Psychology & Neuroscience in-house teaching workshops. At one point or another, Thao Nghi Tu, Vaughn Booker, Suneel Potiny, Matt Osment, Suzanne Cadwell and Bob Henshaw have shared with our faculty the advantages and uses of various technology.
I learned how VoiceThread could be used to supplement in-class materials as well as to cover material – and stay on schedule – when inclement weather results in the cancellation of classes (just to mention two benefits of this versatile software). Poll Everywhere turned out to be an easy way to increase interaction with students (particularly in large courses); keep track of attendance; and to have comprehension checks. ITS also showed me how to use Zoom, an easy way to have virtual office hours, study sessions and to record classes. And, of course, I couldn’t do without Sakai, as it is a convenient tool for administering timed, online quizzes for my class of 400 General Psychology students; to provide a convenient way for students to submit assignments; and to give easy access to supplemental resources.
Additionally, when I crashed Sakai’s gradebook (because I had so many grade components in my large courses), ITS was there to resolve the issue. During this past year, furthermore, I exposed students in my introductory courses to data collection and statistical analyses of data, using SPSS. Purchasing enough SPSS licenses would have been expensive and impractical for a course which was not engaged in analyses all semester long. ITS’ Virtual Lab was therefore indispensable for giving our students an opportunity to work with SPSS. Suneel Potiny not only walked me through the process students would need to take in order to access SPSS but Vaughn Booker also came to several classes in order to help students troubleshoot.
This fall, I am looking forward to trying out a new way of taking attendance, thanks to Thao Nghi Tu and Matt Osment. These are but just a few examples of how ITS supports and facilitates teaching. I can’t imagine teaching without them.