Teaching with Technology Awards 2017

The Teaching with Technology Awards recognizes instructors whose courses have been nominated by students, faculty and staff for the most effective use of technology in advancing teaching and learning goals. The award is co-sponsored by CIS and the Dean of the College, in collaboration with the University Library, and the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. This year’s recipients are:

Showcase Award
Adam Sullivan
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics
PHP 2515 Fundamentals of Probability and Statistical Inference
PHP 2511 Applied Regression Analysis
PHP 2560 Statistical Computing I

Model Course Awards
Peter van Dommelen
Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology and Professor of Anthropology
ARCH 1155 Cities, Colonies and Global Networks in the Western Mediterranean

Elizabeth Taylor
Senior Lecturer in English
ENGL 0930 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

Eric Victor
Adjunct Lecturer in Chemistry
Kathleen Hess
Senior Lecturer in Chemistry
CHEM 0500 Inorganic Chemistry and Lab Section

 The Model Course Award, recognizes instructors who integrate technology into their course in ways that engage students and enhance student learning. The exemplary use of technology by these instructors demonstrate the benefits of mindfully adopting technology to further the classroom experience.

The second award, the Showcase Award, is presented to instructors who transform the student learning experience by pushing the limits of teaching with technology. These instructors recognize the benefits of experiential course design and adopt innovative technologies to create learning opportunities through adaptive teaching.

Engaging Students using Piazza

Piazza is a tool integrated and available in Canvas. Students can post questions anonymously, answer their peers, and read TA or instructor responses in the course forum. In addition to posting anonymously, students can endorse, or “upvote”, questions to increase interest in common issues. Using Piazza can also reduce the number of emails sent to TAs and instructors, especially during midterms and exams.  Students using Piazza have access to a public and archived forum for course and content-related questions.

Here are some tips for introducing Piazza to your course:

  1. Enable Piazza in Canvas and encourage students to sign up during the first week of classes.
  2. Discuss in person and state on your syllabus that all course-related questions should be posted to Piazza first. Reserve email and office hours for personal questions or questions still unclear from the Piazza forum.
  3. Introduce Piazza in class during shopping period, orienting students to the “New Post” function and ability to add images, equations, and polls to a post.
  4. Bring questions posted on Piazza back to the physical class. Discuss the top questions in class or highlight student contributions.
  5. Stay active within Piazza. Students are more likely to participate if you respond to their questions. If you have TAs, make participation in the forum one of their responsibilities.

When setting up your Piazza course, take a look at the course settings to create custom folders/tabs, allow anonymous posting, and view student analytics. These tools are helpful in identifying students who not only post the most questions, but answer and read questions as well.

Learn more about enabling Piazza in Canvas or contact us for help!


Weather proof your courses

Weather related campus closings and class cancellations due to treacherous road conditions make it challenging to maintain the pace of learning in the Spring semester. When you or your students can’t be physically present in the classroom face-to-face, you can salvage the situation with variety of technological solutions.

In order to hold a formal class meeting at a distance Zoom is the most stable and easily available option that does not need prior planning. It allows multiple people to participate in a live web video or audio conference. Hosts can invite anyone, including people outside of the Brown community. Zoom can be used to hold class sessions, office hours, or host guest speakers when weather makes it difficult to reach campus. Zoom sessions can also be recorded and made available for later review. Learn how to get started with Zoom.

Asynchronous Class Sessions
You can also prepare your class sessions in advance for students to access at their convenience. Here are some of the options available for Brown faculty:

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