STLI is hitting the road: Our department-centered roadshow is STLI’s newest program

STLI kicked off this semester strong with two Roadshows, the first one on September 7th for the Anthropology department in Washington Hall, and the second on October 4th for the Psychology department in the ISC, both with the eager audience of faculty members from each department. At the Roadshows, professors learned about STLI’s mission, the many resources that STLI provides for help with course design and development, and participated in activities that they could then use to engage their own students in lectures.

One such activity was a walkthrough of PollEv, led by Pablo Yañez, at the start of the second Roadshow. He used PollEv to present questions to the professors, demonstrating how it displays answers in live time as they come in, and how this can be used to pique students’ interests at the beginning of a lecture. PollEv

Another important feature, in both Roadshows, was a presentation on course modularization and design, led by team members Diana Theisinger and Brier Anderson. They passed out worksheets to professors, and took them through a step-by-step process on evaluating the efficacy of their course design and objectives. They emphasized the importance of setting measurable goals–yes, the ultimate goal for many professors may be for their students to understand the content they are taught, but what does understanding mean? And by what metric is understanding determined? These were questions that they encouraged professors to explore through the activity. Course Mapping Guide

Both Roadshows were concluded by Mike Blum, who gave a presentation on Blackboard and how professors can organize their Blackboard sites for their courses in a manner that is more efficient for students to use, by deleting extraneous information and pages and organizing coursework into modules. He also suggested incorporating short videos and other media into the modules as a way of engaging students further. Instructors can enroll in Mike’s Blackboard Instructor’s Guide here.