Classroom Enhancements (and more) for Spring 2023
January 26, 2023
Today I want to share with you several changes to improve the classroom teaching and learning experience:
- First of all, we’ve made several additions to the Online Classroom Inventory (OCI) resource. You will find red buttons at the top of each entry that give you downloadable technology instructions and buttons that allow you to book an in-classroom meeting with a technician, which you may want to schedule before you teach your first class. There is also an instructional video located towards the bottom of OCI page, which walks you through the technology system in your classroom.
- Second, we have installed several more adjustable-height instructor desks in our classrooms. You can raise and lower these tables with buttons at the front corner of the desk. This allows you to customize the desk height to match your needs. In several classrooms we also have adjustable-height tables available to students, so they can also raise and lower their desks for their personal needs and comfort.
- Third, each classroom now has a phone installed on our near the instructor desk. If you experience a technology problem while teaching, you may use this phone to dial extension 6666 and leave a message describing your problem. A technician will either return your call and help you over the phone, or will be dispatched quickly to your classroom.
- Fourth, we are working with Campus Planning to include at least one accessible student desk in each classroom that has desks with fixed “tablet-arm” desks. These accessible student desks will be useful for wheelchair users or others who may find the traditional style of desk does not suit them.
- Fifth, we are redesigning our computer classrooms across the campus, to incorporate support for students who have their own devices and who do not need a built-in workstation. LLB17 is the first room that we are changing and we are planning for others.
- Finally, I would love to walk through some classrooms with you, to discuss how the spaces where you teach meet (or do not meet) your pedagogical needs. I have some upcoming timeslots available for classroom walks. Do you want to join in? If so, please this fill out this form to select a date/time that works for you (caveat: the times are early in the morning before classes begin). I’ll send an Outlook invitation to everyone who replies, with a list of the rooms that we’ll be walking on that particular day.
I’ll close with just a few more helpful links:
- Do you find yourself sitting too much during the day? If so, perhaps this chair yoga routine may be helpful for you.
- Are you worried about your students writing their essays with AI or a Chat Bot? We have a plethora of resources about this topic curated for you. If you have time to read only one article, I recommend this one about creating un-cheatable assignments.
- This semester I’m going to try a new active learning strategy called a “Ques-cussion.” Learn more about this strategy via this article and video.
- Are you working to be a better ally? The weekly Better Allies newsletter is an excellent resource in this regard.
- “To experience awe, to fully open ourselves up to it, helps us to live happier, healthier lives.”
- Here are some tips for remembering pronouns, which may come in handy as you are teaching this fall. Also, here are the instructions for adding pronouns to Canvas.