U of Waterloo Says “There’s an App for That”

On January 29, 2015, in GA/TA Resources, Tools, by gregorynpaziuk

Okay, the title above isn’t quite right, but UWaterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) has made it their mission to make it easy to match a technological saviour to just about any problem instructors might have in the classroom. I stumbled upon this page in a course I am currently taking on teaching online, and as I read through the tips it provides, I found myself wishing I could call up Doc Brown, go back in time, and do all of my graduate teaching assistantships over again.

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The Technology Solutions page in action. Click the image to explore the page.

To clarify, the “Technology Solutions” is an ongoing development from the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence intended to help instructors think about how different technologies might be used to solve some of the problems instructors encounter on a daily/semesterly basis. For instance, speaking of office hour problems, maybe you have no trouble getting students to come visit you in your office, but you do have trouble getting them to bring real concerns? Maybe you could try building an FAQ (frequently asked questions) resources online. This could help to limit how many times you need to repeat yourself about housekeeping items for your students. The tool offers similar advice for dealing with students that come to class unprepared, helping students coordinate their schedules, what to do if students don’t incorporate feedback into future assignments, and so on.

The developers note that the tool is a work in progress, so you will find some questions without any suggested technological interventions just yet. Those of you in the IT crowd (not that IT crowd) might still find that the tool is a useful way to simplify some of those problems that tend to reappear over and over in the classroom. It also offers many ways to think about adding online elements to a traditional face-to-face course in peripheral ways.

Explore the tool for yourself:




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