UMS Faculty Focus Blog

UMS Faculty Focus

The UMS Faculty Focus blog publishes articles on effective teaching strategies for technology-enhanced, classroom, online, blended, or flipped learning experiences.  Faculty e-Learning Grant recipients and other UMS faculty are welcome to contribute. Please contact the UC Faculty Development Center if you are interested in writing an article for UMS Faculty Focus at uc-fdc@maine.edu

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Compare and Contrast: Pear Deck vs. The Competition

How does Pear Deck stack up against the competition and what might be the best polling tool for your educational needs? While I do enjoy the functionality of using Pear Deck for quick summative feedback and formative data regarding student learning I have also had the opportunity to use other polling programs and devices such as iClickers and Kahoot.  Below is a brief summary of six...
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The Software Interface is the Message

How might a performative approach helps insure that we shape software to our ends, and not the other way around?   In music, the quality of the practice experience determines the quality of the performance. More than passing correct notes on to the audience, practice is a creative shaping of ideas. And here creativity defined not as not a feeling of inspiration—but...
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Bringing at-distance learners into the F2F classroom

Building community and creating learning opportunities in a course with students attending F2F and at-distance.
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The business or "Business" of Education: What is the cost?

The cost of education
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Civic Engagement for Online Students

UMA's Justice Studies students are collaborating online with the American Bar Association on national social justice policy.
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Monitoring students’ academic progress during an asynchronous online course

Communication with students in many of the online courses I teach at the University of Maine at Augusta is strictly asynchronous.  I communicate with students by sending them emails, uploading documents to Blackboard, generating videos, etc.  Students communicate with me mainly through email and their assignment submissions (discussion boards, written papers, etc.).  I can go...
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What Do Students Think?

When using any new type of technology within the classroom or in an online learning environment it is important to get feedback from the end user.  Students aren’t usually shy to let faculty know if they love a learning tool or absolutely hate it and this information can be invaluable in helping you, the instructor, decide when and where these technologies will be most helpful for your...
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Screencast-O-Matic for More Effective Conferencing

How to achieve an individualized conference experience online? Screencast-O-Matic can help.
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Wandering Through Images Performatively

Using a performative approach to determine questions about the presentation of images.
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Asynchronous online discussion questions/prompts aimed at increasing student engagement

Hello again, my previous blog post (November 30th, 2017) focused on techniques to assess the level of student engagement during online asynchronous discussion boards.  A technique I use to assess my students' level of interest/engagement in a particular online discussion is to calculate  posts per participant.   For example, if I have 30 students participating...
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Blackboard's Gift

End of the year musing on the Gift of Blackboard Grading.
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It’s a Google App!

It should be noted that it took me quite some time to catch onto the fact that Pear Deck is a Google App.  I stumbled upon this when I started running into some technical issues when creating a deck.  Being an avid Blackboard user I try to be diligent at always using Mozilla Firefox as my default browser.  Why these two programs jive so well - I will never know.  Everything...
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2018 Pedagogy and Risk Management

For this initial contribution I'ved opted to reflect on the context that gives "effective teaching strategies" meaning. In future contributions would like to reflect on strategies associated with international teaching.
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Teaching Writing in Justice Studies

Collaborating with University College Off-Campus Library Services and the VAWLT to support student writing.
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Wedding or Divorce: Hybrid and Blackboard

Integrating a face to face class structure into a hybrid online class utilizing Blackboard.
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Assessing Asynchronous Online Discussions

Hello Again,  In my previous blog post (11/02/2017) I discussed pedagogical strategies instructors could use to increase student engagement and motivation during online asynchronous discussions (hosted in Blackboard).   The focus of today's blog post will be techniques I use to assess the quality of students' participation in asynchronous online...
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The Technology of Performative Teaching

How might the way one prepares and engages a musical performance inform the way one prepares and engages teaching a course? And how might technology play a role in this approach?
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Facilitating Peer Feedback with Google Docs

Encouraging peer feedback increases student engagement in class.  But how to do it? And how to do it online, when the focus is to help improve student writing? In EYE 117, we've found that writing groups work best when they are intentionally constructed from class members displaying similar levels of engagement in the course.  There's no need to match top performing students with...
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A Virtual Tour of the Maine State Law Library

How the idea of a virtual law library tour became a reality and created free law library access for online legal research students.
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Learning by Doing Research at a Distance

Social psychology is the discipline that studies how we think about, influence, and relate to one another. It covers, among other interesting phenomena, conformity, groupthink, helping behavior in social situations, and obedience to authority. As a social psychologist, I had decided that I wanted my students to learn not only about these particular phenomena, but how we go about...
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