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Notes from the Teacher Talks session

Date:20 January 2017
Author:André Rosendaal
Antonio Toral on Nestor Forums
Antonio Toral on Nestor Forums

On January 18, 2017, ICTOL organised the first Teacher Talks meeting. Teacher Talks are related to the Just-do-IT workshops set up by ICTOL, in which faculty members get hands-on experience with different IT tools for use in education (read more >>>). 

During the Teacher Talks session five lecturers gave short presentations about the different tools they used. here is a short summary:

Quirijn van den Hoogen - Collaborate as lecturing tool
[Arts Policy and Arts Sociology]

Quirijn demonstrated how he used Blackboard Collaborate, a video conferencing tool integrated in Nestor, to organize online sessions with students abroad. These students needed to prepare the proposal for their bachelor thesis, but many of them had to do so while studying abroad. Quirijn found a solution in providing online group meetings, during which the students were informed about the procedures, but also could ask question. For those who could not attend, the recordings were made available. Despite some start-up technical and organisational issues, Quirijn is very enthusiastic and will continue using Collaborate.

Ronit Nikolsky - Digital testing for non-digital thinking: how to get students to think like they do in the humanities by using a computer
[Semitic Languages and Cultures]

Ronit was looking for a way to cope with an increasing number of students who needed to be trained in academic thinking. Previously, she would grade individual assignments for which students needed to read academic articles and answer essay questions. She now uses weekly formative exams in Nestor, consisting of close-ended questions (multiple choice, short answer), that can only be answered correctly if an article is thoroughly understood. Because the grading is done automatically, this saves her time - although developing the questions is time-consuming. On the whole, she is very satisfied with the results and will continue using this form of formative evaluation. 

Antonio Toral - Increasing student-lecturer interaction using Nestor
[Computational Linguistics]

Antonio has used Nestor forums to let students ask questions. Forums have a number of advantages compared to e-mail: students see questions posted by other students, including the answer from the lecturer, furthermore students can also submit answers themselves, thus taking an active learning role. Via the report functionality in Nestor he was able to track the number of times students read or posted topics. On average, students did this about 70 times per week, which convinced Antonio that forums are a useful tool to interact with students.

Geramé Wouters - Creating videos with Screencast-o-matic
[Language Centre]

Screencast-o-matic is a free tool that one can use to record a presentation on a computer screen. The recording can be augmented with voice-over and a webcam-video of the presenter. Geramé has used the tool to record Powerpoint presentations for foreign students learning Dutch. Recording is easy, and students can use the videos during preparation for class or for reference after the lectures.

Vaneide da Silva Santos - Designing SMARTboard lessons
[Language Centre]

SMART Notebook is software created by SMART as a tool supporting their interactive whiteboards. Although within the faculty mainly used for writing on such boards, Vaneide showed how lecturers can use ready-made interactive objects to create interactive and engaging presentations, including tasks students can perform at the SMARTboard. One example that she showed was dividing a group of images of countable and uncountable objects by moving them on the touchscreen. Many free interactive objects can be downloaded via SMART Exchange.



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