Mohammed Tafti, Professor of Information Technology and Quantitative Methods in the School of Business had a unique problem in terms of teaching a concept in his class. According to him, the undergraduate students in his classes always have a hard time understanding the difference between “absolute” and “relative” values in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Dr. Mary Ann Allison, Assistant Professor in Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations in the School of Communication, recently taught Mass Media: History & Development as a fully-online course....To help get the students to know each other and create a sense of community, Professor Allison asked her students to each create a personal homepage within the Blackboard course.
Collaboration is the name of the game at Google Docs, delivering the capability to create and share word-processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online. The free software is therefore analogous to the suite of Microsoft applications Hofstra students and faculty all have access to (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
Dr. Ethna Lay’s English Composition class is always composed of a wide variety of students. Some come to her class with strengths in reading comprehension and critical writing, but often there are also students who have trouble expressing their analytical ideas in written form. Seeing this as an opportunity, Dr. Lay set out to find a way to engage students who needed a different way to communicate the thoughts they had about the literature they were assigned.
During the summer semester of 2008, Blackboard added a wiki plug-in to its extensive roster of additional features Hofstra faculty have available to them. “Wiki” sounds cute (it is the Hawaiian word for “quick”) but it is a revolutionary way to democratize learning in the classroom. Essentially, a wiki is a network of websites that anyone can add to or edit, at any time. This is a powerful new way of publishing information. Brian Cox and David Powell are just two of the faculty using wikis in their classes.
Dr. Holly Seirup found a practical application for podcasting in her Counselling Practicum course, part of the School of Education, Health and Human Services curriculum. She had seen and heard her colleagues record themselves, and post lectures to Blackboard for the students to review. Dr. Seirup decided to put the students in control instead.
In 2008, Hofstra launched a fully online Distance Learning offering, a Master of Science degree in Computer Science. Creating an engaging environment with rich multimedia presentations is one of the critical components of designing an effective Distance Learning program. Dr. Chuck Liang of the Computer Science Department needed a way to display his desktop presentations with audio narration of his lessons while having the narration appear as text as well.
Dr. Terri Shapiro decided to try Twitter for her Distance Learning class so they could become more connected. She sent weekly questions, relevant and timely articles, and class reminders. Dr. Shapiro thought it added an important component to her class and now uses it with her face-to-face classes as well!