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Faculty Experiences - Jack Bishop



Interview Topics
What matters most to you in your teaching?

How are you using technology as a tool to achieve your teaching goals?

How have your students responded to your use of technology?

What new goals do you have for using technology in teaching?

How could the University better facilitate the use of technology in instruction?
Class Discussion
Create Closer Community

Class Website
Virtual Office Hours
Discussion Board


Giving Students Resources to Succeed

I like to create a sense of community in my classes so I incorporate a lot of discussions and group work both inside and outside the classroom.

The overall theme of student learning for me is being able to communicate clearly. I have a desire to make material more exciting for the class by sharing my passion.  Another aspect is presenting it in a way that is not archaic since technology is very central in my teaching.  I continuously try to improve my teaching methods to bring a positive atmosphere to my classes.
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My students are able to study on their own time because of the course website; it’s a great resource for them that includes a lot of examples.  I often have students commenting to me that they love using it because it has a lot of photographs and music, as well as lecture notes and slides.  In class I use PowerPoint to show movies, and play many music samples. I use the TurnItIn anti-plagiarism web service for students to turn in their papers and its discussion board feature.  I use TurnItIn because the School of Arts and Architecture has no course web software and their information technology services don’t support such a thing on their server.
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Students thank me for the extra effort I put in because they love the use of the discussion board, website and PowerPoint slides.  I feel that falling behind in my class is hard to do because I provide so many resources for students for them outside of classtime.   I’ve also used Macromedia Breeze to create flash movies for one lecture when I was not able to attend class and for online quizzes for the purpose of students’ self evaluation.
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I like to create a sense of community in my classes so I incorporate a lot of discussions and group work.  I also want to incorporate net-generation language in class so we talk about their daily life experiences, for example, the implication of growing up with the availability of mp3 files.  One thing I would like to see in the future is having students work together to post information on a class wiki and develop instructional blogs. 
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I want students to realize their own potential or tap into some of the skills they already have.  For example, I assign research papers for them to write because writing skills are important, especially if they plan to continue their education into graduate school.  I want to give them the opportunity to learn how to research and compile a bibliography.
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In addition to checking the online discussion board, I also hold weekly virtual office hours. During this time, I am in front of my computer checking my email continuously. When students have questions, I am able to answer them right away.
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I work with the Office of Instructional Development (OID) in offering campus wide training sessions that encourage faculty interest in using technology and be more effective in their teaching methods. I see a major difference between lecturing and reaching out to students, I like to make things come alive during class.  It is important for faculty to be inspired to use technology and for the campus to offer support and encouragement.

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Oral Interview, February 2007

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