Monday, January 28, 2013

Technology Can Infuse Motivation and Enthusiasm in Students

Veteran and top-notch online instructor Cathy Kennedy uses technology to enhance her teaching and her courses on a daily basis, and I am excited to share with you what Cathy says about technology in her classes and even share many of her great examples at work!

From Cathy:
"Using technology in online courses can infuse motivation and enthusiasm in students. One of the goals of using technology in my classes is to provide students with opportunities to interact within the course, with the instructor, and with other students. I believe that students want and need richer and more engaging online learning experiences and become immersed in the course when a deeper connection is made.

With the increase demand for online learning, it’s important for instructors to try to incorporate more technology into their courses, as technology plays a vital role in the development and expansion of online education.

Teaching an online course is quite different than teaching in the traditional classroom. I have done both for many years. These new technologies allow instructors to convey concepts in new and different ways.  I have seen students benefit and succeed in my course through my use of multiple teaching strategies. I see more engaged learners in the discussions, as I not only provide a “Prepare for Discussion” (Example) in each of my units, but I also engage every student in each discussion for the first three weeks to ensure that they understand what is expected, that they have been recognized, and have been given feedback (both in and after the discussion). I give them links to explore and summarize if they are not on track, and I also ask them to research to find more information that is on topic; expecting them to research and find information each week.

Using varied technologies in my courses (announcements, discussions, assignments, instructor profile, and e-mails) allows students to understand what to do, where to go in the course, what to consider, and how to complete assignments accurately, through the use of programs such as: Animoto, Go Animate, YouTube videos, Glogster, Cyberlink Youcam, Jing or Screencast-o-Matic. These are just a few of the many, many tools that you can use to engage, motivate, lecture and encourage your students.

Around the mid-term I make an Animoto video with music as a way to tell students they are doing a great job, and that the light at the end of the tunnel is near. Most of these programs can be downloaded into a YouTube video. I sometimes make ridiculous videos of myself wearing hats or something corny, and yes they are corny, but students seem to like them; or at least they tell me they do! This makes a connection and shows that I do have a human side. I try to incorporate music, graphics, explanations, motivation, clarification and animations to help reiterate a point or topic. Sometimes topics can be rather dry, such as limitations on tort lawsuits. I created rather fun Animoto using a Mission Impossible music and theme to get them interested, which I provide along with written instructions. I also have a weekend video that I made in Animoto as a way to let them know that I know they have been working hard, and that it’s also important to take a little time to relax.

Rather than explain how to do these things, I put together a video by splicing some of the technologies that I use together (using Cyberlink Power Director11). I’ve used most of the technologies listed above. You can see how I use them by clicking this link. CLICK HERE and turn up your speakers!

I hope you will try out some of the tools listed above. Most are free (except for Power Director).
There is also a way to make interactive videos in YouTube where students can make choices.
Here is an example and further below is a website to tell you how to do this.

Below are some websites that offer advice, tips and discussion on using technology in the on-line courses that may help you.

Using the Technology of Today in the Classroom
Eric Klopfer, Scot Osterweil, Jennifer Groff, Jason Haas
The Education Arcade
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Prof DeBock’s Innovator Network
Prof DeBock has helped me with many youTube videos in his “how tos”

Barach, Paper, Scissors (YouTube interactive video examples)

How to Make an Animoto Video

GoAnimate Quick Video Maker



Last, many of these have been discussed in Heather  Thomton-Stockman’s blog!"

Thanks for these great ideas and examples, Cathy!  I encourage all of you online instructors to try out at minimum one of Cathy's ideas and let me know how it goes.  After all, as Cathy said, "technology can infuse motivation and enthusiasm in students!" 

Heather Thomton-Stockman

Online Instructional Specialist 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing that video of clips that you use in the classroom. Your use of instructional technology is very inspiring, Cathy. I am excited to try making interactive YouTube videos and trying out Cyberlink YouCam.