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Academic Technology Services blog

Common teaching challenges and how technology can help address them

At the end of CC’s half-block winter session, we held a winter conference where various people around campus presented on topics related to the strategic planning process we are currently working through. Steve Lawson, our humanities librarian, and I ran a session titled “The CC Classroom: Using Technology to Improve Teaching and Learning.” We centered the discussion around common teaching challenges and how various types of technology can help address them. We began by asking people to indicate a challenge they encounter in their teaching from the list below:

• Not knowing if students “get it” or not
• Not enough time to give the kind of feedback you’d like to give to students
• Getting students to a conceptual understanding of the material as opposed to surface-level understanding
• Spending so much time on basics you never get to more advanced material
• Dealing with students of very different ability levels in the same class
We then asked the attendees to add challenges that weren’t on the list, and came up with
• Students need more practice – a one-shot session isn’t enough.
• Absences
• Too much to cover in the available time
• Students don’t retain information between blocks, leading to too much time spent on review instead of on new material
• Block plan fatigue
• Need to break up the three hours of a block plan class

At the end of this block (next week on Wednesday!), we’ll be doing another workshop around this theme, with the goal of generating ideas for online modules or other activities that can help teachers address some of these challenges. I’ll report back on how that workshop went and what project ideas came out of it in my next blog post during the third week of block 6.

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