Using PowerPoint and Collaborative Blackboard Tools to Orient Students Towards Success
Dr. Maria Rodriguez (SEEK/Education)
|Maria Rodriguez's "Orientation for Success" course is designed to help SEEK students adjust to college life, develop strategies for a successful college experience, and think about their personal growth and career options. Professor Rodriguez wanted to use technology to help students work collaboratively on course assignments, self-assessment tasks, and the development of their program of study in the next 4-5 years. In addition, she wanted students to engage in conversations and inquiry about their first semester experience and share useful suggestions and strategies on various course topics.
Professor Rodriguez initially developed four PowerPoint presentations to prepare students to engage in discussions about their academic and personal goals. These PowerPoint presentations were shown and discussed in class and were also made available to students on Blackboard. In addition, Professor Rodriguez user-tested the PowerPoint presentations by asking her students to respond to a brief anonymous survey. Students overwhelmingly reported that they agree/strongly agree that the PowerPoint presentations helped them to think about how to be a successful student at Hunter and offered other useful comments.
Professor Rodriguez also incorporated a number of interactive tools to support student collaboration. She created a Blackboard class blog that students use to respond to focus questions. Students also work in groups using Blackboard wikis to develop 4-5 year programs of study based on their tentative major interest. These wikis will eventually be copied over to Expo in Blackboard. Professor Rodriguez is currently developing ways of assessing the impact of these tools in meeting course goals and objectives as well as student satisfaction.