May 3, 2007

TEL@York: Brief notes on other sessions

Doing Copyright in the TEL Classroom by Roger Fisher (Fine Arts Cultural Studies, Fine Arts) and Kathryn Elder (Media Librarian, Sound and Moving Image Library, Scott Library). Roger Fisher began by talking about how copyright is ignored in the classroom, inadequately addressed in law and that sometimes knowledge is power. The more people know about copyright, the less free they feel to use educationally, the less they know, the more likely they are to infringe. What is the TEL classroom: more open access, tech enhances rather than replaces, collaborative, content rich, new ways for everything, instant present -- everything should happen now. Content rich means images, text, a/v, chat. How do we know we can use photos on the web? First question: is the material under copyright? Difficult to know, lots of steps to follow. If it is, who do you ask for permission? Is the intended use actually an infringement? Exceptions to copyright: fair dealing, news & commentary, educational institution. But: what is an educational institution -- premises, digital copies, performances. Three ways to deal with copyright: ignore, panic, hopeful confusion. Does it matter: lawsuits, moral duty to model good practices for students. Solutions: be careful, lobby for reform.

Kathryn Elder then spoke about some specific York Libraries initiatives in fine arts collections such as Alexander Street Press, Films for Humanities and Social Sciences. Also some licensing issues for feature films, artistic images, programs recorded off air.

Who Wants to Ace This Course? Using Technology And Games To Engage Students by Emily Agard (Biology, FSE). Interesting session where Agard talked about using games such as Jeopardy, Taboo and Amazing Race to spice up the classroom experience and get students a bit more engaged. Benefits are: fun for students and teachers, leveraging classroom information & goals for gaming subject matter, kickstart study process, gives students the idea that profs want them to succeed. Considerations include class size, class attendance rate, class dynamics, subject matter, time available in curriculum. Large classes have issues such as attendance, shyness, what to use as a reward, will everyone who wants to participate be able to. Overall a very positive reaction. Jeopardy and other ppt templates available at:

Joys and Thrills of Student-Designed Assignments by Ingrid Splettstoesser (Admin Studies, Atkinson). For an information systems audit course, using materials from multiple disciplines, highly technical, experience-based, case studies. Tried something new and get students motivated and helping each other. Let them create their own assignments: makes for a good activity in the first class, encourages interactivity. foster collaboration rather than competition, small group assignments. Rules were very broad, amazing to watch students create their own assignments. Too simple, ie. multiple choice, were rejected. Had to be case study. Success in improving class participation was immediate, sometimes got bogged down in details. Lessons for instructor: more parameters in what is acceptable, many students interested in getting things done rather than getting it right or benefiting the group.

Enhancing Teaching and Learning with Blogs and Wikis by Ron Sheese (Psychology, Health, and Centre for Academic Writing, Arts), Sarah Chun (CNS Faculty Support Centre).
Used to use word to create a simple website but now want something else and realized that blogs could be used as a website. Using YorkU installation of wordpress almost as a cms results in a professional web presence that students are impressed with. Basically using the two kinds of documents available, posts and pages, you're able to create all the content you need. Pages become the course outline, archives, assignment info. Two kinds of posts: things forgot to say in lectures and general interest post. PSYC4150 Blog is an example. Could have done in webct or moodle but liked flexibility and cleanness of blogs -- no passwords. Intro course has a slightly different focus. A wiki was used in a first year course so small groups of students could create topic-based resource lists, ie. resources to do a paper rather than the paper itself. Some of the teams had fairly serious disputes over content and it's is interesting to see those disputes recorded in the mod history of the wikis, with info being added and deleted repeatedly.

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