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Ursinus Faculty Talk Teaching with Technology in New Book

Rebecca Roberts, an associate professor of biology, and Susanna Throop, an associate professor of history, contributed to Teaching Naked Techniques: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes (Jossey-Bass, 2017).

The book investigates how instructors might use new information about how the brain learns to help redesign courses and classrooms. The new resource helps faculty of higher education design more effective and engaging classrooms. 

“The book helps you use technology in order to make your in-person interactions even more effective,” Throop says. “That, to me, is Ursinus from top to bottom.”

It outlines how Throop uses blogs and Roberts uses podcasts in class to better engage students and prompt thoughtful discussion. Throop asks her students to find items online that relate to her courses and post the link within a class blog. The students then write about its relevance to the course, and to discussion questions Throop crafts.

Roberts assigns podcasts from The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) so that students listen and develop a bulleted summary before providing informal oral presentations about scientific issues they discovered through the podcast.

“It gets them thinking more broadly and teaches them to think critically,” Roberts says.

Teaching Naked Techniques is written by Jose Antonio Bowen, president of Goucher College, and C. Edward Watson, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and a fellow in the Institute for Higher Education at the University of Georgia. –by Ed Moorhouse