Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FacProfDev Summer 2013 - Day 1

by Varun Khanna

Remember a younger looking Ben Stein as the boring economic professor in the cult hit Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick?

Roaring with laughter to the scene from the film, Pepperdine faculty attending FacProfDev 2013 on Day 1 vowed to never be the monotone teacher Stein portrays in the film.

"FacProfDev" is short for Faculty Professional Development.  In its second year, FacProfDev is hosted by Pepperdine University’s Technology and Learning group whose mantra is to "focus on course design that integrates technologies into the classroom that are learner-centric and shift how you deliver course content."

Be it using the chisel to create a tablet centuries ago; the printed word on paper; or today’s messaging on mobile devices -- technology has evolved and with it professors are learning to adapt their content delivery methods without necessarily having to change their core pedagogical beliefs.

On Day 1, the interactive group of Pepperdine faculty from Seaver College, Graziadio School of Business and Management and the Graduate School of Education and Psychology had some note-worthy take-aways.

  1. Using images in presentations can result in a higher rate of information retention.
  2. Peer-to-peer interaction on using mobile, cloud, and learning technologies as well as personal pedagogical do’s and don’ts combined with new media content delivery scored high with the faculty.
  3. Brains.org - lists scientific data that correlates neuroscience to pedagogy provided insights that were useful to the group.
  4. A teaching style survey designed by Grasha-Reichmann allowed the faculty to analyze where they were in their teaching style techniques. Calculated out of a total score of 5, Pepperdine faculty got a chance to answer a series of questions that revealed if they were Experts, Formal Authority, Personal Model, Facilitator, or Delegator. You can take the short Teaching Style Survey right here.

  5. The importance of using websites like screencast-o-matic and free software like Jing, both, powerful video/audio screen capture tools that enhance the flipped classroom learning experience not only for the student but, when combined with feedback from the student can provide valuable insight to the professor to have focused in-class discussion on topics that beg to be readdressed.