iTeach Instructional Resources

Plato's Roundtable Topics


Distinguished guest Roger Ransom, Professor of History and Economics, shares with us his experiences on using iLearn.

iTeach: Welcome to Plato's Roundtable. Roger, have the course management systems the campus has made available been good for your teaching?

Roger: As I am sure you are aware, iLearn and its predecessor WebCourse in a Box, has made a profound impact on my teaching.

iTeach: Could you elaborate a little on the impact it  has had in your classes?

Roger: For all of my classes it has allowed me to post information on the web that can easily reach all students. This includes syllabi, announcements, and materials relating to exams.

iTeach: You teach large classes in History. How does iLearn help you deal with the large numbers?

Roger: In my large classes, I post the slides from my PowerPoint presentations. This has proven to be a hugely popular move with students and TAs in those courses. It means that neither the students nor I have to worry about getting all the material down as it appears on the screen. Since I use a lot of maps in my classes, the students have the maps from the Web. I find an increasing number of students download the lectures BEFORE class and use the printout to facilitate note-taking.

iTeach: Do you see a benefit for the smaller classes that you teach?

Roger: In smaller classes at both the graduate and undergraduate level, I use discussion boards to create assignments that can be turned in electronically and viewed by all students in my class. This winter, I will be experimenting with a digital chat area in an upper division course where I hope to develop some degree of interactive exchange between the TA and the students.

iTeach: Any other features of significance in iLearn?

Roger: Finally, I have found the iLearn grade book to be an invaluable tool in providing a written record of all students in even my largest (570) class.

iTeach: How has iLearn affected your teaching?

Roger: iLearn has revolutionized the way I teach!

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