6) Teaching / Presentation / Publication
Graduates should be able to demonstrate their ability to disseminate scholarly work through public forums. In meeting this competency, students should demonstrate their experience with/ability to…
Reflections:Develop and share ideas and concepts to students, staff, or faculty groups outside of the CSSA classroom
One of the most interesting formats for sharing ideas and concepts that I been involved with is blogging. I started this blog as place to store information regarding my CSSA Technology Workshops. Eventually it became a ‘blogfolio’ which contains coursework, presentations, thoughts and reflections, resources, links, and more. I used the open source web blogging application, WordPress, to create the blog. I’ve used WordPress to create/design three blogs for OSU as part of my graduate assistantship. I think that blogs provide a more interactive communal experience than static web sites/pages. Blog readers provide commentary which provides a depth and breadth of information that can lead to lengthy discussions and future posts. I think it is fascinating that my blog has had comments from my friends, family, CSSA students, and unknown readers. It is an experience that allows for the transmission of a variety of thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
I had the opportunity to co-present at an American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) Admission Institute in Portland with my assistantship supervisor. It was a unique opportunity because I was in charge of editing a ‘Technology in Admissions’ PowerPoint presentation that would be used at other AACRAO Admission Institute sites.
The AACRAO presentation was not my first presentation for a national student affairs association. I presented at a NASPA Regional Conference in Milwaukee while I was working at UIC. The focus of the presentation was on accessibility, usability, and web statistics in the context of a student affairs website.
One of the most rewarding experiences for me was my third practicum. I had never taught a class before and I learned a lot about syllabus creation, time management, learning activities, and teaching with technology. Please read the following post for detailed information about this experience: http://ericstoller.com/blog/2006/03/22/the-last-of-the-practica/
My OSU Student Conduct practicum presented me with a distinctive challenge. I wanted to share what I had learned with my CSSA colleagues, however, a lot of the experience was confidential. I had to learn how to code my responses so that I could maintain the confidentiality of the situation. I used my blog as the space for my practicum reflections and I really had to think critically about how I would present information that was confidential. I ended up using vague descriptions or speaking about my own feelings instead of using identifying information. Please read the following post for detailed information about this experience: http://ericstoller.com/blog/2005/11/27/osu-student-conduct-reflections/
Incorporate original and innovative techniques that are appropriate and engaging in sharing these ideas
Previously, I mentioned the uniqueness of using a blog for the sharing of information. I think I try to use original ideas whenever I present information. This probably stems from my public relations/marketing background in which old ideas rarely work.
When I presented at the NASPA Regional in Milwaukee I utilized a different type of PowerPoint technique. I borrowed Seth Godin’s presentation methodology. I kept the amount of information on each slide to a minimum. This causes the audience to focus their attention onto the speaker. I received mixed reviews for this technique (someone actually complained that the slides needed more content).
While I was teaching Odyssey and Academic Success, I attempted to use teaching techniques that I learned from observing my CSSA professors including: group activities, changing the classroom environment, using technology, having students teach portions of the class, one minute papers, journaling, Blackboard discussion groups, and guest speakers.
Lastly, I was responsible for designing the UIC Wellness Center Orientation presentation. The presentation was framed around a PowerPoint presentation which included animation, humor, a quiz, and a lot of imagery. The presentation was consistently the highest rated of any UIC orientation session. I feel that PowerPoint presentations often consist of a title and bullet points. This is extremely boring for students who have seen five presentations that all look the same.
Reflect on the experience and make constructive changes and improvements
Constructive reflection is an important aspect of any presentation or teaching experience. I would spend time talking about my teaching experiences with my CSSA colleagues to try and better the learning environment for my students. I found that the energy levels in my academic learning services classes were largely dependent on my energy.
The instructors for the Academic Success classes met regularly to discuss teaching strategies and to recount classroom experiences. I found this to be incredibly helpful as a space for idea exchange and critical feedback.
After I received negative feedback regarding my NASPA PowerPoint presentation, I re-evaluated my PowerPoint style. I tend to use less on-screen content with students as a means of increasing classroom discussion. In my presentations to student affairs colleagues the level of information is fairly substantial. Administrators need the information in a format that they can take back in the form of a handout or via an emailed presentation.
I have always tried to utilize feedback as a means of improving my presentations or teaching style. My colleagues at UIC would frequently give me tips which I was able to incorporate into the orientation presentation. I feel that it is a valuable part of the experience when you are able to improve, to learn, and to grow.