What happens when you combine the knowledge of a content expert, pedagogical expert, and a technologist? Innovation. This spotlight highlights the partnership between Dr. Vilja Hulden, Teaching and Learning Consultant Tara Gilboa, and Student Fellow Austin Chau. Vilja approached ASSETT with a request for pedagogical and technical support for her student’s final group project for her American History to 1865. Students were tasked with designing historically accurate fictional characters. In addition to demonstrating individual mastery of course content in a creative application, the group work approach for the project fostered students’ leadership and communication skills.
Through the Teaching Technology Assistance Program, Student Fellow Austin Chau and Teaching and Learning Consultant Tara Gilboa taught Vilja’s students about presentation skills and presented three different technologies they can use to create presentations: Google Slides, Haiku Deck, and Visme. The goal of this presentation was to teach students students how integrate content into professional presentations and extend their knowledge of technologies that could be applicable in their careers.
To help the students prepare for their presentations, Vilja asked Tara and I to provide students with best practices when presenting. She also asked us us to teach students about various technologies they could use when presenting. Finally, Vilja thought students would be more receptive to getting feedback from one of their peers, and asked me to provide students with feedback about their presentation.
For their final project, Vilja had her students create a persona which lived during a historical time period, and do two presentations about this persona’s life and personality. The first presentation was a “teaser”- an opportunity for students to do a dry run prior to their final presentation.
During our consultation, Vilja and I discussed her desired goals for this presentation. We then selected three tools that students could use to create their presentations: Google Slides, Haiku Deck, and Visme. During the selection process, we considered tools that helped students be mindful of the amount of content needed within the slides. Since information heavy slides don’t do well in presentations, we felt these technologies promoted simple and straight to the point slides. We put together information about the benefits and detriments of each tool. Then Tara and I co-presented to Vilja’s students. Tara provided best practices when presenting and presented the three technologies.
I also provided feedback during the student’s teaser presentations through the use of a rubric. The rubric provided students with feedback on issues they had with their slides, general presentation skills, and notes about how to improve before their final presentation. This gave Vilja’s students an opportunity to receive a neutral student’s perspective on their presentation. Since these presentations were for their peers, I feel that having a Student Fellow’s perspective allowed each group to understand how others may react to their presentations. Having the skills and ability to present their information well is something most of us will have to be do at least once or twice, so this was a great opportunity for students to learn about these basic skills.