Second Mondays: Strategies for Large Classes

March 14, 2011

Guest Speaker:

Dr. Erin Cram

Dept. of Biology

(Wacom Tablet & Clickers)

Guest via Video:

Dr. Mary-Susan Potts-Santone

Dept. of Biology


Resources & Reference Material

Wacom Bamboo Tablet


Information on EdTech’s website:

Webcast: Clickers in Large Classes

7 Things you should know about (Clickers)

Tegrity/ Lecture Capture

Lecture capture systems offer important benefits:

  1. An alternative when students miss class;
  2. An opportunity for content review, particularly when abstruse topics are introduced or detailed procedures are performed; and
  3. Content for online course development.
  4. Captured lectures often form part of online or blended course development to supplement the class

Other Purposes?

  1. Solutions for faculty to supplement class with short recordings of standard lecture material – recorded outside of class.
  2. Student presentations
  3. Guest Lecturer (after all waivers have been signed).

Information on Information Service’s website:

Webcast on EdTech’s website: Lecture Capture with Tegrity, Online Testing: Mark Staples

7 Things you should know about (Lecture Capture)


Information on EdTech’s website:


Information on EdTech’s website:


Wikis in Blackboard

Information on EdTech’s website:

  • Wikispaces
  • PBwiki


For digital media storage:

Information on EdTech’s website:

Information on Information Service’s website:

Course Redesign

Information on EdTech’s website:

Hybrid Course Design

5 Principles of Successful Course Redesign

Program in Course Redesign (PCR)

Active Learning Strategies used on campus

20 Minute Class Problem Sets

  • Used for a math course (150 students). Students work in groups and walk around and compare work. Students collaborate and form study groups, exchange information. Simplified grading system (0 = miss class, 1= partial credit, 2=correct ).  Some sets include some multiple choice and are graded wrong/correct – do not give answers.  Problem sets are only assigned once/week for the 65 min. class. Great for 100+ min class. Helps students prepare for quizzes and encourages attendance.

Short Answer Case-Based Clinical Exams

  • Used for 140 students.
  • Grading parties where coordinator will get 5-6 faculty members to volunteer for four-hour block.  Create very specific answering key and others can help grade entire or specific portion of the exam.  Dept. provides food for grading party. Person who created question available for consultation about questions.

Online Office Hours

  • TAs offer office hours on Compass late at night. Student participation is high.
  • Online study groups with TA

Other Strategies

  • Blended classes – 50% classroom / 50% online

Articles of Interest

Meeting Notes

Dr. Erin Cram, Professor in the Department of Biology explained her decision to use a Wacom tablet to facilitate her lectures.


Physical Constraints of Classroom

·      Long, narrow classroom; most students cannot see the front of the room

·      Screens have been installed halfway to the back of the room, so students can see what is on-screen

·      A projector screen obscures the chalkboard – cannot simultaneously have a presentation going and write on the board


Benefits of using a Wacom Tablet

·      Relatively inexpensive (approx. $75)

·      Allows professor to write on the projected presentation directly

·      If you leave blank slides within the presentation, you can easily engage students and write their responses to open-ended questions down

·      Makes presentation customizable – presentation works as a framework and supplemental info is added by writing

·      Works with both Mac and PC

·      Can easily integrate Clickers (TurningPoint) and Wacom into presentation seamlessly


Drawbacks of Wacom Tablet

·      Can’t write on a document in Acrobat or Preview

·      Somewhat awkward to look at the screen, while writing on the tablet (can’t see what you’re writing)




Dr. MarySusan Potts-Santone discussed her use of Tegrity in her Biology lectures


Tegrity is a lecture-capture software which records a professor’s voice along with what is being presented on screen (typically a powerpoint presentation)


Benefits of Tegrity

·      Can help students who miss multiple classes (such as student athletes or disabled students)

·      Also works well for students who use English as their second language

·      Very easy to use, either as a podcast or a life stream and is hosted on the web

·      Works best with powerpoint, you can also incorporate a tablet and it will record what you write

·      Can use with any size class

·      Helpful for snow days or courses which are offered every semester (easy to send supplemental info to students when going to class is not an option)

·      Can pause what is being recorded