Tag Archives: wisconsin

MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) at UW – Madison

Classrooms have been changing over the past 20 years as new technologies become available, but they may come with consequences that affect students and faculty alike.

The University of Wisconsin is following the lead of top-tier schools like Berkeley, MIT and Stanford in offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) that any person with a computer and an Internet connection can access for free.

“Right now, we are treating the pilots like an experiment,” said Dr. John Hawks, a professor in social sciences who will be teaching a MOOC in January. “After the first round of courses is done, we will meet and decide whether they have met desired outcomes.”

Some of these desired outcomes include the number of students who follow through the class to completion, how the University is able to support it, and how professors feel about teaching them. Continue reading

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Computer Use in Lectures at UW – Madison

In the past few years, computers have become a necessity in college. A 2012 study by the Division of Information Technology found that 97% of student respondents use a laptop computer.

Some faculty members believe that this can become a distraction, especially when used to take notes in lecture.

“I want people to look at me when I give lectures,” said physics professor Sam Hokin. “In physics there’s really no reason to have a laptop open, like 50% of what I teach is equations.”

Hokin calls himself a ‘chalk-and-talk’ professor. He does not use PowerPoint presentations in his lectures, but provides his students with lecture notes so that they can become involved in the class.

“I’m a pretty unusual physics professor in that I have more rules. I want students to ask questions and answer questions.” Continue reading

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Presidential Visit to the University of Wisconsin

A note to all readers: unlike my other posts, this one is entirely opinion-based (not related to technology whatsoever) and should be read as such. As always, comments are expected and encouraged.

As I write this, I am taking shelter from the impending rain in a cafe outside the University of Wisconsin’s communications building, sipping a double espresso and watching crowds of liberal voters walk by. The vast majority of them are headed to Bascom hill to see the ‘leader of the free world’ give a speech about why he should be reelected.  Continue reading

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