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					Tammy Looman Interview: Q & A
      Tammy Looman first started teaching as an adjunct in 2005. Using “limited technology the first
semester”, Looman said she’s been adding to her use of technology every year. “Switching over isn't
always easy and not everything works,” she said. “I recommend that faculty who are hesitant to use
technology but want to try, just add one new component to their planning and instruction.”

1. How has using (odyssey, discussion boards, crossword puzzles) made a difference for students who
experience it in your class?

        “I try to keep students active in my class by using the discussion board or assigning an internet
search with group work,” Looman said. “Students are not just passive learners, they are active learners.
Also, students like it when I use various media to introduce topics because they are able to make
connections more easily.”

2. How has using (technology) made a difference for you as you prepare or teach your class?

       “Actually, using technology has made the job of teaching more interesting,” she said. “At first,
figuring out how to incorporate technology in my class made planning a little longer, but soon it
became an asset. I find that the students now work as hard as I work during a class period, and I feel
that students are more frequently engaged in their learning.”

3. Why should other faculty consider using (odyssey, discussion boards, cross word puzzles in their
classes?

      “I would only recommend that other faculty experiment with technology to see if it works for
them,” Looman said. She did not wish to further recommend any specific media type

4. Would you say the benefit of using (Odyssey) far outweighs the cost of investing your time and
energy to learn how to use it? Why?

        “Yes,” she said. “There are two distinct benefits; first, once you become comfortable using
technology, preparation for class becomes easier—You can divide your instructional time into chunks
and gear each chunk to a specific objective. For example, I may start with a video clip that introduces a
concept. Students like to discuss video clips so they become engaged right away. Then I may lecture a
short time to provide new information before assigning groups to work together doing an internet
search to reinforce what I've presented.
        “Then I may have the students informally share what they have found and ask each other
questions,” Looman said. “Finally, I may end class with a writing assignment so students can reflect on
what they have learned and practice their writing skills.
        “Second, because students are actively involved, they are more responsive during class, and it is
easier to build relationships with students once everyone is talking and sharing ideas.”

5. What’s the next techy thing you’re considering, and why? Is there anything preventing you from
going forward with it?

       “I want to incorporate using student response-ware in class,” Looman said. “CU has an account
with Turning Point so we can use this technology. Using response-ware provides immediate feedback
to students and gives faculty a simple way to check comprehension. There isn't anything preventing my
going forward with it at this point.”




Cathy Gallagher interview: Q & A
       Gallagher has taught (ENG 119, ENG 118 and COM 211) for Cornerstone for five years, and has
only used the Odyssey program for over a year. Rarely using web technology at first, she has since
began using Odyssey ‘more fully’ because of the requirements of PGS. “With every on ground class I
teach, I find myself using the technology more effectively,” she said. Gallagher says she still thinks of
herself as a beginner when using the Web.

1. How has using (Turnitin.com, "post-first" format programs, weblinks within Odyssey..etc)made a
difference for students who experience it in your class?

         “Keep in mind that I have only taught on ground classes up to now,” she said. “The effect on
students varies, depending on the amount of time the student is willing to put in to learn the
technology and the amount of time the student is willing to spend logging on to Odyssey between class
sessions… I teach three courses that are close to the beginning of the student's program, so they have a
lot to learn. They frequently tell me that I use Odyssey more than their previous instructors and they
like it when course documents and web links are put into the course for them to use.”

       “I always put a threaded Prayer Forum into the course, and I post the first prayer in the forum.
Students seem to appreciate this, and they read the postings and post reply prayers and praise
reports,” said Gallagher. “I also always put a "General Discussion Forum" for students to post questions
about assignments, course expectations, etc. Again, they seem to like this because it gives them a place
to look first if they have a question or are confused about what needs to be done. I got this idea from
the training Trevor put together on online facilitation, and I'm glad I use it!”

        “I find that they get the most benefit from Odyssey and become more excited about using it if I
spend at least an hour during the first class session showing them the features and functions of Odyssey
(using student mode for the demonstration),” she said. “All the links and documents and folders that
I've put into the course and pointing out the benefits to them. Most of them like the post-first format
                                                                                                            Omit?
after they get used to it.”
        “Some students totally ignore the announcements and instructions for viewing documents and
web links and come to class unprepared. I also set up a private Discussion Forum for each PLT to make
it easier for PLT members to communicate with each other. Some PLTs use their private discussion
forum often. Other PLTs don't use it at all.”

       “Most students that I've taught did not spend the time needed to learn how to effectively use
Turnitin to help them improve their papers,” she said. “I do give a demo and show them turnitin and
where the instruction manual can be found, but it takes time to learn. In the five-week courses,
especially ENG 119, the students usually feel that they don't have time to learn turnitin because of all
the assignments. However, some students have told me that they like turnitin a lot. Turnitin is helpful
to me in identifying potential plagiarism.”

3. How has using (above) made a difference for you as you prepare or teach your class?

       “At first, I didn't like using Odyssey at all because it added HOURS and HOURS to my
preparation time,” she said. “The training we instructors were given was very minimal, and we are
expected to learn Odyssey mostly on our own. I'm of the old school and prefer to read a manual that I
can hold in my hand or place on a desk as I learn. I HATE having to use online learning manuals and
wish Cornerstone would print the whole thing for each of us.”

       “Now, I like using Odyssey a lot. However, I know that I only "scratch the surface" because I'm
not that great at figuring out how to use the technology and trying to learn "complicated" things from the
online manuals just doesn't work well for me. I learn technology better by seeing someone teach me the
steps, which is another reason the online manuals don't work real well for me.”

         “I send a "welcome to the class" email a week before the first on ground class session meets, and
I include any special information/instructions for the first class in the Email. I ask students to respond to
it....and I usually get several "undeliverable" messages back, so I know before class starts which
students may not have valid email addresses (this gets handled in Class 1).”

        “Using Odyssey as fully as possible helps me hold students more accountable. It keeps me
accountable, too. I feel more prepared to teach/facilitate when I have spent time before the class session
making sure all the needed info is in the course in Odyssey,” said Gallagher. “For the on ground classes,
I post weekly folders in the course, which become viewable the week before that class session meets.
This helps me help the students stay focused on what they need to do for the next class...we view the
folder contents together and it is a good preview for them.”

        “I like the who done it report very much. Again, Trevor made me aware of this folder during the
online facilitation course I took from him. I like the post first discussion forum format because the
students have to apply their own original critical thinking to the questions when answering, and I get a
better "feel" for each student's ability to apply critical thinking to the problem at hand.”


4. Why should other faculty consider using (above) in their classes?

        “One very important reason other faculty should use Odyssey as fully as possible is that
Cornerstone has asked us to do this, so we honor our employer by following this request, and that's
biblical! Another reason is that technology is not going to go away. A third reason is that once you get
your class set up in Odyssey the way you want it, which is a work in progress, you can export the set up
to other cohorts and then "tweak it" to fit the new cohort. A fourth reason is that Odyssey really does
help instructors hold students accountable for assignments, timeliness, etc. A fifth reason is that we
can use Odyssey effectively even if we don't know how to use all the features and functions, and we
can get a little bit better at using Odyssey every time we facilitate another class.”

5. Would you say the benefit of using (above) far outweighs the cost of investing your time and energy
to learn how to use it? Why?

        “Maybe someday, as I look back, I'll be able to say that. Right now, though, NO, I can't say the
benefit of using Odyssey FAR outweighs the cost of investing my time and energy in learning how to
use it. That's one reason I still don't know how to use all of Odyssey's features and functions. When we
have questions, we are referred to tech support. Contacting tech support requires a time investment
 that is difficult to manage because of working a full-time day job which prevents me from getting help
 during the day. It is not always possible to contact tech support at night (I know they are available until
 10 pm.). Plus, the only compensation for the time investment is the good feelings I get when I learn
 something new. I teach because I love to teach and I love to see people learn. I do have a full-time day
 job in addition to teaching for Cornerstone. Finding balance between my day job, teaching, and having
 a personal life requires investing time in each of these areas. Investing time in learning how to use
 Odyssey at the fullest possible extent on top of all the other teaching preparation can be a real
 challenge.”

        “Cornerstone PGS could make one of their instructor in-services (there are three or four a year)
 an "Advanced Odyssey" in-service. They could put us in small groups and have the groups move "round
 robin style" to different learning stations where skilled Odyssey people could show us how to use the
 advanced features. They could survey the PGS instructors to find out what functions we aren't using
 and make these the topics of the various learning stations.”


6. What’s the next techy thing you’re considering, and why? Is there anything preventing you from
going forward with it?
        “I don't post any video links into the courses I teach because I don't know if I also have to
connect the video to a media player. I don't even know how to set my preferences for the order of info
that appears on my screen when I access Odyssey. I don't know how to set bookmarks or flags for
internet pages. Some of these are pretty basic, I know, but it's where I'm at on the learning curve.”

        “ In the Discussion Forums, we can post written instructions for the students to follow and
questions for the students to answer. But, is there a way to also put a graphic into the instructions? For
example: For COM 211 (Business Communications) I would like to be able to set up a Team Problem
Solving Discussion Forum and draw a checker board and then post the question "How many squares do
you see?" beneath the drawing. And then ask the students to identify the relationship of their answer to
problem solving in a business communication setting (relating what they read in the textbook to their
answers).”

				
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posted:11/14/2011
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