When it comes down to it, student learning is the heart of what I do at Creighton. Over the past 35 years, I have seen students, student learning, and teaching methods change dramatically. This is a challenge, as I was taught solely by the lecture method, with discussion mixed in. The challenges posed in teaching today are significant, but also exciting.
BIA 253 is a required undergraduate course for all business students. Its title is Introduction to Management Information Systems. The course goal is for students to develop a firm foundation in the big concepts in technology that all business people must know to be successful. Upon this, we explore ways in which technology is commonly used in business to compete, be more effective and efficient, and generally be successful.
BIA 375 is a required undergraduate course for all BIA majors. The title of the course is Application Development. In the course, students learn a variety of current development technologies. Then they use their knowledge to work with a partner to develop a functional mobile app for the iPhone and Adroid platforms. They use the Application Craft IDE, which is in the cloud, to develop their apps to any mobile platform.
I currently teach several graduate courses in the MBA and Information Management and Technology programs online and onsite.
Student Project ShowcaseThe 2016 App Development Argy Bargy was, once again, a great success. The Argy Bargy, a UK slang for a spirited discussion, lets Heider College of Business students in my App Development course to showcase their projects. The projects, developed for iOS and Android, have included an app to connect students buying and selling textbooks on campus, one to help CU students find a ride home and back with other CU students, and an app to curtail communication when you are 'impaired' using a unique quizzing system. The top teams have won iPads, Microsoft Surfacse, Lenova A8 Tablest, Beats headphones, and Pebble smart watches. Thanks to all the sponsors who support us and special thanks to the Heider College of Business, iJay Apple Store at Creighton, and the Creighton Dept. of IT, for their continuing strong support every year.
Collaborative Video System ResearchI am very excited that all of my 2015-2017 students are participating in an NSF Research Study on the use of embedded discussions in online videos and the use of associated analytics of student video behaviors. We are one of four test sites in the world. The system, named TrACE, is the brainchild of Univ. of NE Omaha professor Dr. Dorn. All video content for all my flipped courses is available only in TrACE. As students watch the video, they can make observations at a given location in the video, ask a question at the spot in the video that is unclear, answer or respond to other students annotations, or answer questions that I post for discussion during the video.
Graduate Database CourseMy graduate Database Course in the Information Management and Technology program did their hands-on design and development work using Amazon's state of the art AWS (Amazon Web Services) system. Each student will create their own account, and will install an image that contains a web server, database server, and other tools that they will use throughout the semester. The Amazon AWS system provides a real-world, popular commercial system in which students can apply course concepts using real tools. AWS uses the concept of virtual servers in the cloud, thus extending student learning to a practice that is becoming increasing common in all walks of business. Business users of AWS include Netflix, SAP, Pintrest, SugarCRM, GE, and of course Amazon.
2017 is my sixth year of teaching all of my classes using the Flipped methodology. In this approach to hands-on active learning, homework and in-class lectures are flipped. That is, students do the reading and watch lecture on video before coming to class. Then, in class, they do the hard work of the course - using and applying the new concepts. This is done in class, where their professor and all of their peers are there to help.
This method has been shown to improve learning, significantly increase retention of material, and improve engagement. In addition, if you have ever been in a flipped classroom, the obvious engagement of the students with each other, the professor, and the material is obvious. The room is active, energized, and exciting. It is very satisfying as a professor to witness this environment, although I must say I do miss lecturing - I love to lecture!
I regularly conduct research comparing new, experiential teaching methodologies, such as flipped, vs. traditional lecture in my courses.
I did an interesting research study with Drs. Anne York and Peter Gallo that explored the use of The Ultimate Question as a course evaluation tool. The results were very positive, and I have been using this tool for my course evaluations ever since!
Along with Drs. Bev Kracher and Susan Wiedenbeck, we have conducted numberous studies of the nature of trust in the online world.
I am very interested in the role of UX in general. But now in view of courses moving online, the role of the UX in these online courses is intriguing.
OK - I love Piazza (along with everyone else). A slick, easy interface for faculty and for students that supports forum-type, nested posting for discussions and questions as well as ways to organize the discussions and poll students.
I love these. Full sized (8x11) and mini (8x6) loose-leaf, spiral type notebooks. I love to handwrite some notes instead of lugging my laptop or even tablet to meetings and such.. No big deal? Wait for it - when you fill one up, you take pictures of the content which is syncd online where you told it to go (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc), then put it in the microwave to erase it so you can use it again! Bang!
I love innovation that serves a purpose. Actually, I love it even if it serves no purpose, but due to time I have decided to try and ignore stuff that is cool just because. There is so much great stuff going on out there!
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