Reading ancient writings takes practice. A lot of practice. Theology Lecturer Rebecca Gaudino wanted to give her students a chance get some serious practice but to do that, she needed to free up time in class traditionally spent on lecture. Culling an archive of lectures, she made visual recordings of the ones she wanted to keep and decided to move quizzes online. This allowed her to treat class sessions as a container of space for group activities, whole class collaborations, presentations, and discussions. Students had more pathways to engagement with the course content and each other. Dr. Gaudino’s journey has taken her from a place where she hardly used a computer at all to one where it’s now a central tool in her class.
And her students love it. “Fun” isn’t always an adjective that pops up along with descriptions of theology classes but Dr. Gaudino has heard from her students that her new class design is indeed “fun.” And she’s also gotten a lot of thank you’s for making course content relevant to the lives of students.
To get her course ready for this new format, Dr. Gaudino spent a summer school session going back to her office after class to record her lectures when they were fresh in her mind. It was a very “straight forward process” she said. For someone who views herself as “computer illiterate,” she learned to navigate a variety of programs that added a lot of variety to ways she could interact with her students.
“I had to be willing to be uncomfortable,” Dr. Gaudino said. “I had to put myself in a space where I was not the expert. Once I did that, I found I could learn enough to use these things in a meaningful way.”
Full episode transcript available in PDF format
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UP TechTalk is a bi-monthly podcast with cohosts Ben Kahn and Maria Erb of Academic Technology Services that explores the use of technology in the classroom one conversation at a time. Check out all of the pervious episodes in our special series The Future of Learning here. New episodes drop on the first Friday of every month during the fall semester.