Commitment 5: Innovation in Instruction

In Texas, all undergraduates at public institutions of higher learning are required to take two courses in U.S. history. At the University of Houston, these survey courses are typically offered in sections of 500 students or more without discussion labs.

To overcome the depersonalization such "mega-classes" produce, I have developed a number of innovative technologies to connect students and faculty and to enhance student learning:
  1. Virtual discussion labs that employ one-way audio, a white board, a polling device, and instant messenging.

  2. Polling which allows me to assess student comprehension.

  3. Whiteboards which allow students to compare and contrast essays written by their classmates.

  4. Digital Storytelling through which students create multimedia "movies" combining narration and a variety of audio and visual resources.