Do TEL: Professors learn new teaching technologies

The Faculty of Arts is offering a course for all York instructors interested in learning how to use new technologies  to enhance their lectures and student learning.

The course title, Arts do TEL, refers to the goal of helping professors “do” technology-enhanced learning (TEL). Instructors with minimal Web experience are shown how to transform a regular lecture into one that uses the Web to enhance teaching. And because the course combines online units, online discussion and weekly face-to-face workshops (right), instructors experience Web-based learning first hand – and get important insight into the student perspective.

Faculty of Arts instructors who participate in Arts do TEL are granted priority technical support and a half-course release from teaching to allow them time to develop their new skills. In return, participants are asked to share their knowledge about TEL and its effect on their teaching.

“The do TEL program is an excellent opportunity to engage with both the theory and practice of teaching in the computer age, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested to explore the innovative possibilities of the new technology,” said social science Prof. James Sheptycki.

Kinesiology and health science Prof. Frances Flint says the course’s focus on student learning helped her develop her teaching skills. “The challenge to be more student-centred in pedagogy, to encourage critical thinking skills and to engage students in the learning process has brought freshness to my teaching,” she said. “Enhancing learning through technology applies equally to students and faculty.”

Instructors from other faculties have also benefited from the course. Associate Vice-President, Academic and Biology Prof. Rod Webb said, “The do TEL program was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn of methods and processes by which I could plan to transform my course from a more typical science lecture and lab format to a pedagogically sound, blended online and face-to-face experience for my students,” he said. “The introduction of methodologies that encourage increased student interaction and interactive experiences for me as the instructor was most welcome…I was very encouraged by what I learned and fully expect my course and the experiences of my students to be transformed.”

Arts do TEL is designed and delivered by York’s Centre for the Support of Teaching and Academic Technology Services. It is hosted by Avi Cohen, TEL initiatives adviser in the Faculty of Arts.

For more information, visit the Arts do TEL Web site. Deadline for applications for the fall 2005 course is June 30.

This story was submitted to YFile by Arlene Williams, researcher and writer, Faculty of Arts.