The Instructional Technology Center picks one faculty member (or several members) each semester to be our "focus". Thus we like to call this feature of our website the 'Focus on Faculty''. They are chosen based on their use of technology and how they incorporate that technology into their teaching.
Ms. Denise Jones
Lecturer of Psychology
Ms. Jones holds a M.A. from East Tennessee State University. Her teaching interests are Drugs and Behavior, Human Relations, and Developmental Psychology. Her research interests are Substance Abuse in Adolescents; Prenatal and Early Childhood Development; Maternal Bonding Issues
We recognize Ms. Jones for her integration of technology in the classroom and for her use of Dragon Web Surveys with an undergraduate student performing independent research.
1. Do you think using technology helps you teach better? If so, how?
I've always used technology in the classroom, so I don't see it as helping me teach better, I just see it as helping me teach (period). Most students expect the use of technology and are quite comfortable with it. Some are not, and it is sometimes a challenge to teach them how to use technology while helping them learn psychology, but in the end the student takes away more from the class than just psychology, they take away how to use technology to pursue knowledge.
2. Is there anything at UTM in regard to technology that you would like to mention that makes a difference for you as you do your job?
There are always opportunities to improve my use of technology in the classroom and for research here on this campus. Although adjustments to technologies require additional learning, the ITC staff is always willing to assist me individually, in classes, or via online tutorials. I also feel like the experts in technology here on campus stay up to speed on what's new out there and bring it back to us. This helps me do my job more effeciently and effectively.
3. What are some current things that you are doing with your courses and your students that you are particularly proud of and want the campus to know about?
I am working with a student in independent research to conduct an online survey using Dragon. We considered other survey tools, but chose Dragon because it's FREE and because there are no limits to the number of questions and responses you can get and also because there is immediate technical assistance at the ITC. The data we will collect can be easily exported to be analyzed. Again, I am teaching students to use technology to advance our science, but also to give students skills which make them competitive in their education and careers.
Another technology I use (which I always plug with other faculty) is the Chat feature on Blackboard. I teach online courses and have optional chat sessions one night a week (30 minutes or so). I usually give little to no credit for "attending", but students attend anyway because they like it. It has also greatly increased my satisfaction in teaching online and my students' satisfaction with online learning. It allows me to feel like I really know my students and that I get a feel for what they are learning or what they are struggling with in the course.
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