E.C. Moore Symposium CN Workshop: Educators Helping Educators

On Friday, March 5, 2015 CourseNetworking made an appearance at the faculty E.C. Moore Symposium, located in the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus Center. A CN Workshop was led by IUPUI’s own Andrew Gavrin- physics professor and Jim Marrs and Kathy Marrs- biology professors.

Presenters: Andy Gavrin, Kathy Marrs, Jim Marrs
How would you define engagement? Andrew Gavrin started by prompting his colleagues with this question, following up with “How would you measure the engagement of your students?” After taking responses from the audience Andy answered with “I know my students are engaged when they start relating the subject to life simultaneously.” The CN Workshop and faculty presenters encouraged instructors in all fields to venture out and utilize the platform to further engage students through social learning. Numerous features were brought to the audience’s attention, as the professors were able to give real world examples and insight into the way they conduct their courses and reward their students on CourseNetworking.

Andy Gavrin shared with fellow educators examples from his own courses. He showcased his physics students and how they have enjoyed CourseNetworking. While demonstrating the task tool, Gavrin reflected on a particular post where the student had applied physics to their everyday life. The student had posted on the physics course page and explained how physics related to gym machinery, and movement because that student enjoyed exercising. Gavrin used this example to relay how CourseNetworking was engaging and inspiring his students to actively learn and share with each other.

Kathy Marrs explained how she is able to use the CN for all of her classroom needs. As a professor of 400+ biology students, Marrs understands how hard it can be to engage students and to encourage them to interact together. CourseNetworking was the answer for her courses and she delightedly expressed how easily her students adjusted to the site and how encouraging they are towards one another through their posts and polls.

Workshop presenter Jim Marrs
explaining the use of CN in his classes.
Biology Professor, Jim Marrs specifically mentioned that he enjoyed the Anar Seed reward system and how it has provided his students- even upper level graduate students, with incentives to come out of their shells and have fun in their courses. Jim explained that having a large lecture class can eliminate student interaction and really getting to know students, however, on the CN he can see which student posts what, their self-made profile and how they are interacting- making for a much more memorable experience. Jim shared tips with his colleagues about getting older students involved through the social learning platform by using the Poll tool, providing Anar Seeds for extra credit or simply having them post an ‘about me’ to their classmates. Jim’s experience in teaching multiple level courses on CN showed the audience how CN can help bridge the gap and keep students of all ages engaged.

Involved audience members receiving
assistance from Jim Marrs.
The CN Workshop covered Tasks, Anar Seeds, GradeBook, global posts, Posts and Polls just to name a few. Participants in the workshop were encouraged to create their own posts onsite and review any tools that may prompt any questions. Faculty presenters, Andrew Gavrin, Kathy Marrs and Jim Marrs showed enthusiasm about CN and what it can offer to instructors and learners worldwide. The CN workshop was a great way to showcase these benefits.

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