Monday, April 12, 2010

Advice to Baruch College

There's quite a few things that could be done with new media to enhance the learning process not only in Baruch, but schools in general. There was one reading from several weeks ago about a professor setting up a Twitter feed for his class to post their own notes and questions related to the class.

While this would be a very practical and useful way to use Twitter , I don't think this specific method would be effective for Baruch just yet. The library does not have enough laptops for every student to borrow, and having every student buy one is out of the question (especially considering that some students are attending Baruch because of its price compared to other colleges).

This isn't to say that Twitter can't still be used, however. Having students and professors set up Twitter accounts could be useful for asking short questions, notifying each other of potential class changes/cancellations, and even brief conversations to organize events before posting a finalized decision on Blackboard.

By extension, use of Blackboard's features (other than My Grades, Course Documents, and Assignments) should also be encouraged. There's plenty of tools that can be accessed from Blackboard, but I rarely see them used at all (one of the few exceptions being this class). Even in my senior year, there's still functions of Blackboard that I didn't even know existed because no classes have ever used or mentioned them to begin with.

To make all this work, I think it would be necessary to require use of Blackboard and Twitter by all professors. It doesn't have to be extensive use, but a bare minimum of posting course documents, assignments, grades, and class changes/cancellations would at least push professors to use the functions that students tend to use the most. I've had many classes where I never received e-mails and could not find any information on Blackboard because the professors simply refused to use them. It's one thing to expect students to e-mail others for class notes when they're absent, but it's something completely different when there's no reliable way to get their e-mail addresses in the first place.

References: "The Wired Campus: Professor Encourages Students to Pass Notes During Class -- via Twitter", by Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2009


  1. I agree that more professors should use the internet. Since blackboard is available, and it allows the submission of assignments, they should use that much more. Reduce the amount of printing waste, and make it much more convenient for students and professors.

  2. So true. Most professors are not using the new media tech that we already have and that's bb. It's extremely helpful to have our grades and lectures posted there. Too bad bb has such a bad reputation =/

  3. I disagree. Most professors do use bb at least for posting class notes. I am a senior and had only one professor who did not use the bb at all. I think that most professors just prefer the traditional way of teaching and that is what makes classes so boring. If we have some technologies available why not incorporating them in the classroom for at least experiment or curiosity puprposes?

  4. I agree that Blackboard do have many more features than posting class notes and checking our grades. Most teachers are not fully use of BB.

  5. It is true that very few professors do not use blackboard, so far I have had one that I can remember. The professors who do use, they may only post class assignments and nothing more and then some that add the grades and that's it. I sometimes wish that more of the features were used. Personally, I don't think Twitter would be an effective tool, at least right now, because for one it may be hard to even find a post by a classmate or professor with all the posts from other followers. What may be more effective is Twitter incorporated in BB for class purposes, and have it opened not only to the current class section but the everyone in that department.