Undergraduate students who also serve as academic support assistants as part of the C.T. Bauer College Tutoring Services had the opportunity to present during two workshops about their work alongside their faculty mentor Dr. Emese Felvégi at the day-long Innovative Teaching And Learning At A Distance conference sponsored by the Learning, Design, and Technology program area in the UH College of Education and Faculty and Departmental Instructional Support (FDIS).
The workshops highlighted how educational technologies are used to engage students in the Introduction to Computers and Management Information Systems course and related tutoring hours dedicated to serving students as they acquire and improve information and computer literacy skills. The academic support assistants discussed using technologies that include the Blackboard Collaborate online learning solution and the innovative Microsoft Surface Hub interactive whiteboard.
Management major Lois Hamburger, accounting and management information systems (MIS) major Bhavna Kaparaju, computer information systems major Melyssa Navarro, and MIS major Palemon Soto presented their work with Dr. Felvégi to faculty and staff to highlight best practices from the classroom and the tutoring lab. Part one of the workshop titled Multimodal Engagement of Diverse Learners in the Digital Age focused on engaging groups of students using the Microsoft Surface Hub, part two of the workshop titled Tools to Increase Student Engagement in the Digital Age described experiences with online tutoring using Blackboard Collaborate, as well as the advantages of using lecture capture, pencasting, and Kahoot! as part of coursework.
“Presenting at the UHITLD Conference was a great opportunity to provide a student’s perspective on student learning. I feel I have a unique position as a student tutoring and assisting others. I feel that I have direct insight into student expectations, goals, challenges, weaknesses, and strengths. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to speak in front of people from other colleges as a representative of the student body. I hope I provided clarity into the perspective of students and those who attended have a deeper understanding of students in the digital age.” – Lois Hamburger
“I enjoyed the opportunity of presenting at the UHITLD Conference because it helped me share how I used technology to help students learn based on their individual learning styles and my experiences being a teaching assistant for MIS 3300. I love seeing the moment when a student understands a concept whether we are using the hub, through a workshop, or personalized office hours. It’s important to include technology to help students learn because we are moving towards an era that will just be more digitized. I hope I inspired the leaders of UH, and am excited to present in future conferences,” Bhavna Kaparaju mentioned.
“It is important to share perspectives on how some students learn best. For me, the use of the Surface Hub has been invaluable in getting through to students who might be getting lost in the process of doing functions like VLOOKUP. The Hub isn’t something as easy to overlook as writing on the whiteboard, and students really understand certain concepts better with more interactive methods like it. As a student who took the class this past Spring semester, I found it useful to use my perspective to help those taking the class. It was a wonderful experience to present this information at the conference,”Melyssa Navarro said.
“I am grateful in having the opportunity to share the different available tools that allow us to personalize the learning experiences for each student we come across. The UHITLD conference allowed us to present tools that exemplify the diverse learning apparatuses available at the University of Houston. From the HUB, which allowed us to present to medium sized groups with a more personal touch, to BlackBoard Collaborate that allows us to reach our commuter students, which is the majority of UH students, and many other tools that allow us to provide custom learning experiences,” Palemon Soto stated.
Dr. Felvégi noted that she has a very strong pool of former students returning to work for Bauer Tutoring Services and the Department of Decision and Information Sciences in the C. T. Bauer College of Business to support incoming students as they navigate coursework, complete assignments, and pick up skills to become lifelong learners.
“It’s been terrific to see the tutors connect with our students in meaningful ways with in the lab with the Hub or through Collaborate. Their work adds tremendous value and helps not only them, but their tutees to become more confident in their skills with productivity tools and altogether academically.”