Teaching from 32,000 feet

Craig Roberts says hello from the plane Dr. Craig Roberts is unstoppable. When a flight delay prevented him from reaching his class in person, he fired up his arsenal of technology and ran the class from his airline seat. How?

Dr. Roberts is teaching Neurobiology of Learning and Memory using Team-Based Learning; his students begin each unit by testing their preparation initially individually and then as teams. How well does this work when the instructor is over Illinois and the students are in a Duke classroom? Pretty well.

Class began with each student taking a quiz individually, followed by a team quiz to answer the same  questions in Learning Catalytics. Dr. Roberts monitored student answers using the instructor view Students in Dr. Roberts courseof Learning Catalytics on his computer screen in his passenger seat.

Screen from Dr. Roberts' airline seat

As the students wrapped up the team quiz, he monitored a chat window to answer student questions. After students had completed both individual and team questions, Dr. Roberts used Google docs (with group chat) to show images from the online text, accompanied by his explanations and student questions in the chat window.

Screenshot of google doc with image from text and google chat window

Students routinely used Learning Catalytics for their individual and team assessments throughout the semester.  However, they were used to having Dr. Roberts in the classroom, so he included a friendly selfie in the Google Doc they used for discussion. The students returned the favor by gathering for a picture they shared with him.

Students in Dr. Roberts course

Students then accessed Sakai to get their team assignments while Dr. Roberts monitored the chat window for questions. Finally, each student team created a six second long looping video (see examples) to summarize the concepts.

There is no word on how well the passengers in neighboring seats understood synaptic plasticity after the flight.

2 thoughts on “Teaching from 32,000 feet

  1. Ademir

    Dr. Craig Roberts is the best. An incredible experience.

  2. V Cube

    That’s awesome! That shows true passion for his craft and of course his knowledge and arsenal of technology.

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