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Faculty share how learning technologies enhance teaching, learning

Written by

Kristin Sloane
Small Changes, Big Impact

Created by the University Teaching and Learning Technology Committee, the Small Changes, Big Impact series features UVA and UVA Wise instructors talking about the ways they’re improving the teaching and learning experience. In the videos, some faculty point to a specific learning technology that has been particularly useful in their courses, especially since the shift to online teaching. They share how these tools are promoting student engagement, helping to build community, and streamlining the grading process. Watch their stories below.

Poll Everywhere has been an easy way for School of Education and Human Development Associate Professor Ottilie Austin to give her students a preview of the material for the upcoming week. READ MORE >

Biology Assistant Professor Jessamyn Manson discovered some great opportunities after the pivot to online teaching. She would usually have students do in-person presentations in her upper level seminar course, but during the pandemic, she had them create pre-recorded presentations instead.

Manson also had to rethink how to hold effective office hours. She decided to create weekly Zoom meetings as a space for students to continue to talk to, teach, and inform each other. Manson monitored the chat and popped into the conversation if students had questions, but mainly she just hosted the meeting. These online office hours allowed more people to join and feel comfortable participating. READ MORE >

Drama Lecturer Cady Garey uses Flipgrid to encourage engagement among her students. She feels that the tool helps to create more personal and authentic conversations and give students more practice sharing their ideas in an embodied, spoken form, as opposed to traditional writing assignments. READ MORE >

McIntire Associate Professor Adam Koch realized it was taking him way too long to collect, grade, and return exams when classes transitioned online. Then he found his solution: Gradescope. This online tool allows him to streamline the grading process and also has had other unexpected benefits. READ MORE >

Despite teaching large-enrollment courses, Chemistry Assistant Professor Alicia Frantz is managing to build community among her students with the support of Microsoft Teams. She creates learning communities with 40 students and a graduate TA and each have their own page in Teams for sharing documents, getting together to study, or meeting virtually. She also uses Teams paired with OneNote for office hours. READ MORE >

If you’re interested in sharing your story, email Kristin Sloane at You can also use #smallchangesbigimpact on social media to continue the conversation.

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