Keeping in Touch
Susan Strasser, History, has found e-mail and electronic discussion forums make an immense contribution to the way she teaches.
Strasser, who commutes to campus from Washington, D.C., finds that e-mail allows her to be accessible to her students even though she is on campus only three days a week. My students know I read e-mail several times a day, every day, Strasser said. Like many faculty, Strasser collects some assignments from her students electronically, either in e-mail or in an online discussion forum.
In History 206, in particular, she uses an online discussion forum to get her students to react to a variety of material on the web. I have always used primary sources when I teach. The web provides a vast number of primary texts and images that students can view.
In fact, I have to teach the students the research and evaluation skills to reign in the resources that are available, she said. Each week, students must post a response to the course readings in our discussion forum. Interestingly, the students do respond to each others posts, too.
Strasser said she finds that this online class participation helps all her students join the dialog that evaluating primary historical sources requires. Some students are good in class discussion; others are quiet in class discussion but make valuable contributions in the online forum, she said.
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Online class participation helps all her students join the dialog that evaluating primary historical sources requires.
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