Recommendations for Digital Projects
Last updated: July 21, 2020
Based on our experience, we have several recommendations that will help your students to have a successful experience in using technology. Please let us help you to structure your course assignments and integrate the technology into the learning goals of your course.
- Fundamentally, the use of technology will depend on your learning goals. Why do you want your students to learn a digital technology? How is it related to the rest of your course or discipline? How will the technology help your students to achieve the goals of the course?
- Ideally, faculty should contact R&ID a semester ahead to plan on how to incorporate digital projects into their courses (i.e., fall semester for a spring course, spring/summer for a fall course). We can assist with defining the educational goals, outlining the assignments, researching the appropriate technology, suggesting sources for research, and scheduling workshops.
- Faculty should plan to work through a pilot or draft version of the digital assignment themselves, for several reasons: a) to determine if the technology and/or project meets the educational goals of the course; b) to determine if the amount of work required to complete the project is reasonable for students; and c) to understand what the project and technology entails and how the students’ work should be evaluated.
- We recommend that you contact us by the middle of September for assistance with digital assignments in fall semester classes, and by the end of January for assistance with spring semester classes. The more time we have to plan, the better will be the experience of using technology for your students.
- We do not recommend implementing a technology project within the last month of the semester. Students will already be busy and will not have time to learn how to use the technology, research their topics, or complete a thoughtful, competent assignment.
- It is not advisable to create an assignment in which students are given the freedom to choose which technology they would like to use. In addition to the issues surrounding provision of services and equipment, students often do not know what is entailed with any given technology. Lacking experience and information, they may make choices and only later realize that working in their chosen technology is not feasible. Please choose one technology for the major digital assignment and we will work with students to give them in-depth training in that technology so that they can complete a good project.
- Even if you have worked with us before and feel that you are “doing the same thing,” please contact us at the start of the semester to discuss the proposed project. We may need to modify how we will provide instruction, what technologies we can support, whether we can meet with students, and any other issues that have changed.
- If we provide in-class or live online instruction, faculty should be present during the training in order to answer students’ questions about the assignment, content, etc.