Both as co-instructor and as the leader of a teaching team, I facilitated this graduate teacher training program that introduces participants to digital tools and technologies to use in their teaching and research. Participants are introduced to digital tools, discuss practical and theoretical models for digital scholarship, and receive assistance in developing materials for their own courses and research.
Participants were generally positive about their learning experience. For the 2019 iteration, six out of seven respondents ranked the course meeting their expectations as a five on a five-point Likert scale. Participants enjoyed the tool walk-throughs the most as an instruction style, with three out of the seven respondents specifically naming Tableau as a useful workshop. One participant wrote that “the class taught me more about teaching and digital tools in 1/2 a semester than I learned in almost 5 years of graduate study.” Another participant wrote that the “pedagogy classes were great, and I learned a lot (despite having taking multiple pedagogy courses before).”
As we continued to improve the course offering, open work time still seemed to be the least preferred instruction style (28.6%) and needed to be limited more. We may need to provide more support from the teaching team during tool walkthroughs to make sure participants can follow along. As an extension of the Graduate School’s teacher training, the course needs to be more accessible to scientists too. One participant requested “more science oriented digital integrations,” noting that “there were some instances where the material was too social science/humanities oriented.” The recent inclusion of learning theory in the 2019 iteration needed to be scaled back according to student feedback to make more room for tools. While preparing for TPC+R 2020 I led a teaching team to balance these needs with the makeup of the next cohort.