Museum Studies

MSST 205: Science and the Detection of Art Forgeries
Adobe Captivate
Chandra Reedy
April 20, 2006


2005 Exemplary Applications Contest Winner

As Museum Studies professor Chandra Reedy has discovered, there are always new and dynamic technologies that can open up unique paths for learning. Professor Reedy, a winner of the 2005 Exemplary Applications Contest, confesses that, “the initial concept of the course that I received the award for didn't use any technology at all.”

Reedy describes the philosophy that would eventually win her the contest award; “When I first starting learning about MyCourses, I looked for ways in which I could incorporate it without making any major changes in the content of the course or in how the material was presented. The focus has always been on showing the art while talking about it, and that has always seemed to work well.” Reedy tailored her MyCourses site to augment her effective teaching style and to take advantage of the computing resources available to her students. It was a strategy that she would soon find to be very helpful; “I was having to Xerox handouts for each session, and then students were always asking for past handouts that they missed getting. That whole hassle was ended by just requiring students to go to the web site ahead of time and print one out to bring to class.”

But handouts were not the only materials that Reedy digitized for her students. Where slides are largely a static medium, the combination of MyCourses and other technologies meant that she could more readily manipulate images and make the information available on-line. “I gradually got all of my slides scanned and put into PowerPoint. That allowed me to add on arrows, titles, names of deities and place names, etc. to enhance the slides.” The integration of these tools has markedly improved the convenience of teaching the course, “It freed me from the many hours per week that I otherwise spent in retrieving and organizing the slides from the UD slide library and my own collection. I then attended a PRESENT workshop where I learned about recording lectures so they could be incorporated within MyCourses. With those recorded, I could focus on developing new activities that could supplement and enhance the lectures.”

In conjunction with University Media Services, she developed a number of RealPlayer media files that displayed her PowerPoint slideshows, featured her lectures in the soundtrack, and which could easily be loaded onto her MyCourses page. Further, the use of streaming technology meant less worry over illegal copying, “Students can go back and review any part of the lecture if they need to, skip ahead, or pause and finish later; but they can't download the images.”

Such applications by themselves would be a model use of MyCourses, but Reedy pursued further benefits that the technology offered. “Becky Kinney [PRESENT multimedia expert] helped my TA and I figure out how to create interactive tutorials and quizzes. I’ve also been able to put all of my exams online. The big advantage is that I feel I can do better exams—I can have large images in color, with questions about those images that students have to answer.” For professors of writing-intensive classes, she suggests an alternative to the traditional mode of term-paper submission, “I have some writing assignments, for which I use the MyCourses Assignment Tool. I find it actually works better than my old way of having students turn in paper copies. I can read the paper online and then fill in a box with my written comments, as well as assign the grade. And I don't have to deal with stacks of papers, or having to haul the papers of students who missed class.”

Professor Reedy foresees continued success in her use of MyCourses technology, “As I gradually build up experience with the various tools available, I can better plan out new courses.” For educators that might still be hesitant to adopt MyCourses into their curriculum, Reedy offers valuable advice, “Since it can be overwhelming to try to learn many new technology tools at once, I found the ‘slow but steady’ approach worked for me. I have gradually learned and added in new things, to the point where every course I teach makes major use of MyCourses. PRESENT and Media Services have always provided whatever help I needed and are great resources.”

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"Since it can be overwhelming to try to learn many new technology tools at once, I found the ‘slow but steady’ approach worked for me. I have gradually learned and added in new things, to the point where every course I teach makes major use of MyCourses."

—Chandra Reedy