In the spring of 2009, the Campus Council for Information Technology’s Educational Technology subcommittee conducted a survey about faculty use of SmartSite. They found that most faculty use SmartSite to either disseminate or collect information.
The most frequently used tools are Announcements, Resources, and Roster, with Assignments, Gradebook, Mailtool, and Syllabus claiming a close second. The frequent use of Announcements and Resources tells us that faculty use SmartSite to get information to students – either by making announcements or by posting course materials. Faculty also use SmartSite to track students (Roster, Gradebook) and to collection information from students (Assignments).
These uses indicate that SmartSite is a database – a place where information can be stored and exchanged. Can it be more? Should it be?
Teaching involves classroom lectures and homework assignments, but also includes office hours and interaction between students. In these ways, teaching is not confined to the lecture or the learning outcomes. I think we’ve all seen how those spontaneous moments allow some of the best learning to take place.
Potentially, SmartSite can help us trigger these moments for our students. Have you tried the discussion forum or the wiki or the modules? How could these tools complement the teaching you do in the classroom and the learning your students do at home?