Jeanette Ruiz at May 4th DOLCE

Audio and Video from DOLCE May 4th- Now Available!

Dear Faculty,

May 4th’s DOLCE featured James Carey, distinguished professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, and Jeanette Ruiz, a lecturer in the Department of Communication.

James Carey’s presentation, “Advanced PowerPoint Techniques: Examples from across the disciplines,” focused on effective principles for faculty to use in their teaching and dissemination of research. James Carey focused especially on design principles, noting that “design is a requirement, not a cosmetic addition.”

Jeanette Ruiz’s presentation, “Moving Online: Some lessons learned,” focused on her experience transforming her interpersonal communication course into a hybrid version, which has already launched, and a fully online version, which will be offered for the first time during the summer of 2018. Jeanette Ruiz offers practical solutions and examples of how to integrate both interaction and a feeling of connection with the instructor when moving a course online. Her talk emphasizes the iterative design of online courses and highlights how she used student feedback to refine and improve her course over multiple iterations.

If you were unable to attend (or would like to revisit), the audio and video are available here. In addition, one of our talented Communications Interns, Mariana Galindo-Vega, was able to attend and take notes which are now also available below.


Alex Rockey

May 4, 2018 DOLCE Notes

Notes from May 4th, 2018 DOLCE

Covering: Powerpoint and Canvas: Innovative new strategies

Presenter: James Carey

Dept of Entomology

    • Old Style technology works wonderfully
    • Researchers spend years in project and then publish
    • Putting together slides of presentation > sometimes right out of manual
    • Remember the “Apple experience”
      • Artistic
      • Elegant clean
      • Minimalist white and visual details
      • Emotional response
    • Invest necessary time in a slide preparation
    • Components of presentation
      • Info design
      • Presentation strategies (focus today)
      • Storytelling
    • Classification of animation concepts


  • Directing viewers’ gaze


      • Content management
      • Special effects


  • Directing viewers’ gaze (con’t)
  • Making it easier on the viewers
  • Usually all acquired knowledge> not taught how to do it properly
  • Helps viewer engagement
  • Purposeful design requires extra work of the faculty member, but helps the student “walk through” and understand the material
  • Content management
  • Don’t add too much content to a slide
  • “Don’t overwhelm the audience; you are walking them through”
  • Use: walking ins, decluttering strategies.


      • Alternatives to PowerPoint


  • Prezi, Keynote
  • “Is not about PowerPoint itself – project images”
  • “become a student of PowerPoint”
  • Using animation too


    • Example:
      Poetry with math, reward direct attention to the small thing and focus on process     > see the process of a math equation at the speed it takes us to write it out.
  • Focusing the attention

Presenter: Jeanette B Ruiz
Department of Communications

Case study


  • Interpersonal communication competence > class offered online.
    • Challenges:
      • long standing GE, popular,
      • Accepting the challenge of modeling interpersonal communication online when we typically model the behavior personally and gesturally
      • Keep student stakeholders in mind as you innovate
    • Assessment:
      • Development from hybrid course to fully online
      • A discussion of what is best translated to online lessons
  • Development:
    • Who is doing what piece?
    • First Hybrid and then all online
      • How to model this personal competence
      • Depend on TA’s to do the modeling
      • Consider “what does go online? What makes sense to do online and what should be done face to face?”
    • Pre-test > expect failure and move on >> give yourself the cushion!
      • Gather student feedback on their experience with the course format
        • Offer surveys, office hours, etc
    • What have other faculty done?
    • Repetition is key
    • Different perspectives (in the videos)
      • Still being able to see the instructor.
      • Use of Powtoon. Special effects.
        • Examples, plus animated.
    • You want Reactions
      • Nodding, agreements. Relatable.
    • “Talking head” journal – MIT + Cartoon use in classroom
      • Use of cartoon may be easier in some occasions
      • Cartoons in lessons signal variety, novelty to the viewer.  
  • Return on investment
    • Ex: Student = motivated > teach more effectively > students benefit
    • Students eager to discover how class will be taught > make that initial investment to figure out how to teach innovatively and effectively in hybrid and online environments.

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