Nov. 9 talk to offer ideas on large classroom teaching

Perry Samson
Perry Samson

Finding more effective ways to connect students with instructors in large lecture classes remains an ongoing challenge for many higher education institutions. But Perry Samson believes he’s on to a way to create a more active learning environment even in large lecture halls.

Samson, a professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences at the University of Michigan, will offer a free talk Nov. 9 about tools he has created for teaching large classes and data he has collected for illustrating their effectiveness. The lecture is 4 p.m. in the Nebraska Union auditorium, and is free and open to the public.

Samson has built a reputation on his many contributions to enhancing the undergraduate educational experience. In 2009, he received the University of Michigan’s inaugural Teaching Innovation Prize and in 2010 was selected as Distinguished Professor of the Year for the state of Michigan. While he conducts research specific to meteorology and air quality, his passion lies in discovering and integrating innovative uses of technology to stimulate learning.

He will show research results from multiple classrooms and disciplines showing that the deliberate use of laptops, cell phones, and other mobile devices can dramatically increase student engagement.

Samson is the creator of LectureTools, a system used at hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. Among other features, it allows students to take notes directly on lecture slides, answer questions posed by their instructor, and offer immediate feedback to instructors about their understanding of the material as it was presented. Participants are invited to bring their laptops to this talk to actively participate in Samson’s presentation.

The event is co-sponsored by the Faculty Senate Information Services and Facilities Committee and the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education.

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