Associate Professor Writes Book for Online Students

Associate Professor Writes Book for Online Students

Story by Trevor GreenUAT.edu

Advances in computer technology have made education available to students far removed from a traditional classroom, with universities of all sizes instructing learners digitally – never physically interacting with their teachers. For many students, the trappings of online classes – writing papers, using course shells, submitting work – is a foreign concept that can impede academic progress.

UAT-Online Associate Professor Dr. Diane Hamilton, a longtime online instructor, recently published the book The Online Student’s User Manual to help them succeed. She was compelled to write the paperback after finding a lack of works covering frequently asked questions of first-time online learners.

“The books out there, they’re good about telling you, ‘online’s good.’ They’re good about telling you, ‘you need accredited,’ or what the other choices are or how to get financing, but they don’t tell you what you’re supposed to do,” she said.

She added: “I kept answering the same questions over and over and over, and I thought, ‘Well, how about writing a book that explains it?'”

(To learn more about Dr. Hamilton and her book, The Online Student’s User Manual, check click here.)

Hamilton develops curriculum and teaches classes like Ethics in Technology and Foresight Development for UAT-Online. Possessing a Ph.D. in business administration and career experience in corporate training, entrepreneurship and realty, she melds her years of business and technology knowledge to computer-savvy students.

With content on everything from rubrics and syllabi to essay formatting, Hamilton sees her work as a good aid for online pupils and instructors of various ages, skill levels, disciplines and educational backgrounds.

“I think the book’s a good resource, not just for new students but for people who have been in it for awhile, or even professors to know how to teach people how to do these things.”

A self-professed techie, Hamilton picked up various facets of Web 2.0 technology – including blogging and Twitter – to market the book, and she offers advice for students on her blog with tutorials using screen-recording software Camtasia and Microsoft PowerPoint. She sees the breadth of electronic tools as essential to embracing distance teaching.

“I like to embrace new technology, and I think students have to realize that [online learning] is the future.”

PowerPoint – Resources and Examples to Make the Perfect Presentation

Do you need to create a PowerPoint presentation for work, school or a YouTube video to promote your business?  Many people know the basics of how to put together a quick presentation.  But do you know how to make that presentation pop?  If you haven’t read the book Death by Powerpoint, it is an interesting read.  I can’t tell you how many PowerPoint presentations I have sat through in business meetings while suffering a slow painful death . . .  I found that many of them were either really boring or shared unnecessary information or usually both.

I teach several courses where students are required to submit their assignments as a Powerpoint presentation.  If you are considering putting together a presentation, here are some wonderfully helpful sites to get you started:

  1. http://www.meryl.net/2008/01/10/70-powerpoint-and-presentation-resources-and-great-examples/ – This site includes a very comprehensive list of 70+ PowerPoint and Presentation Resources and Great Examples.
  2. http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/41661.aspx – If you want to see some samples of more presentations, check these out from brighthub. 
  3. http://www.iasted.org/conferences/formatting/presentations-tips.ppt – This is an actual PowerPoint presentation giving tips about a PowerPoint presentation.
  4. http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/skills/presentations.aspx – Where better to find PowerPoint tips than from Microsoft . . .check out 12 tips for creating better presentations.
  5. http://www.slideshare.net/thecroaker/death-by-powerpoint – Great video:  Death by Powerpoint and how to fight it.
  6. http://elmhurst.edu/~jacobh/WorstPresentationEverStandAlone.ppt – PowerPoint presentation that calls itself Quite Possibly the Worst PowerPoint Presentation Ever.
  7. http://www.ece.wisc.edu/~kati/PresentationGuide.ppt – Terrible PowerPoint presentations presented in a PowerPoint presentation.
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR3gcCrTSzw – Youtube video from Microsoft showing new media-rich tools for PowerPoint 2010.

Once you have completed your PowerPoint presentation, why not go the extra step and add your voice for the full presentation.  I like to use Camtasia Studio.  However, you can also utilize sites like Voice Thread at http://voicethread.com/.  This site allows you to record the audio portion of your presentation without having to buy software.  You can even use your telephone to call into their system and dictate your presentation.  What is easier than that? You simply enter your phone number and their system calls you.  You have three minutes, per slide, to talk if you use their free account.  You can upgrade for $12.95 when I last checked.  When you are finished, you will get a link that you can go to in order to see and hear your presentation.