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K-State Today

October 20, 2016



Architecture professor presents papers at two national teaching conferences

By Mick Charney

Mick Charney, associate professor of architecture and university distinguished teaching scholar, presented "Using Collaborative Social Media Projects to Construct Course Content" at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Acknowledging that the use of laptops in classrooms and the surfing of social media sites often divert our students' attention away from the sustained pursuit of knowledge, Charney contended that these sites nevertheless possess tremendous latent educational power when instructors and students together use them to construct course content.

Charney demonstrated how classes, especially seminars, can be retooled to accommodate students' affinity for networking so that they themselves — using a variety of social media sites — create a substantial amount of that course content. The result is an eminently useable repository of interconnected information that everyone can share.

Charney also presented "Lecture Me? Lecture Me! First-Year Students' Perceptions of Large Classes" at the Students in Transition Conference, Oct. 15-17, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Utilizing results from his 2015 survey of more than 500 K-State undergraduates, Charney discussed the attitude of first-year students toward large lecture classes. While students overall are not as averse to large classes as one might suspect, it turns out that first-year students in particular generally hold more positive perceptions of large classes than any other cohort group. Indeed, they value expertly delivered lectures as much as any form of more active engagement. However, Charney's survey also revealed that this positivity starts to wane almost as soon as students transition to the sophomore year. 

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