Although the availability of most items in the LSA Instructional Support Services (ISS) Loan Catalog is well known, there are several “hidden gems” that deserve a closer look. First, there are the i>clicker loan kits. Using clickers in class is not uncommon; however, students are usually required to purchase an i>clicker remote. While clickers may not be used during every lecture, there may be topics that would be more engaging if students could share their reactions. For such topics, the loan kits available through ISS are ideal.

ISS Loan has a variety of i>clicker kits, with some that include 25 student remotes and some that include 50 student remotes. Reserving all the available kits would provide enough clickers for a class of up to 300 students. Also, if an instructor is nervous about using the technology, ISS can assist in class to make sure the plan goes smoothly.

Some ideas for using i>clickers include:

  • Exploratory questions to probe students’ basic knowledge
  • Challenge questions to interrogate assumptions, conclusions or interpretations
  • Relational questions to ask for comparisons of themes, ideas, or issues
  • Diagnostic questions to better understand motives or causes
  • Action questions to call for a conclusion or action
  • Cause-and-effect questions to ask for causal relationships between ideas, actions, or events
  • Extension questions to expand the discussion
  • Hypothetical questions to pose a change in the facts or issues
  • Priority questions to seek to identify the most important issue(s)
  • Summary questions to elicit synthesis

Other examples of “hidden gems” are the digital audio and video recorders and cameras. Although the loan collection includes some more sophisticated tools, we also have models that are relatively easy to use and portable. So, for instance, an instructor could add a small project in which students identify a topic of interest related to the course and work together to conduct informal interviews of subject area experts, either on campus or in the community. Students working on presentations could record their rehearsal to identify problem areas and gain confidence.

Finally, ISS has a collection of iPads that are perfect for project or team-based learning activities or for activities where students need to produce media. Combined with basic equipment, such as simple cameras, microphones, and other portable equipment, students can have all the resources necessary to create a presentation or media project that enables them to apply basic course concepts. ISS Loan Centers are located on the ground floor in Mason Hall and on the second floor in the Modern Languages Building. Come explore!  

Instructors interested in exploring options for a course can stop by a Loan Center to speak with staff or schedule an appointment with an ISS Learning Technologies Consultant.