Panelist: Derek Prate

 

 Instructor

Fowler School of Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Research Area (or Specialization):

Game Development and Virtual Reality

Relevant course(s) name/number, approx. number of students, and short description

Unity Multiplayer and Networking (Interterm 2019) – ~15 students, Learning basic concepts of multiplayer networking and development in the Unity Game Engine

Visual Programming (236-01 & 236-02) – ~60 students, Learning basics of C# scripting in Visual Studio.

Teaching or learning problem/challenge that made you rethink your learning model or approach or try something new

Group Projects – I really wanted to find a way to more efficiently get information to groups as they each work on different projects with different needs in my classes.

Discussions – I want to keep the conversation going outside of class, regarding what we are working on our ideas we have for challenging one another and improving our designs.

How you addressed that challenge (if applicable, what technology, learning strategy, etc. you integrated to do so)

I used the groups feature in Canvas to create specific groups for each team. From here, I was able to filter specific assignments to each group. I was still able to engage my entire class through discussions in Canvas, which allowed visibility of each group’s methods and progress from beyond the classroom. Another benefit of the discussions was it allowed other teams to still learn about the other teams games, without requiring class time for a demonstration or explanation.

How students responded, any challenges, and lessons learned

Students seem to prefer the Canvas app to Blackboard, with discussions being a particular strength for Canvas here. I’ve been trying to use discussions this year and had trouble with students not knowing where to go in blackboard to find a discussion. On Canvas, the discussion is listed next to their assignments so it’s more visible to students and easier to access. The app allows the user to post discussions, which was something students really struggled with using blackboard.