Dr. Matthew Hooley, visiting Assistant Professor in the English department, sat down to chat with us about how he has been using WordPress as a new tool for communicating with students.
Hooley was looking for new an effective ways to get in touch with his students and to connect with them on a deeper, more personal level. In thinking about using technology available to him, Hooley looked at using WordPress, Confluence Wiki and Woodle. After consulting with Instructional Technologists, he chose Wooster’s open installation of WordPress called Voices.
Prior to using Voices, Hooley found that there has always been a large amount of pressure on the “one-on-one” meetings professors have with students. These meetings, while productive, can put pressure on both students and professors, hoping to get through a large amount of work accomplished in a limited amount of time. One of the perks that Hooley found by using Voices is the fact that sharing information between professor and student is very easy and instantaneous. Hooley believes that it has been much easier for him to track his advisees through the week, as well as give comments for instant feedback. Using Voices has transformed an short hour-long meeting into a constant flow of improvement and advice.
As an advocate for environmental awareness, Hooley believes that Voices not only eliminates the “paper trail” commonly associated with many professors teaching style, it becomes a type of ecologically friendly “bag of tricks” for after college. Not only does Voices/WordPress incorporate the written text, but can also include audio, as well as video elements into a project. With the inclusion of a multitude of mediums, Voices helps move away from having a project simply become a paper. A Voices blog is something that students can show employers as a way to show research methods as well as new and innovate project aspects.
Interested in using Voices/WordPress like Dr. Hooley? Members of the Wooster community can create a Voices blog in seconds at: http://voices.wooster.edu/register
Questions? Contact Instructional Technology (firstname.lastname@example.org, or extension x3883.)