Higher Education

What defines a great professor? “Playing in the Sandbox: Conversations in Pedagogy” is a podcast series that answers this question with one word: play. Most will agree that the best professors and instructors of higher education are those who promote (and exemplify) passion, curiosity, exploration, experimentation, and the willingness to fail and try again. In other words, as this podcast argues, the best professors are those who meaningfully and thoughtfully play.

Episodes

November 30, 2021

Serious Games

In this episode, Trinity's The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) dive deeper into one form of game-based learning: serious games!

 

We start by defining what we mean by serious games, which are games wherein the content and skills being used by the players have an explicit and direct educational relationship to the course itself. We explore different types of serious games that you can incorporate into your courses, discuss the importance of agency and choice in creating a gameful experience (as opposed to merely an interactive one), and think about the importance of reflection in building meaning between what happens in play and what is happening in the more traditional portions of the course.

 

This episode is perfect for anyone looking for new, fun, and meaningful ways to help students understand complex and important concepts and practice challenging and valuable skills!

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In this episode, podcast co-host Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) interviews Donovan de Hoog (Post-Baccalaureate Fellow and TaP Coordinator) about The Collaborative's student-faculty partnership program: Tigers as Partners (TaP). 

We discuss the unique benefits of TaP and the ways that participating in this program allows faculty to systematically incorporate the student perspective into their teaching. Looking at the many ways that a TaP partnership can be tailored to the pedagogical needs of a specific faculty member, Donovan shares some of the ways that TaP student interns work with faculty to provide insight into class dynamics, bridge the gap between students and faculty, conduct mid-semester feedback, and even do some light research into evidence-based pedagogical practices.

We end our conversation by encouraging all faculty interested in continuing to refine their craft of teaching to reach out to The Collaborative (collaborative@trinity.edu) to learn more about the program and to sign up for next semester!

 

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September 8, 2021

Games for Learning

In this episode, Trinity's The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) dive deeper into one form of game-based learning: Games for Learning (G4L)!

 

We start by defining G4L, which are games that you bring into your courses less because of the content of the games and more as a vehicle for teaching (and letting students practice) key skills and concepts. We quickly discuss how G4L can be used across the curriculum and for a variety of course goals before moving into five case studies of how we've used games in our own classes to facilitate conversations on everything from implicit bias to the importance of strong transitions in essays. With each case study, we discuss the types of games we used, the issues we were working to address through game play as well as the three scaffolding steps needed to build meaningful play (setting up for the concepts being explored and the game being played, playing the game, and then creating opportunities for reflection and application).

 

This episode is perfect for anyone looking for new, fun, and meaningful ways to help students understand complex and important concepts and practice challenging and valuable skills!

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In this episode, The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) discuss three different concepts--games for learning, serious games, and gamification--that all fit under the bigger umbrella term of game-based learning (GBL).

This episode is perfect for those who want to learn more about GBL as well as for those who are looking for ways to incorporate more elements of GBL into their new or existing courses. We talk about path/pace, structure, narrative, leveling, roles, incentives, and technology and the easy (and more complex) ways these can be incorporated into a gamified course or even just a gamified unit of a course.

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In this special episode, The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) discuss their impressions and thoughts of the final third (pp. 132-end of book) of Julie Schumacher's 2014 novel Dear Committee Members.

 

What did you think of the novel's conclusion? What are your feelings about how things wrap up with Jay? Now that you've read the entire novel, what are your thoughts?

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In this special episode, The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) discuss their impressions and thoughts of the first third (pp. 66-131) of Julie Schumacher's 2014 novel Dear Committee Members.

 

What did you think of the middle part of this novel? What surprised you? What are you looking forward to seeing (or not seeing) in the final portion of the book?

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In this special episode, The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) discuss their impressions and thoughts of the first third (pp. 1-65) of Julie Schumacher's 2014 novel Dear Committee Members.

 

What did you think of the first third of the novel? What surprised you?

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In this episode, The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) explore how mental health practices can be themselves intellectually invigorating and how incorporating these practices into your courses can drastically impact your and your students' learning. 

Starting with discussing our own needs as teachers, we explore explicit ways that you can draw attention to and support mental health through your syllabi, in-class interactions, and out-of-class activities.

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In this episode, The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) go a bit meta...as we talk about why podcasting is a perfect medium for helping students both engage with course content and create meaningful, dynamic coursework.

Sharing ten ideas for bringing podcasts into your course, we discuss everything from how you can bring in smaller activities like flash podcasting during class time to how you can incorporate podcasting in big projects like the traditional term paper. We also talk through some of the concerns and questions people often have regarding assigning podcasting in their classes.

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January 12, 2021

Lecture Awesomeness

In this episode, The Collaborative hosts Dr. Katherine Troyer (Assistant Director) and Dr. Lauren Malone (Academic Technologist) explore how our lectures can become something that students don't just tolerate but are actually excited to experience in our courses. 

Suggesting that the key is to build in student buy-in, we talk about switching around the order of our class periods (think of lectures as dessert!), harnessing the power of storytelling, and incorporating active learning into our lectures. 

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