We’re taking a look at the Instructional Design Services department one member at a time, highlighting new ideas in instructional technology and what each IDS member can do for MCC instructors.
Contact Curtis if you’re interested in: Using ANGEL features you’re not familiar with, or if you’re having any technical difficulties with ANGEL. You can also direct students to Curtis for ANGEL support.
Curtis has a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College and a master’s of social work degree from University of Nebraska–Omaha. He came to Metropolitan Community College in 2008 and has previously worked in international development. He has been involved with sustainability issues, having led a subcommittee that helped design the Pass to Class transit program, which provides bus passes for students, as well as the Fort campus’ Green Bikes initiative. Here’s a brief interview with him on how IDS helps MCC instructors.
What does IDS do for instructors?
We help with using technology in the classroom, including running the online course system, ANGEL, which is increasingly used in on-campus classes. We also train instructors in new technology through workshops in how to use things like iPads and ANGEL and other online tools for teaching and productivity.
What is your specific role within IDS?
Call me if you want to learn how to do something in ANGEL or if something doesn’t seem right with ANGEL. You can also refer students to me when they have a problem—we’re here to back you up.
As a systems admin, I make sure ANGEL is running and that it’s up to date. We test it to make sure its working properly. When it’s not, we fix it or sometimes get support from Blackboard (the company that owns the ANGEL framework).
Why should instructors use a learning management system like ANGEL?
It’s the state-of-the-art—many students come to college having used a LMS. It creates possibilities and conveniences for teachers and students—it provides an online gradebook so students don’t have to wait, and they can have independent access to grades or class-related content.
You can hold discussions outside of class hours, or you can continue in-class discussions outside class time through ANGEL, keep a list of links to online resources, and have students take tests at their convenience, or at a time you choose.
Online chats outside of class hours—virtual office hours—and on-campus instructors can still make themselves available, which is pretty cool.
Also for convenience, you can create a digital dropbox for students’ work, and grade items all together.
We’re also seeing a much bigger trend of using multimedia in the classroom. ANGEL can keep it all together, and provide a way for students to turn in their own audio and visual content.
How can an instructor get started with using ANGEL?
Instructors who want to use ANGEL for the first time should contact their dean. If the course is to be online and the dean agrees, the dean should assign the instructor a mentor to orient the instructor to online instruction and ANGEL.
If it’s to be an on-campus class, the dean’s office will code the course as one that uses ANGEL. The instructor can contact IDS for technical assistance with ANGEL if desired.