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How Professor Lindert Uses Doceri in Her Chemistry Classes

Dr. Lisa Lindert is one of those bubbly, crazy-smart science professors that most of us only wish we had in college. With access to increasingly better forms of technology for teaching, Dr. Lindert is enthusiastic about using technology to foster student learning. So it was no surprise that Dr. Lindert was an early adopter of Doceri. She started using Doceri in her university chemistry classes last March at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

When I asked her about her initial experiences using Doceri, Dr. Lindert explained that her first reaction was that Doceri is“fun to use.” She went on to say, “My students seem to like it. I’m working on getting the writing the right size, the speed and timing right as well, but it’s going well.”

Dr. Lisa Lindert, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Cal Poly, SLO

After some practice and reflection, Dr. Lindert identified three general methods or modes for how she is using Doceri to teach. In her first attempts, she created her own presentations in Doceri using the drawing tool exclusively. In this case, she would work problems, give outlines, and present basic content. After she felt comfortable with this method of lesson development and presentation, she started creating several short presentation files that are a mix between Doceri drawings and Powerpoint presentations, some of which she had previously written. She annotated over her Powerpoint files before class, and then replayed the drawing during class for her students, while she verbally explained her slides and annotations. With both of these methods, she prepares her presentation in Doceri entirely in advance and then talks through them in class, leaving her free to move around the classroom and interact more with her students.

Her third method of using Doceri in her chemistry classrooms is to create Powerpoint presentations ahead of time, and then present them through Doceri in class, so she can mark them up, live, in response to her students comments and questions. She likes this method because, “I could type out the problems more clearly, pass out blank copies to students to work on their own, and then I wrote on the screen to work out the answers. I loved the different colors I could use with the pens so that I could easily use many colors in my presentation.” With practice, she has found that it is easier for her to work with shorter lessons and examples than planning a full hour’s lesson exclusively in a single Doceri file. “I have started making a lot of little examples and presentations and linking them together in class; it allows me to be more flexible.”

She says that Doceri “really frees me at the front of the classroom, and it lets me use Powerpoint actively rather than passively. That’s nice. I’m no longer chained to my overhead [projector] as well.”

I was very excited to learn that Dr. Lindert has even more plans for using Doceri in the future. “After getting used to this in my classroom, I would like to start making short summary videos for my classes. To do them correctly I may make this a summer project as I am teaching the same class this summer and will have this quarter’s work to build on. That way, they will be good quality, and I can reuse them. I’m starting to dream up new ways to use this.” We look forward to checking in with Dr. Lindert later to learn more about her progress on this project. Stay tuned.

Dr. Lisa M. Lindert, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Contact her at llindert@calpoly.edu

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