Starting Strong

Technology Adds Value in Lima First-Year Survey Courses
Courtney A. Roeder
Student Retention Coordinator, Ohio State Lima
At a Glance: 
  • Ohio State Lima students used technology in small ways throughout their first-year survey class.
  • Technology use helped students get comfortable using their iPads and academic tools.
  • Courtney Roeder encouraged creative expression and deeper exploration through technology.

Integrating technology throughout your course can sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. When Courtney Roeder learned she would be teaching a section of the first-year survey course she knew integrating technology was important and decided that she would find small ways throughout the course to weave it in.

“I wanted students to know more than how to check their emails and social media on their iPads so I started to incorporate them into every aspect of the course,” said Roeder.

Throughout the semester, Roeder explored resources available to her through Digital Flagship and began integrating them into her lessons. 

“When we talked about how to schedule advising appointments we went through how to add the appointment to their calendars, how to search courses on schedule planner, and how to use Notability and other university resources to prepare for the advising appointment,” said Roeder. “I used tools such as Kahoots quizzes at the end of each class to see if they understand the material.”

In addition to modeling the use of digital tools in her course, Roeder encouraged her students to use technology for creative expression and to try new things. Students tried out tools like Adobe Spark and garage band for assignments, one even drew the images for her PowerPoint slides using digital drawing apps on their iPad. 

“As I see students progress through the course not only do I teach them how to use technology, they also teach me tips and tricks. It creates more of a learning community in the course than a traditional teacher to student lecture,” said Roeder. “The mistakes that I made (even in front of the class) only made me want to learn how to use technology more.”

Since her first days teaching the first-year survey course, Courtney Roeder has gone on to coordinate all survey courses at Ohio State Lima and has brought what she learned to the full program.

“This work matters to me because these are skills that students will use beyond their academic career at Ohio State. These skills will be used in every career and sector.” 

Final words of advice from Courtney Roeder?

“Don’t hold yourself back from accomplishing your goals. Ask questions, watch the training video for the 30th time in a row, reach out to Digital Flagship. You’re only going to better yourself, enhance student engagement, and build a stronger campus community.”

Try it in your course 

You can find lots of resources on the Digital Flagship website, but here are a few ways to get started.