Great Teaching at University of Michigan

Josepha Kurdziel, ( from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, LSA, demonstrated and discussed her use of the wireless classroom response systems to involve students in active learning and critical thinking in large lectures at the CRLT IT Luncheon on Friday February 4, 2005.

You can see her PowerPoint presentation (in note form) and watch a preview, and/or an edited version of the presentation.

PowerPoint notes - .pdf (48 KB)
Preview of Presentation- (3.7 MB - 1.51 minutes)
IT Luncheon Presentation - (74.3 MB - 33.21 minutes)

Get QuickTime Player


Joanna Millunchick, College of Engineering, creates screencasts in order to provide thorough explanations of homework, quiz, and exam solutions, as well as the “Muddiest Points,” as determined by student feedback collected at the end of each unit.  She is using a software program (Camtasia) that records audio and a visual of her use of a tablet PC, so she can write on the screen and switch between multiple explanations of confusing concepts available online.

A preliminary study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of these resources, especially the screencast of the Muddiest Points. Students who responded to the end-of-term survey believed that Muddiest Point screencasts were helpful. One student commented, “Screencasts are great because it shows topics that the professor finds important and is a great resource to use to study for the exam. Also, even if I understand the concept, hearing important material one more time in a new way is always extremely helpful.”

Thad Polk, LSA - Psychology, teaches in a large auditorium where an automated lecture capture system is not currently available. For several semesters, he has been using ProfCast to record his lectures and make the recordings available to students via iTunes U in CTools. From the Ctools course site, students can download recordings for playback on their personal computers or iPods. Students in Professor Polk’s classes appreciate having podcasts available and consider them a great tool for studying, reviewing, and catching up. They also enjoy the flexibility that the technology provides, allowing students to review past lectures whenever and wherever they prefer.


Mika LaVaque-Manty, LSA - Political Science, began experimenting with lecture podcasts in 2006. He mainly uses podcasts in his large introductory courses, although he has used them at the 400-level, as well. He uses Profcast, a college-licensed, shareware application for the Mac. Profcast requires no additional equipment beyond a laptop because it resides on the same machine as the lecture presentation. It captures both the presentation slides--whether PowerPoint or Keynote--and syncs them with the audio. Professor LaVaque-Manty twice created a podcast-only lecture when he had to cancel the live lecture.


Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Michael Haithcock is well-known beyond U-M as a great conductor. He has garnered widespread acclaim for directing the world-class University of Michigan bands, he has commissioned and recorded numerous new musical works, and he is much in demand as a guest conductor.  Given this high profile, it might be easy to lose track of the fact that he's also an outstanding teacher of student musicians right here at the University of Michigan. As a teacher of conducting and director of student ensembles at U-M since 2001, Haithcock has gained a reputation as a professor who devotes extraordinary amounts of time to his individual students. He meets one-on-one with every member of the Symphony Band each semester, attends the senior recital of every band student, and writes scores of recommendation letters annually. Read more »