Atomic Learning

This weeks tip: TT-AtomicLearning (PDF)

Some students don’t realize that when they enroll in university-level courses they may need to employ skills that aren’t directly related to the course content. As a student, you might be required to learn something new that won’t specifically be on the final exam! Students should expect to learn and use techniques or tools that are secondary to the outcomes of a course but are necessary in order to fulfill requirements that appear in a course syllabus.

For example

Many classes require some kind of student presentation. Unless a course specifically satisfies the oral requirement for graduation, students may or may not have received any experience creating presentation material. They may even lack basic understanding on how to present their own ideas. As the instructor what can you do?

”Effective Presentation Design” (22-part training ± 32 minutes)
Software training options: “Google Presentation”, “Keynote”, “Prezi”, “Powerpoint”, “OpenOffice”

Atomic Learning is a collection of over 1000 “how-to” training videos available to all University of Alaska faculty, staff, and students. Cut between 2-3 minutes long each, the segments can be viewed individually as an overview of how to accomplish something quickly, or as a collection of tutorials comprising many sections.

As an instructor, you already have a lot of material to cover, and can’t always take precious class time to teach these techniques and strategies. Many students already have the necessary experience and can jump right in without additional help. These experiences may have been learned in a previous course, through on-the-job training, or through skills learned as part of life. But for others, these ancillary tasks might be new. Having a repository of resources for students to access can greatly enhance the classroom experience. You can provide direction for where students can find training resources on their own–Just in Time Learning!

Atomic Learning requires a computer with a web browser that supports flash. You’ll also need to log in with your university username and password (same as for accessing Blackboard or UA Google Apps).


For example

Many classes require students to prepare a research paper. While you as the instructor will be concentrating on the content of the paper, your students must learn how to format the paper using your discipline’s chosen style.

”Style Guides”
“APA (6th ed.), Research Paper Basics”, “MLA (2009 ed.) Research Paper Basics”,
“Chicago Manal of Style Training”,and why not throw in a module on  “Avoiding Plagiarism.”

One easy method to get this training in the hands of your students would be to include a link to Atomic Learning in your course syllabus as an additional resource for them.

You, as an educator, can feel good about helping your students gain life-long learning skills. And, you get better quality student work!