Professor Kristopher LaMorte, a distinguished faculty member at Delgado Community College, has pioneered innovative teaching methods in his Introduction to Theatre course since 2004. LaMorte has continuously adapted his teaching style to meet student's needs, as evidenced when he moved the Introduction to Theatre course online in response to the campus closing after Hurricane Katrina. Over the years, as he sought educational technology tools to engage learners, PlayPosit (a WeVideo product) became a helpful choice.
LaMorte’s primary objectives in moving the course online included:
- Enhancing student engagement: LaMorte aimed to actively engage learners in theatre arts, making it accessible and exciting for students from various disciplines.
- Adapting to online education: The course moved online after Hurricane Katrina. A key objective was to overcome the challenges of remote learning and keep the content engaging and interactive. Successful online learning may consist of the same content, but how students access and interact with the content needs to be considered.
- Innovative teaching methods: Continuously seeking new ways to deliver content online effectively to maintain quality of education and student interest.
To overcome the limits of online teaching, LaMorte experimented with various edtech tools. Specifically, when it came to the use of video, he started with video lectures on YouTube to maintain a personal connection with his students. Upon discovering PlayPosit, he integrated this tool to enhance his lectures with interactive elements. The bulbs (PlayPosit’s word for interactive videos) he created included brief, engaging interactions interspersed within lectures to reinforce learning and maintain student interest.
The transition to an online learning format has ultimately been successful. Key indicators include:
- Enhanced student engagement: The integration of PlayPosit increased student interaction and made the online course more dynamic and engaging.
- Adaptation to online learning: LaMorte’s transition to online teaching and use of PlayPosit demonstrated a successful adaptation to the challenges of remote education. He continuously improved lecture length and adjusted for best practices with online delivery.
- Course and teaching innovations: Interactive video lectures and content delivery proved effective. LaMorte continued to innovate by including multiple types of interactions.
LaMorte’s journey highlights the importance of adaptability in education. His willingness to embrace new technologies and teaching methods demonstrates a commitment to student engagement and effective learning. His experience with PlayPosit is a valuable case study for educators facing similar challenges in online learning environments.