Sara Kepros is an assistant professor and a reading specialist in the English Department at Kirkwood. She is also a Professional Development Fellow for KCELT (Kirkwood Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching).
Students in her class practice effective reading for the college level, they learn strategies and tools for increasing their reading comprehension. They research a social justice issue and reflect on their reading using different strategies. Their final project is creating a digital story that represents their reading in a critical way and they present their videos to their classmates. The videos that students create often have strong messages and their presentations remain memorable to themselves and their classmates.
Sara introduced WeVideo, which is a free web-based tool for creating videos, to her students because they can use any device to create videos. For example, they could use a lab computer or personal laptops to create their videos. Sara didn’t lecture or present using the tool, but she gave the students a little instruction on what the tool is and how they can use it for their presentation.
“My philosophy of teaching is not a lecture classroom. We do a lot of group work and a lot of discussion about what we read; we debate, agree or disagree. When it came to this project I wanted to keep this philosophy intact, so with WeVideo, I didn’t do very much lecturing. Instead, I did a few mini lessons on what it looked like and a few components of it and then we jumped in with both feet and students began making their videos. Every day I began by asking what questions they had about WeVideo, or what they are struggling with. I help them myself or sometimes I asked the class who have figured this out, and they would help each other. It was cool to see that they were doing great. I was a facilitator in a group of peers who were learning with me,” Sara states.
Sara’s goal is to implement best practices in her teaching, and she successfully does it. She teaches College Reading as well as Effective Reading Strategies. She also co-facilitates the Master Teacher Program Year 3. Please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Also, if you would like to learn more about video editing tools to use in your classroom, please contact KCELT Instructional Designers Maryam Rod Szabo: (Maryam.Rodszabo@kirkwood.edu) or Wilson Rojas: (Wilson.Rojas@Kirkwood.edu).