Renton Technical College December 2003

Office of Instructional Improvement Volume 2 No. 5

Here’s What Worked for Me…

Please send us tips for this new section—what’s working for you—inspired by a faculty member’s suggestion that if we pooled our strengths and creativity, it could only benefit our students.

Beth Arman, and the Cosmetology Program have a great kit for prospective students. It includes information about the four related programs: Cosmetology, Barber, Esthetician and Manicurist. In addition to the application process and requirements, there are questions to ask the instructors to guide the students in making the right choice for their careers. Because the program is off-campus it includes a map, (which we are not linking). Please click to see the prospective student outline.

Kathleen Giuntoli gets kudos from a peer observer for her use of videos. According to our source, Kathleen does a great job of setting up the video and pausing for learning activities to relate the video to the lesson. Way to go Kathleen. Congratulate her about her methods for using videos: mailto:

Ready To Publish?

Is it time to toot your horn? T.H.E. Journal welcomes submissions of articles from educators involved in integrating technology into their curricula. Articles from 2,000-4,000 words may describe effective administrative or instructional projects with a local, regional, statewide, national or international scope. Features should address the issue's cover theme and follow Editorial Guidelines. An upcoming theme is “Using Technology to Deliver Content.” For more information on submitting a feature, visit

Math tutorials

Analyzemath is a site which includes java applets that help you explore math concepts. There are interactive tutorials and online tests. You don’t need to download any software. Topics include: linear equations, polynominals, systems of linear equations, and rational functions. Bob Billings tells us that Internet Explorer is Java enables on the campus, so that Java script of applets can run just fine and our antivirus devise will protect us.

Independent Study

Sometimes there is now a workshop or course available in the area where you need professional development. This article lays out a plan to help you gather resources and teach yourself.

Website Design or Interactive CD-Rom presentations

RTC has new software! The Mediator Pro and ScreenCorder programs are available for instructor computers. Mediator is an icon-based authoring tool that lets you drag-&-drop your way to Flash/ HTML websites, or interactive CD-ROM presentations - no programming or experience is necessary. ScreenCorder allows you to capture all of your on-screen actions with audio for use in instructional presentations or websites. Submit a work order with IS for installation. And watch for related training workshops from Instructional Improvement in Winter Quarter!

Cookbook for a Presentation Feast

Presenter’s University asks the question: “Are you a presentation master chef or a short order cook?” PowerPoint presentation can be a feast or famine. Using the cookery metaphor, this article has tips on how to make your next PowerPoint more than just a lecture with slides. Visit this tutorial at


Do you have too much to do or frequently put off to tomorrow what should have been done yesterday? Here are some tips on controlling procrastination for you or to pass on to your students.

Teaching and Working with Multiple Generations

Our programs and staff include some Millennials (born 1977-1998); Generation Xers (born 1965-1976);Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and even a few of the Silent Generation (born 1933-1945). In the classroom or the work environment we need to find ways to engage the members of each generation—who might have different motivators and contributions. This article from Link&Learn contains a three step process for engagement:

Graphic Organizers

Sometimes that picture is worth more than a thousand words, especially for visual learners. Graphic Organizers help students to construct meaning and serve as a useful anchor for a short lecture. You can find some on this Scholastic Magazine site:

Teaching students to think

This exercise adds another dimension—a metacognative one--to classroom discussion by helping students identify the roles their comments play in content-based discussions. Is their contribution a new idea? A clarification of terms? A challenge? A transition? Read about the “Conversacolor” learning activity in the National Teaching and Learning Forum.


The AskEric site which many of us have used to get educational resources as well as the subject specific clearninghouses will be replaced by a new single web presence and database. There will be an Educator’s Reference desk at with 2000 lesson plans, over 3000 pointers to education information and the 200 question archives form the last 10 years of AskEric. Beginning December 19, you will also be able to use to search the ERIC database, calendar of conferences, links to purchase ERIC documents and products.


Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something I have done. ~ A. E. Hotchner

For more information regarding the articles in the Faculty Focus or to give input or suggestions of things you would like to see incorporated into this newsletter please contact the Office of Instructional Improvement.

The mission of the Office of Instructional Improvement is to advance educational strategies, seek to improve the quality of learning environments, and support RTC staff as they prepare a diverse student population for work.