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Instructors turn to ITaP student trainers to teach students multimedia software

In her documentary films, Purdue instructor Alexandra Hidalgo makes an effort to share stories about groups and issues underrepresented or ignored by major media outlets. In her English classes, Hidalgo encourages her students to create similarly purposeful videos using multimedia software, such as iMovie and Photoshop, readily available on ITaP-supported instructional lab computers.

To give her students the technical proficiency they need to become digital storytellers, Hidalgo turns to the ITaP Student Training program to provide quality and effective technology training. Each semester, ITaP student trainers lead Hidalgo’s introductory composition classes through two comprehensive workshops, guiding students through the process of importing, editing and finalizing video footage in iMovie and demonstrating Photoshop basics to help students create visual content for website projects.

“At Purdue, our approach to English composition stresses the importance of multimedia components, but many instructors don’t have experience in multimedia and digital instruction. ITaP student trainers help bring that expertise to the classroom,” says Hidalgo.

As a campus-wide resource available to Purdue instructors, organizations and individuals, ITaP student trainers work directly with faculty, staff and students to meet educational and professional goals by providing training on a variety of popular applications, from video editing software to Web design tools to wikis. Popular classroom workshops cover Adobe Creative Suite software, including Photoshop, Dreamweaver and InDesign.

Open workshops are offered regularly at ITaP computer labs during the academic year. Participants can register for workshops through the ITaP training calendar. Faculty members and students with specific training needs can request a trainer through the ITaP Student Training website.

Before conducting a workshop, student trainers gauge group knowledge of the software to inform the presentation. Workshop participants are then led through a step-by-step tutorial and overview of the software’s most important features. An ITaP student trainer and multiple assistants are on hand to address questions from users of varying experience levels, from beginners to more advanced users.

“We like to conduct workshops in the computer labs so everyone is able to work through the tutorial step-by-step with us,” says ITaP student training coordinator Shavon Brown. “Most instructors find our workshops cover everything they are looking for, but we also customize our material to fit the needs of the class.”

Liker her colleagues, Brown became proficient in creative software through informal training and experience, learning the ins and outs of various applications working on academic and personal projects. She joined the ITaP Student Training program her second semester at Purdue to share the knowledge she had acquired.

“The opportunity to share useful software like Adobe Creative Suite with others is what initially attracted me to the ITaP Student Training program,” Brown says, “and as the workforce evolves, familiarity with the software we teach is growing in importance for students. It’s not just a skill for class; it’s also a skill to list on a resume.”

For the past seven years, Associate Professor Tara Johnson, who has joint appointments in the departments of English education and Curriculum and Instruction, has asked student trainers to lead an evening workshop on digital video editing for her capstone student teaching class. In addition to covering the basics, Johnson says student trainers often go beyond the training guide to address student questions.

“Many of my students have these skills already, but some of them don’t. ITaP student trainers not only can deliver the training my students need in the workshop, but also will set up one-on-one consultations to help students who need additional support,” says Johnson.

In addition to working with faculty and students, student trainers also work with staff. Staff training requests should be submitted via ITaP Web form.

For more information, contact the ITaP Student Training program by email at itaptrainers@purdue.edu.

 Writer: Jonathan Hines, technology writer, ITaP, 765-496-7998, hines18@purdue.edu

Sources: Alexandra Hidalgo, Ph.D. candidate of Rhetoric and Composition, ahidalgo@purdue.edu

Tara Johnson, associate professor of English Education and in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, tarastar@purdue.edu

Shavon Brown, ITaP student training coordinator, brown575@purdue.edu

Last updated: July 31, 2013