Professor Dumblejamey (Jameydore?)

lectureI had the unique pleasure of teaching a class at NYU today…from my home office in St. Louis.

Geoff Engelstein, one of the great minds behind the Ludology podcast, is teaching a game design class at NYU this semester. He invited me to speak to the class about Kickstarter and crowdfunding.

I wasn’t able to travel to New York for the class, but Geoff said that wasn’t a problem. Instead, I could lecture via Skype, and he would set up video and audio on his end so I could see the students.

I asked the students for questions in advance, as I wanted to address their interests instead of just talking at them for an hour. That format seemed to go over pretty well, though I got so swept up in the questions that I pretty much forget to introduce myself.

Technology is amazing–it’s really cool that I could teach a class in New York from St. Louis, complete with Biddy lounging behind me at the time. But I could definitely feel the separation between me and the students. I could kind of see them and kind of hear them, but it wasn’t the same experience as being there in person.

I also realized that I have a lot to learn about teaching in lecture format. Forgetting to introduce myself was one thing, but I think I need to use more examples, anecdotes, and data (this echos the format of my crowdfunding book).

Overall, though, I’m grateful for the experience. Have you ever done anything like this? How did it go?

5 thoughts on “Professor Dumblejamey (Jameydore?)”

  1. Disappointed on the lack of tweed jackets.

    In other news, I only attended web lectures and they were awesome because I didn’t need to be there. They only have the camera on the lecturers for the intro then it was Powerpoint with bullet points and visual aids. I like to have examples so that was great for me. The down side was I couldn’t question in person or I didn’t have a software to question them in real time. It seemed you can so that’s wonderful. I like that you have some questions from them beforehand to address their concerns and information they want to know more. I hope you said something on other topics that they might not have thought about or not that interested in. All information is somewhat linked and important one way or another, right?

    • I know! Yet another chance to wear a tweed jacket, wasted by me. 🙂

      I used the questions as a guide (they were on a slideshow), but I went on a few tangents. I also grouped the questions by category, and I paused after each category to see if there were any live questions.

      • Tangents are good. Sometimes your mind just wonder off when you are just sitting there listening to someone else talk. They just bring you back to Earth. “What did he just say? Cookies as tokens!? Is this going to be on the test?” *Furiously making notes on possible cookie combination as tokens*

        Oh, and a good wrap up of your main points of your presentation. Or a question for them to continue thinking about the topic long after the lecture. Pretty much what you do on your blog posts.

  2. Well this is spectacular! What did you enjoy most about the experience? I’m curious, because I know you’re not the most comfortable person in front of a group of people, but the class seemed small enough that it may have been more conversational to you especially with the format you’ve picked since you know you’re speaking directly to your audience’s interests. Would you do it again? Do you think you’d be as comfortable if you were instead in front of the same group of students?

    • I really just enjoyed to share more about Kickstarter and crowdfunding with the class, especially since the session was specifically about tabletop game projects (usually I talk about crowdfunding in ways that apply to any type of project). Sure, I’d probably do it again. As for comfort…I think I’d actually be more comfortable in front of the class, but it was certainly more convenient to teach it from home. 🙂


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