Showcase Interview

Jerry Kapus talks about enhancing student engagement.

Jerry Kapus

Faculty Profile
Email Address

Teaching Strategy Video(s)
Narrated Slide Lectures: An Alternative Approach to Instruction for Online Courses
The Creation of Narrated Slides
Instructor Perspective on Narrated Slides: Tips and Advice

Jerry Kapus has taught at UW-Stout since 1991, teaching logic and philosophy courses. Although he has taught a wide spectrum of courses, he particularly enjoys Philosophy of Religion.

Kapus uses various strategies to help his students to “get it.” One key strategy that enhances student engagement is relating course content to his students’ personal experience. Another simple strategy, also effective in enhancing engagement, is to learn students’ names. Particularly in conceptually-based courses, these engagement strategies tend to draw students into an understanding of the course and its content.

Kapus is a continual innovator. An early adopter of online teaching, Jerry uses technology extensively to help students engage with the content. For instance, Jerry uses animated slide lectures—PowerPoints to which he adds audio. Because the lectures are online, students can access them anytime; since they are audio-enhanced, the students receive not just the slides, but Jerry’s explanation of the content of the slides. Granted his success with this strategy, Jerry would like to try using blogs and wikis to further engage the students actively in their learning.

Jerry has been active reporting the results of his work with student engagement and learning. He has presented at conferences related to Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and at the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, and is working on publications for journals such as Online Classroom and the American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy.