By Taneya Boyde
For Mrs. Deborah Reifsteck, academic advisor and instructor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, learning has never been strictly limited to understanding content from a textbook. She believes that learning is an experience and an opportunity to dive into the depths of a subject and explore the material more extensively.
In the spring of 2015, Reifsteck decided to integrate Pinterest into FCS 2270, a housing course that focuses on interior design, architecture, design and green living. With the use of Pinterest, her intentions were to get the students more involved with the subject matter.
“I wanted something else other than working with just D2L,” said Reifsteck. “I wanted an engaging experience for students — something that actually kept them interested.”
Learning about Queen Anne-styled or Victorian architecture is no easy feat. Comprehension of historical events such as wars, politics, and social movements of particular eras is imperative and critical to analyzing such pieces of art. Thus, Ms. Reifsteck integrated a social platform providing visual aids to assist in the learning process. Since Pinterest is used by myriad students within FCS, it was an ideal fit.
Once officially established, Reifsteck put her efforts into creating a virtual environment conducive to learning various architecture-related content. Her results proved successful.
Every night, the students have to pin approximately five pins and include content related to each pin in the comment box. Later, the students incorporate the information for each of the pins into weekly classroom discussions to enhance learning.
“It has been fantastic,” said Reifsteck. “The students have been very receptive. It’s a tool they [utilize] on a daily basis. So, to figure out how they can use it in the classroom, they’re usually amazed.”
Pinterest also garners favor in terms of studying, revision, and note-taking. Reifsteck says Pinterest allows each of the students to trace back their work and make reviewing a breeze.
Because of the results from Spring 2015, Reifsteck has implemented the use of Pinterest into her Historic Costume and Fashion Analysis course (FCS 2232) starting in Fall 2015. The premise of this course is teaching students to track the evolution of fashion.
The students are required to insert modern-day designs from minute and grand-scale fashion designers and trace back inspirations to specific time periods. Through tracing these pieces back to specific time period, students have the ability to precisely relate the structure, color, or styling of an article of clothing to a historic event, place, or person.
Currently, this virtual bulletin board is only utilized within two of her courses, but Reifsteck intends to expand the use of this platform throughout the School of Family and Consumer Sciences. Reifsteck says she plans to use Pinterest on a semesterly basis and incorporate it into more of her classes.
Prospectively, Reifsteck aims to construct a plan to include Pinterest in all her classes and is open to including more social media platforms and mobile applications in the classroom to enhance the classroom learning experience.
For more Information regarding this story, please contact Ms. Deborah D. Reifsteck at email@example.com.