NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Two professors at Heartland College are exploring technology in the classroom. Distinguished Professor Kim McHale and Stephanie Kratz were selected as recipients for the 2023 Course Hero Teaching Grant for Digital Learning.

“These grants are funded by Course Hero in order for educators to do research in just about anything they want,” said Kim McHale, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics.

Kratz, Distinguished Professor of English, is utilizing her funds to study if microlessons help faculty manage burnout. She created microlessons with the 7Taps microlearning app for her project “Burnout Management.” Throughout the semester faculty in the liberal arts and social sciences division are receiving weekly microlessons to assist in managing their burnout.

“One is about setting boundaries with your students and helping students understand when they can expect quick responses from us,” said Kratz. “With everything online and with smart phones everybody expects that you’re working 24/7 which of course is not a good way to avoid burnout.”

As a math professor, McHale will focus on the impact AI has on learning for students. Her calculus 1 students will investigate AI programs related to math. McHale believes its her duty as an educator to teach her students how to responsibly use new advancements in technology.

“How to use it where they’re still learning the subject matter. Not just relying on somebody to tell them information without any learning going on,” said McHale. “And the way I do that is talk to my students about it, put it in my classroom, ‘here’s how we’re going to use it.’ So, I think just trying it and being open to that.”

At the end of the semester Kratz and McHale will report their findings to Course Hero.