Academic Technology has conducted short assessments of in-class clicker use across several 100 level courses in the sciences and social sciences in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. For all courses surveyed, the students agreed that clickers made class more engaging by helping them participate more openly, increase their attention in class, think more deeply about their answer, and hone their critical thinking skills. Here are a few more details:
What is instructional video?
When designed well and used effectively, short instructional videos can actively engage students with relevant content; these videos can introduce new concepts or deepen understanding of familiar topics.
Why use instructional video?
Dozens of institutions have begun researching the value of instructional video, too. For example, Vanderbilt University’s Center For Teaching offers excellent research on the topic. CFT Assistant Director Cynthia Brame describes “three elements for video design and implementation: Cognitive load, non-cognitive elements that impact engagement, [and] features that promote active learning.” Videos should identify and reinforce key points through signaling, segmenting, weeding, and matching modality. Continue reading Quickstart: Instructional Video
Andrew, Dann, and Janet presented at the Online Learning Consortium Innovate! Conference in Nashville. Their talks were (respectively):
- Adding a New Dimension to Protein Structures: student perceptions of augmented reality in a biochemistry course,
- Planning, Producing, and Evaluating Instructional Video, and
- Is online teaching and learning relevant for small residential liberal arts colleges?
Dann’s notes from sessions he attended are summarized below:
Thanks to everyone who’s taken this instructional video quiz so far! (Already over 100 of you!)
Here’s a screenshot of what the analytics look like. You can see how people responded by question, AND, when users are actually logging into the software, you can track how each individual person responds. For this, everyone shows up as unauthenticated–but that’s OK, since I’m not actually assigning you a grade. 🙂 If you still want to take the quiz, here’s the link: https://carleton.yuja.com/V/
Ever wonder what your students are actually learning when watching your instructional videos? There are lots of ways to assess learning with video, and I wanted you to see this fun and SHORT — 60 second — video before my presentation in at OLC Nashville! I’ll be discussing Planning, Producing, and Evaluating Effective Instructional Videos. On that note, I’d love to have you check-out this “video quiz” that lets instructors see what their students learn while watching the video. It’s one of many assessment tools available to us in education nowadays. (And yes, I used a Little Prompter to ensure my own flawless delivery in the video. : ) Long to short, I’d be thrilled if you watched it and answered the four SHORT questions. I’m tracking analytics, and am interested to see how your answers look when compiled with lots of others. Feel free to share this post, too! Just click the following link, below, to jump to the video, and for those attending OLC in Nashville, we can checkout the results together! Thanks!
What are podcasts?
Podcasts are digital audio files which can be listened to by streaming or downloading.
Why use podcasts?
Podcasts are sometimes used in lieu of a paper assignment or to augment a paper assignment. A podcast is devoid of visual material (think NPR) and this can be useful for focusing student attention. Continue reading Quickstart for Podcasts
Spring Term will see me focus on design and its impact on communication. The acts of communication, including writing, speaking, showing slides, etc., force all of us to make choices about what message we want to convey, what words and pictures to use, and how to present those words and pictures. In these ways, we all become “information designers,” at least a little.
I’ll be teaching The Art of the Presentation to SOAN compsing seniors again this spring. I’ve taught a version of this session for a number of years. The students are getting ready to present their research, mostly in a talk with slides. (A few will make a poster.) We’ll be looking at ways for them to effectively convey the results of their research, getting inspiration from events like the Vizzies and 3MT *.
Kathy Evertz, one of her students, a few profs and I have started talking about bringing a version of 3MT to Carleton. The working title is “One-Minute Comps.”
I’m looking forward to working again with River Rossi in her Digital Landscapes class, supplementing the lessons that students glean from the online resources at Lynda.com. I’ll be demonstrating a wide range of digital imaging tools, showing how to choose the correct tool and use it with confidence.
In addition to my involvement with classes and individuals on design-related communication activities, I’ll continue to deepen my knowledge of the field with books and articles, including:
* From Georgia Tech: The premise of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition is to develop academic, presentation, and research communication skills. It supports the development of students’ capacities to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but nonspecialist audience. 3MT is not an exercise in “watering down” research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and concisely explain their research discoveries.
I am eager to jump into spring term as I have several new projects underway, some that will wrap up in the term & others just getting rolling. While IRA has been short-staffed I’ve chipped in to help with a couple of interesting assessment projects. For these I’m working with Elise Eslinger and Stephanie Huston, and Iris Jastram and Claudia Peterson to set up the next iteration of surveys in Qualtrics.
The DataSquad <https://blogs.carleton.edu/datasquad> continues to be active with all levels of data-related projects, enough so that I’ve added two additional data-eager students; a proposed statistics major and another data science/CS enthusiast. Last term we worked on projects with Barbara Allen (resulting in new data visualizations for her latest book), Beatriz Pariente-Beltran (facilitating their departmental assessment process), Meghan Tierney (saving her research database from oblivion), and Marty Baylor (designing and building a database for managing equipment in Physics).
This term will also mark the end of my first experiment with mentoring a technical project intern. Veronica Child has done a wonderful job as we’ve explored sustainable ways of integrating project management tools like Asana, Jira, and basic process tools within Google Drive – while also helping Squad members grow into working on professional software development teams. I’ll be hiring for a new technical project management intern so please consider sending your candidates my way!
In a completely different arena, I am eager to get back into exploring the newest iterations of online data visualisation tools. I’m thinking here about their potential for use in QRE courses; in particular, for those which have no quantitative prerequisites.
After a flurry of publications in the past year or so, I took this year off of writing to attend more to my parents. As they stabilize, I am eager to return to a dropped project regarding simple and sustainable strategies for managing image collections as research materials.
After an overly booked IASSIST’17 (I had 5 accepted papers and presentations!) – I’m thrilled to go to IASSIST ‘18 in Montreal as a participant only. This is an international association of research data professionals who never cease to energize my thinking and reward my engagement with fantastic collaborations. For instance, last summer I placed two DataSquad students in extraordinary research-data internships in eastern and southern Africa and one at Harvard (that went so well that he’ll be returning for another summer.) And I’ve accidentally set one up for myself! .. well, it turned into a Fulbright Specialist appointment. (All I need now is for the Zimbabwean elections to proceed calmly next summer and my parents to stay stable.)
This Spring Term I’ll spend a great deal of my time ensuring that all the scientific instruments in the natural sciences are running as expected. The move from Mudd Hall caused a lot of disruption to the communication between instruments and computers. The spring term is just one small step before summer research begins and I want to ensure that things go smoothly.
I’ll also continue my work with the College’s Mobile App Development group. I call it MAD! There is no official name for the group yet but I hope my nickname for it sticks! We are working on a process so that anyone interested in making a mobile app for their teaching or research knows how to proceed. I’m hopeful Spring Term will allow me more time to help faculty develop their app ideas and possibly even publish a working mobile app.
One of my other projects is working on LabArchives (LA). LA is an online Electronic Lab Notebook that was designed to replace the traditional paper lab notebook within the science communities. But that has all change now that Juliane Schicker, Assistant Professor of German, broke through the disciplinary boundaries and began using LA in her teaching! I’m hoping to use the example of Juliane to spread the word across the curriculum that there is an easier way to manage lab notebooks and student journaling.
I’ll spend some time this spring learning more about the MakerSpaces housed about campus. I currently learning about Blendor and Inventor software packages for 3D printing. Knowing these two packages will help with future 3D printing needs.
Finally, moving the scientists wasn’t the only move I had going! I moved my family to a new house over winter break and most of January. I must be crazy to move in the coldest time of the year but some of you know that I like to do things the hard way. This move included two adults, two kids, one parent, two dogs, five cats, two businesses and because I am a tinkerer LOTS of shop “stuff”!
Hey Folks, spring is on us. Here is a little of what I’ve been up to, and what I’m looking forward to.
Leaning on my MFA in Digital Cinema and 15 years of teaching experience, I’ve designed a stand-alone two credit course focused on Civic Engagement and Documentary Filmmaking that I’ll be co-teaching with the impressive Palmar Alvarez-Blanco here at Carleton. The curriculum can actually be coupled with nearly any course, pairing students with community organizations that need greater support and visibility. Students will spend the term researching, meeting with, and interviewing members of these community organizations, and then . . . giving a tangible video resource back to that community organization. We’ll cover topics such as bias recognition, visual storytelling strategies, interview techniques, non-linear editing, and social media marketing. This is going to be a fun and engaging class that results in rich civic engagement, valuable documentary filmmaking experience, and a concrete and useful video for several community organizations.
I’m also going to hit the road this spring presenting at conferences including OLC, the Online Learning Consortium, in Nashville Tennessee and at Innovate! Teaching with Technology conference at the University of Minnesota Morris. I’ll be presenting sessions on Planning, Producing, and Evaluating Instructional Video, and Creating Effective Instructional Videos, and I’ll be co-leading a discussion on Online Teaching and Learning for Small Liberal Arts Schools with my colleagues Janet Russell and Andrew Wilson.
Spring is also exciting because one of my personal projects–a compact teleprompter I call the Little Prompter, is ready to hit the market. Over the past year, I worked with a creative and crafty colleague on the design (Thanks, Eric Mistry up at St. Scholastica!); I then ran a successful fundraising campaign to get it manufactured, and am now ready to market and sell it. The Little Prompter is more than just a pet-project, too. It’s got great pedagogical value. Even for experienced instructors, delivering a lesson on camera can be a little intimidating–and even minor discomfort and hesitation on camera can greatly impact how a viewer perceives the speaker and how long a viewer stays engaged with the content. Now, with the Little Prompter and a little pre-planning, faculty can flawlessly deliver their lesson directly into the camera—improving eye-contact and viewer retention. Faculty here at Carleton (and around the world) can learn more about the Little Prompter—and even order one for yourself at www.littleprompter.com.
This Spring Term online teaching and learning is much on my mind.
I’ll be presenting at OLCInnovate 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee this April. OLC, Online Learning Consortium, pairs up with MERLOT (for those of you who remember this repository) for their big conferences. I’ve got a couple presentations but for this update I’m focused on the one titled “Is online teaching and learning relevant for small residential liberal arts colleges?” It’s in the session category ‘Conversations, Not Presentations’ which means I get to talk with attendees rather than at them and I’m hopeful for some interesting and useful conversation.
For the OLC conversation I’ll be pulling from my Carleton work with CUBE, Carleton Undergraduate Bridge Experience. CUBE consists of an online 6 week summer portion and a traditional Fall Term portion. Summer CUBE has two primary goals: 1) to strengthen the quantitative skills of incoming students and 2) to connect participants to the campus community before they arrive on campus.
CUBE in turn has heavily contributed to Carleton’s LACOL (Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning) work on the QLAB project and this will inform my OLC conversation as well. QLAB is the nickname applied to a multi-campus development and educational research initiative to assist our students with readiness for their quantitative work across the curriculum, and to investigate the role that online resources may play in this.
And all of this online teaching and learning work at Carleton is going easier for me because of my time at Georgetown University which was just prior to coming to Carleton. There, in my position as Director of Technology Enhanced Learning, I helped design and implement online courses and MOOCs, and in my position as adjunct professor, I taught an online course.
I won’t rely on my experiences alone though to pull off a good conversation at OLC! I’ll be tracking the current buzz about online T&L and that includes a few folks even talking about it in the context of small liberal arts schools:
Wish me luck!