Video in the Age of Digital Learning: Insight from Jonas Köster’s 2018 book

cover of Jonas Köster's book Video in the Age of Digital LearningJonas Köster recently produced a beautiful and research-rich text entitled Video in the Age of Digital Learning. For those of us in education and developing instructional media, we already know what Köster lays out on the first page—“recent studies overwhelmingly predict the continual rise in the use of instructional video” (xv). Here’s why: “digital video is an extremely powerful method to tell stories, explain complex issues through engaging visuals, offer the learner the ability to work at their own pace, and . . . [it’s] the most efficient and effective method for bringing a teacher and learners together at an incredible scale” (xv).

This shift in teaching and learning requires more than just a camera and an eager instructor, however. For example, student attention span has shortened to only about 8 seconds and making a video engaging “requires a thorough examination of the medium to find the best ways to make it as useful as possible” (xvii). Without regurgitating the entire text, I’ll outline a few aspects of Köster’s book that stood out most.

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Doug’s Spring 2018 Update

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:

Can Design Thinking Redesign Higher Ed?

Using Design Thinking in Higher Education

How to Teach Graphic Design

Principles of Course Design

* 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.

Paula’s Spring 2018 Update

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.)

Randy’s Spring 2018 Update

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”!

Janet’s Spring 2018 Update

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:

Reflecting on the Original Big Idea for MOOC’s

Is online education good or bad? And is that really the right question?

Can Online Teaching Work at Liberal-Arts Colleges? Study Explores the Pros and Cons.

Wish me luck!

Andrew’s Spring 2018 Update

Fall and winter terms were an exciting time for me, with the arrival of our new 3D printer and the in-class trial of one of my Augmented Reality (AR) applications. Spring term will be just as exciting but a bit more virtual for me, as I will be spending time developing virtual experiences for Psychology and making virtual proteins a reality.

Spring term will also see more development and another full trial of our Biochemistry AR application. Working together with Rou-Jia Sung, we will be developing additional modules for use within the Intro to Biochemistry course this term. On this front, we will also be applying for a NSF grant to fund further research into the use of AR within a classroom setting. Excitingly, the AR application will be presented twice this term at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) in Nashville and at the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER).

Spring will also be an exciting time for me personally. Now I am settled in Carleton, and having worked with the wonderful librarians, I am about to embark on writing my third book Visualizations in Cultural Heritage. The book will look at the history and development of the multitude of visualizations employed within the Cultural Heritage field.

Carly’s Spring 2018 Update

This term I’m looking forward to more sunshine and outdoor running! But I’m also looking forward to the data collection phase for a few of my research projects. I’ve got quite a busy term ahead of me!

I’m working with Asuka Sango (Religion) on implementing some gamification techniques into her Zen Buddhism course. The goals of this project are to provide students with a positive reinforcement model for participation in good study behaviors and optional components in her course. While research suggests that gamification works well, it will be interesting to see what we can learn about the efficacy of gamification in a small humanities course.

I’m also stepping up my work with Language Lesson, a software that I designed as a practice tool for foreign language speaking exercises. This year I’m delving deep into the field of acoustic phonetics and digital signal processing to try to introduce intelligent features based on second language acquisition research. I will be presenting on the development of Language Lesson and the implementation of pitch graph display at the next CALICO conference in late May.

On this project, I’m collaborating with Andrew Wilson, who is helping to manage a team of student developers to realize this project. I’m excited that these students are getting some practice with software development and experience with tools used in industry.

Amongst all of this, I’m also traveling to Japan in April to participate in the International Kyudo Federation’s International Kyudo Seminar and Shinsa (rank examination). I’ll be learning, taking a rank examination and volunteering as an interpreter. It’s going to be an exhausting trip, but I appreciate the opportunity to visit Japan and make use of my language skills to help others learn.

Celeste’s Spring 2018 Update

This term I’m drawing inspiration from the presentation and conversations I participated in at Reed College’s Transforming Undergraduate Student Research In The Digital Age conference. I co-presented with Sarah Calhoun and Austin Mason (always a delight!) on deepening connections between curricular and co-curricular research and learning opportunities on our campus. Each institution has its own approach, and it was interesting to see how conversations from disparate institutions (SLAC and research university alike) came back to a couple key points: how we create sustainable processes for managing and preserving research within digital ecosystems, and how we can better support faculty, staff, and students in pursuing collaborative projects.

Keynote speaker Laurie Allen, Director for Digital Scholarship at UPenn Libraries, put her own spin on the oft-cited (and mocked) motto of Facebook and tech at large: rather than “move fast and break things,” she urged us to “move slowly and conserve things.” And that’s an ethos that I think leans into the strengths of liberal arts colleges, where an emphasis on carefully considered interdisciplinary work can thrive.

It also resonates with some of my current interests, like the conversations building out of the Public Works digital curriculum taskforce, the ongoing process/question of turning my dissertation into a publication, and my continuing involvement on a NEH-funded project working with Rick Hill’s Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations Polytechnic and Dr. Tim Powell and Sasha Renninger at UPenn. I’m also excited to see upcoming events like the Future of Publishing initiative’s Data Refuge and Preservation event tackle these questions head on in Spring, and dig in deeper to these readings: