Dr. Monica Riordan – Psychology


Project Overview

My first project involved revamping PSY101, a general psychology course, with two goals in mind: 1) To increase student ability to see psychology in their everyday lives, I used Storify to help students develop online projects that pull in multiple forms of media to explain psychological principles; 2) To help me understand with what concepts students may be struggling, I used Poll Everywhere to make knowledge check-ins with students multiple times throughout each class meeting.

My second project involved revamping PSY314W, a writing-intensive research methods course. To increase student collaboration and independence during group research projects, I used OneDrive as a platform for students to contribute and share scholarly resources and have joint editing privileges over documents. I also used Google Sheets to facilitate joint data collection.


Planning Process

One factor I considered for PSY101 is the increasing class size. In 2013-2015, I had students submit 10 500-word papers each, for a class of about 25 each semester.  But in 2015-2016, the class size increased to 40 students each semester. I dropped the number of required essays to just 7 each, but I still had trouble keeping up with grading. Therefore, one of the things I considered was how to simplify the assignments and grading that was necessary without sacrificing learning goals. At the same time, this increasing class size makes it easier to “lose” students during class. Poll Everywhere allowed me to gauge class knowledge without having to hope someone would ask a question if they failed to understand a concept.

A second factor I considered for PSY101 is the trouble students have with test questions that ask them to determine what psychological theory best explains an example. Most of the students do well at memorization questions, but drop the ball on application questions, no matter how many examples I give while teaching. I wanted to find a way to help students recognize psychological principles when they occur in the world, to increase the probability of understanding concepts rather than simply memorizing them. Storify was the tool I chose to do this.

For PSY314, I wanted to give students more control over class research projects. In the past semesters, I always guided the class from one decision to the next, helping them weigh pros and cons of the choices they make in developing a research study. By doing this for several class research projects, they would get the hang of it and then go on to their tutorials and be able to engage in the design and decision making process on their own. However, students will now no longer do tutorials as part of their degree, and many do not have plans to do research as a career. Therefore, I wanted to encourage more direct collaboration among the class members and reduce my role, to reflect a common type of employment situation they are likely to enter—teamwork among many, with occasional guidance by the boss. While I still teach all principles of research and students still conduct research projects in the course, they are now expected to do so more interdependently, building skills to communicate pros and cons to other group members in respectful ways and build consensus on decisions in large groups. The use of OneDrive and Google Sheets allowed students to share, jointly edit, communicate, and work together more effectively outside of class so that when class did meet, less time was wasted discussing decisions and more time was spent implementing them.


Implementation

To use Storify, I developed a series of topic choices, each of which asked the student to define and present examples of a psychological concept. I then prepared a Storify of a topic on my own, to show the students the kind of product I desire in terms of what counts as an example and what is an information source. On the class meeting when I introduce the Storify projects, I did a brief introduction to Storify, showing them how to open an account and how to insert material into the project. My plan B was to have the same assignment but submitted as papers rather than Storify projects. Students would be able to give links to video or website content as URLs in their papers rather than include the media directly. Since they submit the papers via Moodle, the links would be active for me to click on. This change would still allow them to include tweets, Facebook posts, or instagram posts by including screenshots.

To use Poll Everywhere, I simply changed my already-existing in-class mid-lecture quiz questions into poll everywhere questions.  As a plan B, I would resort back to using slides with the multiple-choice questions on them and assess by having students raise their hands for their answer choice. This fails to accomplish the same goal, as students may not answer what they feel reflects their knowledge—they might just raise their hand when the majority does.

To use OneDrive, I simply showed students how to access it via their Chatham email. As a plan B, I would have used Dropbox instead. Dropbox would require a student-created account, though, and require syncing among students in external ways.

To use Google Sheets, I created the data sheet myself and posted the link via Moodle for students to access and edit. As a plan B, I would have had students create their own data files in Excel and email them to me so I could compile the data and post it on the class Moodle site for sharing.


Assessment

In PSY101, I asked the students at the end of the course whether they preferred Storify projects or papers. Three students preferred to submit papers rather than the Storify projects. When asked why, they volunteered that they felt: 1) papers were familiar formats to them, and 2) they had to make social media accounts they never use. However, the majority of students preferred the Storify projects. When asked why, they suggested that: 1) it was more fun than writing boring papers, 2) they didn’t have to search databases for scientific papers that are sometimes hard to get access to or to read, 3) they didn’t have to use APA-style to reference or cite, since they could link to the exact location of an item. I have also begun a research project looking at the differences between papers and Storify projects in degree of critical thinking and application of knowledge, to determine if there are differences in outcomes.

I did not assess Poll Everywhere with an eye toward the students’ enjoyment, but rather towards my own teaching goals. The system allowed me to get a better idea as to how students were understanding certain material and helped me determine what concepts I need to go over a second time. I think it has made me a better teacher by giving me insight into where I need to improve my teaching.

To assess the changes in PSY314W, I simply asked students whether they felt OneDrive was effective for file sharing and joint editing or not. Most reported it made it easier to share files, but it was cumbersome to have so many people on the same folder. When 22 people are all posting files, it is difficult to determine what files are worth one’s time and which are not. The joint editing was helpful for some people, but the advanced students felt the editing was cumbersome because they “knew it was wrong” and the less advanced students felt the editing was not helpful because they were never sure why something was edited, so all they could do was copy the edits. Most felt they wasted time on the file sharing and joint editing and would have done better work in smaller groups or independently. It is perhaps true that 22 people working on the same project is too much and requires a task leader of sorts, presumably the teacher, but perhaps could be adapted to an advanced student who wants to step up as a leader.

Students did appreciate the Google Sheets sharing of data, but discovered a problem in that when a person tried to copy and paste the data into an Excel file on her own computer, she made a mistake and altered the data. This screwed up the data for everyone, as the Google Sheets file was now altered for everyone. It was determined that in the future, the joint editing for gathering data is good but then the teacher should post the final data file without editing privileges for students to then work with.


Reflections and Next Steps

PSY101: I think I will keep Storify projects, but allow students who prefer papers to have the option to submit papers instead. I understand that not all students are social media savvy, nor do they wish to be. While I think there are benefits to having students learn to identify psychological principles in social media, especially since the amount of time spent on social media is only increasing among their generation, I also believe that there are benefits in reading scientific papers and learning APA-style referencing. As both types of projects have benefits and downfalls, a choice between the two is perhaps a good idea and a better fit for a large class that includes students from many different backgrounds.

I will continue using Poll Everywhere but I need to make sure I remember to clear the polls before each class—it retains the data from prior semesters!

PSY314W: I think I may get rid of the OneDrive file sharing, given that the course is likely to only get larger, and it was clear that students felt file sharing among so many students was too cumbersome to be useful. I will keep the Google Sheets for joint data compilation purposes, but be sure to remove editing privileges for the final data set before analysis begins, so that the final data is preserved.

Dr. Meigan Robb – Nursing


Project Overview

Providing feedback regarding a student’s level of proficiency with writing can be a daunting process for faculty.  Within the online learning environment numerous challenges must be overcome when communicating with students about their writing behaviors and processes.  For example, feedback rarely occurs in real time, a personal connection is often lacking, and there is limited opportunity for open dialogue about the feedback with the student “in class”.  For my project, I explored the use of technology to deliver writing feedback in the online learning environment.  Technology tools that supported best practices of effective written and recorded feedback were incorporated in a doctoral level writing intensive capstone course in the Spring semester of 2017.


Planning Process

Various planning steps had to completed prior to implementing this project.  First, I turned to the literature to identify types and characteristics of effective writing feedback.  Then, through conversations with Instructional Technology I explored the use of technology tools to support the delivery of effective writing feedback.  I selected the annotation / editing tool Track Changes / Comments in Word, the audio recording tool PoodLL, and the interactive presentation tool VoiceThread.  Lastly, I reviewed various “how to” guides and websites under the direction of Instructional Technology regarding how to incorporate the selected tools in the Moodle platform.


Implementation

Upon implementation of this project I reached out to students via a group email to explain how technology would be used to deliver feedback on written assignments in the course.  Student writing assignments for this course include submitting drafts and final versions of eight different chapters that encompass a culminating capstone project.  For each submitted draft individual written feedback using Track Changes / Comments in Word and individual recorded feedback using PoodLL was provided.  Both approaches were modeled to reflect best practice standards of effective writing feedback (meaningful, focused, clear, personalized) while providing: 1) general praise (Appreciation for what was done well), 2) informative, issue specific comments (Feed-Forward directions regarding what needs to change to be successful), and 3) support (Coaching by providing specific examples and resources for the student to model writing behaviors and processes after).

Written feedback (Track Changes / Comments in Word) was provided at the word / sentence level.  Use of this tool allowed me to provide specific content and editing suggestions and examples.  The tool also allowed the student to locate, address, and/or correct specific areas in his/her assignment.  Each annotated file was uploaded to the course in Moodle for each student to independently review via the assignment submission link in the course.  Here is an example of Feed-Forward and Coaching feedback I provided using Track Changes / Comments in Word:

“In this section you need to identify how you plan to analyze the collected data.  For example, will you calculate a percent change in means?  Also, you need to identify what benchmark you will use to determine project effectiveness.  For example, does the literature support a benchmark of a 20% increase in knowledge scores post intervention?  For additional examples please refer back to the handouts provided in NUR707.”

Recorded feedback (PoodLL) was provided at the global level (e.g., overall quality, structure, and organization).  Use of this tool allowed me to established a sense of faculty presence and a personal connection with the student.  The tool also softened the written feedback I provided.  Since PoodLL is a Moodle plugin, students were able to independently listen and download the audio file via the assignment submission link in the course.  Here is an example of Appreciation and Feed-Forward feedback I provided using PoodLL:

“Hi Jill, nice work on your introduction!  Your approach helped set the tone of the paper.  You have a few areas that are lacking specific details.  Please be sure to carefully review the attached feedback regarding your proposed measurement tools and data analysis plans.  Please contact me with any questions.  Keep up the great work!”

Upon completion of the final version of the first four chapters of the capstone document, written feedback with recorded feedback using VoiceThread was provided to the group.  This approach was modeled to reflect best practice standards of effective writing feedback (meaningful, focused, clear, personalized) while providing: 1) general praise (Appreciation for what was done well), 2) informative, issue specific comments (Feed-Forward directions regarding what needs to change to be successful), and 3) support (Coaching by providing specific examples and resources for the student to model writing behaviors and processes after).

Written feedback and Recorded feedback (VoiceThread) was provided at the course level.  Use of this tool allowed the student to form an awareness of where he/she stood in relation to meeting assignment goals.  The tool also allowed the student to identify what steps needed to be taken next (individual goal-setting).  The VoiceThread provided both illustrations and narrative tips directed towards modeling effective and efficient writing behaviors and processes.  Content included: 1) Strategies for setting writing goals, 2) Approaches for managing writing time, and 3) Steps for addressing required revisions.  Since VoiceThread is a Moodle plugin, students were able to independently view and listen to the presentation in the course.


Assessment

At the midpoint of the course, I used Google Forms to assess the students’ perspective of usefulness of the strategies implemented to deliver writing feedback.  Aggregate findings are provided below:

Strategy most useful in allowing the students to identify which areas of the assignment they were most successful at writing:

Strategy most useful in allowing the students to identify which areas of the assignment they needed to improve:

Strategy most useful in allowing the students to identify which writing behaviors they needed to change:

These findings are not surprising when viewed within the context of work performed by Richard Mayer in regards to a multimedia learner.  The students’ responses reflect Mayer’s principles that people learn better:

  • from narration combined with illustrations than narration or text alone.
  • when they know the characteristics of the main concepts.
  • when words are in conversational style rather than formal style.

VoiceThread was the only strategy used that combined illustrations with narration.  Written feedback using Track Changes / Comments in Word and recorded feedback using PoodLL were provided independently from one another.  VoiceThread was utilized once the students completed the first four chapters of their capstone.  Hence, one may conclude that the students had a firm understanding of the requirements of the culminating assignment.  The provided narration was spoken in a friendly personally tone, with attention directed towards conveying a message of instructor presence and support.

Success and Challenges

I believe this project was successful.  Exploring the use of technology to deliver writing feedback in the online learning environment allowed me to self-reflect on my “feedback style” and “feedback philosophy”.  Through incorporating technology, I was better able to be in-tune with students’ writing needs and feedback expectations.  On the other hand, changing my approach was also a challenge.  I had to devote considerably more time in reading and responding to each student’s written work.  I had to be more cognizant of making sure I reflected best practice standards; while consistently providing general praise, informative – issue specific comments, and examples and resources for the student to model writing behaviors and processes after.


Next Steps

Next steps stemming from this project include:

  1. Continue to explore the work of Richard Mayer in regards to a multimedia learner. Evaluation findings from this project suggest students feel they benefit best from writing feedback when it is provided in a way that 1) allows them to form an awareness of where they stand in relation to meeting assignment goals and 2) facilitates the development of individual goal-setting.
  2. Develop a plan to further incorporate the use of VoiceThread to positively influence writing behaviors and processes of doctoral students in an online program.

Dr. Edward Ryan – Exercise Physiology

The use of Poll Everywhere, iPad Apps, and Panopto to enhance engagement and the student learning experience in an undergraduate Exercise Science course.

Project Overview

My primary goal as a Tech Fellow was to increase student engagement in content and discussion in one particular course (EXS 302: Principles of Strength and Conditioning) by incorporating a variety of technological tools into my teaching efforts.  During the summer workshop I was introduced to a variety of tools. I chose to utilize Poll Everywhere for muddiest content, iPad apps to supplement lecture, and Panopto for student submission of a practical exam.  I assessed the success of implementing these tools via an informal discussion with students.  The majority of students felt that Poll Everywhere (muddiest content) and the iPad apps enhanced their learning experience.  However, students felt that the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam was not enjoyable and/or beneficial.  Next year, I plan on again utilizing Poll Everywhere (muddiest content) and iPad apps (lecture supplement) while omitting the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam.


Planning Process

Prior to the summer workshop I had decided that the course that would benefit mostly from a technology “overhaul” would be EXS 302 Principles of Strength and Conditioning.  My lectures were getting cumbersome and student engagement in content and discussion was poor the last time I instructed the course.  Thus, most of the planning stage was spent becoming proficient in utilizing the technological tools I had chosen. While I am very resistant to change, this likely was the most challenging part for me. After becoming fairly proficient in the technology, I began to make changes to the course syllabus while making notes for myself regarding expected time allotted for the inclusion of Poll Everywhere and iPad apps supplement and submission of the practical exam.  My tentative plan was:

  1. Following each lecture, allow 5 minutes for students to participate in Poll Everywhere for muddiest content. Take the top 3 muddiest and begin subsequent lecture reviewing.
  2. Include two weeks of covering Resistance Training Exercises (NSCA Dartfish videos and Muscles in Motion apps) prior to practical training in the weight room.
  3. Cover use of Panopto and allow students to practice (one lecture).

Implementation

I began implementing Poll Everywhere for muddiest content after the first lecture and continued to utilize this tool throughout the semester. Students used their computer or smart phone to type in what content from the lecture they felt were unclear. At the end of the 5 minutes, I noted which key words were typed in the most and began the next lecture reviewing that content.  There were days throughout the semester where we ran out of time and/or the students had indicated they did not want to participate.

During the latter half of the semester, for two weeks I systematically covered resistance training exercises.  I started off first by noting the name of the exercise, the Prime Movers and the Eccentric versus Concentric Phases.  Thereafter, I provided commentary as students viewed the NSCA Dartfish video while stopping, rewinding/fast-forwarding at times.  After projecting the video, I projected the Muscles in Motion app to illustrate the muscles working during the select exercise.  This process was repeated for each additional exercise.

Following practical training in the weight room, I allotted class time for students to practice using Panopto.  Following a brief presentation, students were urged to create a short video in Panopto and submit it to a folder I had created. For the practical exam, students had to describe and demonstrate select Resistance Training Exercises in Panopto.  Students submitted their videos during the last week of class.


Assessment

I assessed the success of implementing the technological tools via an informal discussion with students.

SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES: Throughout our discussion, students had indicated that they felt as though the use of Poll Everywhere for muddiest content was beneficial to their learning experience. Further, in my opinion the use of Poll Everywhere for muddiest content increased student engagement by allowing students who were otherwise quiet and reserved to voice their confusion anonymously. Nonetheless, one thing I found challenging was the monotony of how I implemented Poll Everywhere for muddiest content.

Students had indicated that the NSCA Dartfish videos and the Muscles in Motion apps were beneficial in helping them understand the resistance training exercises.  They proceeded to suggest that I cover one body segment in class then go to the weight room for practical training then back to the class for the next body segment and so on. I found this to be a great suggestion as one of the challenges I faced during that two weeks was attempting to slow down the presentation of information.

Virtually all of the students indicated that they did not feel that using Panopto to submit their practical exam enhanced their learning experience.  Further, they went as far as to suggest that I omit Panopto and have future students take the Practical exam in person.  After grading the practical exams (videos), I agree with the students’ suggestion. All of the students received an A for the practical and the submission didn’t seem a true assessment of their skill level.


Reflections and Next Steps

My tentative plan moving forward is to:

  1. Utilize Poll Everywhere for muddiest content while changing the implementation timing.
  2. Utilize NSCA Dartfish video and Complete Anatomy apps for classroom instruction of resistance training exercises.
  3. Omit the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam.

Dr. Ann Williamson – Physical Therapy


Project Overview

All students are required to understand and adhere to programmatic processes related to clinical education/clinical experience. Additionally, they are required to follow all policies and procedures associated with each assigned clinical site to include attainment and documentation of health requirements and clearances.  Lastly, students benefit from tailored coaching and mentoring as they prepare to enter into their clinical experiences: be it there first experience or final experiences. Delivering this information by way of class lecture can be challenging. There is a perceived benefit to having online audio-visual recording to allow students to asynchronously access and further consider various elements of clinical experience expectations and preparation during self-selected time periods.


Planning Process

I first considered and prioritized key topic areas that could be reinforced with audio-visual recordings. I then organized them chronologically matching the sequential order for students to gain understanding of the content.  From here I selected to best audio-visual format for content delivery.

  • Castle Branch – Web ex recording (PowerPoint and program assistant presentation)
  • CE overview – Panopto (PowerPoint and audio recording)
  • APTA CPIWeb use and training – Panopt0 (PowerPoint and audio recording)
  • Making the Cold Call – Panopto (PowerPoint and audio recording)
  • CE I pep talk – Panopto (PowerPoint and audio recording)
  • Continuum of Care – Sway

Implementation

In all cases, each topic and its content is delivered via traditional classroom lecture. This takes place during didactic work when students are often preoccupied with current study requirements and lack full readiness to prepare for clinical education. Students will be provided with the traditional lecture component and then will be guided to these videos for viewing at a self-selected later date.


Assessment

All Panopto audio-visual recordings are housed and viewed from Moodle. The number of times and the timing that each recording is viewed will be tracked. This data will be useful in determining students’ preferred timing for topic review as well as perceived investment in clinical experience preparation.

Additionally, a brief summative survey will be provided in Moodle and paired with the corresponding recording. These feedback forms will be optional for students to complete. The survey will solicit students’ perceptions of content clarity, resolution of questions or confusion etc. and open-ended feedback for improvement suggestions.


Reflections and Next Steps

With each Panopto recording I create, I determine ways to improve a re-recording. Finding contentment in a given recording seems to be my greatest challenge. However, I have determined that there are several key strategies when creating each recording that are applicable for all recording in the series: 1) keeping details generically applicable on a year-to-year bases is key for recycling videos and allowing them to be applicable for multiple cohorts and through several curricular cycles, 2) keeping my intonation captivating yet also absent of emotion is also important. I often tailor my classroom lecture style based on the current climate i.e. if they are gearing up for exams/practicals if they have just completed a testing cycle. The audio recordings should be relatable regardless of current didactic activities.