Jennifer Wasco, DNP – Assistant Professor of Nursing

Project Overview

Year 1 Project:

Title: So, you have been asked to be a Chatham University DNP Nursing Preceptor!

Challenge: Throughout the years, newly admitted DNP students have requested information they could provide to a potential DNP preceptor as soon as they received acceptance letters, deposited, and registered.

Students coming into the program understand they need a preceptor through high-level discussions with admissions.  Many of the students want to get an early start on securing this mentor. However, they did not know the requirements and responsibilities to start this process – or even how to ask someone to fulfill this role.  The preceptorship is not a 1:1 preceptorship as when they were pre-licensure and learning clinical skills-based training.

The students received a complete orientation and access to valuable resources.  However, during the summer months, the administrative faculty and staff update the orientations and handbooks.  These items are not often ready to go live until closer to the start of the fall semester, not when the student is accepted, deposits, and registers.

Therefore, it was determined if a stand-alone interactive “magazine” could be provided to the newly admitted student to provide to their preceptor, the tool would allow for a conversation, and finally, the “ask” to securing a commitment. The platform called ISSUU appeared to be a great fit. The technology was attractive because it leveraged flipbook technology vs. using a traditional static PDF to disseminate information. Upon closer review, ISSUU did not end up being an optimal choice. It was discovered that the end product needed to be embedded into a public website or posted on social media.

Therefore, another product was identified, called Canva.  Canva is an online design and publishing tool.  It was straightforward to use, and I enjoyed it so much, I upgraded to a pro-version to create facts sheets for a qualitative research study I am leading.

The end result was not a “magazine” but a “newsletter” that allowed students to give information to their potential preceptors.  There are live links within the document.  The newsletter is not as dynamic as I had hoped, but it made the information easy to read, inviting, and professional looking.

Project Planning

The planning consisted of identifying an issue that existed with the onboarding of new DNP students (I embraced my spirit of inquiry – channeling EBP!).  I knew another approach to the existing workflow had to exist.  To improve efficiency, emailing each student anytime they had a question became very time-consuming, especially when I reflected back on the student questions and saw repeating themes.  Therefore, a newsletter was created listing common, historical FAQ’s. The professional goal was to provide the students with the information they were seeking in a comprehensive manner and improve professional satisfaction with the workflow for the practice experience team.  Basic project management concepts were used, creating a timeline for identification of a solution (initiating), collection of FAQs, and the development of the newsletter (planning), and then setting a date for go-live (executing).  Timing was important, as we only have admissions for the DNP program twice per year (fall and spring), there was no cost associated with the intervention. Finally, having a deliverable (scope) was key to address this common request from incoming students.

Project Implementation

The implementation of the tools use was very simple.  The majority of the work went into identifying the best tool to get the “job done” and then the actual build of the newsletter pulling from historical inquiries from the students and learning the how to utilize the features of Canva. The implementation was quite simple – any time a student emailed with questions, we provided them the handout.  Then, when official welcome emails were sent from the Practice Experience Team, we attached the newsletter to that welcome email.

Project Assessment

I assessed my project informally.  When I provided the student the newsletter, many of them would email me back and tell me how valuable the tool was. It was exactly what they were looking for to assist with the process of securing a preceptor and understanding next steps.

Project Reflections and Next Steps

I feel that I had big ideas, and COVID-19 did put a hamper on having more than one idea to explore during my time in Technology Fellows.  I would have loved to implement a magazine. However, that did not work out.  I have learned that you need to be flexible anytime when implementing something new, as life can throw you lemons!

Sarah Shotland, MFA – Assistant Professor of English

Project Overview

  • Project 1: Create standardized template for students in teaching field placement via Moodle.
  • Project 2: Incorporate screen-mirroring and Kindle library into literature classes, and use Apple pencil to assist students with close reading. Use notes and highlighting feature in Kindle to begin archiving student comments and reactions to incorporate in future classes and observe how student engagement with my most used texts changes over time.
  • Project 3: In Spring 2021, I started using the Apple pencil more often in my courses as a way to approximate a chalkboard, especially when establishing community agreements. I’m planning to save all those files, plus begin adding to them in future courses. It will be valuable for me to see how language in community agreements change over time since that’s a pedagogical tool that I sometimes write about in my scholarship.

Project Planning

  • Project 1:
    • Unfortunately, the semester after we began Tech Fellows, I didn’t have any students registered in the course, and enrollment was very low throughout that first year. However, last year, we had very large enrollment in the class, and I started implementing some standardized methods for those enrolled. The most important information that I got from students was that having a Brightspace shell would be useful for them as a resource-sharing space, but that it would be even better if it was a shell that could be accessed after graduation, so as to encourage a professional community of practice. Now, I’m interested in looking for a platform like that. (And it may simply be something like a series of Google Docs or folders.)
  • Project 2:
    • I started using this method in Literature of Social Engagement in Spring 2020, which I chose for several reasons:
      • The books we read in the class often have formally-adventurous design elements that would be enhanced by analyzing them on a larger screen.
      • Each course text was accompanied by 3-4 supplemental texts which were not required (but recommended) for student purchase. Because of that, I knew a shared way to engage with the texts would be important and useful for students.
        • I was also trying to see which of the supplemental materials might be “promoted” to required texts in future courses, so it was useful for me to have some permanent notes and information about the texts for future planning.
      • The class studies innovation and collaboration, which meant that my own small gesture toward technological innovation and student involvement/collaboration made thematic sense for the course material.


  • Project 3:
    • This is an example of how incorporating technology more consistently has started to generate new ideas for me. This wasn’t an official “Tech Fellows” project, but now that I’m more comfortable with some of these tools, I can see how I’m getting new ideas that I wouldn’t have otherwise arrived at.

Project Implementation

Project 1:

  • I plan to reinstate this project now that I have a better idea of what students would find useful. It also makes sense to create this because we have higher rates of enrollment again, and I know at least for the 2021-22 AY I’ll have at least 12 students enrolled in the course at various times.

Project 2:

  • In the first unit, I was able to incorporate the Kindle project in two ways:
    • Pairs of students are assigned as discussion leaders each week. Normally, these discussion leaders are required to meet with me in advance of class so that I can prepare supplemental talking points and guide them in any areas they might have missed when preparing for class. With my project in mind, I added a requirement that they send me 3-5 passages from the book that I could prepare for screen sharing. When the passage they chose was one Kindle indicated as a “most highlighted” passage from other readers, I required the group to choose an additional passage. (They could still discuss the original, popular passage, but they also had to challenge themselves to find closer readings.) Using the Kindle “most highlighted” feature allowed me to offer students objective evidence that they were not challenging themselves sufficiently. It also meant that I could start noting in my Kindle library the passages students think are notable. I will absolutely continue doing this. It’s simple, sustainable, and makes perfects sense in a literature classroom.
    • I projected supplemental materials through screen mirroring which created equitable access to what were often very expensive supplemental texts.
  • In the second unit of the course, I was able to build on the first unit’s success with small groups and require that all students send me a passage from the text that they wanted to discuss, which allowed me to prep class materials in an efficient and engaging way.
  • I also loved using my Apple pencil to make notes for students that mimicked a chalkboard, but with the permanence of a digital file I could save. I continued to use this in all my courses in AY20-21, not just in my literature courses.
  • In the third unit of the course, we transitioned to a fully virtual delivery method because of COVID-19. I think this particular course transitioned more smoothly than my other courses because we were accustomed to incorporating technology. I was able to essentially use the same technique (screen mirroring) with Zoom as I had in the classroom, which meant it didn’t feel jarring. I couldn’t have predicted that, but it did end up a happy accident (in a semester of so, so few happy accidents).

Project 3:

  • This was entirely spontaneous reaction to COVID-19 and the virtual classroom. Throughout the pandemic, I was consistently surprised at how much the lack of chalkboard was profoundly impacting the way I taught class. The Apple pencil was one small way to address that problem.

Project Assessment

Project 1:

  • I used informal, verbal evaluation to ask students the value of a shared resource sharing online shell. Overwhelmingly, they agreed it would hold value for them.

Project 2:

  • I know that the project held great value for me, and that I plan to continue it. The greatest values it provides:
    • Continuity and a sense of communication across time, so that I can gain insight into how student reaction remains consistent and/or changes.
    • Ability to save and re-use digital resources that previously were impermanent chalkboard notes.
    • Ability to use more expensive and rarer books in an equitable and efficient way, especially in courses where these texts/materials provide additional context to the course materials.
    • Simple, sustainable, and common sense method for gathering student input, requiring student engagement, and class prep.

Project 3:

  • I don’t have any formal assessment to add to this project. Informally, I’m excited and curious to test whether or not there are substantial changes in how people articulate community agreements in the coming years.
    • An example of what I mean: In years past, we often said “Step forward, step back” in community agreement sessions, which simply meant share the time and space. Now, people have started saying “Move forward, move back” in an effort to be more inclusive to people with various disabilities. There are lots of ways that language changes in subtle ways, and having some real-time records of how students are articulating inclusiveness could be interesting to my pedagogical scholarship.

Project Reflections and Next Steps

Project 1:

  • Sadly, registration and enrollment thwarted this project for a few semesters, but now I feel it’s a great time to re-start. I don’t have specific reflections since it wasn’t implemented. My next steps:
    • Get an ENG678 course shell in Brightspace.
    • Start building thematic sections in the shell:
      • Lesson Planning Resources
      • Skills Share / Steal My Lesson
      • Things We Wish We’d Known Discussion Board
      • Hall of Fame Texts:
        • Craft Element Based Texts
        • Thematic Texts
        • Space/Population Specific Texts
        • Short Enough to Read Together

Project 2:

  • Worked:
    • Incorporating students was successful.
    • Approximating the material world via the ipad and pencil did allow me to continue using activities that I was accustomed to doing.
    • The Kindle project was overall successful, in the ways I outline in previous questions.
  • Didn’t Work:
    • I don’t think there was anything that was particularly unsuccessful, but practicing is an obvious way to make everything more seamless. It was obvious that at the end of the semester I was way more proficient than at the beginning of the semester.
  • To Modify/Next Steps:
    • I should go through my files and make sure to organize everything into a well-labeled, date-specific section and add any other notes that will be useful in the future.
    • Now that I know the student-identified passages work, I can add it to the syllabus formally, giving students added time to identify their passages.
    • Continue to practice using the screen-mirroring and Apple pencil, so that it becomes even more second-nature.
    • Perusall!
  • What I Learned:
    • I can use more resources in class if at least some of them are digital.
    • I have more opportunity to reflect on my teaching practice in a reliable and sustainable way if I create digital archives of what that practice entailed J
    • I can easily incorporate student engagement into class prep by using technology in simple and straightforward ways.
    • Using the technological tools I already have more often is generative and sparks creative energy and ideas.
    • Technology offers me ways to offer objective evidence to students that previously appeared subjective.
    • The most crucial things for me to consider in incorporating technology into my classroom:
      • It’s better for me to do something small consistently, rather than something big every once in a while.
      • Practice alleviates anxiety.
      • Technology = documentation = scholarship = my job J
      • Technology can promote equity and rigor in ways that are entirely aligned with my teaching philosophy and values.

Marilu Piotrowski, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Nursing

Project Overview

My project explored the use of several technologies to improve student engagement and support information delivery and processes in first-semester, asynchronous online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) courses.

The first-year project focused on creating a visual graphic format to introduce students to the course overview.  To further reinforce this format, a Panopto video was utilized to facilitate navigation in their Moodle LMS course at the beginning of the course.  At the end of the course, a Moodle survey sought student feedback on this format.  Another Moodle survey was used to collect information on IRB Planning needed in the subsequent DNP course.

During the second year the new Brightspace LMS and the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the original project.  Adjustments in these course aspects regarding format, course navigation video, and surveys were made.  In addition, other technologies were considered to engage student learning and course processes.

Project Planning

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is accelerated and writing intensive in an asynchronous, online delivery.  Students are post-master degreed as nurse practitioners, anesthetics, administrators, educators.  Many have been away from formal education and/or courses involving academic writing for several years.  At the end of the course, some students have also disclosed that this was their first online course.  Several DNP students are further diversified with English as their Second Language.   As a result, and for a variety of reasons, most students verbalize being totally overwhelmed in their first semester of the DNP program.

As a liaison for courses in the first semester of the DNP program, students often shared that the most difficult course is NUR702 Developing Evidence-Based Practice, a 3-credit course with a 125-hour practice experience requirement.  There were limitations in what could be considered in the overall curriculum and course design for the project.  In addition, there were 4 to 5 sections of this foundational practicum-related course offered each semester in Fall and Spring involving several people.

The NUR702 course primarily focused on 2 component parts:  Problem Identification (during the first-third of the course) and Review of Literature during the remainder of the course.  (A one-week Stats Refresher is included during this time.  It is intended to facilitate the student’s understanding as they review studies for best evidence of an intervention for their DNP project).

The course is presented in a weekly format.  Within each week, the course branches into a myriad of content topics, assignments, and application impacting the student’s future DNP program coursework.  Prior to implementation of the Tech Fellow project, the course format was all information opened in a long continuous list of weekly topics and links over the 14 week semester.  The advantage was students had immediate access to all the information.  The disadvantage was the overwhelming information at one time.

SAMR served as a model to guide the substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition of the work.  Moodle offered 3 design formats – block with pictures, collapsed headings by week, or all text links open.  The blocks feature was utilized.  This format would also be consistent with the format used in the nursing department for the Nursing Student Site which also contains large amounts of information and references.

First, the Pexels app was utilized to search for copyright-free pictures.  Learning the appropriate size dimensions and procedural upload was beneficial as a faculty member.  This Block with picture format design visually reinforced course overview at a glance in the course.  (Sample grid of blocks at end of this document.)  In addition, an optional 5-minute Panopto video was included with the course’s Welcome message on the home screen.  The video’s screenshare and voice further assisted the student on navigation in this course.

Second, the survey feature using Moodle LMS was also planned and implemented during the first year of the Tech Fellows project.  Prior ways to obtain information regarding IRB Planning for the next course either used a scanned written paper document or later upgraded to a Google doc.  Both of these strategies were problematic with all of the needed information not collected and unnecessary follow-up after the course ended.

During the NUR702 course, students investigate the availability of their clinical practice site’s IRB or QI Committee for future DNP project approval.  Since many students work in a community setting without these resources, the student utilizes Chatham University IRB and a faculty IRB Advisor needs assigned for their next course. The student can complete this IRB planning survey at any point during the semester.

Features of the Moodle survey provided:  a submission receipt to the student;  if needed, resubmission for updated information with new date recorded; individual course faculty’s  ongoing ability to check completion status; ability for course liaison to easily download each course’s survey data as a CSV and compile all 5 course sections into Excel after the course ended.

The Excel spreadsheet was used for the IRB faculty assignment and reference into a master Excel document used administratively on the Nursing department’s Shared Drive.  This process enhanced use of information technology for course and administrative efficiency.

Project Implementation

First, finding suitable pictures for the weekly blocks took time.  Repeated pictures or colored blocks representing continuation of the focused topic content were also intentionally placed.  One of the initial setbacks for Fall 2019, was an issue copying the block format in time for the course’s opening date for all NUR702 course sections.  Plan B was pilot the format in the one course section during the Fall semester and fully implement format in all course sections for Spring semester.

The recorded Panopto navigation video was effective in reinforcing an overview of the NUR702 course home screen.  Incorporating multiple media formats can support various types of learners.  The student could watch the location of the cursor on screen areas while listening to a voice prompting aspects that often have been problematic for the new student, e.g. using the right vertical sidebar to scroll down the page.

Although students receive DNP program orientation information prior to the semester, many students verbalized this customized video for the course was helpful.

The Moodle survey for IRB Planning was available to the students throughout the semester and completed when they explored resources in their clinical practice setting.

Communication is not only important with students, but also among course faculty.  The changes were communicated with all the course section faculty each semester as well as updates during the semester.

Project Assessment

Pre-assessments were based on prior course evaluation feedback from students and informal verbal feedback from faculty and students.  As mentioned, thoughtful modifications using more functionality from the LMS and supplemental resources netted positive results.

Formal feedback on the visual and video enhancements were evaluated.   NUR702 course students (n=51) completed an anonymous, 3-question Moodle survey with multiple choice response selections.  There was a 75% student response rate.

Question 1.   95% of the students felt the Introductory Panopto video on course navigation was beneficial.

Question 2.  Use of the pictures in the weekly block format to help their course perspective and focus was helpful for 87% of the students.

Question 3.   The preferred format by the survey respondents: 50% Block, 33.3% Collapsed Headings, 16.6% All Open.

Course faculty participating this semester expressed their overall preference for the block format compared to scrolling through a “ton of info”.  Faculty also shared they did not receive any further “informal feedback” from their students.

Project Reflections and Next Steps

The first-year project was successful and useful in transitioning to the new Brightspace LMS the following year.  Ironically, Brightspace uses a more limited format design, so each week is similarly contained in a block with picture.  Since customizing a course navigation video was beneficial during the first year, a similar Panopto video was created in Fall 2020 for the new Brightspace course.

Preparing the IRB Planning survey in Brightspace was not as successful as in Moodle.  The many features gained from Moodle LMS functionality were lost.  The ability to download results for Excel was limited in format as well as extra manual work required for a useable Excel data spreadsheet reference.

During this summer and prior to the new academic year, Microsoft forms will be planned for the IRB Planning survey.

Another project focus will be on the Statistics Refresher content in week 6 of the NUR702 course.  An article from 2017 reviewed studies on how teaching statistics evolved over the previous decade.  One of the important findings was to select the appropriate technology for this type of content online.

Most of the students had a traditional basic statistics course but it was often years ago.  Our DNP students do not conduct original research projects but need to understand the statistics used in published research.  The student’s final DNP evidence-based change project involves finding the best evidence from existing research to support an intervention for their project.

Currently a textbook is purchased.  Last year, I created a one-page reference of commonly used terms and cross-referenced it to their textbook.  The intent was to help them more quickly find the information in their text to review.  I have been looking at OER (Open Educational Resources) on basic statistics instruction over the past 2 years in hopes of eventually replacing the purchased Stats book.  Beside incorporating an OER, I am planning to review established videos and customize basics using an app, such as Edpuzzle, to further enhance this Refresher week for the student (without creating an unrealistic expectations and anxiety often produced just hearing the word “Stats”!)  I plan to utilize Qualtrics for anonymous student feedback for this project evaluation.

Last year, I also implemented TurnItIn and Discussion videos into the other first semester DNP course, NUR700.  Despite information about plagiarism and APA resources, many students do not understand paraphrasing and quoting from references.  Since the theory and EBP model papers completed in this course were independent of our usual draft and revision process in other courses, NUR700 was the perfect time for use of this app.  TurnItIn was piloted with positive feedback from faculty and informally from students who utilized this ungraded option prior to final assignment submission.  TurnItIn as part of NUR700 will be continued into the new academic year.

To increase student engagement in NUR700, students also created and inserted a video for the main post during 3 out of the 15 weeks of Discussion Forums.  In advance of this course enhancement, I created an instructional step-by-step reference using screenshots from Panopto.  The students could easily access and implement this software feature in Brightspace.

The Discussion videos were interesting and fun.  Some students nervously read what they would have written in the post; others freely spoke within the established time limit set.  The students did very well and appreciated the change as the new discussion variation during certain weeks did not create difficulties, as technology sometimes can.  An increased sense of community was achieved as they saw and heard their peers.  Further, the video increased confidence in using the technology and their speaking abilities.

For the new academic year, a NUR700 rubrics will also be created and embedded into Brightspace platform for the theory and EBP model papers.  Currently there is a guide for the assignment points allotted.  Developing the guide with more details in a rubric will enhance process efficiency and student understanding of the allocation upfront. During the second-year summer workshop of Tech Fellows, learning about the website, RubiStar (4 teachers) will be a resource explored to start the gradient of statements for the rubric.

Janet Bucey, OTD – Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Project Overview

The technology road to assessment of learning and teaching excellence

My technology fellows projects has been to systematically boost student learning and teaching expertise using technology – specifically to assess student learning and instructional effectiveness.  I have done this primarily by exploring, learning, and utilizing new technology. The project involved the use of a WordPress educational blog site as a portal for a large student group assignment, the integration of FlipGrid and Padlet as a classroom student response/engagement tools, the development of online testing through Moodle and then Brightspace, the development of a specific substance use module with pre and post Qualtrics for surveys, expansion of learning options through use of video competencies, zoom instruction and small group learning activities.  Further goals include embedding rubrics and audio messages into Brightspace for more efficient and individual feedback and increasing the variety of question types in electronic with Results, Discussion, and Conclusion sections.

Project Planning

My approach was to address professional development teaching goals and to better understand student’s learning.  I want to gain skills but also stay contemporary, model adaptability in the pandemic and recognize that some old school teaching ways are no longer effective. Learning teaching technology is the best way to accomplish all these things.

I considered teaching evaluations, peer feedback and my own appraisal of needs to gain teaching skills. I also aligned with the university goals to improve teaching technology opportunities and program goals of making learning more accessible.

Project Implementation

Started with developing an alternative to a paper portfolio for occupational therapy student assignment called Community Based Program (CBP). This involved setting up a website template through Chatham’s Educational Blog sites in which the students would create websites to describe and demonstrate their experiences and learning of their community-based fieldwork. An assessment survey through Qualtrics and emails was created and utilized. It contained likert scale and open ended questions.

Next, was expansion of technology in assignments and classroom activities to increase engagement of students and to assess real time learning.  Added Flipgrid, Google shared drive, polling and Padlet activities.

Began testing through Moodle and then later Brightspace learning platform

Added one Qualtrics survey to teaching module entitled “The Opioid Crisis”.

Then the abrupt shift to virtual due to the pandemic occurred and required further growth in technology. All instruction shifted to video and Zoom based instruction. I utilized breakout groups and Google documents for group work, Padlet and polls for classroom, and added proctorial while continuing to do tests online through learning platform. Flipgrid provided to be effective in the students demonstrating their understanding of materials.

During this time, I reassessed use of WordPress blog and primarily the student’s comfort at utilizing a new technology in the midst of adjusting to many other new technologies and shifted to requiring a word document presentation of the CBP.

And lastly, this past year has been focused on moving all courses to Brightspace and learning grading and organizing tools in this new platform.

Project Assessment

Formally assessed the use of:

  1. WordPress educational blog for migration of CBP. Qualtrics survey of likert scale and open ended questions for students. Email distributed likert scale and open ended question survey of faculty mentors who completed most of the grading. Results: Recognized need for electronic rubric following the migration to WordPress.
  2. Teaching module survey: Utilized Qualtrics survey that has been used since and is gathering significant data regarding the effectiveness of the module for knowledge gain. Results: module is effective and worthy of sharing

Informally assessed the use of:

  1. Flipgrid use: Students reported in course review that they enjoyed the use of the Flipgrid.  It was easy to use and made for an enjoyable assignment. When I asked for classroom feedback most reported that they were comfortable with the video platform and like the ability to chat between each other. All were able to access technology and successfully completed the assignment.
  2. Testing online: My own view of testing online is that is saves time and paper relative to the scantron format that I previously utilized. There was also more flexibility in adjusting scores relative to class performance and alternating questions from test to test. Students struggled with some access to the test when using Proctorio; they required additional assistance from technology and additional time for some to gain access. The majority of students were satisfied. The learning portal site also allowed students taking test in the learning center – easy access. Many students prefer testing on paper and will request a paper copy of test as well.  This copy has to be created separately from learning portal which can take significant time, which is an area to be explored in the future.

Project Reflections and Next Steps

What worked:

  • Testing online – although full of errors still, accessing online testing instructor materials
  • Flip grid, Google drive share, and Padlet – easy and engaging
  • WordPress blog – too complicated for students within challenging semester. Would be better integrated into learning platform or simpler website (SWAY). Word document lacks interest but gives opportunity to practice and distribute work in professional documentation styles. Will be weighing the benefits for choice this fall
  • Use of Qualtrics on regular basis will be a helpful ongoing piece to assess learning – learning inventories
  • Chose not to use some resources and that not all resources need to be utilized. Also learned that people have limited capacity to new technologies and that the stress of learning the technology can impact learning. Will utilize the same technologies for the cohorts for major pieces of learning.
  • I learned that one step at a time and openness to change is important in technology. We will always be adapting to different learning styles and new resources. I believe that proving engaging instruction and being able to regularly assess the learning – using whichever technology is available is the important point.
  • Supports of Tech Fellows – experts and resources were plentiful
  • Barriers – time, support for this type of growth, pandemic limitations, inexperience as a teacher.

Just as I was beginning to feel more confident about on the ground teaching, the pandemic struck. Development shifted again from enhancement of practices to survival in a new context – online or virtual instruction.  I realized quickly that modeling adaptability and being resilient in the context of school was necessary to lead the students.

Next steps:

  • Review instruction on how to create an online test, creating rubrics well, creating portfolios
  • Develop for new course OTH 767 a group assessment of student’s self-directed learning using technology
  • Rubric mastery in Brightspace
  • Utilize module-based learning inventories regularly
  • Implement changes based on data for CBP and opioid teaching module
  • Practice use of narrated PowerPoints and audio notes in Brightspace
  • Utilize iPad for classes and regular recording and access to information. Sync Notebook across all technology and utilize stylus for iPad for notetaking.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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


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.


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.