Maureen Monhollen, Ph.D. Interior Architecture

Maureen Monhollen,
Interior Architecture

Gamification in Curriculum: The Tensegrity Model

Project Overview

This project looks at technology through a mixed media lens that is frequently applied in design fields. For this project, I blended manual or analog hand skills in the design and construction of a model, with an animation app on the students’ smartphones to document process work, and used gamification as a competitive, collaborative, motivational and reward mechanism.

Planning Process

  • Factors to consider: First, the appropriateness of the mediums applied; analog hand skills, types of materials and equipment used, technology access and training, time before the assignment to practice with the app, sufficient timeline for completion of the project, and fair assessment and rewards.
  • The course learning objectives are based on the CIDA standards for interior design education. Using these standards help inform the creation of assignments or exercises that fulfill the expectations needed for accreditation and assure that the program is in compliance with those expectations.
  • UDL and equity are an ongoing concern. Student’s access to technology, prior exposure and experience with various apps and resources – both analog and digital – must be fair and equitable.  For this project, students were surveyed at the beginning of the semester to assess that smartphone technology was available to all students.  All physical model-making materials were provided to the students.
  • The model of integration used is primarily Bloom’s taxonomy and Kolb.


  • Implementation began with the assessment of technical equity of the students. Without full access, this project would not be appropriate.
  • Aligning the CIDA standards and expectations with the various steps of the project, and documenting how those expectations were going to be met and documented.
  • Introduction of the technology and training one week prior to the project implementation so students would have time to practice before execution.
  • Phase 1: Day of implementation
    • Course lecture
    • Introduction of project
    • Explanation of gamification
    • Mindset: process not product, journey, not destination
  • Phase 2: Assessment
    • Blind peer review
    • Anonymous third party review
    • Anonymous faculty review
  • Phase 3: Reward & Recognition
    • Pre-determined awards
    • Student-suggested awards
    • Public recognition
    • Formal grading and assessment


  • This project was assessed both formally applying the assignment rubric, and informally through anonymous and blind reviews and voting.
  • Formative assessment: This occurred organically and spontaneously through student engagement by suggesting additional rewards and competitive categories. Summative assessments occurred through the tally of voting, and through the assignment rubric.
  • Value was determined through the observations of student engagement, competitiveness, and collaborative efforts during the course of the project. Evidence was not formally assessed, but student engagement was enthusiastic, and lasting.  Similar assignment frameworks were requested for other assignments. Basically, the students had a lot of fun.

Reflections and Next Steps

  • This project was very successful; so much so, that students requested a similar format for other assignments. When they were informed that it was a “one-time” experience, they were pretty disappointed, and their enthusiasm lagged.
  •  The style of my teaching delivery in this lecture course would incorporate more interactive exercises throughout the semester to “break up” the more mundane approach, to introduce the element of surprise and delight, and keep student engagement elevated throughout the semester.
  • Learning a difficult, technical topic can be fun, but it must be meaningful and with purpose. Students can see through a “fun” activity if its just busywork. If there is no rationale, then they will consider it a waste of time and meaningless.
  • What’s Next: Evaluate additional opportunities for documenting process work in a fun and engaging way; more opportunities to “master” the smartphone app, or find other technologies that could be applied with similar outcomes.
  • Share the assignment framework with my program colleagues, especially adjunct instructors who may not have the time or resources for exploration of teaching pedagogies and technology apps that have been applied in the curriculum.

Heather Cunningham, Ph.D. Education

Heather Cunningham, Ph.D. Education

You Be the Teacher: Developing K12 teacher technology skills through asynchronous learning projects.

Project Overview

During Fall 2019, EDU 219W Cognitive Learning Theories shifted from meeting MWF 10-10:50 in-person to meeting MW 10-10:50 and Friday class time occurring through student-led asynchronous activities. Students took turns leading the class by creating 5–10-minute video podcasts highlighting key chapter ideas and designing a weekly review quiz using online technology popular with K12 teachers. I referred to this project as “You Be the Teacher,” or YBT for short.

Planning Process

In the past few years since the pandemic started, it has been clear that K-12 teachers need the skills to lead their classrooms in both in-person and online settings. In order to strengthen Chatham’s Education students’ skills in delivering instruction online, I shifted selected learning tasks and my overall course delivery strategy for EDU 219W Cognitive Learning Theories to meet these added learner needs while still meeting all course objectives.

Course objectives for EDU 219W include the following:

– Increased understanding of the inter-relatedness of development and learning;

– Practice working in student groups; and

– Practice in organizing and presenting clear, logical oral presentations

Tenets of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) promote instructional practices that support equity in access to learning experiences.  UDL also acknowledges that all students learn in different ways, and that instructors must be mindful to craft learning experiences that students can access from a variety of departure points. By meeting the above learning objectives in an asynchronous and project-based format, students were offered opportunities for learning that previously were not part of the course.  The You Be the Teacher (YBT) asynchronous learning projects allowed students to share what they know in a pre-recorded format, so they can eliminate presentation errors and lower overall anxiety about presenting. It also prompted students to create learning resources that can be accessed at any time by other students in the course interested in reviewing course content.   

The SAMR model was used in project design. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition – the different levels in which technology is integrated into the course. These levels are as follows:

S: Tech acts as a direct substitution with no functional improvement;

A: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute with functional improvement;

M: Tech allows for significant task re-design; and

R: Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable. 

As students were responsible for creating new online review resources for their peers, this project represents the “modification” level of technology integration. Students in past years completed in-person presentations instead of video casts and online quizzes. These in-person presentations were not accessible to peers to be used as study guides after the presentation ended.


In order to implement this project, I had to do the following:

1. Re-work the entire syllabus to work with only asynchronous tasks on Fridays.

2. Develop the You Be the Teacher (YBT) project description and rubric, and have it ready for the beginning of the semester

3. Invite Lauren Panton to my class as a guest speaker to introduce the needed tech skills of creating a 5-minute video using Zoom and creating a 10-question Kahoot! quiz.

4. Graciously thank Lauren for her visit via Zoom, the recording of her visit she produced, and the handout she made outlining the skills she taught during her visit.

5. Reminded students a week in advance when it was their turn to lead asynchronous Friday activities

6. Required students to post their videocast and their quiz on the Wednesday before each asynch Friday so that I could review their work and help them problem solve any technical difficulties.

7. Stay alert for emails from students struggling with technology on Fridays. Occasionally, even when I believed everyone should be able to get into the student-created Kahoot quizzes, something happened blocking a student’s access. As all students received points for completing the quizzes, this was stressful for some. After a few frustrating experiences, I created a standing alternative assignment directing students to write a 500-word response highlighting key chapter ideas and drawing two quotations from text. I told them to complete this alternative assignment only if they were blocked from completing the YBT activities created by their classmate.


I formally assessed my project after the course ended – giving me summative feedback. I created a Google Form survey and asked students the following questions:

1. How much did you like the shift from a traditional class meeting 3x a week to having asynch fridays?

2. How relevant and helpful do you think leading the asynch friday tasks (videocast, Kahoot) were for your future K12 classroom teacher job?

3. What were your key take aways from leading your asynchronous week (creating videocast + Kahoot!)?

4. Do you think other Education classes should use the asynchronous Fridays format?

5. Any additional feedback regarding the You Be the Teacher asynchronous Fridays experience?

I asked each question above using a Likert scale response, then asked the students to explain why they chose each answer with a short answer response. 

In short, students found the You Be the Teacher project to be quite valuable. They appreciated the flexibility the format provided, and 10/12 students found the YBT tasks to be highly useful to their future position as a classroom teacher.

Reflections and Next Steps

What worked:

– Shifting the semester to asynchronous classes on Fridays to allow for this project

Giving students authentic tasks that K12 teachers must do when leading instruction in a virtual format.

– Collaborating with Lauren Panton to have my students learn tech skills that K12 teachers are currently using (making short videos via Zoom, creating Kahoot quizzes)

What didn’t work:

The timing of students posting their videos and Kahoots for my review two days before students viewed them got a bit messy. Sometimes students were late in posting their work, or I was a day late in reviewing it, leading to the class seeing the content sometimes before I did. I did not like that as I was not able to give feedback to the presenters in time for them to implement it.

Sometimes students ran into obstacles such as Kahoot saying only 10 participants can view their quiz, which was a problem as there were 30 students viewing the quiz. As I did not sit and work with the students on their Kahoot design, I was never sure how to solve that problem.

Next time:

Next time, I plan to have students complete their video and Kahoot a week ahead of time so that problems and technical glitches can be ironed out without a constant “last minute crunch.”

What did I learn:

I learned students respond really well to challenging assignments when it affords them authentic skills they can use in their future career. I also learned that post-pandemic students truly value hybrid courses as a means of engaging in coursework in a flexible yet very meaningful way.    

Tricia Sukel, D.C. Biology

Tricia Sukel, D.C.

Using Kahoot! for Class Engagement

Project Overview

Student engagement is a concern in my classroom. I teach Anatomy and Physiology (BIO116/BIO117) which is the study of the structures and functions of the human body systems. I am very heavy lecture based, and I needed a tool to help ensure that my students were grasping the material. After reviewing a few virtual quiz formats, I chose to use Kahoot! Kahoot! is composed of prewritten or personally created quiz questions to spark the student’s retention of the material covered during lecture. Kahoot! allowed me to write trivia type questions to be answered during lecture. After each major topic in lecture, I implant a Kahoot! question in my PowerPoint that deals with the topic covered to test the students understanding of the subject matter.

Planning Process

Kahoot! trivia questions are written by me and geared to mirror expected questions on the exams. I teach Anatomy and Physiology and the volume of material is expansive. A quiz question inserted after every major topic and will be a refresher on main points. I choose an appropriate downloaded image for each question for a visual cue. The background for each question is appropriate for all students and accessible. The questions are true/false, multiple choice, or puzzle, which is an ordering question. I set the time limit for 20 seconds per question.

The students are asked to download the Kahoot! app on their phone or computer before the start of class. Directions were provided in Brightspace. The students were given an access code specific for that class’s set of trivia questions. Once they enter in the access code, they will type in their first initial and last name, and they are ready to play! If the students prefer to use a pseudonym, they may, if I know the reference. The trivia question and image will be displayed and the answer choices also. A background music jingle will be played, and a clock will be shown to signal the time countdown. After the time has lapsed, a screen will show the first, second, and third place students. Scores are based on correctness and speed of selecting an answer.

Plan B was to use Poll Everywhere or Padlet. I found success in Kahoot! so plan B was not necessary.


Implementation of the ThingLink comprehensive portfolio occurred in Fall 2021 in EXS 302. I practiced setting up and running through multiple ThingLinks without issue, however when time came to go through it in the student walkthrough, students had many difficulties getting access to the platform. It became a standstill as some students were able to easily log on while others were asked for passwords, and others access codes. Smooth is not a word I would use to describe this experience. After a few minutes of trouble shooting, it came to a hard stop while I reached out for help from IT and the tech fellow mentors. Fast forward 48 hours and we tried again making sure all students were logging in through their Chatham accounts and passwords rather than creating new accounts. Plan B was to revert to a word processing portfolio and adjust requirements to make them more visually appealing than in the past.

Students navigated the setup of ThingLink with relative ease and positive feedback as they each could put their own unique flavor into their projects. After the initial setup of the “hot spot” links and OneDrive folders students were instructed on how to create subfolders in anticipation of working on this throughout the semester as assignments were completed.

Students were reminded throughout the semester to upload documents, assignments, and artifacts to ThingLink. Those that worked along the way created a robust repository for content, information, and assignments.


I assessed my project both formally and informally. I inquired verbally in class of the pros and cons of the trivia quizzes. Most students enjoyed the new interaction and thought the trivia was fun and informative. They began to look forward to the questions.

I posted a survey through survey monkey to formally inquire of the student’s opinion of Kahoot! trivia questions. 80% of the students who completed the survey agreed that Kahoot! was a useful tool for material retention and student engagement. The results of the 12 students polled are as follows:

  1. On a scale of 1-3, with 1 being most difficult, 2 being ambivalent, and 3 being least difficult, please rate how difficult you thought Kahoot! was to navigate.

1: 2 responded most difficult to navigate

2: 1 ambivalent

3: 9 responded least difficult to navigate

  • On a scale of 1-3, with 1 being least appealing, 2 being ambivalent, and 3 being most appealing, please rate the layout and appearance of Kahoot! trivia questions.

1: 0

2: 0

3: 12 responded most appealing

  • Please rate the educational value of participating in classroom Kahoot! trivia questions on a scale of 1-3, with 1 being least value, 2 being ambivalent, and 3 being most value.

1: 1 least value

2: 0

3: 11 most value

I think this project was of value to both me and my students. I found the project helpful because students markedly got questions correct on my exams that were similar to the Kahoot! trivia questions. The project was valuable to the students in that they received slightly higher exam scores. The need for additional Kahoot! questions in future lectures is apparent.

Reflections and Next Steps

I was very happy with the ease of setting up my trivia questions and quality of the format. I was pleased with the ability to write my own questions and not just use a question bank. I was also grateful to be able to use downloaded images and not just stock photos. I plan to use this quizzing app for points in the future on more difficult questions or possibly problem-based learning questions where the students will need to apply their knowledge a bit more. I also plan to use video questions with demonstrations on models or dissections. I learned that the students appreciated having “practice” exam questions in a fun interactive format. It also proved to modestly boost attendance and if used for points or bonus, will increase attendance even further. I feel this project increased lecture absorption expectations and student engagement improved.

Jessie Ramey, Ph.D.

Jessie Ramey, Ph.D.
Women’s & Gender Studies and History

From Synthesizing Historical Evidence to a Tech-Treasure-Box  

Project Overview

I came to the Tech Fellows program inspired to modify the final projects in two of my classes using technology tools to better support students analyzing historical evidence and synthesizing course material. Over the first year of the Tech Fellows program, I wound up re-designing these two final projects, significantly revising a third assignment, and deploying six new-to-me tech tools, including several to support my own pedagogical organization. My updated tech-treasure-box now includes: Panopto, Sway, AppleTV, Forms, Calendly, and Dashlane.

Planning Process

For final projects in my courses I regularly ask students to analyze historical evidence and synthesize a wide range of material from the semester. For HIS220 U.S. Women’s History, students in the prior academic year had created timelines using the free version of a commercially available product: their projects were gorgeous, well organized, and packed with relevant details. But several students experienced the calamitous effects of the software’s lack of an “undo” or “restore” feature, losing entire projects and dozens of hours of work during finals week. After calming distressed students and having a less than satisfying exchange with the software developers, I was determined to save the best parts of the timeline assignment while finding a better platform. I was also sensitive to data privacy concerns about requiring students to use for-profit, third-party software and wondered if we could find a solution using a tool already available through Chatham.

For my WGS365 Gendered Resistance, Riots, and Rebellions course, students had thrived when given lots of creative flexibility with their final projects in the prior year. But I had started a new research project of my own – collecting oral interviews with a Chatham alumna whose work was related to the themes of the class – and I wanted to find a way to give students access to this kind of historical data in a manner that they could meaningfully incorporate into their own work. The challenge was how to preserve students’ creative engagement with the course material, while adding access to a rich new digital collection. Because undergraduate students generally do not have experience with raw historical data (since even the primary source material they work with tends to be professionally excerpted and contextualized for them), I also wanted to be sure I put enough guiderails around the project to ensure student success.

Relevant Course Learning Outcomes 
WGS365 Gendered Resistance, Riots, and RebellionsHIS220 U.S. Women’s History
Understand and apply feminist theory and theory through critical thinking and analysis. Develop skills toward social change, through studying contemporary and historic feminists, feminist movements, and feminist strategies.Demonstrate knowledge of specific facts, concepts, and generalizations regarding past human activity in social, political, intellectual, economic, cultural, geographic and technological spheres.Demonstrate analytical understanding of these key historical events and concepts through a gender lens.Explain the connections between past development and contemporary issues.Demonstrate ability to clearly communicate knowledge via oral and written means.

For both of these final projects, I considered the SAMR Model to determine the level of enhancement or transformation of the tasks using new digital tools:

A model of the SAMR model 
S - Substiution
A - Augmentation
M - Modification
R - Redefinition

I also considered Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, thinking about how to accommodate the learning needs of all students, and eliminating barriers to success. For the final assignments in both classes, I used a UDL framework to allow students to differentiate the ways they demonstrate what they know and to provide multiple means of engagement with the material. This framework reinforces equity, ensuring that all students receive the resources and opportunities they need in order to be successful in the course.


Since I teach WGS365 Gendered Resistance, Riots, and Rebellions in the fall, I decided to start with this course and re-design the final project. In this class we examine gendered resistance to social, political, and economic inequalities, from the 1700s to the present, using a wide range of interdisciplinary scholarship. We look at both leaders and issues in organized movements, as well as events often labeled as “riots” or “rebellions,” and we consider how we understand different attempts to challenge systems of power. We pay special attention to the intersections of gender with other social identities, including race, class, and sexual identity, and discuss feminist epistemology when looking at sources. For the final projects, I asked the students to pull this all together by applying what they learned to work with new oral histories I have been recording with Chatham alumna, Kipp Dawson. Students chose one of the six major social movements that Dawson helped to lead (Civil Rights Movement, Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Women’s Movement, Gay Liberation/LGBTQIA+ Movement, Labor Movement, and the Education Justice Movement).

I have recorded over 30 interviews with Dawson using Zoom and Panopto to capture and store the video. After a bit of file manipulation, I have a collection of interviews in speaker-view with automated speech recognition (ASR) transcripts that are about 85-90% accurate. Eventually these will be fully transcribed to proper oral history standards, but the ASR proved useful for the purposes of this assignment. Students could do key-word searches, and the transcription provides an additional level of accessibility. I granted students read-only access to the files in my Panopto account, which they could access through Chatham to watch the interviews. These steps, while straight-forward, required assistance on the back-end from Lauren with Panopto’s quirks so that all the students could see the interviews and to regularly recover files that the system randomly deletes.

Students had to answer three large questions related to the course, using the interviews as their evidence, and drawing on the arguments from our class readings to synthesize the concepts. I provided a number of check-in points, peer and instructor review opportunities, and a detailed rubric. Dawson also visited the class one day and students were able to ask her questions related to their projects. To provide additional differentiated learning, I used RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) to have students choose a structure for their final assignment:

TeacherCourse review committeeLesson plansWritten lectures and plans for one or more class sessions
ActivistCommunity membersBlog postsTwo or more posts in a series; can include photos, videos, links
ReporterReaders of local newspaperNews articleIn depth investigative report
Documentary film makerProspective producersFilm treatmentDetailed description of proposed new documentary
ExpertLive audienceTED talkScript for a 10 minute TED talk

In the spring semester, I re-designed the final project for HIS220 U.S. Women’s History. In this class we examine women in the context of several long running themes in U.S history, including political, economic, and social change from the 1400s through the present. We also interrogate the intersection of gender with other identities such as race, sexuality, and immigration status to consider the wide range and geographic variation of experiences. For the final assignment, students choose a theme from a list that I provide (with topics such as “women’s formal political rights” or “women’s wage labor” or “marriage and the family”). They then create a timeline presentation synthesizing what they have learned, using evidence from the course material to demonstrate change over time. I use a detailed rubric to help provide some guiderails for this assignment, designating the number and span of chronological sections students must use, the number and types of evidence for each section (textual, images, media, introductory analysis, discussion prompts).

Because the external product we had used last year caused so many problems, I was determined to find an alternative supported in-house by Chatham and that would not require students to create outside accounts. Becky recommended Sway, and while it does not have all of the interactive features of the commercial timeline product, it is part of the Microsoft suite and fully accessible to students with their Chatham log-in. Becky also came into the class to teach the tool, answer questions, and offer her assistance if students need help. I created a detailed template as an example for students to use, illustrating the chronological periods, types of content, and tips and hints for thinking about their own projects. Students are modifying the template to meet their needs and then will submit the “embed code” for their projects to an assignment on Brightspace. I created a Final Project Gallery in Sway and will copy the embed codes to the gallery manually to generate a display of all the student work. Students will then access the Final Project Gallery to view their peers’ timelines and answer their discussion prompts.

During our Tech Fellows training, we were introduced to the AppleTV devices that are in many of the classrooms. I had not used these before and decided to try it during the fall semester in the Gendered Resistance course. Instead of plugging into the podium computer, students can stay at their seats and share their screens from any Apple laptop, iPad, or iPhone. Students were assigned to dates throughout the semester to help lead the discussion of readings for the day. I have used a version of this assignment for different classes for many years, and when students had to stand in the front of the room to connect to the projector from the podium, the experience inevitably created anxiety for some and turned into a much more formal presentation, rather than a peer-led discussion. When students were able to stay at their seats and quickly connect to the projector, they were noticeably more relaxed. In this class, we pull our chairs into a circle for discussion, and AppleTV also allowed us to maintain this seating arrangement, which reinforces the learning community we work to build together.

I was so thrilled with the change that this technology created, that I decided to revamp the peer-led discussion assignment for use in my spring U.S. Women’s History class. Because this is a much larger course, I split the assignment into two parts and assigned two students to each date: one student provided a brief “Where Were We?” summary of where we left off in prior readings, including any points of confusion, or questions we still need to think about. This effectively activates prior knowledge and positively impacts students’ reception and integration of new knowledge. The next student provided a “Where Are We?” summary of today’s big themes, points they found interesting, and connections to past readings. Both presentations were short and, with AppleTV, students could quickly switch from one screen-sharing to another.

I also used the AppleTV with several guest speakers during the academic year, all of whom were impressed with the technology. In one instance, we could not get a speaker’s slides to load on the podium computer, but she had a backup copy accessible from her phone, and she was able to quickly pivot and still have the presentation for her talk.

In addition to revising the three assignments described above, I added a few other tech tools to my treasure box this year. After Lauren and Becky reminded us of how simple Microsoft Forms are to set up, I transitioned several of my student-facing application and sign-up forms for the Women’s Institute to this platform. I am also using Forms for the collection of feedback on the Sway timeline project. Similarly, Lauren and Becky demonstrated two options for password managers and I chose to transition from a 28-page word document (not secure!) to Dashlane. It took me a large part of the Labor Day holiday weekend to get everything set up, but I am finding some real advantages, including teaching: when I need to quickly log into various sites for demonstrations or to play videos the process is much smoother, and students are not seeing me type passwords on the screen. Last but not least, I was encouraged to try Calendly. I have been using the free version this year as a trial run for scheduling meetings with students for advising and office hours, and to a more limited extent with colleagues. In the free version, you can only choose one meeting duration, so all of my offered meeting times are in 30 minute increments: a bit longer than I need for some student meetings, and less than I need for some colleague meetings. I appreciate how Calendly automatically sets up a zoom link and puts the meeting on my calendar, and that when students cancel or change their appointments, I don’t have to be involved in endless back and forth email exchanges.


In WGS365 Gendered Resistance, Riots, and Rebellions, students loved learning about Kipp Dawson and relating the oral interviews back to class material. Panopto worked seamlessly for them, and they appreciated its built-in tools, including varied play-back speeds and text-search of the transcripts. They consistently ranked working with Dawson’s story as one of the highlights of the course. For instance, once student reported: “Most impactful was getting to speak with the authors, especially getting to speak with Kipp before we turned in our final projects. … Sorting through the interviews with Kipp and learning about her life was something that felt very special and important, but that is also a great skill to learn.” I really liked having students working on a project related to my own scholarship and giving students the chance to dig into raw historical data – something that I did not experience until graduate school.

In HIS220 U.S. Women’s History, students completed a short six-question survey about their experience using Sway for their final projects. The survey had a 97% response rate and students ranked each question on a 5-point scale. I asked three questions about the final assignment itself (synthesizing evidence to create a timeline) and three questions about the technology. Interestingly, the these three tech-related questions received lower scores than those for the project. The lowest average score (3.6) was in response to the statement, “The use of Sway enhanced the effectiveness of this assignment.”

I also provided an open-ended space for feedback about the assignment, and students had mixed responses to Sway, though overall there were more positive comments than negative:

+  Fun, enjoyable, easy to learn, created professional looking projects (11 comments)

  • “It was enjoyable to do this assignment!”
  • “It was easy to learn and very customizable.”
  • “I really liked using sway.”
  • “It felt very professional and more than a final project.”

 Difficult to learn, glitches, hard to customize, needs more documentation (8 comments)

  • “it was difficult to figure out how to change the theme and make it my own.”
  • “There was a bit of a hard learning curve”
  • “a little confusing to submit and to look at my classmates sways”
  • “Some parts of Sway were harder to understand such as how to create more groups if I had more than the template had”
  • “It would sometimes make me log in again too and would delete some of what I was writing.”
  • “somehow my information had been deleted and my pictures were rearranged into the wrong period on my timeline”

One student reported feeling hesitant to ask for help with the technology: “While there was help pretty easily accessible, it felt silly to request a meeting for help to figure out how to change the font.” Two other students suggested more detailed written instructions for using the technology. These recommendations could enhance the use of the platform if we use it again.

Also in HIS220, the “Where Were We?/Where Are We?” exercise using AppleTV is getting high marks from students. Student presenters are noticeably more relaxed than in previous semesters, staying in their seats to share, while their peers are focused and engaged. The technology lets us switch between screen sharing quickly, so it takes up less class time at the beginning of each session. On the early course evaluations, which I give around Week 6 in my classes, a number of students listed this exercise as an example of the teaching strategies that best support their learning. The only big challenge has been with the few students who do not have Apple devices.

Reflections and Next Steps

As I move into year two of the Tech Fellows program, I am looking forward to continuing to tweak the assignments. Perhaps the biggest change will be Chatham’s transition from Panopto to YuJa, a new video capture platform. Lauren has been working to ensure that all of the oral interviews with Kipp Dawson are transferred to the new system. I plan to have students continue engaging with the interviews and will need to learn this new software. While students appreciated the choices available to them through the RAFT format, they seemed to struggle with the creative format on top of trying to wrestle with the raw historical data – a brand new skill for all of them. I will likely put more guiderails on the project and perhaps offer fewer choices.

I plan to continue using the Sway format for the final timeline projects in U.S. Women’s History. As I explain to the class, this assignment allows them to demonstrate their breadth and depth of knowledge on a given topic, to collect a wide range of evidence, and to organize the material to show change over time. The timelines are essentially a detailed outline of a paper, so they are doing almost everything except writing – a task many of them dislike – yet this project helps them work on the crucial underlying skills of critical thinking, organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing. The students gave more positive feedback about these learning goals for the project than for the technology itself, though the assessment was positive enough to recommend keeping Sway as the platform. Several students suggested additional documentation, which could help with learning the tool next year.

I also plan to keep the peer-led discussions and “Where Were We?/Where Are We?” exercises using AppleTV in both classes. And I’ve decided to continue my trial run with Forms, Dashlane, and Calendly.

Tara Stamper, DNP Nursing

Tara Stamper, DNP

H5P Utilization to Engage 1st Semester DNP Students

Project Overview

It was observed that first semester doctor of nursing practice students had a varying degree of knowledge on research methodology.  To review this important foundational content and reiterate information, an interactive method of presenting material was needed.  This interactive method is important because the doctor of nursing practice program is strictly an online forum which can be repetitive and dry.  The Research Methodology Module was meant to be a part of the new revised nursing curriculum and included as an increase of supplemental resources to enhance student success. 

Planning Process

The main factor that was considered in selecting H5P for this module was to continuously engage the adult student and review information as the module progressed.  Program objectives were included in the development of the module which included providing students with foundational knowledge of nursing science. 

H5P is a program that has innumerous tools embedded in the program. At its simplest, the program allows for links to be embedded in the presentation for additional information.  One of the main reasons I selected this program is for the ability to add in presentation questions that test the student’s knowledge after content is delivered.  The program keeps track of attempts and allows multiple attempts to answer the questions.  At first, I found the program intimidating but after using it to create the module, I am finding that it is somewhat user friendly, has helpful tutorials and likely way more capacity than I know at present. 


Implementation will occur when the next cohort of students begin in Fall 2023.  The hope is that the module will be included as the intervention in an experiential study conducted on the knowledge of research methodology in first semester DNP students.  If approved, the study would include multiple cohorts over a period of time.


There will be a formal assessment via surveys. 

Reflections and Next Steps

I initially had what I now believe to be high and unrealistic expectations of what I wanted this module to be.  This was true not only with technological capabilities but also with needed information for our students.  I had originally looked into Yuja as an application to use but did not want my face to be on the presentation.  Given that the students work asynchronously, I wanted them to be able to review information as long as they needed to or go back if necessary.  I did not know if Yuja had the question capability but found that H5P did; and different varieties at that that would keep the student engaged.  The module will be finished with an audio piece for additional information as well as direction for each slide.  H5P also states that it is easily used by students for assignments; a part of the program which I have not yet looked into.

Tim Braun, Ph.D. Athletic Training

Tim Braun Ph.D.
Exercise Science

Clinical Reasoning Using Technology

Project Overview

Clinical reasoning is a preeminent focus of all health science graduate education. As we educate these young clinicians, it is imperative that they not only learn essential content for presenting conditions but can clinically reason to determine and appropriately manage the likely injury or illness. Clinical reasoning involves practitioners linking their existing content knowledge with the information obtained from the patient encounter. As this new information is obtained, the clinician utilizes high-level thinking and self-reflection to make individualized patient centered care decisions. Failure to effectively clinically reason is a major cause of medical errors, delayed diagnoses, and unnecessary diagnostic testing.

Case scenarios and outlining distinguishing injury characteristics are nothing new to athletic training evaluation courses, these are part of any Graduate Athletic Training Program. While these activities aren’t new, my goal was to reformat these with the use of technology to improve in-class student engagement and potentially their clinical reasoning. I dedicated these activities to both of my Orthopedic and Neurological Assessment courses.

Planning Process

Traditionally, I performed these activities with students by either simply talking through case scenarios or having them collaboratively write on the whiteboard. As we went through the summer workshop, these introduced tech tools spurred my thoughts toward improving my course delivery and hopefully overall student learning. EdPuzzle was a simple selection. Rather than simply reviewing presenting cases to the class, I had the chance to carefully create and record new ones. The ability to add word prompts in the video gave the students a natural pause to discuss their thoughts and reasoning to their diagnoses selections. Compared to traditional whiteboard work, the collaborative and anonymous nature of Padlet added more engagement. Rather than the dominant personalities solely contributing by writing on the board, all students had the chance to assist in creating these living study guides.


Several video narrated clinical case scenarios were created in EdPuzzle for an in-class activity. As a group, students were presented with a patient case with me narrating the history followed by the rest of the evaluation portions, observations, palpations, range of motion, strength testing and applicable special tests. At the conclusion of each section, the video stopped to prompt a group discussion. The discussion centered around creating a differential diagnosis list with the most likely injuries. As the case progressed through each section, the group returned to their differential list to determine potential changes based on newly provided information. By ranking and prioritizing the most likely diagnosis, the students began to clinically reason in a collaborative, safe environment. For any students deficient, they had the ability to follow others’ reasoning.

As an in-class review activity, Padlets were created for each covered body area. Each pathology for the selected areas were listed with prompts for students to add the mechanisms of injury, signs and symptoms and applicable orthopedic special tests. Once this in-class activity was completed, I reviewed similarities and differences between the presented pathologies to the entire class. After the class, students had access to the Padlets for a study tool.


These activities were informally assessed by the students following each case presentation and Padlet review. After tool utilization, students were asked to vote on their usefulness and whether to continue receiving different cases and Padlets. Consistently, they wished to continue both. Overall, they liked the ability of both activities to relate content knowledge to real-world applications. 

Reflections and Next Steps

Overall, the implementation of these activities met my expectations for improving engagement and beginning the process of assisting these students in developing clinical reasoning. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive and receptive to utilizing the new tech tools. The only minor challenges were related to my own inexperience with the tech tools and time to construct the cases. As the semester progressed, both minor challenges began to dissipate.

   My next steps involve expanding the use of Edpuzzle for case scenarios. As my own narrated library increases, I want to have the students create their own scenarios for an assignment. Also, I hope to have their field preceptors create video cases to reflect on their own clinical experiences. Padlets will absolutely stay as part of both orthopedic evaluation courses. The class will work collaboratively to build each document. Access will remain open to all students for review.

Implementing Technology Assignments Developed from a Faculty Technology Fellows Program

Cohort 9 Tech Fellows Chris O’Brien and Lora Walter are now published in The Journal for Interactive Technology, and Pedagogy with a short-form article Implementing Technology Assignments Developed from a Faculty Technology Fellows Program.

Implementing Technology Assignments Developed from a Faculty Technology Fellows Program

Congratulations to these creative and dedicated educators; we are thrilled they have found a place to share their work and inspire others!

Jamiyanaa Dashdorj, Ph.D. Physics

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Jamiyanaa Dashdorj, Ph.D.

Creating Rubrics and Use of Wireless Technology in Brightspace and Physics Laboratory


Project Overview

My physics laboratory courses comprise of experiments that accompany the lecture and discussion portions of the algebra- and calculus-based physics courses. These lab courses allow students to gain hands-on experience with course concepts and provide them with the opportunity to explore a variety of scientific methods. Each semester, there are three lab sections. The maximum capacity of a lab section is set at 16 students, and class meetings occur once a week for three hours. Students work in groups consisting of 2-3 students when performing experiments.
The hands-on activities of the lab courses not only provide students the opportunity to understand the concepts more deeply, but also a way for students to collaborate with each other and perform practical scientific studies. One of the most effective ways to accurately assess student learning and performance and to clarify your expectations is to create and use a good rubric for lab report grading.
My technology fellows project goal was to improve student performance and learning and enhance their experimental and scientific writing skills, by implementing the Turnitin and Brightspace rubrics.

A picture of a lab report heading.

Instead of requiring students to submit a full lab report for each experiment they complete, they were asked to submit weekly lab notes. The Lab note submission was due one week after the completion of each experiment, which included brief background theory, experimental procedure, data collection and analysis, and possible sources of error. A good lab notebook shows student’s skills in recording accurate data and performing detailed data analysis.

  • A full lab report was required after every four laboratory experiments. Students are allowed to choose one lab out of the four experiments and write up a laboratory report which included a title, abstract, introduction, procedure, results, discussion and conclusion sessions.
  • Instead of asking students to share their data to group members, all students are now able to collect and analyze their own data using wireless devices so called Airlink and SmartGate.


Planning Process

To begin this project, I did a literature review, reexamined my lab report grading rubric, and compared it with others available online. Based on this research, I designed two rubrics: one for laboratory notebooks and other for full lab reports. I then visited Brightspace video tutorials, and watched videos for creating and using a rubric in Brightspace by D2L. I considered all important rules for good rubrics such as clarity, evaluative criteria, quality definitions and a scoring strategy.
On the hardware level, I purchased two dozen Airlink and SmartGate from Pasco Scientific along with chargers. These wireless devices were connected to laboratory equipment and tested prior to lab experiments.



Prior to posting the rubrics and consultation with Becky Borello, I merged my three lab sections in Brightspace.

  • A laboratory notebook assessment rubric was developed and provided to students as soon as the assignment was posted on Brightspace. Here, the most important expectation was to record everything they perform laboratory experiment including an actual experimental setup picture and detailed data analysis.
  • A carefully designed lab report grading rubric, accompanied by the Turnitin, was developed, and added to Brightspace assignments. Here, the most essential expectation is to follow the guidelines for writing a scientific laboratory report which is significant part of their overall grade.
  • With the above wireless technology, all laptops regardless of USB port types connect measurement sensing devices through Bluetooth using in-app pairing and begin collecting data. They are powered with rechargeable batteries.



  • The average Smart Evaluation score for laboratory courses increased by +0.3, compared to that of previous semester prior to implementing lab grading rubrics in Brightspace.
  • During the grading of laboratory notebook and lab report, I also provided personalized feedback to each student. Many students appreciated and found this to be helpful for their next assignment, future work or revisions.
  • The lab report grading rubric accompanied by Turnitin provides students with clear feedback, so that they understand which sessions of lab report they have to improve, and make grading more transparent and fair.
  • These rubrics expedite laboratory notebook and lab report grading by about three times faster than before. The faster grading turn out time allows for the instructor to focus on refining and solidifying the laboratory component so that it enriches the learning experiences for the students.
  • The use of wireless technology increases motivational levels when students learn to take ownership of their own progress, organize, collect and analyze the data, individually and independently.

Reflections and Next Steps

I will continue to use the rubrics and Turnitin for all my laboratory courses in the future, seeing the benefit in my courses and overall student performance. I will continue to update and upgrade laboratory manuals, both the wireless and wired equipment as our department budget allows and make them user friendly, easy to understand and ability to engage student learning. I will continue efforts to improve the evaluative criteria of my rubrics and make them more clear with scoring guides.

Jason Edsall, Ph.D. Exercise Science

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Jason Edsall, Ph.D.
Exercise Science

Using ThingLink to create interactive comprehensive course portfolios


Project Overview

Exercise Science is a unique major in that courses are delivered sequentially as students progress in a cohort model through the curriculum. In class, students draw knowledge and experiences from prior semesters and course content to increase depth and application of key programmatic concepts. This often results in students needing to revisit and review prior content. Historically, the EXS courses have been taught in content silos and assessed using multiple individual and group assignments and projects. These projects are often submitted, graded, and forgotten about, resulting in difficulties locating the assignments to review.

In the past, portfolios have been used unsuccessfully to compile student work throughout the semester. Portfolios were created in a word processing document or PDF format and lacked creativity and usefulness. Effort on the part of the student was limited and most lacked innovation, interaction, or utility beyond simply being a graded item for the course. ThingLink is a technology platform that allows users to create unique, individualized tools that are meaningful to the developer. This technology provides the ability to augment images, create content, and link folders in visually appealing ways not experienced in processing or PDF portfolios. I implemented ThingLink in EXS302 – Principles of Strength and Conditioning during fall 2021 in attempt to create a more useful, creative, and engaging comprehensive portfolio in hopes of having students utilize such references for future semesters.


Planning Process

In developing this assignment, I wanted to find a way to have students create a more applicable reference tool that was meaningful for each student. I explored numerous storage platforms where layers of content could be easily stored and readily accessed and settled on OneDrive as all students at Chatham have access to this and can easily grant access to others to view. I investigated various other options of platforms before settling on ThingLink but ultimately found the ease of use and the simplicity of the platform to be the most user friendly. One of the most important items in designing this project and selecting the technology is to find one that would not cause unnecessary frustration or difficulties to the students.

ThinkLink logo

image credit: ThinkLink

When planning an initial folder creation for ThingLink I decided on having students select an image of the entire human body and create 13 “Hot Spot” links on their chosen image that link to folders on their OneDrive. These folders included various joints of the body and workout folders where they would later upload their assignments and projects. Specific written instructions were developed and an oral presentation that went through the assignment in class including an example how to set up ThingLink and linking folders.

ThinkLink example


Implementation of the ThingLink comprehensive portfolio occurred in Fall 2021 in EXS 302. I practiced setting up and running through multiple ThingLinks without issue, however when time came to go through it in the student walkthrough, students had many difficulties getting access to the platform. It became a standstill as some students were able to easily log on while others were asked for passwords, and others access codes. Smooth is not a word I would use to describe this experience. After a few minutes of trouble shooting, it came to a hard stop while I reached out for help from IT and the tech fellow mentors. Fast forward 48 hours and we tried again making sure all students were logging in through their Chatham accounts and passwords rather than creating new accounts. Plan B was to revert to a word processing portfolio and adjust requirements to make them more visually appealing than in the past.

Students navigated the setup of ThingLink with relative ease and positive feedback as they each could put their own unique flavor into their projects. After the initial setup of the “hot spot” links and OneDrive folders students were instructed on how to create subfolders in anticipation of working on this throughout the semester as assignments were completed.


ThingLink example of a body with hotspotsThingLink example of body with hotspots on shoulder

Students were reminded throughout the semester to upload documents, assignments, and artifacts to ThingLink. Those that worked along the way created a robust repository for content, information, and assignments.

Folder structure of Word documents related to Shoulder ThingLink


This project was a required assignment in EXS302 but had accounted for only a small portion of the overall grade for the course. Being that it was the first implementation of this project and uncertain of the difficulties that students may encounter. This project was graded only on completeness of the assignment, (were all assignments accessible) though students far exceeded the low bar set for success. Students reported enjoying the assignment and really finding it useful. They indicated that they uploaded course material and information from other courses they had taken because they wanted to be able to have everything in one place.

ThinkLink example of the bodyFile folder of documents linked to ThinkLink

Reflections and Next Steps

This project far exceeded my expectations and aside from a few students that had errors getting access to ThingLink and a few others that had issues sharing access to OneDrive files it was painless for both the students and the instructor. Given the success of this project in the EXS302, I have begun meeting with faculty in the exercise science program and exploring how this can be integrated into the entire program. Discussions have been well received by the faculty and we are working to include this portfolio project in each class throughout the curriculum in hopes to have a comprehensive portfolio and useful reference at the conclusion of their undergraduate career.

I began this project with many reservations and hesitations, uncertain of how this would all be received. Implementing a new technology that I was only semi-familiar with at the onset was intimidating and concerning as to what I would do if the students saw me struggling or asked questions that I didn’t have the answer to. Reflecting, I think taking the dive into this created a unique experience for the students that found far greater value than prior attempts at portfolios. This has encouraged me to find more engaging ways to create content and assignments that further engage the students rather than simply “information dump,” as in the end they are far more meaningful and better received.

Nicole Hoh, Ph.D. Nursing

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Nicole Hoh, Ph.D.

Using Calendly to Connect with Students

Dr. Hoh used Calendly to streamline and simplify individual appointments with students.

Project Overview

The nursing programs face the significant challenge of orchestrating 1 on 1 consultation time with our busy working graduate students. Part of the course requirement for 2 of the capstone courses is the infamous week 4 phone/ zoom conference. Each section has 10-12 students, who often work full-time in clinic positions as nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists. It is hard to arrange a time to meet for 30 to 60 minutes during the work-day. The pandemic workload as only exacerbated this challenge. Prior to the use of technology, students would email me several times and I would try and post a master schedule. Calendly has been an efficient no hassle tool to help in scheduling and rescheduling!

Planning Process

In trying to address my dilemma, I was looking for an end-user friendly interface for both myself and the students on the other end. The nursing program DNP courses are asynchronous. Our students reside across the country to Canada and Puerto Rico. These phone calls/ zoom calls are crucial in having real-time exchange of thoughts and ideas.

In NUR 702, the first Capstone course, where the students start to write their chapters and identify a problem and the literature base for an intervention- this is the faculty’s main interaction to guide the student down the right path. Is the topic appropriate Evidence Based Practice vs Research? Is there a conceivable way to meet the end requirements of the program over the subsequent semesters? At the week 4 juncture in NUR 702, students don’t know what they don’t know! It is a time to get them on the right track and clear up any misconceptions.

NUR 704, the second Capstone course, also has the week 4 phone/zoom calls. The goal of this is to lay a strong foundation of project design. This real-time exchange at week 4 guides the rest of the student’s project development. It is critical to make sure that the design is EBP and not research. Also, of great importance is that the project can be done from recruitment to data analysis in 12 weeks, render a clinical outcome that addresses the problem, and the design utilizes the evidence for intervention in the literature review. This real-time exchange is vital.

The phone calls are also more than “work meetings”, it is also an opportunity to establish rapport and foster engagement. This is also an additional deliberate way to connect with on-line students.

This tech fellow project focuses on facilitating these phone calls while allowing for flexibility on students who often are in the clinical setting and may need to reschedule.


In the Fall of 2021, for the 702 course I piloted using Calendly. It was a learning curve for me to learn and live with the application. In the spring of 2022, in NUR 704 I figured out some bells and whistles and fell in love with the efficiency and flexibility.

  1. This is the website to get the process started. Sign-up and create an account. This will link to Microsoft office, so anything that goes in your calendar and Calendly will synch. It is very efficient that my work email and calendar are synced as well, so I can check sign ups at any time.
  2. For my 704 course, end of week 2 I set up my Calendly availability.
  3. Monday of week 3, I send the students the sign-up link for them to pick a time during week 4 dates. I also post the link in the announcements sections with the weekly recap/ previews.
  4. As the student’s sign-up and reschedule their times, it is automatically populated in my Microsoft calendar. The cancellations are noted as well! You will also receive an email of a cancellation.
  5. I prefer that the students call me at the time they signed up for, as they are working in clinical settings and maybe running behind.
  6. We conduct the meetings throughout week 4. Sometimes, they do spill into week 5 should an emergency arise on either end.
  7. Week 6, I made and sent out the Survey Monkey link to obtain student experience on using Calendly.



I formally assessment my students experience of using Calendly on my second attempt by using a 5 question Survey Monkey survey. I had 6 of my 10 students respond, for a 60% return rate. All responses reported a good experience with Calendly:

Graph of Calendly feedback 1

Calendly feedback 2

Calendly feedback 3

Calendly feedback 4

Calendly feedback 5


Reflections and Next Steps

When I used Calendly the first time, I did not utilize the additional options when setting up the link. These additional options were life changing, especially the scheduling conditions- I prefer a 12-hour notice so I can plan my day as I juggle work/ school/ family life balance like my students do. Especially since I offer evening hours, I want to know what my non-workday and weekend hours look like.

Calendly feedback 6

The ease of Calendly makes the phone/ zoom conference scheduling so easy that I am offering a meeting to my 799 students who are in their last capstone course and will be implementing their projects. It is an efficient and convenient way to touch base with students in an online environment and exchange advice, mentoring, and teaching in real-time. Building rapport, facilitating engagement, and fostering a sense of support in an asynchronous online environment is hard. In a small way, these intentional interactions make a difference in the student experience. Calendly is a wonderful app that acts as a vehicle to connect student with teacher.


Theresa Delbert, OTD Occupational Therapy

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Theresa Delbert, OTD
Occupational Therapy

Using Airtable to Track Student Engagement

An exploration of Airtable to support the identified needs related to the tracking and reporting of grant activities.

Project Overview

The Healthcare Alliance for the Promotion of Pittsburgh Youth (HAPPY) Project is a Behavioral Health Workforce and Training Project HRSA affiliated grant focused on training counseling psychology and occupational therapy students for work in an integrated care setting, with a particular emphasis on settings that work with children, youth, and vulnerable populations.

As a result of the grant funding, counseling psychology and occupational therapy students will collaborate in interdisciplinary training opportunities focused on preparing them for work in integrated care setting with the populations of interest. Major training topics including violence prevention, telehealth practice, trauma informed care, substance misuse, and suicide prevention will be covered. The grant offers funding for four years and the grant team will work to find available speakers related to each of the major topics each year. The presentations will be recorded in order to address the sustainability of these efforts. This will result in a repository of recorded presentations related to each of the major topics. Students from both disciplines will then be able to engage in available training related to each of the major topics, which may include live speakers and presentations, or the recorded presentations.

The team identified goals and measurable success indicators to determine whether the goals have been achieved. One of the goals identified was that the team would develop and implement the didactic training curriculum related to the five major training topics that will prepare the grant fellows for work in integrated care settings. Tracking student engagement in this training curriculum is essential to the reporting of grant activities. There are regular updates sent throughout the lifetime of the grant in addition to the final report on the outcomes at the conclusion of the project. This tech fellows project will outline the exploration of Airtable to support the identified needs related to the tracking and reporting of grant activities.


Planning Process

In finding the appropriate technology to support our needs, considerations included general usability as well as utility for both faculty and students. I was mindful of striking a balance between the number of novel technological platforms that were used (especially if each required a separate login/sign on) and the type of functionality provided within each platform. Ideally, we wanted something that could do the following:

  1. Serve as a repository of past trainings, all available via recorded Panopto video
  2. Provide an easy way to continually update the repository when additional training options become available (something dynamic for both faculty and the student)
  3. Assist is tracking engagement per student (what categories did the student complete, what evidence did they have for completion?)
  4. Assist in tracking engagement per major category (how many students completed trainings from each category?)

I first explored Brightspace, Teams, and Excel to see if any of these would have capabilities we were looking for. Ultimately, I was looking for something easy to follow, and not too convoluted or requiring multiple steps or logins. These various technologies worked for different pieces of the overall task, but none of them alone met all the criteria I was looking for. I was then introduced to Airtable, a cloud collaboration service.



Airtable has the data in the table on the left/center of the screen and then the apps utilized are on the right side. I created 3 tables that all “talk” to each other: a Major Training Categories table (image 1 below) which has rows for each category (violence prevention, telehealth, trauma informed care, etc); a table that hosts all of the available resources (image 2 below); and a table with student specific data (image 3 below).

Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 1: Major Training Categories Table


Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 2: Available Resources for Major Category


Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 3: OT Happy Grant Student Data


Airtable has an app that allows for embedded video content for supported platforms. At this time Panopto is not a supported platform, but I did reach out to Airtable to see if we could make this happen. Youtube is a supported platform, so I included an example link with trauma informed care in row number 4 below. Image 4 shows an example of the table on the left and the embedded video (in this case a youtube video on trauma informed care) on the right.

Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 4: video embedding within the app

For reporting purposes, AirTable apps will allow the team to easily see data both per student and per category. Image 5 below shows tracking per major category, so the team will be able to look at the pivot table and understand how many students total completed a training within each specific category. Image 6 below shows tracking per student, so the team can visually see how many were completed and know how many are left to complete from the overall total of 5.


Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 5: Tracking per Major Category


Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 6: Tracking per student


The project is still underway, but will be assessed both formally and informally through conversations with students about user experience with the platform and also with a formal survey at the end of their grant fellowship.

Reflections and Next Steps

Overall, Brightspace and Teams functionally allowed for certain components, but did not offer a streamlined way to assess both student and major category tracking. Airtable offers all of the functionality that is needed to easily store content and track student engagement, but the downside to Airtable is the cost. In order to have multiple apps embedded and multiple people editing, the platform charges a fee per person per month. While the functionality Airtable offers is superior to what was found on Brightspace and Teams, the cost alone might make it an unsustainable option in the long run.

Lorri Birkholz, DNP Nursing

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Lorri Birkholz, DNP

DNP Writing Tutorial

Crafting a Brightspace Writing Tutor course to augment writing support.

Project Overview

Since the approval for implementing an escape room was unpredictable, I instead used a pilot program as my project. I developed a DNP Writing Tutor course in Brightspace to augment a writing support project that is being piloted this semester in the School of Nursing for the doctoral students. Students are referred to me by one or more of their faculty for writing support. In addition to one-on-one individual work, I developed a Brightspace course where I enroll the students. On this course site, students have access to resources targeting 4 areas: 1) Why good writing matters, 2) Mechanics of writing, 3) Plagiarism prevention, and 4) APA 7th ed. specific formatting.


A picture of the Brightspace writing course

Example from the writing course.

Planning Process

Once I knew I was selected to lead the pilot, I met with Becky, and she provided me with a Brightspace shell. Since this is a new pilot program, it was necessary to develop all aspects of the program content and build the course. While teaching DNP students is my area of faculty expertise, I had little knowledge on developing the writing skills of adult learners. An important first step was to determine the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that were desired. Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning was used in the design of the content.

Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course the student will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of foundational grammar and punctuation use.
  2. Describe the value of good writing skills in academic and professional settings.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to properly paraphrase.
  4. Apply correct APA formatting to academic assignments.
  5. Describe effective methods to enhance time management.
  6. Demonstrate strengthened writing skills.
  7. Utilize the available tools to improve writing and speaking.

UDL and equity were considered throughout the content build. PowerPoint slides provide a visual method of “seeing” the information, narration using VoiceThread allows for “hearing” the information, and students can select various communication methods for asking questions or offering comments (phone, audio, video, written, or webcam). Quizzes were provided so that students could assess their knowledge on the various topics. Module content included instructor-led presentations, website links, and uploaded resources.


The project rolled out in January with the bulk of that month being used to develop the Brightspace course (~40 hrs.). Student referrals started coming in at the end of January. As I am contacted by a referred student, I complete an entry into the pilot spreadsheet and then enroll the student into the Brightspace course. They are encouraged to use the content within the tutorial course to supplement our 1:1 sessions which are done using Zoom.

FTF De-identified Tracking Log_Birkholz

FTF De-identified Tracking Log_Birkholz 4.11.22 v2


Near the close of the semester, I asked the students to complete a Qualtrics survey evaluating the pilot program and its value to their academic success. Qualtrics survey evaluating the pilot program and its value to their academic success. To date, six of the eight (one student dropped) enrolled students have completed the evaluation and the findings are reported here.

Survey results

  • Free-text comments (2)
    • “Dr. Birkholz is very dedicated to the success of her students. I am grateful to have been part of the writing center pilot program”
    • “One on one time with Dr. B was incredible”

Reflections and Next Steps

The project was successful and should be continued. The hours needed to set up the course were extensive but should be less in the future. Since the first major writing assignments are not due until the end of the first month, the referrals were slow to start. Also, our program is fully online and for students living in the Pacific time zone, it necessitated many late-night sessions. There is still some content that I would like to develop if the program is continued. The pilot was taught initially as a 3-credit course which may need to be adjusted going forward. One credit will not be enough. As of this writing, I have devoted 60 hours of time to students combining the 1:1 hours and time spent reviewing and editing student writings.

Ashley Singh, DNP Nursing

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Ashley Singh, DNP

Using Mind Mapping for Proposal Planning

Exploring Text2Mind as a way to encourage planning for a writing project.

Project Overview

Mind Mapping is a fast and easy way to organize and visualize thoughts, ideas, questions, and solutions. Text2Mind, a specific mind mapping software that is both free and easy to use, was integrated into the planning phase of a business proposal for a nursing leadership course.


Planning Process

In a previous nursing leadership course, a mind mapping assignment was used to assist students in developing a leadership self-reflection assignment using the mind mapping software Freemind. While the students enjoyed the mind mapping process, this specific software required a download and sign-in; a hassle to some students. Thus, the Text2Mind software was then piloted. Through informal student conversation, it was found that the Text2Mind software was the preferred software of choice due to its accessibility. The information learned from this group of students was used as a launching pad for the current tech fellow project, the integration of a planning phase for a written business proposal using Text2Mind.

Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning, specifically integration, was used as a guide to create/integrate the technology for the assignment. Fink’s aspect of integration states the technology and/or learning activity is used for the integration of new ideas and new connections within the course or outside of the course. With the Text2Mind software, students could incorporate their thoughts and ideas and connect them for the assignment; linking to Fink’s aspect of integration. Additionally, by having students prepare for an unfamiliar written assignment through visual brainstorming, the aspects of representation as well as action and expression of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines were also included.



A detailed step by step direction sheet complete with visual aids was created to assist students in developing their mind map. The direction sheet included key elements within the business proposal assignment guidelines and rubric. The document was labeled as and uploaded in the course content and resource block of the course. Verbiage was also added to the business proposal assignment guidelines to encourage use of the completed mind map while writing the proposal. A short, five-item survey was created using Microsoft forms and was added to the week 14 block of the course. Students received an announcement detailing the upcoming mind mapping project within the course announcement section of the course. All students were encouraged to participate.



As mentioned, this project included an evaluation survey that was built into the week 14 block of the course. The project has not yet been implemented; therefore, no assessment data can be provided at this time. It is important to note, that the current section of the nursing leadership course only holds two students.

Reflections and Next Steps

Unfortunately, the project has not yet been implemented due to the business proposal assignment due date occurring in week 14. However, it is expected that students will find value in mind mapping and will utilize this brainstorming method in other courses or in their clinical setting.

Welkin Pope, Ph.D. Biology

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Welkin Pope, Ph.D.

“Where do I even start?”: Mapping Introductory Student Engagement with Course Activities to Successful Content Mastery


Project Overview

The fall semester course BIO143 “The Cell” is a foundational course intended for first-year students in multiple majors—Human Biology, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology and Exercise Science. The large course enrollment and variable student preparation for the course presents specific challenges for instruction: how do we engage and challenge highly prepared students while supporting and encouraging learners who have neither substantial content background or robust study skills from their pre-university experiences?

In response to the uncertainty of the pandemic, week-to-week (or even daily) changing of instruction modes, the health of students and faculty, BIO143 was moved to a flipped classroom format in the fall of 2020. Dr. Pierette Appasamy and I added topic-specific high-production value short video lecture segments to our content modules, in addition to assigned readings, power point slides, learning objectives, active learning assignments, additional support activities, extension activities, short quizzes…suddenly, students began asking “There is so much here… where do I even start?!” In our goal to support all students at all levels, we’d inadvertently swamped some of our introductory students with a flood of information.

Screen capture of BIO143

Sample content module from a week 2 class.

So how do I answer “Where should I even start?” Or identify students that are confused but aren’t brave enough or self-aware enough to identify as such? BIO143 is already challenging for both students and instructor, but add in a pandemic and intermittent virtual instruction— and BIO143 became a course in which all of us were learning to use new technology and struggling to identify where student learning was breaking down. In normal times, face-to-face meetings with students during office hours or supplemental instruction sessions are a critical tool for assessment of student learning and the creation of student support networks. Zoom meetings were a less-than-ideal substitute. Even just gauging the level of confusion on a student’s face became challenging with in-person masking mandates or virtual sessions where Zoom fatigue led students to keep their cameras off.


Planning Process

My solution: fully engage with our learning management system and video recorder/server. Brightspace has the capabilities to determine and report if students have interacted with posted content and for how long, Panopto will allow you to determine which students watched any given video, for how long, and the exact timestamp.

My project idea was simple: identify students who demonstrated learning gains from the beginning of the semester to the end and who interacted with the content in a differential manner (so not students who began as ‘A’ students and stayed there by watching/reading/completing every activity to the fullest; nor students who remained ‘C’ students) and then determine the content that they interacted with and for how long.

Moreover, by tracking student interactions with specific content, I hoped to determine if there are items that could be either highlighted for student review or moved to the “optional” portion of a content module; thus streamlining the content organization and facilitating student navigation of the material.



In the Fall of 2020, our goal was to move as much of our content online as possible in order to support any quarantined students or — in case we fell ill—any faculty member who might have to step in and lead the course. By Fall 2021, I realized that I could leverage this same technology to try to answer “Where should I start?” in a quantifiable way. To generate the data I needed I did the following:

  1. Panopto: Many of our short videos were hosted on other platforms, so we used a capture program to move all videos to Panopto— thus enabling tracking of student viewing. This was approximately 25 videos.
  2. Brightspace data: I began working with Lauren and Becky to generate and parse the big data sets that we could get out of Brightspace relating to the course. Here we hit a snag: despite the fact that Brightspace was tracking student clicks on content and time spent with content; upon data retrieval, all of that was lumped into single categories called “content completed” and “total time spent in content”.

Screen capture of course headers

Headers from Brightspace datadump

This is not fine-grained enough for me to answer “where do I start?” as all I can determine is how many of my 392 content items students interacted with (but not which ones); and the total time per students for all items (for example, 1592 minutes). This is not tremendously helpful: A student could have been reviewing the same set of PowerPoint slides for 1600 minutes during the first week of class from all that I could tell from this dataset. Instead, I needed to determine:

  1. Which specific content items did students interact with
  2. When (the actual date timestamp)
  3. For how long

This type of data should allow me to determine, for example, that students that reviewed slides and watched a particular video prior to the quiz performed better than students that only watched a video.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Lauren and Becky, I believe that soon we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘Lauren and Becky’) will be able to use a more advanced data retrieval tool to mine that fine-grained data.


Without the fine-grained dataset, assessment becomes impossible; however, once in hand, I should be able to directly compare timestamp and length of the engagement period of student interactions with specific content modules to student performance on related course assessments (quizzes and exams).

Reflections and Next Steps

This summer, I will reorganize the BIO143 content and course pages to facilitate fine-grained data retrieval and to enhance ease of student navigation of the course page (not always congruent goals). Then, using the dataset from this upcoming fall 2022 student cohort in conjunction with those from the past two years, I should be able to identify which activities successful students engaged with, when, and for how long. This should finally allow me to definitively answer future students when asked “Where do I start”?.

Sally Frey, Ph.D. Food Studies

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Sally Frey, Ph.D. Food Studies

Exploring Digital Magazine Production

Dr. Frey is exploring a variety of digital tools to design a student-centered digital magazine production.

Project Overview

The transdisciplinarity of food studies is well-suited to creative pedagogical approaches. Project-based learning is an instructional style in which topics are contextualized through working towards a shared goal. In this project, I explore how this educational style, in the form of student-driven digital magazine production, can enhance understanding of food systems challenges in the classroom. My hope is that the project will allow a student-centered learning model that promotes critical thinking, investigative analytical skills and the intentional use of technological tools. In addition, it could empower students to explore food through creativity in the form of recipe development, poetry, photography, illustration, interviews, and essays.


Planning Process

To begin this research project an initial literature review was completed to investigate project-based learning and assessment models in relationship to food studies coursework heavy in experiential learning. As a reading and writing heavy program grounded in experiential learning I’m seeking to be more inclusive in opportunities for expression as well as tangible assessment methods beyond the traditional essay. IRB – surveys & interviews and course work form the structure of the research process.

On a technology level, I purchased a camera and attend lessons and workshops to document the process through both words and images. I purchased and I am learning Canva Pro which we are using to produce the digital magazine. I’m also learning adobe platforms to support the design aspect of the project. I plan to audit a course at Chatham in the fall.

Initial literature review abstract:

Examinations of food studies pedagogy largely explores experience-based education models, emphasizes interdisciplinarity of the subject, and systems thinking (Hilimire et al. 2014) (Karsten, O’Connor 2002). While this scholarship is valuable it does not address project-based learning and related assessment strategies within Food Studies. What is experiential learning? What is project-based learning? How are they different? Can project-based learning provide students with opportunities to distill information and engage with their learned experiences, strengthening the impact of the coursework? My students (FST 342 Sustainable Production – undergraduate and FST 531 Sustainable Fermentation) are both engaging in some degree of experience-based learning, through culinary practice, applied classroom settings and fieldwork. How can project-based learning be used as a complement to this and make this popular food studies pedagogical teaching method more impactful and meaningful to students? “Scholars of experience-based learning have long pointed to the importance of systematic reflection as part of this learning process (Kolb 1984; Baker et al. 2005). On its own, experience is merely contact with observation. In order to become meaningful, experience must be reflected upon (Kolb 1984; Baker et al. 2005)” cited in Hilimire et al. 2014. Specific to this study, could a class-based digital magazine provide students a space for reflection on student experiences while providing educators an alternate method for assessment, one that extends beyond standard models, and empowers students to explore food through creativity?

Works Cited:

Baker, A. C., Jensen, P. J., & Kolb, D. A. (2005). Conversation as experiential learning. Management learning, 36(4), 411-427.
Hilimire, K., Gillon, S., McLaughlin, B. C., Dowd-Uribe, B., & Monsen, K. L. (2014). Food for thought: Developing curricula for sustainable food systems education programs. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 38(6), 722-743.
Karsten, H. D., & O’Connor, R. E. (2002). Lessons learned from teaching an interdisciplinary undergraduate course on sustainable agriculture science and policy. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, 31(1), 111-116.



On the course syllabi, I gave specific details for what the final magazine would contain (a form of rubric) and included in the course two “lab days” for creative design and reflection. The students (both graduate and undergraduate) welcomed the different format to the course structure. Of note was that each student brought a different talent to the project. For the lab days, the students created on theme musical playlists which enriched the process. In process.



The students completed self-assessment and the assignment will be formally graded too (against a rubric).

Reflections and Next Steps

In process.

Michelle Niculescu, Ph.D. Psychology

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Michelle Niculescu, Ph.D.

Using H5P to help students build foundational knowledge

Dr. Niculescu explored using H5P, a web-based tool to create interactive HTML5 content. H5P is integrated into Brightspace and has a variety of tools including the single choice set used to this project.



Project Overview

Using H5P to guide students through a problem-based learning activity in PSY213 – Statistics and Research Design. Often students enrolled in PSY213 come to me disliking math/think they are bad at math/wondering how they’ll need or use math in the future. To that end, we focus equally on the “how” of statistical analysis and the “why.” From when I started teaching PSY213, I incorporated problem sets into every section so that students could see how we use statistical thinking and analysis in everyday lives (particularly as behavioral scientists). However, while I was doing a good job of getting students were seeing the big picture, they were still missing that they needed to understand the details from class to solve the higher-level problem. Luckily, we gained access to H5P which helped me create formative assessments (problem sets) that allow students to work through the problems, checking that the essential objectives are met with specific feedback from me based on their responses. Bonus – it also integrates seamlessly into BrightSpace.

Sample of H5P options

A few examples of H5P tools


Planning Process

Problem: When starting Tech Fellows, I knew that the problem existed that my students had access to real-world application of the content presented in my courses through assignments designated problem sets. However, in all my courses, I noted that they could big-picture problem-solve but were still struggling with how the basics fit into evidence-based reasoning. I wanted something that facilitated UDL and with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Possible Solutions: My idea was to have conceptual checks embedded into the problem sets to make sure students were relaying on course material to problem-solve. I decided to start with PSY213: Statistics and Research Design because this is the only course where we go directly from what is in the textbook to application. My other courses have an intermediate step of what is in the current research.

With guidance, I explored many options.

  • Panopto – videos embedded with questions.
  • Brightspace – quizzes with conditions (a right answer on a previous quiz) to move forward.
  • H5P – around the same time I was struggling with Brightspace to make the quizzes we needed, we gained access to H5P. This tool allows feedback to each response (right and wrong) and allows students to determine the correct answer before proceeding forward.

Decision-making guidelines: The student learning outcomes of the course include interpreting and applying descriptive and inferential statistics, including graphing and utilizing statistical analysis software (SPSS). My goal with the problem sets was to improve student’s foundational knowledge, specifically understanding to apply that knowledge to real-world problem-solving. This includes a specific focus on the human dimension through utilizing questions that apply directly to evidence-based reasoning specific to healthcare professions, a common career goal for the majority of my students’.

I needed a tool that would allow me to redefine my previous assessment, giving me the ability to give my students specific and detailed feedback based on their responses.

Most importantly, I needed a tool that makes UDL simple and user-friendly (from the perspective of design and utilization). I wanted my student to be able get feedback immediately. Good and thoughtful feedback takes time. I wanted a tool that would allow my students to explore their understanding without consequences of missed questions. They also needed the space to identify where they struggle and need to look further.



My goal was to build my students’ foundational knowledge through statistical problem-solving utilizing checkpoints. I was able to meet my objective best using H5P.

Initially, I attempted to do knowledge checks with individualized feedback in BrightSpace. This was time consuming for me and increased anxiety in students. The problem sets were designed to be low stakes learning, but when they could see each item they got wrong and were not able to correct their mistakes. Students were focusing more on the outcome than the process.

Then we got access to H5P. I now put my problem sets from past semesters into H5P. With a class of 30 students, I also did not have time to give them detailed feedback on the multiple assigned problem sets. I utilize mistakes made by previous students and then provide detailed feedback about what went wrong for each option they choose. They can retry the assessments as many times as they would like. Every student can achieve a perfect score. Students can also access the problems and solutions when studying for exams.

Here is an example question from one problem set:

Example of problem set 1


While initially the development of these problem sets can be time-intensive (at least two hours including looking at previous students’ responses to anticipate potential mistakes), once they are complete, they can be used from semester to semester.

For every image I include, I also include a caption. H5P requires images included have a caption for UDL purposes. Often, I will re-use the same image/table for multiple questions, and this is also done easily. Finally, this allowed my students to not only process each question at their own pace.



Since this was done in a statistics course, I must do some sort of quantitative analysis!

I have always utilized problem sets, but I switched from open-ended questions to multiple choice with specific feedback. Grades on exams (Exam 2 specifically) did vary from Spring 2021 (open-ended problem sets, M = 83.29, SD = 12.37) to Spring 2022 (H5P problem sets, M = 89.24, SD = 12.54), but the difference was a non-statistically significant trend, t (51) = -1.729, p = .09. In addition, in the Spring 2022 course, that students that completed their H5P problem sets did significantly better on their exams (again, Exam 2) than those that did not, F(1,28) = 14.44, p < .001. This could be due to a variety of factors, including that those students that complete their work are better-prepared and likely more motivated to do well on exams. However, this does support that completing H5P problem sets did predict better exam grades for students.

I also utilized a qualitative assessment of how students liked the new version of problem-based learning. This was in Brightspace before I worked out all the kinks, so they were not receiving feedback until they submitted the entire problem set. Still, feedback from students was generally positive. In summary, when the problem sets were open ended, students often felt lost as to where to begin. This new way gave them a sense of empowerment to determine the foundational concepts instead of guessing on what they needed to know.

I think that this way of doing the problem set was helpful especially doing it in class in case we needed help. Also, group work is very helpful since some people get it more than others and they may have different ways of explaining things.

Doing the problem set this way helped me a lot more, to better understand the problems.

I did not mind doing the problem set this way, as I typically do the problem set in one sitting, so having the problem set in a quiz format does not really effect me.  Instead of doing my work in the assignment, I am able to do it in the TextEdit application on my laptop.

The method now being used, where we complete the problem sets online and have the ability to go back and see what we did wrong is great! Thank you for trying new things, it really helps deepen my understanding of the equations and the calculation process.

Yes i feel like this slightly helped.

I really like this way of doing things, I felt a lot more confident in my work doing this method and I really feel like I understand it better.

I liked this way a lot better. It made more sense and was easier to visualize. I definitely understood this problem set better then any other the others. The only downside is that it was really hard to type equations into the quiz.

I like it a lot better. Its definitely easier to grasp the bigger concepts. I didn’t feel like the other way made stats more real, both give that experience. There was always some confusion about how to answer certain questions but now its very strait forward. However, that might be bad for us in the end. It might be beneficial to throw us in uncomfortable situations.

I personally prefer the way we usually do problem sets. But, this did help me to grasp important concepts.

I liked it and thought it was useful. It was helpful to work through it in class with those around us and felt less overwhelming then seeing the word document with all the questions and information

I liked it a lot more than the other way of doing problem sets.

I definitely enjoyed this a lot more and felt that it allowed me to easily work through the problems with understanding. I also think that this method has kinks but once the kinks are worked out it would function perfectly.

This helped a ton, I love going step by step it helps me understand WHY I’m doing it and what Chi-Squared really means as well as making the work easier, at least for me.

I feel like I grasped the concept, however question 7 confused me slightly. I feel like the chi-square is outside of the critical region because x^2 = 9.84, which is greater than the value. But there is significant difference in the way orientations were selected. That’s the only confusion I had doing this, though.

I like the usual formats of the problem sets better as I feel like I can take more time to work on and understand each question.

I felt ok about this, getting to do more problems in class really helps

I don’t mind doing them either way!

I felt as if this problem set was fairly simple, and I would feel comfortable seeing the material on this problem set in the future. I don’t think I have a preference between the two formats of doing these problem sets (Word vs Quiz) although I think the somewhat instant feedback is definitely a help.

Reflections and Next Steps

I learned a great deal from this experience. I improved my ability to design assessments in H5P and my understanding on how to best use Brightspace. I got feedback from students throughout and I think they really appreciated seeing me struggle through this with desired outcome of their best learning.

One limitation is theoretical in that while my students are getting detailed and specific feedback, they are now limited in the space they have to generate these ideas independently and to make mistakes. I hope to figure out ways to balance this in the future.

Another limitation is technical. In H5P, the grading aspect of Brightspace integration can be frustrating. Someone needs to complete the problem set before a grade appears. You need the grade to appear before you can edit the settings, including the points. The automatic setting is also to exclude every score generated by H5P from the final grade, so that also needs to be adjusted each time.

I look forward to utilizing this in my other courses. I envision doing an escape room style learning assessment. Again, I will need to balance specific guidance with the space for them to create and stumble through the learning process independently.

Christie Lewis, Ed.D. Education

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Christie Lewis, Ed.D.

Teaching and Technology for the TikTok Generation in the Midst of a Pandemic

Dr. Christie Lewis used Nearpod to increase student engagement in a flipped classroom.

Project Overview 

Child development is a 100 level course that all education majors are required to take. In addition, child development is a general Ed requirement for non-education majors. For this project I created a type of flipped classroom in which students completed independent asynchronous Nearpod‘s for class on Tuesdays and then met in class on Thursdays to complete various activities. Activities include small and whole group class discussions and applying knowledge from the Nearpod into group activities.


Project Planning

This project used the SAMR model of technology integration. Tuesday class time was replaced with an asynchronous Nearpod, which included check for understanding questions and videos to support the audio lecture. Planning for this class was meticulous. Nearpods, which can take hours to create, were prepared well ahead of time. Moreover, in preparing Nearpods, I had to strategically think about what it was that I truly wanted the students to learn about, consider how they would be assessed, and then plan the Nearpod with these specific learning experiences and objectives in mind. I also had to think about how the material from the Nearpods would be applied during in class time on Thursdays.

Nearpods were available for students to complete beginning on Mondays and then had to be completed by class time on Thursday. Otherwise, students would not earn points for Nearpod completion. Earning points for completion also required that students complete the check for understanding questions throughout the Nearpod. This permitted me to check and see if the students understood the material before class on Thursdays. On Thursdays, students would apply the material from the Nearpods via cooperative and collaborative learning experiences. The activities and discussions in class on Thursdays permitted scaffolding to occur with peers. Further, the activities and discussions for the class were supported by Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory and Bandura’s Social Learning Theory.

In preparing, I took it to account the recent Covid pandemic and considered the mental health challenges that students may face as well as the learning that students had taken part in for the past year and a half. In other courses, I observed that students often disclosed mental health challenges and discussed lack of motivation, stress, and feeling overwhelmed. I observed from the fall semester how many students discussed how overwhelmed and stressed they felt. Many students during the fall term also verbalized that most of their learning had been either synchronous or asynchronous for the past year. At the beginning of the spring 2022 term, because Chatham moved to a virtual format, I begin using Nearpods in place of synchronous learning on Tuesdays during the first few weeks of the semester. Once it was announced that the university was permitted to move back to classroom instruction, I created a Zoom poll and asked students if they would prefer asynchronous lectures via Nearpods on Tuesday and meeting in the classroom on Thursdays, or if they would prefer meeting in the classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All but one student voted to continue with asynchronous Nearpods on Tuesdays and then to meet in the classroom on Thursdays. It was important to me that students had a voice in how they would learn as I believe in creating a positive learning community that takes student voice into account.

Using Nearpods created more equity for the course. Nearpods permitted more resources for the students as students could go back and review the lectures and videos in the Nearpod at any point in time. Further, with keeping Mayer’s Multimedia Learning Theory in mind, I created a more effective instructional design in the Nearpod. Mayer’s theory dictates learners learn more deeply from a combination of words and images together than just simply words alone. The Nearpods not only provided a visual slide with major points written out but audio from my voice via lecture for each slide. Then, short videos for the most important learning material were given in the form of short videos found from various sources such as, YouTube, WQED, and other places. This permitted the learner to be introduced to the material via a visual slide with an auditory lecture, and then for the main learning material to be reinforced with a video that included audio. Many students in my course disclosed that they had ADHD (five students to my knowledge) and one student was EL Learner. This model of learning helped to better support these to return to the material again and again, but it also helped the whole class as anyone could revisit the material at any given point in time. Unlike a traditional lecture, students could not only see the visual aids from the lecture but listen to the lecture again instead of solely relying on notes taken during class.


Project Assessment

For this project, I surveyed the students using during week 12 of class.  The results of the survey and questions are below. Most the students enjoyed the Nearpods and felt that it enhanced learning as can be seen in the results below.  Further, 12 out of 13 respondents or 92.3% of respondents stated that Nearpods should be used for future courses.

graph showing nearpod should be used in the future.

graph showing students like Nearpod graph showing students like Nearpod graph showing students like Nearpod graph showing students like Nearpod graph showing students like Nearpod graph showing students like Nearpod graph showing students like Nearpod graph showing students like Nearpod

graph showing students like Nearpod

graph showing students like Nearpod

graph showing students like Nearpod

graph showing students like Nearpod


Project Reflections and Next Steps

For the most part, the flipped classroom using Nearpods worked for most of the students.  Based on feedback from the survey, I think I will continue to use this method of teaching child development as it was effective for most learners.  However, I feel that I will need to adjust the length of some of the Nearpods as some of the Nearpods were lengthy.  Further, I learned that post/current pandemic students from what I refer to as the “TikTok” generation do gravitate towards nontraditional teaching methods in asynchronous settings.  The flipped classroom using asynchronous Nearpods not only permitted a deeper learning experience but also provided more school and life balance to students.

Lei Wang, Ph.D. Counseling Psychology

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Lei Wang, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychology

Role-Play through VoiceThread

Dr. Wang explored virtual role-playing using VoiceThread. This allowed the students to practice giving both a positive and a constructive feedback to a role-play supervisee on their clinical skills.


Project Overview

Role-plays are nothing new to the training of therapists given that in almost every class in Graduate Psychology, there is some shape or form of role-play happening. More recently, the field has started to incorporate virtual role-plays developed by commercial companies to help students further develop their counseling skills. These virtual role-plays ask students to respond to the pre-recorded segments with the actors to showcase different skills they have learned. While these virtual role-plays are valuable to students’ learning, the cost of the subscription can come with a hefty price tag that makes it less accessible to programs that do not have the financial resources.

The class I dedicated this project to is the Supervision and Leadership course. PsyD students in their third-or fourth-year take this class to learn and practice supervising entry-level clinicians. The supervisor role is relatively new to them because up until this point, the students have only been supervised by clinical supervisors themselves. Given the usefulness of role-plays, I wanted to create an assignment that allowed the students to practice giving both a positive and a constructive feedback to a role-play supervisee on their clinical skills. To my knowledge, there is no program that specifically focuses on training students to be clinical supervisors.


Planning Process

I identified several steps to take in order to create this assignment.

  1. I consulted with Lauren Panton and Becky Borello on what considerations to make when designing this assignment.
  2. I attended a workshop hosted by VoiceThread to get a better sense of how to use the product effectively.
  3. I created a rubric and instructions for the assignment.
  4. I needed a video of a role-play between a clinician and a client that was appropriate for the purpose of this assignment. The ideal length of the video should be less than 10 minutes. The level of clinical skills that the role-play clinician demonstrated should be entry-level. I was able to obtain a video that was appropriate for the assignment from a former colleague.
  5. I uploaded the video to VoiceThread, embedded it on the course’s Brightspace page, and practiced recording a response myself.
  6. I created a practice VoiceThread as suggested by Lauren and Becky so students can use that as a sandbox to practice the functionality and become familiar with VoiceThread. I embedded the practice VoiceThread in the content that was two weeks before the actual assignment was due.



The description of the assignment is as follows:

Supervision Feedback Role-Play (25 pts)
Being a supervisor means that you will be giving both positive and constructive feedback to your supervisee to help them grow as a clinician. For this assignment, you will practice giving feedback to your Latina supervisee, “Patty” in her work with a role-play client “Julia.” We will be using the software VoiceThread that allows you to pick time points to record a video of yourself. Please pick two moments in the video, one in which you give a positive feedback and the other in which you give a constructive feedback. In your feedback, make sure to discuss why you picked those moments as if you are explaining to “Patty,” An example of a response could be “I paused the video here because I noticed… I’m wondering what you were thinking when the client said… What do you think would be different if you…” Please have this assignment ready when you meet with me for individual check-in as we will watch and discuss it.

To prepare for your individual check-in meeting with me, consider the following:

  • Overall, what was it like for you to provide feedback to “Patty?”
  • It is a little more than the halfway point of the semester, how do you now view yourself as a supervisor?
  • Have your initial two goals shifted? Why or why not? What are some goals you want to continue to work on for the rest of the semester?

The rubric for the assignment is as follows:

  • Was the student able to identify a segment to provide developmentally appropriate positive feedback? Was the student able to provide a rationale to “Patty” why they stopped the video where they did?
  • Was the student able to identify a segment to provide developmentally appropriate constructive feedback? Was the student able to provide a rationale to “Patty” why they stopped the video where they did?
  • In their feedback to “Patty,” was the student able to incorporate what they learned from class the ways to utilize a recorded video as part of their supervision?
  • In their feedback to “Patty,” were they able to take into consideration the social identities and culture between the counselor and client that may come into play during the session?

The assignment was due mid-semester. Students were asked to complete the assignment before meeting with me for an individual check-in so that we could watch it together in our meeting and discuss their responses. Two weeks before the assignment was due, I informed them that there was the practice VoiceThread on Brightspace. A week before the assignment was due, I went over the instructions and expectations of the assignment and answered any questions that students had.

During the individual check-in meeting (30 mins with each student), I spent approximately 10 minutes with them watching their responses, followed by a discussion around their overall impression of the therapy session and their reactions to giving the responses to “Patty.”



The project was assessed through an anonymous Qualtrics survey that focused on the effectiveness and usefulness of the assignment, as well as the delivery of the assignment using VoiceThread.

Four out of eight students filled out the survey and their aggregated responses are as follows:

Please indicate how much you agree with each statement (ranging from 1=Strongly Disagree to 6=Strongly Agree):

  • I found this assignment helpful in terms of practicing my supervisory skills of giving feedback.
    • Strongly Agree = 50%
    • Agree = 25%
    • Slightly Agree = 25%
    • Slightly Disagree = 0%
    • Disagree = 0%
    • Strongly Disagree = 0%
  • This assignment makes up for the lack of/limited access to recorded clinical work to review in supervision with my supervisee.
    • Strongly Agree = 50%
    • Agree = 50%
    • Slightly Agree = 0%
    • Slightly Disagree = 0%
    • Disagree = 0%
    • Strongly Disagree = 0%
  • The use of VoiceThread enhances the effectiveness of this assignment.
    • Strongly Agree = 50%
    • Agree = 25%
    • Slightly Agree = 25%
    • Slightly Disagree = 0%
    • Disagree = 0%
    • Strongly Disagree = 0%
  • VoiceThread was easy to navigate.
    • Strongly Agree = 25%
    • Agree = 75%
    • Slightly Agree = 0%
    • Slightly Disagree = 0%
    • Disagree = 0%
    • Strongly Disagree = 0%
  • Meeting with the instructor individually to discuss the assignment was helpful.
    • Strongly Agree = 100%
    • Agree = 0%
    • Slightly Agree = 0%
    • Slightly Disagree = 0%
    • Disagree = 0%
    • Strongly Disagree = 0%
  • I feel more confident in my skills to give positive and constructive feedback to a future supervisee.
    • Strongly Agree = 50%
    • Agree = 50%
    • Slightly Agree = 0%
    • Slightly Disagree = 0%
    • Disagree = 0%
    • Strongly Disagree = 0%
  • I would recommend that the instructor use VoiceThread for similar assignments in the future.
    • Strongly Agree = 75%
    • Agree = 25%
    • Slightly Agree = 0%
    • Slightly Disagree = 0%
    • Disagree = 0%
    • Strongly Disagree = 0%

Other comments about your experience completing the VoiceThread assignment and/or things you would change:

I thought it was very helpful being able to pause at certain times in the video and address what was going on at that moment. I also appreciated being able to delete and re-record if I made mistakes before saving the video.

This was a great assignment. It was the first time providing feedback on a video of someone’s clinical work that was not in a group supervision session. This assignment was helpful especially the individual follow up following completing the assignment.

Reflections and Next Steps

It is helpful to know that for the most part students found the assignment to be effective and useful. They also found VoiceThread to be easy to use. It is also important to know that students unanimously strongly agreed with the helpfulness of meeting with me individually to discuss their responses.

Looking back, given that novice clinical supervisors tend to feel more comfortable providing support and affirmations to their supervisees, I would have liked to separate the item “I feel more confident in my skills to give positive and constructive feedback to a future supervisee” into two items that assessed for students’ confidence in the different types of feedback. I think the increase in confidence to give constructive feedback would have been a more important marker to showcase growth in their identity as clinical supervisors and their counseling skills self-efficacy.

In the future, I plan on implementing a similar assignment in the Supervision and Leadership course. However, I might make it a two-part assignment, in which students will complete the assignment earlier in the semester and then for the mid-semester individual check-in meeting, I will ask them to review their earlier responses and offer feedback to themselves and one other peer regarding their clinical supervision skills. I think the two-part assignment can foster more self-awareness, self-directed learning, and exposure to different styles of supervision among the students.

In the screenshot of the assignment, you’ll see that as the instructor, I can choose whose responses to watch and also see where the students would pause the video to give feedback to “Patty.”