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.
Physics

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.

 

Implementation

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.

 

Assessment

  • 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

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

Assessment

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.
Nursing

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.

Implementation

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. https://www.calendly.com
  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.

 

Assessment

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.

 

Implementation

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

Assessment

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
Nursing

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.

Implementation

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

Assessment

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
Nursing

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.

 

Implementation

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.

 

Assessment

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

A picture of Welkin Pope, Ph.D.

Welkin Pope, Ph.D.
Biology

“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.

 

Implementation

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.

Assessment

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.

 

Implementation

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.

 

Assessment

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.
Psychology

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.

 

Implementation

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.

 

Assessment

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.
Education

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 Study.com, 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.

 

Implementation

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.”

 

Assessment

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.”


Dr. Nataliya Myshakina – Chemistry

Project Overview

Project 1: Use of Turnitin tool in Writing Intensive Course

I used several instruments implemented in Turnitin to help my students to develop their skills in writing scientific reports and reviews.

  1. Instead of writing a big report after completing laboratory experiment I asked students to submit pre-lab assignment which included scientific background, objectives for the experiment, working hypothesis, and a flow chart of major steps of the experimental procedure.
  2. Grading checklist/rubric was provided to students as soon as the assignment was posted, so students knew what expectations are, and what I am particularly looking for in their pre-lab write-ups.
  3. Peer-Review Assignments. As a part of the pre-lab assignment, each student was asked to read the other student’s work and provide feedback on that. To help students to analyze the work of their peers better, I provided students with questions which they needed to answer while analyzing someone’s work.
  4. Pre-lab graded and feedback was provided to students before they were asked to submit their full laboratory report.
  5. After completing the laboratory experiment, and discussing various aspects of the experiment in class, students had a chance to make any corrections to pre-lab parts of their reports, and then complete the remaining part of their report with Results, Discussion, and Conclusion sections.
  6. Grading checklist was provided to students for full lab report assignment to provide students guidance and clarify expectations

Project 2: Use of Problem-Solving Videos in First Year Chemistry Courses

Many students (first year and more senior students alike) search internet sources to watch practice videos on problems/questions solved in class. There are not always suitable or similar examples could be found on Internet, that is why I decided to create my own library of instructional videos which will explain problems/questions very similar to those covered in class and used in tests or exams.

Project Planning

Project 1. First, I re-visited my expectations on lab report assignments. Based on that I have created a general grading check-list for pre-lab assignment and for a complete laboratory report. I considered how typical research article is organized and wanted my students to recognize essential parts of research articles, what information each part contains and be able to write their reports in a similarity to a research article. I also wanted my students to analyze their own work, fix it as needed, that is why instead of one lab report assignment, I split it into two parts. I wanted students to see examples of other student’s work and learn from it, how they can improve their own writing, or be able to see flaws in someone else’s work and suggests ways to improve it. To achieve these  I created Peer Review assignments and give students a questionnaire to help them with the analysis.  I implemented Bloom’s model of integration, in which students learn information, then they apply that information to write their reports, and last they use their skills to analyze their own work, work of their peers, and suggest or find ways how to improve their work.

Project 2. I have selected topics, which students find particularly difficult, and then selected representative problems for these topics I want my students to see being solved. On the next step, I learned how I can record the videos and share those videos with my students via the course Moodle page.

Project Implementation

Project 1. I didn’t have any big difficulties with this projects, except some small technical Turnitin settings which I needed to set up in a particular way, so my students will have an excess to grading checklists on time or be able to access their peer’s assignments for review.

I didn’t actually have plan B, since the actual use of technology was outside of the classroom, not limited by the class period, and I had time and flexibility to adjust some project aspects.

For example, at the beginning of the semester when I still learning Turnitin, I choose wrong settings for Peer Review assignment and students could not access the assignment on time. As soon, as I learn it, I extended the assignment due date to give students sufficient timeframe to complete the assignment.

Project 2.  I did have some technical difficulties here. First, was the clicking noise of Apple Pencil which appeared very destructive on recorded videos. Use of external microphone helped me to overcome this issue. Next, was the choice of application which will provide the right canvas for writing with the iPencil. I have tried a few different applications and found GoodNotes be the most convenient for what I was planning to do. Last, but not least, was the way to record videos and share them. First, we planned to use Zoom, but after a few trials with Becky, we found it difficult to use. We tried recording videos using iPad screen recording, and then deposit those videos on Panopto and this worked just fine.

Project Assessment

For now, I have assessed both of my projects only informally. Developing an assessment tool for both of these projects is my goal for next year.

Informal assessment :

Project 1 (CHM340/BIO440 Macromolecules Laboratory, implemented in Fall 2018)

  1. More reports submitted on time
  2. Positive student feedback via course evaluations
  3. Paperless grading allowed for a faster turn out of submitted/graded assignments

Project 2 (CHM107 General Chemistry I and CHM108 General Chemistry II, in progress Spring 2019)

  • No assessment yet, plan to compare Final test results from this year to Final results from last year

Project Reflections and Next Steps

Project 1

  1. I will add more details to grading checklists, make them more specific for each lab experiment
  2. I will create student’s reflection questionary for the beginning and the end of the semester to help students to identify their goals in the development of academic writing skills in the beginning of the semester and reflect on the achievement of these goals at the end of the semester.

Project 2 

  1. I will continue to expand my library of videos.
  2. I will work on an assessment plan.
  3. I will work on ways to encourage more students to watch those videos

Dr. Gina Zanardelli – Counseling Psychology

Project Overview

My goals in tech fellows were to increase student engagement in class and to help students learn more about ways technology can be useful as they pursue careers as mental health professionals.

Project Planning

My classes had several old school, paper-based activities in them. The activities are designed to allow/encourage students to put the activities in their clinical toolbox. In other words, they are therapeutic interventions or tools that students would be able to use with clients if they had access to them. In addition, transition from paper to tech would facilitate sustainability. The activities I use, such as card sorts, become fairly ratty after a few uses, necessitating replacement.

Additionally, by providing students with the technology to use these activities, the student can revisit the activity for themselves and the activities become much more customizable, fitting clients’ and students’ needs better.

When considering Bloom’s Digital Taxomony, the purpose of most of these activities falls in two categories – Applying and Evaluating. First, students are expected to be able to apply the activities, then they are also expected to critically analyze the activities – which clients are the activities appropriate for? What modifications might be useful to make the activity applicable to different groups or individuals? From SAMR’s perspective, this is more augmentation rather than modification. However, I’d like to think that with the increased use of tech in a classroom, some students will be able to engage in Redefinition – using tech to do previously unimaginable things!

Project Implementation

I use a values card sort in my Ethics class. As a mental health clinician, self-awareness is of utmost importance. Clinicians must be aware of their own values and ways that their values can intentionally or unintentionally influence the counseling process.  By using a values card sort, students can clarify their own values, then reflect on (through discussion and a paper) ways their values might influence perceptions of clients.

With much assistance from Lauren and Becky, I translated my old paper values into Padlet, which allowed students to sort several values into one of 4 columns:

Padlet

My plan B was to have a few copies of the paper versions, and paper worksheet at the ready. Padlet provided several ways to share this template with the students, including an option to allow students to remake the template on their own device. I could also email the link to students, embed it in Moodle, or even share it on Facebook (I chose not to do that…for obvious reasons).

Project Assessment

I assessed the project informally. First, most students were able to use Padlet; only 2 of my students were not able to access Padlet via their computers. I’m still not sure why but those students used the old-school paper cards to sort their values. The rest of the students were able to use the Padlet version on their computers (yay for plan B). Most students said they liked it. Two of the students said they would have preferred paper because there was something engaging about actually holding (“weighing” one student said) the values in their hands. The research on online vs. paper reading helps me make sense of this – there is a bit of evidence that pen and paper methods may be associated with better retention, but it is far from conclusive at this point. Personal preference has also been cited in the research: Age and nationally tend to influence preferences (younger students tend to prefer screen).

To me, the project gave all of us (students and me alike) the opportunity to consider personal preferences and reflect on how our clients will have preferences for paper or technology as well. Students came to the conclusion, on their own, that client preferences should be honored and that the Padlet version of the card sort is a little more pleasing to the eye and customizable. But,

Similarly, I am also using Padlet to coherently organize all of our field placement listings for our master’s students. IN the past, I have simply sent out an email with attachments of descriptions of the various internship opportunities in the community. With the brilliance of Lauren, she suggested Padlet. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, as the listings are more organized, easier to access, and more aesthetically pleasing:

Feedback response

Project Reflections and Next Steps

I think the projects worked well and I really like Padlet! The downside is for the free account, one can only have 3 Padlets, and now I want to use it for everything!  However, there are so many other fantastic tech tools available, I am excited to explore other options.

For my next project (coming up in my class in about a week), I plan to use Google Maps to have students create community asset maps. Another option is ThingLink, but that will have to be for another time.

What I learned:

  • I really like using tech and learning about tech to improve teaching!
  • For the card sort project and the job announcement bulletin board, I think I have a good thing going. However, getting more formal student feedback is important and will very likely help me make the tools even more user friendly for students.

More generally, I learned that I have to carve out specific time for learning and implementing tech into my teaching. Implementing the ideas can take time and sometimes involves a steep learning curve but Lauren and Becky have been fantastic in providing refreshers as needed and moral support/encouragement (and coffee…thanks!)


Dr. Christopher O’Brien – Psychology

Project Overview

My project incorporated the use of several technologies, Zoom and Padlet, into my Critical Thinking in Psychology (PSY217W) course in the fall of 2018. The purpose of this course is to teach students the skills to engage in critical reading, writing, and thinking as they consume information within the discipline of psychology. This course also teaches students how to engage in scientific writing and adhere to proper APA formatting. In previous semesters, I would often use class time for students to discuss the psychological content they were consuming as well as providing students an opportunity to work on their APA formatting. However, I observed that students would be quite reluctant to either initiate or join in on the discussions. I also observed that students would often struggle outside of the classroom when working on their assignments that required scientific writing and adherence to proper APA formatting. Based off these observations, I concluded that there must be a way to not only increase their participation, but to also improve their performance on writing assignments. After being introduced to Zoom and Padlet throughout our Tech Fellows meetings, I soon realized how these tools could encourage students to be more engaged with the content and discussions, and as a result, improve their performance on APA writing assignments. Therefore, my project incorporated the use of Zoom to capture a recording of my computer as I completed a references section from start to finish while adhering to proper APA formatting. The second technology my project incorporated was the use of Padlet, an online bulletin board, that allows students to post to an online bulletin board in real time.

Project Planning

For both technologies, student accessibility was the factor I initially considered. The Zoom recording was uploaded to the course Moodle page. Padlet is a free app that can be downloaded on smartphones, which every student in the course had. A second consideration was to learn and become familiar with the technologies myself. Having used Zoom before to video conference, becoming familiar with the recording feature of Zoom did not take long. Although I had no prior experience with Padlet, I was able to play around in Padlet during our Tech Fellows meetings. Learning how to use Padlet was a relatively quick and easy process. A third consideration was how to get students to “buy in” and learn how to use the app in class.

A major course learning objective was the development of skills to properly write and format a references section. Creating a video tutorial for how to properly format a references section seemed like an appropriate and salient project. Other major course learning objectives were the development of critical thinking and communication skills. The use of Padlet in class afforded students with low-stake and low-pressure opportunities to practice and hone those skills as responses made in Padlet can be done so anonymously.

While planning the Zoom video tutorial, I integrated two of the twelve principles of multimedia learning according to Richard E. Mayer’s book, Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Press, 2001). The first principle I integrated was principle #5, which is the temporal contiguity principle. This principle states “People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively”. The second principle I integrated was #11, which is the voice principle. This principle states “People learn better when the narration in multimedia lessons is spoken in a friendly human voice rather than a machine voice”. A second model I integrated into this project was Bloom’s Taxonomy. As students first watch the video tutorial, they will be understanding and making sense of the skills necessary for formatting references sections. The end goal of the Zoom video tutorial is to provide students with the skills necessary for creating accurate references sections in the future.

While planning the Padlet project, I integrated several components of the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition (SAMR) model. One component of the SAMR model I incorporated was modification. Using Padlet in the course redesigned the task of communication from the traditional format of a student raising their hand to speak to where each student now has the opportunity to communicate in an anonymous and digital format. Further, Padlet allows students to communicate in ways other than spoken words (e.g., pictures, GIFs). By affording the students to communicate in these alternative ways (e.g., via GIFs), this incorporates the redefinition component of the model. In previous courses that utilize communication, it would have been inconceivable to communicate through such mediums as emojis and GIFs.

Project Implementation

For the Zoom video tutorial project, I recorded a practice run of myself going through the tutorial. Then, I watched this practice recording to pick up on any errors or mistakes I may have made, made sure I was speaking loud enough, not hitting the keys too loud, etc. Once I went through a few more practice runs, I recorded the tutorial that would eventually be uploaded to the Moodle page for the course. After I uploaded the video, I went to the Moodle page and switched my role to ‘Student’. That way, I could see what the student would see and to ensure the video was properly uploaded and could be viewed without issue. Had there been any issues preventing the tutorial from either being recorded or uploaded to Moodle, plan B was to conduct the tutorial in-class with a video recorder capturing the tutorial. That way, a recording of the tutorial would still exist.

For the Padlet project, I first had to go into the app and create a blank bulletin board. The template I chose to work with was a stream. That way, responses to the question could be streamlined in an easy to read, top-to-bottom format. After choosing a stream template, I edited the title to reflect a question, which was “What are your strengths and weaknesses as a psychology student?” Next, under settings, I activated the profanity filter, which replaces bad words with nice emojis.

Next, I sent out an e-mail to students a few days before the class in which we would be using Padlet. In the e-mail I instructed students to bring their smartphones to class and to download the free version of the Padlet app prior to class. In this e-mail I sent out links to download the Padlet app from either the Google Play store or the App store, depending on what kind of phone each student had. Lastly, I embedded the link to the stream template I created in the e-mail. That way, students could easily access the Padlet I created.

In case students experienced difficulties with the app on their phones, plan B was to access the Padlet using their laptops. Fortunately, all students were able to respond and post to the Padlet using their smartphones.

Project Assessment

For the Zoom video tutorial project, I used a formal assessment by grading the subsequent references sections that students would submit throughout the course of the semester. I would argue the assessment is both formative and summative. Formative in the sense that prior to submitting their first references section, students have been introduced to and learned about proper APA formatting. Thus, when submitting their first references section, I am assessing students on how they are learning the material. This project is also summative in that students are submitting references sections numerous times throughout the course of the semester. The expectation is that students are improving on their performances with writing and formatting references sections throughout the semester. Thus, when students submit their final references section, my assessment is summative in that I am evaluating how much they have learned APA formatting over the course of the semester.

For the Padlet project, I used informal assessment. A main objective of this project was to increase student participation during class discussions. To assess this objective, I compared the number of responses to the same question (i.e., “What are your strengths and weaknesses as a psychology student?”)

Padlet

 

Feedback response

In previous semesters without Padlet, this prompt would elicit an average of three to four responses. With using Padlet, the question now averaged 30 responses in a class of 20 students.

In previous courses, some students have expressed learning better through visual means. By accommodating students that learn better visually, the Zoom video tutorial provided these students with a useful resource for learning.

The Padlet project was valuable in that the app provided students an opportunity to not only be exposed to the thoughts and feelings of their classmates, but to be able to express their thoughts and feelings to their peers as well. These opportunities do not always readily present themselves in more traditional communication formats.

Project Reflections and Next Steps

One thing that did not work for the Zoom video tutorial project was being able to view how many times students either accessed or watched the video. This was due to the way in which I uploaded the video file on to Moodle. Next time, I will create a Panopto activity in the course Moodle page, which will then direct students to the video tutorial. That way, I can generate activity reports on how many students have watched the video.

Another thing I would change is how I assess the effectiveness of the video tutorial. At the beginning of the semester, prior to loading the video to Moodle, I can assess students on their skills and knowledge on APA formatting. Then, I can load the video to Moodle and re-assess the students on their APA formatting knowledge and skills a few weeks later. By incorporating the activity reports of the video tutorial into these analyses, I can assess how much of an impact watching the video tutorial had on their skills and performance.

A potential future modification of this project is to incorporate the video tutorial into an EdPuzzle. Not only does this provide an opportunity for a formative assessment of their skills, but also makes the tutorial interactive. A second potential modification is to break up the tutorial into segments. With a total running time of nearly 30 minutes, it might benefit students to view this tutorial over several videos that are shorter in duration.

For the Padlet project, one thing that did work was the number of responses received from students. Despite the frequency of responses, one thing that did not work was how much students elaborated with their responses. In the future, I will encourage students to elaborate on their responses. One way to modify this project in the future is to change the layout of the Padlet to perhaps a canvas or grid, depending on the nature and context of the question.

One big lesson that I learned from these projects is that encouraging students goes a long way to get them to buy into and utilize the technologies. For the tutorial video, I made somewhat of a fuss about it by making a point to let students know about this particular resource compared to the numerous other resources they have access to on the course Moodle page. By acknowledging this video and drawing their attention to it, I am not sure how many students would have used the video or perceive any value in the video. The same logic of getting students to buy into the technology applied to Padlet. Prior to using Padlet in course, most (if not all) students had no experience with this technology. Encouraging students to work through the (relatively quick) learning pains of using the app paid off as the class quickly got the hang of the app. Within minutes, students were responding using GIFs, emojis, and pictures.


Dr. Lora Walter – Nursing

Project Overview

Introduction forums are a common practice in online courses.  Students present themselves personally and professionally through the written word.  The written word can lack intonation, emotion, and personality which are key elements in a live introduction.  I explored the multiple methods of audio/video presentations and tried VoiceThread a few times.  Too often the VoiceThread technology was challenging for the student and became the focus of the task.  I sought to find a simple method that required minimal technology experience but provided a video that could be used in lieu of a written introduction in the course.  Since most students are comfortable using their smart devices for videotaping, FaceTime, and other video-related applications, it seemed feasible to seek a tool that could be used from their phone or another device.

Flipgrid is a video discussion platform that is simple to use and can be accessed through any smartphone, tablet, or computer.  It gives students a voice and educators a means of creating a communicative learning environment.  Students are able to respond to the videos posted by the instructor or peers by reacting, responding, and sharing their own videos.  Flipgrid has many features which students are familiar with thus leveraging the elements of social media to engage students in the classroom and promote communication.

This video method of introduction should be more effective in humanizing the online class.  Students can connect on a more personal level which is usually lacking in the written introduction.  This personal introduction could enhance their interactions in weekly activities like discussion forums and encourage richer dialogue.

For my project, I incorporated Flipgrid into online RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) courses I taught in the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters.  I also used the Flipgrid introduction approach with first-year undergraduate Pathways to Nursing (PTN) students in Summer 2018 prior to the students meeting in person at the orientation.

Project Planning

The initial step in planning this process was a literature search to determine current best practices.  Also, using Bloom’s Digital Integration Model, I determined the focus should be at the highest level—creating.  The written introductions are at a lower order of thinking and creating and viewing introductory videos should be a more effective modality through utilizing higher level thinking.  After this initial investigation, I sought to find a technology tool that would be most effective.

With support from the Instructional Technology team, I narrowed my search and focused on technology applications which were simple, functional, and compatible with Moodle.  Flipgrid seemed to be the best choice.  I embraced the tool and sought to master it prior to implementation.  Microsoft recently purchased Flipgrid and improved the already successful tool.  Flipgrid has excellent learning materials for both students and teachers.  I took advantage of all that was offered and became certified as a Flipgrid instructor.  Through this process I mastered the use of the tool and planned to incorporate it into the classes I taught last fall.

Flipgrid

Flipgrid

Flipgrid

Retrieved from https://flipgrid.com/

Project Implementation

The implementation process was bifurcated.  I produced a Flipgrid introductory forum for two online courses in the RN-BSN and MSN programs. Then I created a Flipgrid forum for the incoming first-year on ground students.

First, I created an introductory Flipgrid forum for my online students.  Students in the RN-BSN and MSN courses had experience with written introductory forums.  I prompted them to introduce themselves both personally and professionally and discuss their intended outcomes for the class.  The students created videos that were personable and demonstrated their true personality.  Their peers were able to add comments or videos in response to the introduction.  As the instructor, I found the introduction more personal and emotional.  It provided the opportunity to meet them virtually, respond, and appreciate their intended outcomes for the class.

Secondly, I sent a Flipgrid link to all incoming first-year students to create a video and meet each other virtually.  The first-year nursing student orientation is limited to two hours and the personal introduction of each of the 32 students would have left little time for the presentation of pertinent information.  PTN is an undergraduate program where nursing students spend their first year on the Chatham Shadyside campus.  The second and third years they attend UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing (SSON) and complete their degree with the online RN-BSN program their senior year.  Success in nursing school requires collaboration with peers through mentoring and study groups.  It is imperative that students know who their peers are and develop friendships with an academic partnership as soon as possible.

Several weeks prior to starting at Chatham, the PTN students were sent a link and asked to create an introductory Flipgrid video.  They were prompted to introduce themselves personally and share why they want to become a nurse.  Most students embraced this opportunity and videos were created all over the United States.  One was created in Finland where the student was visiting prior to starting college.

Example of a PTN Flipgrid introduction provided with permission from the student.

Flipgrid

https://flipgrid.com/s/b2fdabb806b2

Project Assessment

Summative assessments were conducted using Qualtrics surveys a few months after students engaged in the Flipgrid introductory activity.  Both the online RN-BSN and MSN students and the undergraduate PTN students found value in the activity.  As indicated formally through the Qualtrics survey and personal discussion, the project provided the students a means to actively engage in introductory forums that were personal and enhanced communication.

RN-BSN and MSN Application

For the online RN-BSN and MSN courses, students were surveyed and asked to compare their Flipgrid introduction experience with the usual introductory forum using the written word.  Qualtrics software was used to survey the students who participated in the Flipgrid introductions.  Since some of the students might not be technologically savvy, they were asked if Flipgrid was easy to use and helped personalize the course.

The students found the videos more personal than the written introductions.  They indicated the technology tool was simple to use and found it more impactful than the written introductions.  They were able to know their peers on a more personal level, which many found an asset to class activities like discussion forums.

Question:  Did you find Flipgrid easy to use?

Feedback response

Question:  Do you feel a video introduction personalizes this course?

Feedback response

Pathways to Nursing (PTN) Application

Flipgrid was employed with the first-year nursing students who had never met before.  They created the videos prior to the live orientation the first week on campus.  The students posted videos that truly demonstrated their personality.  They were prompted to discuss why they chose nursing as a career and the responses were passionate and varied.  When the students entered the orientation room, they recognized each other and remembered key elements of each other’s videos.  In many cases, it was as if they already knew each other.  This made the orientation flow more easily and the presented information was better received.

Students were surveyed a few months after the Flipgrid introductory activity using Qualtrics.  Two questions addressed the ease of use and the effect on increasing their comfort in starting college.  The students found Flipgrid easy to use and indicated it helped reduce the anxiety with starting their college career.  They found things in common with their peers and several of the students continued friendships and academic relationships.  These relationships were the start of activities like study partners and groups and peer mentoring.

Question:  Did you find Flipgrid easy to use?

Feedback response

 

Question:  Did Flipgrid videos increase your comfort level for starting your college career?

Feedback response

 

Project Reflections and Next Steps

I plan to continue using Flipgrid in my course introductory forums.  The personal introductions promoted a sense of community amongst online students who never meet in person and on ground students prior to meeting in person.  Students found the tool easy to use and effective in personalizing peer interactions.

Moving forward I want to use Flipgrid as a type of formative assessment.  Formative assessment is a common application for Flipgrid that has been used by teachers in various levels of education.  This pedagogical approach allows educators to assess student learning in a unique and personal manner.  Additionally, the tool is commonly used to gauge how students are feeling about the class and where they want to progress.  They can connect class content with their own experiences. Since words are often misconstrued, video assessment provides an opportunity to provide feedback that is genuine and presented with the positive attributes of the spoken word.  There are many uses for Flipgrid in the assessment process, both formative and summative.  Educators are privy to a website, webinars, and personal support that afford them the opportunity to use Flipgrid in their classrooms in a multitude of ways.  Ultimately, I hope to inspire other educators to use Flipgrid or another form of video technology to create a sense of personalization and community in their courses.