Dr. Jill Cyranowski – Counseling Psychology

Project Overview

One of my tech fellow goals was to use technology to better facilitate the multiple learning styles of students taking my Advanced Data Analysis class. Research statistics can engender a good deal of anxiety for students. Math anxieties are common, and can lead to patterns of procrastination and avoidance when learning research design and statistics. As a psychologist, part of my teaching process includes finding ways to “demystify” complex processes and to address students’ level of anxiety at each step of the learning process. By breaking learning into small pieces, using repetition across a variety of learning methods, and assigning lots of weekly homework assignments, the course provides many “graded exposure” experiences, where students can, over time, master their anxiety of statistics and (at least for some!) start to take pleasure in the process.

For the current project, I wanted to try to incorporate brief SPSS tutorials into my Moodle shell, using both Atomic Learning (24/7 Technology Training) modules and some of my own brief tutorials developed using Panopto with direct screen capture of me conducting (and narrating) specific SPSS analyses. This technology would allow students, whose anxiety can interfere with memory consolidation during class, to go back to review how to implement basic SPSS procedures and analyses on their own time. In addition to my own lectures that incorporate conceptual discussion and marked-up static screen captures of SPSS outcomes, I thought that these tutorials would be a helpful addition for students who have difficulty following (or remembering) how analyses were conducted during classes.

Planning Process

As part of my planning process, I conducted a brief survey of students at the outset of my spring Advanced Data Analysis course. Survey questions included information about the students’ previous training in both research design and statistics, and their feelings about these previous courses. These data suggested that, in general, they had found their previous learning to be on a “pretty superficial level” and their previous experience of learning to be, on average, “tolerable, but not terribly interesting.” When asked to rate their current level of anxiety and enthusiasm about learning about research design and statistics, they generally rated themselves as more anxious than enthused.

In addition, I queried the students regarding their preferred methods of learning when it comes to research methods and statistics (see below).  On average, the group showed a preference for working through problems as part of a larger group discussion and feedback session, with the lowest ratings for straight lectures about research concepts.  They also expressed a mild preference for watching the instructor run/interpret analyses live in class (as opposed to watching videos of the instructor), and both of these methods were preferred above watching other internet tutorials.  When discussed in class, students clarified that they would find brief instructor-led video tutorials to be helpful, but only as an addition to live classroom demonstrations, rather than in place of live sessions.


I have started implementation this semester.  At the beginning of the semester, a number of brief Atomic Learning tutorials were posted to Moodle, most with the goal of aiding those students with little to no previous SPSS experience to become familiar with basic data manipulation and cleaning procedures. In addition, I have played with developing my own tutorials in Panopto, posting the first one on how to run moderation analyses in SPSS.  More of these videos will be posted in the next section of the class covering ANOVA analyses, with formal assessments from students to be conducted at the end of the class.


Despite the “mean level” preferences reported in the above graph regarding student learning preferences, I was struck by the stark differences reported by different students with respect to their preferred modes of learning.  This makes me think that continuing to incorporate multiple media approaches to learning will be the way to go, in order to enhance learning experiences across a range of different learners.  It will also be interesting to see if the students’ preferred learning strategies and/or levels of anxiety or enthusiasm for the material changes at all following completion of the class.

Formal assessments from students will be collected at the end of this spring term class. Informally, I’ve found that that not all of the Atomic Learning videos are great, so it does take some time to find the tutorials that will be most helpful for student learning.  I’ve also learned the importance of maintaining consistency when selecting and/or developing on-line tutorials of basic procedures that we cover in class.  While you can often find a number of ways to run the same basic procedures in SPSS, early learners of the software get confused if you introduce too many options too early in the learning process.  I’ve also learned that it is unlikely that I will do away with running most all analyses together in class (in a format where students can ask questions and talk through the process, and in which we can interpret outputs together as a group).  Indeed, when I floated the idea of only posting some taped tutorials (which do supplement both book procedures and my lecture slides), there was mild panic from the class.

Reflections and Next Steps

This semester, I will work to develop a few more basic tutorials based on the basic ANOVA analyses we will be running in class.  I also plan to go through additional Atomic Learning modules covering basic Regression and ANOVA procedures.  I will retest the group at the end of the course, and will use those data to inform further modifications to the class for next year.

Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, Again!

Congratulations to Bill Biss, Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture at Chatham, on his recent publication in the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.
Using Threads of Technology to Enrich Lecture-Based Courses

William H. Biss, Jr. VoiceThread, a media-sharing application, is used to enhance student learning by providing more flexibility for student participation. VoiceThread


Pierette Appasamy, Ph.D. Biology

Project Overview

I incorporated the use of ThingLink, an interactive multimedia platform, into my Histology (BIO458/558) course in the fall of 2015. This course teaches students the skills needed to identify and characterize the various parts of the human body at the microscopic level.  In previous years of teaching this course, I have had each student give a presentation on a specific type of tissue or part of the body as part of the course requirements.  The students would project digital images that they would describe the class and they would include question and answer session for the other students in which they would ask students about to identify specific parts of an image. However, I found that these were increasingly using up precious classroom time and I also wanted an opportunity for the other students to evaluate the images on their own time as they prepared for examinations.  When ThingLink was introduced in the Tech Fellows meetings over the summer, I realized that this could be a useful tool to allow each student give a presentation outside of the classroom, using digital images that they could annotate and attach other media to, and would be available to all the students to review whenever they wished.

Planning Process

The first thing that I had to do when planning the project was learn how to use ThingLink.  I practiced using some digital images of histology slides that were available to me, and annotated them using the tools available in ThingLink.  It was also necessary to set up an account that the students could log into and then be able to use all the functionality of ThingLink.  Chatham purchased several accounts for this purpose, although I needed only one.

A major course objective was the development of skills to correctly identify and characterize different parts of the body using microscopic images, and this project fit well with that objective.

This technology allowed for a substitution of an in-class project with an outside project that would be available to allow students via the classroom Moodle site.

The use of ThingLink for this project allowed for all categories of Bloom’s taxonomy to be used, including recalling basic concepts (Remember), explaining concepts (Understand), using information in new situations (Apply) since they had to identify the various parts of each section using what they previously learned, and they had opportunities to draw connections (Analysis).  The final product was uniquely their project, and therefore was new work (Create).


Each student was assigned a password and given an access code to my ThingLink “classroom”. I first had all the students learn how to use ThingLink by annotating a single image, and they received a grade for that assignment.

Once I was comfortable that they were proficient at using ThingLink, each student was assigned a specific part of the body or a tissue to present using ThingLink.  These were spaced out through the semester, and each ThingLink was completed just before an exam, so that the other students could use the ThingLink for a self-testing tool to help prepare for the exam.  A link to each ThingLink presentation was posted on Moodle by me, so that it was easy for students to access the presentations.

An example of a couple of ThingLink presentations that were completed by my students can be found below:

Fortunately, it was not necessary to have a plan B.


I used both formal and informal assessments.  I would ask the students about how they liked ThingLink from time to time.  The most common complaint was that some students had trouble creating a set of annotated images in the order that they wanted.  All ThingLink presentations could be viewed like a slide show.

The formal assessment was in the form of a questionnaire that each student completed.  Based on the questionnaire results, the students found ThingLink relatively easy to use, most students viewed other students’ projects,

Surprisingly, a relatively large number of students felt that viewing the ThingLink presentations of other students was of little value.   In contrast, slightly more students felt that it was of significant value when they were preparing their own presentation.  One student suggested that I have some way of requiring students to view other’s presentations, and possibly give bonus points for that.

92% of the students agreed that ThingLink should be used in next year’s Histology course.

Results of ThingLink questionnaire, given at the end of the fall semester:

1. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the least difficult, and 5 being the most difficult, rate how difficult you felt the process of learning ThingLink was and applying it to the histology unit to which you were assigned:

Responses 1 2 3 4 5 Total
not difficult at all 9 (75%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 0 12
a little difficult 5 (42%) 4 (33%) 3 (25%) 0 0 12
moderately difficult 7 (58%) 2 (17%) 2 (17%) 0 1 (8%) 12
difficult 8 (67%) 3 (25%) 0 1 (8%) 0 12
excessively difficult 10 (83%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 0 0 12

2. Rate how often you viewed other students Thinglink sessions:

Responses 1 2 3 4 5 Total
never 11 (92%) 1 (8%) 0 0 0 12
one or two 8 (67%) 3 (25%) 1 (8%) 0 0 12
three or four 8 (67%) 1 (8%) 2 (17%) 0 1 (8%) 12
most (more than 4) 10 (83%) 1 (8%) 0 0 1 (8%) 12
all 7 (58%) 1 (8%) 0 3 (25%) 1 (8%) 12

3. Rate the value, to you, of viewing OTHER STUDENTS ThingLink workshops, in terms of how it helped reinforce the histology concepts for that section.

Responses 1 2 3 4 5 Total
no value 11 (92%) 1 (8%) 0 0 0 12
a little value 11 (92%) 1 (8%) 0 0 0 12
some value 7 (58%) 2 (17%) 2 (17%) 0 1 (8%) 12
moderate value 8 (67%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 2 (17%) 0 12
considerable value 8 (67%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 0 2 (17%) 12

4. Rate the value, to you, of preparing your ThingLink, in terms of how it helped reinforce the histology concepts for that section.

Responses 1 2 3 4 5 Total
no value 10 (83%) 0 0 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 12
a little value 8 (67%) 2 (17%) 0 2 (17%) 0 12
some value 9 (75%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 0 12
valuable 6 (50%) 1 (8%) 0 4 (33%) 1 (8%) 12
extremely valuable 6 (50%) 0 0 1 (8%) 5 (42%) 12

5. Do you feel that ThingLink workshops should be used for next year’s histology class?

Response Average Total
Yes   92% 11
No   8% 1
Total   100% 12/12

6. If you said NO, ThingLink workshops should not be used next year, please describe why you said no.

It should be used again next year.
I said yes to the ThingLink being available for next year’s histology class.
I did not say no.
Answered yes
I would rather spend more time looking at slides than making a ThingLink, it was more helpful talking about discussing the slides in class.
just some minor tweaks and I feel it could be used again
I said yes.

7. Briefly describe the things that you liked about making or viewing ThingLink workshops:

it’s easier. I review them after I study to quiz myself.
I think it was a good study tool
I looked at and interpreted a lot of digital slides while preparing for my ThingLink assignment.  Great study tool.
I liked seeing images and diagrams from other ThingLink workshops that I did not find yet. I definitely think that the ThingLink helped provide additional images and questions for studying. Personally creating a ThingLink did a really good job at reinforcing the materials for the assigned section.
Uploading images from online is easy and helps facilitate the projects. Identifying the different parts of the cells helped with memorization of the units we were studying.
You can reinforce learned topics that were discussed in class at your leisure.
Making up questions within the ThingLink was a great study tool because it made you think about the concepts that may be seen on the test.   Also, searching for different histology slides to put in the ThingLink helped with remembering what to look for in the glass slides.  Finally, the way you could see an overall picture and then have a zoomed in view under the microscope put the information of the material in a better perspective.
I barely viewed others ThingLinks however, making them helps reinforce what we learned in class that day.
Creating my own ThingLink helped me learn the material the most… I just didn’t really look at others’ ThingLinks, so I’m not sure how to make it possible every project to help each student. Maybe make some of the questions on the ThingLinks bonus so everyone will look at all of the projects?
It was helpful getting to know everything about the topic assigned, and I had a full knowledge of the workshop I posted, but not much helpful when it came to other’s and their workshop.
I think making the ThingLinks was helpful because if forced you to have a reinforcement of the materal. Maybe if it doesn’t remain a part of the coursework for future classes, something along the lines of a pre-test that would make the students have to think about the material in terms of how it would be asked on a test.
How it was up to you to make the audience engaged

8. Briefly describe the things that you disliked about ThingLink workshops:

At times it was difficult to find different images from .edu websites
The interface was difficult to learn, but once I got the hang of it, the program was easy to use.
The only problem with the ThingLink workshops are some of the labeled images provided wrong answers or mislabeling. This was the only hinderance to the workshops since it made me second guess myself a few times on the material.
The icons were not very specific. Having a more specific icon would allow for smaller identification of details.
It was a little confusing at first because I didn’t know how to follow individuals in order to view their channels but sending the links to the professor and having her upload the link helped fix the problem.
It was just a pain to find photos that were able to upload in the web url portion.
Since my project was closer to the end of the semester, I felt that I couldn’t dedicate enough time to the project with all of the other assignments that I was also working on.
Cannot make corrections or move slides around so some presentations were a little out of order, which confused me.
Sometimes student would have two dots: on for a question and one for an answer. I would sometimes scroll over the answer first and then the question was kind of wasted. If there was a way to hid the answers it would have been helpful.
That depending on the subject it took long to find pictures and to add certain details

9. Please provide any additional information or comments about ThingLink workshops not covered by the previous questions.

it worth it
Good supplemental study tool to test yourself
I think the workshops were a good job at providing the class with additional digital images for outside of class. Some of the images selected by classmates were very similar to ones on the exams, so I felt very prepared from studying from the workshops.
The separation of units seemed fair and it was appreciated that not every unit only had one thinglink
Overall, it was good to use other classmates ThingLinks as an extra study tool.
No comment.
I definitely think that ThingLink is a useful resource for Histology.
Thank you!
It was user friendly, it just took time to figure how to work it.
Maybe find some other way to engage the class and also to help study, in addition to ThingLink?

Reflections and Next Steps

For the most part, the entire process worked well.  Some students put more effort into their presentations than others, but this was a graded assignment, so that the greater effort resulted in a higher grade.  Next year, I would like to modify the project by having the students take pictures of microscope slides, instead of using digital images acquired from the internet.  This would require a higher level of skill, and was what I originally intended to have them do, but realized that the digital camera setup that I intended to use wasn’t quite ready for them to use.

Deanna Hamilton, Ph.D. Counseling Psychology

Project Overview

My technology fellows project was not terribly creative.  I have been resistant to the idea of creating online classes, but I know that there are online instructors who do an incredible job teaching in that format, and I also know that students will benefit if I learn some best practices of online teaching.  So, during Fall and Spring semesters (2015-2016) I turned three class meetings for the Human Development across the Lifespan course into online classes.  I used various technological components for each of the three classes and I surveyed students about different aspects of the online classes.

Planning Process

In planning my project I considered how to reach the course learning objectives via online activities.  All of the activities for the 3 online class meetings were asynchronous through the Moodle shell created for the class.  The course, Human Development across the Lifespan, (graduate level psychology) has one overarching objective “Upon completion of the course, students will be able to describe major concepts and empirical findings related to human development.”  This objective is operationalized across four learning outcomes:

  1. Theories of individual and family development and transitions across the life-span
  2. Theories of learning and personality development
  3. Human behavior, including an understanding of developmental crisis, disability, exceptional behavior, psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior
  4. Strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life-span

I used technology to substitute an online learning environment for 3 different on the ground class meetings.  I modified the assignments and activities that I do in person to fit the online format.

For each of the three classes I used increasingly more technological tools.  For each online class there was at least one activity that addressed each of the four learning outcomes.  For example, in the third online class students watched and critiqued videos/articles describing the transition to emerging adulthood.


The structure of the graduate level human development class (meets one time per week for 3 hours) is that each week a different age group is the focus from a physical, cognitive, and psychosocial perspective.  I first identified three weeks of content that I believed could most easily be translated to an online format.  The first online class occurred three weeks into the semester.  The topic was cognitive and emotional development in early childhood.  The second online class occurred at week 5 and the topic was cognitive development in middle childhood.  The third online class occurred near the end of the semester, week 13, and the topic was cognitive and psychosocial development in emerging and middle adulthood.  Please see below for the specific description of the class activities.  Though all of the technology I attempted to use did work (miracle!), my plan B was to do the most basic online course by simply posting activities to Moodle (like in my first online class).

First Online Class:
PowerPoint slides posted to Moodle, a Microsoft Word document explaining the activities for the day (below).

Figure 1: Human Development Fall 2015 Moodle Week 3

Online class information sheet (posted to Moodle to guide students through the online activities)

1).  After you have read the textbook chapter(s) (primarily chapter 3, a little bit on 4) go through the PowerPoint presentation. Are the concepts making sense?  Are you able to connect the ideas in the PowerPoint with the info in the text?  Think about how it relates to the counseling work you will do in the future.  You’ll do a closer reading of the slides after this overview (about 40 minutes)

2).  Return to slide #2 (it says typical development at the top).  There is a link to a TEDtalk that summarizes some of what we know about prenatal learning. The name of the talk is “what we learn before we are born.”  First, watch the talk.  Then, write down one or two of the findings that you found most interesting.  You can hand write this on a piece of paper or you can type it on a Microsoft word document – either way you will need to show me the document (on your computer screen or the paper where you wrote your responses) next week in class. (video 17 minutes, response 10 minutes = 27 minutes total).

3).  Slide #3 summarizes some of the postnatal milestones of “normally” developing motor, visual, and auditory skills (highlights from the table on page 83 of your text).  Take a look at the slide or the table on page 83, write down one or two of the processes that surprised you in terms of when then developed or what other processes were developing simultaneously, or anything that you found interesting about the development of milestones across the first 5 years. (about 8 minutes)

4).  Slides #4 & 5 provide an overview of Piaget’s theory.  Do they make sense?  Now take a look at the Biographical sketch on page 80 of the book and/or the PDF from an article of his that is on the moodle page.  What comments or observations do you have about Piaget, his writing, his background, or his theory?  This should be a couple of sentences. (about 15 minutes).

5).  Slide #6 describes the substages of Piaget’s sensorimotor stage.  Note:  you will not have to memorize the substages, I just wanted you to see that they exist.  Can you summarize what generally occurs over the Sensorimotor stage?  What would be the newspaper “headline for this stage?  (about 5 minutes).

6).  Slide #7 describes the concept of object permanence (also refer to pages 84-85 in the text).  What’s the big deal about “object concept”?  Why is having an object concept so important to cognitive development? (5 minutes)

7).  Slides #8 & 9 describe other ways of measuring infant cognition (other an Piagetian methods).  The depiction of Baillargeon’s research is different than page 85 of your book (just a different version of the same type of research).  What do you make of the difference in development of object permanence as found by Piaget (in the first year) as compared to more recent research by Baillargeon and colleagues (as young as 2.5 MONTHS!)?  (10 minutes)

8).  Take a look at the YouTube video showing examples of Piagetian conservation tasks.  You will see children in the preoperational stage who fail the tasks (give the wrong answer) as well as older children (in the concrete operational stage) who pass the tasks.  Based on the information on the slides (12 & 13) and the text (pages 92-95, section on Preschoolers’ cognition – though our text focuses on numbers, Piaget looked at conservation through different types of tasks) what make preschoolers thinking illogical?  How come they fail the conservation tasks?  (video 3 minutes, response 7 minutes = 10 minutes total)

(if you Google “Piaget conservation task, YouTube” it is the first thing that comes up).

9).  Piaget described preoperational egocentrism as measured by the three-mountain task.  Take a look at an example in this YouTube video — keep this in mind as we continue to discuss perspective taking ability. (5 minutes)

10).  Slides #15 & 16 describe some information related to the concept Theory of Mind (pages 95-99 in the text, section in Chapter 3 “Understanding the Mind.”  Is this a concept with which you are familiar?  Why is it important to our cognitive and psychosocial development?  Review the information and get a feel for the concept and how it is measured.  This is something we will discuss further in class.  (10 minutes)

11).  Slides #17-19 provide a very brief overview of some language development milestones.  Entire courses are taught on the topic of language development.  At this point, familiarize yourself with the general progression of language development.  Then, consider the finding described on page 104 of the text related to the difference in vocabularies according to how much parents talk to their children:  “In a 100-hour week, a toddler in a professional family might here 215,000 words on the average, in a lower-middle-class family children here about 125,000 words, and in the poorest homes about 62,000 words.  All of the children learned to talk on schedule, but the differences in parental input were correlated with the children’s vocabulary measures by age 3.” (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).

What does this research suggest about the importance of caregiver-child conversation?  You do not have to write anything down, just think about it.  (5 minutes)

12).  Slide #21 describes some important terms developed by Vygotsky.  Use the slides and the text (starting on page 105, section called “Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory”) to make sure you are familiar with the important contributions made by Vygotsky in understanding how young children learn.  (5 minutes)

13).  Slides #24-27 provide an introduction to some of the important points from Chapter 4 (Emotional Development in the Early Years).  Review the concepts on the slides (5 minutes).

Then, using your favorite search engine, find something that has been posted related to the emotional development of children.  The idea is to pretend that you are a parent who is looking online and reads something about young children and their emotional development.  For example, when I just did a google news search for “young children emotional development” the first thing that came up is an article with the title “Is your child a psychopath?”

Next, quickly skim whatever article/video/tv clip that you find.  This SHOULD NOT be a scholarly or peer reviewed piece.  How do you understand the article / news item that you found in relation to the information that you have read on emotional development?  Please post the title of what you found and your reaction to it on the forum post that is on the Moodle page for today.  The post should be no more than a sentence or two.  (15 minutes)

14).  On the Moodle site for tonight there is a PDF for an article called The Origins of Attachment Theory:John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth we will use the article as part of our discussion next week.  Please spend 15 minutes going over some of the article.  At this point you do not have to do a super close reading of the article, it just provides a great overview of the attachment literature and is a really good reference to have – we will talk about it next week!!!!!!!!!!!

Second Online Class:
Narrated PowerPoint slides posted to Moodle, a Microsoft Word document explaining the activities for the day, and introduction video (recorded on my iPad and uploaded to Moodle) of me welcoming them to class and giving them the plan for the day.

Deanna Hamilton video

Figure 2: Intro Video

Online class information sheet

Part I.  The Bridge (20 minutes total)

  • Please look back at the last online class activities that you completed (Sept 15th). Please identify one area / concept / idea that needs further clarification.  Please post your question to the Moodle Forum.  I will try to make sure I’ve prepped answers to all (or most) of your questions by the time we meet next week.

Part II.  Paper Portion

  • Go through the plagiarism PowerPoint that is posted on Moodle. Some of it may be review, but it is really important to keep in mind as you start to work on your papers. Let me know if it makes sense or if you have any questions – you do not have to upload anything or write anything down. (30 minutes)
  • Check out the example papers that are posted on Moodle (located in the section for this week). What are some initial ideas you have about how you will organize your paper?  What are some of the sections that will be involved that you’ll want to make sure to cover?  You do not have to upload this anywhere, just be prepared to talk about it / show me that you gave it some thought.  (30 minutes)

Part III.  The PowerPoint for Chapter 6

  • Go through the Middle Childhood PowerPoint (45 – one hour…but probably less. A couple of the slides are narrated)
  • Go to slide #11 – Selman’s Stages of Friendship. (15 minutes).  These stages are described on pages 231-234.  You do not have to write anything down, just see if you can imagine what “friendship” looks like at the different stages.
  • Glossary activity (30 minutes, probably less). There is a tab in the Moodle section for this week that says “glossary.”  Go through Chapter 6 and choose any of the concepts or ideas that are described in the chapter.  Use the paraphrasing skills you practiced in Part II of this assignment to make a glossary entry for that concept or idea.  Basically, describe one of the concepts or terms from the chapter in your own words using the glossary tab that is set up for you in Moodle.

Third Online Class:
A video of me teaching class that was recorded using the SWIVL video capture system. Throughout the “lecture” I directed students to online activities that they completed via Moodle, I also created an online class information sheet (below).

Part I (maximum amount of time to spend on this section is 1 hour, it is ok to spend less)

The slides begin with a review of the ideas related to emerging adulthood, which is where we ended class last week.  Please go over and/or listen to that slide (#3).  Reflect on what you think about emerging adulthood?  Do you believe it is a new stage that is independent from adolescence and young adulthood?

Next watch the following videos (if you can’t watch the videos, that’s ok, I just think they are brief and super helpful in seeing the two people who often write / research about emerging adulthood.  After the videos, read the Generation Me and Generation We article.

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett: Emerging Adulthood Video

Twenge: Generation Me Video

Next, do a brief forum post (a couple of sentence) on a). which perspective / article you find more persuasive? B). what it is that you find compelling? and c). how this information (related to emerging adulthood OR generation me) may be helpful to counselors?

Part II (maximum amount of time to spend on this section is 30 minutes, it is ok to spend less)

Take a look at / listen to the video for slides 4-12.  Contemplate the information.

Part III  (maximum amount of time to spend on this section is 1 hour, it is ok to spend less)

Look at / listen to the slides on the Five Factor Model of Personality (#13 & #14, pages 483-485 in your text).  Next take the following “big five” assessment (there are loads of these measures available on the internet. This one is free and comes from a reputable group of researchers.

Upload a couple of sentences about what you thought was interesting, useful, problematic about this way (the five factor model or the actual measure you took) of understanding personality and how it may or may not be useful for counselors.

Part IV  (maximum amount of time to spend on this section is 30 minutes, it is ok to spend less)

Look at / listen to the information on slides 15-21.  What comes to mind when you think of the term “midlife crisis?”  Then watch the following video, or if you are having trouble getting the video to work you can read the article The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis (from The Atlantic):

What do you think about the idea of a “midlife crisis?”  Is it a “real” or useful construct?  Is it more helpful to think about the notion of turning points?  How so?  Write two sentences-ish of a forum post.


I assessed my project by asking students to complete an anonymous survey after the online classes (see below).  While I have not done a formal analysis of the responses, a frequency count indicates that, in both sections, no students (0/40) reported “learning more” in the online format.  In the Fall semester, 90% of students reported “learning less” in the online classes.  In the Spring section, students were evenly split between those who reported learning less (49%) or about the same (51%) in the online format.  The most common reason students felt they learned less had to do with preferring the in class meetings and discussions (finding the in person setting more valuable).  Students indicated that they enjoyed the time flexibility of the online class (could complete it in chunks or whenever they had free time) as well as posting/responding to forums.

Online Classes Feedback Form

  1. As compared to “in person” class meetings I felt like the online classes led to:

Please Circle One

The same amount of learning
More learning
Less learning

  1. If you indicated more or less learning in your answer above, could you explain some of the reasons why?
  1. One thing that felt really useful about the online classes was (your favorite activity)…you can list more than one thing 🙂
  1. One thing that you really didn’t like about the online classes (or would like to change; your least favorite activity)…you can list more than one thing J
  1. Ideas and / or suggestions for future online class meetings?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reflections and Next Steps

All of the technological components of the classes worked well (Swivl, uploading video, various Moodle activities), and I certainly felt like I had support to make the project happen.  The thing that didn’t work so well was my attitude and the attitudes of the students.  That is, the first semester I tried the online classes I was not very confident that it would “work” in terms of helping students to meet the class objectives, and my lack of confidence translated to (or at least contributed to) students’ dislike of the online meetings.  The second semester, I felt more confident about the online classes and students seemed to be more accepting of the format.

There is not much I would change.  I did the three different formats in order to “experiment” with what worked best with the course content (which was informative), and I think the variety helped keep students interested.  I may narrate more of the PowerPoint slides and have more “interactive” activities such as forums to increase synthesis of the content and facilitate student engagement with the material.

I have two goals for year two.  First, I am going to put one or two other age groups in the online format – it was really great to have the online versions ready to go when two of the weeks were snowy and icy during the Spring semester.  Second, I am going to work with Jen Morse to figure out the best way to use a writing app (Noodle Tools) to help students construct the research papers they write for the course.

Diane Hunker, Ph.D. Nursing

Project Overview

My goal for year one of the Faculty Technology Fellowship involved expanding the ways that I have promoted visual communication with my online students. Some specific activities that I wanted to implement included using video messages to provide feedback and information to students rather than inserting a text box or forum message.  Other ideas to overall enhance the visual communication with students involved the use of images/photos in the Moodle shell, the use of a standard Panopto Welcome message to be placed in all courses being taught by me, and uploading a personal profile photo in Outlook.

Planning Process

Since the curriculum is set for all programs in Nursing and the assignments are also prescribed, my goal was to focus on the student experience and likability of the courses. I found that some of the tools already available to us as part of Moodle can be cumbersome and not always quick and easy to use. I wanted to find a solution that can be done with little notice, planning or effort. I also wanted to be able to grab my iPhone or iPad when I thought of something I wanted to tell my students. By videotaping a message in this way, I was able to substitute it for a written message. This provided a different means in which to quickly communicate with students. Ease of accessibility and convenience were most important when searching for a solution.


With the help of Lauren and Becky, I identified “Capture” as an application on my YouTube Capturehandheld device that could be downloaded for free. Using my handheld device (mostly iPhone), I was able to record and store a video message wherever I was at the time.  After the Capture app was downloaded, all I had to do was open the app and search for the video I created for my students using my iPhone video recording function. I selected to “upload” it and after a few minutes, a URL was created for private use. For step-by-step instructions on using Capture, please read these directions. Finally, I emailed this URL to my Chatham email, and then coped and pasted it in a Moodle Course shell into the applicable block (week). By posting the URL as a Label in Moodle, the video box displayed in the course rather than just a link.

Diane Hunker Capture

Figure 1: Capture Video in Moodle


The assessment was informal and based on student and faculty feedback. Students seemed to like the informality of the message and the ability to see and hear me. A faculty member who first saw the video message in my course said she was surprised to see the video and thought it was a friendly way in which to communicate the students. Some faculty didn’t like the “close up” effect of the video if you held your own hand held device in your hand while you were recording (kind of like a selfie). A way around that would be to rest it someplace at a suitable, desirable distance for recording. Some faculty thought this seemed much more convenient than Panopto whereas other faculty found Panopto to be just as convenient.

Reflections and Next Steps

Being an online educator for the past 9 years, my courses/programs were already developed to adequately capture formative and summative assessments. All content and assessment methods in each course were designed well to capture the accreditation requirements for the various nursing degrees. My goal as a tech fellow is to find easy, convenient solutions to use technology as a tool for student and faculty workflow, promote student satisfaction, and foster faculty and student relationships. A future project will involve the use of technology to help further explain content or projects that are found to be more difficult for students to grasp. By using technology to aid in student learning of a particular component of the curriculum, student work flow and satisfaction should improve.

Jennifer Lape, OTD Occupational Therapy

Project Overview

As part of year 1 of my Technology Fellowship (2015-2016), I wanted to focus on enhancing feedback to online doctoral students on their capstone projects, and improving the peer review process already in place within the occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) capstone courses.  As a result, I explored the use of Turnitin’s GradeMark and PeerMark in detail, and piloted use of these tools in several courses.  As part of this process, I also undertook the task of revising the analytic rubrics for each of the 6 capstone chapters.

Planning Process

In planning this project, I had to consider both the course learning objectives as well as my personal goals for the project.  In the OTD program, students take a series of evidence-based practice courses designed to guide them through the development, implementation, and evaluation of their doctoral capstone projects.  This process includes the writing of 6 capstone chapters with peer review integrated throughout the courses.  Goals of peer review include helping the students to increase the quality of their work and to emulate the peer review process inherent in pursing publication, since this is also an objective of the courses/program.

Previously, the peer review process involved instructor pairing of peers, exchange of papers among peers, and general provision of feedback to each other using the assignment rubric as a guide.  In the past, both instructor feedback and feedback from peers was delivered via the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word.  This process entailed downloading the student’s file, pasting in the rubric, saving to your computer, adding comments, completing the rubric, resaving, and then uploading the feedback file to Moodle.  This process is cumbersome and time consuming, so my personal goal was to streamline the process and be able to provide each student with richer feedback in a timely manner.

Goals for the project included:

  1. Improve the quality of feedback/grading provided on student assignments, to increase quality of student work and student satisfaction and decrease instructor time commitment. (Technology used to augment, modify)
  2. Improve peer review process to improve quality of student writing/publication. (Technology used to modify)


The first step in the project was to redesign the analytic rubrics for the capstone courses.  The prior rubrics were analytic in the sense that they listed the assignment criteria with each criteria having 4 possible scores, including outstanding, meets criteria, approaching criteria, and below expectations.  Since these courses are taught by several full time faculty, as well as adjunct faculty, it became apparent that the scoring needed to be more objective.  A variety of resources on Bloom’s taxonomy and rubrics were consulted in development of these rubrics.  Weighting was also used for assignment criteria to emphasize categories according to course objectives.

redesigned rubric

Click to see redesigned rubric.

Next, to improve the quality of feedback that students both give and receive in the peer review process, structured peer review questions were developed for each capstone chapter via modification of questions within the PeerMark library.  For example, these are the peer review questions for the chapter 1:

Scan this paper for errors in formatting of in-text citations, direct quotes, and the reference list. Give several examples of these errors, if they exist.
Question type: Free Response
Minimum answer length: 5
Does the writer use sufficient evidence/references to support the existence of and the need to address the identified problem? If yes, explain your rationale for this answer. If no, explain where support is lacking and how this section of the paper could be strengthened.
Question type: Free Response
Minimum answer length: 100
How effective was the writer’s use of language related to readability and clarity of the subject matter? Very effective would be similar to the language used in professional journals.
Question type: Scale
Highest: very effective, Lowest: very ineffective
Does the writer give a clear and concise description of the setting (omitting all extraneous details and leaving no unanswered questions)? Please provide the rationale for your answer as well as suggestions to improve this section if necessary.
Question type: Free Response
Minimum answer length: 100
Does the writer acknowledge all applicable supports and barriers in the setting? Provide suggestions of additional supports and barriers to be considered if applicable.
Question type: Free Response
Minimum answer length: 1

Next, the revised rubrics and peer review questions had to be entered into Turnitin within Moodle, and I had to test/pilot these features to be sure that I understood the functionality and settings available.  An additional benefit of using Turnitin, is the availability of the originality report, since these capstone assignments involve increased use of external resources, quoting, and citations.

I also had to consider that this would likely be NEW technology for most of the students, so tutorials on how to navigate the technology would be necessary.  As a result, 4 videos demonstrating how to upload a paper to Turnitin, how to retrieve instructor feedback, how to complete a peer review, and how to access peer review comments were created by Instructional Technology and posted within the courses.


I assessed the project both formally, through a survey created within SurveyMonkey, and informally via dialogue with students during synchronous classes, an onsite visit, and phone conversations.  Some info about the project was also gleaned from Chatham course evaluations as several students commented on this process in those evaluations.  These formative assessment methods revealed the following:

  • Some students struggled with navigation of the technology, but not all students took advantage of the how-to videos posted within the course. An extra synchronous online class was held to answer students’ questions specifically about Turnitin & PeerMark.
  • 56% of students who responded to the survey said they preferred feedback via Turnitin (as opposed to the Track Changes files within Microsoft Word) or liked both methods equally.
  • Features that students liked best about Turnitin: the originality reports, audio feedback from the instructor, ease of use and retrieval of feedback, variety of options to mark papers with ease.
  • Students struggled with the use of PeerMark to complete the peer review process. Issues included: difficulty with technology, not viewing how-to videos, mismatched pairs for review resulting in some students getting multiple reviews of their papers and other students getting none.
  • Despite these glitches, the average of all student responses to the question “How valuable do you feel the peer review process is to the capstone process on a scale of 1 to 10? (1=not valuable at all; 10 = extremely valuable) was 7.5.
  • 88% of students reported utilizing outside sources to verify information when completing their reviews of peers’ papers and reviewing others work helped them to better understand course content and strengthen their own work.
  • As an instructor, I also felt the comments students made on their peer reviews were more appropriately directed toward the content and of higher quality than previous.

Reflections and Next Steps

I consider the use of Turnitin’s GradeMark a success.  Students had little issue with submission and retrieval of feedback via this system and I found it easier to give detailed feedback.  I particularly valued the ability to record an audio comment with each assignment and to save custom QuickMarks for use in future papers.

The use of PeerMark for the peer review was definitely a challenge on many levels.  Going through the process helped me to hone the questions that students answered about their peers’ papers, and to realize that the students do understand the purpose and value of the activity.  As a result of the issues encountered with this process, I’ve moved the peer review process to an online forum within Moodle, but continue to have students answer the more detailed questions.  I’d consider piloting the use of PeerMark again in another course, but would likely opt to hold a live synchronous class to review the process, in addition to posting how-to videos in the course.

My goals for year 2 include:

  1. Trying to use Turnitin on the iPad for grading on the go!
  2. Exploring a reference manager, such as Mendeley or Zotero.
  3. Exploring software for qualitative data analysis that could be accessed remotely for online students.

Jennifer Morse, Ph.D. Counseling Psychology

Project Overview

I wanted to find technology that would support students’ writing and perhaps improve two assignments in the Psychometrics course that I teach in the first semester of our PsyD program. The assignments are an accurate paraphrasing activity that did not work very well in the previous semester and a final paper.

The technology I found was a program called NoodleTools. NoodleTools is a program intended to help students take notes, create outlines, and create correct bibliographies in several accepted formats. NoodleTools allows students to share their materials with instructors throughout the note taking and outlining process.

Planning Process

I wanted to find technology that would support students’ writing. Specifically, the Psychometrics (PsyD) course includes a project where students are asked to identify an assessment (interview, test, survey) that they are interested in, research the measurement properties (reliability, validity, sensitivity, norms, etc.) of that assessment, and write a final paper summarizing those measurement properties and expressing a professional opinion about where that assessment can and should ethically be used. In past semesters, I have noticed that students struggle with various aspects of this project including accurate paraphrasing and avoiding unintentional plagiarism, organizing information logically, thinking critically about the research they read, and writing in general. I’ve responded to these difficulties by creating an accurate paraphrasing activity, providing a general outline for the paper, and occasionally requiring a draft of the paper. However, this is still a challenging project in the first semester of doctoral study and the accurate paraphrasing assignment was frustrating for students in the previous year, so it needed to be improved. I hoped that technology would provide a novel way to modify the assignment and also provide another avenue to support student research and writing.

The final paper in the course is supported by the accurate paraphrasing activity I designed and is intended to demonstrate several student learning outcomes from the course:

  • find and describe the psychometric properties of test and measures
  • apply the concept of reliability to the evaluation test and measures
  • apply the concept of validity to the evaluation of test and measures
  • articulate the ethical dilemmas faced when selecting tests and measures
  • demonstrate ethical decision-making by identifying choices consistent with the ethical guidelines related to assessment


I created a ‘Project’ for the accurate paraphrasing assignment, did an example for students to look at (Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic), and a Dropbox folder (Psychometrics) connected to NoodleTools for students to use to share their projects with me.


NoodleTools focuses on how students take notes (using notecards) and on linking the notes to sources. Students create notecards which can be sorted, stacked, tagged, etc. and are displayed visually.


With the accurate paraphrasing assignment, students were asked to start with a direct quote from a source and then paraphrase it. There is also space to add questions or critical ideas.


When they shared their project with me, I commented on the paraphrasing and answered questions directly on their note card.




I was definitely learning NoodleTools as I went along.

My plan B was to simply modify the Turnitin assignment I had created the previous year.


I assessed my project using a brief anonymous survey of students at the beginning of the semester, before I had completed a presentation on unintentional plagiarism.* Students were asked to rate their agreement or disagreement with a handful of statements (that I made up) about aspects writing papers. I repeated this survey at the end of the semester.

At the beginning of the semester, most students used direct quotes in their notes, felt that they could paraphrase accurately, but did not consider unintentional plagiarism.




At the end of the semester, there was more variability in how much they started with direct quotes, they were more confident in their accurate paraphrasing skills, and they were all considering unintentional plagiarism (a win!).




They also generally thought that NoodleTools was easy to use (yay!) and helped them paraphrase accurately (yay!), which is most likely a function of the assignment they had to complete in NoodleTools.


But they did not find that NoodleTools helped them think critically about the research they were reading, organize their ideas, or write their paper.




Overall, they didn’t think NoodleTools was worth the effort.


Reflections and Next Steps

The focal assignment for this NoodleTools project was modifying the accurate paraphrasing activity I had created previously. NoodleTools worked for that. What it didn’t do – help students organize ideas, think more critically about the research they were reading, create an outline, write their papers – I hadn’t supported. I would like to learn more about NoodleTools, particularly the use of tags, sorting and organizing notecards, and creating outlines so that NoodleTools begins to support those aspects of the final paper. For next year, I will not provide students with a general outline for the final paper and will instead ask them to create their own outlines in NoodleTools. I also plan to add more of a focus on the “My Ideas” section of the notecard so that I can increase the focus on critical thinking about the research students read.

Beth Roark, Ph.D. Art

Project Overview

As an art historian, priorities of each class I teach include providing access to visual resources of excellent quality, increasing students’ ability to analyze works of art from a variety of perspectives, and encouraging students to exchange ideas and insights about what they see.  While the classroom has always been the primary site of this exchange, which I generally facilitate, I sought opportunities for student-directed experiences where they could share with each other.  I determined that this was particularly necessary in the two writing intensive classes I teach, which combine students with extensive art history backgrounds and students with little understanding of how to approach works of art.

During last summer’s Technology Fellows workshops, introduction to VoiceThread, a cloud-based interactive tool focused on creating a true presence among its participants, allowed me to envision accomplishing these objectives: providing high-quality visuals with which students could interact using multiple tools, communicating with each other and sharing ideas virtually, and improving the content and written quality of their papers.

Planning Process

I teach two writing intensive classes, ART 213WX Special Topics: Women and Art and ART 309W: Art + Land: Artists Engage the Environment.  For each course a learning objective is increasing visual literacy, or the ability to articulate, in both oral and written form, what distinguishes a work of art.  Written assignments in writing intensive courses are to be discipline specific, and analyzing works visually is a fundamental step in evaluating and assimilating the objects of study.

The first paper is a visual analysis of a work of art from the Carnegie Museum of Art’s permanent collection.  Students visit the museum on their own and select a work from a list of options I provide.  For ART 213, the works are either by woman artists or address women as subjects.  For ART 309, the works are typically landscape paintings from the 18th through the 21st centuries.  After readings and class time spent reviewing visual analysis as a methodology, students write papers assessing their selected work’s basic visual qualities, such as line, shape, space, and color, and address more complex issues of composition such as symmetry, rhythm, and focal point and emphasis.  They also consider whether or not their work of art reflects any of the issues about women and art or artists and the environment that we have addressed in class.  Despite efforts to prepare students to successfully complete the assignment, there was always a discrepancy between those who had previous experience with visual analysis and those who had not.

I sought a tool that would enable students to help each other with this assignment outside of class time, allowing the more experienced students to work with those with less experience.  I created groups of three to four students; each group had at least one seasoned art history student whom I spoke to in advance about acting as group leader. This is the VoiceThread assignment for the first paper in ART 309:

VoiceThread Assignment

Obtain an image of your work of art. You can see if the image is available online by doing a Google Images search (some works in the collection are, some are not).  Images of most of the works are included on the Search Collections feature of the Carnegie Museum of Art’s website, but I’ve found that these are small, low res images that may not work for this assignment).  You can take a picture of it at the museum with as long as you don’t use a flash.  In addition to the whole work, you might want to take pictures of particular details that interest you.

Create a VoiceThread with your work of art.  Becky Borello will review how to do this in class and I will post tutorials on VoiceThread on Moodle.  Your VoiceThread should include an image of the full work of art, and any of the details you want your group members to look at.  You should first complete a preliminary formal analysis so you can recognize what aspects of the analysis you still have questions about.  Then use the text, video, or audio feature on VoiceThread to ask your group three questions about the work that you’re having difficulty figuring out, and provide some of your own insights. Finish your VoiceThread by Jan. 29 and make sure when it is done to “share” it with the class.  I will be viewing the VoiceThreads to make sure you’ve completed the assignment correctly and this will contribute to your paper grade.

Each student will look at the other two to three VoiceThreads created by their group members and respond to the questions posed or share your own observations by Feb. 3.  This is intended to help you determine the important points of visual analysis you should address in your paper – instead of having only one set of eyes on the image – your own – you’ll have 3 or 4 sets!  I will also review the responses and this will also contribute to each student’s paper grade.

A personal goal of this assignment was building relationships between the students at the beginning of the term that could serve them in future assignments and exams.


The first term I attempted this project, I assumed the students were more tech-savvy than they actually were.  Only three students had previous experience with VoiceThread.  I provided online tutorials about VoiceThread and instructions about my expectations for the assignment but the results were mixed.  Several students had difficulty with the technology, especially sharing their VoiceThreads with the rest of the class.  Others misunderstood the expected combination of their own analysis and questions for their group members, either providing only the analysis and asking no questions or asking questions only and providing no analysis. There was a wide range in the quality of the projects and the responses of the group members.  I did not comment on the projects or the responses. Because this was a pilot, I did not consider the VoiceThread as part of their paper grades.

The second term I clarified the assignment and invited Becky Borello to the class to introduce VoiceThread.  This term I had no issues with the technology or the expectations of the assignment.  Each student completed a detailed analysis of their work of art, generally using the written or oral tools on VoiceThread (a handful used the video tool as well) and asked appropriate questions.  Many used the colored “pencils” to further clarify their points by drawing on the images.  Some students also used more than one slide to emphasize particular parts of the images they had questions about.

Group members not only responded to the questions the creator of the VoiceThreads asked them to consider, but added unsolicited observations to help the creators recognize important points. Here are three samples of what the VoiceThreads looked like.  The initials/pictures on the right side indicate who made the comments.  In the first example, you can see that the student has “drawn” on the image with the red pencil to identify the painting’s repeated horizontals:

VoiceThread, Roark

Here is an example of a student using the video/webcam tool:

VoiceThread, Roark 2

In addition, I listened to all of the VoiceThreads before the papers were due and commented myself on the students’ preliminary analyses, reconfirmed important points made by their group members, and added any additional points they should consider in writing their papers. The third example shows my picture at the right and the drawing I did to demonstrate linear perspective in the image.

VoiceThread, Roark 3


I assessed the VoiceThread assignment informally based on the quality of the papers produced.  In comparison with past years, I found that the papers were more comprehensive.  Previously, students would often work through the points of analysis in order and simply stop when they reached the page limit, often disregarding important considerations.  The feedback from their classmates encouraged them to consider points they were uncertain about or hadn’t thought about, and figure out ways in which to balance the papers’ content to include all information of significance within the page limit.  The result was much improved papers (and better grades!).  While I didn’t notice a significant improvement in writing skills compared with past terms (as the first paper, we had spent little class time on writing skills), I did see greater clarity in organization.  The papers’ organization was often much more organic than simply responding to a list of points in order, grouping related information and using clearer transitions.

I was pleased to see group members sitting together in class, talking with each other more frequently, and forming study groups that led to improved exam grades.

Reflections and Next Steps

I hope to expand the ways in which students in writing intensive courses can use VoiceThread to exchange information about other works of art, perhaps as a tool to prepare for exams and their term-length research projects.  New groups would be created so students could get to know other classmates.

I will be on sabbatical during Fall term ’16, but will be teaching ART 213 during Spring term 2017 and plan to further refine and expand the project.  I would encourage students to use more of the tools VoiceThread provided, such as leaving comments with a smartphone.  I also plan to implement the preliminary assignment mentioned by Bill Biss in his blog, having students do a short VoiceThread on a simple topic to familiarize themselves with the technology and especially the use of the video/webcam tool.

I would also like to perform a more formal pre- and post-assignment assessment.  The pre-assignment assessment would analyze the student’s familiarity with VoiceThread, which would help determine what the introduction to the technology needed to accomplish.  The post-assignment assessment would ask specific questions to elicit student opinions about the usefulness of the exercise, whether or not it helped with the content and writing of the papers and in what ways, and advice for improving the experience.

Sue Sterrett, Ed.D. Nursing

Project Overview

My goals for year 1 of the Fellowship were:

  • Explore ways to create a community of researchers around my research interests
  • Improve my liaison courses by integrating new technologies

I have three projects.  The first is to create a blog that will present my research interests and encourage those with similar ideas to join in a conversation, creating community around common research interests.  My teaching goals are to create two assignments in 703 that integrate VoiceThread and encourage students to use technology.

Assignment 1 replaces a current assignment to create a Fact Sheet by opening up the possibilities of reporting the information, in the assignment (See attached.)  Assignment 2 replaces a discussion forum with VoiceThread.

In the next year I would like to create an orientation to the course using Panopto.

Planning Process

  1. Blog– I met with Lauren Panton, who helped my set up the blog. I plan on reviewing other blogs and beginning to post.  Learning will include how to reach the community I am interested in engaging in the discussion.
  2. 703 Assignment 1 will augment an assignment that was to create a Fact Sheet, opening it up to other outputs beyond paper. Planning for this assignment change will include determining what suggestions to make for types of outputs for the assignment.  I looked at the model assignment on the Faculty Technology Fellows site- Anthony Isacco’s PSY627 course.  Potential outputs for a “Fact Sheet “ could include a YouTube video, Tumblr Blog, Instagram site, or Facebook page.  One question is whether to allow a written option or not.
  3. 703 Assignment 2 will use new technology to modify a Discussion Forum with VoiceThread. Planning for this assignment will be my gaining comfort with the technology, then creating a way for the students to gain knowledge prior to the discussion.


Blog- Lauren Panton met with me initially and the blog site was created using WordPress. I looked at other scholarly blogs including one by Mary Beth Mannarino. For my blog site, I read information regarding writing a blog bio and began a first draft.  I have not written any blog posts or determined how to find the audience for the blog.  This will require effort on my part in the next year.

Sue Sterrett Blog

703 Assignment 1: I am developing the assignment sheet for this assignment and plan to institute it during the summer semester.

703 Assignment 2: One discussion forum will be replaced with a VoiceThread Discussion.  I will need to look at the forums and decide where to place the VoiceThread discussion.  Determining how to allow students to develop knowledge to use the technology is still under consideration.


None of the projects are to the point of assessment.  I think success of the blog would be assessed by the number of people who come to the site and the number who interact on the site.  The two 703 assignments can be assessed using the end of class assessment as well as reaching out to the students asking for informal thoughts as the assignment is first implemented.

Reflections and Next Steps

The first year was a broad based review of potential technologies and how I might use this knowledge to impact teaching and research interests.  I hope to be more targeted next year in implementing and assessing these projects.

Jennie Sweet-Cushman Ph.D. Political Science

Project Overview

Both social media use and the civic disengagement of college students continue to be on the rise, posing instruction challenges around how and what students are interested in learning in their college classrooms. This project examined the effectiveness of incorporating the use of social media learning—specifically using social media (Twitter) to expose students to a greater depth and breadth of contemporary topic—as a tool of instruction in a political science curriculum. I assessed whether social media learning equipped students with skills that aid them in better engaging in civic dialogue, understanding issues of public policy, and identifying stakeholders on all sides/aspects of an issue. I also examined whether social media usage can enhance student interest in and reduce apprehension regarding engagement with issues of public policy and affairs. My findings indicated students seem to over-estimate their ability to learn about political issues, but the use of social media served to 1) correct this perception, 2) provide a pathway for deeper learning, 3) make learning about an issue more appealing, and 4) engage students who are less interested in a traditional classroom delivery.

Planning Process

This assessment of social media learning had three parts. First, and prior to the exercise, I conducted a focus group with the student who would participate. The intent of these questions was to assess the students’ media literacy, interest, and use of social media prior to the exercise. Second, the students were instructed in how to participate in the social media learning exercise. These instructions included preparation for participating in the “Class on Twitter” (COT) session—establishing a Twitter account, following stakeholders, etc., as well as expectations for their participation in the COT.


The COT consisted of introducing the students to a trending topic in American politics (e.g. Congress reaching a temporary budget deal) via a brief Tweet that I provided. The students were then expected to use Twitter to learn about the issue from different sources (e.g. stakeholders) and, using a course-specific hashtag, reTweet information other students could learn from and dialogue with other students about.  The discussion continued for an hour, with only the occasional prompt from me after the initial Tweet.

Initial Tweet

Figure 1: Initial Tweet

Questions about process were handled via direct message on the platform. Finally, following the COT exercise, students were expected to prepare a blog using the online blogging application Storify. These blogs were designed to indirectly reveal the students’ substantive learning through the use of social media, but also for them to directly respond to indirect outcomes. In this way, I have both student perception of the exercise and my own.

Final Poll

Figure 2: Final Poll

The students participating in this assessment were 21 undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory American government class at a northern urban liberal arts university. The course fulfilled a general education requirement, so students came from a variety of major backgrounds. Five of the students were dual-enrolled high school students, and the remainders were first, second, and third year students.


Prior to the social media exercise, I conducted a focus group with the participating students. My intent was to casually assess how interested the students were in political news, how they were getting their political information and discerning its quality, and what role social media played in this process for them. Our discussion yielded two important observations.

First, students indicated that they were interested in political topics, but often avoided investigating them because they were “too confusing” and they didn’t have a strategy for gathering quality information.  They expressed concern about needing to verify and cross-reference information before accepting it as reliable. Not knowing how to choose a reputable source made this even more daunting, as they were hesitant to rely on most mainstream news sources (primarily cable television outlets) and extremely skeptical of any information coming directly from an elected official or candidate. Interestingly, most seemed accepting of information coming directly from a bureaucratic source (e.g. government agency).

Second, while most suggested they rely on the Internet to learn about political topics (e.g. Google, news sites), none offered up social media as a potential source for reliable information. When pressed on whether they could utilize their social media presence for this purpose, most did say they felt social media usage did make them better informed. However, they expressed a significant number of concerns about that process. There were many concerns about the origin of information, the tendency for singular large issues to drown out smaller ones, and the need for verification of facts and sources. The students largely agreed that they felt political information on social media did help raise awareness of issues, but the “noise” provoked by opinions offered little substance for learning.

These findings suggest that students may be interested in learning more about political issues and recognize the ability of social media to play a role in that process. However, they lack a skill set that allows that to separate quality information and facts from misleading biased, or inaccurate information that they perceive as making up a significant portion of their exposure.

Student assessment and reaction to the exercise was measured using a 1000 word blogpost each student was expected to generate following the exercise that 1) reviewed the details, pros, and cons of the budget deal and 2) discussed the use of Twitter as a mode of learning about the topic. Every blogpost demonstrated student learning on the chosen topic, with nearly all of the students showing an appropriate depth and breadth of knowledge on the topic.

From the student perspective, students expressed distinct pleasure with Twitter as a course delivery method. One student wrote:

There is no such thing as “it’s too long. I didn’t read” or “it’s too complicated. I don’t understand” with Twitter. With the limited 140-character message, Twitter is the perfect platform for people who want to learn about the basic information of something as complicated as politics. If you use the right hashtag and follow the right stakeholders, it is easy to learn about politics and government bills, and what opinions people have about those issues.

Others echoed a newfound appreciation for Twitter, one that has the potential to follow them far beyond the classroom or even their undergraduate experience:

..Twitter provides an easy forum to debate the issue with fellow classmates and peers. I was able to discover the opinions’ of elected officials, along with the average American. Seeing my fellow classmates opinions helped me gain perspective on this issue, as well as keep an open mind about the opinions of others. Researching this issue through social media equipped me with a tool to become more informed on future debates and issues.

Perhaps more importantly, all of the students—both in their blogposts and in my conversations with them—really enjoyed gathering political information using Twitter and indicated that they had renewed faith in using social media to stay informed and knowledgeable about politics and public policy. As another student concluded:

I thought having class on Twitter as a method of researching a current issue was definitely one of the most interesting class experiences I’ve ever had. I loved that it was a true-to-life demonstration on how people in this day and age discover and understand current issues.

As an instructor, I was pleased with the depth and breadth of learning demonstrated and students were pleased with the delivery.

Reflections and Next Steps

My observation of the process and assessment of student learning, as well as student perspectives seem to indicate that there is great potential for social media learning as a pedagogical tool in political science and public policy. Four specific findings come out of this exercise. The first two address practical issues of knowledge transfer and life-long learning commitments. The other two address considerations for the utilization of Twitter and other social media platforms as a relevant and quality teaching tool.

First, students—prior to the exercise—seemed confident they could appropriately investigate a political issue if they had the time and motivation to weed through the biased and confusing information available to them. However, when required to do so by looking for stakeholders to follow for the COT exercise, very few felt confident in how to approach it and required much guidance in the very basic first step of information gathering. In this instance, then, social media helped correct their perception that they could be easily informed, if only they wanted to be so.

Acknowledging that discerning quality sources and information literacy was a bigger hurdle than they had initially assumed, the networked nature of social media provided a pathway for deeper learning. Once a student commits to growing their social media presence in a way that includes sources relevant to politics and public policy.

Third, quite simply, students enjoyed learning in their “natural environment”. The average college student is deeply immersed in social media in their personal lives. Using Twitter as a format by which they experience their academic life as well was personal one may mean students feel empowered to learn about political topics that might otherwise seem very removed from their own lives. Prior to this exercise, students reported using (or potentially using) sources to learn about issues that would require very purposeful seeking—cable news or national newspapers—not sources that would be integrated into their typical social media habits.

Finally, consistent with Ferriter’s (2010) article highlighting the benefits of incorporating different learning styles into the classroom, I found that the patterns of class participation that existed in the traditional face-to-face classroom delivery method broke down in the COT delivery. That is, students who were very participatory in the classroom were somewhat less so in the Twitter environment. More importantly, in some cases, students who infrequently participated in the classroom were more likely to retweet and comment on Twitter. Social media learning, then, may not only be an effective way to guide students in learning about political and policy information, but also a way to engage a larger (or different) population of students.




The primary mission of the Faculty Technology Fellows program is to empower faculty in their use of technology to enhance teaching, increase student engagement, and advance scholarship. The Faculty Technology Fellows program aims to empower and enable faculty with:

  • developing pedagogically sound classroom practices that increase student engagement and interaction through the use of technology.
  • planning, implementing and assessing technology-enhanced projects for teaching and scholarship.
  • aligning learning objectives, course activities and assessments.
  • improving classroom management techniques for teaching with technology.
  • evaluating technology and its effectiveness on teaching and learning.


Faculty Technology Fellows participate for two years. The two-year program is designed to be iterative, project-based, collaborative, and individualized. Participants use teaching goals, course learning objectives, and personal development goals to inform their projects. Projects may start out large or small but ultimately are refined to make an impact in the classroom.

Year 1:

  • Redesign at least one course by incorporating appropriately matched technologies to enhance course learning objectives.
  • Attend a mandatory week long summer workshop (May) to learn new technologies, develop a plan for course redesign, and assessment plan.
  • Meet monthly meetings to discuss progress.
  • Present projects to university at the spring Faculty Professional Development Series.

Year 2:

  • Serve as mentors to new faculty and faculty members within their respective departments.
  • Attend a week-long summer workshop to refine skills and focus on redesigning another course.
  • Attend monthly meetings with Technology Fellows peers to discuss progress.
  • Complete an assessment of the program and provide written documentation about course redesign and outcomes.


The program seeks to select a diverse group of participants across all disciplines, levels of teaching experiences, and technology expertise.

  • All full-time faculty members are eligible to apply. A call for applications occurs each April.
  • Number of participants is subject to funding. Cohort goal is between 8-10 participants each year.


Faculty Technology Fellows will receive the following for their commitment and participation:

  • a $500 stipend for attending a week-long summer workshop (year 1 & 2)
  • an iPad + an App gift card
  • up to $1,500 to attend a technology-related conference (1 trip over the 2 year period)

For additional questions about the program, please contact instructionalservices@chatham.edu.




Ali Abdulrahman – Exploring Assessments with Moodle Quizzing
Dr. Ali Abdulrahman main project goal was to gain confidence in using technology, especially with Moodle online quizzes and tests.

Pierette Appasamy – Creating Multimedia Projects with ThingLink for Content Review and Student Presentations
Dr. Pierette Appasamy incorporated ThingLink, an interactive multimedia platform, to teach students the skills needed to identify and characterize the various parts of the human body. The ThingLink project were created outside of class, which saved class meeting time for other content and also served as form of content review for students.

Tracy Bartel – Online Discussions with VoiceThread
Dr. Tracy Bartel used simSchool, VoiceThread, and other instructional technologies to help with her courses and generally had great success with all of them.

Bill Biss – Enhancing Off Campus Site Visits with VoiceThread
Professor Bill Biss used VoiceThread as a means for his Interior Architecture Graduate Building Systems students to extend site visit experiences.

Andres Carrillo – Flipping the Classroom with Panopto Student Presentations
Dr. Andres Carrillo had students create online Panopto presentations instead of using classroom time for the presentation freeing up regularly scheduled time for other activities.

Katie Cruger – Using Turnitin’s “GradeMark” features to Increase Efficiency and Efficacy of Written Comments
Dr. Katie Cruger focused her attention on grading student papers electronically and had much success with the new GradeMark feature in Turnitin.

Jill Cyranowski – Learning Research Methods and Statistics
Dr. Jill Cyranowski used technology to better facilitate the multiple learning styles of students taking her Advanced Data Analysis class.

Michelle Doas – Using SWAY to Teach the Research Process
Dr. Doas integrated SWAY into an RN-BSN course to introduce registered nurses to the research process.  The main goal was to bring specific research concepts and principles down the ladder of abstraction by integrating connections into clinical practice.

Sherie Edenborn – iClicker, Moodle, Online Quizzes and More
Dr. Sherie Edenborn found that using iClicker and Moodle to host online quizzes did require more work than paper ones did, but that students were happier with online quizzes than paper ones. Overall, the positive attributes outweigh the negative.

Professor Greg Galford: ePortfolios for Visual Communications
Professor Greg Galford explored many different options for creating electronic portfolios for his Interior Architecture students and ultimately decided on Portfolium, a cloud-based tool.

Vadas Gintautas – Flipping the Class with Google Moderator
Dr. Vadas Gintautas used Google Moderator to solicit and aggregate responses in his Physics class on several topics.

Deanna Hamilton – Three Approaches to Online Learning for On Ground Students
Dr. Deanna Hamilton explored three different approaches to online learning in order to better understand best practices. She implemented these approaches with her on ground graduate students and learned what they liked and didn’t like about online learning.

Kristin Harty – Online Student Group Projects with VoiceThread
Dr. Kristin Harty needed to find a way to connect students for an online project. She turned to VoiceThread for a solution.

Emily Hopkins – Feedback for Online Students using Panopto
Dr. Emily Hopkins used Panopto to provide group feedback on course questions, discussion forums, and to provide any tips or updates with course work.  She also created an eIRB presentation using Camtasia to assist all Doctorate of Nursing Practice students with their IRB proposal submission.

Diane Hunker – YouTube Capture to Increase Online Student Engagement
Dr. Diane Hunker wanted to expand the ways that she could promote visual communication with her online doctoral students. She used the YouTube Capture app to increase connections with her students through video feedback.

Anthony Isacco – Poll Everywhere for Increasing Student Engagement
Dr. Anthony Isacco explored a variety of technologies to enhance his teaching including Panopto, Poll Everywhere, various iPad apps and the TED talk style of presentation.

Sarah Jameson – A Flipped Classroom Approach: Concept Mapping with Bubbl.us
Dr. Sarah Jameson redesign a class on the health effects of climate change using a flipped classroom model.

Steve Karas – Strengthening Problem-Based Learning with Panopto Videos
Dr. Steve Karas original plan was multi-focused. He wanted to create an online elective in manual physical therapy.  Second, he wanted to incorporate more technology in my teaching.  The first goal was specific and focused, and the second a bit more open-ended.

Karen Kingsbury – Creating Non-Linear Presentation with Prezi
Dr. Karen Kingsbury explored Prezi and VoiceThread and ultimately decided that Prezi suited her goal of bringing flexibility and non-linear visuals to an audience.

Jennifer Lape – PeerReview with Online Doctoral Students
Dr. Jennifer Lape focused on enhancing feedback to online doctoral students on their capstone projects, and improving the peer review process already in place within the occupational therapy doctorate capstone courses.  As a result, she explored the use of Turnitin’s Grademark and Peermark in detail, and piloted use of these tools in several courses.

Joe MacNeil – Engaging Student with Poll Everywhere
Dr. Joe MacNeil used a variety of instructional technologies such as Poll Everywhere, AirServer, and CreateDebate with mixed results from his chemistry students.

Mary Beth Mannarino – Building an Online Class Community
Dr. Mary Beth Mannarino re-designed a course to an online format. The course, PSY645 Environmental Psychology, includes exposure to such topics as climate change, ecopsychology, ecotherapy, environmental justice, and the relationship between humans and the rest of nature.

Lou Martin – Digital Humanities
Dr. Lou Martin goal was to design the first digital humanities course for the History department. The course is titled HIS 309 Digital Local History, and in it, students learn about an aspect of local history, study some of the primary opportunities and challenges of using digital media to analyze and interpret histories, and then use available primary and secondary sources to create an online local history exhibit.

Jennifer Morse – Supporting Doctoral Student Writing with NoodleTools
Dr. Jennifer Morse wanted to find a technology that would support students’ writing and implemented NoodleTools, a program to help students take notes, create outlines, and create correct bibliographies in several accepted formats.

Ingrid Provident – Paperless Grading with Panopto
Dr. Ingrid Provident used Panopto to give feedback and interact with students more directly. Students feel that the technology is helpful and necessary in the classroom.

Chad Rittle – Visualizing Case Studies with ThingLink
Dr. Chad Rittle focused on implementing tools the enhance his online courses using ThingLink, WizIQ and OneDrive.

Meigan Robb – Maximizing Online Feedback
Dr. Meigan Robb explored the use of technology to deliver writing feedback in the online learning environment.  Technology tools, such a PoodLL and VoiceThread, that supported best practices of effective written and recorded feedback were incorporated in a doctoral level writing intensive capstone.

Beth Roark – VoiceThread and ArtSteps
Dr. Beth Roark wanted to create a way opportunities for student-directed experiences where students could share with each other, so she used VoiceThread, a cloud-based interactive tool focused on creating a true presence among its participants, which allowed her to providing high-quality visuals with which students could interact using multiple tools, communicating with each other and sharing ideas virtually, and improving the content and written quality of their papers.

Monica Riordan – Revamping PSY101 and PSY314W
Dr. Monica Riordan used Storify and Poll Everywhere to update two undergraduate psychology courses to increase student ability to see psychology in their everyday lives.

Debby Rubin – Using Panopto for Faculty/Student Interview Feedback
Dr. Debby Rubin wanted her students to refine their interviewing skills in her Social Work classes, so she turned to Panopto to help her address this issue.

EJ Ryan – Poll Everwhere, iPad apps, and Panopto to enhance engagement an undergraduate Exercise Science
Dr. Ryan main goal was to increase student engagement in content and discussion in by incorporating a variety of technological tools, such a Poll Everywhere, Panopto and several iPad apps.

Joyce Salls – Active Learning with Video and VoiceThread
Dr. Joyce Salls experimented with several technology tools with the goal of increasing student engagement and active learning.

Jodi Schreiber – Creating Engaging Online Interactions with EDPuzzles
Dr. Jodi Schreiber explored tools to enhance adult learning through visual modes. She explored EDPuzzle, TED-Ed, and WordPress.

Kathleen Spadaro – Using Explain Everything, an Interactive Screencasting Whiteboard iPad App at Assist Online Students
Dr. Kathleen Spadaro wanted to expand her technology knowledge in order to enhance her online courses, she utilized Prezi, Facebook, and Explain Everything, an iPad app.

Sheila Squillante – Enhancing Student Writing Projects with a Variety of Online Tools
Professor Sheila Squillante wanted to explore how to connect her low-res MFA students, so she explore using Panopto, Moodle Discussions, Skype, and Storify.

Sheryl St. Germain –  iPad VoiceMemo for Student Feedback
Dr. Sheryl St. Germain primary objective was to enhance and improve my teaching with technology, and to be able.

Sue Sterrett – Blogging
Dr. Sue Sterrett wanted to explore ways to create a community of researchers around my research interests and improve her liaison courses by integrating new technologies. She started by setting up a blog to feature her research interests and model a new way to connect with her students and professional colleagues.

Peggy Stubbs – Making the Shift: Using Online Tools in an On Ground Class with VoiceThread and Panopto
Dr. Peggy Stubbs used to year to explore her own professional growth and to learn more about teaching online.

Jennie Sweet-Cushman – COT — Class on Twitter
Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman examined the effectiveness of incorporating the use of social media learning—specifically using social media (Twitter) to expose students to a greater depth and breadth of contemporary topic—as a tool of instruction in a political science curriculum.

Ann Williamson – Communicating Programmatic Processes
Dr. Ann Williamson used Panopto to explain programmatic processes related to clinical education/clinical experience, a requirement for all OT students.

Debra Wolf –  iPad to Support Paperless Grading in the Online Class
Dr. Debra Wolf outlined her goals for guiding faculty and nursing students in instructional technologies. She looked specifically at iPad apps, such as Evernote and iAnnotate for paperless grading, as well as VoiceThread and Screencast-O-Matic for audio feedback.

Jason Woollard – SMARTboards, Poll Everywhere in Problem-based learning
Dr. Jason Woollard used SMARTboards and Poll Everywhere to make PBL sessions more interactive and “assess students’ understanding of course concepts.” His biggest highlight is that Google Drive allows students to instantly send and receive information to one another in one convenient location.

Cohort 6



Dr. Pierrette Appasamy, Biology

Creating Multimedia Projects with ThingLink for Content Review and Student Presentations
Dr. Pierette Appasamy incorporated ThingLink, an interactive multimedia platform, to teach students the skills needed to identify and characterize the various parts of the human body. The ThingLink project were created outside of class, which saved class meeting time for other content and also served as form of content review for students.



Deanna Hamilton

Dr. Deanna Hamilton, Counseling Psychology

Three Approaches to Online Learning for On Ground Students

Dr. Deanna Hamilton explored three different approaches to online learning in order to better understand best practices. She implemented these approaches with her on ground graduate students and learned what they liked and didn’t like about online learning.




Diane Hunker

Dr. Diane Hunker, Nursing


YouTube Capture to Increase Online Student Engagement
Dr. Diane Hunker wanted to expand the ways that she could promote visual communication with her online doctoral students. She used the YouTube Capture app to increase connections with her students through video feedback.




Jennifer Lape

Dr. Jennifer Lape, Occupational Therapy

PeerReview with Online Doctoral Students

Dr. Jennifer Lape focused on enhancing feedback to online doctoral students on their capstone projects, and improving the peer review process already in place within the occupational therapy doctorate capstone courses.  As a result, she explored the use of Turnitin’s Grademark and Peermark in detail, and piloted use of these tools in several courses.



Jen Morse

Dr. Jennifer Morse, Counseling Psychology

Support Doctoral Student Writing with NoodleTools

Dr. Jennifer Morse wanted to find a technology that would support students’ writing and implemented NoodleTools, a program to help students take notes, create outlines, and create correct bibliographies in several accepted formats.




Beth Roark

Dr. Beth Roark, Art and Design

VoiceThread and ArtSteps

Dr. Beth Roark wanted to create a way opportunities for student-directed experiences where students could share, so she used VoiceThread, which allowed her to provide high-quality visuals with which students could interact communicating with each other and sharing ideas virtually, and improving the content and quality of their papers. 



Sue Sterrett

Dr. Sue Sterrett, Nursing


Dr. Sue Sterrett wanted to explore ways to create a community of researchers around my research interests and improve her liaison courses by integrating new technologies. She started by setting up a blog to feature her research interests and model a new way to connect with her students and professional colleagues.



Jennie Sweet-Cushman

Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman, Political Science

COT: Class on Twitter

Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman examined the effectiveness of incorporating the use of social media learning—specifically using social media (Twitter) to expose students to a greater depth and breadth of contemporary topic—as a tool of instruction in a political science curriculum.









An OLC publication from our Tech Fellows

We are very proud of the Occupational Therapy faculty for having an article published in the June 2015 addition of the Online Learning Journal (OLC). Their article, Design of an Online Curriculum Promoting Transformative Learning in Post Professional Doctoral Students, explores written reflections for themes which reflected transformative learning and characteristics of curricular design which promoted transformative learning. Four of the six authors are current or past Faculty Technology Fellows.

OT Program Director, Dr. Joyce Salls Joyce Salls

Congratulations once again on being such great leaders!

VoiceThread with Joyce Salls at AOTA

Dr. Joyce Salls, one of our 2013-2014 Faculty Technology Fellows, recently presented her work at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) annual conference.

Joyce Salls

The session,”Using VoiceThread To Enhance Student Learning”, discussed how educators are challenged to provide students with learning activities that promote reflective thinking via web technology. She demonstrated how VoiceThread, a free web based technology tool, was used to enhance student engagement both in online and on the ground courses.

She has over 100 interested participants stop by to talk with her about the successes of her work. Congratulations to Joyce!!