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.


Implementation

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


Assessment

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.

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.


Implementation

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.


Assessment

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.

Sheila Squillante, MFA Creative Writing

Overview

During last summer’s Technology Fellows workshops, my primary goals were to learn technologies that could help instruct and connect our low-res MFA students to the program and one another. I imagined focusing on Panopto to record videos of campus readings and talks to share with them. A second, and more urgent, objective emerged, however, when a low-residence student (located in Florida) enrolled at the last minute in one of my on-the-ground classes: The Fourth River practicum. Because we are taking steps to more fully merge the full and low-res programs, we have opened all on-the-ground courses to low-res students should they choose to enroll. So far, we have not had a lot of experience with this, so I was heading into a truly experimental space. I had to quickly put together a course that would work for both populations, and in doing so, tried out several technologies, including Panopto, Skype, FaceTime, Moodle discussion forums, and Submittable.

Planning Process

I knew from discussions during summer workshop that there are real obstacles to creating a truly synchronous learning environment for distance and residence students, both in terms of technology and pedagogy. Skype calls drop. Internet connections fail. And even if they didn’t, requiring a distance student to sit, captive, in front of a screen for three hours at a time would not make for a healthy intellectual experience. I determined that the synchronous component of the course for my student would have to be much shorter if she were to feel engaged and invigorated. I settled on requiring her to be “present” for half of the class time—one and a half hours—and began to construct EIAs that would comprise the rest of her seat time. This also helped mitigate some of the technology problems I anticipated, in particular being able to connect with a remote location reliably every week for that length of time.

Implementation

I planned to have my student use some kind of video-conferencing with her genre group for discussions each week, because I felt these were the two students who would be working most closely with her, and thus would offer the greatest possibility for engagement and connectivity. For the second half of each class, they would meet via video conference to talk about the essays from that week’s submission queue. I allowed them to choose which they preferred and they ended up going back and forth between Skype and FaceTime on the iPhone.

For the rest of her seat time, I did a variety of things, including:

Video:

  • Welcome and regular check-in videos with Panopto, that oriented her to the week’s goals and expectations
  • Guest editor conversations that took place over the course of the term

 Sheila Video


Moodle Discussion Forums

  • Individual, where she would respond to my orientation videos with questions or comments about the week’s expectations;
  • Whole-class, where everyone would introduce themselves or respond to various assigned articles about publishing
  • Whole-class, where they would upload blog posts, and then comment on their peers’ work

Moodle discussion forum

Submittable

This is the online platform The Fourth River uses to accept submissions. It includes text boxes that allow student editors to have substantive discussions about the merits of a piece of work. Students anywhere can log into this system with a free account, and it is quite easy to use.

Submittable


Assessment

The students ended up finding that FaceTime worked best for video conferencing, in part because they all had Apple phones, and in part because the low-res student’s internet connection was often unreliable. The low-res student commented that she liked the Panopto videos both because they helped her feel connected to me—to see my face and  hear my voice, as opposed to being just an email filled with instructions each week–and because they helped her feel like she was experiencing some of the same in-class learning as her peers. All of the students commented that while the Moodle forums were functional, they felt a little removed from the class experience, and that they didn’t work as well for critiquing work as they did for general responses to articles. From my perspective, they worked well—especially for quieter students– for inspiring thoughtful, thorough conversations. Everyone agreed that Submittable was reliable and streamlined.

Value/Next Steps

I think for a last-minute effort, the course adaptations worked well enough. In the future, however, I think it might make more sense to have the low-res students synchronously “present” for the more pedagogical part of the class, and asynchronous, using the Submittable comment fields, for genre group discussions. Last fall I was most concerned that my low-res student have a robust educational experience and that she feel included in the community to the fullest extent possible. But my overall goal is to make this sort of hybrid class work for all students, full or low-res. Two other options I’m considering are making the class hybrid for everyone, including full-res, and creating a fully online version of the class that will run every other semester.

Peggy Stubbs, Ph.D. Psychology

Overview

My experience as a tech fellow has been mixed.  I applied, knowing that I was behind many of my colleagues in using online tools.  My approach to technology at Chatham has been gradual  –  I never used PowerPower in my first few years of teaching here.  I believe that switching my presentation notes to a PowerPoint format was my first foray into “technology.”  Then I began to “embed” clips from the Internet into my PowerPoints – not without technical difficulty.  Somewhere along the line, we posted our courses, and PowerPoints on Blackboard.  Then more recently  the switch to Moodle happened.  I thought using a course shell was a great way to post required readings – ever so much more accessible to students who were not incorporating using the library “reserve” as a part of their class preparation.  And that’s about as far as I had come, for a variety of reasons, until online classes were introduced as part of our curricula.

Successes/Challenges

One of the reasons I approached technology as a minimalist had (and has) to do with a lack of time to really learn how to make use of new strategies – even those that came with Blackboard and Moodle.   It seemed to take me more time than it was worth to incorporate new strategies when I do it faster using my own way of keeping track (for example, of completed assignments, grades).  So I came into “technology” with the perspective of it as mostly an organizational tool and not an adjunct to my actual teaching and students’ learning.

I have come to notice though, that using PowerPoint turned me more into a lecturer than I had been, and than I am really comfortable being, really.  While after the fact the PowerPoints may have helped students organize the material, I have had the suspicion that when students actually had to take notes in the days before PowerPoint, they were more “involved.” One of my colleagues had a great strategy of preparing two PowerPoints for class:  one was the one that she used with all the details; the other presented only the barest outline of the material and students’ had to fill in as the class went on.  To me, if a posted PowerPoint (with or without VoiceThread) or a Panopto lecture simply highlights text material, it really only serves as a kind of short hand.  Of course there is no doubt some additions of explanatory value in these.  To my way of thinking, reading the material before the class was the original flipped classroom, with class time free then for discussion, answering questions, and involving students in hands-on activities to reinforce major concepts.  But the sad fact is that many students don’t prepare for class by reading the material themselves, and still others are.  And so to some extent, these tools may actually reinforce their passivity.

I pushed myself to apply to be a tech fellow because I wanted to know more about technology from a perspective other than the one that had guided me thus far.  I wanted to explore the use of technology, not only as an organizing tool, (for me and for students) but as an adjunct to enhance actual teaching and learning.  After 40 some years as a teacher of students from preschool to graduate school, and whose pedagogy is grounded in what I have learned from psychology about human development and motivation, I have some strong opinions about teaching and learning.  If there is ground to be gained here in becoming more effective at educating, I want to see it for myself.  I want to know how to use cool tech strategies to make my classes better.   I want to learn how to teach online in a way that does not compromise my pedagogy in ways that I think will not serve students well.

And so, I ventured warily into the program.  What I have been doing on the micro level is what many have already done:  I have been learning more about Moodle features; I have been exploring techniques that students can use to talk to each other (This is really important to me because I do a lot of group work in my classes and I have observed that when students talk to each other and in front of others – orally – they become more articulate about and better able to critique what they think);  I have been a voyeur  in my colleagues’ online classes (with their permission, of course!); I have learned to use an iPad.

Implementation

My specific classroom project changed over time.  At first it is was to implement a way for students to have synchronous conversations in order to plan a presentation in my Critical Thinking in Psychology Course.  I gave up, partly because this was a fall course, and I needed more time, but also because I was encouraged to think that this was not perhaps the best use of my time – that is I might better approach my macro goals by what various online strategies and tools could do, before bending them to my will!  I’ll get back to this.  Instead I opted for something far simpler:  to assign my students in Theories of Counseling to do their interview (practice in communication skills) using Panopto within Moodle – a small step in the scheme of things but a big step for me.

PSY215

Next Steps

I remain firmly invested in exploring the macro level related concerns to technology in the classroom and online teaching and learning.  I look forward to more in depth discussions of pedagogy.  Just before Chatham’s tech fellows program, I attended (as an online attendee!) a conference organized by Ms Magazine and the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Maryland.  It was sobering in that the technology to facilitate the “conference” was rough, but I was comforted by knowing that this whole endeavor is really in its infancy and far from systematized.   I was thrilled that the conference connected the exposure to various tools, best practices in online course design to feminist pedagogy.  I highly recommend the following article to those with similar interests.

“Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Virtual”: Feminist Pedagogy in the Online Classroom
NANCY CHICK and HOLLY HASSEL
Feminist Teacher, Vol. 19, No. 3 (2009), pp. 195-215
Published by: University of Illinois Press

Jodi Schreiber, OTD Occupational Therapy

Overview

As part of my first year in the Technology Fellowship (2014-2015), my focus was on identifying tools to enhance adult learning through visual modes.  I was interested in finding alternate (and engaging) methods to meet the particular learning needs of the current generation of students.  The majority of my students were born in the late 1980s or early 1990s, therefore categorizing them as Generation Y or Millennials.   I integrated several technology options throughout courses in the fall and spring semesters.

Planning

I have the opportunity to teach the same cohort of students each semester of the MOT Program.  This allows me to gauge the effectiveness and student acceptance of different teaching tools.  The MOT curriculum is developmental in nature, that is, it is necessary for students to rely on previously learned material in order to grasp and acquire new skills.

Throughout my search for potential teaching technology, I was cognizant of the learning goals and standards of each of my courses.  I also had to decide if the types of technology I investigated would be used as a teaching tool or as student assignments.

During the first, or summer, technology fellowship session, I used several resources to find potential educational tools.  I found a few interesting options when searching edshelf.  Through edshelf, I reviewed TED Ed.  TED Ed is a free resource that allows you to choose a TED Talk or YouTube video and add questions for the learner to complete during at the end of the video.

Other technology resources I investigated included Apple TV, EDpuzzle, Google Docs, Poll Everywhere, and VoiceThread.

Implementation

I chose a blog as one of the first uses of technology.  The students are required to successfully complete a series of competency check offs in the course.  Students were required to use WordPress to create a blog that described assessment techniques and responses.  The students would have the blogs to use as a study guide and a review in subsequent courses.  An example of a student blog can be viewed at:  https://weloveadls.wordpress.com/about/

One reason I chose TED Ed was because of the combination of visual and auditory components that seem to meet the learning styles of the Millennials.  My first attempt with the application can be viewed at http://ed.ted.com/on/1aan9g4X#watch.  Although TED Ed is a great resource for posting multiple choice, open ended, and guided discussion questions, one drawback is that you must use the entire Ted Talk or YouTube video.

AppleTV was integrated in to the Functional Neuroscience course.  I used my iPad and the AppleTV to demonstrate and allow students to use multiple apps for intervention with clients who sustained traumatic brain injury.  Apps reviewed included:  imazing, dialsafe pro, make change, visual attn. lite, imimic, yes/no button, AnswersHD, memory, and wordfindfree.

I think my favorite technology application is edpuzzle.  This free application is similar to TED Ed, but you can crop the videos as well as include questions throughout the video.  I like the feature that allows you to ask questions ‘as you go’.  Here is an example of an edpuzzle I used in my functional neuroscience course:

Assessment

I relied on student feedback as assessment of the efficacy and usefulness of the different types in instructional technology as a learning tool.  Early on the process, I discovered that not all students fit the definition of Millennial student. That is, all of my students are not technology gurus or total screen readers.  An initial dilemma with the competency blog was that some students were too focused on the ‘look’ and format of the blog and not the content.  That issue was resolved by providing a grading rubric that only considered accuracy of required information, not design or visual appeal.

Students provided mixed reviews of the AppleTV and apps.  Primarily because not all students have access to tablets and some do not have smart phones.  However, many K-12 schools and hospital/rehab clinics to supply tablets for patient assessment and intervention so the information was valuable to the students.

Overall student satisfaction was with the edpuzzle videos.  Students reported an increased understanding of client assessment and intervention after viewing the guided videos and answering the questions.  As a result, many classroom discussions emerged subsequent to the videos.

Value/Next Steps

My intention is to continue with the edpuzzle and TEDed applications.  I have recently become aware of other potential programs/applications such as Voki, recordmp3.org, Vocaroo, Padlet, ThingLink, SpicyNodes, Kahoot!, Animoto, Bubbl.us, Powtoon, and Bitstrips.  I plan on investigating the usefulness of some of these tools.

Chad Rittle, DNP Nursing

Personal Background

I came to Chatham University with experience in a number of careers. After almost 4 years in the U.S. Navy I embarked on a successful career in the Computer industry.  But after over 20 years I was getting tired of “the grind”.  The last several years involved running a computer services company automating small businesses.  I was spending almost all of my time selling, installing and servicing companies in the Pittsburgh area.  It seemed like a 24/7 operation at times.  I can clearly remember a couple of days before Christmas one year when I was struggling to solve a problem for a customer in Cleveland.  My mind was blank.  After opening gifts on Christmas morning I searched some more for a solution…  I was due to see him at 0800 the next morning.  While resting for a few minutes – the “light bulb” went on and I had the solution.  Going to the computer – it worked!  With all this said and done – I had no desire to return to these days of finding solutions on my own while working all hours of the day and night on the computer.

At Chatham University, teaching online classes in the RN-BSN program there was an encouragement to integrate as much technology into the courses to stimulate learning and keep students engaged.  Many of our students have grown up using computers and a variety of applications – so online learning was not a stranger to them.  Then… there were the small percentage of nurses who were not as comfortable with the online technology – I did not want to “scare” them off!

I began the Faculty Technology Fellowship last spring (2014) wanting to learn what new technologies were available while also anxious about implementing these technologies into my courses.  I did not want to return to the “old days” of figuring out how to make it work and not wanting to be embarrassed when students could not make it work for them.  Fortunately, the Technology Fellowship includes assistance from Lauren Panton and Becky Borello – two very knowledgeable and highly motivated support personnel who are always willing to help smooth the implementation.

Project Overview

My goals were to find out what kinds of tools are available to enhance online courses while gaining confidence in its use.  Solutions selected had to be “doable” by students, full-time and adjunct faculty and across variety of platforms used by all.  By using technology and capturing the interest of students I hoped to encourage all students to be life-long learners.

Discussions with Becky and Lauren focused on the following projects:

  1. I had included in one course a large document describing the Wheel of Public Health developed by the Minnesota Department of Public Health and a number of case studies supporting the model. The exercise asked students to review the 16 areas of public health and then to select a case student and answer a few discussion questions focused on the delivery of public health.  Instead of a large and “wordy” document, I wanted to implement a graphic and interactive approach that would be easy for student or instructor to use.
  2. I had been searching for a way to implement “virtual office hours” for my classes. Being an online environment there was no way to actually meet those “smiling faces” who are out there and for all of us to get to know each other.  This would open the opportunity to have multiple users online concurrently – audio and video – to ask questions and share ideas.
  3. The possibility of recording presentations and embedding them into courses was also a goal. This would include presentations made at conferences, both local and on a regional or national scale.  This would allow the delivery of course material to supplement class objectives that students would otherwise not have available to them.

Project Implementation

Project 1: ThingLink

The first attempt was implementation of the Minnesota Wheel of Public Health Interventions – seen below:

ThingLink
Each of these sections is linked (through a “target”) an actual case study provided by the Minnesota Department of Health.  Since all case studies were designed specifically for public health nurses, I made minor modifications to generalize the content for the typical RN-BSN nurse who works in a hospital setting.

The technology used to implement this application included:

  1. ThingLink – using interactive images helping students develop 21st century skill and enrich their enthusiasm for learning;
  2. The Minnesota Wheel of Public Health Interventions– a collection of stories and case studies to illustrate public health affecting real lives in the community, and,
  3. Microsoft One Drive– providing the ability to access files from PCs, laptops, tablets, Macs and mobile phones

The most time-consuming portion of this project was modifying the selected cases studies and saving them on One Drive.  Once the Wheel was created with all targets, the link provided through ThingLink was used to embed the wheel into the Moodle course shell for NUR409. Along with the case studies the WORD document created includes 3-4 questions for discussion pertinent to that particular case study.

I gave the Wheel a “test drive” with students during Summer Session 3 of 2014 (in NUR404, the predecessor to NUR409) and asked the students to respond to the questions provided and to comment on its applicability to their practice.  The instructions included the following:

“The following image highlights “Getting Behind the Wheel” developed by the Minnesota Department of Health in September of 2000.  It has been used by many public health students ever since.  All the stories provide good opportunities to analyze how the intervention wheel was applied.

I am looking for your feedback to see if something like this is useful to students.  Please pick one intervention activity, click on the target, read the story, and answer the questions provided at the end.  In your forum response, please identify the wheel intervention you are discussing.  The questions may not always be a “good fit” to you this early in the class – so make any suggestions that come to mind.  I am considering enhancing several of these scenarios for future classes.

Your input will assist the instructor in making this course a better experience for students.  Real-life scenarios are often very effective in showcasing the effectiveness of public health interventions.”

Comments

Not all students included comments about applicability in their individual practice but one comment was notable:

“The “Getting Behind the Wheel” seems to be a tool full of interventions that are pertinent to current health care and nursing needs now.  It is easy to follow, being in a color-coded chart.  The stories I read are interesting and paint a vivid picture in my mind.  Reading scenarios like these help develop the intervention more fully in my mind.”

Since last summer (2014) I have included the Wheel each time NUR409 has run.  Unlike the first time it was used, I now include the Wheel in Week 7 of the course.  Asking students to comment on the variety of intervention areas of public health in the last week of the course makes the exercise more meaningful to students.  They have now completed the course and have been exposed through readings and discussions to many of these application areas.  Even though most students are employed in an acute care setting, they will be discharging patients and their families to live in the community.  Patients develop health conditions by living and working in the community.  If nurses understand how the community and work environment affect current health conditions they can be better prepared to educate patients and family to live longer and healthier lives.

I have since “customized” all case studies to ensure better applicability to students working in an acute care environment.

Project 2: WizIQ and Virtual Office Hours

Virtual office hours had been a goal ever since coming to Chatham University.  I first tried Lync that comes with Microsoft Outlook but had mixed success.  I only had 1 student able to easily make the connection with both audio and video.  This involved a couple of attempts over the summer of 2014.  Since it was not as easy to use as desired, and I did not want to discourage students from trying new technology, I put this project on “hold” for a few weeks.

Then, Becky introduced me to WizIQ Live Class.

WizIQ
This is a feature of Moodle, part of every class, and allows up to 4 students to be video-connected concurrently (along with the instructor) and others to have audio while the instructor can switch users from active to inactive on the video feed at his discretion.  The class is notified in the Introductory Block of Moodle in the first week of class with a couple of reminders prior to the Virtual Office Hours in Week 3. The announcement looks like this:

There will be a Virtual Hours Office session on Tuesday evening, March 17, from 7 – 7:45 P.M.  I invite all students to participate.  This is an opportunity for all of you to meet each other and speak with the instructor.  If you have any questions, especially about the written assignments, this is your opportunity to ask.

You may wish to test your computer settings before the Virtual Office Hours to ensure compatibility.  The URL to test your computer can be found HERE:  http://www.wiziq.com/info/technical-requirement.aspx

This session will be worth five (5) extra credit points if you attend to the end.

For those of you who cannot attend, this session will be recorded.  You can sign in to the WizIQ session and watch it at your convenience.

Please send me an e-mail by Monday evening, March 16 telling me if you will be attending.  You must have headphones to minimize feedback. I expect a response from all students on whether they will be attending or not.

Some considerations for using this technology include having camera capability as well as earphones. If a student user does not have earphones, feedback may impact the ability for all to hear the discussion clearly.

I realize that not all students will be able to attend – they do work different shifts.  In addition, many students will not participate in extra activities unless a certain number of points are involved – the reason for the 5 points.  However, since using Wiziq Live Class I have always had at least 4 students participating, and one time 7 were on the line.  They all reported they liked the ability to meet and discuss the course, ask questions about upcoming assignments, and actually “put a face” on some of their classmates and the instructor.

Comments

I did not receive any written comments from students about the Virtual Office Hours.  Typical comments indicated students appreciated the opportunity to meet.  I am repeating the Office Hours in other classes (sometimes the same students) so it will be interesting to see if I have any “repeat” attendees.

I plan to continue the Virtual Office Hours for all classes.  I also realize that not all instructors or adjuncts will take advantage of this technology, but I will work with them if they wish to try it out with their students.

Project 3: SWIVL

SWIVL is a computerized system that makes video recording affordable.  It is a base that holds an iPad or Android compatible tablet, microphone (on a lanyard) and follows the speaker through 360 degrees with a 25 degree tilt and 30 ft. range.  It allows upload of content to permit embedding of recorded presentations directly into Moodle or into other platforms.

I first used SWIVL for a presentation at the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) Southwest Chapter in Monroeville, PA in September of 2014.  In the audience were around 50 occupational health nurses mostly from the Pittsburgh area.  When setting up the SWIVL on the tripod some of the attendees began to ask why the iPad screen on the mount was “following me around”.  This is a great feature for a presenter who is a classic “pacer” as I am!  The screen will follow the speaker to continue capture of the video.  The only ‘problem’ – I found out while viewing the video back in the office that I was moving faster than the robot could follow!  I have taken note of this feature of the system and will do some “personal behavior modification” in future recordings.

SWIVL recording

The following is the introduction for the presentation as posted in Moodle:

Conference Occupational Health Presentation: The following presentation was given at the September 2014 Southwest Chapter, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) in Monroeville, PA.  The title was – “Occupational Sources of Air Pollution & Their Effects on Health: An Overview”.  This material is presented here to provide students some real-life examples to describe how workers and their family members acquire various conditions that affect their health.  The end result is – all nurses see patients with these conditions at some time in their daily practice.

If the courses were presented “on the ground” and not online, this is an example of the type of material I could include for presentation and then through class discussion. The real goal of this presentation for my AAOHN audience was to provide an overview of the air pollutants that affect worker health in the work environment as well as where they live in the community.  In a “former life” I worked as an Air Quality Inspector for the PA Department of Environmental Health and saw on a daily basis the variety of substances in the air that can affect health.  These pollutants are often the reason a patient is under the care of nurses in our community.  A better understanding of these compounds can help the nurse provide better education so they can live longer and healthier lives.

Comments

I cannot recall any particular comments – positive or negative – from the students about this presentation.  Since including it in the course it has only been used once.

Successes and Challenges

Overall these projects have been successful and rewarding.  I now have tools to enhance my online classes.  In particular, the interactive use of ThingLink and One Drive will permit me to develop other interactive exercises in future classes.  Although it seems like the majority of enhancements were in the Community and Environmental Health Class, (that was my area of nursing focus for many years) I can see using these tools in other classes as well.

I can also see ways to better use the SWIVL technology in classes.  I need to put more focus on the Occupational Sources of Air Pollution presentation in future classes.  By re-designing the questions in Week 4 I would better encourage comments from students on the applicability in their current practice.

I am still “getting the hang” of WizIQ!  Unfortunately all this wonderful technology takes a while to become second-nature to the instructor.  Manipulating audio and video, and coordinating all the features include in WizIQ take a while.  I am looking forward to the next Virtual Office Hours session in a few weeks and hope it runs smoother.

One thing I have noticed – every time I use the new technology it becomes easier!  Sort of like driving a “stick shift” or riding a bike.  One needs to practice in order to get better.

Reflections and Next Steps

I am planning to use SWIVL in the next couple of months.  I have a presentation at the AAOHN National Conference late this month in Boston.  If the presentation recording works out well I plan to integrate it into one of my classes.  I am also presenting at the Technology Fellows on April 9 and want to record there as well.  With the use of this technology I can see many areas where these recordings can be used in the future.

I also want to enhance the usage of technologies like ThingLink and the OneDrive in other courses.  In fact, I have already used OneDrive in some of my personal activities.  For one, I am on a committee planning our high school reunion and have shown a teammate how to put our Reunion Book (a presentation with over 300 slides) on the internet for all to see.  It was a simple process to share it on OneDrive and then pass around the link to classmates.  Even with changes, the link remains the same.

I also plan to spend time with the President of the Northeast Chapter of AAOHN.  The team there has created a booklet chronicling the history of Occupational Health Nursing in the Northeast over the past 75 years.  When I heard discussions on a Board meeting about how to get this booklet to all attendees – OneDrive just jumped out of my mouth.  It is easy and there is no cost to send the link to all attendees at the National Conference in Boston.

I don’t know what else lies “down the road” in this discovery of technology to implement in online courses.  I know I have heard and seen a number of other products that might be applicable.  Teaching in an online environment requires that I think differently since many products discussed were really designed for a traditional “on the ground” environment.  That doesn’t mean they cannot be used online – just that I need to think a bit differently.  Sometimes I receive inspiration, other times much more thought and reflection is needed.

One further point – I really want to thank Lauren Panton and Becky Borello for their patience with me and their assistance.  They are always ready, willing and able to answer questions or to “get me over the hump” whenever those !@#$%  computers frustrate me!  Help Desk staff has also been invaluable over the past year.  Not only have I tackled lots of new technology but I have lost my hard drive (virus) and had to upgrade my personal laptop (hardware problems) and have had some connectivity problems at home.  Through it all Lauren, Becky and the Help Desk have patiently answered questions and rendered assistance.  I really appreciate their help.

Conclusion

I have definitely met my goals over the past year and look forward to setting new ones for the coming year – one of those goals is to attend a conference to learn more about using technology in an online class environment.  I found and implemented some great technology tools; have implemented them in the classroom; and am now developing plans to further utilize these tools in my classes.

One of my main goals is to encourage all nurses to become “life-long learners”.  I read a number of years ago that the sum knowledge of medical and nursing practice doubles every 3 to 3-1/2 years.  With the explosion of technology I have to believe it is doubling even faster today.  If nurses are not learning something new each and every day, in 3 years they have been left behind and cannot provide the best possible care to their patients and families.  This brings me to a quote I found a while ago from Clay P. Bedford:

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”

Joyce Salls, OTD Occupational Therapy

Overview

Over the past year, I have experimented with several technology tools with the goal of increasing student engagement and active learning in my on the ground classes.  These have included Prezi, creating YouTube videos, and VoiceThread, with VoiceThread being the main focus this past year.    I have also been using Poll Everywhere in the classroom as a method of assessing student learning of key concepts, as well as providing students with feedback regarding their grasp and retention of material.  Additionally, I have used the iPad with the Smartboard in the classroom to present apps appropriate for therapeutic interventions.  Outside of the classroom, the OT faculty have begun using OneDrive for working on collaborative research projects.

Implementation

I implemented VoiceThread in my pediatric courses OTH 622 in both the fall and spring semesters. I used this mostly to upload video clips of children at various stages of development, requiring the students to identify developmental patterns and therapeutic interventions to further support a child’s growth.

VoiceThread

I am incorporating Poll Everywhere in all my courses as a means of receiving and providing feedback on student learning.  Additionally, in one of my classes students were required to develop a short educational You Tube for parents or teachers.

Successes/Challenges

My biggest challenge with VoiceThread was learning that you tube videos could not be uploaded on VoiceThread.  As a result, I was challenged with finding appropriate videos from friends with young children.  Another challenge was helping the students with the process of signing up for and using VoiceThread.  Once that challenge was resolved, students reported the VoiceThreads were beneficial.  Since I have 40 students per class, once I discovered how to put the students into small groups (10 per group), the learning was more effective and the process much more efficient. Poll Everywhere was a success from the beginning with positive feedback from the majority of students.

Assessment

At the end of the fall semester, the students completed a survey regarding the use of Poll Everywhere, VoiceThread, and creating an educational YouTube video for caregivers. Students were very positive about Poll Everywhere.  VoiceThread received mixed reviews due to difficulty signing up and accessing the videos, but commented that it was beneficial to their learning.  Creating a YouTube video, though reported as a valuable learning experience by many, was cited as too difficult and cumbersome to use. Students reported spending more time on the technology than on the content, which for me defeated the purpose of the assignment. I plan to re-assess the use of technology tools at the end of each semester.

Perceived/Determined Value and Next Steps 

What was most valuable for me during this first year of the Technology Fellows Program was the opportunity to take the time to learn new technologies as well as to learn from other members of the group throughout the year. Additionally, the patient ongoing support from both Becky and Lauren is what made it possible for me to experiment…get “stuck”….and get support rather than giving up! In the next year, I plan to continue exploring effective ways to incorporate VoiceThread in the classroom, as well as begin working on developing telehealth with a free clinic in Ecuador.

Vadas Gintautas, Ph.D. Physics

Overview

Google Moderator is a system for soliciting and aggregating responses on a given topic. For example, before the 2012 Presidential election over 20,000 people participated in the Google Moderator poll “Your Questions for the Candidates.”

Implementation

I set up a new Google account for use with the class, then created a new Series for my PHY251 class. I then created on topic for each day that we covered new material, such as “Unit 4: Newton’s Laws”  (click above image for full size screenshot). The students were expected to view a smartPhysics pre-lecture before class, then participate in the Google Moderator poll for that day. They were instructed to either ask a question about the pre-lecture or vote on another student’s question rather than post duplicates. This way I could start the next class by going over the most popular questions, and just answer the less popular ones individually by email (or directly in Google Moderator).moderator-screenshot

Assessment

This was tricky. I wanted the students to have the option to post anonymously so they would feel comfortable asking anything. However, with Google Moderator, even the administrator (me) is not shown the identity of anyone who posts anonymously. To solve this problem, I created a link on Moodle to each topic, and students were instructed to access Google Moderator using these links in order to receive credit for participation. Moodle can generate a report of which students clicked on a given link, and this is how I was able to assign credit. Of course, I could not determine whether a student actually did anything after clicking on the link, but once students got used to the system there was not a significant discrepancy between the number of participants in Google Moderator for a given topic and the number of students who clicked on the link in Moodle.  It is worth noting that early in the semester a few students went to the topics through Google Moderator directly, rather than via Moodle, and did not receive credit.

Successes and Challenges

Overall, Google Moderator was not as useful as I had hoped, but I had a class of only 15 students. Because I use a lot of group activities in my classes, after a few weeks into the semester, students seemed to be comfortable asking questions during class or emailing me when they had trouble. Some days the most popular question was something that would obviously be covered that day.  An example of such a question might be “Can we go over Newton’s Laws?” for Unit 4: Newton’s Laws.

Perceived pedagogical or teaching value

This facilitates Just-in-Time-Teaching, especially for large classes in which there may not be enough time to answer every question.

Next steps

I would try this again in a bigger class.  I would also consider requiring students to post using their names, so that assessment is easier.  The class I am teaching currently (PHY252) is even smaller, so I did not use Google Moderator again.  Instead I solicit feedback directly through smartPhysics and use that to prepare before class.

Tracy Bartel, Ph.D. Education

NOTE: For more information on any of these technology tools, please click on the tools name and it will take you to the coordinating website.

simSchool : Instructors can use this tool with pre-service teachers as an applied activity in classroom management and differentiated instruction in this game-like application.

I am presently piloting this technology tool in my Child Development course and I am hoping that I will be able to expand it to the Adolescent Development and Contemporary Education and Technology course.

VoiceThread : Students can engage in an on-line forum discussion using varied modes of responses (microphone, webcam, text, phone and audio-file upload).  Instructors can present the topic for discussion several different ways: uploading a document, image(s), audio file(s) or video(s).

This tool was piloted in my Contemporary Education and Technology course last semester.  At the end of the semester, I found that students enjoyed using this tool and that their level of discussions were at a higher level in comparison with the other courses that used the “written text only” forum discussion in Moodle.  I now use this as a tool in all my online, hybrid and “on the ground” courses.

VoiceThread Snip
PollEverywhere
: Instructors can embed classroom polls into PowerPoint lectures and student responses can be seen on the screen within 2-5 seconds of responding.  Poll questions can be either open-ended or multiple choice in format.

I piloted this tool last semester in my Contemporary Education and Technology course as well.  In order to keep the students’ responses anonymous, at the beginning of the class I took attendance so that students would receive class participation points for participating in this in-class activity.  There is an option in Poll Everywhere to track individual student responses instead of having the students’ responses be anonymous.

PollEverywhere SnipPanopto : Instructors can use a webcam to record their image in sync with PowerPoint lectures or use audio to discuss a document.

I use this technology tool predominantly in my online courses.  I have also had my students use it to give presentations to upload to the Moodle course shell.  This tool is beneficial when the instructor cannot make it to the regularly scheduled class time (illness, weather, conferences).

Panopto Snip

Rubistar : Instructors and pre-service teachers can use this tool to create rubrics for a variety of assignments.  Rubistar allows you to select from a wide variety of grading categories to add to the template and permits editing of any content.

For years I have hand-made my grading rubrics as a teacher, administrator and as a college professor.  Rubistar saves me time and increases the clarity of the rubrics for each of the courses that I teach.

Rubistar Snip

Update!

Congratulations to Tracy for recently having her work published in the online peer-reviewed Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy. The article, Inspiring Student Engagement with Technology, addresses the question of how to replicate the educational benefits of in-class discussions and lectures in an online environment.

Kudos to Tracy and the other technology fellows for their ongoing work!!

Joe MacNeil, Ph.D. Chemistry

Overview

All of the technology innovations I’ve tested have had the goal of creating new pathways for student interaction and feedback in large classroom settings that are not innately suited for general classroom discussion.  PollEverywhere is a software platform for allowing students to respond rapidly to prompts during the classroom session, and AirServer is a software parallel to Apple TV.  It provides the opportunity for me to use iPad apps in the classroom, and for any student to take project their work for the entire class to see.  CreateDebate is an external, public space for hosting debate-style analysis of topics.  Here, students can interact with themselves and with the general public to develop and evolve their critical analysis and writing skills.

Implementation

AirServer has been the easiest to implement so far, as I have only used it to incorporate a series of gen chem specific iPad apps into my classroom lecture.  In a class of 50 students, only 4 have iPads of their own.  As many of the bast apps also have some expense related to them, being able to present them for the class has been important.

I’ve used PollEveryehere in my gen chem classes in each of the past two semesters.  I find that the user interface for faculty is very good, although student experiences have been mixed.

I used CreateDebate in a general science class to debate the question “Should the US allow the construction of new nuclear power plants?”  Because this was a public forum, I allowed my students to participate using pseudonyms as long as they told me how to recognize their posts.

create debate

Successes and Challenges

CreateDebate was definitely my most popular new technology tool with my students.  while they complain about having to write even short papers in my class, many of them added a lot of content to this debate.  They were not at all disturbed by the fact that it was open to the public, and continued to go back to it for the 3 weeks that it was live.  In their course evaluations, they asked for more similar experiences.

AirServer was initially a challenge . . . I was using it over the wireless network in Beckwith and competing with 40 other computers.  I have now learned how to set up a private local network between my iPad and my computer to avoid bandwidth limitations in streaming video.  In January I attended a conference in an NSF-sponsored Atlanta focused on innovative new ways to use iPads in the chemistry classroom and lab settings.  While many of these are based on the expectation that all students have access to iPads, I also came away with 25(+) new apps that offer some excellent interactive activities.  For now, being able to integrate them into my lecture and move my class further from the static PowerPoint model to more dynamic animations has been great.  I’d love to design more guided-inquiry experiences for students based on these apps (I did write one as part of the workshop) but until students can run them, demoing is about the best I can do.

In general I was very happy with PollEverywhere, but it has been my most challenging to implement.  I tried to have all my students register so that I could track their answers, but a number of them had difficulties with their accounts.  I’ve recently given up on this, and now let them respond anonymously.  I’ve also been a bit disappointed at how long it takes to get everyone to post an answer.  I tried very hard to create the expectation that they should bring their computers and have them set up to respond to a question by the start of class, but this has not worked.  In order to get everyone’s response, I have to wait at least 4-5 minutes, which is much too long for the sort of “in the moment” response I’d envisioned.  An informal poll found that the hardware clicker solution, used in Biology, is more popular than PollEverywhere.  I will be asking this more formally at the end of t he semester.

Assessment

Student  response to CreateDebate has been very positive, and I was more than satisfied with the ways students participated.   I’ve used a couple of classroom sessions to focus on demonstrations of chemistry concepts with iPad apps, and student performance on subsequent multiple choice questions was 10-15% better than last year.  Since on average this year’s class is a little weaker than last year, I think this is strong validation.

PollEverywhere has been  mixed bag.  I think students were very uncomfortable with the fact that I was tracking their responses.  Since I’ve gone to an anonymous response model, total responses are down a bit, but time to respond and general classroom attitude have both increased.  One of my hopes was that by practicing more multiple-choice style questions during the class would improve their multiple-choice test taking skills on my tests, but to date I do not have any strong evidence to support this.  They are not doing worse than previous years, but they are still doing pretty bad!

Next Steps

For next year, more integration of iPad apps to my gen Chem classroom.

Investigating good e-texts for chemistry classes

Investigating on-line homework options for gen chem to find a new way to give them practice and feedback on multiple-choice questions

Either keep PollEverywhere in anonymous mode or move to hardware clickers

Jason Woollard, Ph.D Physical Therapy

Overview

Over the past year I have used technology to enhance student engagement in the classroom using SMARTboards and PollEverywhere.  My main technology project has been to determine the best method by which to allow students in their PBL groups to easily share and present journal articles and website information during their PBL sessions.  This will be done using Google Drive.

Implementation

PollEverywhere was used in our Research/Evidence-based Practice courses to allow me to assess students’ understanding of course concepts.  The instant answers can be viewed by everyone in the class and the results used to discuss concepts that appear to be misunderstood.

Google Drive will be used this summer in our Musculoskeletal course to allow students to easily exchange and view each others shared materials during each PBL session.

Success/Challenges

Our students have reported PollEverywhere to be a worth-while tool for quickly assessing their understanding of course concepts.

While we will not be implementing the use of Google Drive until April, the process of choosing a software allowed me to consider the strengths/weaknesses of using Evernote versus Mahara versus Google Drive for facilitating this hopefully improved level of collaboration and group interaction during PBL.

Perceived Value

Currently, during PBL sessions, it is difficult for students to share with the group journal articles or valuable websites that a student has found.  Hopefully, Google Drive will allow everyone to see the same material (presented on the SMARTboard) as the person presenting and will result in improved discussions within the PBL group.

Pat Downey, Ph.D. Physical Therapy

Dr. Downey explored the use of the interactive SMARTboard to enhance group interaction along with viewing items such as radiology images, patient videos and EKG strips related to the patient cases. Dr. Downey also incorporated Poll Everywhere into lectures to increase student interaction and confirm their understanding of complex material. Most recently she has been using the iPad to teach surface anatomy palpation in a clinical skills course. The musculoskeletal anatomy apps have become great teaching tools since they allow for 2 dimensional viewing. This past term she used Panopto with the SMARTboard and her cell phone as a recording device to capture Electrotherapy lectures. In addition, the PT faculty are experimenting with their faculty meetings held remotely in Google Hangout.

The biggest challenge during the past 2 years of being a faculty technology fellow were dedicating the time to explore and learn new technologies. Having the accountability of a fellows program really helped with that. Knowing that we had monthly meetings where we updated each other on our projects was invaluable. I learned as much from their projects as I did from mine.

The biggest success I have had is not related to the individual teaching projects or  technology that I have mastered but rather my attitude toward using technology. I have overcome much of my own personal resistance and am more willing to devote the time and energy to dabbling in new technologies. Knowing that I have access to excellent support (Chatham Technology Specialists: Lauren Panton and Becky Bush) makes it doable!

I would highly recommend being a Chatham Faculty Technology Fellow to anyone and everyone on faculty. There are wonderful benefits to both the nervous novice (me) and the experienced faculty geek. A wonderful additional benefit is getting to know faculty who you might not otherwise cross paths with. I had a great time getting to know: Dave Fraser, Kyle Beidler, Kathleen Sullivan, Mary Jo Loughran and Emily Eckel.