Jamiyanaa Dashdorj, Ph.D. Physics

Photo of Jamiyanaa Dashdorj

Jamiyanaa Dashdorj, Ph.D.

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


Project Overview

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

A picture of a lab report heading.

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

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


Planning Process

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



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

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



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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

Jason Edsall, Ph.D. Exercise Science

Photo of Jason Edsall

Jason Edsall, Ph.D.
Exercise Science

Using ThingLink to create interactive comprehensive course portfolios


Project Overview

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

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


Planning Process

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

ThinkLink logo

image credit: ThinkLink

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

ThinkLink example


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

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


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

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

Folder structure of Word documents related to Shoulder ThingLink


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

ThinkLink example of the bodyFile folder of documents linked to ThinkLink

Reflections and Next Steps

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

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

Nicole Hoh, Ph.D. Nursing

Photo of Nicole Hoh, Ph.D.

Nicole Hoh, Ph.D.

Using Calendly to Connect with Students

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

Project Overview

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

Planning Process

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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

Graph of Calendly feedback 1

Calendly feedback 2

Calendly feedback 3

Calendly feedback 4

Calendly feedback 5


Reflections and Next Steps

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

Calendly feedback 6

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


Theresa Delbert, OTD Occupational Therapy

Photo of Theresa Delbert

Theresa Delbert, OTD
Occupational Therapy

Using Airtable to Track Student Engagement

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

Project Overview

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

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

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


Planning Process

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

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

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



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

Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 1: Major Training Categories Table


Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 2: Available Resources for Major Category


Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 3: OT Happy Grant Student Data


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

Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 4: video embedding within the app

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


Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 5: Tracking per Major Category


Screen Shot of AirTable

Image 6: Tracking per student


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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

Lorri Birkholz, DNP Nursing

Photo of Lorri Birkholz

Lorri Birkholz, DNP

DNP Writing Tutorial

Crafting a Brightspace Writing Tutor course to augment writing support.

Project Overview

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


A picture of the Brightspace writing course

Example from the writing course.

Planning Process

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

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

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

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


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

FTF De-identified Tracking Log_Birkholz

FTF De-identified Tracking Log_Birkholz 4.11.22 v2


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

Survey results

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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

Ashley Singh, DNP Nursing

Photo of Ashley Singh, DNP

Ashley Singh, DNP

Using Mind Mapping for Proposal Planning

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

Project Overview

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


Planning Process

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

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



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



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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

Welkin Pope, Ph.D. Biology

A picture of Welkin Pope, Ph.D.

Welkin Pope, Ph.D.

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


Project Overview

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

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

Screen capture of BIO143

Sample content module from a week 2 class.

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


Planning Process

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

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

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



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

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

Headers from Brightspace datadump

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

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

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

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


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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

Sally Frey, Ph.D. Food Studies

Photo of Sally Frey

Sally Frey, Ph.D. Food Studies

Exploring Digital Magazine Production

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

Project Overview

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


Planning Process

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

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

Initial literature review abstract:

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

Works Cited:

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



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



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

Reflections and Next Steps

In process.

Michelle Niculescu, Ph.D. Psychology

Photo of Michelle Niculescu

Michelle Niculescu, Ph.D.

Using H5P to help students build foundational knowledge

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



Project Overview

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

Sample of H5P options

A few examples of H5P tools


Planning Process

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

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

With guidance, I explored many options.

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Here is an example question from one problem set:

Example of problem set 1


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes i feel like this slightly helped.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t mind doing them either way!

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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

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

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

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

Christie Lewis, Ed.D. Education

Photo of Christie Lewis

Christie Lewis, Ed.D.

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

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

Project Overview 

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


Project Planning

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

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

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

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


Project Assessment

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

graph showing nearpod should be used in the future.

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

graph showing students like Nearpod

graph showing students like Nearpod

graph showing students like Nearpod

graph showing students like Nearpod


Project Reflections and Next Steps

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

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

Project Overview

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

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

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

Project Planning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project Implementation

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

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

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

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

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

Project Assessment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project Reflections and Next Steps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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 the following:

  • Developing pedagogically sound classroom practices that increase student engagement and interaction through 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 effects on teaching and learning.



Faculty Technology Fellows participate for two years. The two-year program is iterative, project-based, collaborative, and individualized. Participants use teaching goals, course learning objectives, and personal development goals to inform their projects. Projects may start large or small but ultimately are refined to impact 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 to learn new technologies and develop a course redesign and assessment plan.
  • Meet monthly meetings to discuss progress.
  • Present projects to the university.

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 experience, and technology expertise.

  • All full-time faculty members are eligible to apply. A call for applications occurs each spring.
  • The number of participants is based on funding.



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
  • 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 tlc@chatham.edu.



Projects – All


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.