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”?.

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.

Dr. Edward Ryan – Exercise Physiology

The use of Poll Everywhere, iPad Apps, and Panopto to enhance engagement and the student learning experience in an undergraduate Exercise Science course.

Project Overview

My primary goal as a Tech Fellow was to increase student engagement in content and discussion in one particular course (EXS 302: Principles of Strength and Conditioning) by incorporating a variety of technological tools into my teaching efforts.  During the summer workshop I was introduced to a variety of tools. I chose to utilize Poll Everywhere for muddiest content, iPad apps to supplement lecture, and Panopto for student submission of a practical exam.  I assessed the success of implementing these tools via an informal discussion with students.  The majority of students felt that Poll Everywhere (muddiest content) and the iPad apps enhanced their learning experience.  However, students felt that the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam was not enjoyable and/or beneficial.  Next year, I plan on again utilizing Poll Everywhere (muddiest content) and iPad apps (lecture supplement) while omitting the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam.

Planning Process

Prior to the summer workshop I had decided that the course that would benefit mostly from a technology “overhaul” would be EXS 302 Principles of Strength and Conditioning.  My lectures were getting cumbersome and student engagement in content and discussion was poor the last time I instructed the course.  Thus, most of the planning stage was spent becoming proficient in utilizing the technological tools I had chosen. While I am very resistant to change, this likely was the most challenging part for me. After becoming fairly proficient in the technology, I began to make changes to the course syllabus while making notes for myself regarding expected time allotted for the inclusion of Poll Everywhere and iPad apps supplement and submission of the practical exam.  My tentative plan was:

  1. Following each lecture, allow 5 minutes for students to participate in Poll Everywhere for muddiest content. Take the top 3 muddiest and begin subsequent lecture reviewing.
  2. Include two weeks of covering Resistance Training Exercises (NSCA Dartfish videos and Muscles in Motion apps) prior to practical training in the weight room.
  3. Cover use of Panopto and allow students to practice (one lecture).


I began implementing Poll Everywhere for muddiest content after the first lecture and continued to utilize this tool throughout the semester. Students used their computer or smart phone to type in what content from the lecture they felt were unclear. At the end of the 5 minutes, I noted which key words were typed in the most and began the next lecture reviewing that content.  There were days throughout the semester where we ran out of time and/or the students had indicated they did not want to participate.

During the latter half of the semester, for two weeks I systematically covered resistance training exercises.  I started off first by noting the name of the exercise, the Prime Movers and the Eccentric versus Concentric Phases.  Thereafter, I provided commentary as students viewed the NSCA Dartfish video while stopping, rewinding/fast-forwarding at times.  After projecting the video, I projected the Muscles in Motion app to illustrate the muscles working during the select exercise.  This process was repeated for each additional exercise.

Following practical training in the weight room, I allotted class time for students to practice using Panopto.  Following a brief presentation, students were urged to create a short video in Panopto and submit it to a folder I had created. For the practical exam, students had to describe and demonstrate select Resistance Training Exercises in Panopto.  Students submitted their videos during the last week of class.


I assessed the success of implementing the technological tools via an informal discussion with students.

SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES: Throughout our discussion, students had indicated that they felt as though the use of Poll Everywhere for muddiest content was beneficial to their learning experience. Further, in my opinion the use of Poll Everywhere for muddiest content increased student engagement by allowing students who were otherwise quiet and reserved to voice their confusion anonymously. Nonetheless, one thing I found challenging was the monotony of how I implemented Poll Everywhere for muddiest content.

Students had indicated that the NSCA Dartfish videos and the Muscles in Motion apps were beneficial in helping them understand the resistance training exercises.  They proceeded to suggest that I cover one body segment in class then go to the weight room for practical training then back to the class for the next body segment and so on. I found this to be a great suggestion as one of the challenges I faced during that two weeks was attempting to slow down the presentation of information.

Virtually all of the students indicated that they did not feel that using Panopto to submit their practical exam enhanced their learning experience.  Further, they went as far as to suggest that I omit Panopto and have future students take the Practical exam in person.  After grading the practical exams (videos), I agree with the students’ suggestion. All of the students received an A for the practical and the submission didn’t seem a true assessment of their skill level.

Reflections and Next Steps

My tentative plan moving forward is to:

  1. Utilize Poll Everywhere for muddiest content while changing the implementation timing.
  2. Utilize NSCA Dartfish video and Complete Anatomy apps for classroom instruction of resistance training exercises.
  3. Omit the use of Panopto for submission of the practical exam.

Dr. Ann Williamson – Physical Therapy

Project Overview

All students are required to understand and adhere to programmatic processes related to clinical education/clinical experience. Additionally, they are required to follow all policies and procedures associated with each assigned clinical site to include attainment and documentation of health requirements and clearances.  Lastly, students benefit from tailored coaching and mentoring as they prepare to enter into their clinical experiences: be it there first experience or final experiences. Delivering this information by way of class lecture can be challenging. There is a perceived benefit to having online audio-visual recording to allow students to asynchronously access and further consider various elements of clinical experience expectations and preparation during self-selected time periods.

Planning Process

I first considered and prioritized key topic areas that could be reinforced with audio-visual recordings. I then organized them chronologically matching the sequential order for students to gain understanding of the content.  From here I selected to best audio-visual format for content delivery.

  • Castle Branch – Web ex recording (PowerPoint and program assistant presentation)
  • CE overview – Panopto (PowerPoint and audio recording)
  • APTA CPIWeb use and training – Panopt0 (PowerPoint and audio recording)
  • Making the Cold Call – Panopto (PowerPoint and audio recording)
  • CE I pep talk – Panopto (PowerPoint and audio recording)
  • Continuum of Care – Sway


In all cases, each topic and its content is delivered via traditional classroom lecture. This takes place during didactic work when students are often preoccupied with current study requirements and lack full readiness to prepare for clinical education. Students will be provided with the traditional lecture component and then will be guided to these videos for viewing at a self-selected later date.


All Panopto audio-visual recordings are housed and viewed from Moodle. The number of times and the timing that each recording is viewed will be tracked. This data will be useful in determining students’ preferred timing for topic review as well as perceived investment in clinical experience preparation.

Additionally, a brief summative survey will be provided in Moodle and paired with the corresponding recording. These feedback forms will be optional for students to complete. The survey will solicit students’ perceptions of content clarity, resolution of questions or confusion etc. and open-ended feedback for improvement suggestions.

Reflections and Next Steps

With each Panopto recording I create, I determine ways to improve a re-recording. Finding contentment in a given recording seems to be my greatest challenge. However, I have determined that there are several key strategies when creating each recording that are applicable for all recording in the series: 1) keeping details generically applicable on a year-to-year bases is key for recycling videos and allowing them to be applicable for multiple cohorts and through several curricular cycles, 2) keeping my intonation captivating yet also absent of emotion is also important. I often tailor my classroom lecture style based on the current climate i.e. if they are gearing up for exams/practicals if they have just completed a testing cycle. The audio recordings should be relatable regardless of current didactic activities.

Dr. Jill Cyranowski – Counseling Psychology

Project Overview

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

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

Planning Process

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

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


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


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

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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

Sue Sterrett Blog

Sue Sterrett, Ed.D. Nursing

Project Overview

My goals for year 1 of the Fellowship were:

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

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

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

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

Planning Process

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


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

Sue Sterrett Blog

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

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


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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

Steve Karas, DSc Physical Therapy


My original plan was multi-focused. I wanted to create an online elective in manual physical therapy.  Second, I wanted to incorporate more technology in my teaching.  The first goal was specific and focused, and the second a bit more open-ended.


As part of my initial planning in year one of the Technology Fellowship, I focused on designing an online course for spinal manual physical therapy.  This would be an elective for the class and would be offered toward the end of their education.  The course has been designed, objectives created, and video components were made for student viewing.  However, within the year of my fellowship, our curriculum calendar changed and the time I planned to do the course was no longer available.  I was able to utilize a portion of that planning to host a course for some of our program’s Clinical Instructors and pilot the technology in that course.  The participants took video recording of themselves performing the techniques and I was able to offer feedback at the follow-up class.  I will expand on this during the summer, having the comments entirely online.  Portions of this course and the ideas we initiated have been placed in my core teaching in PTH 703.  I am using videos for techniques as well as PBL.  These can be found on Moodle: 703 2015 Management of Musculoskeletal Systems.


I have spent time utilizing and learning how to begin paperless exams on Moodle for both courses that I coordinate.  I have found this to be user-friendly for the most part, with the only concern being loss of a student’s wi-fi connection.  I have utilized Panopto in PTH703 for a Classification Lecture that will be utilized for the students.

Moodle and Panopto


As noted, the majority of smaller items are in place in my courses.  (exams, Panopto, video techniques, and a video PBL case)  The on-line course may still be offered at a later date as part of a continuing education option.  Additionally, after multiple attempts with the technology staff, we settled on the YouTube platform for posting of student technique videos and commenting.  This will be initiated this summer.  I found that the “ask” in my continuing education offering was a bit too much for older therapists who do not have access to or are not traditionally exposed to technology in the clinic.

Next Steps

Posting and assessing maul therapy techniques using the YouTube platform will be a novel approach to learning.  I believe it will help the students excel and also lead to very focused technique performance if they are aware they are being accessed or evaluated.  I am not sure what the time commitment for this will be or how critical students will be of each other as part of the feedback process, so a reassessment of the project will be needed after the summer course.


Although the larger project has hit some road blocks, I have still benefited from my time with Becky and Lauren and their ability to answer my questions and guide me to use more technology.  The general steps I have put in place have given me some confidence to expand what I have put in place.


Sheila Squillante, MFA Creative Writing


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.


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:


  • 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


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.



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

Peggy Stubbs, Ph.D. Psychology


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.


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.


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.


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
Feminist Teacher, Vol. 19, No. 3 (2009), pp. 195-215
Published by: University of Illinois Press

Dr. Ali Panopto

Ali Abdulsattar Abdulrahman, Ph.D. Biology


PanoptoI was really totally blind to many items regarding usage of technology before joining Chatham at Dec. 2011. Yes, I have a little bit knowledge on PowerPoint and Word for preparing lectures and while in 2012, I recorded my lectures using Panopto,  I wanted to KNOW, more and more.

So, I applied to the Technology Fellowship program in 2014 and entered with a healthy combination of ambivalence, skepticism, and lack of confidence.  Like a moth to a flame, I knew that I wanted to learn some new teaching skills and to see if some of this technology stuff was really helpful to me and students.

My project goals were:

  1. Gain confidence in the technology, especially doing Moodle quizzes and tests.
  2. Explore ways to deal with online quizzes in case of system collapse during the test.
  3. Become familiar with a variety of technology teaching tools that would help me save time grading as my graduate classes typically have no less than 40 students in a given term.
  4. Learn about technologies in order to improve my teaching in a way that makes items simple and easy to be absorbed by students.

Implementation and Assessment

In addition to learning more about the iPad, VoiceThread and other technologies, I experimented with learning Moodle quizzes and understanding the AIKEN file format needed to upload multiple choice questions. It is a very simple format, but also very specific regarding spacing and formatting. For example, the question must be all on one line. Each answer must start with a single uppercase letter, followed by a period ‘.’ or a bracket ‘)’, then a space. The answer line must immediately follow, starting with “ANSWER: ” (NOTE the space after the colon) and then giving the appropriate letter.

Which LMS has the most quiz import formats?
A. Moodle
B. ATutor
C. Claroline
D. Blackboard
E. WebCT

Which LMS has the most quiz import formats?
A) Moodle
B) ATutor
C) Claroline
D) Blackboard
E) WebCT

Successes and Challenges

The advantages of this approach are many. The convenience of being able to import questions into Moodle is worth the time and effort as it avoids quiz questions by having to be added one by one. In addition, once the questions are in Moodle, they are saved in a quiz bank, so they can be edited and reused in a later course. Since the AIKEN format includes the answers, Moodle will automatically grade the questions saving time for the instructor. Finally, online quizzes are useful for students to be able to review material in preparation for future exams.

The challenge to this approach is learning the AIKEN format and making sure the formatting is absolutely correct. A missed space, an additional period, or incorrect numbering can quickly halt the import process. Also, potential technical issues are a concern during any online testing. Having a backup plan is important when doing anything with technology.

Next Steps

I plan on implementing the Moodle quizzes into my BIO 503 in Fall 2015. I also plan to survey the students to see if the prefer online testing and make changes if needed. In addition, my goals for next year are:

  • Implement online quizzes for the MOT students
  • Continue to learn new technologies that will enhance my teaching
  • Continue to learn new technologies to help me become a more proficient technology user
  • Explore the variety of Anatomy Apps for the iPad for potential use in the classroom


Kristin Harty, Ph.D. Education


I wanted students to work together to create and present material in an online class.

Planning Process

In the field of special education, collaboration is essential therefore pre-service teachers need to learn how to collaborate with other individuals.  In my introductory special education class, EDU 234 Inclusion: Issues and Strategies, I had always had the students present information about various disabilities and it was always a collaborative project. This year was the first year I attempted to place the class online and my goal was still the same for the online class. So now I had to think about using a tool that was simple and would enable them to work together without needing to ever meet face-to-face.  I chose VoiceThread because it was easy to use and would allow the students to coordinate online without ever having to meet face-to-face to record the presentation. I did consider Panopto and PowerPoint, but I wanted to expose students to a different tool.


Most people think of using VoiceThread to aid in online discussion, so I first used the VoiceThread tool early in the semester for online discussion of single questions. This allowed the students to become familiar with the tool prior to using it for their project. I then developed a rubric for the presentation and also modeled how to place and record a PowerPoint presentation on VoiceThread.

I had the students use the tool as a final project so that 1) they had time to familiarize themselves with VoiceThread and 2) they had enough time to plan with their partner.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 2.16.12 PM

This project was very successful. All students in the class were able to create a PowerPoint presentation via VoiceThread. For most students the project was easy to implement. One challenge was that I had to constantly remind students to make the presentation public so we could view them. Another challenge was that in one pairing I could only hear one student’s voice. It took several days emailing back and forth to correct that error. Also, I would like to find an easier way to make the students responsible for communicating to the class that their presentation is available and can be viewed.


An informal survey was given to the 20 students at the end of the semester. Students were asked to answer the following questions.

  1. On a scale of 1-5 (1 being uncomfortable to 5 being extremely comfortable), how would you rank your comfort level with technology?
  2. How comfortable are you with VoiceThread?
  3. Have you used VoiceThread before?
  4. Have you created an oral presentation online prior to this class?
  5. What technology tool did you use?
  6. Now think about one tool compared to voice thread. On a scale of 1-5 (1 being easier to 5 meaning more difficult), was VoiceThread easier or more difficult?
  7. Would you recommend using VoiceThread again?
  8. Any other information you would like to share?

The majority of the students had used VoiceThread in a previous class (all but three) and those three students were from a different institution. No student had used the Voicethread tool for a presentation. Fourteen students stated that they had created an oral presentation online prior to class using Panopto  (10) or PowerPoint (4) using narration audio.  One student stated that PowerPoint was easier, 3 people said that VoiceThread was easier than PowerPoint. The ten students who had used Panopto  all said that VoiceThread was easier than Panopto .

Perceived/Determined Value and Next Steps

I was very happy that I was able to maintain an important project in my course despite the course being online. Most students found VoiceThread easy to use and their projects were good. After implementing this project, I feel that VoiceThread is a viable option for online group presentations.

I would like to continue using VoiceThread in my online classes to spark discussion. In the future I will be posting more presentations on VoiceThread with questions embedded in the PowerPoint. So while students view the PowerPoint, they will be able to stop and ask or answer a question.

Anthony Isacco

Anthony Isacco, Ph.D. Counseling Psychology



I am a paradox to many – I am an early career professional but a complete late adapter when it comes to technology!  Case in point – I still have a basic talk/text phone from 2008.  Nope, no iPhone or Samsung Galaxy for me yet.

So, I began the Technology Fellowship with a healthy combination of ambivalence, skepticism, and lack of confidence.  Like a moth to a flame, I did know that I wanted to learn some new teaching skills and to see if some of this technology stuff was really helpful to me and students.

My project goals were:

  1. Learn a bunch of technology teaching tools
  2. Gain confidence in the technology
  3. Use the technology to improve my teaching and help students learn

Implementation and Assessment

Panopto: I taught a Research Methods class and made an instructional video about qualitative research coding.

Student Feedback: The video was underutilized by students.  The feedback that I received from most students was that they forgot the video was posted to Moodle because they never had a professor post supplemental videos before.  A couple students did remember and reported that the video was helpful with their homework.

Google Hangout/Skype & Google Documents/DropboxThe Research Methods class included a group project that required students to analyze a dataset as a team.  In the past, students complained about the logistics of the assignment (e.g., multiple in-person meetings, emailing documents, etc…).  I gave extra credit to students if they used technology to improve logistics.  Many students used a combination of video-conferencing and cloud-based, shared storage to manage the project.  The students loved the convenience that technology provided and the extra credit points! : )

Group 1: Throughout the development of our research project, we found technology to be very beneficial.  We found Dropbox to be a very useful tool. Dropbox is a program that allowed us to access one document which could be edited at any time by any of the group members. We were able to track everyone’s progress by each member choosing a font color, signifying it was he/she who had written the post. Instead of getting in your car, driving to campus, opening up a notebook, Dropbox allowed us to work from home at any time that was convenient to us. We found this to be especially helpful because our group was the largest containing four people.

Group 2: We used google docs for our technology and we just completed the entire lab on this document.  This was very helpful, as it allowed us to contribute to one document even if we were not in the same physical location and on the same computer.  It also allowed us to just sign onto google docs to contribute instead of having a flash drive or other type of document.  This made updating our lab much easier.

Group 3: Our group capitalized on the use of technology and virtual communication throughout the project. By using the easily accessible and user friendly Google Drive and Google+, we were able to communicate by sharing documents, progress notes, and questions that surfaced throughout the project. Google+ allowed us to create a communication circle where we could easily communicate through posting to our group wall with links, comments, and meeting reminders. Google drive allowed us to upload our documents so that each member would have access to update the documents, all while being revised and saved in real time.

Sample Feedback from Students

Poll Everywhere: Poll Everywhere is a simple way to compose a poll as part of a presentation.  I used Poll Everywhere in all of my classes as well as for professional conference presentations.  The technology increases engagement and often is a catalyst for larger group discussions.

Feedback:  Universally, students and professionals love Poll Everywhere.  You get to text in your answers and the results show up on the screen in real time.  Students like being able to use their cell phones during class instead of being told to put them away.  Below is an email I received after the conference from a colleague.

Dear Anthony,

Quick question–I thought I had written it down…but what was the name of the app you demonstrated so beautifully in Atlanta during our presentation?


VoiceMemos for Grading and Student Feedback: I bought a voice memo app for .99 cents, which I use for grading assignments and giving feedback to students.  Very easy to use.  I like the voice grading a lot better than writing all of my feedback on student assignments because students can understand my tone and style a lot better and seem to accept constructive feedback easier.

Sample Feedback from Students

Student 1: I think the voice memo is FANTASTIC!  It totally took me by surprise, but it felt as though we were having a face to face meeting!

Student 2: Wow! What a cool way to give feedback. Thanks Dr. Isacco!

Successes and Challenges

When I received my iPad, I didn’t even know how to turn it on!  I knew implementing my ideas was going to be a challenge.  My first success was turning on my iPad.  Since that magical moment, I had a lot of fun using Polleverywhere, VoiceMemos, and encouraging students to use technology.  I also use my iPad for note taking all my meetings, to-do list (Wunderlist is a great app for this and free), and has basically replaced my laptop.

I can see how technology can increase student engagement, make classes more fun and interactive, and improve logistics on assignments.  Making instructional Panopto videos as supplemental material for my Research Methods class was a challenge.  Even I found the video a bit boring and I would like to figure out a way to increase student utilization of the videos.  Learning new technology is frustrating at times and not everything works all of the time.

Goals Met!

1. Learn a bunch of technology teaching tools
2. Gain confidence in the technology
3. Use the technology to improve my teaching and help students learn

Next Steps

  1. Make better use of Panopto videos for upcoming Research Methods class in Fall 2014.
  2. Develop a hybrid or purely online course within the next year.
  3. Keep using the tools that I learned and like.

Thanks, Anthony

Andres Carrillo, Ph.D. Exercise Science


As a 2013-2014 faculty technology fellow I addressed a teaching related topic. The main objective of my project was to initiate the conversion of a scientific research methods course (IND 350) into a hybrid learning course. Specifically, some of the material previously covered in a traditional classroom setting was replaced by online learning activities. The main assignments that were replaced by online learning activities included in-class presentations and in-class discussions. The in-class presentations were replaced by online presentations using Panopto. Panopto is a video capture and management software that was used to record each student’s presentation. In-class discussions were complimented by and expanded on with the use of online discussions through Moodle. This allowed for extensive student interaction that led to valuable discussion and analysis of course material.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 1.43.04 PM

A secondary objective was to incorporate technological methods of learning into a kinesiology course (EXS 345). EXS 345 is a course that heavily relies on figures/pictures of anatomy to generate discussion on movement analyses. PollEverywhere is a program that was introduced to the students as an in-class technological method of generating discussion on a particular aspect of the course. PollEverywhere is a software that allows students to respond in real time to prompts that are introduced by the instructor. All answers provided by the students are integrated into a figure that are immediately updated when a response is submitted.

Planning Process 

During the faculty technology summer workshop time was spent relating a potential use of technology to specific learning outcomes. An important part of the IND 350 course is to match a student with a faculty member who would serve as their tutorial adviser. After some thought regarding the teaching and learning value of implementing a certain technology, my initial plan for the IND 350 course was to have the science faculty use Panopto to record their research interests for all the students to watch as they pleased. The videos would available for the following years and could be updated as needed. The main idea (or plan) was to use technology as a way to provide the students with more of an individualistic approach to selecting a research topic and preparing for their tutorial. This is relevant because the students in this course range from mathematics to exercise science.

After some discussion with other faculty members I decided to have the students complete their final presentations using Panopto instead of having the faculty record their research interests. This decision was mainly because of logistics, but I’m still hopeful that once more faculty become familiar with the program, videos can be made on their research that can be distributed to the IND 350 students.


During the fall 2014 semester, Lauren Panton and myself introduced and assisted the IND 350 students with the Panopto program. At first there seemed to be some resistance with the incorporation of online presentations rather than the traditional in-class presentation. After a while, however, the students become familiar with the program and carried out the task with few problems. The recorded presentations were made available to all students, but they were required to evaluate only five. This was found to be a much more efficient use of time given that there were ~25 presentations. The students liked that they could watch the presentations that were most relevant to them.

As mentioned above, the use of PollEverywhere was incorporated into the kinesiology class (EXS 345) as an additional way to review for exams. Prompts were provided along with relevant figures. After each question, we would have a short discussion on the topic. Thus, it also served as an efficient way to stimulate an organized discussion. Other than a few students having problems with submitting the response, the feedback was quite positive.


I generated an online discussion for the purpose of generating student feedback. The feedback regarding Panopto was mixed. The majority of students felt that it was beneficial to learn a new technology like Panopto. A few students, however, felt uncomfortable with the idea of presenting to a computer screen. Others realized the importance and growth of technology use in society. One student said: “I think that technology is something that is continuously growing in our society. More companies than you would think are turning to making videos rather than do in-person conferences. For example, if you are working on a project for a large corporation that is located in several cities, they would do a video conference rather than fly everyone to the same location. I think it is a medium that we should try and get used to using. It may not be terribly comfortable, but it is always good to learn new skills.”

Feedback regarding PollEverywhere was positive. The students found this technology useful as a way to review the material and stimulate an organized discussion.

Value/Next Steps

The use of Panopto was valuable and I hope to encourage the rest of science faculty to generate their own research videos so that we can distribute them to the IND 350 students. Perhaps in the future I’ll spend more time making sure the students are comfortable with the software. Also, next time I teach the course I hope to incorporate the use of Voice Thread as an online discussion tool rather than using Moodle. I will also continue to use PollEverywhere as it was a useful tool and the feedback I received was positive.

Debby Rubin

Debby Rubin, Ph.D. Social Work


When teaching classes involving hands on skills such as interviewing and assessment, it is easy to dismiss technology as being impractical, inappropriate or just ‘not as good’ as traditional methods. When I considered how I wanted to use technology to help students develop their basic social work interviewing techniques, I realized that, despite this, I have always incorporated some type of technology. Years ago it was a classroom with an observation booth and microphones, later it VCRs and big bulky cameras. Until recently, access to cameras and other technology by students was challenging but now most of the barriers have been overcome. Since Chatham provides Macintosh laptops to incoming students, most have the capability to record assignments easily. Beyond that, I wanted to provide an experience where students became comfortable as critical thinkers about their own and others work. Developing interviewing skills takes practice but it also requires feedback from others. Students were often reluctant to provide feedback in the classroom beyond praise and there was never enough time to provide both didactic course material and frequent role-playing and practice.


I decided to see if Panopto could provide a solution to this challenge. It provided an easy user interface for students to record role-playing and practice interviews as well as the ability for students to watch each other’s recording and make comments.



One immediate challenge was a part time Chatham University undergraduate who did not have access to a laptop computer because of her part time status. She was able to work with other students to use their technology and access to Panopto through the computer labs. In the end it was not a problem but did underscore the technology divide which might be more acute at other places. The support of the instructional technology department through the technology fellows made a positive difference in both my willingness to incorporate Panopto in to my class and students’ ability to use it effectively. Having Lauren come to class and help students get started using Panopto prevented many technical concerns and glitches along the way.


Students reported that they liked using Panopto and didn’t seem to have the kind of difficulties I had seen in previous years (e.g. “the technology didn’t work”; “my video disappeared from my flash drive” etc.) which made it much easier for me.  The grading was also significantly easier because I could watch and comment on the videos from any computer or tablet. The quality of the student comments and feedback was much more specific than in years past, however, students still remain hesitant to give much constructive criticism to each other. Students’ performance seemed to be better and more polished than similar assignments in previous years but I am not sure whether using Panopto had anything to do with this improvement. Not everyone actually provided comments for every video even though it was part of the assignment.

Value and Next Steps

Doing this assignment using Panopto was valuable and I think added to students comfort level in interviewing. Some of this group will be completing a social work field placement next year and I will ask them if this technology helped prepare them. Now that I am more comfortable with Panopto, I will use it again and expand the number of videos that students complete. I would like them to do one at the very beginning of the class and one at the end as a pre/post measure.


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
: 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


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!!

Ingrid Provident

Ingrid Provident, Ed.D. Occupational Therapy


This semester I have used technology to focus on paperless grading through various means…. Track changes within Word and summary Panopto’s to give students overall feedback


Using Panopto allows students to see the instructor and can be useful to provide the face to face feel similar to when you address an entire class to provide general feedback. Panopto feature allows the instructor to set the stage by over viewing assignments and providing follow up feedback in a non-threatening way and also serves to as teachable moments…

Successes and Challenges

Student feedback has been positive in an online environment as it gives a sense of personal connection and a human quality to the technology.


Plan to assess the feedback of students on different forms of feedback, individualized using track changes vs. global feedback to the group using Panopto. No assessment data has been gathered yet, however anecdotally students have responded positively to the Panopto videos.

Perceived pedagogical or teaching value

Allows the instructor to provided feedback to the entire group rather than repeating multiple times to individual students. Also allows the instructor to explain using vocal intonations and comments in a video which may change the impact of the feedback and/or decrease the misinterpretation that purely written feedback can have.

Next steps

Have students use Panopto to provide peer feedback to one another to further explain their feedback.

Emily Hopkin

Emily Hopkins, Ph.D. Nursing


To explore different IT modalities to enhancing teaching through the recording of instructions and different course related topics for students.

Planning Process

Different recording options were explored such as Panopto, Doceri, and Camtasia Studio for feasibility and ease of use.  It was determined that Panopto was one of the easiest ways to provide feedback verbally to students for things such as course updates, feedback on discussion forums, and any further instruction on course assignments.  However, Panopto was not the best method for detailed power point slides because of the size of the slide being reduced and not fitting the entire computer screen.  Camtasia Studio was found to be expensive.  Fortunately, it was available for use in CCPS and could display the entire slide being presented.  Although I was unable to zoom in to emphasize parts of the slide— the mouse could be used to move the arrow over important content which was then recorded on the screen.  Given Camtasia Studio was less accessible for use—it was decided to use it for recording content that could benefit the DNP program at large, rather than for individual courses.



The plan did change some—since originally, I was hoping to record many lectures for several new MSN courses.  Instead—Panopto was used for weekly updates and to assist with preparation for course exams.  However, it was determined that updating our eIRB instructions for all DNP students could be done with Camtasia Studio.  In the future, Camtasia Studio may also be used to assist all MSN students with their PBworks ePortfolios.


Overall, use of Panopto and Camtasia Studio worked nicely. At this point there is nothing I would change about using either.


Panopto assessment was done informally—by noting comments in student emails, through phone conversations with students, and comments noted on teaching evaluations. Many stated it was a nice personal touch and they felt a connection in being able to see me.  The Camtasia Studio IRB recording will be evaluated informally through student comments as well as nursing faculty in noting if the presentation helped with their advisee’s eIRB submission.

Perceived/Determined Value and Next Steps

Recording myself really taught me the value of being organized for sounding professional.  Often, I had to do several attempts as I wanted to talk directly to them and not read off a scripted note.  I am planning to use Panopto for further instructions on specific course assignments—That way a student can read over the assignment guidelines and make notes as to its expectations as I am talking to them.   For Camtasia Studio, I will be looking for other opportunities to record projects that will assist cohorts of students in any of our nursing programs.  I may also still consider it for future MSN lectures—though it will require lots of prep and recording time and may be difficult to coordinate with schedules in CCPS.


Debra Wolf, Ph.D. Nursing

1st Year Faculty Technology


Over the past year, I used the iPad (with Evernote and iAnnotate apps) to support paperless grading and the software (Panopto and VoiceThread) to create a traditional classroom feel within an online program.  The intent is to explore opportunities to create a more personal welcoming environment within an online program were students visually see and hear each other in a virtual asynchronized environment.


Currently using the iPad to create voice files to offer students personal feedback on papers.  Used Panopto to offer welcoming messages at the beginning of each semester. Panopto also supports tutorials to offer students video/audio lectures on how to perform certain required tasks/assignments.   VoiceThread supported students with initial introductions to classmates and to have personal audio/video asynchronized discussions.


Initially, I had a limited number of students who volunteered to participate in voice feedback grading during pilot trial. Those who participated spoke highly of the personal verbal feedback that was offered.  Will use voice comments for all students this term. Panopto is extremely popular and very well received. I had numerous comments reflecting positive impact from students. Learning curve for students to use VoiceThread and to find program to open voice files on graded assignments. Process creates additional prep time for faculty.

Perceived value

Welcoming environment where students do not feel alone in an online educational program.  Encourages and supports peer bonding and building of relationships.

* Giving student feedback using voice recordings with track changes. This was down on the iPad
* Evernote/iAnnotate (iPad apps)
* Panopto (Lecture capturing)
* VoiceThread (Voice discussion forums)


2nd Year Faculty Technology Plan

In preparing curricular content for a new MSN Nursing Informatics degree, my goals for year two will shift to  guiding faculty and nursing students in using the Internet, social media and innovative technology safely. Below are two goals I am striving to meet:

1. To guide faculty and students in the safe use of the Internet, social media and innovative technology within curricular content. Explore and outline articles/policy guiding faculty and students.

2. Integration of Social media into curricular design as course assignments supporting the use innovative technology to advance healthier lifestyles in the community.

Here is a link to social media guidelines for in the classroom shared by our FTF leaders “Becky Bush and Lauren Panton”  (thank you) 

Please feel free to contact me if interested in more detail on what I have learned or currently doing. Hope this is helpful.

~~ Best, Deb (412 365 1547 dwolf@chatham.edu )

Pat Downey

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.