Janet Bucey, OTD – Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Project Overview

The technology road to assessment of learning and teaching excellence

My technology fellows projects has been to systematically boost student learning and teaching expertise using technology – specifically to assess student learning and instructional effectiveness.  I have done this primarily by exploring, learning, and utilizing new technology. The project involved the use of a WordPress educational blog site as a portal for a large student group assignment, the integration of FlipGrid and Padlet as a classroom student response/engagement tools, the development of online testing through Moodle and then Brightspace, the development of a specific substance use module with pre and post Qualtrics for surveys, expansion of learning options through use of video competencies, zoom instruction and small group learning activities.  Further goals include embedding rubrics and audio messages into Brightspace for more efficient and individual feedback and increasing the variety of question types in electronic tests.report with Results, Discussion, and Conclusion sections.

Project Planning

My approach was to address professional development teaching goals and to better understand student’s learning.  I want to gain skills but also stay contemporary, model adaptability in the pandemic and recognize that some old school teaching ways are no longer effective. Learning teaching technology is the best way to accomplish all these things.

I considered teaching evaluations, peer feedback and my own appraisal of needs to gain teaching skills. I also aligned with the university goals to improve teaching technology opportunities and program goals of making learning more accessible.

Project Implementation

Started with developing an alternative to a paper portfolio for occupational therapy student assignment called Community Based Program (CBP). This involved setting up a website template through Chatham’s Educational Blog sites in which the students would create websites to describe and demonstrate their experiences and learning of their community-based fieldwork. An assessment survey through Qualtrics and emails was created and utilized. It contained likert scale and open ended questions.

Next, was expansion of technology in assignments and classroom activities to increase engagement of students and to assess real time learning.  Added Flipgrid, Google shared drive, polling and Padlet activities.

Began testing through Moodle and then later Brightspace learning platform

Added one Qualtrics survey to teaching module entitled “The Opioid Crisis”.

Then the abrupt shift to virtual due to the pandemic occurred and required further growth in technology. All instruction shifted to video and Zoom based instruction. I utilized breakout groups and Google documents for group work, Padlet and polls for classroom, and added proctorial while continuing to do tests online through learning platform. Flipgrid provided to be effective in the students demonstrating their understanding of materials.

During this time, I reassessed use of WordPress blog and primarily the student’s comfort at utilizing a new technology in the midst of adjusting to many other new technologies and shifted to requiring a word document presentation of the CBP.

And lastly, this past year has been focused on moving all courses to Brightspace and learning grading and organizing tools in this new platform.

Project Assessment

Formally assessed the use of:

  1. WordPress educational blog for migration of CBP. Qualtrics survey of likert scale and open ended questions for students. Email distributed likert scale and open ended question survey of faculty mentors who completed most of the grading. Results: Recognized need for electronic rubric following the migration to WordPress.
  2. Teaching module survey: Utilized Qualtrics survey that has been used since and is gathering significant data regarding the effectiveness of the module for knowledge gain. Results: module is effective and worthy of sharing

Informally assessed the use of:

  1. Flipgrid use: Students reported in course review that they enjoyed the use of the Flipgrid.  It was easy to use and made for an enjoyable assignment. When I asked for classroom feedback most reported that they were comfortable with the video platform and like the ability to chat between each other. All were able to access technology and successfully completed the assignment.
  2. Testing online: My own view of testing online is that is saves time and paper relative to the scantron format that I previously utilized. There was also more flexibility in adjusting scores relative to class performance and alternating questions from test to test. Students struggled with some access to the test when using Proctorio; they required additional assistance from technology and additional time for some to gain access. The majority of students were satisfied. The learning portal site also allowed students taking test in the learning center – easy access. Many students prefer testing on paper and will request a paper copy of test as well.  This copy has to be created separately from learning portal which can take significant time, which is an area to be explored in the future.

Project Reflections and Next Steps

What worked:

  • Testing online – although full of errors still, accessing online testing instructor materials
  • Flip grid, Google drive share, and Padlet – easy and engaging
  • WordPress blog – too complicated for students within challenging semester. Would be better integrated into learning platform or simpler website (SWAY). Word document lacks interest but gives opportunity to practice and distribute work in professional documentation styles. Will be weighing the benefits for choice this fall
  • Use of Qualtrics on regular basis will be a helpful ongoing piece to assess learning – learning inventories
  • Chose not to use some resources and that not all resources need to be utilized. Also learned that people have limited capacity to new technologies and that the stress of learning the technology can impact learning. Will utilize the same technologies for the cohorts for major pieces of learning.
  • I learned that one step at a time and openness to change is important in technology. We will always be adapting to different learning styles and new resources. I believe that proving engaging instruction and being able to regularly assess the learning – using whichever technology is available is the important point.
  • Supports of Tech Fellows – experts and resources were plentiful
  • Barriers – time, support for this type of growth, pandemic limitations, inexperience as a teacher.

Just as I was beginning to feel more confident about on the ground teaching, the pandemic struck. Development shifted again from enhancement of practices to survival in a new context – online or virtual instruction.  I realized quickly that modeling adaptability and being resilient in the context of school was necessary to lead the students.

Next steps:

  • Review instruction on how to create an online test, creating rubrics well, creating portfolios
  • Develop for new course OTH 767 a group assessment of student’s self-directed learning using technology
  • Rubric mastery in Brightspace
  • Utilize module-based learning inventories regularly
  • Implement changes based on data for CBP and opioid teaching module
  • Practice use of narrated PowerPoints and audio notes in Brightspace
  • Utilize iPad for classes and regular recording and access to information. Sync Notebook across all technology and utilize stylus for iPad for notetaking.

Dr. Nataliya Myshakina – Chemistry

Project Overview

Project 1: Use of Turnitin tool in Writing Intensive Course

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

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

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

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

Project Planning

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

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

Project Implementation

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

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

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

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

Project Assessment

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

Informal assessment :

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

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

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

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

Project Reflections and Next Steps

Project 1

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

Project 2 

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

Dr. Gina Zanardelli – Counseling Psychology

Project Overview

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

Project Planning

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

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

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

Project Implementation

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

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


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

Project Assessment

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

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

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

Feedback response

Project Reflections and Next Steps

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

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

What I learned:

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

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

Dr. Meigan Robb – Nursing

Project Overview

Providing feedback regarding a student’s level of proficiency with writing can be a daunting process for faculty.  Within the online learning environment numerous challenges must be overcome when communicating with students about their writing behaviors and processes.  For example, feedback rarely occurs in real time, a personal connection is often lacking, and there is limited opportunity for open dialogue about the feedback with the student “in class”.  For my project, I explored the use of technology to deliver writing feedback in the online learning environment.  Technology tools that supported best practices of effective written and recorded feedback were incorporated in a doctoral level writing intensive capstone course in the Spring semester of 2017.

Planning Process

Various planning steps had to completed prior to implementing this project.  First, I turned to the literature to identify types and characteristics of effective writing feedback.  Then, through conversations with Instructional Technology I explored the use of technology tools to support the delivery of effective writing feedback.  I selected the annotation / editing tool Track Changes / Comments in Word, the audio recording tool PoodLL, and the interactive presentation tool VoiceThread.  Lastly, I reviewed various “how to” guides and websites under the direction of Instructional Technology regarding how to incorporate the selected tools in the Moodle platform.


Upon implementation of this project I reached out to students via a group email to explain how technology would be used to deliver feedback on written assignments in the course.  Student writing assignments for this course include submitting drafts and final versions of eight different chapters that encompass a culminating capstone project.  For each submitted draft individual written feedback using Track Changes / Comments in Word and individual recorded feedback using PoodLL was provided.  Both approaches were modeled to reflect best practice standards of effective writing feedback (meaningful, focused, clear, personalized) while providing: 1) general praise (Appreciation for what was done well), 2) informative, issue specific comments (Feed-Forward directions regarding what needs to change to be successful), and 3) support (Coaching by providing specific examples and resources for the student to model writing behaviors and processes after).

Written feedback (Track Changes / Comments in Word) was provided at the word / sentence level.  Use of this tool allowed me to provide specific content and editing suggestions and examples.  The tool also allowed the student to locate, address, and/or correct specific areas in his/her assignment.  Each annotated file was uploaded to the course in Moodle for each student to independently review via the assignment submission link in the course.  Here is an example of Feed-Forward and Coaching feedback I provided using Track Changes / Comments in Word:

“In this section you need to identify how you plan to analyze the collected data.  For example, will you calculate a percent change in means?  Also, you need to identify what benchmark you will use to determine project effectiveness.  For example, does the literature support a benchmark of a 20% increase in knowledge scores post intervention?  For additional examples please refer back to the handouts provided in NUR707.”

Recorded feedback (PoodLL) was provided at the global level (e.g., overall quality, structure, and organization).  Use of this tool allowed me to established a sense of faculty presence and a personal connection with the student.  The tool also softened the written feedback I provided.  Since PoodLL is a Moodle plugin, students were able to independently listen and download the audio file via the assignment submission link in the course.  Here is an example of Appreciation and Feed-Forward feedback I provided using PoodLL:

“Hi Jill, nice work on your introduction!  Your approach helped set the tone of the paper.  You have a few areas that are lacking specific details.  Please be sure to carefully review the attached feedback regarding your proposed measurement tools and data analysis plans.  Please contact me with any questions.  Keep up the great work!”

Upon completion of the final version of the first four chapters of the capstone document, written feedback with recorded feedback using VoiceThread was provided to the group.  This approach was modeled to reflect best practice standards of effective writing feedback (meaningful, focused, clear, personalized) while providing: 1) general praise (Appreciation for what was done well), 2) informative, issue specific comments (Feed-Forward directions regarding what needs to change to be successful), and 3) support (Coaching by providing specific examples and resources for the student to model writing behaviors and processes after).

Written feedback and Recorded feedback (VoiceThread) was provided at the course level.  Use of this tool allowed the student to form an awareness of where he/she stood in relation to meeting assignment goals.  The tool also allowed the student to identify what steps needed to be taken next (individual goal-setting).  The VoiceThread provided both illustrations and narrative tips directed towards modeling effective and efficient writing behaviors and processes.  Content included: 1) Strategies for setting writing goals, 2) Approaches for managing writing time, and 3) Steps for addressing required revisions.  Since VoiceThread is a Moodle plugin, students were able to independently view and listen to the presentation in the course.


At the midpoint of the course, I used Google Forms to assess the students’ perspective of usefulness of the strategies implemented to deliver writing feedback.  Aggregate findings are provided below:

Strategy most useful in allowing the students to identify which areas of the assignment they were most successful at writing:

Strategy most useful in allowing the students to identify which areas of the assignment they needed to improve:

Strategy most useful in allowing the students to identify which writing behaviors they needed to change:

These findings are not surprising when viewed within the context of work performed by Richard Mayer in regards to a multimedia learner.  The students’ responses reflect Mayer’s principles that people learn better:

  • from narration combined with illustrations than narration or text alone.
  • when they know the characteristics of the main concepts.
  • when words are in conversational style rather than formal style.

VoiceThread was the only strategy used that combined illustrations with narration.  Written feedback using Track Changes / Comments in Word and recorded feedback using PoodLL were provided independently from one another.  VoiceThread was utilized once the students completed the first four chapters of their capstone.  Hence, one may conclude that the students had a firm understanding of the requirements of the culminating assignment.  The provided narration was spoken in a friendly personally tone, with attention directed towards conveying a message of instructor presence and support.

Success and Challenges

I believe this project was successful.  Exploring the use of technology to deliver writing feedback in the online learning environment allowed me to self-reflect on my “feedback style” and “feedback philosophy”.  Through incorporating technology, I was better able to be in-tune with students’ writing needs and feedback expectations.  On the other hand, changing my approach was also a challenge.  I had to devote considerably more time in reading and responding to each student’s written work.  I had to be more cognizant of making sure I reflected best practice standards; while consistently providing general praise, informative – issue specific comments, and examples and resources for the student to model writing behaviors and processes after.

Next Steps

Next steps stemming from this project include:

  1. Continue to explore the work of Richard Mayer in regards to a multimedia learner. Evaluation findings from this project suggest students feel they benefit best from writing feedback when it is provided in a way that 1) allows them to form an awareness of where they stand in relation to meeting assignment goals and 2) facilitates the development of individual goal-setting.
  2. Develop a plan to further incorporate the use of VoiceThread to positively influence writing behaviors and processes of doctoral students in an online program.

Chapter 1 Rubric PDF

Jennifer Lape, OTD Occupational Therapy

Project Overview

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

Planning Process

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

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

Goals for the project included:

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


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

redesigned rubric

Click to see redesigned rubric.

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

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

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

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


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

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

Reflections and Next Steps

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

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

My goals for year 2 include:

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

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

Sheryl St. Germain

Sheryl St. Germain, Ph.D. Creative Writing


My primary objective was to enhance and improve my teaching with technology, and to be able to share whatever I learned with the MFA faculty.  Secondary objectives were to learn to use Prezi to create more vibrant presentations both to promote the MFA program and to utilize in our hybrid classes.

Planning Process

I wanted to be able to respond more fully to student work.  I read a lot of papers and usually comment on them in written format.  Sometimes I use “track changes,” but I sense students just glaze over those.  I wanted to find a technology that would allow me to respond orally to their pieces.  I also wanted something very easy to use.  I wanted to be able to record my comments, save them, and email them to the student or make them available via dropbox.

I reviewed five or six technologies over the course of several months that allow you to record comments.  I found the one that was best for my purposes is called Voice Memo.  It is extremely easy to use; you simply press a button; and allows you to record quite a bit.  There are apps available for cell phones as well as iPads.  You can mail directly to student when you are done or save somewhere like Dropbox.


I also worked on my secondary technology, Prezi, at this time, over a period of several months to create two presentations.


In Spring of 2014 I used Voice Memo in lieu of written comments to respond to students drafts in my graduate level Nature Writing course.  The students loved it, and I got lots of positive comments from them.  I also developed a Prezi to use in the Virtual MFA Open Houses, and another one to use on a stand-alone lecture on the Lyric Essay, which I used at a recent literary festival in Mississippi where I was invited to do a Master Class on the Lyric Essay.


I received positive comments from students in my class and I felt positive about using Voice Memo. I found that I was able to say more in 5-7 minutes, than I could write in that same time period, and I was able to present critiques in a more friendly way so that students’ next drafts seemed much improved.  I could tell they were listening very carefully to my comments.

My Prezis were also quite successful both at our Open House and at the literary festival in Mississippi on the Lyric Essay.

 Value/Next Steps

I will continue to use Voice Memo in all of my classes, and encourage my faculty to use them.  I am much more comfortable with Prezi now, and can design courses and help faculty design courses using this technology.

Katie Cruger, Ph.D. Communications

Using Turnitin’s “Grademark” features to Increase Efficiency and Efficacy of Written Comments

Dr. Katie Cruger
Assistant Professor, Communication
Director, Professional Writing Program


While I used this first year as technology fellow to tweak my courses (online, on ground, and hybrid) in many different ways, I’ve chosen to use this space to share my success incorporating Turnitin for efficient and effective paperless grading at the undergraduate level.

I wanted to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Decrease the amount of time I spent downloading papers, making comments, uploading feedback to moodle, etc., which was much greater than hard copy grading practices
  • Increase usefulness of comments to students
  • Increase the likelihood that students would actually read/incorporate electronic feedback in future work or revisions
image 1

Image 1: The grademark screen in Turnitin.


Beginning in Summer of 2013, once Moodle 2.0 was available, I used Turnitin Assignments for all student submissions of written work (both group assignments and individual papers and proposals). I utilized the following key features of Turnitin:

1)    Originality Report: This is the part of Turnitin that faculty members are most familiar with, and we often use it as a way of catching/proving plagiarism. However, in lower level courses, this is also a great tool for reinforcing information literacy. It lets students see, in a relatively low-stakes environment, when they are relying too heavily on any particular source, when they haven’t done enough to move from a quotation to a paraphrase, etc.

2)    Quickmarks: This feature allows an instructor to drag and drop a standardized comment anywhere in the document. You can edit or make additions to any of these comments, as well as create your own quickmarks for feedback you provide often to students. For sentence level errors and suggestions, it both decreases the time spent giving comments and increases the amount of information students receive about a punctuation rule or the difference between there/they’re/their.

Image 2: A customized quickmark with additional comments for the student.

Image 2: A customized quickmark with additional comments for the student.

Image 3: The quickmark as it appears in the paper. Students hover over the mark or click to read full comments.

Image 3: The quickmark as it appears in the paper. Students hover over the mark or click to read full comments.

3)    Grademark General Comments: Turnitin allows instructors to leave overall feedback on the paper either in text format or as a voice comment.

Image 4: General Comment view, including text feedback, voice comment, numerical grade, and percentage similarity with other sources.

Image 4: General Comment view, including text feedback, voice comment, numerical grade, and percentage similarity with other sources.


When I compared the amount of time I spent grading a Turnitin Assignment (vs. a regular moodle assignments the previous semester, or using iAnnotate and a stylus to mark PDF copies of papers two semesters ago) I spent less than a third of the time (7.5 minutes vs. 25 minutes) per 5-page paper.

Furthermore, I was much happier with the quality and quantity of feedback I was able to provide students. Quickmark comments are thorough, and offer students enough information (in clear text they can read easily) that they are able to incorporate changes in future writing. Their customizability allowed me to tailor a few comments to the style of writing we were working on for a particular assignment without recreating the feedback each time. Voice comments (which limit me to 3 minutes) allow me to quickly talk through the good and the bad of student work and convey enthusiasm and emotion through my voice. This felt particularly important during online courses, where I didn’t have the same face-to-face connection to students.

However, Turnitin does require a little bit more effort from students to retrieve my comments than some other forms of electronic grading. They must first log into moodle, then click on the actual assignment, at which point they are directed to their paper on Turnitin’s server. The process takes about 1 minute, but we know this might be too much effort for some. Once there, students need to toggle between different views in order to see general comments, specific Quickmarks, and the originality report. Although we think of our students as technologically savvy, this has not been my experience when it comes to instructional technologies. Anecdotally, I know a few students struggled to gain access to my comments and asked for help. I can only assume that others struggled and chose not to pursue the matter further. However, I was able to address some of these challenges in productive ways.

Overcoming Challenges

1)    Student User Error: Many students said they “couldn’t see” my comments in Turnitin. This was usually because of one of two problems: either they hadn’t actually clicked on the link and entered turnitin (meaning that they expected all the info to be present in moodle) or they were using a browser that was not compatible. Both were relatively easy fixes. I provided students with instructions for how to use the Grademark feature in Turnitin (see “Resources” below) and stated explicitly in assignment descriptions and in the syllabus that Firefox is the optimal browser for use with moodle and Turnitin. In the future, I may devote classtime to showing students a sample and getting them familiar with the platform.

2)    Instructor User Error: Moodle isn’t always the most user-friendly interface. One quirk with the Turnitin Assignment plugin is that, unprompted, it creates randomized deadlines for all assignments. These parameters are not something that an instructor can amend or disable while they are creating a new assignment. Instead, they must go in and amend the assignment after the fact, so there are two steps to this process. Until I recognized this, students were erroneously notified that their submissions were late, which created some panic.

Next Steps

I will continue to use Turnitin for all my grading in all courses in the future; it’s the best option for my needs and the needs of my students. Additionally, I’d like to incorporate the Peermark feature in my writing-intensive courses, where students must often review one another’s work. Currently, I use Moodle forums or hard copies of papers for these exercises.

I’m also continuing my work exploring VoiceThread to increase student engagement and interaction around course readings in hybrid and online courses.


Student training and GradeMark overview for students

Greg Galford

Greg Galford, Interior Architecture


I chose to implement a technology change into my Visual Communications course that would help bridge the gap between the traditional print portfolio and a digital portfolio. There are several sites that let someone upload pdfs of their graphic work, but they really don’t use technology in any more significant way. I have recognized for a while that this course needed to transform to changes in how potential employers look at young graduates.


With suggestions and searching, a particular new product from San Diego was implemented into the course for the first time. The name of the company/program is Portfolium. The name is a combination of ‘podium’ and ‘portfolio’. The founders of the company recognized the need for young graduates to find new ways to connect to employers beyond current websites that are designed for older workers.

After much of the print portfolio was done, I had my graduate interior architecture students obtain a Portfolium account and begin to build their online presence. Since they had already categorized, edited and designed their print portfolio, they had the items ready for uploading.



I thought that Portfolium was an interesting product and it definitely fulfilled a need that exists in the marketplace. It’s a fairly new company so we don’t have any long history to evaluate for student success. I could see that as a new product, there was a delay in utilizing it, but the eventual portfolios were sufficient. The program does use a similar platform to other social media, so it does feel somewhat comfortable. Using it for the design professions provides some challenge as it was designed originally for business and engineering students. Our graphic needs tend to be greater.


This response from one of my graduate students was typical of the group.
“I think I have completed the Portfolium about 90-95%. It coaches you through what needs filled out while you’re using it. I haven’t used it much since the class ended, but I haven’t been on any social networking lately since I am dealing with Capstone work. I liked Portfolium. I think it definitely has its benefits and is a useful tool to display work. I’m not sure how effective it is as far as networking or landing a job, but it’s an easy option to have work displayed electronically. I think the fact that it links with LinkedIn is nice because I think that is a good site to join. I wish the Portfolium would allow larger pictures and maybe some type of “book” appearance. The way I had to enter projects was a little awkward and some of my projects are divided into 2 folders. I think it’s something I’ll maintain and check minimally… But not regularly like Facebook or LinkedIn.”

Next Steps

I will have a large cohort of Visual Communications students in the fall. I intend to use Portfolium again. I will probably require the students to establish a LinkedIn and/or Facebook presence to coincide with their Portfolium work to leave the course with a more complete package. This course is taught prior to their Professional Practice courses, so having this developed will enable them to enter that class more fully prepared.
I will also try to establish more formal measurements of their satisfaction and use of the Portfolium site. I will also look for similar options that may provide alternatives. I may integrate the use of the Portfolium earlier in the course.


Sherie Edenborn

Sherie Edenborn, Ph.D. Biology


In the Fall of 2012, I developed a series of paperless grading modules using Moodle and iClicker  to conduct weekly assessment in a large (50-100 students) microbiology class for students from the Shadyside School of Nursing.  The assessment modules (Figure 1 ) were integrated into three-hour classes along with activities such as case studies and lectures, and were designed to encourage the development of  basic learning behaviors defined in the cognitive domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy  (knowledge/remember, understand, apply, analyze). These modules do not require the students to have laptop computers in class.

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 10.24.56 PM

Figure 1. Example of a weekly Moodle module.


Each week students were given a homework assignment in Moodle that was designed to help them gain a basic understanding of terms and concepts in microbiology (Knowledge/Remembering). When they came to class each week we reviewed and discussed this information during the first hour of class using an iClicker quiz (Understand).  After the iClicker quiz, the students were asked to use the knowledge they had gained to work through a case study (Apply). In the final hour of class, new information for the following week was introduced using a standard lecture format. After each class, students took a post-quiz using Moodle that integrated what they had learned from the homework, iClicker review, and case study.  This pattern was repeated each week  (Figure 2).

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 5.44.09 PM

Figure 2. Use of Moodle homework, iClicker reviews and case studies to engage different thinking skills as described by Bloom.


  •  Polls and evaluations from students suggest that this approach improved their ability to retain information and apply what they had learned to real-world problems (see student comments).


  • Setting up three electronic quizzes each week and troubleshooting problems was more time-consuming than paper quizzes.
  • Students who had little experience with technology struggled at the beginning of the class.


Student comments on teaching evaluations were largely positive (see below) and in-class polling suggested that the paperless system was preferred to paper exams.



  •  I thought the iClicker was really helpful. We knew right/wrong answers immediately AND discussed them which helped learn information. The Moodle quizzes and homework also help solidify the content of the material. I also like the paperless path. Best of all, the instructor’s passion for microbiology was infectious. Get it? Infectious.

  •  This professor tried, for the first time I believe, to make this course completely paperless. I was worried because I am much older than most of the other students. However, I really liked it. I especially liked the clicker quizzes every week. There were some glitches, which I’m sure can be worked out, but when we took the quiz one question at a time we not only got the results immediately, but the professor then explained why a certain answer was right.

  • There was instant reinforcement. For me, it was a great way to learn. Waiting a week to get a quiz back and then finding out the right answer, I sometimes forget my thinking process in putting the answer that I did. This was so much better. Also, I appreciate the way the professor gave us the resources to be able to find answers as we move on in our nursing careers. She repeated certain topics throughout that she knew we would see in the hospital and gave us the skills to think critically about diseases. I very much appreciate that. I will miss the classes!

  • I liked the case studies and applying the knowledge I learning to working out problems. I liked how everything was online.

  • I loved being able to do the homework and quizzes online from the comfort of my own home and at my own pace.

  • I enjoyed the paperless testing.

  • Loved all the quizzes and clicker tests gave a chance to see the material multiple times and help me retain the information.

  • There is a ton of work but it is what reinforces the concepts and let me retain the info.

  • I enjoyed weekly clicker quizzes rather than larger tests. More work weekly but less stressful. Made class more enjoyable.

  • The best feature was the online assessments. She has this course set up for people to pass it. Plus, with online homework , and quizzes we didn’t kill tons of trees to complete the course. At first it seemed like a lot, but it was definitely manageable. With all of the assessments I also feel like we had a better opportunity to learn the information.

  • I was initially nervous about the majority of assignments being online, but by the end of the semester, I thought this system worked very well. It allowed the students to have a multitude of opportunities for points and how the assignments were layered (homework, clicker quiz, post-class quiz) truly did increase my understanding of the course content.

  • the weekly iClicker quiz was a way to keep me up to date on material. Labs were helpful too.

  • Paperless course is very nice concept! I enjoyed the format, and I think it especially applies to non-traditional students.

  • The best thing was the way she tested us. I liked the paperless system. Also, there were lots of opportunities for points.

  • Its best features are the fact that so much of it was online and Dr E lays out a very specific routine for quizzes and homework. You always know what is expected of you

  • I believe Dr. Edenborn has carefully constructed a wonderful way for us to learn through repetition & application of the material. I think this would be beneficial for other courses to consider using.

  • I found that the homework submissions, the clicker quizzes and post quizzes really made the information stick.

  • The way the Moodle modules were set up with the homework questions and post class quizzes was very beneficial in learning the material. I believe it helped in understanding and applying the material being taught.

  • I believe Dr. E. set the course up in a way to facilitate learning and retention of the material. It was one of the hardest courses I have taken but one in which I feel I have learned the most and will remember the most.

  • I think that implementing the paperless course went well.

  • I liked the clicker quiz every class. I also liked the tons of opportunities to get points in this class.

  • I loved the paperless format. The regular clicker quizzes and online assignments kept the class at a good pace. I retained a lot more information than if the entire class had had only a few tests.

  • I like the new integration of paperless tests and quizzes. I know it was the first year for it and I think it went very well. I like the constant application to real life situations, this definitely aids in learning.

  • I love how it was set up for weekly modules-this really helped me retain the information, because it was reiterated at least 2-3 times.

  • I liked the various learning techniques, even though getting it all done sometimes was challenging.


  • I don’t like the way Moodle is set up. ALL assignments should be displayed in the drop down box, I missed a lot of assignments when the course started because I thought that’s how they were.

  • Well, a lot of her tests and quizzes come from Moodle and there have been more than one occasion where I was taking a quiz and my computer froze or I submitted it and it actually didn’t go through. I would appreciate it if when an error like this did occur if she would be a little more understanding and allow for one to retake it. I think it’s important considering the student actually WANTS to partake in the activity.

  • The online work was adequate but I did get penalized in the beginning of the semester by not taking the lab quiz which closes Friday. It was just strange with so many different due dates in one week.

  • What suggestions do you have for improving either the teaching or the materials of the course? Little bumps in the road with the paperless grading system

  • What suggestions do you have for improving either the teaching or the materials of the course?Learn how to use Moodle before using it with your students.Have you had special difficulties in this course? If so, how could they or how have they been helped? Not using Moodle.

Pedagogical or Teaching Value 

See student comments.

Next Steps

Cross my fingers, migrate the Moodle shell, and try the system out on my class in the Fall of 2013.


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.


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 )