The Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning is now OPEN!

Looking for Academic Technologies or Harte Center staff? We’ve moved!

You can now find us —

  • Senior Academic Technologist Brandon Bucy
  • Associate Director of Assessment Kristy Crickenberger; 
  • Director of the Harte Center Paul Hanstedt;
  • Director of Academic Technologies Julie Knudson;
  • Director of Fellowships Matthew Loar;
  • Academic Technologist Helen MacDermott, and
  • Harte Center Administrative Assistant Brittany Wright

— on the 1st floor of Leyburn Library.

You will ALSO find lots of new, comfortable, and inviting spaces to read, work, or meet with colleagues! And whiteboards galore! 😍😍😍

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Please come by to say hello! We’re also reflecting upon and recovering from this past academic year, and preparing to support W&L faculty and staff for a hopefully LESS stressful and chaotic Fall Term.

Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

The tenth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is this Thursday, May 20th.

GAAD was launched to highlight the need for increased digital accessibility by getting people talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion for all and, more importantly, people with different abilities and talents.clip art of a blind man with a cane, woman with a hearing aid, a wheelchair user, a woman with a prosthetic limb, an older person, and a man with a limb difference, all standing together

Approximately 15 percent of the world’s population have a disability, according to the World Health Organization, which means that more than one billion people could face daily challenges when using digital devices. 

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility is the ability of a website/mobile app/electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by the widest range of users possible, including people with visual, auditory, speech, motor, neurological or cognitive disabilities.

Note that accessibility is not a discrete feature of a website, tool, or app. It’s an on-going aspect of a managed process made up of many intentional design and development decisions, based on real-world practice, institutional policy, public standards, and awareness of the diversity of user experiences.

Why Accessibility Matters

The World Wide Web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life: government information and services, education and training, commerce, news, workplace interaction, civic participation, health care, recreation, entertainment, and more. In some cases, the Web is replacing traditional resources.

Therefore, it is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities.



Link to Web accessibility – What does it all mean? (.docx, 17 MB) transcript.

Web accessibility is about eliminating barriers that prevent access to information and functionalities on websites.

How to Participate in GAAD 2021

Want to Present at Fall Academy?

The 2021 Fall Academy will take place from Monday, August 23 to Friday, September 3. We are now accepting your proposals!

If you would like to offer a session, please let us know the following information:

  1. Title
  2. Description
  3. Presenter(s)
  4. Duration
  5. Preferred date(s) and times – we’ll try to accommodate, but some sessions that are already booked might prevent this.

Questions? Contact Julie Knudson (jmknudson@wlu.edu, x8125) or Helen MacDermott (hmacdermott@wlu.edu, x4561).

Thank you!

On #Ungrading, by Mikki Brock

What an honest, eye-opening, and marvelous summary of how Dr. Mikki Brock, Associate Professor of History, incorporated ungrading this past term!

I want to share some reflections on my first semester of #ungrading, which I did in my 100-level survey & 300-level seminar. This will be a long thread, but the TLDR is that I think it went really well. I loved it, the majority of my students loved it, & we all learned a lot. 1/ 

First, though, let me acknowledge that it is easier for me to do this type of experimentation than others because of my own privilege: tenured, white, a “known quantity” to my students, and supported by a dept. chair & cohort of colleagues testing the waters with me. 2/ 

My own positionality matters, and we need to keep pushing for *all* faculty to have these opportunities. 3/ 

So: the vast majority of my students reported that they enjoyed ungrading. Yes, some felt anxious about it, but most said it freed them to take risks, to think deeply about their learning, and to pay attention to my feedback rather than simply glance at a number on a page. 4/ 

Many also noted that it reduced their stress and left them more empowered and engaged than they expected. Others also said that ungrading made them want to work more, not less, because they were motivated by curiosity and commitment to the class—things beyond just pleasing me. 5/ 

A few did say they preferred traditional grading (interestingly, all men), but they also said they understood *why* I chose to ungrade. Even if they didn’t love the system, I think moving forward they’ll have a more expansive view of what learning is, and what it is for. 6/ 

I think there are some things I did well this term. Above all, I kept things simple and transparent. Lots of check ins and no mystery. Individual assignments included short self-assessments, and I also did longer, more general ones at midterm and finals. 7/ 

I cannot stress enough what a joy these self-assessments were to read. They were, for the most part, honest, vulnerable, and insightful. Above all, they provided an important opportunity for feedback and dialogue beyond just commenting on their work itself. 8/ 

There are some things I’d do differently. Next time, I’ll hold more required student conferences. I’ll try to be a bit more precise in sharing with students *my* objectives for the class, rather than just asking for theirs. 9/ 

I gave them even more feedback on their work than I usually would, but I probably could have made this feedback structured in a way that made it clearer for them and less time consuming for me. This is perhaps the one downside to ungrading: it is actually more work! 10/ 

In the end, students graded themselves, because my institution requires grades. As someone who tends to like lots of control and oversight, this was actually a really big step for me, and I am proud that I took it. 11/ 

One of the things that put me at ease was that I set a “floor”: students had to complete all assignments *according to the directions* in order to earn a B- or above. Most of my students did so, and I did not feel the need to change any of the grades students gave themselves. 12/ 

The final grade distribution was similar to previous terms, if maybe a smidge higher, which I attribute to the fact that I assigned a bit less work than usual (pandemic!). Plus students just did a really great job, esp. given all the things they were grappling with this term. 13/ 

For anyone curious about ungrading, I have a four suggestions for getting started. First, read @SusanDebraBlum‘s Ungrading and @Jessifer‘s blog; these were essential in giving me the confidence (and practical advice!) to do this. 14/ 

Their work also afforded me the language to explain to my students *why* I was doing things this way. And I did a lot of explaining, because I think students deserve to understand my approach to their learning, even if a few ultimately remain unconvinced. 15/ 

Second, I recommend starting small. In fall, I did only participation; students assessed this part of their grades based on their preparation + engagement. This was low stakes & helped me understand the process. There are also other ways to ungrade. It isn’t all or nothing! 16/ 

Third, try ungrading in a senior-level class first, as upperclass-folks tend to be more confident, they often know you, and these courses are generally smaller. My jrs and srs seemed to really like & appreciate the ungraded approach. I was surprised by how onboard they were! 17/ 

Last, if you are able, find like-minded colleagues who want to go on this journey with you. Meet regularly and talk about anxieties, aims, and strategies. We were also very lucky to have @curriculargeek provide us with constant encouragement and practical help. Thanks, Paul! 18/ 

In sum, I’ll continue to improve my own process, but I doubt I’ll ever return to the traditional system, because I just don’t believe in it. Ungrading was more work, but it was also more joyful. It put trust & curiosity at the center of my classroom. 10/10 would recommend. /fin 

Want to hear more from Dr. Brock and other W&L professors who adopted ungrading? Look for the Ungrading panel session at Fall Academy, which will be August 23 – September 3, 2021.

Save the Date! Perusall Exchange 2021, May 17-28

Perusall - Every student prepared for every class

Perusall is a social reading platform that allows students and instructors to collaboratively markup documents (PDF, EPUB, Word and Excel documents, source code files); video that is hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, or Dropbox; podcasts; and websites.

Students help each other learn by collectively annotating readings in threads, responding to each other’s comments, and interacting with one another.

Only 20-30% of students in the average classroom do assigned reading; in Perusall classes, > 90% consistently do the reading. Peer-reviewed, published, and patented research shows that Perusall works.

Incredible stuff, right? And there’s even MORE to be excited about!

From May 17-28, Perusall will host an asynchronous social learning conference with more than 50 sessions across a diverse array of disciplines that highlight innovative pedagogical approaches by instructors using the platform.

You will be able to pick and choose the sessions that pique your interest — whenever it suits your schedule — and engage with the presenters and other participants asynchronously using the Perusall platform.

At the end of the conference, presenters and participants will gather in a live session to continue the discussion.

Among the sessions currently scheduled are:

  • Perusall Pedagogy for Inclusivity and Active Learning
  • From Novice to Expert: Developing Students’ Metacognitive Reading Practices with Perusall
  • Just in Time Chemistry in Perusall
  • Small Teaching: Building Community in the Online Classroom
  • Analyzing the Breaks: Teaching Hip Hop History with Perusall

Sign up now!

We’ll be there. Will you?

An aerial view to really put things in perspective!

In March, the IQ Center took to the skies to gather data for the Geology department.

Knowing that some students might not able to attend lab in person, Professor of Geology Chris Connors got some help from the IQ Center to create a photogrammetry model of the rocky outcroppings he was interested in, so students could view the formations from anywhere.

Photogrammetry can be a tricky process. Essentially, the goal is to visually identify common points between multiple photos, and using sophisticated software, stitch the photos together into a 3D model that lets us zoom, rotate, and examine areas of interest.

There’s a lot to consider when shooting for a photogrammetry project.

For one, the shoots can take several hours – enough time for the sun to travel a considerable distance in the sky, which changes light levels, shadow positions, and reflections. This means a cloudy day is ideal, but it can be difficult to plan trips around weather.

Another consideration is how the pictures should be taken. Due to the scale and location of the subject, this project necessitated using the IQ Center’s drone.

This means an extra set of challenges: safe takeoff, flight, and landing, watching battery life, and the multitasking involved with both piloting and taking pictures is a lot to focus on.

The tradeoff is that previously inaccessible shots are now within reach!

View the final photogrammetry model.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the IQ Center operates their drone on their Instagram: @wluiqcenter 


Want to incorporate photogrammetry into your course? Contact Dave Pfaff at 540.458.8044, email dpfaff [at] wlu [dot] edu or stop by the IQ Center!

Time for Spring Cleaning! How to Download Videos from YuJa

The past year has seen an unprecedented growth in the use of YuJa. ITS is very pleased at the role this service has played in facilitating teaching and learning on our campus despite the impact of the global pandemic. That said, we are rapidly approaching our allocated storage maximum and need to recover space for the continued functionality of the service.  

You may have already been contacted by ITS asking you to allow us to remove all recordings made or uploaded prior to the start of the Undergraduate Winter 2021/Law Spring 2021 term.

Even if you haven’t, it would be prudent to review your videos and download any that don’t need to remain in YuJa.

Here’s how!

To download multiple recordings:

  1. Log into YuJa at https://yuja.wlu.edu with your W&L credentials and click on Manage Media at the top of the screen:
    red circle around "Manage Media" at the top of the screen when logged into YuJa
  2. Select multiple video files by using shift-click, ctrl-click, or command-click. Choose ctrl-click to add media one selection at a time, or use shift-click to select an entire section of content. You may also navigate to  and choose Select All to choose all content within the folder.multiple videos selected in YuJa using control+click
  3. Click More Actions at the top of the screen.
    Select the desired bulk option. Options include: Bulk Delete, Bulk Move, Bulk Download, Bulk Publish, Bulk Unpublish, Bulk Share, Bulk Owner and Bulk Tag.
    Each option works in the same way as managing a single file; however, actions are applied to all selected files.

    red rectangle around "More Actions" and "Bulk Download" in the menu that appears when you click on "More Actions" at the top of the screen in YuJa


To download a single recording:

  • Log into YuJa at https://yuja.wlu.edu with your W&L credentials and click on Manage Media at the top of the screen:
    red circle around "Manage Media" at the top of the screen when logged into YuJa
  • Mouse over the desired video and click on More …
    red rectangle around "More ..." in menu that appears when you hover over a video in YuJa
  • Choose Downloads from the left-side menu.red rectangle around "Download" in the menu that appears after you click on "More..." in YuJa

    You have a number of choices for your download, depending upon the type of media:

    • Download Media: download an mp4 copy of your video file.
    • Download Original: download the original manually uploaded video file.
    • Download Audio-Only Content: download an mp3 audio file of the video.
    • Download HLS: download a m3u8 download.
    • Download SCORM 1.2: download a SCORM file.

  • Need assistance with YuJa? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email help@wlu.edu, or stop by Leyburn Library!

    Shiny New Canvas Features: Webcam Assignment Submissions and Assignment Reassignment!

    NEW! In File Upload assignments, students can use their webcam to submit to an assignment. This change allows students to use their webcam to submit a file upload assignment from the browser and aligns behavior with the Canvas Student app.

    How This Feature Works for Students

    For File Upload assignments, students have the option to use their webcam for file uploads. The first time they use the feature, they will need to give permission to Canvas to access their computer webcam. Like all other graded submission types, images submitted via the webcam functionality do not count against course or user quota.

    erinhallmark_0-1614036096378.png

    How This Feature Works for Instructors

    Instructors can view uploaded images submitted via a student’s webcam as they see other file uploads in SpeedGrader and anywhere that submissions are available. 


    NEW! In SpeedGrader, instructors can leave feedback comments and reassign the assignment to a student. This feature allows an instructor to ask a student to resubmit an assignment as part of the instructor’s regular grading workflow.

    How This Feature Works for Instructors

    For online assignments with a due date, instructors can view a Reassign button in SpeedGrader. If they require a student to redo an assignment, they can reassign the assignment directly to the student from within their grading workflow in SpeedGrader.

    The instructor must first provide feedback regarding the assignment, which will enable the button. The reassignment does not change the original due date for the student.

    Notes

    • The Reassign Assignment button is not available for External Tools (LTI), on paper, and no submission assignments.
    • The Reassign Assignment button is only available for assignments with due dates.
    • If an instructor returns to SpeedGrader after navigating away from the page, the Reassign Assignment button shows that the assignment has been reassigned.
    • If the assignment’s settings do not allow students to make an additional attempt, the Reassign Assignment shows that the assignment is not able to be reassigned.

    erinhallmark_1-1614036208084.png

    How This Feature Works for Students

    When an assignment is reassigned, students see the assignment in their List View Dashboard with the instructor’s feedback.

    Students can resubmit the assignment and submit for additional feedback from their instructor.

    Wall Street Journal: How to Teach Professors Humility? Hand Them a Rubik’s Cube

    Sandy Roberson sent a note to professors at Furman University and Denison University in mid-December with a simple message.
     
    “Failure is not an option,” she wrote on a discussion board frequented by a few dozen other academics.
     
    Three weeks later, the veteran Furman accounting professor reconsidered and abandoned her assignment. She had been bested by a Rubik’s cube.
     
    Ms. Roberson was among roughly 30 faculty members from the two schools who had signed on to a winter-break challenge: learn to solve the cube-shaped puzzle in five minutes or less, within six weeks. And, in the process, learn to become better instructors by being reminded what it’s like to be a novice.
     
    “After you do something for a very long time, it just becomes second nature,” said Lew Ludwig. The math professor at Denison, in Granville, Ohio, runs the school’s Center for Learning and Teaching and coordinated the challenge with a counterpart at Furman, in Greenville, S.C. The schools are members of an organization for faculty development at small colleges. “The brain does not like new stuff,” he said. “Learning is hard.”
     
    Amen to that!  Read the rest of this article by Melissa Korn.
     
    Thanks to Senior Academic Technologist Brandon Bucy for sharing this great article AND these thoughts:
     
    “I’ve always thought the expert-novice divide is one of the hardest things to get around when teaching.  We honestly forget how much we struggled in the past with a concept before mastering it, and can’t relate to our struggling students or really help them in a meaningful way except to encourage them to continue the struggle.  I think in a way it represents the internally chaotic nature of learning, that “learning” itself is somehow non-rememberable once you get through it.”
     

    Digital Exit Tickets

    What’s an Exit Ticket?

    pink exit ticketAn exit ticket is simply a question posed to all students at the end of class/the week/unit of study.

    Student responses provide you with immediate insight that you can use to assess students’ understanding, monitor their questions, or gather feedback on your teaching and, if necessary, adjust or adapt your instructional strategies.

    In  Art and Science of Teaching/The Many Uses of Exit Slips, Robert J. Marzano suggests 4 different types of prompts for exit tickets:
     

    Provide formative assessment data:

      • What was the big idea of today’s lesson?
      • What was the most important thing you learned in today’s class? Why is it important?
      • What is the most difficult question you have about what you learned today?
      • How could the knowledge you learned today be used in the real world?
      • What’s one thing you want to practice again?
      • What are you struggling to understand at the moment?

    Stimulate student reflection/analysis:

      • What could you have done today to help yourself learn better?
      • What part of the lesson surprised you?
      • Which part of today’s lesson was most interesting?
      • I used to think but now I know…
      • What is something you weren’t sure about at the start of class but understand now?
      • Imagine a friend missed class today. How would you explain what we covered in 25 words or less?
      • If you were creating a quiz about today’s class, what are two questions you’d include?
      • How can you apply something you learned today to another class or subject?
      • How can you apply what you learned today to your own life?

    Focus on instructional strategies:

      • How did the group work today help you understand the content? What are some things you’d like to see during group work in the future?
      • We did a concept map activity in class today. Was this a useful learning activity for you? Why or why not?
      • Did you value the group activity today? Do you think the activity or task would have been better done alone?
      • Which of the readings was most helpful in preparing you for class? Why?

    Offer open communications:

      • What could I do differently to help you understand better
      • What is one thing you’d like me to explain more clearly?
      • What’s one change we could make to the way we learn in this class?
      • What’s one thing you’d like me to START doing in class?
      • What’s one thing you’d like me to STOP doing in class?
      • What’s one thing you’d like me to CONTINUE doing in class?

    Ideally, exit tickets are no more than one or two short, open-ended (when possible) questions that take students less than 5 minutes to complete. 

    Tools you can use to implement exit tickets

    Microsoft Forms

     
    Microsoft Forms example of an exit ticket form
    Click this image to view this one question Exit Ticket form

    Poll Everywhere

    Poll Everywhere one question exit ticket survey

    3 question Exit Ticket survey in Poll Everywhere

    Need a Poll Everywhere account? Email the ITS Information Desk at help@wlu.edu or call 540.458.4357 (HELP).

    Polling for Zoom meetings

    1. Enable Polls in Zoom
    2. Create a Poll
    3. Launch a Poll

    Anonymous Ungraded Survey in Canvas

    Exit Ticket survey in Canvas


    Flipgrid

    My Ah-ha Moment! Flipgrid exit ticket
    Click to view this Flipgrid exit ticket!

    Do you use exit tickets in your class? Have they been helpful? If you have any thoughts to share, we’d love to hear ’em!