We Missed You!

But we still managed to have a great time at our second Pedagogy and Pizza luncheon. Today’s topic was about the use of technology in the classroom.

For years, professors, administrators, and policy makers alike have weighed the benefits of technology in education against its risks and consequences. And the debate is more pressing than ever, as curricula increasingly incorporate technology and professors try new methods of teaching and assessment. On one hand, using technology in the classroom allows you to experiment in pedagogy, democratize the classroom, and better engage students. On the other hand, some argue that phones, tablets, and laptops in the classroom are unhelpful, distracting, and could even potentially foster cheating.

Michael Laughy, Classics, gave an overview of the approaches that he takes in his classes. In Beginning Greek, almost all the readings and resources he assigns are in a digital form, so the use of technology is required. But that’s not the case with Intermediate and Advanced Greek – online resources and apps are not to be used when translating text.

In Mackenzie Brooks’s Digital Culture and Information (DCI) class, students work together to design an agreement for classroom norms, rules, and consequences, part of which includes the acceptable use of devices during class time. Mackenzie believes that students HAVE to learn how to manage distractions. Some day, in the not too distant future, they’ll be expected to perform sustained, focused work and effectively handling distractions and interruptions will be key.

Paul Youngman, German, was the last to offer his thoughts. His take is that teaching literature and teaching a language are two different birds, which call for, and exclude, different tools.

Thanks to all for coming out!

Not Your Mama’s Classroom!

We’re 😍 with active learning classrooms! You know, student-centered, flexible learning spaces that allow for a range of teaching and learning activities. What does an active learning classroom look like?

According to Baepler, et al. in “A Guide to Teaching in the Active Learning Classroom: History, Research, and Practice”, active learning classrooms (ALCs)

“typically feature round or curved tables with moveable seating that allow students to face each other and thus support small-group work. The tables are often paired with their own whiteboards for brainstorming and diagramming. Many tables are linked to large LCD displays so students can project their computer screens to the group, and the instructor can choose a table’s work to share with the entire class. Wireless Internet plays an important role in retrieving resources and linking to content management systems, and depending upon the size of the room, table microphones can be critical so that every student’s voice can be broadcast across the room. Unlike the lecture hall with its clear division between front and back, the ALC is designed to even out that hierarchy and increase mobility for the instructor and students.” (p.10)

Inside the Ruscio Center for Global Learning (CGL), Rooms 104, 114, 115, 211, and 212 certainly fit the bill! Look at those:

  • movable tables and chairs allow the professor to circulate and interact for improved student engagement
    • movable chairs were designed for quick, easy transitions from one teaching mode to the next, like lecture to group work without interruption, are lightweight, portable, stackable, and COMFORTABLE! Small holes in the material allow your body to breathe, so moisture and heat dissipate, so you remain cool! (CGL 114 and 211)
    • node chairs in CGL 115 and 212 have swivel seats that give students the freedom to shift focus throughout the room. The base of node chair provides a unique storage solution for backpacks and student belongings that usually clutter the aisles. And it has an adjustable worksurface, that accommodates both left- and right-handed students and provides a perfect fit for students of all shapes and sizes.
  • multiple flat screen displays ensures that every seat is a good seat (CGL 115 and 212)
  • flip tables: allows you to save space (CGL 104)
  • dual projectionthe option to display a single source on both projection screens increases the sight lines of the classroom (CGL 115 and 212)

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Compare that to college classrooms of the past …

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So … which classroom is more likely to support teaching and learning in an atmosphere conducive to engaging students actively in their own learning?

blocks that spell out DUH

[Curious about active learning, a pedagogical approach that emphasizes student engagement in the learning process? Check out this great op-ed piece by Cathy N. Davidson in Inside Higher Ed, “10 Key Points About Active Learning“.]

You Missed It!

Pizza and Pedagogy #1, Using Case Studies to Teach, was a success! Here are the PowerPoints and handouts from today’s session:

Fall 2018 Pedagogy and Pizza #1: Using Case Studies to Teach

Looking forward to the first Pedagogy and Pizza session of the year on Thursday, September 27 at 12:15 pm in the IQ Center (in the Science Center)!

Here’s a fantastic article — Assembling a Case Study Tool Kit— with ten tools that both new and experienced case teachers may find helpful. The tools described in this article may not suit every instructor, or every case study, but they constitute a tool kit from which instructors can pick and choose. For every case study, the author, Dr. Annie Prud’homme-Généreux, selects appropriate tools to fit the case goals and format.

Additionally, you also may find the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science’s website useful. Their mission is “to promote the nationwide application of active learning techniques to the teaching of science, with a particular emphasis on case studies and problem-based learning” although they have resources for non-scientists as well!

It’s not too late to sign up for tomorrow’s session! Go to go.wlu.edu/pedagogy!


You’re Invited to ITS Academic Technologies’ First Pizza and Pedagogy Luncheon!

ITS Academic Technologies’ Pizza and Pedagogy teaching and learning workshop series is back!

If you’re interested in an informal, yet intellectually-grounded space for dialogue and debate with like-minded colleagues, we invite you to join us for our first luncheon about using case studies to teach on Thursday, September 27, from 12-1:15 pm in Science Addition 202A.

Case studies are a powerful student-centered teaching tool that can impart students with critical thinking, communication, and interpersonal skills.

A case study is simply a story used to show the application of a theory or concept to real situations. Depending on the goal they are meant to fulfill, cases can be fact-driven and deductive where there is a correct answer, or they can be context driven where multiple solutions are possible. They are, by their nature, multidisciplinary, and “allow the application of theoretical concepts … bridging the gap between theory and practice” (Davis & Wilcock). Working on cases requires students to research and evaluate multiple sources of data, fostering information literacy, as well as good organizational and time management skills. The case method increases student proficiency with written and oral communication, as well as collaboration and team-work.

Case studies have long been used in business schools, law schools, medical schools and the social sciences, but they can be used in *any* discipline when instructors want students to explore how what they have learned applies to real-world situations.

Sign up at http://go.wlu.edu/pizza !

Summer 2018 Classroom Technology Upgrades

Since classrooms are used all year round, scheduling upgrades is incredibly challenging. So leave it to the seemingly tireless Classroom Technologies team to spend the summer making enhancements to the following rooms:

  • Early Fielding 109
    • new laser projector!
      Laser projectors use a laser light source technology rather than traditional lamps to generate light. Laser projectors offer better picture quality, enhanced brightness, and a more efficient projection system for overall longevity.
    • now Skype-ready! (ViewShare camera in the screen and mics have been installed in the ceiling.)
    • wireless presentation/projection available via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
      Solstice is platform-agnostic so it works with Apple products, Windows computers and tablets, and Android devices. Additionally, multiple users are able to connect and share at the same time!
  • Early Fielding 114:
    • new laser projector!
    • new screen!
    • wireless presentation/projection via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
  • Huntley Hall 220:
    • new laser projector! 
    • new screen!
    • now Skype-ready! (ViewShare camera in the screen and mics have been installed in the ceiling.)
    • wireless presentation/projection is now available via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
  • Huntley Hall 301:
    • the ability to connect HDMI devices!
    • new laser projector! 
    • new screen!
    • now Skype-ready! (ViewShare camera in the screen and mics have been installed in the ceiling.)
    • wireless presentation/projection is now available via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
  • Parmly Hall 306:
    • new 80″ flat screen panel on the wall (increased brightness, better contrast and clarity)
    • wireless presentation/projection is now available via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
  • Stackhouse Theater:
    • 1st part of 2 part renovation
  • Wilson Concert Hall:
    • COMPLETE technology installation

Many, many thanks to Tom Capito, Alicia Shires, and Todd Goetz for all you guys do! You guys rock!

If you have any questions about classroom updates, please contact the Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP) or email help@wlu.edu.

See some example ePortfolios created in New Digication!

Student ePortfolio:
Michelle Maguire (University of Alaska-Anchorage)

Why we love Michelle’s ePortfolio:
Michelle’s use of a variety of visuals displayed via embedded videos and image galleries adds a richness to her ePortfolio. Presenting her ePortfolio as a museum exhibit entitled, “The Extraordinary Commonplace,” Michelle provides an informative and reflective “Curatorial Statement” that explains the connectivity among the visual attributes she includes in her space. In addition to the aesthetic visual appeal of Michelle’s ePortfolio, we love her creative use of navigation buttons to move viewers through the exhibit.

Michelle Maguire ePortfolio screenshot

Student ePortfolio:
Vanessa Guaman (Manhattanville College)

Why we love Vanessa’s ePortfolio:
Vanessa has created a polished and professional ePortfolio to share with potential employers. She has chosen to organize her ePortfolio in such a way that emphasizes the professional skills and competencies she has developed during her time at Manhattanville College. We especially love that Vanessa makes full use of the Digication platform by providing multimedia artifacts and examples that demonstrate her proficiencies and make her learning visible to anyone who views her ePortfolio.

Vanessa Guaman ePortfolio screenshot

Faculty ePortfolio:
Nicole Kendrick (University of Puget Sound)

Why we love Nicole’s ePortfolio:

Nicole Kendrick is the program manager and instructor for the Reflective Immersive Sophomore Experience (RISE) at the University of Puget Sound. Nicole welcomes her students with an ePortfolio that provides information about her own interests and relevant experiences, modeling the perfect blend of personal and professional discourse. In addition to serving as a guide for her students, who will be creating their own RISE ePortfolios, Nicole’s ePortfolio contains information and materials that the students will find useful as they engage in the program. We love the approach Nicole has taken with her ePortfolio and the images and narratives she shares.

Nicole Kendrick ePortfolio screenshot

Student ePortfolio:
Elena Fulton (University of Puget Sound)

Why we love Elena’s ePortfolio:
Elena’s use of layered images adds a beautiful dimension to her ePortfolio, but it doesn’t stop with visual appeal! We love Elena’s candor and thoughtful reflection as she walks viewers through various learning experiences, relating those moments when she gained knowledge–not only of the disciplinary material but also of herself as a thinker and a learner. You might be surprised by what she learned in Organic Chemistry!

Elena Fulton ePortfolio screenshot

Student ePortfolio:
Christine Perry (Appalachian State University)

Why we love Christine’s ePortfolio:
Christine’s exquisite use of photographs draws viewers into her ePortfolio, and her compelling reflections on those photographs relates the stories of her experiences and her goals. Her ePortfolio brings together multiple aspects of Christine’s undergraduate and life experiences and unifies them into the narrative of her personal, academic, and professional development.

Christine Perry ePortfolio screenshot

Faculty ePortfolio:
Rachel Salsedo (Writing Instructor, DePaul University)

Why we love Rachel’s ePortfolio:
Rachel’s ePortfolio serves not only as a course site for her students to visit and access pertinent information and documents, but it also serves as an example for her students, who will be creating an ePortfolio themselves this quarter. Having her own experience with creating an ePortfolio will be of great value when coaching her students on the development of their own spaces. Another notable best practice?  On the home page of her course ePortfolio, Rachel provides a linked attribution for her header image, modeling essential citation skills.

Rachel Salsedo ePortfolio screenshot

New Digication is Coming!

Features you can expect in the new Digication include:

Flexible Layout
Content can be arranged across multiple columns of adjustable widths using fluid placement with simple drag and drop editing.

Enhanced Text Editing, Auto-Save, & One-Click Publishing
An entirely new set of tools offers more options for customizing text as well as a significantly smoother experience creating and laying out content to your specifications. Entries will automatically save while you create them, and the process of publishing has been simplified to one easy click.

Uploading Files: New Digication Supports Large Files, More File Types, & Mobile Uploads 
Add files to your entries with a simple drag and drop, or upload them from your mobile device. Digication now accepts uploaded files with a size of up to 1 gigabyte each, and you can display PowerPoints, Word documents, videos and other files in new ePortfolios without the need for viewers to download them

Native Image, Audio, and Video Capture
Capture and upload your own images, audio, and video right from your device directly into your new ePortfolios in one easy step.

Connect With Services Like Google Drive, Instagram, Etc 
Access your files from your favorite apps by connecting them with new Digication.

Simplified Infrastructure Design and Organization
Adding new areas for content no longer requires multiple clicks, and new pages can be created, named, and organized en masse instead of one at a time.

Academic Technologies’ Active Learning Fellows Initiative (ALFI)

ALF (a.k.a. Gordon Shumway, a friendly extraterrestrial nicknamed ALF, an acronym for "Alien Life Form")
ALF (a.k.a. Gordon Shumway, a friendly extraterrestrial nicknamed ALF, an acronym for “Alien Life Form”)

Ha ha, ALFI, not ALF! ALFI stands for the Active Learning Fellows Initiative.

Academic Technologies is thrilled to support faculty interested in building their repertoire of active learning techniques by providing an opportunity to explore and reflect on active learning pedagogy with like-minded colleagues who also wish to examine the use of classroom space and share their teaching practices.

Professors selected to participate will receive a $1,000 stipend and must be able to meet the following requirements:

  1. As part of the cohort, the professor agrees to read and discuss the recommended articles on Active Learning prior to meetings.
  2. The professor will incorporate active learning elements into a Fall 2019 course. (The professor should have taught the course at least two times previously so that the content is very familiar.)
  3. The professor will identify at least one module in the course that can be reworked using Active Learning techniques.
  4. Cohort members will attend up to four meetings over the summer with Academic Technologies staff and/or other cohort members to work through the process of planning and building the active learning module, and one meeting in the fall to discuss progress. (If you’re planning on being away/abroad for most of the summer, this program may not be for you.)
  5. Professors will provide feedback to Academic Technologies on what worked, what needs improvement, and give suggestions on how to improve the program in the future.
  6. Participate in a Fall or Winter Academy panel session on Active Learning, sharing results of the program.
  7. Participate in future active learning fellows cohort meetings/luncheons, when new participants are ready to discuss how to rework modules, and other sessions, when available.

If you’re looking to try novel teaching practices and experiment with new technologies to better meet the ever-changing needs of today’s students, apply now to be an Active Learning Fellow next summer.