Archives for October 2013

USING CLICKERS IN SPRING 2014?

TurningTechnologies-ClickersIf you are planning to use clickers in your Spring 2014 classes, please visit the clicker registration page (linked below) to register your classes by Wednesday, November 27, 2013:

https://itweb.mst.edu/auth-cgi-bin/cgiwrap/clickers/request_clickers.pl

This information helps EdTech prepare the classrooms for clicker technology and also alerts the bookstore about the number of clickers to purchase.

If you haven’t used clickers before and would like more information, please contact Educational Technology at edtech@mst.edu or 573-341-4131.

Thanks for your assistance!

Tegrity Service Restored

Tegrity service has now been restored.  Classes may now be viewed under Tegrity Classes in Blackboard, and any recordings created during the outage should automatically upload to Tegrity’s servers.

If you are an instructor who created a recording during the outage and it has not uploaded by this afternoon, please submit a ticket so that Educational Technology can manually upload your recording.

Thank you for your patience!

Tegrity Service Interruption

Educational Technology became aware of an interruption in Tegrity service at 10:03 this morning.  The vendor has been notified, and is currently working on restoring service.

Until Tegrity service is restored, all Tegrity videos will be unavailable for viewing and starting a new recording through Blackboard will not be possible.

If you are an instructor who needs to record a class, this is still possible by double-clicking the Tegrity tray icon, selecting your course, and starting a recording.

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Please be aware that the recorder will take several minutes to start while it attempts to contact the service and the recording will not be uploaded until service is restored.  Your recording will be stored safely on the local hard drive.

More information will be shared as it becomes available.

CLC Software Request Process for SPRING 2014 Now Open!

EdTech is opening up the Computing Learning Center (CLC) software request process for instructors who need specific software packages installed in computer learning centers across campus.

The software request web-based application is available on the EdTech web site.

1. Go to edtech.mst.edu/clc/.

2. Click Request Software (Faculty).

Please enter all software requests before close of business on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013.

Software must be requested for each semester in which it will be used!

Software currently available in each of the CLCs on campus can be found on EdTech’s CLC index page.

IMPORTANT:

  1. DO submit requests in a timely manner to ensure the best possible support from IT and EdTech.
  2. DO submit requests for software that is already installed. This helps IT and EdTech determine how each application is currently being used and which licenses need to be renewed.
  3. DO submit requests for software for which the license has not been acquired. We need to know which software is requested to obtain the proper licenses!

We appreciate your cooperation!

Questions, comments, or concerns about the CLC Request process can be sent to edtech@mst.edu.

Teaching Creativity in Science

I found an old post (December 2011) on Emory University’s eScience Commons blog about teaching creativity in science. In this post, the author refers to a professor at Emory University who says that more creativity needs to be taught in the undergraduate classes. Admittedly, the foundational classes in science such as Physics, Chemistry, and Calculus are very full of facts and formulas that need to be absorbed. It is crucial for students to get this basic information before they can really start being more creative with the information. The challenge, then, is to introduce more ways of encouraging students to become creative while–at the same time–seeing to it that they are internalizing the facts and formulas they will need in order to pursue higher academic goals (e.g. research and professorships).

At a recent eLearning Community of Practice meeting at S&T (October 14, 2013), one professor remarked that students are often so ingrained that they have to get the “right” answer that they forget they are really being trained in how to ask the “right” question which will hopefully lead them to an answer, if not necessarily the correct answer. After all, science is as much about discarding incorrect theories as it is about finding correct theories–at least until science marches on and the current theory on a topic is superseded by new information. The Standard Model of quantum mechanics is a perfect example of this. A lot of “bad” theories had to be discarded as more about atoms was discovered over time, leading to more and more accurate theories about what goes on at the subatomic level. And many of the discoveries in quantum mechanics required radical ways of looking at the world (Einstein’s theories on relativity perhaps being the most famous). But I digress.

Bloom’s Taxonomy (and its variations) is one way of tracking how well students are performing at different cognitive levels. The lower levels (3 or below) typically track only the most basic levels of understanding of materials. Students simply absorb and regurgitate information. They may apply it, but typically in well-defined scenarios with equally well-defined solutions. Another professor who attended the eLearning Community of Practice meeting showed some of his research indicating how his exam questions measure according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. Almost all questions were at level 3 or less.

The higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy are the levels that focus more on analysis, evaluation, and creation. These are the types of activities that should be introduced earlier to the undergraduate students so they are better prepared to take on the more “messy” problems found in upper-level undergraduate projects and graduate programs. After all, one of the main activities of a graduate student (Master’s or Doctoral) is to identify a problem that hasn’t been studied before and come up with a thesis or dissertation that studies the problem and presents finding, thus expanding human knowledge and helping the student become an expert in a particular subject matter area (knowledge is becoming more and more specialized these days).

So what can S&T do to help our students become more creative?


NOTE: On a totally unrelated subject, there are a lot of interesting articles at Emory University’s eScience Commons blog. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

Bb TIPS AND TRICKS: Organizing Content

Bb-OpenForum-FeedbackSheetEducational Technology recently conducted some open forums (Sep 4 and Oct 2, 2013) with students and faculty regarding how useful Blackboard is as a Learning Management System. These open forums provided EdTech with a great deal of interesting feedback.

Among the feedback we received from students was the idea that Blackboard is difficult to navigate and it’s hard to find content/assignments. Fortunately, this issue can be resolved by adopting some “best practices” in organizing content in Blackboard. EdTech is not pointing fingers at any particular faculty members, but some do take a somewhat “scattered” approach when uploading content to Blackboard. Students then become frustrated because they do not see what they are expecting to see when they enter the course. And the instructor may not provide a sufficient “road map” or guide in navigating the course.

EdTech has some simple, common-sense guidelines when setting up a course. By default, EdTech provides a very basic structure to a course with a “Content” course button and an “Assignments” course button, but instructors should not feel limited to only using these buttons. Instructors are always free to create their own buttons and can customize the course in nearly any way they can imagine. Instructors can also delete existing buttons and totally remake the course menu.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT delete the Tegrity Classes button! If you do, then it is very difficult to add that button back into the course.

[Read more…]

Online Survey and Open Forum Winners Selected!

LMS Review Prize Winner

Participants in the LMS review’s online survey and open forums had the opportunity to enter for a prize after sharing their opinions.  The winners are:

Faculty

Dan Reardon
Amber Henslee

Students

Robert Fallon
Sonia Franz

Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to everyone who attended the open forums and filled out the survey!

E-Learning Essentials Interactive Guide

I was perusing around the Centers for Disease Control Website over the weekend and I came across a very interesting resource. If you’re not into the whole CDC thing, don’t worry, it has absolutely nothing to do with disease or panic.

The CDC has developed an online tool called the “E-Learning Essentials Interactive Guide” for all course designers and instructors to use. This guide takes you through six steps of course design for online learning. The steps for course design include:

  • Analysis
  • Content Elements
  • Interactivity
  • Product Evaluation
  • Interface and Navigation
  • Learning Assessment

It takes less than an hour to work through all of the pieces of the guide. If you are new to e-learning or wanting to explore how to produce quality online content, this is a great resource. You can find the guide at: http://www.cdc.gov/learning/quality/EssentialsHTML_072413/index.html

REMINDER: iPad U and EdTech U on Thursday, October 3rd

icon-iPadUEducational Technology will be hosting iPad U and EdTech U on Thursday, October 3.

iPad U is a special session of EdTech U where EdTech staff and iPad users share ways to use the iPad to enhance teaching and learning. During iPad U, we encourage you to experiment with apps to discover their full potential. This month, Apple representative Josie Lollie will be available to answer questions and demonstrate new apps. iPad U takes place on the first Thursday of the month in IDE Room 104 from noon to 1 p.m. Bring your lunch!

EdTech U is where EdTech staff are available to answer questions about Blackboard, clickers/TurningPoint, and other technologies, as well as how to introduce the technology effectively to support learning in the classroom. EdTech U takes place every Thursday during the semester in IDE Room 105 (CLC) from noon to 2 p.m.

Blackboard Open Forum Happening Now!

The 2nd Blackboard open forum is occurring now in the Havener Center atrium. Stop by and share your opinions in a visual voting format! The forum will continue until 1:00PM!

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