Planned VDI outage on Friday the 13th, from 8:00AM-9:00AM

There will be a short period of unavailability for the VDI system while upgrading and rebooting the VDI servers.
This maintenance will occur from 8:00AM-9:00AM on Friday, March 13th. Normal operation is scheduled to resume after the maintenance period.

BigBlueButton – Your Bad Weather Backup Plan

Bad weather happens, but that doesn’t mean you have to cancel class. Instead, hold class online with BigBlueButton!

BigBlueButton is a free-to-use virtual classroom integrated into Blackboard. To use BigBlueButton, simply create a meeting room, and let students know they are to join you in that meeting room. With BBB, you’ll have video, audio, and text support with the ability to share your screen, notes, and files with students.

EdTech has written an easy-to-follow visual tutorial for creating and using a BigBlueButton meeting room. You can view the tutorial here: http://edtech.mst.edu/support/blackboard9-1/createbbblink/

Having a bad weather backup plan is a wonderful way to maintain continuity in your classes, promote accountability, and avoid losing valuable instruction time. I (Raz Kerwin) teach a technical communication class, and the Monday morning after our recent snowfall I held the morning meeting for my section online. I was impressed with the level of student buy-in and participation. I provided my students options, and I got results.

Successfully laying the groundwork to take your class online for a session or two is easier than you might think, and EdTech is here to help! Call or email today if you’d like to expand your options, and show Old Man Winter that you don’t cancel class just for a little bit of snow!

STEM Experiential Education at Missouri S&T

At Missouri S&T, the experiential experience is a top priority. That’s what drives students to a STEM school with an engineering focus in a small town in Rural Missouri that’s more than an hour…

Source: blog.sloanconsortium.org

Here’s a look at laboratory redesign projects going on at S&T. We’ve got several courses piloting now and others under development.

Teaching and Learning Technology Conference 2011 – REGISTRATION OPEN!

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tlt-logo-01-ad.png
Registration for the Teaching and Learning Technology
Conference 2011 on March 10 and 11, 2011
is now OPEN!

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Eric Mazur
Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and
author of Peer
Instruction: A User’s Manual
.

Please send an email to edtech@mst.edu
(with subject line of: REGISTRATION – Teaching and Learning Technology 2011)
and include the following information:

NAME
(First and
Last)

EMAIL ADDRESS
(e.g.
joeminer@mst.edu)

# ATTENDING
(if you plan on bringing someone besides yourself, please let us know so we
have an accurate count)

ORGANIZATION
(e.g.
school, department, or institution)

SCHOOL TYPE

(if applicable–4 year, 2 year, K-12, Community College, Other)

PHONE NUMBER (area
code + number)

Details about our conference can be found on the conference
web site:

http://edtech.mst.edu/events/tltconference2011/index.html

We look forward to seeing you at our conference in March!

A Dialogue for Engagement

How do you know a student is engaged in your course?  What steps do you take to foster engagement?  These are questions that every instructor begins to ask as they are doing course design as it is vital to the success of the course.  “Engaged learners work willingly, instead of by coercion, and approach their assignments as something that matters to them personally.  The spirit of engendered by engaged learners in a course is infectious, spreading among and sustaining all participants,” states an EDUCAUSE article in September/October issue (EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 45, no. 5 (September/October 2010): 38-56).  The article goes on to give examples from five different instructors on how they foster engagement.

A Dialogue for Engagement will take you to the text of the article.

How would you foster engagement in your course?

SLOAN-C: The Promise and Practice of Blended Learning

sloan-c.png Presenter: Dr. Joel Hartman, University of Central Florida

Dr. Hartman was our opening keynote speaker for the recent Teaching and Learning Technology Conference at Missouri S&T. Now he is the plenary speaker for the SLOAN-C Blended Learning Conference & Workshop in Oak Brook, IL, just outside of Chicago.

Blended learning has been going on for centuries. Chalk technology is just one form of blended learning. Why do we think blended learning is different? The web is interactive, engaging, ubiquitous, asynchronous, rich in multimedia resources and constructivist. To this, we have added deeper institutional engagement, instructional design, faculty development, assessment, and communities of practice. The web is just one platform upon which blended learning activities are built.

How do we define blended learning? Blended learning courses combine online and classroom learning activities and resources in an optimal way to improve student learning outcomes and to address important institutional issues. In other words, blended learning is the space between fully face-to-face and fully online courses. There is a continuum between the extremes, within which blended learning fits.

It has the potential to impact any and every student, any and every instructor. It is both outward and inward facing. It also involves student-centered technologies which requires an institutional approach in order to apply the techniques effectively for maximum benefit to the students. Blended learning can also improve the efficiency of classroom space. However, it is sometimes not possible to recapture the classroom space for other classes. Final exam times may also conflict the classroom utilization.

One way of blending is to divide a large class into smaller groups so that only a small subset of students meet face to face at any one time. Online activities provide the additional resources to meet the needs of the larger group. This can also go in reverse where several small groups may be combined into one large blended course.

Blended courses may meet online and face-to-face for specific course content. They may meet F2F early in term, moving to online later in semester (or vice versa).

Blended programs need to address the fact the some courses (e.g. labs) are difficult to deliver fully online.

For faculty, there are many possible benefits: Blended is a first step into online learning. It is an opportunity for meaningful faculty development to dive deeper into pedagogy. Many students are somewhat ambivalent about technology in classroom because it is often not used well by instructors. Faculty can develop information literacy skills for themselves and for the students. Blended can offer “the best of both worlds” for faculty and students.

Blended and online provide an environment of pedagogical diversity and experimentation. It is a platform for integrating other technologies (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). There are often more assessment options (though this does bring some significant challenges as well). Students have an environment for constructivist learning where they can build their own knowledge (with guidance). Blended impacts teaching practices both in and out of classroom.

New pedagogical approaches — from active faculty to active students; from transferring knowledge to creating knowledge; from learning as an individual activity to learning as a collaborative activity

Student expectations don’t align well with traditional F2F teaching. Blended gives students a good match for the NetGen expectations with visual, exploratory, participatory activities. Students can succeed very well in these environments.

Students also appreciate convenience and flexibilty of online/blended learning. It can reduse time to degree and increase their information literacy.

Ten keys to success — Institutional strategy; systemic approach; faculty development; course design and development support; online student support; online academic services; robust and reliant infrastructure; effective organizational model; pro-active policy development; data collection and assessment.

Sloan-C pillars — Access; learning effectiveness; student satisfaction; faculty satisfaction; cost effectiveness

Access — Blended increases convenience and flexibility for students. It reduces the disruptions in students’ lives. Blended learning reduces opportunity costs for student learning. At UCF, face-to-face enrollments are shrinking, while online/blended enrollments are growing rapidly. 19% of students are in online/blended courses.

How is student success measured? Grades divided into two groups — success (A, B, C) and not success (lower than C). At UCF, blended shows a slightly higher success rate than fully online.

According to Department of Education online is moderately more effective than traditional F2F. Blended is not necessarily more effective by itself, but the combination of tools that are employed has the most positive effect on students. In other words, what you do with the technology is more important than the technology itself.

Students really like blended learning. They like the improved interaction between students/instructors. They appreciate reduction in interruptions in their lives. They like the increased response times, better feedback.They feel performance is more fairly assessed and they like having more opportunities for collaboration. Anytime/anywhere communication with peers and instructors. More individual empowerment. Increased freedom to manage their own learning environments.

Students rate 48.9% of blended courses as “Excellent”.

Faculty satisfaction is more of a campus/cultural issue instead of a blended/online learning issue. Faculty rate structure and time of blended learning as a net positive. They like the convenience of delivering a blended course. More F2F tends to give more satisfaction than blended, but even blended only yields 12% dissatisfied overall. The quality and amount of interaction seem to be the driving factors of faculty satisfaction with blended courses.

The keys to faculty satisfaction include operating within the faculty culture; recognition and reward for blended teaching; incentives and support; and don’t put careers at risk.

Cost effectiveness — producing optimum results for expenditure (ROI). Blended learning will have a financial impact on an institution in both direct and indirect costs. “Making money” is NOT a good reason for engaging in blended learning — create the environment first; revenues will come with delivering a great product (just like it works in the real world). Successful implementation will make blended learning sustainable over the long term. UCF has a 16.6:1 ROI based on their own experiences in creating a blended learning environment over the past ten years.

There is declining state support (in all states). There are fewer funds for new construction, but there is increased student demand for teaching. Tuition and fees are also going up. Therefore, blended learning may be the only hope for many institutions.

To sum up — Access and cost-effectiveness are the easiest to accomplish. Faculty/student satisfaction and learning effectiveness are the more difficult pillars to achieve.

Second Annual Teaching and Learning Technology Conference April 9-10, 2009

Educational Technology will be hosting its second annual Missouri S&T Teaching and Learning Technology Conference in the Havener Center on April 9-10, 2009.  All campus faculty and staff are welcome to attend.  

We believe it is important to our campus community to showcase the many ways in which faculty and staff use technology to enhance the learning experience for our students.

If you are interested in attending this conference, please visit the EdTech web site for the registration information.  Registered attendees will be eligible to win a number of door prizes (including a SMART Board!).  

Dr. Stephen Ehrmann and Dr. Bryan Carter will be the opening and closing keynote speakers, respectively.

  • Dr. Ehrmann is the director of the Flashlight Program on assessment and evaluation for the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Group (tltgroup.org).
  • Dr. Carter is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Central Missouri and has a great deal of experience in using virtual worlds to enhance his instruction (e.g. Second Life).

Other presenters include a diverse array faculty and staff from Missouri S&T and around the world:

  Dr. Matt Insall – Mathematics and Statistics, Missouri S&T
  Dr. Irina Ivliyeva – Arts, Language, and Philosophy, Missouri S&T
  Dr. Margaret Gunderson – University of Missouri-Columbia
  Dr. Suzanna Long – Engineering Management & Systems Engineering, Missouri S&T
  Dr. Laurie Novy – Kaplan University
  Dr. Jeff Thomas – Interdisciplinary Engineering, Missouri S&T
  Dr. Judith Sebesta – University of Missouri-Columbia
  Dr. Eli Collins-Brown – Methodist College of Nursing
  Dr. Anne Bartel-Radic – Universite de Savoie, France
  Mark Bookout – Director of Technology Support Services, Missouri S&T
  Lauren Oswald – Learning Space Designer, Missouri S&T
  Chris Moos – Missouri Southern State University
  Jill Pegg – Methodist College of Nursing
  James West – Missouri Baptist University

Vendors will be on hand to display their technologies and answer questions about the technologies we have employed here on campus.

Several groups on campus associated with teaching and learning technologies will have poster presentations about their projects and activities.

Is college even necessary these days?

Dr. Trent Batson has another good article in Campus Technology this week asking if sending students to college is really necessary in today’s networked world.

A friend told me recently that people are asking him why learners, in
this age, need to ever attend college to become educated. This question
undoubtedly has occurred to all educators, and to many parents who are
paying tuition. There is perhaps no more raw-edged question than this
in all of higher education: Have we educators become obsolete?

Batson argues that college is indeed necessary for many students, even though students have access to more knowledge today than any other group of people in all of recorded history combined.

Learning, according to Batson, is a process that involves both a learner and an instructor. Indeed, the process of communication between instructor and one or more students is the very foundation of all learning. A highly motivated and focused individual can certainly learn all they need to in a specific discipline using a wide variety of resources. However, a lot of students need a little bit of a push to get going in the right direction. Instructors at college can serve as guides and mentors for students to help them learn their disciplines more effectively than they might if they took a self-study approach.

Colleges also offer the advantages of grouping related material together into degree programs. Students can certainly pick and choose from other courses, but a degree program offers the best opportunities for students to concentrate on a particular discipline (e.g. Chemical Engineering). They can also see how their discipline relates to other disciplines in the same field. For example, Chemical Engineering takes a great deal of its knowledge from chemistry, but chemical engineers also need to learn about engineering-specific knowledge such as fluid dynamics, mass transfer, and process dynamics. A Chemistry student might learn some of these, but they are not required to do so.

I think there is an argument to be made that while college is still necessary for students who want to grow and develop their knowledge in a particular discipline, the paradigm is changing as to how students acquire that knowledge in a college environment. The communication tools today are powerful enough to allow students to essentially pick and choose the college courses they need from a wide variety of schools so that the end goal of knowledge in a given discipline meets the needs of the student’s chosen industry. The real challenge, according to Batson:

It is even harder now to find clarity and coherence because of the huge ration of noise to signal.

College is more necessary than ever. In a flood, the hardest thing to find is drinking water.

No Significant Difference

Thanks to the Web and the Internet (yes, they are two different–but related–entities), instructors can reach out and touch more students than ever before. However, one question must still be answered: "Does it make a difference?"
According to Thomas L. Russell, Director Emeritus of the Office of Telecommunications at North Carolina State University, it doesn’t. That is, the fact that we spend so much time and effort in delivering instruction at a distance is not having any real measurable difference on the quality of education compared to the traditional face-to-face instruction.
Russell has put together a web site that complements and adds to his book, The No Significant Difference Phenomenon.
Feel free to take a look around and see what Russell has to offer. You may agree or disagree with the studies he’s compiled.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video

It is common today for people, students, to make and share videos to tell stories, complete projects or start debates. The internet and websites like YouTube have helped to make it so much easier to share these video creations. This digital platform allows "old" culture to be transformed into new and for a generation to express themselves on a medium they are very comfortable with. To deny the right of these individuals to be creative, would stifle the emerging culture. The number one question that gets asked is "Can I use this video content in my class?". Up until recently, that questions was met with discussion of copyright and fair use. But what does "fair use" mean? Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances. This definition still left lots of room for interpretation.
A distinguished panel of experts, from cultural scholarship, legal scholarship and legal practice, came together to develop a Code of Best Practices. This code was based on research, current personal and nonprofessional video practices and on fair use. This code of best practices was not designed to be restrictive but to give some guidance and framework as individuals are creating their stories, mashups and debates.
Code of Best Practices
1. COMMENTING ON OR CRITIQUING OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL – Individuals have the right to evaluate, scrutinize and comment on copyrighted material. This is a safeguard for freedom of expression.
2. USING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL FOR ILLUSTRATION OR EXAMPLE – When using copyrighted material for example, individuals simply need to give proper credit just as someone does who is writing a paper.
3. CAPTURING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL INCIDENTALLY OR ACCIDENTALLY – If it was captured by accident and not staged, it is OK for limited use.
4. REPRODUCING, REPOSTING, OR QUOTING IN ORDER TO MEMORIALIZE, PRESERVE, OR RESCUE AN EXPERIENCE, AN EVENT, OR A CULTURAL PHENOMENON – If an individual takes video of themselves at a concert to remember the experience and they capture some of a song, that is fair use.
5. COPYING, REPOSTING AND RECIRCULATING A WORK OR PART OF A WORK FOR PURPOSES OF LAUNCHING A DISCUSSION – Individuals can post video in order to establish debate.
6. QUOTING IN ORDER TO RECOMBINE ELEMENTS TO MAKE A NEW WORK THAT DEPENDS FOR ITS MEANING ON (OFTEN UNLIKELY) RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ELEMENTS – It is the same as creating a collage of pictures. Individuals will put together completely unrelated video segments to create something brand new.
These are simply guiding principles that can be used in a variety of hybrid situations. As video making, mashups continue to evolve so with the fair use practices.
To read the full paper go to Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video
Update (Malcolm Hays): To help underscore the point the authors of this paper are making about Fair Use, they have added a still image of the "Dramatic Chipmunk" video that made its way around the Internet some time ago. The video linked here is simply a short snippet of a longer video wherein a prairie dog turns to face the camera suddenly. Someone put this short snippet to dramatic music and an Internet sensation was born! This could loosely be construed to fit within guideline number 5 above, as it certainly sparked some notoriety and discussion on the Internet (along with spawning a dozen different variations on this theme).