Lilly Conference

With the help of a Schreyer Institute grant, I was able to attend (and present at) this year’s Bethesda Lilly Conference and it was FABULOUS! I came home with lots of ideas and also contacts for possible on-campus speakers – The tone of the conference is very friendly and open – lots of sharing and positive atmosphere which was wonderful – In the next few weeks, I’ll be updating this page to add what I learned and ideas for the future. Some initial thoughts to wet your appetite!

Culture Bump (TM) – a program to help communicate through cultural differences

Teaching as Performance

Transformative Teaching

7-minute round robin tech training

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Art 100 Summer Mobile Media Pilot

Professor Fred Haag is participating in the Media Commons summer Mobile Media Project – Students are using Ipod Touches and WordPress blogs to document their learning. This is a brief description of the project:

I am requesting 10-15 iPod Touches with the Aurasma and Tellagami applications installed on them (both are free) to use with my summer course, ART 100  Concepts and
Creation in the Visual Arts. This is a 3 credit course in the study of the personal and
cultural foundations of artistic creation as well as the practice of creative
production in the art studio.

For their final projects (which they work on over the course of the semester), students study one artist of their choosing. They will create a portfolio of their own artistic work reminiscent of the style of their chosen artist. Students will gather both artistic work and several reflective audio and/or video essays on their course blog (using GarageBand and/or Tellagami, and Using instructor prompts to guide the reflections, students will describe their creative processes throughout the semester. As a culminating segment of the project, students will create an augmented reality experience for classmates using the Aurasma app, which ties together images, video, and student blogs thus creating an enhanced art exhibit for students to enjoy and experience.

Students have had training from Carla Rapp (our UP Media Commons trainer) on using the devices – then a follow-up training with me on setting up the WordPress blogs and getting multimedia from the device into the blogs. So far the project is going really well!

Lesson learned – tech-wise:

* problems using BlogPress or WordPress apps for direct transfer – First, we needed to get an API key from WordPress (instead of using passwords directly). Log into your own blog first at – then go to the dashboard – then to Users – Your Profile – then Add new API key – write this down – when you add your blog to BlogPress app, you will use your regular psu id (scs15 for me for example) and then instead of your psu password, you’ll use the API Key you got in the step above -If you are logging into WordPress at via the computer, you’ll still use your regular psu access account and password – only the special API Key if you want to use the BlogPress app on the device.

* still having problems uploading directly to YouTube from the device…
* we found they needed to unplug the devices form the computer and plug them back in again for some items to appear in My Computer/iPodTouch  for uploading etc.


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Drexel Presentation: Business Professor Teaching Summit May 17, 2013

Getting ready for a presentation with Dr. Samir Shah (Drexel U. – formerly of PSY) at Drexel U’s Business Professor Teaching Summit

Our Presentation website is:

Presentation Recording


Presentation Handout

Session Title: Innovative One-shots Build Motivation and Currency in a Gen-Ed IST Course


How do you design introductory courses (with majors and non-majors) to achieve rigor, currency, and interest without scaring away the non-technical students? Innovative one-shots are activities that can be completed in one class session and be tailored to add innovation and freshness to the course each semester. This session describes three examples from a recent IST course: augmented reality activity, IST 110 game to explore new ed-tech tools, and Stanford University’s dSchool Crash Course.


IST 110, Information, People, and Technology, is an entry-to-major course for IST majors, and also a general education course for all Penn State students. This mix of majors and non-majors creates challenges for faculty in any course. How do you design a course that is rigorous, up-to-date, and interesting without scaring away the non-technical students? Innovative one-shots are activities that can be completed in one class session and can be tailored each semester to add innovation and freshness to the course without requiring a huge course re-design. This session describes three one-shots from a recent course: augmented reality activity, IST 110 game to explore new ed-tech tools, and Stanford University’s dSchool Crash Course.

Augmented reality is rated by the New Media Consortium’s 2012 Horizon Report (Museum Edition)  in the two to three year range for time-to-full-adoption. Our goal with this technology was to expose students to the technology and its uses in business and educational settings, while giving them a hands-on experience using a plug-in from Digital Tech Frontiers and a 3D rendering from Google Sketch-up. The activity we created was set in a business context. Students would create a video to be able to show a customer a 3D rendering of a product using a model from the Google Sketch-up 3D database and an augmented reality plug-in.

Educational gaming is another hot topic in education. We decided to use a game framework to encourage students to explore different emerging technologies in lieu of a passive demo session. Students earned points by completing different activities that encouraged interaction with a new technology while at the same time experiencing the powerful influences of game dynamics.

Stanford University’s School of Design (dSchool) makes available free on the web a “crash course” of their design thinking methodology. In 90 energizing minutes, participants can experience the five elements of their design thinking model. Students gain the experience of a new way to think about innovation, customer interaction, and design through a hands-on experience that can be tailored to suit business contexts or any other creative pursuits. This was used in several campus contexts from the opening faculty meeting, to a one-shot in a contemporary business skills course, to an English composition course.

By using one-shots as a course design element in introductory courses we were able to accomplish several goals: 1) expose students to new technologies in an active way; 2) keep the course content current without a major overhaul; 3) motivate both majors and non-majors through interesting challenges. Faculty and staff were also motivated to try new approaches to teaching through the use of manageable one-shots.

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Trending – Meta-data & Machine Learning – The NEXT Web

This topic came up in my Learning Analytics MOOC and it is something for people to be aware of – a huge sea change in the power of searching is coming once meta-data becomes ubiquitously assigned to content.

The Tim Berners-Lee talk is a great overview and place to start. If you want more details, watch bitly’s chief Hilary Mason – so interesting! Finally, an example of first level implementations of some of this in educational contexts – inBloom example in the edtechdigest article has some good videos about how it works.

Tim Berners-Lee talk

Hilary Mason, Machine Learning:

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Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL) Research Innovation Grants (RIG)

PSU’s new Center for Online Innovation in Learning announced a new call for grants – Research Innovation Grants (RIG) and we’ve put together a local team that is going for one!! We hope to submit by Friday and find out in early June!! Yeah team!!!

Part of the grant (if we get it – stay tuned), will enable us to host a 2-day train-the-trainers workshop (July 30-31) on the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory and implementation in the classroom/organization. An early scouting expedition has 14 folks from 4 different campuses dedicated to coming! Nice!!!

TITLE: Using Adaptive Learning Technology and Reflective Exercises on a Mobile Device to Improve First-Year Success in a Paired Developmental College Reading Course


Co- PI – Suzanne C. Shaffer, Instructional Designer and Instructor in College Reading, Penn State York

Co – PI – Dr. Jorge A. Santiago-Blay, Instructor in Biology, Penn State York

Barbara Eshbach, Interim Head Librarian, Penn State York

Dr. Cora Dzubak, Director of the Nittany Success Center, Penn State York

Loren Brewster, Director of Information Technologies, Penn State York


Many students enter college with deficits in reading skills. First-year students also bring with them certain dispositions towards learning that can hinder their progress. These two factors combined can significantly impact a student’s ability to succeed in college. Building on lessons learned from a fall 2012 pilot, this project seeks to positively impact the academic success of first-year students in a developmental college reading course by 1) improving reading and academic skill development through the use of adaptive learning technology (intelligent tutoring) and 2) encouraging growth as learners through self-knowledge and critical reflection using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI). Students in a college reading course (LL ED 005) will be simultaneously enrolled in an environmental science course (Bi SC 003).  Every LL ED 005 student will receive a mobile device (on loan for the semester) through which they will access the adaptive learning technology and complete reflections (using blogs) based on their ELLI scores. Mobile technology will give commuter students flexibility and access to learning that fits their busy schedules. Both the ELLI tool and the adaptive learning technology systems provide access to learning analytics that will be used to measure the impact and success of the project.

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John Gardner Institute: Excellence in Gateway Courses Conference April 13-16 Indianapolis, IN

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education   (group that pioneered the work on the First Year Experience, Foundations of Excellence programs) sponsored the first annual Conference on Excellence in Gateway Course Completion April 13-16 in Indianapolis, IN.  I was able to attend this wonderful conference and learned many things that could be useful to us on campus. I’ll summarize the highlights below – Please get in touch if you want to talk further!

2 Powerful Keynote Speakers:

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County – I’d love to get him to talk to our campus. He is so inspiring and knowledgeable. Thanks to Chris Beaverson who told me that Dr. Hrabowski will be speaking at the Pullo Center on August 28 for the United Way Campaign kick-off –

Katherine J. Denniston, Deputy Director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation talked about future of NSF grants in light of the new budget directions of the Obama administration.

What are “gateway” courses and why do they matter?

Gateway courses are those courses that are:

  • credit bearing
  • at the foundational level (either developmental or entry to major)
  • high risk to students (high D,F,W,I rates 30% or greater)
  • high enrollment (institutions define what this means to them)

These courses have the greatest impact on student success (and institutional retention rates).  Not surprisingly, retention in these courses is strongly correlated with successful degree completion. The conference topics looked at maintaining high standards while supporting students in these courses through re-design.

Strategies/Approaches/Tidbits of Interest

In each example below, faculty tried to improve DFWI rates in gateway courses through course interventions or re-design with significant success. Many of the ideas could be applied cross content as well as in courses that are not considered “gateway” courses. Click on the links below to read more about each intervention

  • Econ re-design makes big dent in D,F,W,I rates; data collection tells the tale – UMBC – faculty member sets ANGEL to stay locked until students prove mastery of each unit before they can move on
  • Dev Math re-design: blended course re-design + My Math Lab mandatory computer sessions = huge success! Univ. of South Florida
  • Intensive chemistry prep thru summer bridge – Cornell – students take the chem course in the summer with math review – they take it again in the fall fro a grade- big changes in success rates
  • Pairing ENGL 4 concurrently with ENGL 15 – same instructor – integrated content – scaffolding in ENGL 4 – counter-intuitive?… but successful! Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) – CCBC
  • Physiology  re-design – content heavy courses – 42% DFWI rates drop to 11% in three semesters Cal. State Northridge – prof adds active learning, teaching concepts, concept maps, and workbook assignments
  • Interventions that Matter – understanding the different “types” of DFWI students: low performers, non-attendees, non-compliers, and drop-outs and different interventions for each type of at-risk student in an Intro to Psych course – analytics drive change and success – IUPUI -

An Institutional Approach to Improving Gateway Course Completion

Year 1 – Planning

  1. Create task force (faculty, staff and admins)
  2. Identify gateway courses
  3. Determine whether gateway course completion is an issue – D,F,W,I rates of 30% or greater
  4. Find out follow-on retention rates for those students (DFWIs in gateways)
  5. Choose top 5 courses for re-design – use principles of re-design from G2C
  6. Create action plan for performance improvement – includes key performance indicators (KPI’s)

Year 2 – Implementation and Data Gathering

  1. Create implementation teams for course re-design and data collection and analysis
  2. Implement and assess using data
  3. Use predictive analytics to inform future actions

Year 3 – Assessing, Refining, Future Planning

  1. Data-based decision-making and action planning for continued quality improvement

Want more formalized support?

Apply for the Gardner Institute Program: Gateway to Completion G2C

  1. Join the formal program – There will be informational webinars on the following dates at
    • April 25th 10-11 am
    • May 16th 10-11 am
    • June 6th 2-3 pm


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Augmented Reality Art 100 Project

UPDATE! 4/17/2013

Professor Haag, the students in the Visual Arts Club, and I really got this to work for their Art Show!!! Students recorded (using another cool app – Tellagami) a little 30 second blurb about their piece of art – the app let’s you insert any picture into the scene – we used their art work as a back drop in the video.

As people go through the art exhibit, they can train their mobile devices (after installing the  aurasma app) onto the trigger images we provided for each art piece, and they’ll see and hear a video of the students describing their art. Tap throughs can be added too to go out to the students’ porfolios – we haven’t done that yet – but it’s an easy add on… Very cool ending to a nice project for students and us!!!


Well, through good luck and good timing, I got the solution to the final piece of the 3d puzzle at the TLT Symposium – thanks to the Education majors’ presentation on augmented reality. They provided the app – that  means no programming needed!!! and it worked!!! Aurasma is the gem of an app that makes it all possible without a lot of technical expertise.

Our goal was to create an enhanced (augmented) experience for people if they were looking at student art work at a distance.  Students created surrealistic sculptures and Professor Haag and I wanted to see if we could get a 3d online experience of the art. Our trials and errors are recorded in this blog post. Finally yesterday, I got it all to work. Here’s a video of the experience and then following a technical description for my own memory’s sake.

Step 1) Using 123dCatch (optional) – – the web app – I took a series of pictures, circling the student’s art work three times: angling from above downwards, straight on at mid-line, and angled from below upwards – totally about 30-40 shots. These get uploaded into the app and the 3d rendering is created. This step isn’t absolutely necessary – but if the “exhibition were all web based and you wanted people to get the 3d effect, you could do this – it took time, but was pretty easy.
SIDE NOTE: the ipad app for this tool is another option – a little glitchy – but I was able to get a 3d render of our librarian which was pretty cool – you just use the ipad camera to do it. Fast and then it can be manipulated on the ipad screen

Step2) Using Screen-Cast-O-Matic, I was able to record me manipulating the 3d render of the art work – to see it from all angles. 123dCatch doesn’t allow exporting of the 3d file, so this was the only way I could think of to “capture” the 3d element.

Step 3) Created web space to “curate” the art work 2d images for an online exhibition

Step 4) Got the Aurasma studio account You only need this to CREATE the auras – NOT to view them – Go and click on “apply” to request a studio space – takes about 2 days

Step 5) Create your “aura” in the studio

  • add the “trigger” = what the ipad will recognize
  • add the “overlay” = what the ipad user will see once the camera is trained on the trigger image – for us, this was the screen-cast-o-matic video of the 3d rendering of the image
  • create the “aura” = tells Aurasma to connect triggers with overlays and which channel they should go into
  • create a “tap to” to further expand the resources – so tap the augmentation when it appears and has been viewed and go out to another webspace – student portfolio or other resource

I created a channel for Art 100 – all of the different auras for each student’s work would go into this channel.

Step 6) To view the augmented reality, download the free Aurasma app on the ipad – also available with Android – although I couldn’t test it.

Step 7) Search for Art 100 (Channel I created in Step 5) and “follow” it

Step 8) Click on the bracket symbol at the bottom of the page ” [  ] “– this will open that channel and give you the camera view

Step 9) Point the camera at the trigger image and wait for the spiraling purple icon to appear – the overlay should appear. The trigger image in this case was at the blog we created – but it could also be in the art room – with a small picture of each item near the actual item – so when students point the camera at the image, they get more content – a video of students describing their art –These overlays then can have a tap added to them to take them out to more content – web pages or whatever – so you could link to the student’s blog to see more work by the artist.

This could be used for an art show at a distance where people explore on the web and with an ipad… OR in an actual location – with small trigger images placed near the art work – like on the plaque with the students’ names – then as people move around the exhibit, their experience is enhanced by the added content.

Other upcoming projects with Aurasma…

  • Barb Eshbach’s library poster session at ACRL will use this as a poster enhancement
  • Pathways workshops will use this in the Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gigabytes session
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3D Exploration for Art Class

Last week, I attended a presentation and discussion for Fred Haag’s Art students with freelance graphic designer, Daniel Kent. Dan was showing his work and one of the things he was working on were “books” – and it got me thinking that we could actually hold and touch them and look through them in the classroom, but wouldn’t it be neat to try to combine this with an augmented reality project whereby people virtually could get to “experience” the books. Fred’s Art class has also just finished doing surrealist projects for class and I thought it might be neat to see if we could figure out a way to do an exhibit electronically that was more than 2D…

I started here with a  good step by step (although technical) explanation of how to MAKE augmented reality work. No one was more  surprised than I that I actually got it to work.

The problem here is that you need an electronic 3D image… and we were going to use real objects, so I was stumped.

Then I found another way to make something LOOK 3D – using Photoshop and After Effects (Mac)

I could see this working with the Art projects – by layering them and animating the shots like in the baseball example – moving past one art object to the next, using depth of field to make it look 3D.

Next, I looked for ways to get something real to be rendered 3D – KeyShot looked like a possibility, but I found out it is more to put flesh on the bones of 3D drawings like engineers do – to make something look really real for prototyping and marketing – than to do what I wanted to do.

Finally, I found 3DSom, which says it can take a 3D object and render it into a 3D graphic – so I tried it and for the first go, I had (what I think are pretty cool results)!

cup for 3D rendering

So the last step will be to get the 3D rendered image to work with the augmented reality process  and get the art objects posted in a blog for external enjoyment.

Going to the art classroom now to take the photos. This could be a great co-project for IST students and art students.

Downloading multiple files into 1 photoshop file as different layers –


Mo3dls software to render 3D images – ipad app – real possibility!! Together with aurasma app that I learned about at the Symposium and we may be in business!!!

more promising tools –

Success! with

Next project – 7th grade girls STEM program Pathways!

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SoTL continued

From Tomorrow’s Professor… a good overview of the basic categories of educational research available..

From Chapter 1, Research, paradigms, and ethics, in the book: A Beginner’s Guide to Doing Your Education Research Project, by Mike Lambert. Published by SAGE Publications Inc., 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, California 91320 Copyright  Mike Lambert, 2012.

Just ordered the book – it could be a nice faculty cohort…

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Why MOOCS Work for Me – and Hands OFF!

Nobody likes a good MOOC more than me… but I definitely don’t think they’re for everyone… and I hope that we don’t spoil them in the end (as we in education tend to do with many things that start out fine and end up a mess thanks to our meddling)

What is it about MOOCS that I like?

1) I LOVE being able to go to Coursera and just look at all the things available to learn… it’s better than a candy store (b/c they don’t add calories and b/c they are free (so far) in terms of cost and how we are allowed to maneuver within them)

2) You get to learn with the top people in a given field!

3) You have complete freedom to explore the topics most of interest to you… no wasting time on stuff you already know – on stuff you can’t use – on stuff of no interest – on busy work – on uninteresting projects – pick out the gems for YOU – do the projects you want to do – and move on

4) It’s multi-modal – what works for you – reading, watching a video, exploring outside resources, discussion, project-based – you usually choose the activities that make sense for your context and your learning style

5) It’s Maryellen Weimer’s boat-building example – why is it that when we are learning s/thing we want to learn, we’ll spend HOURS entranced… but if it is imposed…then it’s torture – MOOCS are the electronic version of boat-building – what’s your passion – what do you want to know more about… it doesn’t feel like work!

6) They make access to education a reality to millions of people – though REAL access to credentials is another topic for another day…

So what qualities (imho) make a MOOC a good choice for someone?

I know that at the tender age of.. well you didn’t really think I would say it did you… but anyway – at this age, I am still a lifelong learner – I love to learn – I’m curious – I’m self-directed – I’m extremely independent – I’m not afraid to try new things when learning – I like variety – I can sniff out quality and move on when it’s not there (life is too short to waste on bad input!) – I can let go of what I don’t need (if you are someone who just HAS to read all 37,00 postings, then MOOCs might not be for you!) – I can look for help independently outside of the course or move along when I don’t understand something – I can apply what I’m learning to other contexts without a lot of input form outside – I am flexible… and I find the sort of chaos adventuresome! I like to explore and discover – I want to see what percolates.

I think these traits make a MOOC a good fit for me – and for a certain type of learner – definitely not for everyone in every context. I can’t envision unleashing a first semester student into a MOOC with much success… Here’s an example of someone from a MOOC who isn’t having a good experience:

Could someone just post some links for the basic introductory material for this course? I cannot find any articles, videos etc to introduce me to the topic. I don’t have a project. I’d just like to learn more about learning analytics. I’d like to read some stuff (I hate video takes too long and usually isn’t clear at all…)

Thanks. I was really hoping this might be the first MOOC I could actually follow, but to be honest, at number 4 I’ve tried, I’m close to giving up on MOOCs altogether…

There should be a “lost?” link at the top of every MOOC sidebar…

Even though MOOCs aren’t for everyone, I could see asking students in a gen-ed as an assignment to explore a MOOC on a related topic and something of interest to them personally and have them report back to the class on their experience/learning.

It is a rich moment in educational history – still free – still evolving – I’d prefer to stay out of the conversations about how to monetize and capitalize on this new form of learning – that just dirties the pool – I can’t think of a better way to spoil the joy of lifelong learning than to talk about formalizing it with things like admissions – registration – credentialing – assignments – grading – argh – where did the fun go??? The trick would be to make that stuff invisible to the experience – but I don’t think anyone has been able to do that yet – gaming perhaps gets as close to making the drudge part of school invisible…but please don’t mess with my MOOCS… or I – like millions before me (in other educational contexts), will move onto other learning pastures that remain free and open in terms of cost and freedom within my own learning pursuits.

If the conversation is really about affordable access for all then I’m on board – do what you need to do so many more people can reap the benefits of an affordable education – but please please please keep the hassle free open access also for those who just want to have fun while learning.

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Spring Presentations Schedule

  • March 14-16 TLT Symposium – Using Stanford University’s d-school Approach to Add Meaning, Build Buy-In, and Encourage Innovation in Class Projects
  • April 13-16 – Indianapolis – Gateway Courses -  attending – no presentation
  • May 10 – Pathways Program Penn State York – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gigabytes
  • May 17 – Drexel – Innovative One-shots Build Motivation and Currency in a Gen-Ed IST Course – Co-Presenting with Samir Shah (Drexel)
  • May 30 – June 2 – Lilly Conference – Carpe Diem: Making the Most of a Paired Reading Course for First Semester Students


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Combining Retention, Student Support, Learning Analytics in a College Reading Course

Project for LAK 13 – MOOC with George Siemens SP 2013

Recording –

Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) + Reflection + LA + College Reading Course

Thanks to Simon Buckingham Shum,(Knowledge Media Institute of The Open University, UK) who mentioned the ELLI project and provided links to find out more, I believe I have found a very interesting project to try with the next iteration of LL ED 005 college reading students!

Last fall, I worked with students in reflective activities called “toolbox assignments” that asked them to take different inventories (curiosity for example or successful choices) and then reflect on their scores and what it means in terms of their learning/academic success. It was pretty piecemeal…and nothing electronic, so I couldn’t really (without a lot of work) “see” patterns/trends… so when I saw the ELLI inventory, with its 7 dimensions of lifelong learning (see below) – along with an example which showed how mentors/mentees were using it in a reflective process to discuss student scores on each dimension and look at growth/change over time…and now with this course and the learning analytics piece – thinking about having students take the inventory – reflect in a blog – and track with LA to analyze - With the Blogger Enquiry plug-ins, we get the analytics! This could be a really interesting project that makes a lot of sense in this first year course for students!!!

I have lots of reading to do about ELLI, the plug-ins etc… but I’m excited to get started!!!

ELLI (Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory)  (a self-report 72 item web-based questionnaire – internal structure was factor analyzed and validated) – measures how people feel about them selves in a particular domain (7 total) at a given point in time

  1. Changing & Learning
  2. Critical curiosity
  3. Meaning-making
  4. dependence and fragility
  5. Creativity
  6. Learning Relationships
  7. Strategic Awareness


Enquiry Blog Builder –

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Learning Analytics & Knowledge MOOC LAK 13

Began participation in my third MOOC:

1st experience) Digital Storytelling with the infamous d106 crowd at Mary Washington – awesome!
2nd experience) Statistics with Princeton prof through Coursera – again – super helpful
3rd and current experience) Learning Analytics and Knowledge with George Siemens et al (#LAK13). Here’s what the course entails:

  • Wk 1 – This course starts with a broad overview including history of the progression of LA over time
  • Wk 2- Case studies of institutions doing LA
  • Wk 3- We get into the tools of LA – including data visualization and analysis tools – R and Tableau
  • Wk 4 – Predictive models & Assessment
  • Wk 5 – Smarter curriculum: semantic web, linked data, and adaptive content
  • Wk 6 – Epistemology, Pedagogy, Assessment and Learning Analytics
  • Wk 7 – Privacy and ethics: principles for governing LA use and implementation
  • Wk 8 – Learning analytics: where is it headed? How to get involved (SoLAR, IEDMS, academic programs)

Already this course has born fruit!! A co-facilitator with George Siemens in the course is Simon Buckingham Shum of the Open University in UK, who connected me to some research he is doing with Ruth Deakin-Crick (U. of Bristol) on lifelong learning – See posting on the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory – ELLI.

This can be a very useful insert into the LL ED college reading course and then with other programs on campus – a direct tie-in with retention – so I am investigating funding sources, access to the tool, literature on the research done so far with ELLI, and training support available for application of the tool. Their work also incorporates learning analytics with a tool they built that ‘s a plug-in to WordPress -So I plan to use this as the course project – and hopefully build this into an article that I could submit to the Journal of Reading Development next year!!!  A new journey begins…EXCITING!!!!

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LL ED/Psych pairing update

I learned a lot through this process… from IRB and the perils of a proper informed consent…to getting enough data/information to understand (as much as you ever can) what’s happening in a classroom. I think that now, after the pilot, I am ready to plan the fall, if people are willing to go to round 2. These are the changes I’m proposing:

  1. Students paired with only one instructor – even though the instructors used the same textbook, they were on different chapters – so it made it impossible to have a real common experience of learning Psych – we were never )literally) in the same page
  2. Students should enroll only in the daytime class of Psych – the once a week, 3 hour evening class was too big of a leap for first semester students – requiring too much independent learning and discipline.
  3. I had them doing intense info processing (Cornell notes, completing chapter objective sheets, study plans, practice quizzes, review sessions) for only the first 2 exams – I’ll readjust to do this longer – through exam 4 – and then do a gradual release
  4. Not use the TP text – it was enough with just the psych text.
  5. Data to collect (and include on the informed consent form for them to sign): gpa for 2 semesters, course grades, Psych exam grades, SAT reading scores, end-of-semester survey, clicker question responses

The greatest benefit of this project in my mind was how quickly we could start to talk about expectations of college work and start to address that part of the high school to college gap more quickly through a common experience (learning the Psych content) – Overwhelmingly, students reported a very positive experience in the course – now I want to make sure that  it is also more effective in terms of Psych outcomes – through the changes I am proposing.

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Course in College Teaching Part II

Spring 2013 brought lots of opportunities for faculty professional development on campus. One special request was for a follow-up to the initial CCT that we did a few years back now.

Seven interested folks signed up and we are off to the races! One faculty member calls it “Revenge of the CCT” which made me laugh!

When we ran the CCT (part I) I added an action research component, because we were ramping up our interest in SoTL on campus, and I was hoping to have something for mid-career and seasoned faculty to chew on. That worked so well, that I thought we could do mainly action research for CCT II – or a deeper exploration of one aspect of teaching and learning.

Session 1: We gathered and I gave them a reflection tool to think through possible topics/areas for them to explore in more depth. We set the calendar and talked about individual goals for their participation. We decided to use a private Yammer group as our online space in -between sessions.

Session 2: Everyone came ready with a seed of an idea – an area of interest… and we have a good diverse group of ideas! Motivation, gaming, creativity, performance anxiety, using videos effectively, learning communities. My role besides participant is to provide resources – so I used the tool Scoop it! to gather resources around each of their ideas

Motivation –
Performance Anxiety –
Blended Learning –
Using Video –

Session 3: Everyone should come to the session having read up on their topic – ready to share some nuggets with everyone and in the session, we can talk through possible in-class manifestations of the ideas.

Session 4: Fred led an interesting activity for his art classes – goal to get students to enter into the iterative-ness of creating art – the willingness to let go – to not hold everything as so precious and to take chances – to explore… We each got several magazines, and our job was to find a picture of a face and then text from the magazines (or created on the computer) to go with it …as an “in your face” answer to typical public service announcements – to make a point by doing the opposite of “don’t do this or that”… instead…”The 12-Step Program of Public Service”… the art should finish the statement… “Why don’t you do us all a favor and ___________” smoke 20 packs of cigarettes a day… etc… and find a face to match or vice versa – find an interesting face and try to create a statement that it engenders… We had a set amount of time to create as many as we could – and then we laid them all out on the table – talked about them – and then we could each choose one that we liked to take along… interesting….

Session 5: Kerry posted an update on her Plan B activity from Kinesiology to Yammer for comments and Noel will have a poetry activity for us to start – 25 minutes this session – 25 minutes the next session.. We talked about the nature of poetry as condensed and focused thought and did some reading of different poems..Then we were each given an object to describe  and looked at the elements of our descriptions…then looked at how the actual physical form of the writing can add another dimension to the meaning. Homework – to think of an object from our teaching that is very meaningful and to write a poem about it – trying to use form as well as the poem itself…

Session 6: Noel did part II of the poetry activity where we read our poems and discussed the process/meaning. He gave us a series of questions to answer about the experience of doing the activity. Very interesting for all of us! Kerry talked in detail about her project.

Session 7: I am doing a toolbox activity from my fall 2012 paired reading course on curiosity. This should help me prepare for the Lilly Conference presentation activity that I want to do with folks during that session. Jorge is doing an activity on motivation and his course design.

Perks of this group lie in the variety of things we are exploring and can share with each other – seeing how someone else would do things – using the newness as an opportunity for surprise and insight.

Challenges – sessions on Wed (due to their schedules) are only 1 hour – it’s not enough time for everyone to get to try/talk/share

Insights.. Kerry and I were talking yesterday about the power of being in these small groups to talk about our teaching – the term Circles of Inquiry came to mind as a model for on-going faculty interaction – groups of 3 or 4 meet regularly to talk about questions re; teaching and share activities that they are doing in class..with actual hands-on experience by group members. – The groups share out what they have been working on with the larger faculty community.

I started the summer special edition of the newsletter for folks who want to write up their inquiry process from the CCT II – I opened it up to the campus and anyone who wants to add a classroom innovation they want to talk about. Good responses so far!

More to come…

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