LL ED/BiSc Paired Course Update

We finished up the fall semester and are starting to analyze the data – I have early data to report – as well as a journal of the semester activities at http://sites.psu.edu/fa13project/

We are presenting at TLT Symposium, Gateway Course Experience Conference (John Gardner’s group), and hopefully at Lilly in May.

Started on the paper, too… It feels like good work – forcing me to integrate data bits, stats bits, pedagogy bits, SoTL bits – proving the point that there is nothing like authentic learning experiences.

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First Institutional Research Projects

As a result of my coursework at PSU (cert in Institutional Research) and the Data & Decisions Academy (AIR), I was able to make some serious headway on my first institutional research projects for my campus: 1) cohort study of Fall 2012 and 2013 first-time, full-time, first year students – looking at patterns/differences between the cohorts and retention patterns within the cohorts; and 2) efficacy/impact  of paired courses on campus.

The cohort study creates a baseline for on-going comparison in a longitudinal fashion. It also provided some insights for our EMT Strategic plan – for working with students in the mid to upper SAT ranges who do not persist. The paired courses study provides support to increase the number of paired courses for first-semester students given the success of ENGL 5/ENGL 15 pairing and LLED 005/BiSC 003 pairing.

This has been a serious learning curve – from data collection (understanding data warehouse and Qualtrics, for example) to data and statistical analysis (data reporting, correlation, and regression) to institutional policies (IRB & FERPA considerations), to IPEDS definitions of terms to build consistent cohorts, to increasing the number of faculty-led SoTL studies on campus – this effort has born (and I hope will continue to bear) much good fruit!

I find the more I learn, the more I NEED to learn, and I have so far to go! Importantly, I feel I have found a “hobby” that I really enjoy – working with data and learning to tell the story that the data want to reveal. As a colleague in IR at PSU Alex Yin once said, [I'm paraphrasing] – “It is like being a detective and then learning to tell the story of what the data is revealing.” I can see this will take years to really get confident at this and proficient. But I am enjoying it tremendously and little by little, I am making progress.

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Setting up an ad hoc network with Apple TV and Airport Express

At the Teaching Prof Tech Conference in Atlanta, Dr. Dave Yearwood showed us how to set-up an ad hoc network in a classroom, using the existing projector (or a second one to have a multi-media experience), Apple TV, Apple AirPort Express, and iPads.

Imagine students working on a group project/problem using the whiteboard or other app on the iPad to record their work… Groups join their iPads to the ad hoc network and are then able to easily display their work (when it’s their turn) to present to the class.  A local test worked out fine! No Internet connection though – this minimizes the security risk from sidestepping the local network protections – so our IT Director was fine with it – I’d just toggle back to the classroom computer for Internet needs – The system becomes like the modern version of the flip chart.

The presenter used Show Me Buzzer app for students to use this system in a game show format.

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Changing Role of the Faculty

Caution: Opportunity Ahead – Interesting read from edTech Digest describes a future that is already here in K-12 – Use of data and technology to create personalized learning environments. http://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/caution-opportunity-ahead/

 The article prompted me to ask myself, what is the role of the faculty in this brave new world?

So I gathered a few resources here on the changing role of the faculty:

a) AAC & U Conference – Shaping Faculty Roles in a Time of Change:  Leadership for Student Learning

http://www.aacu.org/meetings/faculty/ – look at links to podcast of keynote and other presentation slides of interest.

b) Inside Higher Ed article: A New Faculty Pathhttp://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/10/02/essay-new-effort-rethink-faculty-roles-and-treatment-adjuncts

c) Presentation by Eugene Rice, Senior Scholar from AAC & U to faculty at Howard University http://www.gs.howard.edu/vlc/jan30_presnt/Changing%20Faculty%20Role%201.30.09.pdf

d) Sloan-C – Changing Role of the Faculty and Online Education http://sloanconsortium.org/jaln/v10n4/changing-role-faculty-and-online-education

e) Faculty Do Matter: The Role of College Faculty in Student Learning and Engagement

– a Study by Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research &  Michigan State University for NSSE

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Faculty Professional Development Model

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk to our e-Education Council about faculty professional development (PD) at our campus, specifically about the lifelong learning (ELLI) project which started last summer and continues into the current fall pilot.

As I thought about it, I wanted to talk about the style of PD that this undertaking represents – one that perhaps isn’t the most efficient, but certainly is extremely rich and rewarding for those involved. Looking at PD on our campus as a whole which includes the traditional methods (workshops, resources via newsletters, websites, blog postings, etc.) as well as outside opportunities (webinars by Schreyer, Educause, Campus Technology, Teaching Professor, Institutional Research, ITS Training Services, and Media Commons), this type of PD opportunity gave me pause and cause to be happy with the resources being provided to our faculty without their having to travel and take time from their busy schedules.

During my preparations for the presentation to the eEducation Council, the model below emerged as a pathway that we’ve come to follow many times now on campus. It all begins with a faculty/campus question/need… In this case, the question was, I want to try something in my classroom and know whether it made a difference or not. How can I go about it?  

Faculty Professional Development schema

As the instructional designer, I ask myself, What do we need to answer the question – training, resources, support, funding?

At the time, I didn’t feel as equipped/confident to answer the question as I would have liked… which in the end turned out to be a good thing – A learning community emerged from this organic process – and together we seek answers and understanding.

I contacted our Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence at our Main Campus for support and  they asked, Who else is interested? It turns out a lot of people were! I reached out to campus instructional designers who got the word out to faculty and quickly we reached capacity for our event. In the spring of 2011, we held a wonderful colloquy on The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) on campus, and the learning path began. Maryellen Weimer, a wonderful scholar and friend to our campus, agreed to be the keynote and we had two tracks for participants: one for those interested in action research projects and the other for faculty more interested in formal SoTL studies leading to publication. Fifty faculty and staff  from multiple campuses attended the wonderful day, but in the end, I was left with the question, Now what are we going to do with what we learned?

So I went back to the cycle to ask again, what else do we need to really do an SoTL project? It seemed to me that our data analysis skills in SoTL specifically needed some work, so I began a process of building a campus data users group to help us build this skill set. Was I ready now? Well, at some point, you just have to dive in with a project and be willing to learn as you go.

So in the fall of 2012, we did our first SoTL pilot study to find out if pairing a college reading course (LL ED 005) with a content course (PSYCH 100 with Dr. Mark Casteel) would help first semester students with low SAT verbal scores to be successful.  I had to do my first IRB proposal, design the study, gather data, and analyze the results. I was able to present some of the findings at a regional conference, evaluate the process, and make changes for the following fall… all-in-all, it was an incredible learning journey.

There were mistakes and challenges, but I was happy that I was going through it, rather than a faculty member. I can see the incredible benefits of allowing instructional designers to also teach: first, it gives us a real stake in our own intellectual growth, and second, it provides a lower risk environment in which to try new processes. I don’t have to worry as much about my student evaluations as a faculty member might. So I can take more risks and try new things that others might not.

In this model, it may seem that I am the one doing most of the learning and to that I would say, yes, in the beginning, but now I am in the middle of a second iteration of the pilot, with our incorporated changes, with a second faculty member. I now feel more confident to engage him in the process since I understand it better. It has been a great collaboration (LL ED 005 and BiSc 003 Environmental Science with Dr. Jorge Santiago-Blay).  We are learning so much and incorporating it back into our paired classes to hopefully benefit our students. We’ll analyze the data in the spring, and again present – at the same time push for publication of the findings.

Additionally, this time, we needed to get funding to incorporate some of the enhancements, including the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI), and adaptive learning technology, so that added to the learning experience and also gave us the opportunity to hold another event and reach out to a wider audience. This time 27 faculty and staff from six campuses attended a 2-day summer training to use the ELLI instrument. In an effort to actually use what we are learning, we incorporated the instrument in our fall pilot and it is being used in the spring in an HDFS course (397A) by Dr. Sukhdeep Gill.

In the spring, I’ll be working with a third faculty member on a variation of the project for students who do not have low SAT scores, but are taking a challenging content-heavy course (EDPSY 014 Dr. Cora Dzubak). Again, we are working the process, and learning as we go, but it is much easier this third time around. Two additional faculty members have approached me about possible SoTL projects, so our group is growing. Next week, we convene a campus SoTL learning community which I hope will grow and thrive as a permanent place for anyone to now come and get help with the question, I want to try something in my classroom and know whether it made a difference or not. How can I go about it?  

In the end, I feel that there are perhaps more efficient ways to do faculty professional development, but I have yet to experience any that have been as rich or rewarding as this!


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New tech discovered at the Teaching Prof Tech Conference – thanks to Dr. Dave Yearwood U. of ND – What an enthusiastic educator – LOVED this speaker!!!



Speaker holds the SWIVL “marker” (the mic) and allows the SWIVL base to track you.

iPod Touch or iPhone gets set-up in the rotating base which swivels to follow the marker.

You use a free SWIVL app on the device that then allows the speaker to remotely start/stop the recording.

There is a special sports tracking mode settings that allows for different types of recordings. See how-to videos at http://www.swivl.com/videos/

See a really bad (sorry!!) video from a recent class that I quickly tried to test it out with 2 different speakers..Fast forward to minute 6:44 to show the hand-off of the marker which worked fine… Watch the ability to track us… Thanks to Andrew Caldwell for being a willing Guinea pig and all around good sport!!

There are definitely issues with capturing the content – The light from the projector is too bright to capture the screen – so it looks like this works better for simply recording the speaker… Last week, I tried with student group presentations – they passed the marker as each student took a turn speaking. Let’s see what else we come up with as we play a little more!

Ideas?? Share them below!

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Teaching Professor Tech Conference

October 4-6, 2013 I attended the first ever Teaching Professor Tech Conference in Atlanta, GA. This was very well attended with over 600 attendees.

Keynotes speakers were good… sessions interesting too. I came home with ideas and gadgets to share… Summaries are below. See me for details if anything interests you! Look for these topics and more in spring workshops!!

Session Handouts: http://www.teachingprofessor.com/2013-teaching-professor-technology-conference-handouts1

Keynote #1Role of Faculty in 2020 Joshua Kim, Director of Learning & Technology at Dartmouth College

Driving forces? Profits… Costs… Innovation

Profits will be found in the substitution of capital for labor (larger class sizes, fewer faculty) …but beware…authentic learning does not scale

Unbundling of services and resources (like airlines move towards regional airlines…pilots have less prestige and lower wages)

Faculty should not disengage from the conversations…and should be at the table with an understanding of the cost pressures and be part of the solution.. .don’t just let Detroit happen to you… Powerpoint Handout and Weblink to Inside Higher Ed Blog entry

Will faculty positions as we know them today be only for the elite institutions and students who can actually afford to pay for a professor in the room?

Session #1 Transforming Writing Pedagogy – U. of Arkansas Little Rock & E. Oregon University

What happens when you translate F2F activities to an online environment and then back into the F2F classroom?

Very interesting presentation by 4 faculty members in traditional writing courses and content courses.. how they adjusted their activity design when courses went online… and again how this impacted the work they decided to do when they returned to the F2F classroom. Handout

Session #2 Flipped Classrooms – Florida International University presentation on their experience with flipped classrooms. Very good background info and suggestions about what works! Weblink to Prezi Presentation

Luncheon Keynote - The Vortex of Technology: Enabling and Enhancing Engagement with Students - Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning and founding director of the Center for Online Leadership and Strategy at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association Weblink to presentation

Session #3 Tools & Tips for the Beginning Screencaster – Millersville University & U. of Western Ontario – Using Mayer’s framework for multi-media learning, the presenters shared good tips for effective screencasting http://www.teachingprofessor.com/wp-content/uploads/Handout-12-Principles-of-Multimedia-Learning-TPTech2013s.pdf

Session #4 - Most dynamic individual at the conference!!  Using the iPad in Your ClassroomDavid Yearwood, University of North Dakota. Using SWIVL and an iPod Touch, the speaker showed us how to record a presentation and using Apple TV and Airport Express how to set up an ad-hoc in-class network to do group presentations and competitions using iPads. I got the SWIVL and have been testing it! See me for more information and a demo!!!

Handout 1   Handout 2   Handout 3

Session #5 Mobile Apps: Engaging Students on their Terms (and their Phones) - Northern VA Community College – using notifications and messages to engage students and keep them informed of upcoming classwork Handout

Session #6 - The Human Touch and Communication in Online Learning
Jill Schiefelbein, Arizona State University
Weblink 1    Weblink 2   Encore Presentation slide deck




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To Give Extra Credit or Not… That is the Question

A faculty member posed a question about extra credit – what is known about effectiveness, etc… so I started a search and found a few interesting morsels for us to chew on.

1) Faculty Focus article – gives the pros/cons

2) We are just starting our Early Progress Reports on struggling students – a good time perhaps to check out this article on a project using extra credit to empower the marginal student with a skills-based extra credit assignment. They had success with it!

3)I found an interesting relatively recent one from a PSU Harrisburg professor (which is a good example of an SoTL-type study!) This project pretty much supported the findings from previous studies in that:

* Females more likely than males to do extra credit
* Students in large classes more likely than those in small classes
* Students with  existing higher grades more likely than those with lower grades to do it

Important in general – make sure that extra credit assignments are educationally meaningful and relevant to content..

Reference articles
Harrison, M. A., Meister, D. G., LeFevre, A. J., (Sept. 2011). Which students complete extra credit work? College Student Journal; Vol. 45, No. 3: 550-555. ProQuest Social Sciences Premium Collection.

Junn, E. N. (Oct 1995). Empowering the marginal student: A skills-based extra credit assignment. Teaching of Psychology, Vol. 22, No. 3: 189-192.

Norcross, J.C. , Dooley, H.S. and Stevenson, J.F. (1993). Faculty use and justification of extra credit: No middle ground? Teaching of Psychology, Vol. 20, No. 4: 240-242.

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Effective Lifelong Learning Event

On July 30-31, 2013, 27 faculty and staff members from six campuses (and one from Elizabethtown College) attended a very successful two-day training event, “Helping Students Become Lifelong Learners.” See details of the event. Participants who attended both days of training, would also be prepared to use the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) in various classroom/campus projects.

Each participant took the ELLI before the workshop began and over the course of two days, we reflected on ourselves as learners, on the instrument itself, as well as effective ways to use it with students in our various contexts. ELLI measures seven dimensions of learning power identified by the researchers who developed the instrument (U. of Bristol, UK). As people explore their own profiles, they enter into dialog with experienced practitioners who help them understand themselves as learners and create an action plan for change. The integration model is one of self-reflection and conversation with an experienced mentor/instructor/adviser, etc. leading towards growth as a lifelong learner along the seven dimensions of learning power.

Participants received a detailed handbook with strategies and background on the research as well as a personal learning profile booklet that accompanies the ELLI profile.

It was really exciting to see the enthusiasm and variety of implementation ideas that came from the various campus groups. From integration into FYE courses, to use in advising conversations, to support for adult learners returning to the classroom, to use in individual classrooms, ELLI as a tool to help students become successful lifelong learners, was very well received.

Negotiations are also on-going with the UK ELLI purveyors to help our campus partners also get access for this first year to pilot their own programs as they secure funding for next year’s access. Fingers crossed we can work something out so they can do something this year.

Thanks to funding from The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, Teaching & Learning with Technology Operations Group, and the Penn State Libraries, we were able to hold this event and offer it to our campus and community partners. Funding will also support a fall implementation project at the York Campus. Barbara Eshbach, Jorge Santiago-Blay, and I are working on a project entitled: Using Adaptive Learning Technology (ALT) and Reflective Exercises using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) to Improve First-Year Success in a Paired Developmental College Reading/Environmental Science Course. Our goal is to gather data to tell us whether the course pairing is effective and whether the use of ELLI and ALT impacts student success and growth over time.

Stay tuned!!!

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How Badly do you Want it?


Believe it or not… persistence pays off…. http://sites.psu.edu/effectivelifelonglearning/ Part one of the project is happening next week! Effective Lifelong Learning training is a GO!! Part two – the fall pilot – also is able to move forward – a bumpy road, but we are moving!

So a team of us (Dr. Jorge Santiago-Blay, Dr. Cora Dzubak, Loren Brewster, Barb Eshbach, and I) wrote a grant to fund a fall project in a paired reading/environmental science course to incorporate adaptive learning technology, mobile devices, and Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) reflections. We worked so hard on it, and our hearts were totally in it, believing the project could make a big difference for first-semester students. Unfortunately, competition was stiff, and our project wasn’t funded. We were pretty devastated and sad to see so much work amount to nothing in the end. The course is offered once a year in the fall so we felt the jig was up…and yet…

What a difference a day or two can make. I still don’t know how it will turn out, but I feel more hopeful than yesterday that something will come out of this for our students! I don’t know which metaphor to use – all feel so apt… house of cards…dog with a bone… or Lazarus… We aren’t giving up – we’ve reached out for support and are seeking to build a small coalition consisting of a library microgrant, support from ETS/TLT, the Schreyer Institute, and Media Commons – If we pull this out, it will be the miracle of Lazarus for sure… But I am a hopeful person, and definitely a dog with a bone for something I believe in…and in the end, maybe this coalition built of a house of cards will stand and we’ll get to do our little project in the end…and our students will benefit!!!

Hard work (with something to show for it in the end) is its own reward.

In the meantime, we’ve done all we can do… and now we wait. Who needs TV drama – real life has enough all on its own!!!!!

Readers, please wish us luck…

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Part-time Faculty Fellowship: Course in College Teaching style :)

Finally, all the stars are in alignment – we had enough people who had the time/interest to do this, and I was able to get one-time funding for participants so this is officially a GO!!!

a cohort with 6 people – 5 sessions – relevant topics – practice teaching session = faculty fellows!!!

All times will be 12:00 – 1:30
Thursday June 13
Friday June 21
Thursday June 27
Thursday July 11
Wednesday July 17


Session 1 – Organization & Pacing
Looking at how you have the material chunked/organized at the course level
Drilling down to the lesson level (lesson planning)
Assignment: turn in one lesson plan

Session 2 – Building in active learning and engagement
Assignment: turn in one description of a class which includes active learning/engagement considerations

Session 3 – Assessment
Making sure lessons – activities – assessments are aligned
Exams are fair and course is rigorous enough
Assessment types
Weighting assessments appropriately
Assignment: an assessment overview of your course (brief – just what assessments you are using and why)

Session 4 – Classroom Management
Adding design elements for desired results
Planning for the first day and beyond

Session 5
10-minute practice lessons
Syllabus design
Assignment: turn in syllabus for feedback

Can’t wait to get started!!!

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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 Sites.psu.edu). 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 sites.psu.edu – 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 sites.psu.edu 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: http://bit.ly/16SA6mO

Presentation Recordinghttps://meeting.psu.edu/p7j64oxh5nk


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: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/Machine-Learning


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