What did we learn? 2016 Summer technology institute

Day 1

The Education Technology team had a splendid time immersing ourselves with you in conversations on the confluence of teaching, learning and technology. Linda Vaden-Goad introduced our theme of “communication” as a pathway to student success. As Linda said, students are eager to learn, but can be anxious. This was our starting point.

Bridgett Galvin led us in a compelling conversation to conceptualize the place of discussion in our courses, including ways we can use discussion for community building, engagement and assessment. In the online environment, discussions can be how we introduce ourselves, where students reflect on subject matter, and what you use to take the pulse of the “classroom”. This is why it’s so important to align our discussions with our course objectives.

“How did you do that?”

Interacting with technology in an online environment can be daunting. Anne Lutz taught us how she starts with a positive interaction and flips her language about problems to a focus on solutions. For example, an indirect compliment can be powerful. You can ask your student how they are coping or achieving in the online environment. Asking how implies that you recognize at the start that your student has competency and agency and this builds student self-confidence.

Sometimes our students will guide us to make our course responsive to their needs, as we saw in Brenda Dostie’s video case study on using WhatsApp.

Scott Greenberg echoed all of the previous speakers by sharing that student evaluations often show a correlation between student satisfaction and the frequency and quality of your feedback.

Of Minute Papers and Muddiest Points

Feedback is not only something we give - it’s something we receive if we want to improve the learning experience. Mark Nicholas described nine methods for collecting formative feedback. These are ungraded ways to assess and survey how students (and you!) are doing. Your challenge now is to figure out how to apply these methods using the online tools at your disposal.

Can you read this?

We wrapped up Day 1 with some thoughts about how to incorporate content that meets the needs of all learners. It was also an opportunity to learn how CASA and the Library can be invaluable resources for you. Millie Gonzalez spoke about copyright and why it’s a great idea to involve the Library early in your content creation process.Vikky Angelico got us to think about how applying universal design will not only achieve your goal to accommodate learners with disabilities, it will also make your course more accessible to all your learners. This was emphasized in Stacy Cohen’s scenario activity. We asked, how do we make our courses more accessible to learners on mobile devices and learners with different learning styles?

Day 2

Our second day focused on application. We started with interesting presentations by our Innovation Grant recipients: Ben Atchison is saving his students money with an OER math textbook he developed; Conny Breuning will be networking her computer science students to facilitate group work and problem solving; and Laura Osterweis will be gamifying her course to encourage her students to read the materials. Will challenges, quests, competition, teams and leaderboards engage Laura’s students? Find out at next year’s Summer Institute!

Speaking of gamification- some of you learned important Blackboard features through a little playful competition in our Scavenger Hunt. Congratulations to our top point getters, Colleen Toronto, Ruth Remington and Susan Mullaney.

Special thanks to Keith at the FSU Bookstore for donating the prizes!

That was efficient

Then we dug into the nuts and bolts of grading and providing feedback through Blackboard. Cindy Bechtel shared how the Grade Center’s Rubric function and built-in annotation tool make grading much more efficient than downloading papers and correcting them offline. Steve Courchesne shared a way to take feedback you provide again and again, plug it into a text expander and *poof* make your carefully crafted feedback appear in an instant.

Lights, Camera, Action!

We ended the Summer Institute with Panopto, a great an easy to use lecture capture tool. Stacy Cohen guided the group through the process of initiating the tool in Blackboard and we practiced recording short videos.

Robin, Stacy, and Steve all want to thank the presenters for your time and all of you for actively participating.

What’s next?

Please respond to our brief survey.

Check out our upcoming workshops for the Fall Semester.

We have resources to share. Check them out!

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