Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that are freely available and openly licensed, allowing you and your students to access and use them in your courses for free. OER include textbooks, curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, video, audio, simulations, assessments, and any other content used in education (ELI 2018).
Have you considered incorporating OER into your courses? Use of OER reduces cost for students and ensures all students have access to course materials from day one, thus breaking down barriers to access and affordability. As an instructor, using OER allows you to choose the most current, meaningful content and customize materials to your specific course learning outcomes.
Check out this video for a brief overview of OER and research on their effectiveness:
“7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Content.” 7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Content, ELI, June 2018, https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/6/7-things-you-should-know-about-open-education-content.
Come join us as we begin our second year of “20 Minutes to Launch” workshop sessions. Each week, we’ll teach you one new technique that you can use in your teaching practice right away, and we’ll strictly adhere to the 20 minutes time limit. Of course, snacks will be provided.
We’ll offer each session on Tuesdays at 12:30pm in Holy Cross Hall, Room 101. If you have an idea for a topic that you don’t see below, please reach out to Michael Weston at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 10 – Take 20 minutes and join us for a look at Qwickly and see how easy it can be to take and track attendance in Canvas…with snacks!
September 17 – Take 20 minutes and join us as we discover how easy it is to find the free images licensed for reuse for your Canvas courses, slide decks, and other digital use …with snacks!
September 24 – Take 20 minutes to learn how to improve your Gmail experience by learning to schedule emails to send later, set reminders, use the advanced search, and use dynamic emails. . . . with snacks.
October 1 – Join us to learn about what open educational resources are, and how they can save students money, improve access to required course materials, and give you more control over the content covered by these materials.Snacks provided, of course.
October 8 – Join us for a hands-on 20-minute workshop on digital storytelling using Adobe Spark. We’ll show you some of the ways that it’s being used in higher education, review the basic capabilities of Adobe Spark and provide an interactive demo.
October 15 – Got 20 minutes? Come learn how wireless projection technology can help you create a more democratic and student-centered learning environment in your classroom… with snacks!
October 22 – Take 20 minutes to learn how you can record student in-class presentations.From improving grading accuracy to student self-reflection, Panopto can make a difference in your course.
October 29 – Join the Office of Information Technology for a hands-on 20-minute workshop on Virtual Reality and how it is being used in higher education and here at St. Edward’s.
November 5 – Would you like to make sure your course materials are available to all students? Take 20 minutes to learn some easy ways to make your Canvas course materials accessible.
November 12 – Take 20 minutes to learn some tips and tricks for making your PowerPoints accessible! Did you know that PowerPoints need to be made accessible to help students with disabilities? Join us in going over some tips and tricks to make your presentations accessible. Snacks provided!
November 19 – Take 20 minutes to learn how students can create portfolios to connect and reflect on learning and experiences in and out of class. With snacks.
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The list below has been curated based on the expressed interests of the 2019-2020 Innovation Institute fellows. These innovative technologies are widely used in higher education and can be used for a number of pedagogical purposes. This page is intended to provide a quick overview of the tools, please contact Mike Weston (email@example.com) or David Cuevas (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance in getting started. For a quick overview, Mike and David put together a short video:
Creating High Quality Images, Pages and Videos with Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark is a versatile tool you can use to create graphics, stories, and animated videos you can post in your Canvas course and your website. Spark is also incredibly easy to use, so feel free to check it out here: http://spark.adobe.com
For a more in-depth primer on how you can use Spark in your own teaching practice, you can view the LinkedIn Learning course:
How do we support and amplify the “Quiet Voices” in our classes?
In the “Teaching In Higher Ed” podcast linked below, you’ll learn more about issues that arise in the online classroom and how a tool like Flipgrid can help address these challenges. It’s a great podcast that discusses a variety of important topics to educators in higher ed:
Here’s an explanation of the video discussion tool, Flipgrid, that’s referenced in the podcast:
What exactly is Social Annotation and how can I use it?
Social Annotation is a great way to promote student-to-student learning and critical engagement with literally any web page on the worldwide web. The tool explained below is called Hypothesis and it’s one of several popular tools for social annotation.
What is Panopto and how can I use it?
It’s hard to believe that we’ve had Panopto for over three years now but in that time it has become one of the most popular teaching technologies on campus. In this video, Mike Weston provides an example of a popular use case: recording a video from your office or home. Instructors who use Panopto to grade presentations tell us they love the ability to speed up the video (hover over the bottom right corner when the video is playing and click the “1x” to select a faster speed), give it a try!
CATME Smarter Teamwork
The CATME system was designed to help instructors manage groups in their courses easier. There are two main parts of the CATME system: Team-Maker and Peer Evaluation.
Team-Maker allows you to automatically create groups based on survey questions sent to your students. Metrics such as availability, the type of role students are comfortable within group work or instructor-created questions can be generated. The Peer Evaluation system provides a way for group members to rate their peers based on different metrics. Instructors can select pre-made questions to rate their peers by such as how active group members were on projects, deadline issues or instructor generated questions.
Watch the CATME overview video below to learn more!
Portfolium – Electronic Portfolio’s
Portfolium is a platform to create digital learning portfolios. Learning portfolios (ePortfolios) are collections of student work and other evidence from their career in higher education — often accompanied by reflections — that demonstrate broad skills and competencies possessed by students. E-portfolio’s can be used upon graduating to send to potential employers to show off the skills and accomplishments during their educational experience.
Watch the video below to see if Portfolium is right for you!
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Discussion boards are a great way to enrich the learning of your students in a course and create an active learning environment where students take their understanding of the content and create their own connections and meaning through discussions and the sharing of experiences.
The goal of discussions is to have your students think critically about the topic, form an understanding of how it relates to the real world and be exposed to different perspectives through peer to peer interaction.
Below are some best practices for creating and managing a discussion board.
Setting Up Your Discussion
Write a specific discussion prompt which encourages students to think about the content in a real world context.
Provide students with suggested peer response questions (ex: When replying to your peers think of the following questions: 1. …).
Use Specific guidelines to make it clear what the expectation of their response should be (response must be within 300-500 words, support your response with something from your readings, etc…).
Ensure students respond before seeing their peers’ posts by selecting the ‘Users must post before seeing replies‘ in Canvas so that they can write their response without peer influence.
Have students respond to at least 2 of their peers. This exposes them to different perspectives on the topic and also allows them to provide a different perspective to their peers.
Give a specific due date for both the initial response and peer response. This allows them time to review the content and respond to their peers and keeps them accountable for staying on track.
Come join us as we launch our new series: “20 Minutes to Launch”. Each week, we’ll teach you one new technique that you can use in your teaching practice right away, and we’ll strictly adhere to the 20 minutes time limit. Of course, snacks will be provided.
We’ll offer each session twice per week:
Tuesdays at 12:30pm in HCH101 (1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 03/5, 3/13, 3/27, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16)
Wednesdays at 11:30am in JBWS180 (1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17)
Session topics include innovative features in Canvas and Gsuite (Google) that help Instructors save time, try new things, and improve student engagement:
Make Online Discussions Manageable by Grading with Rubrics –
The Office of Information Technology is conducting a pilot of technology to support the creation of Learning Portfolios. Learning Portfolios are collections of student work and other evidence from their career in higher education (often accompanied by reflections) that demonstrate broad skills and competencies possessed by the students. In other words, learning portfolios showcase student learning.
between general education, major, and elective courses, as well as
with co-educational experiences like work, civic and volunteer activities, and personal interests.
Learning Portfolios are also a place for students to reflect on what they have learned. Some majors have students assemble examples of work done in their major, select works that illustrate what they have learned in the major, and reflect on their learning. These portfolios are also useful repositories to draw on in conversation with prospective employers.
The potential use of learning portfolios in general education means that every student will need their own portfolio, so it makes sense for the university to consider providing a portfolio tool at the enterprise level (a tool that everyone on campus can use). Before we can select that tool, we need a better understanding of technology requirements. And before we can determine requirements, the new general education curriculum, which launched in Fall 2018, needs to work out the process and practices of learning portfolios. To enable that work, the Office of Information Technology has licensed a product named Portfolium for the 2018 – 2019 academic year. Instructional Technology chose this tool with input from pilot faculty because it is easy to use and plugs into Canvas. We will use this pilot to help determine requirements for future tool selection, which we hope to accomplish in Spring 2019. Regardless of what tool the university ultimately uses, students will retain their Portfolium profile free for life.
Six faculty who teach general education courses have already volunteered to begin using Portfolium in the Fall 2018 semester once Portfolium becomes available in October. Two other history faculty will be piloting the use of portfolios in the history major. We have plenty of licenses for Portfolium, so we are seeking faculty volunteers for Spring 2019, as well. If you are interested in trying Portfolium or have questions about this pilot please contact Rebecca Davis or Brenda Adrian in Instructional Technology.
All to help you with your productivity as you work on your classes or collaborate with your students and colleagues. For more information about G Suite, visit support.stedwards.edu and search for G Suite or Google. Happy start of the semester!
Transitioning from summer to the fall semester can be tough, particularly when there are changes to the technology you use to teach. To help get you on track for a great semester, we wanted to highlight some updates across the Office of Information Technology you need to be aware of.
G Suite Has (Finally) Arrived
Yes, it’s true! All faculty, students and staff have access to these core G Suite applications:
You’ll notice there’s overlap between some of these services and other tools at the university — notably Google Drive and Box. Sometimes, that overlap is perfectly fine; at other times, we may find we can condense our tools into one. We’ll be looking at each area individually.
That said, a note about Google Classroom: Despite its name, Google Classroom is not a full Learning Management System. You are welcome to use it, if you think it’s a fit for your class, but the only supported LMS at St. Edward’s is still Canvas.
For more information — including comparisons of functionality with existing tools — search “Google” at support.stedwards.edu.
A Reminder About Your Password
In the spring, we rolled out a new university Password Policy. As part of this policy, everyone at the university is required to change their password once a year. (For 30 days before your password expires, you’ll get notifications when you log in.)
Want to get ahead of the game? You can find out when your password is set to expire and reset it at any time by logging in to account.stedwards.edu.
Having trouble logging in? Your password may have expired over the summer. We can get you back into your account at (512) 448.8443 or Moody 309.
Introducing myHilltop Mobile
Available for both iOS and Android devices, the new myHilltop mobile app makes getting things done on the go even easier. In the app, you can search myHilltop tasks (mobile-friendly tasks appear by default) and find contact information for campus offices. There’s also a handy link to the campus map and an easy button to get to Canvas.
The app is in active development, so it will continue to grow and evolve. For now, consider it a fast pass to the university’s one-stop shop.
Some Things Never Change
Like us! If you need help starting your semester, ending it or just managing the middle, we’re here to help. Our Instructional Technology staff is a key resource when it comes to your courses, but they’re not the only place you can turn to for assistance.
Help Desk The first line of defense against technology issues and the router of all things OIT support. Moody 309 M-Th: 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. S: 9 a.m.-noon
Instructional Technology Hub Faculty-focused support in a faculty-centric space. Holy Cross 101 M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Digital Media Center Lights, camera, action! Digital production education and execution in a high-tech space. Munday Library 246 M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Not on campus? Search support articles or submit a case at support.stedwards.edu or give us a call at 512-448-844. To stay in the know throughout the semester, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, where we post updates and events.
It’s that time of year again when all the reports come out to tell faculty about this year’s incoming freshman class, like Beloit’s Mindset List which annually reminds us all of how old we are. The Office of Information Technology partners with our summer orientation programs to survey all incoming freshmen about their technology habits. This year we had 523 responses to the survey. Follow this link to see all eight infographics and read on for highlights: Freshmen Technology Survey Infographics
Some of those reports tell us that our freshmen are members of Generation Z and describe them as “connected since birth” (Cheryl Faux. “Generation Z: Connected From Birth.” 27 February 2015.) Our survey results bear that out–100% of survey respondents report owning a smart phone. In past years, there was always at least one who did not; but this year we’ve crossed the threshold to full ownership. That constant connection comes out in their digital habits–they spend their time online on social media (85%, with Instagram and Snapchat as the leading apps), 63% check their email at least daily with another 19% checking when notified, and 64% manage their to do lists with reminders on their phone. A staggering 90% of students video chat, with 75% using Facetime (82% have iPhones). Take a look at all eight infographics (also linked from the thumbnail below) to gain more insight into how they take notes, manage deadlines, and prefer to communicate with instructors. Continue reading →