Faculty Learning Community: February & March Sessions

Join Instructional Technology and the Center for Teaching Excellence for our February faculty development events. These sessions will mostly be delivered virtually using Zoom and each one is geared specifically towards teaching online. Sessions will be 30 minutes or less and, whether you are teaching online or just want to know more, these practical sessions will help you expand your pedagogical toolbox without setting foot on campus!

Telling the Story of Your Course in the Online Classroom, Rebecca Davis
Tuesday, February 11, 3:30 – 4 pm in Zoom

Framing and contextualizing learning is an important element in any course to keep students oriented and engaged. In a traditional course, this might be the time spent at the beginning of a class or week. In an online course, that same process of “setting the scene” needs to be explicitly stated through the course introduction video, overviews for weeks or units, and weekly announcements. In this session, we’ll look at how you can build the story of your course and touch on this narrative over and over again. Participants will leave with a sense of their course’s story and how to tell it in the course shell.

Transparent Assignment Design,
Rebecca Davis
Friday, February 14, 12:30 -1 pm in Zoom

Data shows that transparency in teaching can positively affect student success by fostering academic confidence, a sense of belonging, and mastery of skills. What does transparency in teaching look like? In this session, we’ll review transparent assignment models, try out templates for transparent assignment design, and provide you with simple strategies to make assignments clearer in terms of directions, purpose, and outcomes.

How to Calculate Course Workload using the Rice Course Workload Estimator, Rebecca Davis
Friday, February 21, 12:30 -1 pm in Zoom

How much time are students working on assignments for your class? In this session, we’ll take a closer look at time. The Rice Course Workload Estimator is a tool to help instructors quantify and compare student workloads across their course. We’ll try it out, discuss pros, cons, and caveats, and discuss other ways of estimating course workload when planning online courses or documenting course rigor for accreditation bodies.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Friday, February 28, 12:30 – 1:30 pm in Holy Cross Hall 101

Join the Center for Teaching Excellence and Instructional Technology for a hands-on workshop on Universal Design for Learning.

RSVP

Interested in reconsidering your content?  Want to craft assignments for different modalities? Curious about intentional community building? Join us for this workshop on Universal Design for Learning where we’ll discuss general principles of the framework and then have time for application to your own courses. The goal with this lunch session is to provide you with resources to implement changes, both immediately and long-term, into your courses.

We recommend that you watch this video in advance of the session:

Using Hypothesis for Social Annotation in Canvas
Rebecca Davis

Friday, March 6, 12:30 – 1 pm in Zoom
Social annotation helps students better engage in digital texts through shared highlighting and comments. For online classes, this interaction can take the place of shared reading of texts in the face-to-face classroom and can be especially helpful when students are approaching new kinds of texts like academic articles. This session will demonstrate the Hypothesis plug-in for Canvas and examples for using social annotation in online classes.

Getting Started with Accessibility in Online Classes
David Cuevas and Brenda Adrian
Tuesday, March 10, 3:30 – 4 pm in Zoom
Accessibility can be an overwhelming topic, but this session will get you started with some practical steps you can take to make your Canvas courses, presentations, and videos more accessible for your students with disabilities. These strategies will also benefit all of your students.

Best Practices for Making Videos
Jessica Vargas, Eric Trimble, Mike Bell
Friday March 27 at 12:30pm  in Zoom
Join us online to learn about evidence-based best practices for creating course videos.  We’ll talk about making instructional videos and recording presentations or mini-lectures.  You’ll learn more about optimum length, legibility, accessibility, scripting, best ways to record, sound & video quality, framing, lighting and captioning.

Designing Assignments with Instructor Workload in Mind – in Zoom
Mike Weston
Tues March 31 at 3:30pm
In this 30 minute session, we’ll take a look at Assignments from the Instructor perspective. Specifically, we’ll look at techniques for grading efficiently, using rubrics and different types of assignments.

From Written to Digital: Creating a Digital Media Assignment Event

photo of computer and a notebook with a cell phoneThe phrase, the times, they are a changin’, never seemed so apropos as it does today. The advent of the internet and its technology quickly changed how we consume and produce content. You might not think that asking your students to create a digital media assignment is in your wheelhouse but there are some benefits to switching assignments up.

Our own, Dr. Mitchell of Communication finds his students are highly motivated by the creative projects. Through these assignments, students are also asked to engage with the campus community. And if students never pursue a degree in communication, he finds that the skills students learn are applicable across all majors. This supplemental reading from the Chronicle of Higher Education also highlights some of the reasons to move towards digital assignments: Let’s Kill the Term Paper.

In the following articles, we cover what our faculty had to say during From Written to Digital: Creating a Digital Media Assignment event on April 4. Our conversation led us to write on four themes. They are

So follow along and learn how to take your written assignments digital.


Images from Pexels , which are copyright free. Those selected do not require attribution. No infringement intended.

From Written to Digital: Getting Started

Board game with a piece on the start spotOur faculty members reflected on how they began incorporating digital media assignments into their curriculum. Although some of them have been doing this type of assignment for several years, they had some advice to offer those who’d like to dip their toes into the digital assignment water.

Start with a small assignment. With this bit of advice, you can begin by keeping the assignment workload manageable. Don’t start with huge projects like thirty-minute documentaries but instead start with finished assignments that last no longer than 5 minutes.

Schedule in-class time to cover the software. Professor Dede Garrison of Literature, Writing, and Rhetoric says to not be fooled by your students’ technical proficiency. Students may be astute at using familiar technology but when it comes to these assignments, it’s wise to schedule some in-class time to cover the software as per Dr. Don Unger’s suggestion.

Utilize the Digital Media Center. You don’t need to have sole expertise in creating digital content because the Digital Media Center has individuals who can help you and your students.  They can assist with forming the assignment as well as coming into your classroom and teaching your students how to create successful digital media projects.

Learn to use the software yourself. That being said, many of our faculty recommend learning to use the software yourself. You can start by using the software for your own projects as Professor Heath of Journalism and Digital Media did. She stresses that this will help provide a frame of reference for your students on how long these projects should be taking.

Look to your faculty colleagues for templates. You may be surprised to find faculty in your department who are already doing these types of assignments. If you ask, you might find someone who is willing to share what they’ve learned with you.

Now that we’ve discussed a bit of how to get started, let’s examine how we can ensure our students’ success with these projects.


Images from Pexels , which are copyright free. Those selected do not require attribution. No infringement intended.

From Written to Digital: Student Success

bunch of fists bumping in a circleThere’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, our faculty have advice on ensuring your students’ success in these projects.

Emphasize time management is crucial to a successful digital project. In terms of creating a video project, for every minute you’re asking your students to create, that represents an hour of editing–and that’s not even including conducting research, recording footage, script writing, etc. So have a discussion with your students emphasizing that the best projects take time.

Discuss accountability and/or assign roles in group projects. The dreaded group project can be an excellent tool for your digital assignment. Students can become responsible for logistics, script writing, recording, and editing. By discussing how these roles should fill out, the more technically savvy can assign themselves in roles where they can be the most useful and let others stay in more familiar roles.

plan on a white boardHave students create a project plan. Having them figure out what they are recording, who they are interviewing, down to what equipment they will need. Not only will this help them create purposeful projects but it will also reinforce the previous point regarding time management. If your students may feel a need to skip this step, have them present as Dr. Mitchell requires for his Issue Film project.

Record audio right the first time. With the progression of technology, it’s often believed that we can fix everything after we record it. And although this might be true to a certain extent, many of us do not have the time nor the expertise to fix it. Although your students may want the ambient noise of Jo’s Coffee, have them record their interview in a quiet location. The students can then add sounds to the audio/video project when they are editing their videos. As Professor Heath stated, “audio can only be edited so much in the end.” The Digital Media Center offers a whisper room for audio recording.

Raise the stakes by making the viewing audience beyond the faculty member. Dr. Mitchell concludes that by having his students share their projects with each other, the quality of the assignment was higher. It made students want to put forth their very best. As a result, students spent more time on task.

Schedule in-class project editing time. In Dr. Unger’s class, this tactic became especially important as all the videos crafted for Austin Free-Net must have the same look and feel. He could then address any concerns while students were in class. If you’re not feeling particularly savvy, you can have someone from the Digital Media Center on hand to assist your class.

And although this is by no means a comprehensive list of how to ensure student success, you can always drop an email to one of our instructional designers to begin a conversation. Otherwise, let’s move on to how do we actually grade these projects.


Images from Pexels, which are copyright free. Those selected do not require attribution. No infringement intended.

From Written to Digital: Managing Grading

You’re probably thinking that it’s all well and good that we receive support in teaching how to use the technology. But what about the grading aspect? Although you may not feel like an expert or even a budding amateur at this very moment, our faculty members share their experiences to help quell any misgivings you have.

You already know how to grade the content component of a digital media assignment. Is the argument sound? Did the student support their argument with reliable sources? Was a thesis clearly stated? These types of questions should already be familiar to you and will make grading the content a breeze. But what about the technical aspect of the video?

Try learning to use the software with your own projects. Both Professor Heath and Mitchell had the same piece of advice to share. If you recall, this was also a piece of advice in our getting started section. That’s because this can inform so much of what you’re asking your students to produce in their digital media assignments. In grading, it can shed light on what’s possible and not possible.

Ask fellow faculty colleagues for rubrics. Perhaps the most useful piece of advice is that you don’t have to start from scratch. Looking over different rubrics can help you hone in on the areas you want to focus on grading. Here Professors Heath, Mitchell, and Unger have graciously granted us the ability to share their rubrics with you.

  • 1. Introduction/story hook (What is the hook for the story? (25 Points)

    • Does your voice-over contain a hook in the first fifteen seconds?

    2. Script audio/voice-over: (25 Points)

    • Is the interviewee properly identified?
    • Does the voice-over script allow you to build to your main point?
    • Does the voice-over script provide adequate transitions?
    • Does the voice-over script reflect research and knowledge of the subject area?
    • Are you able to leverage operative words —the who, what, when, where, how?
    • Did you upload the script to the blog w/the SoundCloud link?

    3. Audio levels and pacing (25 Points)

    • Are the audio levels consistent?
    • Do you as the interviewer allow space for responses — no talking over your interviewer?

    4. The Edit (25 Points)

    • Does the edited final audio story meet the minimum length requirements?
    • Does it tie the voice-over and interview audio together in a package?
    • Is the audio quality clear? Is the volume level acceptable — not too low or too high?

    Total: /100
  • Credits – 20 points

    • Includes opening credits with title that fits with instructional video series (formatting, naming, etc.)
    • Includes main title image and music
    • Includes closing titles that are formatted correctly and contain accurate information

    Instructions – 40 points

    • Introduction sets up video as part of series and addresses video contents>/li>
    • Body provides step by step instructions without inundating user with extraneous information
    • Conclusion points toward troubleshooting resources and next video in series

    Screencast – 40 points

    • Corresponds to steps in instructions
    • No lengthy pauses or sound flubs
    • Narration is well-paced and clear

    Total: /100 points
  • Content Introduction – 10%

    • Film introduced creatively with examples

    Content – 40%

    • Good variety of interviewees
    • Narration clear and designed to help audience understand issue(s) & perspectives expressed
    • Perspectives expressed creatively illustrated

    Content Conclusion – 15%

    • Narration clearly articulates group perspective and/or summary of points of view expressed

    Form/Editing – 20%

    • Film clearly organized/structured
    • Precise and smooth editing and transitions
    • Editing well-paced and designed to tell a story
    • Sound edits clean and levels balanced throughout film

    Timing – 15%

    • Film length requirement (5-6 minutes) met
    • Film link sent to Instructor prior to class of showing

    Total: /100
  • Your Name: ______________
    Group: __________________

    Rate each member of your group in the following areas related to their group participation. Use a separate sheet for each member of your group. Circle the appropriate number to indicate your rating for each area. Then, total the ratings, divide by 3, and multiply by 10 to get a total score on a 100 point scale.

    Note: This form is between you and your instructor. Your group members will not see this form. They will only receive their average participation score. Using “across-the-board” grades for group members will result in a 50% deduction from your Peer Critique points.

    Group Member's Name: _______
    Total Points: _______________

    Task Functions:

    On a scale of 1-10, rate: how effective was the group member in performing their duties and responsibilities as required?

    Comments:


    Social Maintenance Function:

    On a scale of 1-10, rate: How effective was the group member in contributing to a positive socio-emotional climate? (e.g. showed concern for others’ ideas, openly shared ideas with the group…)

    Comments:


    Group Process:

    On a scale of 1-10, rate: How effective was the group member in contributing to the smooth functioning of the group? (e.g. attendance at meetings, promptness, accepting leadership and/or other functional group roles.)

    Comments:

And that concludes our event writeup, From Written to Digital. Be sure to look out for new events where we discuss digital pedagogy.


Images from Pexels, which are copyright free. Those selected do not require attribution. No infringement intended.

Experiments in Teaching Recap

Experiments in TeachingOn Wednesday, February 22, the Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and the Munday Library hosted Experiments in Teaching, a celebration of pedagogical experiments on campus. At this event, sixteen St. Edward’s faculty members, representing all five schools, presented a series of two-minute “lightning talks” about innovative teaching techniques or projects they have implemented in their classes. The lightning talk format allowed each presenter just enough time to tease the audience with essential information about their work – including a description of their teaching experiment and their goals for taking this approach – and gave the audience exposure to a wide variety of teaching models in use at the university. Presenters and attendees then had the opportunity to mingle during the reception to ask follow-up questions and engage in deeper discussion. Continue reading

Proposal Planning Workshop, Tuesday, February 21, 4-5 pm, Premont 116

Need help preparing a proposal for the Innovation Fellowship or the Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants? Not sure if your idea fits the CFPs? This hour-long workshop will review successful proposal strategies, as well as pitfalls in proposal preparation. Participants should come with ideas and will leave with a proposal outline and/or rough draft.

Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants

Innovation Fellowship

Presenters Announced for Experiments in Teaching

Experiments in TeachingJoin the Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and the Munday library for Experiments in Teaching on Wednesday, February 22, 3:30 – 5:30 pm in Jones Auditorium (Ragsdale 101).

We invite all teaching faculty (full-time, adjuncts, and staff who teach), staff, and administrators to join us for talks and a reception celebrating pedagogical experiments on campus. Featuring a wide variety of St. Edward’s faculty members making brief presentations about their innovative teaching projects, “Experiments in Teaching” will explore the range of teaching initiatives at St. Edward’s University and the models they afford our teaching community. We aim to create a venue for colleagues to share the challenges and successes of teaching innovation. The event will be an open reception with food, drink, and “lightning” talks, followed by informal conversation among all participants. Presenters will use the brief lightning talk format to share a “teaser” for their project then be available for more conversation over refreshments. Lightning talks will begin at 3:30 pm.

Presenters include:

  • Richard Bautch | Gameplay, Biblical Text, and What Drives the Prophet: How Students Turned Call Narratives into a Video Game
  • Peter Beck | Conducting an international field course employing ecological and social research methods
  • Emily Bernate | Using Linguistics Corpus Data in English-Spanish Translations
  • Kim Garza | Augmented Reality to Highlight Archives
  • Katy Goldey and Raelynn Deaton-Haynes | Race for the CURE – A collaborative approach to a course-based research experience for undergraduates in Hormones and Behavior
  • Selin Guner | Xenophobia Workshop
  • Jena Heath | Students as teachers, allaying digital anxieties and building skills
  • Elisabeth Johnson | Close Reading + Glossed Reading via Social Annotation
  • Richard Kopec | Active Learning Pedagogy and LLCs
  • Katherine Lopez | Experiences from Flipping Intermediate Accounting
  • Jack Green Musselman | US/Russia Intercultural Dialogues: A Global Exchange
  • Alexandra Robinson | Whiter Shade of Pale
  • Georgia Seminet | Close Readings with Kami – Students Sharing Knowledge
  • Don Unger | Using Student-Made Videos to Document Community Engagement
  • Teri L. Varner| Using NVivo 11 Pro in Wicked Problems LLC : Listen, Learn & Communication (FSTY 1321)
  • Sara Villanueva | Leading Courageous Conversations in Your Classroom: Helping Students Engage in Difficult Discussions and Civil Discourse
  • Amy Wright | Exploring Austin through a Critical Lens
  • Debra Zahay-Blatz | How to Apply Digital Marketing Certification Content
  • Brad Zehner | Teaching International Business Using a Novella, Shades of Truth

Register for the Event: https://goo.gl/forms/W5i7jxc9CCCCgYTw1

Experiments in Teaching–Save the Date!

Please mark your calendars for:

Wednesday, February 22, 3:30 – 5:30 pm
Jones Auditorium and Lobby (Ragsdale 101)

Co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and the Munday Library

We invite all teaching faculty (full-time, adjuncts, and staff who teach), staff, and administrators to join us for talks and a reception celebrating pedagogical experiments on campus. Featuring a wide variety of St. Edward’s faculty members making brief presentations about their innovative teaching projects, “Experiments in Teaching” will explore the range of teaching initiatives at St. Edward’s University and the models they afford our teaching community. We aim to create a venue for colleagues to share the challenges and successes of teaching innovation. The event will be an open reception with food, drink, and “lightning” talks, followed by informal conversation among all participants. Presenters will use the brief lightning talk format to share a “teaser” for their project then be available for more conversation. Lightning talks will begin at 3:30 pm.

Pre-Register for the Event: https://goo.gl/forms/W5i7jxc9CCCCgYTw1

General Faculty Meeting 2016 Technology Update

Global Learning Ecosystem--now without Blackboard

Global Learning Ecosystem–now without Blackboard

Rebecca Frost Davis, Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology gave an update to faculty at the general faculty meeting on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.  Since she was one in a long parade of speakers, this blog posts shares that update in written form, as well as links to items covered.

Global Learning Ecosystem

We think of ourselves as part of a global learning ecosystem—students learn in and out of the classroom, on and off campus, locally, globally, face-to-face and online. The same is true of us–faculty, staff, and administrators at St. Edward’s University. And the real kicker, the ecosystem is constantly changing. Some changes we drive, like discontinuing use of Blackboard, and some change is thrust upon us. Both our graduates and our colleagues need resilience to deal with all of this change. In the Office of Information Technology, we’ve been focusing on developing internal processes of adapting to that change by experimenting, gathering data, and iterating. In other words, we are using research to drive change. So, what do we know from that experience, and what changes can you expect when you enter the classroom next week? Continue reading