Presenters Announced for Experiments in Teaching

Green lightningJoin the Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and the Munday library for lightning talks and a discussion on pedagogical experiments, Friday, October 24, 3-5 pm in the North Reading Room (Library 137), 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 and include the following faculty and topics:

John Abbott | Using the Citizen Science Website iNaturalist In and Out of the Classroom

Alex Barron | Service Learning in Bangladesh

Peter Beck | Teaching a field research course at Wild Basin

Mary Brantl & Charles Porter | Endurance & Excitement: 2012’s Enduring Women

Monica Cicciarelli | Teaching with a Tablet and Screen Video Capture

Billy Earnest | The iPad-enabled Classroom: Results & Recommendations

Jennifer K. Greene | A Citizenship-Centered Capstone Model

Raelynn Deaton Haynes | Food for Thought: Teaching Marine Conservation through the Eyes of Biodiversity and the Mouths of Students

Kendall Kelly | Bringing the World to Austin: Using the GDC to Create a Global Classroom

Judy Leavell and David Hollier | Anticipating Teachers’ Futures with iPad Technology

I. Moriah McCracken | Teaching Writing with Online, Self-Directed Resources

Jeff Potratz | Hodge Podge: Google Forms, Annotated Answer Keys,’Screen Capture’ Videos, and Pre-Lab Videos

Mark Poulos & Angel Tazzer | The value of classroom teamwork assignments: Is it to reduce the amount of time we spend in grading or is it to prepare students to work well with other colleagues in their future endeavors?

Jason Rosenblum | Gameful learning in Global Social Problems : Fostering impact through experiential engagement

Georgia Seminet | Real Time Quizzing, Polling and Assessment in Class Using Socrative

Tricia Shepherd | POGIL – focusing on both what (content) and how (process) using guided inquiry team based learning

Michael Wasserman | A Travis County Almanac: Using Nature Blogs to Connect Students to Their Local Environment

Pre-register for the event:

We hope to see you there!

2014 Innovation Institute

cropped-header-1k2beicThe 2014 Innovation Institute kicked off on Monday, May 19 in the global digital classroom in the Munday Library.  Sixteen faculty were named as Innovation Fellows or Global Innovation Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year.  During the Innovation Institute fellows are learning about a variety of pedagogical approaches, learning how to integrate technology to support those pedagogical approaches, and developing their fellowship projects, which consist of course designs or redesigns to integrate innovative pedagogical approaches.  The institute will wrap up on May 30 with final presentations by the fellows on progress on their projects so far.  Follow along with what the fellows are learning during the Institute via the Innovation Fellowship blog.

16 Faculty Named Innovation Fellows and Global Innovation Fellows, 2014-2015

We congratulate the 9 faculty named as Innovation Fellows and the 7 faculty named as Global Innovation Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year.  Each fellow will develop, redesign, or modify a course or major course component for the 2014-2015 academic year that does one or more of the following: leverages existing and emerging technologies, includes interdisciplinary approaches, or includes significant pedagogical experimentation.  These courses will serve as models for pedagogical experimentation at St. Edward’s University.  Beginning Monday, May 19, the fellows will participate in a two week Innovation Institute to begin planning their courses.  See the call for proposals for more details and start thinking of your innovation project for the next round of fellowships.  Your innovation fellows are: Continue reading

Enhancing Your Presentations with the ‘Substitution’ Method

Substitution is a technique that addresses the phenomenon sometimes referred to as ‘Death By PowerPoint’. DBP occurs when a speaker reads his slides to the audience (very often word-for-word). While we’ve all endured DBP as audience members or students, it’s still difficult to avoid as a presenter. Particularly when the bulk of what we want to say is already on the slide, we end up in the position of either reading the slide to the audience or attempting to vary what we say to avoid reading. Either way, it can be very difficult to avoid DBP.

In an effort to address the issue of DBP, the “Substitution” method can be very helpful. Neuroscientists (and advertisers) have long known that our brains can associate complicated ideas with images and that images are often easier to remember. The Substitution method capitalizes on the same idea. What begins as a dense, text-based PowerPoint deck can be transformed into an engaging presentation that combines auditory and visual learning modalities to enhance learning and engagement.

Essentially, the steps are very simple. First, we copy the text of each slide and paste it into a word document. Next, we gather content that will allow us to replace the text of each slide with images, charts or infographics. Finally, we replace the text on each slide with relevant content. The net result is that we are able to read from the text of our earlier slides while simultaneously providing the audience with compelling imagery to maintain interest and aid in later recall.  You can see this technique demonstrated in the example below.

If you would like to learn more about this technique, feel free to contact one of the instructional designers in the FRC for more details.Slide1


Digital Reading Practices for the Liberal Arts Classroom

IAnnotate screenshot

Reading and Annotating on My iPad with iAnnotate PDF

Today I’m leading a Tech Snack at. St. Edward’s University on “Digital Reading Practices for the Liberal Arts Classroom.”  Tech Snacks bring together faculty members, instructional technology staff, and others at St. Edward’s University to discuss the pedagogical uses of various technologies.  This tech snack will look at ways that reading has changed in the digital age.  My title is borrowed from a NITLE Seminar I organized last year in which  Stéfan Sinclair and Geoffrey Rockwell introduced the NITLE community to computer-assisted text analysis via Voyant Tools.  When I first proposed this topic, I imagined that I would discuss how I had tried an assignment built around this methodology for the intermediate Latin class on Vergil’s Aeneid that I taught last Spring.  I still plan on sharing this example as a way of exploring how computers can offer a different way into the close reading that we typically teach in the literature classroom. That is, computer-assisted text analysis is one of the new methodologies championed by the digital humanities community.  But, I also want to spend some time discussing how we might continue traditional reading practices in a digital environment.  How do we translate our analog, print reading practices into a digital world and what other affordances might that environment offer?

Earlier this year at our tech snack on mobile devices we ended up focusing on the challenges of reading digitally and replicating print reading practices like highlighting and annotation.  One key challenge for students is that there is not a magic bullet in terms of platforms for reading nor even an agreed upon standard to allow for interoperability.  I use a variety of tools depending on medium and type of reading (I also documented my reading practices in this earlier post: How Humanists Read and Why We Need a Better (Electronic) Reading Ecosystem):

  • Diigo ( for highlighting and annotating the web and saving bookmarks in the cloud with added tags, so I can find them later on any device.
  • iAnnotatePDF ( For reading, highlighting, and taking notes on my iPad.
  • Kindle for reading on my iPad and iPhone (I don’t usually use highlights).
  • Zotero for tracking bibliography  in the cloud with added tags, so I can find entries later on any device.  I sometimes export notes from iAnnotate and add them to these records.
  • Evernote ( for notes from meetings  in the cloud with added tags, so I can find them later on any device.  I can also clip articles (with annotation) from the web, add tags, and same them to notebooks, but I’m not ready to replace diigo with evernote.  I can also forward emails to a notebook with tags.  Since much of my work is done via email and meetings, this platform comes closest to aggregating all I need.
  • Instapaper ( for saving online articles to read later, but I have a bad habit of never getting time to read these.

Most of my reading is done individually and requires ways for me to find things (articles, notes, etc.) later when I need it for some project, talk, workshop, etc.  I hope that today’s discussion will get at some of the reading practices we are trying to inculcate in students.  What should our learning goals be for student reading practices?  I’ll share results from today’s tech snack.

Social Annotation

I also hope we spend some time discussing social annotation because 44% of St. Edward’s faculty who responded to this fall’s survey on Academic Innovation reported that they do not use social annotation but would like to. (Of course, this was also one of the technologies that faculty members also reported they were least familiar with.)  The ability to read  and annotate collaboratively in real time is one of the affordances offered by a digital medium.

Here are some tools I know about for social annotation: