ePortfolio Evaluation Task Force

Eportfolio Word CloudAn ePortfolio evaluation task force, comprised of faculty, staff and students is underway at St. Edward’s University.


Two university-wide initiatives have identified ePortfolios as an important tool for advancing student learning at St. Edward’s University. The five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “Vocation: Discovering One’s Purpose in a Changing World,” will commence in 2017. Reflection plays a vital role in helping students achieve the designated learning outcomes as they move forward on their path of vocational discovery, and the QEP calls for and includes funding for an ePortfolio to aggregate that reflection. The new general education framework should begin implementation with the freshmen class of Fall 2018. Requirement Development Committees composed of more than 80 faculty members representing all schools proposed student learning outcomes and requirements for individual curriculum elements during the 2016-2017 academic year. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of those committees saw a role for an ePortfolio in general education courses for archiving signature assignments and work, reflecting on learning experiences, and integrating general education, the major, and other learning in the curriculum, co-curriculum, and personal experiences. Both the General Education Renewal Committee (GERC) and the QEP Committee have asked that a formal selection process get underway to evaluate potential ePortfolio platforms.

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Effective Strategies for Online Disscussions in Your Course

Planning Your Online Course v2 -Giulia ForsytheOnline discussions can serve as a great opportunity for your students to reflect on the ideas presented in your course and allow them a safe place for challenging academic discourse. This blog post shares a few starting points for thinking about the format of your discussions, the roles students can play in the discussion space, and ways you can assess and incorporate the online discussions back into your face-to-face class. Illustration by Giulia Forsythe

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Higher Ed Highlights from SXSWEdu

In March, Austin hosted the fifth annual SXSWEdu, the education-focused sibling to SXSW’s larger Interactive, Music and Film festivals. SXSWEdu brings together researchers and practitioners to discuss innovative solutions to pressing issues facing higher education as well as K-12.

SXSWEduSt. Edward’s was well represented with faculty presenting in two sessions. Professors Corinne Weisgerber and Shannan Butler provoked one of the more spirited debates at the conference in their session “Disrupting the Disruption in Higher Education”. Continue reading

Freshmen Technology Survey

What device do you prefer to access the web?How connected are the incoming freshmen?  What technology tools do they use?  What tools would they like to use?  Every summer Instructional Technology surveys incoming freshmen during Orientation.  Below are highlights from 590 or our incoming freshmen.  View this infographic of the 2014 Freshman Technology Survey Results to see the complete survey results.

  • Apple is clearly the choice for incoming students!  52% of students are bringing Mac laptops, 21 % have iPads, and 71% have iPhones.  This has been a growing trend over the last few years with 39% bringing Mac laptops last year and 62% bringing iPhones.
  • Students are increasingly using mobile devices to access email, with 68% checking email on their phone.  Only 2% did not have a smart phone and all reported having some type of phone.
  • The laptop is still the preferred method to access the web at 64% but 25% prefer to use their phone.
  • Facebook use is down (72% compared to 87% last year) but Twitter use remains at 53%.  Instagram is used by 74% and Snapchat by 65%. Less than 3% of the incoming freshmen report using none of these social media apps.
  • Email is still preferred 66% to 33% as the method for instructors to contact students.
  • Google services are widely used.  37% of students have used Google Docs, 60% prefer Chrome as their web browser, 55% use Google Drive for file storage and 81% have Gmail accounts.
  • 28%  have never read a book in digital format which is a lower percentage than the 42% that reported never reading an ebook last year.
  • 56% of the freshmen are interested in 3-D Printing, 41% in Google Glass, 30% in wearable technologies and 24% in drones.

Full 2014 Freshmen Technology Survey


Click on the image to see the full infographic.

Tech Snack – Managing Your 21st Century Classroom

Tech SnacksWhat should the 21st century classroom look like? In the fall of 2013 the Taskforce on Academic Innovation and New Academic Approaches surveyed faculty. One of the questions asked faculty to imagine a classroom that is ideal, from a technological standpoint, for teaching.  Responses included whiteboards, smartboards, audience response systems, video conferencing and easily configurable furniture.

What would you like to do in your class? Bring in guest speakers via Skype or Jabber Video? Play videos from the Library collection? Get immediate feedback from all of your students? Join us in a discussion of customizing your classroom using digital tools to create a borderless learning environment. Discover the changes and improvements in the classroom technology in Fleck Hall.  Join Instructional Technology and Austin Doak from Media Services as we discuss the 21st century classroom on Wednesday, September 17 from 3:30 – 4:30 in the Faculty Resource Center, Premont 110.

Please sign up today: http://bit.ly/SEUITTraining so we can bring enough snacks.



Going 100% Digital with the iPad

Coffee & iPadMary Boyd, Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Edward’s University has made the commitment to go digital. As she explains on her new blog, #100percentdigital:

I’ve committed to moving to a 100% digital workflow and practice.  That decision required a lot of persuasion by colleagues, who convinced me that I could do everything I do now, but better, in a completely digital process.

To encourage Mary’s commitment and get the community involved in helping her go digital, I’m offering a little incentive. I’ll buy coffee (or an equivalent beverage) for anyone who catches Mary using paper instead of her iPad. There are a few conditions:

  • It has to be paper she provides. It doesn’t count if you bring her paper in a meeting.
  • You have to tweet your picture to the hashtag #100percentdigital and to me @frostdavis
  • I reserve the right to stop this incentive program if Mary is using too much paper (and I’m buying too much coffee)!

Build your Classroom Technology Toolbox

On September 24, Instructional Technology held a tech snack focused on free tools for classroom use.

What types of technology do you use in your classroom?

Do you need your students to complete their assignments with certain types of software? You can create your own technology toolbox  from cloud-based tools that are free to use and can benefit students both during the course and after. If you need training for yourself or your students on any of the software that is listed, please contact training@stedwards.edu with your request.

Classroom Management, Collaboration, and Productivity:

Social Bookmarking and Personal Research:

Web Based Presentation Tools

Free E-Books and Other Open Educational Resources

Website Development

Why You Should Have Multiple Web Browsers On Your Computer

The main reason why it is a good idea to have more than one web browser installed on a computer is that it provides a back-up or alternate way to connect to the Internet when a favorite web browser suddenly stops working or denies access to a particular website. Technology is not perfect, as much as we expect it to be. Programs, software, and websites change, get updated and, sometimes, break for unknown reasons.

If you’re still not convinced your browser might be displaying certain webpages differently or not as effectively than another browser, then consider these situations:

1. Versatility

Having multiple web browsers installed on the computer provides you with different interfaces to connect to the Internet. The page loading speed of Google Chrome might be more attractive than using a web browser such as Mozilla Firefox that provides the user with a wide variety of tools and gadgets, or vice-versa.

Try out a variety of web browsers to see what they do and how they display the Internet content on your computer. You may discover that you like one of the newer ones more than your current browser. A list of popular and acceptable web browsers for the Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems is provided at the end of this article.

2. Compatibility and Security

Some websites might not open properly after awhile with the default web browser. Try another web browser to access the website.

3. Reparability/Reliability

Web browsers wear out, become corrupt, out dated and break, just like other computer programs. Upgrading the web browser version or completely re-installing the browser program usually corrects the glitch. But, this isn’t effective when time is not on your side. Using a backup web browser to access information on the Internet will save time and headaches until the problem can be fixed.

Here is a list of some of the more popular and SEU compatible web browsers:

Windows computers:

Mac and Linux computers: