Check It Out: Teaching & Learning Center Collection
The authors draw on “research from a breadth of perspectives to identify a set of key principles underlying learning” and provide guidance for applying those principles to college students through thoughtful course design and instruction. I found the book to be a bit overwritten in parts and oversimplified in others, but all-in-all a good read that offered some thought-provoking concepts and ideas in regard to designing a course and presenting material with “how learning works” in mind.
Applicable Knowledge / Skills
Some of the concepts that I found particularly interesting and applicable are as follows:
- Course improvement should follow a process of “progressive refinement” with continuous incremental changes and reflection.
- Increase student learning through “goal-directed practice” and “targeted feedback.”
- Increase student motivation by making the “value” and “expectancy” of the course evident to them.
- To increase “expectancy” and “mastery” establish student learning outcomes and course goals that help students see “component parts” of a “complex task.”
- Prior knowledge can help or hinder student and teacher course performance so it is necessary to determine what your and your students’ beliefs are regarding intelligence, ability, and learning.
“Numerophobic” safe. Useful research-based information presented in a readable manner.
Book Review Club
If you’re interested in writing reviews of the books in the TLC Collection, contact Josh Ellis (email@example.com), who will be starting and facilitating a Book Review Club through the TLC in 2016-2017. As you peruse the shelves for a book to read, review, and share, keep P. J. O’Rourke’s insightful suggestion in mind: “Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”
Thanks to a recent upgrade, CSC Online-Sakai is now powered by one of the most actively developed open-source learning management system (LMS) platforms available. On March 7th, between 6am and 2pm, CSC’s LMS hosting partner, Longsight, successfully moved the CSC Online codebase to the community version of Sakai v10.5. As online programs grow at CSC, the technology supporting them must also grow. This upgrade was an important step in providing a stable and economically sustainable online learning platform. A huge thanks to all faculty, staff, and students for bearing with us as we completed this major upgrade and for providing valuable feedback.
Moving a heavily used, hosted application to a new codebase and software version is no small feat. The project requires many hours of planning and testing. The goal in any major application platform update is to identify and fix all major issues before the new software instance is launched to end users. In this regard, the March 7th upgrade was a resounding success. However, there were several minor issues; these were reported and swiftly resolved (within 12-48 hours in almost all cases) in the days immediately following the upgrade.
With application updates come new opportunities to make the experience better for all users. This experience is extended to the CSC Online-Sakai students in the form of building more engaging courses with better tools. Some of the new features offered in Sakai 10 were discussed in a previous blog post. Additionally, Longsight offers extensive documentation and tutorials covering all features and tools available for instructors to use in Sakai. All faculty are encouraged to read the Sakai 10 Instructor Guide.
The TLC will continue to coordinate rolling updates and improvements to CSC Online-Sakai in a timely manner. A rolling (non-disruptive) incremental update to Sakai 10.6 is planned for the near future and will provide approximately 100 bug fixes and enhancements. Since this is an incremental update, users will not experience downtime. For more details about Sakai 10.6 and a list of all improvements visit the Apereo Sakai 10.6 release webpage.
As an added benefit to aligning CSC Online’s Sakai instance with the community codebase, we are able to track changes and find out about current developments within the Sakai community. For example, see what’s planned for Sakai 10.7.
Thanks to the update, the TLC is actively working to include several commonly requested vendor integrations including EBSCO Curriculum Builder, McGraw Hill Campus/Connect, and Cengage products. Additional details on these integrations are forthcoming.
As always, contact Sam Ballard in the TLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-432-7089 with any questions about CSC Online.
Document cameras are increasingly becoming a technology staple in the office and classroom. Problem solving with pen and paper as well as displaying physical objects, such as textbooks, timers, artwork, and student projects are among the many ways document cameras are incorporated into instruction. Long gone are the days of bulky, expensive specialized document cameras, often referred to as visual presenters or “Elmos.” USB-enabled camera technology has significantly evolved, making cameras extremely versatile and affordable. Software can extend the useful life and capabilities of USB-enabled document cameras that enhance teaching and learning.
Some of the most versatile and modern document camera models are available from Ipevo. Ipevo is a company geared toward making technology affordable and available in education. The Ziggi line of document cameras offers models that incorporate many of the most advanced USB document camera technologies. Features include wireless display functionality (iZiggi), High-Definition (HD) 30-frame-per-second (fps) live imaging, resolutions up to 3264×2448, autofocus with 12x digital zooming, and powerful yet intuitive Ipevo Presenter software.
During the summer of 2014 campus classrooms were updated to include the release of the iZiggi HD document camera model. The iZiggi HD revolutionized the USB document camera industry on multiple fronts, including price, performance, and functionality. The iZiggi integrates an autofocus 5.0-megapixel document camera with optional wireless HD live-streaming into a compact and affordable multifunctional document camera. The optional wireless feature of the iZiggi HD supports faculty and student devices in the classroom while providing the freedom to use wirelessly the iZiggi as either a document camera or webcam.
Ipevo has further refined the success of the Ziggi document camera platform with the recently released 8.0-megapixel Ziggi HD Plus. Although not wireless capable, the Ziggi HD Plus is designed to accommodate the latest in lag-free USB livestreaming and to provide better low-light performance. Built similarly to the iZiggi, the Ziggi HD Plus includes a multi-jointed stand with a swiveling camera head and incorporates an integrated microphone. Optional accessories, such as the lighted magnifying lens, add versatility.
USB cameras are typically designed to directly connect to a computer or mobile platform and leverage software to extend camera features. The Ipevo Presenter software is designed to be extremely intuitive and easy to use. The latest version of Presenter software features the ability to create still photos (snapshots) or to make video recordings of live images. Users can easily annotate over images and generate digital content that can be integrated into online curricula.
Follow these guidelines for the best experience when using Ipevo document cameras:
- Most USB cameras perform better with adequate lighting. If the image looks grainy, it is often due to poor lighting conditions. The iZiggi camera can connect an inexpensive, flexible USB light into the base. Alternatively, a desk lamp or battery- powered LED light can be used.
- Image resolution often must be adjusted according to intended purpose. Ipevo document cameras are capable of very high resolutions, up to 3264×2448. Live motion-enabled images displayed at very high resolutions require significant computer resources. It is often necessary to adjust the image resolution to balance display for either motion (frame rate) or image detail (resolution). For lag-free motion, use lower resolutions. For greater detail, use higher resolution, however, be prepared to sacrifice frames-per-sec (fps).
- Lock and manually adjust focus or exposure settings if necessary. Similar to still photography, some objects and environments do not work well with automatic camera settings. The Ipevo cameras can turn off automatic exposure and focus settings. Manual adjustments can then be made with Presenter software.
- The digital zoom capabilities of the Ipevo document camera can be very useful. However, when zooming in on an object the camera is very sensitive to movement. You may get better results by using the Presenter software to enlarge the image using the “click and drag” command.
Increasingly, the TLC is focused on reporting emerging technologies and identifying professional development opportunities that enhance teaching and learning on our campus. As the TLC staff reviews technologies, we will hold informational seminars and invite faculty to participate in a testing and review process. To discuss training opportunities and/or suggest “new arrival” gadgets, please stop in for a visit or contact the TLC’s IT Analyst, Jereme Patterson (email@example.com or 308.432.6234).
Faculty and Staff:
The mix of warm sunny days followed by flower-crushing snow and hail storms gives one pause to T.S. Eliot claim in 1922: “April is the cruelest month.” Regardless of the weather in April, keep a positive attitude and enjoy the wonderful things your colleagues and students are doing this month. The art, music, and theater departments are sponsoring the senior show, music recitals, choir and band performances, and “No Holds Bard,” a theatrical foray into all things Shakespeare. For more information, visit: http://www.csc.edu/calendars/happenings.csc.
- MAP Priorities and Projects on Chadron State 2020
- Visit the VPAA Update archive versions on the VPAA website: http://csc.edu/vpaa/snaresreleases/index.csc.
Faculty searches in progress: 3 Business; 1 Science; 1 Art; 1 ESP/HPER; 2 Graduate (Counseling & Education).
Aaron Field accepted the ESP/Rangeland position.
Academic staff searches in progress: Liberal Arts Office Assistant II.
The Human Side of CSC: Monthly Series
College Relations is publishing a monthly series of news articles highlighting various departments on campus in an effort to assist students, faculty, and staff in gaining an increased awareness and understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. Beginning in January 2016, news articles have been published about Counseling, Psychology and Social Work (CPSW), Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER), and Applied Sciences. English and Humanities
will be published in April and Education will be profiled in May. Additionally, professional departments will be featured throughout the summer months.
17-18 March 2016 Board of Trustees Meeting
Highlights of the March Board meeting have been assembled by Alex Helmbrecht, Director of College Relations: http://www.csc.edu/modules/news/public_news/view/11238. The Board meeting materials are available at the Nebraska State College System site: http://www.nscs.edu/.
Math and Science Building
As provided in President Rhine’s 25 March 2016 correspondence to campus, approval of a bill seeking $21.2 million to fund the Math and Science renovation did not bear fruit in the 2016 Legislative session. For President Rhine, NSCS Chancellor Carpenter, and the Board of Trustees the Math and Science project remains a top priority and the need is beyond doubt. A sentiment expressed by Leo Tolstoy has relevance for this occasion: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” For those in higher education two constant companions on our journey to achieve success are patience and time.
However the 2016 Legislative session did approve funding to complete phase one for athletic facilities. While a significantly smaller dollar amount, it illustrates the facility needs of CSC are not forgotten. The 31 March 2016 Eagle newspaper article provides some further details.
Frontier Rural or Frontier and Remote (FAR)
As shown on various maps, CSC is the only four-year Nebraska institution that serves Frontier Rural or FAR communities. Based upon the 2010 census, Chadron is more than 60 minutes from an urban area of 10,000 or more people (FAR level three). This is the case for 4.3 million individuals in the USA or 1.4% of the USA population. Your work on a daily basis makes a difference for those who live in the last frontier.
“Frontier areas are the most remote and geographically isolated areas in the United States. These areas are usually sparsely populated and face extreme distances and travel time to services of any kind,” according to the National Center for Frontier Communities (http://frontierus.org/defining-frontier/). This site includes
- Frontier Communities timeline: http://frontierus.org/frontier-timeline/
- Frontier Maps of counties, demographics, and land classification: http://frontierus.org/maps/
“Recent research indicates that the demographic and economic penalties associated with small size and remoteness may be increasing” according to the USDA Economic Research Service. FAR maps are available at the following site: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/frontier-and-remote-area-codes/documentation.aspx
Romance and Marriage Plots
The final Graves lecture for 2015-2016 will be presented on Tuesday, April 5 (7 pm, LLC 111). Janice Haynes will examine the roles of family members through the lens of romance and marriage plots centered on single mothers.
Academic Study Table
In fall 2015, Assistant Professor Kurt Kinbacher launched an “office hour” experiment in the Library Learning Commons. It’s a promising foray into an area of pedagogy that has received little scholarly attention – how to engage students during one’s office hours? For more information about Kinbacher’s approach, please read his post on the TLC Blog: http://academic.csc.edu/tlc/blog/?p=1409, and consider registering for his April 14th seminar on the topic: http://csc.edu/tlc/workshops/.
Blogging for Academics
The last of the TLC workshops this year is designed to expose participants to WordPress, the most widely adopted open-source application on the WWW. Workshop participants will examine and discuss the proliferation of academic blogging and learn to apply the strategies and techniques for maintaining a proper blog. There are still a few seats available. Register at: http://csc.edu/tlc/workshops/ or contact Elizabeth Ledbetter (firstname.lastname@example.org).