Book Review: Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses
Check It Out: Teaching & Learning Center Collection
The author poses the question, “How can I create courses that will provide significant learning experiences for my students?” A question, or possibly a riddle, that I feel the author does an excellent job of addressing with a practical research-based paradigm shift from “content-centered” to “learning-centered” course design and delivery. A tweaking (not to be confused with twerking) of Bloom’s Taxonomy could be considered blasphemous amongst educators, but I found the author’s “Taxonomy of Significant Learning” to be “Aha!” inducing.
Applicable Knowledge / Skills
Concepts I’ll be implementing from this book:
- The use of a “learning portfolio” to “simultaneously integrate and promote significant learning goals, active learning activities, and educative feedback and assessment.”
- Using the “Taxonomy of Significant Learning” as a general guide to enhance course design, delivery, and assessment.
Useful information abounds. Read it, and/or swing by my office for a chinwag.
Book Review Club
If you’re interested in writing reviews of the books in the TLC Collection, contact Josh Ellis (email@example.com), who is facilitating the 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.”
In early August, the Teaching & Learning Center hosted a 2-day Summer Institute with professional development sessions aimed at tuning up online courses. Elizabeth Ledbetter, Dr. Tracy Nobiling, Dr. Nathaniel Gallegos, and Sam Ballard delivered event sessions featuring tips for making online courses accessible, exploring ways to make a syllabus more learner-centered, delving into copyright, and providing a hands-on introductory experience with Virtual Reality. Aaron Johnson, author of Excellent Online Teaching: Effective Strategies for a Successful Semester Online, facilitated several sessions highlighting strategies for developing robust online discussions, tips for time management, and top ingredients for effective lecturettes.
Faculty members offered these comments to describe what they liked most about the event:
- The VR (Virtual Reality) tutorial hands down…. it gave me a potential idea about directions that VR may go in relation to (my discipline) in particular, which I may propose as a panel topic for a future conference.
- ….learning more about learner-centered syllabi!
- I really liked the part about online discussions. It has changed the way I’m going to participate, grade, and present them to my students.
- …..bringing in Aaron (Johnson) was great!
- I really appreciated the new technology and resources! (The institute was) a great way to get started for a new year —so much great information as well as support.
In this digital age of inbox-filling emails and pocket-buzzing instant messages, the human voice is often silent behind walls of text displayed on a screen. In an online course, a student’s individual contribution may be weighed more in terms of paragraphs typed rather than the depth of ideas discussed. As an instructor assesses student work, finding the best balance between number of words typed versus concepts the student absorbs can become a challenge. In these cases, encouraging asynchronous voice conversations through audio feedback may provide an element of warmth, sometimes missing in online course interactions. Fortunately, an easy-to-use tool for these tasks is ready to use in CSC Online-Sakai.
The Record Audio Clip function is found in the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), or rich text editor anywhere the option to type text is available in course sites. A microphone button is nestled in the text editor toolbar. Hover over the button to reveal a tool-tip displaying “Record Audio Clip.”
The first time you use the Record Audio Clip function, your browser may prompt for permission to use the computer’s microphone. This access must be allowed before you will be able to use the Record Audio feature. Below is an example of this permission alert in the Chrome browser.
Once permission is granted, click the Start Recording button to begin recording your audio message. When finished, click Stop Recording. Once your audio is recorded the Preview Recording and Post Recording options are displayed. A posted recording appears as a large placeholder in the WYSIWYG editor and as a small audio player in the published text. Continue editing your post by typing text around the recording and previewing to see how the audio clip will appear to others. Listen to an audio clip recorded by another user by clicking the Play button in the audio player displayed.
All members of a CSC Online-Sakai site, including students, have the ability to quickly record and post audio. This convenience makes audio recording a useful teaching tool in all areas of an online or blended class. Course forum discussions can become asynchronous voice conversations, allowing students to explain ideas, demonstrate their learning, and share thoughts in a more nuanced manner than typed posts may convey. Students may also benefit from the warm audio feedback from their instructors on graded assignments, test answers, and/or forum conversations.
Once the Record Audio function has been mastered, take a look at the Meetings tool, a class-contained option for face-to-face communication.
For more assistance with CSC Online-Sakai or any of the technologies highlighted in this article, contact the Teaching & Learning Center staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Teaching and Learning Center continues to be involved with several technology updates and upgrades across campus. The summer months have provided an opportunity to upgrade and improve instructional technologies both in classrooms and online. The CSC Online-Sakai Meetings tool, Vidyo, “Stick” PCs, and JTouch touchscreens are a few of the technologies recently introduced and/or updated around campus.
CSC Online-Sakai Meetings tool
The CSC Online-Sakai Meetings tool provides a rich multimedia component that can be activated inside CSC Online-Sakai courses. Improvements to the Meetings tool continue to be implemented to expand the tool’s capabilities and reliability. This fall the Teaching and Learning Center will conduct a Meetings Tool workshop to introduce and explore features and functionality of the tool.
The Vidyo Platform has been providing enterprise-grade desktop, mobile, classroom, and conference room videoconferencing capabilities including lecture-capture and streaming functionality to campus since 2011. This summer the Vidyo platform has been fully “virtualized” providing an avenue for continued improvement of multi-function videoconferencing services and additional integration opportunities.
Touchscreens and Micro-sized Computers
Touchscreens and “stick” or micro-sized computers are being piloted in several classroom and collaborative spaces around campus. Modern 65” touchscreens provide an updated experience to Smart Board and similar Interactive White Board (IWB) instructional technologies. Stick PC’s and other Internet of Things (IoT) platforms integrate economical full-featured computer capabilities discreetly into displays and projectors.
I strongly encourage all faculty and staff to examine and experiment with classroom and collaborative technologies updated in various areas across campus. Addressing technology questions, support issues, and familiarizing yourself with equipment before classes begin will make your fall semester classes more successful!
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).
Dear Faculty and Staff:
Welcome back! 2016-2017 is going to be an exciting year. Please review the information in this Update along with the attachments. If you have any questions, please check in with your dean or supervisor.
- Chadron State 2020 — http://www.csc.edu/president/2020/index.csc
- MAP Purpose — http://www.csc.edu/library/mapsupport/#tab2
- MAP Priorities & Sub-Priorities – click on “Priorities”.Visit the VPAA Update archive versions on the VPAA website: http://csc.edu/vpaa/snaresreleases/index.csc
- The Week Prior to the First Day of Classes (Academic Affairs and New Student Orientation) — see attachment
- Opening Day, 19 August 2016 – see attachment
- Faculty Senate approved By-Law changes at the last meeting 5 May 2016 — see attachment
- Accreditation and Oversight: 2030 Planning – see attachment
- Faculty Calendar – see attachment
Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Comprehensive Evaluation
One prominent emphasis for the 2016-17 academic year will be completing, reviewing and submitting the necessary materials for HLC reaffirmation of accreditation. The Quality Initiative Report is due 31 August 2016. During Spring 2017, there are various components of a Comprehensive Evaluation that begin prior to the 24-25 April 2017 site visit. HLC conducts an online student opinion survey of CSC’s student body. A third-party comment process to obtain public comment is also conducted to meet US Department of Education requirements. Team peer reviewers will conduct an on-site visit as part of the comprehensive evaluation of CSC. Their evaluation begins prior to the 24-25 April on-site visit. In the new reaffirmation process, CSC must be prepared to respond to questions and/or submission of additional evidence prior, during, and after the on-site visit. This is to confirm CSC meets the Criteria for Accreditation, complies with US Department of Education requirements, and pursues continuous improvement.
CSC began preparing for this during the 2013-14 academic year. Five task teams of more than 35 faculty and staff have dedicated time and effort to prepare the materials. Within the new HLC process an Assurance Review is conducted during 2020-21. Therefore, CSC’s task teams will turn into standing committees to continuously work toward preparing for the next peer review. In some ways this is the more critical date. As in any profession the professional standards rise; this is the case with higher education. While the standards have escalated exponentially, CSC has a structure in-place to meet the expectations. CSC has been confronted with challenges in the past and has met the challenges. We will do the same this time. CSC has good people who do good work and make a difference in the lives of students and colleagues.
Faculty and Staff Information Fair
Please contact Paula Perlinski (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve a table for the 9 February 2017 Information Fair.
NSCS Teaching Excellence Award
Bruce Hoem was awarded the NSCS Teaching Excellence Award at the May undergraduate commencement. Chadron State faculty members have captured this award the last four out of five years.
Master Academic Plan (MAP) Priorities, Sub-Priorities, and Projects
Attached is a list of the six priorities with the sub-priorities and projects within the sub-priorities. The Priority Managers are the following:
- Priority #1: Jim Margetts, Matt Evertson, & Sherry Douglas
- Priority #2: Jim Margetts, Pat Beu, & Christine Fullerton
- Priority #3: Kristol Cummings & Pam Newberg
- Priority #4: Joel Hyer, James Powell, Tamera Toomey, & Jamie Hamaker
- Priority #5: Joel Hyer, Melissa Mitchell & Kathleen Kirsch
- Priority #6: Jim Powell, Anne DeMerresman, Ann Burk, & Terri Haynes
The contact person for the priority is noted in italics.
Completed faculty searches:
Dr. Gary Dusek: tenure track, Business
Nate Doherty: nontenure track, English
Dr. Aaron Field: tenure track, ESP/Range
Brittany Helmbrecht: tenure track, ESP/HPER
Chris McCarthy: tenure track, Business
Dr. Peter Moriasi: tenure track, Education
Dr. Tara Wilson: tenure track, Counseling
Jeremy Weremeichik: tenure track, Science
Trudy Denham: tenure track, Art
Completed Academic staff searches:
Office Assistant II, Liberal Arts (2nd floor Old Admin): Jennifer Holz
Office Assistant II, Liberal Arts (3rd floor Old Admin): Cheyenne Wilson
Office Assistant II, EHPCPSW (Miller): Valerie Miller
Director of Health Professions: Kristal Kuhnel
Transitional Studies Director: Tamara Toomey
Academic Leadership: Faculty Senate and Teaching and Learning Center (TLC)
- Lorie Hunn – Faculty Senate President
- Karen Enos – Chair of Promotion and Tenure Committee
- Matt Evertson – Coordinator of Essential Studies
- Kathleen Kirsch – Coordinator of Graduate Studies
- Tracy Nobiling – New Faculty Orientation Facilitator
Academic Department Chair Leadership: 2016-17
- Don King — Education
- Teresa Frink/Josh Ellis (Co-Chairs) – Applied Sciences
- Laura Gaudet – Counseling, Psychological Sciences, and Social Work
- Lee Miller – English and Humanities
- Nathaniel Gallegos – Business
- Shafiq Rahman – Communication and Social Science (CASS)
- James Wada – Justice Studies
- Wendy Jamison – Sciences
- Robert Stack — Math
- Una Taylor – Music
- Scott Ritzen – Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
- Laura Bentz – Visual and Performing Arts
Transfer Evaluation System (TES) and Transferology
Transferology differs from TES in that Transferology is unique to individual students and assists them in identifying what courses they will be able to transfer. TES is a course equivalency listing by institution. Transferology utilizes the TES system in student transfer issues. For courses that are not listed in TES, advisors may use the Transferology system to see if a suitable transfer equivalency exists at CSC. If faculty identify and approve a course as transfer equivalent it will then be added to the TES system. Both systems are provided through State funding. Transfer Nebraska was launched in January 2015. Most users to date were from Nebraska – 84%.
Teaching and Learning Technologies
Teaching ad Learning Technologies (TLT) is an academic support unit of Academic Affairs that provides direction and oversight for the Library Learning Commons (LLC) and the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). From March 2013 to March 2016 LLC building traffic has generally tripled and in some months quadrupled its day-to-day traffic over the course of three years. During the past three years the LLC has worked to revitalize its print collection. The Law Library was moved to the building’s upper level so a media lab could be developed in its place (LLC 107), thanks to the generous gift from the late Frances Richards, who was a former CSC Librarian and avid musician. During 2015-16 the TLC special collection, which is comprised of more than 400 print and multimedia items devoted to the scholarship of teaching and learning, was expanded with the addition of an equipment library. TLC seminars and workshops provided faculty with a number of professional development opportunities and engaged a quarter of CSC’s full-time faculty as facilitators and participants. Of the 70 seminar and workshop participants, approximately 90% were faculty. The seminar and workshop topics were diverse, well received, and MAP-aligned.
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
In May 2016, The Coordination Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE) approved Chadron State College for participation in SARA (http://nc-sara.org/). The agreement establishes comparable standards for offering online courses and programs. The Nebraska constitution and statutes provides the CCPE the responsibility for higher education comprehensive planning and coordination in Nebraska.