We are pleased to announce the addition of Support Assistant Kent Kelso to the Teaching & Learning Center team. Kent started his duties with the TLC on September 17.
Kent moved to Chadron when he was 10 years old, graduated from Chadron High School, and went on to graduate from CSC in 2012 with a BA in English. Kent also received a Juris Doctor (JD) from Georgia State University College of Law this past May. He has lived in Atlanta, Georgia for the last 7 years and has recently moved back to Chadron where his parents still live.
Kent has worked in litigation support for different firms in Atlanta in the past couple years. Prior to that, he was a peer tutor for CSC students in English, History, literature, and philosophy and provided writing assistance and research for CSC’s online writing center. Kent is returning to CSC in the part-time Support Assistant position where he will be responsible for helping with different projects the TLC has submitted and provide general support with TLC operations.
When asked what excites him the most about working for CSC, he replied “The campus is beautiful and it is nice to see familiar faces I haven’t seen for a while.” If you find yourself in the vicinity of ADM 001, stop in and introduce yourself! He can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308.432.7006.
For the 2017/2018 academic year, Dr. Kimberly Cox had the opportunity to use a Kubi in her face-to-face classroom to bring in a student participating in the class from a distance. These are exciting times for Chadron State College as it provides several opportunities for students to learn from CSC instructors. Now, with the recent addition of Zoom to the services CSC offers to instructors and students, the Kubi makes it possible for remote students to engage and interact in face-to-face classes via active, synchronous videoconferencing.
I recently asked Kim Cox to share her perspective on using the Kubi, a new device in the Teaching and Learning Center’s library, for one of her classes. Dr. Cox answered a few questions relating to the set up and requirements of using the Kubi, her experience using the Kubi technology paired with Vidyo, and how the Kubi could benefit other students and faculty.
Teaching with the Kubi
How are you using this technology to enhance your teaching?
CSC is a Frontier and Remote intuition and is also open enrollment. This means that we teach many students who work full-time in addition to attending school, have family responsibilities, and travel long distances to attend face-to-face. Those who can’t are then left with online classes, which work exceptionally well for some, but does not meet all types of learners’ needs and does not always support best practices in every discipline or for every class. Shakespeare, for example, could be taught online, but is more interactive in the face-to-face classroom because part of delving into the literature is delving into performance and considering how stage directions, lighting, and especially line delivery affects our reading of his various plays. The Kubi-Vidyo-iPad set-up allowed a student who has a full-time job and lives three hours away to attend a face-to-face class. She was able to participate in discussion, work in small groups with her peers, and engage in performances. She was even able to work with a partner and use an iPad to explore the Globe 360º app put out by the Globe Theater in London to explore the theater that Shakespeare’s plays were performed in and stage a short scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Without this technology, my student would have had to take the course as an Independent Study online, which would have meant a more isolated, less interactive experience. Further, the Kubi allowed me to use a classroom that would allow us to push back the desks and perform when need be; it wasn’t restricted to the IVN classrooms, which are designed for lecture.
Do you have plans to use this technology differently in the future?
I’d love to explore more fully the Kubi’s capabilities. It has a lot of potential for providing our distance learners with a face-to-face experience. Virtual attendance is another option that holds the capacity to expand what we think about as online education. In the future, I would want to have more than one student attend virtually. I’d want to test how this would work having both students on a single Kubi and having more than one in a class. I’d also love to explore its potential with my colleagues who teach other courses. It might, for example, allow for a more engaged workshop experience in 200-level and above writing courses than would simply sharing work over the Sakai forums. There’s lots of potential here.
Do you see other departments benefiting from this technology?
Absolutely! The device can be as useful as we want to make it. It could offer a more interactive way to engage in office hours with online students. It could allow students who have to travel for various events to still attend class, as long as they have a computer and internet connection. It also holds the potential to offer a new way of holding workshops in online courses. I see a variety of possibilities. While the iPad and Vidyo are essential, what the Kubi does is give students attending class virtually agency: they can turn their iPad to better interact with their peers or their professor in the classroom.
Did you run into any problems with the device/technology?
There were a few times when we lost the charge or had Wi-Fi issues. But, those had a more of an effect on the iPad and Vidyo than on the Kubi’s functionality. My only other note is the packaging. It was a bit tricky to transport to class every day, so a cart, or a room with a storage safe, or a bag for its transport would be helpful. (Though I now realize that I should have just asked about that last semester.)
Do you have any suggestions or advice for faculty interest in using this technology in their classroom?
Ask! Jereme might hate me for saying this, but he is super helpful, so ask him. We explored numerous options for virtual attendance before landing on the Kubi, and then we spent as much time testing it out in the space. If you can think of a reason for using a stick capable of holding up an iPad and swiveling both horizontally and vertically, Jereme can help you figure out how to make it work!
Quick Kubi Facts
Does the Kubi require a computer?
Yes. The computer allows students to actually control the direction that the Kubi faces. It provides a range of side-to-side as well as up and down motion. While it does not allow for 360º rotation, my students were able to follow me around the front of the classroom and angle the Kubi so that they could see the board as they needed. When working in small groups, the limited range of motion was not a problem.
What software requirements are there for the Kubi?
This is a bit more technical than I’m prepared to answer. From the faculty side, I can say this: easy! I had an iPad with a Kubi app on it that I turned on every morning to get the Kubi up and running. Jereme handled everything else, and my students were entirely responsible for turning and angling it so that they could see.
What are the requirements for the remote student?
While one student was the primary user, I did have two that signed into Vidyo, attended virtually, and made use of the Kubi app one day. For them, they just needed access to a computer with a stable internet connection.
If you could recommend updates to the Kubi platform, what would they be?
Jereme mentioned the possibility of OWL technology that would allow students to rotate a full 360º in the classroom. Such a device would only improve on what the Kubi already offers. If there was a remote charger, or something to make the charging easier, that would be lovely. But, overall, the Kubi worked brilliantly.
Resources to Further Investigate the Kubi
To explore the Kubi more, Kubi Specs is a great source for basic information and how the Kubi works. Be sure to also check out Education Data for Kubi, a source that illustrates the benefits of using a Kubi in education! And finally, if you would like to start using a Kubi, please contact email@example.com to reserve one for your classroom. Please feel free to check out Zoom With Kubi Instructions and a study done at the University of Arizona for Zoom and the Kubi, Zoom Case – Arizona.
This article is part of a series intended to highlight educational technologies or teaching and learning strategies that are working well (and in some cases, not so well) for CSC instructors in the classroom or online courses. Whether you are a senior faculty member or a new one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a story to share with your colleagues regarding what works well (or not so well) in your teaching and learning efforts.
The Teaching and Learning Center recently consolidated several campus videoconferencing technologies in favor of using Zoom. Zoom is a very popular and powerful software-based videoconferencing platform. Zoom can run on computers and mobile platforms alike and provides real-time video calling or “videoconferencing” functionality.
This exciting new tool provides a feature-rich virtual collaboration environment inside your online course. Features include support for synchronous videoconferencing as well as the ability to record, including automatic transcribing using audio, video, whiteboard, desktop sharing, chat, and more. Zoom is ideal for building online community by interactively engaging with students, for facilitating virtual office hours, and for adding a rich-media experience within your online course.
CSC’s Official Videoconferencing Tool
Zoom has been implemented as the default videoconferencing tool within CSC Online (Sakai) the college’s Learning Management SystemZoom is also replacing traditional videoconferencing applications used in courses at Chadron State College. Video-enabled classrooms often referred to as “ITV classrooms” have been used since the mid-90’s to deliver virtualized classroom-to-classroom instruction. The Teaching and Learning Center will support Zoom as the official videoconference standard across all academic-related areas on campus.
The requirements are relatively modest to join or host a virtual meeting using Zoom. A reliable high-speed Internet connection is required to provide the best experience. A USB or integrated webcam is needed to support live video sharing and earbuds or the use of a headset provides the best possible audio experience while minimizing distractions. Simple whiteboard and polling features can be incorporated to increase participant engagement.
All Chadron State College faculty and staff are provided Zoom “Pro” accounts that include additional features and functionality. The recommended method to create an account is to select “Sign In” using the campus Zoom portal located at https://csc.zoom.us/ . If prompted to enter a domain simply type CSC and continue.
Zoom Information & Resources
Zoom can be enabled using the Site Info tool within your CSC Online course sites. You can use this Zoom Information Sheet to become familiar with this interactive videoconferencing tool and get started using it. If you would like additional assistance and/or training on how to use Zoom, please don’t hesitate to contact the Teaching and Learning Center. For a full list of features including video tutorials please visit the official Zoom support website.
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).
As a member of our campus community, CSC faculty and staff have access to professional development resources offered via the Teaching & Learning Center’s subscription to Magna Publication’s online content. The site license purchased by the TLC allows CSC employees access to Magna’s 20-Minute Mentor Commons and to Magna Commons.
20-Minute Mentor Commons offers on-demand versions of Magna’s popular 20-Minute Mentor programs, covering a broad range of faculty development topics.
Magna Commons offers on-demand versions of Magna’s most popular Magna Online Seminars, covering a broad range of topics of interest to faculty & administrators.
Sign up and get started exploring and using these resources!
Follow the directions for How to Access Magna Commons and 20-Minute Mentor Commons and investigate all the topics available to assist you in re-energizing your teaching and learning efforts!
The Teaching & Learning Center staff is excited to introduce a new default template for CSC Online course sites scheduled to be included in all Fall 2018 Term courses. Using the features of the Lessons tool, the template is offered as an option to assist with efforts related to course design and may be particularly helpful for those inexperienced in online teaching or less familiar with ways to facilitate learning via design in online environments. We enthusiastically recommend it as a basic framework to guide in creating online courses that enhance the learning experience for CSC students.
Grounded in solid instructional design principles, the template provides clear and consistent structure and intuitive navigation. These elements work to create an intentionally inviting environment to improve the potential for student success. The tool aims to address, in whole or in part, several specific review standards of the Quality Matters rubric. Some features of the template include:
- a Guide to Online Learning at Chadron State College to provide students with consistent information and resources to reference for accessing technical support, academic success resources, student services, expectations associated with online learning, and more;
- an accessible CSC Syllabus template;
- a component to invite students into the course and help them to get started; and
- consistently formatted components, placeholders, and resources to aid instructors in structuring course units.
Getting Started with Using the Template
We invite you to become familiar with the first version of the template and experience the potential it offers to support course design in CSC Online. To take a test drive of the template:
- Join this demo of the template course site. Click “Yes” when prompted to join the site. Once you have joined the demo site, it will always be available in your Sites menu under Development.
- Navigate to the Welcome page of the course menu for specific instructions related to using the template.
- During your tour of the template, you will also find examples and instructions to assist in creating an accessible syllabus and in adding content to units organized in the Course Units page.
We welcome your constructive comments and suggestions regarding the instructions, examples, resources, and other aspects of the template. We appreciate your feedback focused on improving future iterations of the template.
If you are teaching Summer 2018 Term courses and are interested in using the template prior to the fall term rollout, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and identify the summer term courses for which you would like to use the template.
Register for the TLC Workshop Meet the New CSC Online Template to explore the features of the template and to take away some ideas to apply in structuring your courses. The workshop is scheduled for the following days and times:
Do you have conflicts with all of these session times? Contact email@example.com to
request a time and day that will work for you!
The Teaching and Learning Center recently hosted Meetings in CSC Online: Latest Updates and Hands-on Work Session in partnership with Blindside Networks. The Meetings tool is based on BigBlueButton, the open-source, web conferencing platform originally created by Blindside Networks developers. The tool is focused on facilitating instructor-to-student and student-to-student interaction in online learning environments.
Tara McDonald of Blindside Networks provided a thorough overview of the latest features and functionality available within Meetings. The overview was conducted virtually and included remote attendees as well as a small group located in Admin 031 of the Teaching and Learning Center. Links to the 2 unique, hour-long event recordings and other workshop referenced material are included below.
Please contact the Teaching and Learning Center staff if you are interested in more information on how to use the Meetings Tool to increase engagement opportunities with students inside your courses. We encourage you to work with us to setup virtual practice sessions either individually or in small groups to further explore and develop skills in utilizing this online community-building platform.
The Teaching and Learning Center has recently added 14 new books to their current library. These books are readily available for you to check out from the Teaching & Learning Center Collection! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in doing some light reading. New books include:
On December 20th, 11am to 3pm, CSC Online will be upgraded from Sakai 10.5 to Sakai 11.4. This upgrade will bring CSC Online to the current version of Sakai which is supported by the developer community. Sakai 11 offers many exciting improvements for Chadron State College faculty and students.
Improvements in Sakai 11
- Mobile User Experience – Completely mobile friendly with no need to install an app. Students and faculty may use, access, prepare, and submit coursework using any major mobile browser. Learning on the go has never been easier for CSC Online students!
- Modern User Interface – Revamped user interface with a new modern look-and-feel.
- Lessons Tool Improvements – Many updates for all users, including responsive design for mobile devices and new page layout options.
- Content Package Import – Quickly migrate content from Modules to Lessons.
- Gradebook NG – A brand new Gradebook provides a new and efficient grading experience for faculty. Complete your grading directly in a spreadsheet style interface. The old Gradebook will continue to be available.
- Accessibility Compliance – Includes several updates fulfilling the most recent accessibility standards.
- Performance and Stability – 3000+ bug fixes and system improvements. Sakai 11.0 was released in July 2016, and 11.4 was released in June 2017 (11.4).
Learn More: Webinar – “What’s New in Sakai 11”
Learn More: Lessons Tool Workshop
In addition to the webinars, the TLC’s Elizabeth Ledbetter will conduct a hands-on TLC Workshop, Course Design Using Lessons in CSC Online focused on the Lessons tool. Learn how to effectively utilize the Lessons tool to organize your course content for enhanced teaching and learning. Participants will also learn how to use the new import functions to quickly migrate content from Modules (old lessons).
This workshop is offered:
- Tuesday, Nov 21 @ 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Register for this session
- Wednesday, Nov 22 @ 10:00 – 11:00 am: Register for this session
- Thursday, Nov 30 @ 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Register for this session
We are delighted to introduce you to Nicole Thramer, the newest member of the Teaching & Learning Center team. Nicole is our new Graduate Assistant and started her duties on August 29.
Nicole graduated from CSC’s business program in May and is currently pursuing her MBA. She has developed a strong work ethic through her previous job working at a 20,000-head feedlot and has gained valuable experience in building community and relationships as well as time management skills at her current job at the Ridgeview Country Club (RCC). If you spend time on the golf course, you may already be acquainted with Nicole in her work-related capacity at RCC or on the course since she enjoys getting out and honing her golfing skills as often as she can!
Nicole has returned to CSC to expand on her education and is interested in eventually applying the knowledge and skills she gains towards a career in the insurance or real estate industry. She has a keen interest in information technologies and hopes to learn as much as she can in her GA position to build her knowledge foundation in technology and instructional applications. Currently, Nicole is helping the TLC group track and document CSC-Online Sakai (and other technology-related) requests and inquiries, update Sharepoint and the TLC blog, and provide assistance with checking out items from the TLC equipment library.
Stop in to the TLC and introduce yourself to Nicole the next time you are in the vicinity of ADM 001. She can also be reached at email@example.com or 308.432.7068.
We Are All Teachers of Writing
Writing, writing, everywhere! 2017-18 is shaping up to be the “year of the pen” (or perhaps keyboard or touch pad), as there will be ample opportunities for our campus to engage and explore the culture of writing throughout the Chadron State College (CSC) community, in our classrooms and beyond. What role should writing—in all its varied form and focus—play in the high-impact learning, critical thinking, inquiry and creativity on our campus? Are we making the best use of these writing opportunities to help students engage their coursework in meaningful and purposeful ways?
This academic year, you will have an opportunity to explore this issue in four powerful ways:
- The Route 6×6 Challenge, a Teaching and Learning Center faculty seminar, offers an opportunity for faculty to reflect and write about their classroom experiences and to share their writing reflections with colleagues.
- Reflect & Refine: A Writing Workshop Focused on Pedagogy and Praxis, a Teaching & Learning Center workshop, introduces participants to the practice of using writing as an effective tool for instructor as well as student in supporting how we reflect upon our learning.
- The Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Learning Community will be meeting for its second year to explore ways to integrate written communication throughout the disciplines at CSC.
- The 2017-18 Essential Studies Program (ESP) Institute, co-sponsored by the ESP Committee and the Teaching & Learning Center, is focused on the role of writing within our general education program at Chadron State College and how—in one way or another—all of us who teach at Chadron State are utilizing some element of writing in our classroom.
2017-18 ESP Institute
The 2017-18 ESP Institute sessions will take place during the 11:00 am meeting time devoted to essential studies, on the fifth Tuesday and/or Thursday of the month, throughout the academic year.
The 2017-18 ESP Institute schedule of meetings kicks off with a 2-part session in the first week of August:
Purpose-Driven Writing Assignments that Empower Both Students and Faculty
- Date: Tuesday, August 29
- Time: 11:00-noon
- Location: Lakota/Bordeaux Room (refreshments will be served)
- Description: Through a series of hands-on exercises and open forums, members of the Essential Studies Committee will help faculty across campus explore the role that writing plays in our courses, and how we can construct purposeful assignments that encourage meaningful responses from students.
NOTE: please complete the following survey prior to the meeting: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdPfaHqoWm3IZM147Pp4CuWUdG16cY9-zHaLljImGtC_gK_pw/viewform
- Date: Thursday, August 31
- Time: 11:00-noon
- Location: Lakota/Bordeaux Room (refreshments will be served)
- Description: Members of the Essential Studies Committee will lead a hands-on workshop during which faculty will fine-tune their assignments to encourage more meaningful writing from students.
- To Prepare for the Session:
- Please bring a copy of a writing assignment you use in your class to the session.
- Please read these short articles from Peer Review: New Frontiers in Writing (AAC&U–Winter, 2017):
Background of “We Are All Teachers of Writing”
As faculty coordinator for the Essential Studies Program for the past three years, I have witnessed this discussion evolve from within our general education program. Perhaps the largest issues relate to the philosophy of writing across the curriculum in the first place. As an essential skill that we all agree our students and instructors should take seriously, what role do we play from course to course in supporting and sustaining writing as a tool of thinking, exploration and expression? As an open-enrollment institution, CSC admits a large portion of students who are not prepared for our basic composition courses (at least as far as standardized test scores indicate). These numbers seem to be increasing, even as we have reduced our composition requirement from six hours to three, and eliminated the “information literacy” requirement for our students. The Essential Studies Program assumed that much of this work would be taken up THROUGHOUT the courses across campus, particularly in ESP (especially in FYI and CAP). Is this happening? Do we know? What is our current relationship with written communication across our curriculum at CSC?
The task force involved in planning these efforts determined that our first two sessions should focus on what kind of writing is being assigned in the Essential Studies Program, and how those assignments align with what research has shown to be the best practices in high-impact learning. Experts in the field argue that when we assign writing tasks with more purpose and meaning for both the student and the reader, we may have:
- Improved and more meaningful learning
- More purposeful and efficient grading
- More meaningful expression from students (find a voice that will carry over into their personal and professional lives)
- Reduced plagiarism
- Create clearer contexts for information literacy
- Help link/transfer between ESP and programs and disciplines
- Encourage student self-efficacy
- Align with the national conversation about best practices and current research in the field (resources in this area will be shared online)
The goal this fall is to engender both discussion of these best practices and ways to actually implement them in our classrooms—theory meeting practice. By the end of the semester we hope that faculty will have learned more about crafting effective writing assignments, responding to them in efficient and effective ways that promote learning, and how to handle issues related to plagiarism and academic dishonesty in the writing of our students.
Depending on the progress we make in the Fall, and with feedback from those who participate, the task force hopes to stage additional sessions that will cover more fully the role of writing within the Essential Studies program and beyond. Potential topics may include:
- How much writing is taking place across campus, and across course levels. What kinds of writing?
- How effective are CSC students at written communication at each level of their academic career? (What is the perception? What is the reality? Does CSC produce/graduate poor writers? What percentage? Is there a problem at all?)
- If there are large numbers of CSC students who are not “at level” with writing, how does this impact our coursework, and what we would like to do otherwise in classes?
- How should we USE writing in the non-writing classroom? How can writing complement or help with learning, thinking, creativity, etc… across the curriculum?
- How do we craft effective writing assignments (and how do we avoid POOR assignments)
- How much should we focus on mechanics/conventions vs. content?
- What is “correctness” when it comes to writing? Who decides?
- How is CSC dealing with PLAGIARISM and ACADEMIC DISHONESTY when it comes to written work? (and strategies to combat this?)
- How might we use resources like TURNITIN for both checking originality of submitted work, and returning effective feedback?
- What IS the role of feedback/commenting on student writing?
- How should we GRADE writing? (should we grade writing?)
- Issues related to writing in the ONLINE setting vs. FACE-TO-FACE
- Where we stand with INFORMATION LITERACY. Do CSC students graduate with sufficient knowledge in how to find reliable sources/evidence, document it according to a citation system, and the expectations/requirements of scholarly writing?