TED Tips – Issue 23: Podcasts

Podcasts have recently seen a dramatic increase popularity. Podcasts are audio shows, often produced on a particular theme or topic, and hosted online. These audio files can be extremely valuable resources. Several have archives of hundreds of episodes. Many come with corresponding “vodcasts” (video files) as audio supplements to other media. They can provide a great supplement to class, replacement for a lecture, or additional resources for students.  Because they are easy to create and accessible, a podcast assignment could replace a written paper or report.  They are portable audio files; perfect for a commute, time at the gym, or other activities.

headphones

podcast

Many previous radio shows and (more recently) TV shows have been repackaged and rebranded with corresponding podcasts.   Most podcasts have free webpages (many embedded from this post) that allow you to navigate to the webpage, find the link and site you are looking for, and press play. These are also great because it can be easy to link from a classroom page to an online resource. Several of the prominent sites include guides on how to incorporate them into your own classes.

Various podcasting apps or “podcatchers” can help enhance that experience. These let you to download to a mobile device (for offline listening), update when recent episodes come out, and allow you to search and browse by topic to help find the shows you are interested in. I recommend trying one, customizing the settings to meet your particular needs, and experimenting with different shows.

What follows are some of the most common applications and services (there are many others). This should not be seen as an endorsement of any particular service but a list to help get you started. There are several types of apps, services, and many contain upgradable premium functions.

Free services:

  • Apple Podcasts (built into your iPhone).
  • Google Play Music (Android users)

Premium(ish) services:

  • Spotify (known mainly as a music service but recently expanded into podcasting)
  • Pocket Casts. App specifically for the full podcast experience; easy to search, curate, and see updated episodes. https://www.pocketcasts.com/ ($4.00)
  • Overcast. Gold standard for iOS podcast apps.  https://overcast.fm/ (podcast player for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch; free with premium $10/year)

What are some good podcasts?

Radiolab with Jab Aburmrad and Robert Krulwich. Since 2002, Radiolab has been devoted to investigating a strange world. My favorite from this year has been “Unraveling Bolero”: a story about obsession, creativity, and a strange symmetry between a biologist and a composer that revolves around one famously repetitive piece of music.  I was obsessed when listening the original episode and ended up staying in my car for fifteen minutes after I had reached my destination to finish the podcast. https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/unraveling-bolero

“Higher Ed” podcast by Jennifer Statyon. These 15 minute podcast cover a wide range of topics that apply to education. A recent one called “Better Problem Solving Through Puzzles” (October 28, 2018) advocates that puzzles are a great approach for students because it often simulates more real world on the job problems. http://kutpodcasts.org/higher-ed/higher-ed-better-problem-solving-through-puzzles

“Research in Action” (“RIA”) is a podcast about topics and issues related to research in higher education. The goal of the podcast is to do two things – increase research literacy and build community among researchers. Katie Linder, research director at Oregon State Ecampus, hosts. Of note, RIA includes a number of resources for instructors and specific guidelines on how to incorporate podcasts into their own classes. A very recent episode from November 26, 2018 called “Getting Started with Podcasting” that was one of the points that inspired me to blog about this topic this week. https://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/research/podcast/e139/

Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast. “This is the space where we explore the art and science of being more effective at facilitating learning. We also share ways to increase our personal productivity, so we can have more peace in our lives and be even more present for our students.” The podcast focuses on topics such as digital pedagogy, creativity in teaching, educational technology, and many others.
https://teachinginhighered.com/episodes/

Finally, it is relatively easy to create your own podcasts or create assignments that have your students create their own! At its most basic, any audio recording that you make and then upload to your students could be considered a podcast. Or consider having your students create their own podcasts instead of writing a paper. While the most popular and professionally developed podcasts have high production values – most phones contain a microphone suitable or recording. Computers also contain the basic equipment to facilitate ease of use

Consider activities:

  • Create a 3-5 minute unit or module overview! This audio file could be included with your material each week and help focus students on the weekly objectives, what to do, and any specific tips to be successful with key concepts and homework for the week.
  • Replace a written paper with a podcast assignment. Have students record a short 60 – 90 second audio report.
  • Have student research podcasts about specific topics. While not a substitute for formal research, it helps identify additional resources and allows students the opportunity to evaluate appropriateness for a course.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

TED Tips – Issue 22: Lessons Learned

TED Tips – Issue 22: Lessons Learned from Canvas Peer Mentors

Back in Issue 10 “Tips and FAQ’s from a Peer Mentor” at the start of the semester, we introduced the LTC faculty peer mentors that are available for each college to assist with the Canvas Transition. Canvas 24/7/365 is still the place to go for Canvas questions, but the peer mentors can help by sharing what they have discovered and learned.

canvas lessons

lessons learned

The peer mentors gather monthly to share notes and discuss what we’ve learned. Now that we are approaching the end of the semester, I want to share some of the lessons learned this term in Canvas from our most recent Peer Mentor meeting. These are all Tips shared by the mentors on things they learned this semester while using Canvas. Hopefully they can help you!

Lessons Learned

  • Provide a link to the Canvas Student Training during the first module or week in class. Canvas Student Training link: http://go.uww.edu/canvas-student-training
  • Provide a bit of navigation and orientation to the class at the beginning of term. Show students where important things are located in Canvas. Review with them where they need to go and what they need to do. While Canvas is mostly new to us as faculty, it is also mostly new to students. Even thing like how to submit an assignment in Canvas can be really helpful. Providing that guide to where things are in your course can be really helpful to students.
  • Setting up the Course Home page in Canvas is important. Organizing content by weeks or by topic helps a lot.  Don’t underestimate the important of structure. Students have the tendency to click on the assignment tab – and they miss the rest of the weekly content, the readings, and other supporting activities. It is important to link back to those weekly modules from the assignments…and remind students to check the content in each module each week.
  • Creating a weekly checklist or “TO DO” list is very helpful to students. D2L could create those as you were creating content, Canvas does not do that. I create a checklist item for students and post it at the top of each module as a roadmap for the week. I can also physically hand out a notecard with that weekly checklist to students in class so they know where to go and what to do.
  • Creating larger assignments with multiple parts is easier to set up in Canvas as a series of different assignment submissions. It is also easy to create these as multiple “zero” point assignments. So, for example, if a student needs to submit a rough draft as a paper, create a separate assignment for that rough draft – you can then use speed grader, provide feedback, and return it to students. The FINAL paper or submission can be created as a separate assignment in Canvas.
  • Setting up the gradebook to reflect more logical areas that corresponded with assignments makes providing feedback and grading much easier.

Canvas Peer Mentors The peer mentors are available to:

  • Help answer your transition questions.
  • Provide you with training information and resources about the Canvas platform.
  • Work with you to understand different ways that Canvas can be leveraged for enriching teaching and learning.

College of Arts and Communication
Jodi Galvan
Bill Miller

College of Business and Economics
Kelly Delaney-Klinger

College of Education and Professional Studies
Carmen Rivers
Eileen Schroeder

College of Letters and Sciences
Kris Curran
David Reinhart

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:
Canvas Student Training link: http://go.uww.edu/canvas-student-training

LTC Peer Mentors: http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal/peer-mentors

Canvas Guides: great place to start for searching for information about Canvas: https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides/

TED Tips – Issue 21: Happy Thanksgiving!

An abbreviated TED Tip this week: I want to take the opportunity on behalf of the Learning and Technology Center to give thanks!  Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for the opportunity each week to write these blog posts and explore some of the ideas and themes about which I am passionate.

It has been an honor to explore the themes of Technology, Education, and Design (TED). I continue to examine our technological environment and learn more about the tools available to us. What can they do? How do we use them well to enhance our teaching and learning? What types of things help us to make a difference in our students’ lives? What contributes toward student success? How do we design experiences that support our students in this way?  Please feel free to drop by Learning Technology Center on the Whitewater Campus, leave a comment here, or send me an email!

I plan on continuing to provide tips each week on these themes and am thankful to have a platform to do so! There are a number of planned tips over the next few weeks.  Topics include: how to design successful layouts and content, how to build rubrics in Canvas, and an exploration of additional tools and services.  There are more stories to tell and things to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

The next Workshop in the 2018-19 UW-Whitewater LEARN Center/Learning Technology Center Workshop Series “Back to Basics to Balance Workload” is this coming Tuesday, November 27 from 12:30 – 1:45 in the University Center room 259A. This workshop is specifically focused on “Using Groups to Engage Students and Maximize Instructor Time: A Conversation about How to Use Team Projects in the Classroom.” Eric Loepp from Political Science and Michele Peets in Management will discuss how and why they use group work, what benefits you can gain from using group activities, what strategies work, and practical tips to help you save yourself time.

Well-structured group work can produce a more meaningful learning experience for students. Instructors are the critical factor in facilitating a successful environment for that meaningful work to occur. This workshop will review the benefits of group work in the classroom, the conditions needed for successful implementation, and provide tools to assist in transforming a traditional classroom setting into a thriving group environment

Participants can expect to:

  • Learn why we use group work as a classroom strategy
  • Identify the benefits of group work in the classroom
  • Learn strategies for employing group work in assignments
  • Take away practical tools/ resources for instructors to use

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:
https://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/15855

TED Tips – Issue 20: TED Talks

Our Mission: Spread ideas

I’ve been asked several times where the inspiration for TED Tips originates, so this week I want to explore that source of inspiration. TED Tips talks TED talks. As such, what are TED Talks?

“TED is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues…”

TED logo

https://www.ted.com/

While TED Talks have been around since 1984, they saw a spike in interest and use correlated to the increase in popularity of YouTube. Most TED talks are recorded, of high quality, and the videos are made easily accessible. Another feature of TED Talks lends itself well for internet consumption. TED talks follow strict guidelines and adhere to high quality standards. No talk can exceed 18 minutes in length… According to TED Talks curator Chris Anderson, 18 minutes is “short enough to hold people’s attention, including on the Internet, and precise enough to be taken seriously.”

I have named this blog TED Tips for similar reasons. I cannot resist a good pun and acronym – so basing the blog name off of my name “Ted” made sense in the context of my job in the Learning Technology Center as a Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant. My job title can apply directly to the use of TED as “technology, education, and design” as it applies to higher education. Finally, I find affinity with the mission of the original TED Talks, exploring all ideas and sharing those ideas with others. I hope that this blog lives up to those standards and source of inspiration.

I want to share a couple of my personal favorite TED talks and some of the ideas worth sharing. I recently discovered the following talk on the TED Radio Hour. NPR produces a radio version of the show and the accompanying podcast works wonders during my commute. Podcasts and radio broadcasts keep me thinking and engaged while I can focus driving.

Recently, I was visiting with my goddaughter – a spunky, somewhat awkward, still discovering herself twelve year old. She likes cooking, acting, polar bears, and obsessed with the band BTS. Like many pre-teens, she struggles with confidence and overcoming perceived obstacles, social barriers, and school drama. A version of Megan Washington’s talk entitled: “Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking” played on the TED Radio Hour. I immediately connected some of the themes and strategies outlined in the talk to the struggles of my goddaughter.

The synopsis of her talk reads and I’ll share the embedded link.

Megan Washington is one of Australia’s premier singer/songwriters. Since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has to say rather than speaking them.”

The second TED talk I want to highlight is Steven Johnson’s entitled “Where Good Ideas Come From”. I have often share this with students when hoping to provide time for creativity to develop. Contrary to the notion that inspirations strikes in a flash or “Eureka!” moment, good ideas take time to develop and often require clashes with other ideas. Steven Johnson elaborates on this idea in a corresponding book, TED talk, and an even shorter animated version is worth the multimedia experience. I’m including a link to that animated version here:

 Finally, I want to share one final TED Tip: There’s a TED app that builds personalized recommendations based on your preferences delivered directly to you. I’d encourage you to check it out and explore more ideas worth sharing.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:
https://www.ted.com/

TED Talks referenced:

Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking by Megan Washington. TEDxSydney April 2014 https://www.ted.com/talks/megan_washington_why_i_live_in_mortal_dread_of_public_speaking

Where good ideas come from by Steven Johnson. TEDGlobal 2010
https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from

TED Tips – Issue 19: Quality Matters

“Grounded in research. Driven by best practices. A community that puts learners first.”

As I mentioned last week, I was recently at the annual Quality Matters Connect conference in St. Louis. Quality Matters is an inter-institutional peer review process dedicated to the continuous improvement of online and blended course design. This week TED Tips explores Quality Matters (QM). I serve as a Quality Matter Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. I am an official liaison between UWW and Quality Matters and am a go-to person for anything related to it. Please contact me if you have questions!

online course design is at the heart of quality matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components through a continuous improvement process. QM promotes and improves the quality of online education and student learning. It does so through the use of current, research-supported, and practice-based quality standards and appropriate evaluation tools and procedures. It supports professional development in the use of rubrics, tools and practices to improve the quality of online education. A QM-Certified Course is an online or blended course that has met QM Standards for a QM Rubric in an Official Course Review. Quality Matters is supported by the non-profit MarylandOnline. The QM Certification Mark is more than an achievement for online course design — it is evidence of an interconnected, continual process provisioned with tools, support and professional development that helps you develop and provide successful experiences to your learners.

Quality matters is best known for its review process for online or blended courses. Four underlying principles guide Quality Matters:

  • Continuous: The Quality Matters process is iterative and committed to continuous quality improvement. Given review, revisions, and support, all reviewed courses will eventual meet expectations.
  • Centered. Quality Matters is supported by national standards of best practice, research literature, and instructional design principles.
  • Collegial. The process is faculty driven; peer reviews are diagnostic and collegial, not evaluative nor judgmental.
  • Collaborative. Reviews are flexible and offer constructive feedback. They are not prescriptive.

The three main elements of Quality Matters are the QM Rubric, the peer review process, and professional development. It is important to emphasize that Quality Matters addresses only the course design of online classes. Quality Matters does not address the delivery (how instructors actually teach courses).

Quality Matters does not address other factors that may impact the quality of online courses such as faculty or learner readiness, and our digital learning environment. Many of these other factors are themes we explore each week in this TED Tips Blog. The Learning Technology Center offers additional faculty development opportunities to learn about Canvas or methods to improve your online and blended teaching effectiveness through programs like the upcoming Winterim Online / Blended Teaching Institute. Quality Matters addresses one aspect of online course quality – course design.

 

The most recent QM Higher Education Rubric, Sixth Edition, released July 2, 2018. The Quality Matters Rubric is designed to provide a rigorous set of Specific Review Standards that can be applied to online courses as part of a commitment to continuous quality improvement . While the emphasis is on online or blended courses, many of the design principles could also apply to traditional face-to-face courses.

These General Standards are:

Quality Matters Sixth Edition Rubric Workbook

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials
  5. Learning Activities and Learner Interaction
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility and Usability

QM courses use a faculty driven peer review process. There are several options for reviewing a course ranging from formal official course review following QM processes and protocols, an internal review, or more customized consultations. Internal reviews can guide and improve existing courses. Quality matters standards can be introduced to help scaffold the development of new online classes.

The review process is faculty driven and starts with a self-reported worksheet that lists basic information about the course that is useful to the review team, such as the delivery format, instructional materials, and supplemental materials that may require review. A formal peer review team is comprised of three faculty members includes a course representative. Each team includes a master reviewer that manages the process to ensure consistency and rigor; a Subject Matter Expert to advise the team about disciple-related materials and practices, and an External Reviewer outside our school to assist in providing helpful recommendations. The recommendations are constructive, specific, sensitive, and balanced to the course being reviewed. There is opportunity for revision to the course based on that feedback. Only official QM-Managed reviews can lead towards official QM Certification.

If you are interested in learning more about Quality Matters in Online Learning, exploring additional professional development opportunities, or would like to discuss other factors of the design and delivery of online courses please contact me at wittt@uww.edu.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

https://www.qualitymatters.org/
https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/QM-Overview-Booklet-digital.pdf

TED Tips – Issue 18: Four Book and a Blog from St. Louis

Last week, I attended the Quality Matters Connect Conference in St. Louis, Missouri last week and was not able to pull together my normal weekly TED Tip. I had intended to write about Quality Matters and how the QM framework can be used to help guide and design quality courses…but conferences can provide you with so much information that it is easy to get lost or distracted in that information. And so I was.

Instead, I wanted to share a few recommendations, and a blog that I discovered at the conference. I am often looking for new and interesting books and articles to read, blogs to peruse, and podcasts to fill my commuting time. Attending the conference provided me with some interesting ideas to explore!

Four Books and a Blog:  What follows are titles and authors from a handful of books that were recommended from within the context of various other presentations. A couple of them are newly published. For full disclosure, I have no connections or interests to any of the authors or publishers. All came up either directly in the presentations or in conversations at the conference. Each struck me as interesting and connected to Technology, Education, or Design … and could be springboards for further conversations and explorations.

Blog post: Catalytic Conversations with Dr. Mark David Milliron
Dr. Milliron was the keynote speaker at the annual Quality Matters Connect Conference. Ge serves as the Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Civitas Learning. “Civitas Learning Space is a digital community designed to engage education leaders as they explore key trends, issues, challenges and solutions in the use of analytics to improve student success.” The blog is a collection of thoughts, research, and stories that are intended to help faculty inform their practice. One of the key themes was the predictive analytics movement in higher education.

Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal. While “gamification” has been used in higher education, the book was recommended in the context of a conversation around authentic assessment and solving real world problems. The claim that playing games can help boost global happiness is intriguing. The book description reads: “we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world – from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change.”

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker. At one point in the conference, a comment was made about how divided and divisive the world seemed today. The speaker at the time was a civil war historian…Enlightenment Now was his counter argument to divided times.  I knew I needed to learn more!  The book asks: “Is the world really following apart? “ and makes the claim that it is not. Pinker shows that “life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise… Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress”

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina.“In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule—what scientists know for sure about how our brains work—and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.”

High-Impact Practices in Online Education: Research and Best Practices by Kathryn Linder (Editor). This volume offers the first comprehensive guide to how high-impact practices (HIPs) are being implemented in online environments and how they can be adjusted to meet the needs of online learners.

I am always interested in what people are reading and some of the latest books and research for trends in technology, education, and design. If you have a recommendation or suggest for me, please feel free to contact me at wittt@uww.edu.
– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
RESOURCES:

https://www.qualitymatters.org/
https://www.civitaslearningspace.com/
https://www.civitaslearningspace.com/CatalyticConversations/

TED Tips – Issue 17: Important Developments in Technology for Higher Education — 2018 NMC Horizon Report

This week, I conclude the three part series exploring the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report. The report “identifies and describes the higher education trends, challenges, and developments in educational technology likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry.” This week focuses on developments in educational technology.

These developments were chosen because they are likely to drive technology planning and decision making and are organized in time intervals related to their approximate time of wide spread adoption. The report identifies seven broad categories of technologies, tools, and strategies. The categories help us understand where we are today. The developments look ahead where we may be going in the future.

Categories of Technology

Consumer technology are tools originally created for recreational or consumer use. As the technologies become more utilized, they have been used as learning aids. Examples include: drones and wearable technologies like fitness trackers. The move from physical textbook to shorter videos highlights this “consumer demand” driving change in the classroom.

Digital strategies enrich teaching and learning by repurposing older activities for the modern digital classroom. They often reinvent conventional ideas to create meaningful 21st century experiences. The transformation of a pager to a cell phone to a smartphone exemplifies this march towards digitalization. Other examples include: The use of location intelligence (GPS), digital makerspaces, and applying concepts of gamification to the classroom.

Enabling technologies transform what we expect of our devices. The classic example is the voice activated computer as depicted in Star Trek; but more commonly realized through Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant. Those enabling technologies allow us to do more things. The trend towards cord-cutting is another example.

Internet technologies represent the underlying digital infrastructure. Internet technologies allow us to interact seamlessly and connect more devices in more ways. The “Internet of Things” is an example of how more components in the wired world are being connected to the internet. Another way to think about this is the idea that the Internet is a “utility” — along with the corresponding Digital Divide that highlight inequalities in the infrastructure.

Learning technologies are resources specifically developed for education. They help make learning accessible and available to all. Our digital learning environment is an example. Learning environments are increasingly customizable and personalized. Online courses and the related mobile learning platforms expand the access of education. Adaptive learning is another example of a learning technology. Larger systems like Lynda.com have been developed that offer training and learning at our fingertips. Fully online programs have redefined higher education possibilities…and created new opportunities.

The rise of social media technologies have changed communication and interpersonal relationships. Students communicate and collaborate quickly online. While research used to be the domain of the library, Google has become our primary search engine. Social networks, crowdsourcing, and issues regarding online identity and privacy fall in this category. Students can use sites like Facebook and Instagram to share and retrieve information and multimedia quickly.

Important Developments in Technology for Higher Education

Developments in Technology for Higher Education

Developments in Technology for Higher Education

Finally, visualization technologies are a growing set of tools that allow for large sets of information to be analyzed and displayed. They enable easier data driven decisions by making the complex simple.  Large sets of information can be visualized in real time.  New areas of virtualization and augmented or mixed realities fit into this broad category. Another example is 3D printing.

With the categories in mind, I want to briefly identify the important developments in educational technology for higher education as identifies in the Horizon Report. A key criterion for inclusion in the report was its potential relevance to teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education.

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Analytics Technologies: Data and big data are being used more frequently to support higher education…and there is a continued focus on measuring learning. Using “grades” as an analytics tool for students to measure their success is nothing new. Instructors, students, administrators and teachers are relying on more high tech analytics to provide insights to complete their tasks. For examples, analytics technologies can help identify at-risk students and trigger interventions. Analytics can be used by students to guide and improve their own learning and by teachers to improve outcomes and tailor content in the classroom. Post education career options can be enhanced by connecting into resources liked LinkedIn that offer data-driven, analytics to help customize pathways to employment.

Makerspaces work by bringing together experts and novices from a variety of disciplines to design, build, invent, and rethink various products. Makerspaces connect higher education and industry. These spaces often include computers, power tools, 3D printers, and other technologies. A perceived benefit of makerspaces is that it engages learners to develop hands-on learning.

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Adaptive Learning: Last week we explored a pilot project on Adaptive Learning here at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Adaptive learning is one technique for providing personalized learning, which aims to provide efficient, effective, and customized learning paths to engage each student. Finding the correct applications, developing the pathways, implementing the solutions, will take time.

Artificial Intelligence is no longer in the realm of fiction! Amazon uses it to predict products you may be interested in (and they want to sell); google uses it to guess what you will type next and search for; advertising uses it to find ways to connect individual products to users. Self-driving cars appear imminent. In education, Artificial Intelligence is becoming increasingly utilized for implementing today’s leading pedagogical trends, such as personalized learning. Analytics technologies allow us to do descriptive and diagnostic work; artificial intelligence will allow us to do more predictive and prescriptive work.

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Mixed Reality is an emerging environment where digital and physical objects co-exist. The augmented reality game Pokémon Go is an example of this intersection. In education, virtual reality simulations have be used to train and asses medical students; first responders have trained in mixed reality environment overlaying hot-spots and other hazards. In the social sciences mixed reality tools have allowed for the virtual recreation of historical landmarks and allowed students to interact with virtual residents.

Robotics: The Harvard Business Review notes… “We expect the global industrial robot population to double to about four million by 2020, changing the competitive landscape in dozens of fields — from underground mining to consumer goods and aerospace manufacturing.” They go on to provide an example: “Foxconn, which employs more than a million workers in mainland China, plans to automate 70% of its assembly work within the next three years.” Higher education faces a significant challenge: preparing students for success in the next generation workforce and addressing corresponding emergent societal challenges.

I hope this exploration of the 2018 Higher Education Horizon Report has provided a window into the future. The report is provides a lot of ideas to fuel our themes of Technology, Education and Design. Next week offers a change of pace as I will provide updates from the 2018 Quality Matters Connect conference from St. Louis!

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:
2018 NMC Horizon Report
Citation: Samantha Adams Becker, Malcolm Brown, Eden Dahlstrom, Annie Davis, Kristi DePaul, Veronica Diaz, and Jeffrey Pomerantz. NMC Horizon Report: 2018 Higher Education Edition. Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE, 2018.
https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/8/2018-nmc-horizon-report
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Examples and further Reading:

Learning Analytics: https://tech.ed.gov/learning-analytics/

Makerspaces: http://isam2018.hemi-makers.org/

Adaptive Learning: http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/trends/2923-the-role-of-adaptive-learning-in-education

Artificial Intelligence: 7 Roles for Artificial Intelligence in Education by Matthew Lynch
https://www.thetechedvocate.org/7-roles-for-artificial-intelligence-in-education/

Augmented Reality: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271706077_Augmented_Reality_application_in_Higher_Education

Robotics: Building Tomorrow’s Robots by Gregory Mone
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609004/building-tomorrows-robots/

The Age of Smart, Safe, Cheap Robots Is Already Here
https://hbr.org/2015/06/the-age-of-smart-safe-cheap-robots-is-already-here

TED Tips – Issue 16: Spotlight on Adaptive Learning

This week, I want to explore Adaptive Learning and examine a pilot project running at Matt VickUW Whitewater. Over the summer of 2018, Matt Vick piloted adaptive learning in his own course using the platform “Realizeit.” He is now working with other instructors to use the platform in their courses. Matt is currently the Interim Associate Dean of the UW-Whitewater School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education.

What is Adaptive Learning?

Adaptive Learning is an education method that creates a personalized, individual experience for a learner.

“Adaptive learning is one technique for providing personalized learning, which aims to provide efficient, effective, and customized learning paths to engage each student. Adaptive learning systems use a data-driven approach to adjust the path and pace of learning, enabling the delivery of personalized learning at scale.” – ELI 7 Things You Should Know About Adaptive Learning

Adaptive platforms likes Realizeit provide real-time feedback and data to assess student knowledge and progress toward mastery. Learners get customized content specifically tailored to their learning. If they can demonstrate that they already know a concept, they do not need to repeat it. It “adapts” to account for prior knowledge. Not every student is going to see every piece of content; they see just what they need to learn and do not already know.

Instructors get insights into their students’ progress through the class. An instructor would spend less time working on the content delivery or knowledge transfer but instead focus their interactions on higher-level applied thinking.

realizeit learning progress

Learning Progress as viewed by students

That is similar to what Matt experienced in his “Teaching Science in Elementary and Middle School” course this summer. After creating the map of the nodes, Matt created text and provided video links for learning objects in various nodes the corresponded to knowledge areas students needed to know. The Realizeit system determines knowledge for these areas – students that already knew the content would not need to work through those areas. They were able to review questions and information in places they may not be that strong. An example of a learning map is shown.

What are some the challenges to adaptive learning?

One of the challenges was building the banks of questions to differentiate levels of learning and determine what students knew. This was a large amount of work. Matt created additional content and assessment questions. The team hired a student worker to review the questions for formatting and display and to help troubleshoot and test the system. Students can repeat nodes to work towards mastery. Writing these questions requires more content. New models are needed to differentiate learning…if there are multiple paths you need multiple layers of assessment to determine knowledge.

It is important to note that adaptive learning does not replace reading, or homework, or other more traditional activities in the classroom. Each node requires content! While Realize it determines an individual student’s knowledge of a particular topic, the platforms delivers lesson plans and content. Not every student will know the same things about a topic. For the structure of Matt’s “Teaching Science in Elementary and Middle School” course, there were additional activities outside of the adaptive platform. An example of a Lesson Path follows.

Lesson Note in Realizeit

Screenshot of a lesson node from RealizeIt

What were some of the lessons learned?

While Matt spent a greater amount of time to set up the course, once it was in place, he was able to provide more attention to specific student needs in the class. He reported that he spent about 10% of his time teaching the course doing lower level remediation which was down from about 30% of a normal section.

Matt reported a few things that he learned this summer during the summer project:

  • It took a LOT of time to set up, map, and configure and configure the course. An adaptive platform requires that content be restructured and rebuilt. Because each student will know different things from a knowledge set more content is needed.
  • Students adapted to the system much more easily than anticipated. It was intuitive and easy to use from the student’s point of view.
  • The determine knowledge algorithms worked! This provided a great way to validate prior learning and provide individual learning experiences.

Adaptive learning could benefit others by rethinking course content into smaller chunks. Low stakes, granular assessments help adult learners or accelerated learners move through a course at different paces. These adaptive learning structures help validate non-credit learning processes and honor the time and information students already know. A system like Realizeit could benefit courses that contain a large body of knowledge…especially for content that instructors think students should really know.
Adaptive learning has a lot of potential. Creating personalized learning paths in an automated and individual way could benefit students. Adaptive platforms could deliver large bodies of knowledge more efficiently than traditional methods.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

7 Things You Should Know About Adaptive Learning

RealizeIt

TED Tips – Issue 15: 23 Things for Digital Knowledge

Two weeks ago in TED Tips Issue 13 one of the solutions to the challenge of Digital Literacy caught my attention. When digging deeper into that solution, I realized that the “23 Things” course was easily adaptable, well designed, and loaded with great examples. It has potential application in the classroom and for personal development. It’s also free! Let us explore this solution this week: “23 Things for Digital Knowledge.”

What are “23 Things for Digital Knowledge”?

23 Things for Digital Knowledge

23 Things for Digital Knowledge

The University of Edinburgh’s 23 Things for Digital Knowledge is an award winning, self-directed course. The course aims to expose you to a range of digital tools for your personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student, or professional. The aim is for you to spend a little time each week, building up and expanding your skills. There are 23 “Things” to explore: ideas, tools, and tips related to Digital Literacy. The program is free to anyone who has access to a computer and the internet.

The University of Edinburgh’s program was itself inspired by previous iterations of similar activities. The original program started as part of “Learning 2.0 Program” at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006. That was a discovery program designed to encourage staff explore new technologies at ran for 8.5 weeks. In its current open source iteration as published by the University of Edinburgh, the content is free and self-paced.

How does it work?

Each “Thing” starts with an introduction, a definition or description usually accompanied with a short video or two. There are links to brief reading material. There is a “hands-on” task and further digital exploration. For example, Thing 4 is about “Digital Security.” It defines the terms and explores some use cases. It links to brief reading on “Using Apps Safely and Security” and a practical guide on keeping smartphones safe. Next, you explore the settings on your own device and have the opportunity to change them. Then you research and discover the privacy policies of several applications, websites, and social media services. Finally, there an opportunity for reflection and additional resources and research for further discovery.

The 23 Things are grouped into couplets of related content and activities (with one exception). One hour per week per thing is recommended. The content is further organized into four “focused blocks”: Digital Awareness, Social Digital, Collaboration and Sharing Tools, and Digital Play and Experimentation. The full set program could easily fit within a semester…or a compressed timeline like Winterim. The entire program could be adapted to support a variety of different learning objectives, courses, or programs. Almost every person could benefit from enhanced digital literacy.

Team Application

23 Things for Digital Knowledge has also been adapted for team applications. The Association for Learning Technology (ALT) completed the 23 Things as a team, trying each of them, and discussing those experiences during weekly meetings. That group tried to embrace the course motto and keep things as flexible as possible – but they did set up an internal scratchpad using a shared Google doc for everyone to participate. Maren Deepwell, CEO, provides some insight:

“The experience of taking part as an individual was really rewarding for me. Being in a leadership position means that I don’t often get the opportunity to collaborate or learn alongside colleagues in my day to day work as equals and courses such as this allow me to step back from responsibilities and instead focus on asking questions and discovering new things. The range of topics that the course covered really challenged my digital knowledge and there were plenty of things that I hadn’t really engaged with before. Other tools or platforms were more familiar, but looking at them with a fresh perspective was useful.”

What are the Things?

I thought it might be helpful to provide the full list of 23 Things. If you are interested in adapting the 23 Things program to your class, I would encourage you to try them!  Start with one or two and discover more of the program.  The entire course is built with Creative Commons licensing and is fully and freely adaptable. The supporting website  is free and the activities are varied and fun. I have provided some additional links in the resources section at the end of the blog this week. Feel free to reach out to me in the Learning Technology Center or leave a post in the comments to discuss it further!

23 Things for Digital Knowledge

Thing 1: Introduction
Thing 2: Blogging
Thing 3: Digital Footprint
Thing 4: Digital Security
Thing 5: Diversity
Thing 6: Accessibility
Thing 7: Twitter
Thing 8: Facebook
Thing 9: Google Hangouts/Collaborate Ultra
Thing 10: Wikimedia
Thing 11: Copyright
Thing 12: Open Educational Resources
Thing 13: Video (YouTube/Vimeo/MediaHopper)
Thing 14: Audio (Podcasts/SoundCloud)
Thing 15: Digital Curation
Thing 16: OneNote/ClassNotebook
Thing 17: Geolocation Tools
Thing 18: Augmented & Virtual Reality
Thing 19: Altmetrics
Thing 20: LinkedIn / Academia.edu / ResearchGate
Thing 21: Online Games & Learning Tools
Thing 22: Fun and Play
Thing 23: Reflection

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

The University of Edinburgh’s 23 Things for Digital Knowledge. http://www.23things.ed.ac.uk/

Original Learning 2.0 Program. This site was created to support PLCMC’s Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 Things. https://plcmcl2-about.blogspot.com/

“#23things – how taking part turned into a digital knowledge habit” by Maren Deepwell. CEO Association for Learning Technology. https://altc.alt.ac.uk/blog/2017/01/23things-how-taking-part-turned-into-a-digital-knowledge-habit/#gref

This 23 Things for Digital Knowledge program by Stephanie (Charlie) Farley of The University of Edinburgh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The materials are free to share, copy and redistribute in any medium or format. They can also be adapted: remixed, transformed, and built on for any purpose including commercially.

TED Tips – Issue 14: Feedback and Speed Grader

This week, I wanted to explore some reflections on giving and receiving feedback in the context of an academic setting, share a specific tip as it applies to Speed Grader in Canvas, and finally highlight an upcoming LEARN / LTC workshop that will also explore feedback.

For feedback to be effective it needs a context in which learners have both the ability and opportunity to hear, understand, and act on that feedback. It should help learners reach a goal – provide clarity of what they did well or not do well, and how they can improve that work. Research shows that good feedback should be formative – it should help to improve performance or increase understanding. Feedback should be timely — happen at a moment when it is possible to learn and change. Finally, feedback should be descriptive – directed at fulfilling some clearly defined goal. Another way to put it is that feedback should tell a student what they accomplished (descriptive), what they were asked to accomplish (goal referenced), and what they must do next (goal directed).

ink

feedback can be painful

With that in mind, I want to share an example of actual feedback. It is fortunately not my onus of shame for personally receiving it; however, I was witness when my classmate actually did. It was so laden with ink it actually dripped red. It was fresh. This is likely not the type of feedback I would recommend using, but it is another example of how Fr. William Ryan, SJ made an impression on terrified students. I introduced Fr. Ryan in my Ted Tips Issue 9: First Impressions. This type of feedback definitely made a powerful first impression… and I apologize if I have inadvertently increased your anxiety!

What tools are available to assist in providing good feedback in Canvas?

Providing feedback in Canvas, has never been easier!  Canvas offers a tremendous tool:  Speed Grader.

Speed grader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place.  You do not need to download papers, then mark them up, and upload them.  Instead, you can directly assign points or use rubrics.  Canvas accepts a variety of document formats including URL submissions.  Some document assignments can be marked up for feedback directly within the submission. You can also provide feedback to your students with text or media comments.

You can use SpeedGrader to:

  • View submission details for each student, including resubmitted assignments
  • Leave feedback for your students
  • Track your grading progress and hide assignments while grading
  • Use rubrics to assign grades

For each student, SpeedGrader has five areas:

  1. View student submissions (text entries, website URLs, media recordings, and/or file uploads). Many file types are able to be previewed directly.
  2. Assign a grade based on your preferred assessment method (points or percentage)
  3. View Rubric to assist with grading (if one is added to the assignment)
  4. View comments created by you or the student about the assignment
  5. Create text, video, and/or audio commentary for the student

Video tip!

524 – SpeedGrader™ Overview from Instructure Community on Vimeo.

Upcoming workshop

If you are interested in learning more about feedback and strategies, I want to up invite you to check out then next LEARN Center / LTC workshop in the 2018-2019 “Back to Basics to Balance Workload.” Next Workshop: Focused Strategies for Providing Formative Assessment by Dana Prodoehl, Alexis Piper, Trudi Witonsky.

Thursday, October 18th, 12:30 – 1:45, UC259A (lunch is provided).  Sign up here:  https://my.uww.edu/signup/Public/Available/15834

At this workshop, panelists will draw on current pedagogy to discuss strategies for providing focused feedback to students at they are engaged in active learning activities. Some of the strategies will be time-saving. Others help instructors direct feedback in productive ways to foster student learning and development. An LTC representative will also be on hand to provide a brief overview of some of the feedback tools in Canvas, along with tips for utilizing them.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

https://my.uww.edu/signup/Public/Available/15834

https://blogs.uww.edu/instructional/2018/08/31/ted-tips-issue-9-first-impressions/