UW Schools Have Strong Showing in New US News Report

The magazine U.S. News and World Report released a new report ranking the quality of online degree programs. Here’s how some University of Wisconsin schools ranked:

School Category Rank
UW Superior Faculty Credentials and Training 48
UW Superior Student Engagement and Assessment 123
UW Superior Student Services and Technology 15
UW Green Bay Student Engagement and Assessment 41
UW Green Bay Student Services and Technology 158
UW La Crosse Student Engagement and Assessment 157
UW La Crosse Student Services and Technology 168
UW Oshkosh (Graduate Nursing) Student Engagement and Accreditation 80
UW Madison (Graduate Engineering) Faculty Credentials and Training 5
UW Madison (Graduate Engineering) Student Engagement and Accreditation 1
UW Madison (Graduate Engineering) Student Services and Technology 1
UW Milwaukee (Graduate Education) Student Engagement and Accreditation 142
UW Milwaukee (Graduate Education) Student Services and Technology 69

UW-Superior Teaching with Technology Projects Use Time-Lapse Photography, Digital Storytelling, Web Conferencing, and the SmartBoard in Spring 2010 Courses

UW-Superior Teaching with Technology Projects Use Time-Lapse Photography, Digital Storytelling, Web Conferencing, and the SmartBoard in Spring 2010 Courses

Four projects proposed by educators to integrate technology into UW-Superior courses were selected for support through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s Spring 2010 Teaching with Technology Program. For his Plant Physiology course, Nick Danz, Assistant Professor of Botany, has developed an assignment that enhances students’ ability to record and analyze plant growth through technology. Students are using web cams and laptops to record the growth of plants in still images and video using time-lapse software. Students then measure growth on the digital photos using additional software. After an initial experience using the technology to record and analyze plant growth over a two-hour span, students are planning and using the technology for their own projects.

For her course Teaching Art in the Elementary Grades, Dr. Kathy Hubbard, Assistant Professor, Visual Arts Department, students are developing digital stories on a memorable learning experience. To create the stories, students are using Windows MovieMaker or iMovie along with basic photo editing software to combine digital photos with music and their own audio narration. Students then consider how digital storytelling can be used in the elementary grades to enhance art education.

Students in Dr. Bruce Kibler’s Strategic Management course are gaining experience in working with international teams through a management simulation that involves small groups of students from UW-Superior and the University of Kassel in Germany. This semester the simulation experience will be capped with a final presentation using video conferencing technology to link the two classes. Kibler, Assistant Professor of Management, is part of a UW System Pilot Project to test the integration of the web conferencing tool Elluminate into Learn@UW. In May, the international teams will use the Elluminate web conferencing tool to make joint, simultaneous presentations in Superior and Kassel with shared PowerPoint slides, live video, and synchronous audio.

This spring Marilyn Toscano, Senior Lecturer, Mathematics and Computer Science Department, is integrating the SmartBoard into her course Teaching Elementary/Middle School Mathematics. SmartBoards are found in many Duluth and Superior K-12 schools, and training in the technical and pedagogical skills for teaching with the SmartBoard are increasingly being requesting by teacher education students and employers. UW-Superior received its first SmartBoard through the recent Jim Dan Hill Library renovation project. For her Teaching with Technology project, Toscano is observing teachers experienced in the use of the SmartBoard in area schools. Her UW-Superior students are working with the SmartBoard in the Library Instruction Classroom. Students are planning elementary or middle school-level lessons that use the SmartBoard and then demonstrating those lessons to their UW-Superior classmates.

UW-Superior’s Teaching with Technology Program supports the integration of learning technologies into UW-Superior courses to enhance teaching and learning. Faculty and teaching academic staff are eligible to submit proposals. Selected instructors receive a $500 stipend and up to $100 to cover project-related expenses. Each fall semester, the Teaching with Technology Program supports technology integration into First Year Seminars. In spring semesters, the program is open to all courses. The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning dedicates support and services to the projects. Contact Lisa Larson, llarson@uwsuper.edu, for further information about the program and these projects.

Submitted by Lisa Larson

Information Literacy Project at UW-Superior

Students in three Fall 2009 courses are pilot-testing an interactive, computer-based tutorial developed at UW-Superior’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). The tutorial aims at increasing student skills in searching for, selecting, and citing online videos and images, and incorporates a section on the ethics of using information accessed on the Internet. It can be assigned as homework or used in-class as a preparatory activity for class discussion.

Work on the tutorial began in Fall 2008, when instructor Kay Biga asked students to incorporate videos and images into their semester-end presentations for her First Year Seminar on business ethics titled “Swimming with the Sharks.” Through CETL’s Teaching with Technology Program, instructional developer Lisa Larson worked with Biga to develop a tutorial to help students select engaging videos and images that would bring to life their presentations on historical business ethics cases.

Data generated for the Fall 2008 pilot project included student surveys at semester start and semester end to provide self-assessment data on the assignment’s impact on their learning of both information literacy and course topics. At semester start, 10 out of 13 of the First Year Seminar students responded “yes” to the statement “I understand copyright laws.” However, only half of the students said they knew how to use video clips and pictures in a presentation, and only three students said they knew the proper citations for videos and pictures.

After using the tutorial and completing the assignment, over 90% of students said that using the tutorial and the online search engines not only helped improve their searching and citing of online video and image sources, but also helped them learn more about the course topic.

For Fall 2009, the tutorial has been redesigned for greater interactivity and for use across disciplines. It is currently being pilot tested a Freshman English II course and an American Government course, as well as in Biga’s First Year Seminar. Students in each course will complete the tutorial and an assignment that involves incorporating video and images into presentations.

As in Fall 2008, results of the Fall 2009 preliminary survey are mixed. Seventy-seven percent of the 31 students surveyed so far agreed with the statement “I am able to use online search engines effectively and efficiently.” However, 42% of students agreed that “I probably miss some good online resources because I don’t look at many of the results of online searches.” Furthermore, only 10 out of 31 students agreed that “I often use AND, OR, NOT, or quotation marks in my online search terms.” Just over half said that they often follow links to find more information about the source of online materials they view and use. And only 35% said that they often go to online news sources or archives from well-known sources to find online videos.

For the Fall 2009 project, students will be surveyed again after completing the tutorial and assignment to gain further insights into student skills and needs in information literacy for academic purposes. A focus group will provide additional information on student perspectives and ideas for further tutorial redesign. Additional results from UW-Superior’s pilot project on information literacy development will be available in Spring 2010.

Submitted by Lisa Larson, Ed.D, UW-Superior