video assessment January 9

Making Learning Visible with Video Assessment

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In winter 2015, I was given the opportunity to design and teach my department’s first fully online course, in calculus. Some design challenges emerged in the process, not least of which was the question of assessing homework. In a face-to-face class, students either turn in handwritten solutions to online problems or present them orally in class. But how can you have students presenting work to each other when they don’t even meet?

My solution—the only solution that could really work—was to have students present work via recorded video and then put those videos in an accessible place for the rest of the class.

The process worked as follows:

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screenshot of 20 Minute Mentor January 3

How Do I Align Learning Objectives with Technology Using Backward Design?

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Just like with DIY projects, it's important to use the right teaching tool for the job. But even the latest “cool tool” won’t solve learning problems if it isn’t integrated properly. This program shows you how to peel back the layers of your teaching challenges and work backward from your learning objectives to your choice of technology solutions.

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unplugging cord December 8, 2016

Use It but Don’t Depend on Technology to Teach

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This article is not a Luddite’s rejection of digital technology. Even though I feel some intellectual kinship with Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau in regard to how some tools affect people constitutionally, I readily admit that digital technology has made my job as a teacher much easier in a number of ways. Courseware makes it possible for me to share handouts with students without having to make copies. I can post web links for easy in-class access. Using email, I can make important announcements when my students are not in class, and they can contact me with questions about their essays. After my students visit a local science museum, I can have them post their thoughts about the visit to a discussion board, responding both to me and to each other as they ruminate on connections between the museum displays and related content in the course text. In short, for teachers and students—including sometime skeptics like me—digital technology, despite occasional overuse, facilitates interpersonal communication and accessibility to information.

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online courses computer screen December 1, 2016

Using Padlet to Encourage Student Collaboration

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Online faculty generally default to their learning management system’s discussion form to facilitate student collaboration or sharing. But Padlet provides an alternate format that can be much better for many purposes. The LMS forum is designed for linear, text-based discussions around a pre-established theme. This is good if a faculty member wants to corral discussion and keep it on track, but it is not so good for facilitating a more free-form, creative discussion that branches out into many areas. Padlet also provides a much more visually appealing, and thus inviting, system for facilitating content sharing among students.

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man on a ipad November 29, 2016

Using VoiceThread to Support Close Reading from a Distance

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Faculty know that the increased think-time provided by asynchronous online discussion allows for deeper and more active deliberation by students than is possible in face-to-face courses. But this advantage is often lost as online discussions revert to personal opinions and anecdotes. One method for keeping a discussion on track is to organize it around close reading and analysis of course texts.

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Male Student in online chat November 22, 2016

Improve Learning with Student Interviews

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Interviews are a powerful yet underutilized learning device in higher education. There are thousands of experts available who would be more than willing to add interesting material to your courses. While it is not very practical to fly those people in to speak in a face-to-face course, video recording systems make it easy to add interviews to an online course.

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October 14, 2016

PA021: Leveraging Technology to Maximize Teaching Effectiveness, An Interview with Dr. Jean Mandernach

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On this episode, we sat down with Dr. Jean Mandernach at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference and discussed leveraging technology to maximize teaching effectiveness. We also discussed her presentation, One Size Doesn’t Fit All, and Pedagogy First, a tool to help instructors select the most appropriate instructional technology for their class.


September 23, 2016

PA018: Using Media in Our Classes

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Technology can be a distraction if it is not used properly says Assistant Professor Jeff Hammond of Metropolitan State University in Denver. We met with Professor Hammond to discuss his presentation, “Instructional Design Strategies for Informational Media Presentations,” which he will lead at the upcoming Teaching Professor Technology Conference in Atlanta, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. In our conversation, he brings up some interesting questions about the use of media and technology.


video in higher ed July 14, 2016

Survey Highlights Growth of Video in Higher Ed, Optimism over OER

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An annual survey on video in higher education found that more than half of the institutions who responded now use a video solution integrated into their Learning Management System. The figure is up 6% from 46% last year. In addition, three quarters of students in higher education use video in their assignments, up 4% on last year’s figure of 71%.