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A 'Moneyball' Approach to College - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

shared by bartmon on 13 Dec 11 - No Cached
  • Think of it as higher education meets Moneyball.
  • Today, half of students quit college before earning a credential. Proponents feel that making better use of data to inform decisions, known as "analytics," can help solve that problem while also improving teaching.
  • One analytics tactic—monitoring student clicks in course-management systems—especially worries critics like Gardner Campbell, director of professional development and innovative initiatives at Virginia Tech. He sees these systems as sterile environments where students respond to instructor prompts rather than express creativity. Analytics projects that focus on such systems threaten to damage colleges much like high-stakes standardized testing harmed elementary and secondary schools, he argues.
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  • Mr. Mazur argues that his new software solves at least three problems. One, it selects student discussion groups. Two, it helps instructors manage the pace of classes by automatically figuring out how long to leave questions open so the vast majority of students will have enough time. And three, it pushes beyond the multiple-choice problems typically used with clickers, inviting students to submit open-ended responses, like sketching a function with a mouse or with their finger on the screen of an iPad.

    "This is grounded on pedagogy; it's not just the technology," says Mr. Mazur, a gadget skeptic who feels technology has done "incredibly little to improve education."

  • In April, Austin Peay debuted software that recommends courses based on a student's major, academic record, and how similar students fared in that class.
  • By the eighth day of class, Rio Salado College predicts with 70-percent accuracy whether a student will score a C or better in a course.
    Great article on Learning Analytics. I respectfully disagree with Gardner Campbell's quote, but I do see where he's coming from and that is something that universities need to be careful of.

Bloomin iPads - 0 views

    This is a site that links iPad apps to Bloom's revised taxonomy.

Simply Speaking - Teaching and Learning with Technology - 0 views

    Some interesting videos here, and a way to make sometimes complex topics easy to understand. Might be interesting to think about how SITE could borrow this idea and apply it to, say, item analysis or another topic?

Yammer: The Useful Social Network - Onward State - 0 views

    Interesting article, including views of both students and faculty, on the use of Yammer in classes.

Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists - 0 views

  • Video-game players have solved a molecular puzzle that stumped scientists for years, and those scientists say the accomplishment could point the way to crowdsourced cures for AIDS and other diseases.
  • "People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at,"
  • "This was really kind of a last-ditch effort," he recalled. "Can the Foldit players really solve it?"

    They could. "They actually did it in less than 10 days,"

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  • "Although much attention has recently been given to the potential of crowdsourcing and game playing, this is the first instance that we are aware of in which online gamers solved a longstanding scientific problem,"
    Good read on gaming and crowd sourcing to solve long-standing scientific problems.

Jim Groom Comes To Penn State - ETS - 0 views

    • Faculty, staff, and students interested in the innovative and cutting edge use of educational technology are invited to attend a talk by Jim Groom, instructional technology specialist and adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington, Sept. 20 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Foster Auditorium in Pattee Library.

      Jim Groom is an instructional technology specialist and adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington an innovative thinker in the field of educational technology. Groom developed the highly recognized academic blogging platform at University of Mary Washington. This platform has been used to create class sites, e-portfolios and other web-based resources ranging from English, linguistics and speech blogs to online literary journals.

      Groom also created DS106, a free, open, online digital storytelling course that anyone can take. The course is like no other online course, with the following course objectives:

      • Develop skills in using technology as a tool for networking, sharing, narrating, and creative self-expression
      • Frame a digital identity wherein you become both a practitioner in and interrogator of various new modes of networking
      • Critically examine the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms and genres
    I had a chance to attend one of Groom's Educause talks last year...extremely energetic and passionate about proper use of educational technology. Signing up is as easy as adding yourself to the wiki page, should be interesting.

Want to Be a Good Researcher? Try Teaching - 1 views

    This Chronicle article summarizes some empirical support for the notion that graduate student teaching experience improves graduate student research.

Citelighter - online citation manager - 0 views

shared by bartmon on 31 Aug 11 - No Cached
  • See all your facts in one place,
    add your thoughts, and take your
    pick from our automatic citations--
    APA, Chicago, or MLA.
    I mentioned this to Kathy today, and instead of emailing it to her I thought some other folks might also be interested. I have not used this yet, but it looks like a web-based tool to make highlights of articles, as well as capture citation data and manage bibliographies (much like End Note).

Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course - - 1 views

  • A free online course at Stanford University on artificial intelligence, to be taught this fall by two leading experts from Silicon Valley, has attracted more than 58,000 students around the globe — a class nearly four times the size of Stanford’s entire student body
  • The online students will not get Stanford grades or credit, but they will be ranked in comparison to the work of other online students and will receive a “statement of accomplishment.”
  • For example, the Khan Academy, which focuses on high school and middle school, intentionally turns the relationship of the classroom and homework upside down. Students watch lectures at home, then work on problem sets in class, where the teacher can assist them one on one.
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  • Dr. Widom said she had recorded her video lectures during the summer and would use classroom sessions to work with smaller groups of students on projects that might be competitive and to bring in people from the industry to give special lectures. Unlike the A.I. course, this one will compare online students with one another and not with the Stanford students.
  • How will the artificial intelligence instructors grade 58,000 students? The scientists said they would make extensive use of technology. “We have a system running on the Amazon cloud, so we think it will hold up,” Dr. Norvig said.

    In place of office hours, they will use the Google moderator service, software that will allow students to vote on the best questions for the professors to respond to in an online chat and possibly video format. They are considering ways to personalize the exams to minimize cheating.

    This is crazy...a free, online course offered through Stanford, taught by 2 globally-known AI scientists, enrollment of 58,000 students.

Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade - - 0 views

    Interesting opinion piece regarding the disconnect between faculty and students around not only technology, but patterns of discourse.

Blog meta-analysis - 0 views

shared by bartmon on 26 Jul 11 - No Cached
  • The search process was undertaken on 5 January 2009. Using the “advanced search” feature available on ISI Web of Science, SSCI and AHCI were searched using the keywords blog*, weblog* and web log* (trunctuated so as to find different usage of the basic word, such as blogs, bloggers, blogging, etc.). This indentified papers that focus on blogs but also those that examine blogs in relation with other media. As for temporal limits, all articles published before 1 January 2009, were considered for inclusion. In total, 311 articles were identified.
    This is a fantastic resource for anyone working on the research side of blogs. I've been looking for a meta-analysis of blog research for a while now, and this appears to be (by far) the most inclusive analysis to date.

Introducing Google+ - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

shared by bartmon on 12 Jul 11 - No Cached
  • What sets Google+ (hereafter “G+”) from Facebook is the plural of that word “circles.” When you start creating a friend list on G+, you’re asked to add that person to one or more “Circles.” You start out with a few circles titled “Friends,” “Family,” “Acquaintances,” and so on. But you’re welcome to create as many as you want and add each person to as many circles as you want.
  • “Hangouts” are essentially group video chats; when you start a Hangout, you can let as many of your different circles know as you’d like and then people are free to simply drop in.
    Not sure if anyone is playing around with Google+, but this Chronicle article sums it up nicely. Similar to Facebook, with a few 'ease-of-use' improvements and integrates tightly with all your other Google services.

Efforts to Measure Faculty Workload Don't Add Up - Faculty - The Chronicle of Higher Ed... - 0 views

  • When colleges' chief financial officers recently surveyed by The Chronicle were asked what single strategy they would adopt to cut costs or increase revenue if they didn't have to worry about any repercussions, increasing teaching loads topped the list. Close to two in five respondents favored such a move, which ranked well above strategies like increasing tuition, eliminating tenure, and hiring more adjunct faculty.
  • Politicians and taxpayers who clamor for colleges to cut costs see requiring professors to teach more as one of the easiest ways to save money and, subsequently, stave off further increases in tuition. Colleges, these critics say, would be better off if they de-emphasized research and focused more on teaching, particularly undergraduates.
    I'm not sure if we'll ever see a shift here, requiring tenure and tenure-track profs to teach more. This article does make some good points regarding workload. OPIA on the 5th floor runs a faculty workload report every year for the president. I'm unsure if it's public or not, but looking into it.
Chas Brua

Teaching Students to Write a Case Study - Do Your Job Better - The Chronicle of Higher ... - 0 views

    Good description of a teaching method that sounds doable across disciplines. 

ON COURSE: Strategies for Empowering Students to Become Active,Responsible Learners - 1 views

    This is the website of a private company. However, if you click on the "student success strategies" link, it takes you to a gazillion ideas for classroom use. Each one is described in detail. I'd plan to carefully vet any recommendations, but nonetheless...Lots of ideas.
    I never heard of this site before, lots of interesting content. In my short tour of the site, I can't really tell if it's designed to be a community resource, or if it's designed as a for-profit business to make money. It seems to have elements of both.

    I would like to go to their Long Beach, CA!

Clickers: Assessment and Beyond - Teaching with Clickers - 1 views

    "Dr. Suann Yang teaches Ecology in the department of Biology here at Penn State. In this presentation, she describes best practices and strategies for effective clicker use in a large (~300 student class)."

    Great YouTube video, describing some cases and best practices for using clickers in a class.
Chas Brua

News: Saying More With Less - Inside Higher Ed - 1 views

  • University of Rochester Provost Ralph W. Kuncl wanted something else in 2009 when he began the process of creating the first universitywide mission statement in Rochester's almost 160-year history. He wanted something creative that would stick in people's minds, that they would think about every day at work. What he ended up with in May after a long vetting process was a 10-word statement that he thinks encapsulates everything the university stands for: "Learn, Discover, Heal, Create — And Make the World Ever Better." It has its own t-shirt now.
  • There are upsides and downsides to brevity. A short statement can be ubiquitous, which can help it become ingrained in the university's day-to-day action. It can be placed on t-shirts, stationery, and other university documents. But that brevity also makes specific goals, definitions, and means impossible, leaving room for interpretation, misunderstanding, and debate.
    I think the crucial part for any organization is whether employees and clients can identify -- whether in exact words or not -- what the mission of the organization is. "Here's why we exist...."
    I liked how they pointed to Johnson and Johnson having a longer mission statement, but also that every employee knows it and remembers it.

    This whole 'brevity' trend is interesting at the macro level. I recently discovered a whole conference (!!!) dedicated to it: the 140 character conference: strange.

Intro to GLaDOS 101: A Professor's Decision to Teach Portal - Giant Bomb - 0 views

    • "This is a course about what it means to be human, focused on some of the enduring questions our existence inevitably raises for us. The goals of this course reflect this focus."

      You roll your eyes, figuring the next four (or five (or six)) years were supposed to be about shaping your own destiny, learning how to drink alcohol without throwing up and playing a bunch of games until some ungodly hour in the morning. Grudgingly, you look at the reading list. Gilgamesh, Aristotle, Goffman, Donne, Portal.

      ...Portal. No, you haven't misread. But understandably, you look closer.

        Week 4
      • February 7: Montaigne, Essays, selected
      • February 9: Goffman, Presentation of Self, Introduction and Ch. 1
      • February 11: Portal (video game developed by Valve Software)
  • "She's got her forestage and she's got her backstage, the stuff she doesn't want you to see," he said. "The game does an amazing job of slowly peeling back her veneer, and the stuff she doesn't want you to see or know is so slowly revealed. Those students started to exchange stories about what they saw behind the scenes or writing on the walls, little stuff they would find, little artifacts. That really provoked a lot of interesting connections between the Goffman text and GLaDOS as a character, as a personality, and the way that the environment is an extension of her and her personality. That really clicked."
    Interesting read regarding the game Portal being used in a freshman humanities course, alongside classics like Gilgamesh and readings about Aristotle.
Chas Brua

Lessons Learned in Playful Game Design - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

  • The amount of activity on the site, particularly in the first half of the semester, produced more content than I’d ever seen in one of my course web spaces. Not all of it was of equal value, of course, but sorting through it became a part of my day akin to checking Facebook or Twitter.
  • When the semester came to an end, I asked students to reflect on what they thought of this experiment: Are points really motivating? Achievements? Or is social interaction and knowledge motivating in itself? The answers on that varied wildly, but I learned that many of the students appreciated the greater sense of collaboration.
    In this blog, a prof at the U. of Baltimore talks about the highs and lows of her attempts to gamify a course Web site....
    Some interesting things going on around this at PSU. One of this summer's TLT Faculty Fellows, Sherry Robinson, is looking into this with a team from ETS.

    I've used similar tactics in my game design course, and similar to the article, results vary. Some kids get REALLY into it, while others don't really care if I 'gamify' the course or not. When I talk about this at conferences and with faculty, I sometimes get the comment "Why should I do this if it will only engage SOME of my kids?". This comment cracks me up a bit, because what do we do, as teachers, that engages every student, all of the time? I'm not sure any instructional method will engage everyone. Just another tool for the tool belt of instruction...

Lecture Capture: Lights! Camera! Action! -- Campus Technology - 0 views

  • "All medical school professors can view all medical school courses, carte blanche," says Coffman of the setup at WVU Health Sciences. "And part of their job is to review each other's content, to make sure they're not teaching the same thing and that something isn't getting missed. That's something lecture capture has enabled."

    At Grand Rapids CC, says Brand, the technology has also been useful for creating short tutorials for faculty development, and for evaluating the performance of students in an online instructor-certification course.

  • Ultimately, though, the benefits of lecture capture--freeing up extra time for class discussion, as a study aid, and improving faculty performance--have one primary goal: to improve student learning.
    This is a somewhat long article dealing with lecture capture, but contains great nuggets of info from professors who already use it. Considering we'll be piloting a lecture capture system in the fall or spring, it's interesting to consider how this might help us with "breaking down film" of faculty teaching and maybe even using some snippets as exemplars of good teaching.
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