ES 2013 CTools Hidden Treasure May 10, 2013Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, teaching.
Tags: 2013, CTools, enriching scholarships, technology
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Warning: long post! CTools is the Sakai based LMS we use at Michigan. If you don’t understand that sentence, this won’t be useful. You should go outside and play instead.
Jeff Zeigler presented some tips, tricks, and tools in CTools. Some of these were underused or unusual implementations of old tools, some were new features. I have rearranged things slightly, and added screen shots from a couple of my own sites to illustrate these.
Make a site joinable
When you create a new site, you can choose whether or not to make it joinable. If you forget to make it joinable (or you want to do this with a pre-existing site), go to Site Info, Manage Access. Click the radio button next to “Allow anyone to join the site with valid login id”. Note right above that is Site Visibility, where you can determine if people need the link to find your site (but remember, anyone with the link can send it to someone else, so making it private is NOT a way to make it secure.)
Also, note that Friend accounts pose a challenge. If they are already on a CTools site, they can join your site using the email link. If they haven’t been added to any CTools site, you will have to add them manually, regardless of whether or not they already have a friend account.
You can find publicly visible joinable sites by going to Membership in My Workspace and clicking the Joinable Sites button.
Join a site through an email link
Jeff sent an email with a link so we can add ourselves to the site by clicking a link.
This would work particularly well if you are looking to expand services for an MCommunity (online directory) group.
Joining using the link worked fine for most of the people in the class, but others had some trouble. No one who was already logged in to CTools had trouble, so you may want to include instructions telling people to go to CTools.umich.edu and log in, THEN come back to the email and follow the link. Remember, although both CTools and the mail system use CoSign for authentication, CTools makes you re-log after about half an hour of inactivity, so the user could be logged in to email, but not to CTools.
MCommunity sometimes needs a couple hours to sync across all services (especially at the start of term), so give it some time if you make a bunch of updates.
To do this:
- Create your new site and make it joinable, or make an existing site joinable (see above)
- Go to the site homepage
- Copy the url from the address bar
- paste that url into an email.
Customize the Homepage
The Site Information Display is displayed on the homepage of every site. It can take text input, or it can take a url. Note it won’t show both, but you can create a webpage in Resources and point to that.
Jeff added the URL to the root folder in Resources, which displays an easily navigable but read only version of resources tool.
To do this
In Resources there is a url for each item. Click the Actions button for the folder you are interested in and select Edit Details.
- Next to Web address (URL) click Select URL (for copying), then copy the URL.
- Go to Home page and click Options under Site Information Display. Scroll down to where it says Site Info URL and paste URL into the box.
The reset button next to the tool title takes you back to the default view for the tool (handy if you are lost deep in a tool, like the test center or Resources). It is available in all the tools.
There is an expand all or collapse all arrow in Resources. It toggles, starting from expand all.
Use the expand all button, then the browser find command (command+F on Mac),to search for a word, date, owner, etc. Note this is not the same as search, so you’ll have to mach the words, including the order and spacing, exactly.
Check quota button in Resources
If you are a site manager, you will see a Check Quota button at the top of Resources. 3 GB is default quota, and is plenty for most sites. ITS can grant more space if there is a good reason, so if you really need more, contact 4Help.
CTools isn’t really designed for streaming video, so saving video in Resources isn’t recomended. It is better to embed the videos.
In Resources, click Upload-Download Multiple Resources to go to the WebDAV instructions. This will allow you to mount your Resources folder like a folder on your computer. However, it’s a little touchy – sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, and there’s no good idea why. So if you try it and it doesn’t work, try cyberduck instead. You’ll need to install it on your computer, which probably means calling 4Help. There are also mobil apps, like iAnnotate that use WebDAV, so you may be able to
Whatever WedDAV method you use, you need the uri from the upload/download page.
Other thing are possible (like renaming things), but only upload and download are actually supported, so doing other things isn’t recommended.
Note if you rename folders, the name will not change in WebDav because the new name in CTools is a display name, not the actual folder name.
It is also possible to use WebDav with the Dropbox tool
Add a Google Calendar to a site
- Find or create the calendar you want to display and open the settings.
- Go to the Sharing settings and make sure the events will be visible to your users. You can make it public if there’s nothing you don’t mind everyone seeing, or with everyone at UM, or you can use the “Share with specific people” section to share it with an MComunity group, or specific people. For more on setting up sharing see the Google support page https://support.google.com/calendar/topic/1672470?hl=en&ref_topic=1665165
- Once you think it will be visible to the right people, go back to the Calendar Details section and scroll down to the Calendar Address: section. Click the HTML button, then copy the URL that pops up.
- Go back to your CTools site, to the Site Information section.
- Click Edit Tools.
- Check the box next to Web Content and click Continue. This opens a new window where you can enter a display name for your calendar and the URL that you copied a minute ago.
- Click continue, and a new item should appear along the left for your calendar.
You could also use the embed code from Google to create a webpage in Resources, or paste the URL into the site info to display the calendar on the home page.
Sign up tool
Currently available in stealth mode only but it MAY be ready for general use by fall.
Essentially an appointment scheduling tool. Some users find it VERY useful, especially for things like office hours.
like iClicker anonymous polling, it records whether or not someone responds, but their actual response in not associated with their name.
Embedding a youtube video
Embedding the video means its still on youtube’s site (not taking up your quota, or forcing students to download video to their local machine), but students don’t have to leave CTools, watch adds, or get all the (sometimes inappropriate) related content.
- Find the video you want, and click the Share button.
- Click the Embed link. You need the URL, which will look like http://www.youtube.com/embed/<identifier>. You may have to copy the whole box, paste it into a text editor, and delete all the other stuff. You could also copy the identifier from the address bar and type the rest of the URL (at least until YouTube changes things)
Go back to your CTools site, to the Resources section.
- Click Add next to the folder you want to add the video to and choose Add Web Link (URL)
- Paste the URL into the box for the address, and give it a nice display name. Click Add Web Links Now to save.
- If you want, you can add this to the home screen, or add it to the list on the left. Go to Actions -> Edit details and copy the URL for the video in CTools. Then you can add it using one of the methods outlined above for adding a URL to the Site Information Display on the Home screen or adding Web Content under Site information.
ES 2013 Tech and Trends May 8, 2013Posted by aquillam in teaching.
Tags: Patricia Anderson, technology
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ETech guru Patricia Anderson presented. As usual, there are tons of resources.
The mind map for this is available at http://www.mindmeister.com/289740657/tech-talk-2013#
Members of the UM community may want to sign up for the Cool Toys Conversations email group in MCommunity. You can also follow the Cool Toys blog http://cooltoysu.wordpress.com/ or the ETechLib blog http://etechlib.wordpress.com/
The talk follows the mindmap, starting from the upper right and working around clockwise.
What is emerging tech?
It’s what’s new and hot and relavant and important.
New media consortium Horizon report is a good resource, and is what they usually focus on in the Cool Toys email group. Find out more about the project at http://www.nmc.org/horizon-project. Download the higher ED report in English from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-horizon-report-HE.pdf
The future is here (at UM)
examples – last year’s ES poster winners http://www.crlt.umich.edu/node/514
would have liked to have this year’s winners too. Our instuctors are doing amazing things with today’s technology, and we’re developing things that can be next year’s tech. http://www.crlt.umich.edu/tipwinners2013
many of these are issues we face year after year. For example, do students with the money for laptops or tablets to bring to class have an advantage over those who can’t afford portable tech? Should we be introducing students to high end computers and software if they won’t have access to those things in the jobs they get when they leave here? What competencies do the students actually need in the future?
How we answer those questions now will determine what higher ed looks like and whether or not we survive.
Resources and past years
The Resources bubble provides a lot of resources for exploring further.
The 2011 and 2012 Tech Trends are provided so you can compare where we were a year or two ago, and where we are now.
Tech Trends 2013
Wearable tech generated a lot of chatter on the cool toys email group http://pinterest.com/rosefirerising/wearable-tech/. However, what was is the Cool Toys chatter was not the same as what was in the horizon report. The Horizon report focused on things like the much hyped Google Glass, and smart watches like Pebble. But there are all sorts of things, like biometric tattoos that can warn diabetics if their blood sugar is too low, or buttons for your jacket that detect if you’ve had too much to drink. Also, some slightly disturbing options, like the tattoo that vibrates when you got a phone call. (This tattoo is not MRI safe. And what do you do when the technology changes??) Wearable tech can be big too, like the scarf with sensors so it you crash on your bike, it turns into an airbag bike helmet, or the power suit designed for soldiers but usable by paraplegics to allow them to walk again.
Patricia also discussed the power of technologies like Personal genomics, Personalized medicine, Quantified self and Biohacking. These let the individual learn more about themselves and their health through things like developing a personal genetic profile, tracking exercise goals or finding correlations between symptoms and diet. Lots of data helps the user and their doctor diagnose problems more quickly and treat them more effectively.
3D printing was also a big item. These bring their own set of questions and issues. What will it mean if everyone had the ability to print whatever they want? WILL everyone be able to do this, or will this be another thing that separates groups (those who can afford it and those who can’t). Are there things you shouldn’t be allowed to print, and how would a bad be enforced? http://io9.com/you-can-now-3d-print-a-fully-operational-handgun-493142303 Bioprinting is also an emerging technology, with things like replacement bones and ears already possible.
Related to the 3D printing is the Maker Culture. Here in A2 we have MakerWorks http://www.maker-works.com/ and All Hands maker space http://www.allhandsactive.com/. There’s also the Maker Faire Detroit each year at The Henry Ford http://www.makerfairedetroit.com/. Groups like http://www.thingiverse.com/ make it easy for designers and makers to make their designs available to other makers, and to anyone with a 3D printer.
Gartner Hype Cycle
Handy for checking on what might be overhyped right now (like 3D printing, social analytics, and gamification), under-hyped, what’s likely to be a hot topic next year, and what we are seeing turn into practical, usable, and realistic tech (and as a slow typist, I’m rather glad to see speech recognition finally becoming useful!)
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013
A list by the MIT Technology Review.
Again, wearable tech like smart watches and 3D printing apear on the list.
Also on the list are memory implants. While intended for people with cognitive dysfunction, could these be used by “normal” people who want a better memory.
Deep (machine) learning – AI is closer to reality. This have some unintended consequences too. For example, programs were designed to make spam look more like normal human speech, so it could get around the spam filters. However, it was still mostly gibberish. Poets found some of it interesting and started using the “creative” content from the computers to generate Spam Poetry (is that plagiarism?)
Big data from cheap phones also has some potentially profound implications. In Kenya, a database that used text messages from users to track the location of prescription medications eventually lead to (democratic) political upheaval. The Boston Marathon bomber was caught largely due to cell phone video. These open up privacy questions. According to David Brin, that can be OK os long as there is data equality. However, we will face serious problems if one side is transparent and the other is not. http://www.davidbrin.com/transparentsociety.html
ES 2013 Poster Fair May 7, 2013Posted by aquillam in teaching.
Tags: 2013, enriching scholarships, teaching, technology
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There were more posters than I was able to really get to (and the room was rather crowded, and me with my backpack). So this is sure to be missing a lot. I provide titles and authors/collaborators even if I didn’t get anything else. The numbers refer to the poster number.
Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize Winners
1. Gamifying a Large, Introductory Course and Fostering Student Autonomy – Mika LaVaque-Manty (Political Science and Philosophy, LSA)
Mika offers students several paths to success. rather than deducting points for getting things wrong, students gain points for doing things right. They have the option to stop work when they are satisfied with their grade, but few do.
Students become responsible for their own learning. This causes some push-back, especially from the over-achievers who want to know exactly what they have to do to get an A. For some, it becomes about getting the points, not about learning, so you have to be careful about your assessments. Documenting better learning is hard.
Used an app called gradecraft.
See Tiny.cc/polsci101_f11 and Tiny.cc/polsci101_f11 for details about the courses.
2. SecondLook (or if Socrates taught with an iPad): Helping Students Evaluate Their Learning - Michael Hortsch (Cell and Developmental Biology, Medical School)
iPad app that helps students focus on what is important on the study cards (this reminded me of hypercard, which probably does a good job of telling you how old I am…)
3. The Drum Diaries: Inspiring and Integrating Exploration and Practice - Michael Gould (Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation, School of Music, Theatre & Dance)
An iBook, which includes the music, videos of people playing the music, links to things like the history of the piece, and anything else that might be useful to a student studying the piece. Looks like a lot of fun even without the class.
4. Feeling Is Believing: Haptic Feedback Links Math and Intuition - Brent Gillespie (Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering)
Gillespie created a device he called a cigar box to demonstrate principles in class. These reminded me strongly of the black box “hypotthesis machine” we used to have in physics. In this case, students would make predictions then change a set of switches to see if their predictions worked. didn’t get to try one though.
5. The Stick Project: To Transform and To Be Transformed - Antonio (Tony) Alvarez (School of Social Work)
Alvarez wanted to enforce the idea to his students that their work has a lasting impact. He had his students find a stick and carry it with them for an extended period (4 weeks I think). They were required to keep journals for their sticks. Many of them decorated their sticks, and even developed backgrounds and stories to help them cope with the awkwardness of carrying the stick.
CRLT Investigating Student Learning Grant 2012 winners results
6. Leading Feminism: How Women’s Studies Students Integrate and Apply Feminist Theory in Action-Learning Placements and Its Impact on Student Leadership Development and Aspirations - Leseliey Rose Welch, Women’s Studies, LSA
Students became more invested in the class when they thought they were doing real good. This was an experiential course,and I really would have liked to ask more questions about how the course itself was run.
7. Ditch the Lecture So Students Will Learn - Steven Yalisove, Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
This couse used videos pre-class to engage and excite students about a topic. Students then worked on collaborative reading assignments using nb http://nb.mit.edu/welcome.
Homeworks were hard. Students were expected to work on assignments before class, but not finish them. They try to actually come up with the solutions collaboratively during class.
two classes were run simultaneously, one with traditional lecture. The students in the no-lecture course did better on assessments.
8. Transforming and Transformative Ethics - Rolf T. Bouma, Program in the Environment, LSA and Graduate student collaborator: Melody Pugh, English and Education, LSA
9. Using Video Patient Care Simulations to Enhance Role Identification and Clinical Judgment of Nursing Students and Nurse Practitioner Students. - Laurie Hartman and Cynthia Fenske, School of Nursing
10. The Effect of Electronic Platform on Student Engineering Design Team Success - Robin Fowler, Program in Technical Communication, College of Engineering
Traditionally, during in-class collaborative work, you’ll find one student dominating the conversation. Often, female, minority, and ESL students are shut out of these conversations. Using an online forum (Google drawing with the chat turned on) helped mitigate this. Fowler say a statistically significant increase in participation especially from the ESL students. Additionally, there was greater sharing of ideas, as multiple people were willing to share similar ideas.
11. “Beating the Bounds”: An Inquiry into Information Literacy and Student Learning Ecologies in the Library and the English Department Writing Program. - Jeremiah Chamberlin, English Language and Literature, LSA
Aaron McCollough, University Library and Graduate student collaborator: Kelly Davenport, School of Information
12. The Flipped Classroom in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical Student Clerkship: Implementation and Evaluation of a New Curriculum. - Helen Morgan, Karen McLean, and Maya Hammoud, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School and Medical resident collaborators: Aisha Yousuf and Erika Dickson, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School
Flipping the classroom significantly improved student attitudes and participation in the class.
13. Evaluating Student Learning of Methods of Interpersonal Social Work Practice with African American Families, Offered in Historical and Contemporary Context. - Leslie Hollingsworth, School of Social Work and Graduate student collaborator: Elizabeth Koomson, School of Social Work
ES2013 – keynote – MOOCs at Michigan panel May 6, 2013Posted by aquillam in teaching.
Tags: 2013, enriching scholarships, MOOC, teaching, technology
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Actually, the title of the keynote was “What Have We Learned From MOOCs? A Panel Discussion of the Implications of Massive Open Online Courses for Teaching and Learning ” but that seemed too long to include as blog post title.
First, a bit of a disclaimer. I am a slow typist. I may have missed things and miscopied them. The videtape of the session will be posted at http://ttc.iss.lsa.umich.edu/ttc/ latter this week. It is much more authoritative than me.
This year’s keynote was a panel discussion by 3 faculty members who have taught a course through Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through Coursera:
Guatam Kaul taught Introduction to Finance (the twitterverse offers this story about Kaul’s course and philosophy: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-28/mba-q-and-a-michigans-gautam-kaul-on-his-atypical-mooc ).
Eric Rabkin taught Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World.
Caren Stalburg taught Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education.
It was moderated by Barry Fishman.
Hopefully, no one will mind if I take the liberty of referring to them by their first name from here on. Also hopefully I’ll spell their names right.you wouldn’t think that would be hard, but my computer really wants to “correct” Gautam and Caren.
Guatam started out with a simple definition: “Technology is anything that make teaching effective.” Technology is any tool, whether its a smartphone app, the internet, or a stick (see my post on the poster fair, once I get it ready.) Within this context, MOOCs are a tool we an use to improve visibility, and to allow access to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access. Additionally, MOOCs provide VERY BIG NUMBERS, which has significant impact on our ability to gather data on Learning Analytics. This has potentially huge implications, since small sample size has been one of the greatest hindrances to good data for learning analytics.
Barry points out that MOOCs are really nothing new. In Colonial America, you could sign up for correspondance courses in shorthand.It the 20s and 30s, there were classes taught via the radio (he didn’t mention it, but by that time there were classes being taught in rural areas via HAM radio, so kids who lived 20 miles from their nearest neighbors still got a basic education, a practice that persists even today in some areas.) Latter those radio courses became TV based (Bob Ross anyone?) The Open University in the UK teaches hundreds of thousands of students every year, most of whom are non-traditional students. So what does this new technology and emphasis mean, and how does it change things?
While UM has focused on the Coursera platform, that’s not the only option. See the Chronicle of Higher Ed for an interesting and brief overview of the major players http://chronicle.com/article/Major-Players-in-the-MOOC/138817/.
Technology enables, frames and constrains our teaching, but learning should never be about the technology. You can do good things with bad technology, and bad things with good technology. It is rare for technology to sweep into education. When it does (like CTools), it does so because it doesn’t challenge what we’ve been doing effectively.
Once the panel discussion really started, a few ideas repeated themselves, so rather than trying to replicate the dicussion, I’m going to try and organize this around the themes.
All three panelists said the MOOC took more work and more time than a residential course.
Caren said one of the biggest challenges was figuring out what material could be used, because so much of what she would normally use (like images from the text book) is copyright protected. In addition to taping lectures, she also has to find or create all the support materials. MOOCs need to be truly open.
Gautam spent a lot more time developing questions. Also, spent more time trying to figure out how to make it be more than just a talking head. He could not answer emails individually, and in fact would not answer most of the email from the MOOC students.
Eric said that teaching a MOOC was far more work than developing an entirely new class. He also said he thought it was ok it you have 100k students register and only 5k actually finish.
Teaching MOOCs makes them better teachers in general.
Caren: MOOCs require more efficiency in how people use their time in class and preparing for class. The materials and strategies developed for the MOOCs transfer to the residential classroom. The real power is that MOOCs let you disseminate information to a wide audience.
Gautam: The tension encountered when translating a residential class to a MOOC makes you a better teacher. Knowing you are being watched by thousands, and that are representing your institution to them, makes you want to do your very best. MOOCs require more careful thought about what questions you ask, so it forces you to think more about what questions really count. He also found that students are more likly to be open and honest in a really large, fairly anonymous online chat than they would be in face-to-face conversation. MOOcs also offer more interdisciplinary opportunities because of the wide audience they attract.
Eric found due to the size ef the class, students needed to be MORE accountable for pre-class work. Each week he assigns an essay on the reading. The essay is due early, and the results are randomly and anonymously handed out to other students. The other students hand the essay back, with feedback, so the author can see their thoughts just before class. Everyone has not only prepared their own thoughts, but has been exposed to other thoughts as well before having the discussion.
Ideas that MOOCs are cool and new came up several times, and it really seemed that being able to disseminate the class to such a wide audience help them refrsh their love of teaching, and their desire to be good teachers.
This is a complicated question on many levels.
The person primarily hurt by the cheating in a MOOC will be the cheater, who doesn’t fully engage in the class. The question then arrises as to how much responsibility the instructor really has to prevent and punish plagiarism? How do you punish someone who isn’t paying and isn’t getting credit?
What really constitutes plagiarism? In a class of thousands, two people can have the same idea at about the same time. Is it plagiarism if someone didn’t bother to read a forum discussion before posting their thoughts? What if two people collaborate on something, and the ideas are joint ideas? What if they don’t credit their collaborators – is this a forum where the dissemination of ideas is more important, or where practicing professionalism and giving proper credit is more important?
Eric had a complaint from a student that another student had nearly copied a section of his essay from a book without citation. It turned out that he was the book’s author. Is it plagiarism if you don’t cite our own work?
Eric offered a solution, which is to make cheating uneconomical. For example, rather than assigning a single paper, assign a statement on the subject (i.e. a thesis), an outline, an abstract, a rough draft, revision, and the final paper. Someone may still buy a paper, but they’ll have to do a lot of work deconstructing it to complete all the assignments.
Guatam: Degree granting should never be the goal of MOOCs. However, their existance is important. It forces the university to consider what it’s role is, and what is the value of a degree from UM. In their current form, MOOCs should NOT be used for giving credit.
Caren: competency should be the measure of success, not hours in the classroom.
Eric: residential programs count for only 25% of degrees. MOOCs pose a challenge to tradition ed, but it is a challenge we already need to face.
This needs to happen if faculty are to invest their time in MOOCs in a meaningful way (ie as part of thei regular jobs).
Eric: if you have 50 thousand people register, a course fee of $5 would cover costs. Also, need to consider who should be covering the costs. Maybe instead of the students it should be the companies and organizations who want to employ the trained students.
Caren: Could charge for the assessments – the opportunity to learn is free but the assessment costs money.
From Eric – teach a MOOC because it is new and exciting, helps the world, disseminates information to a wide audience, or is interesting to you, not because it pays well or looks easy (it doesn’t, and it isn’t). He described things like the Kahn academy or TED talks as a buffet: if you want, you can go grab dessert and leave. A MOOC needs to have units that build on each other. To expand the analogy, a MOOC is like a meal in courses. You can always go back to the previous course for seconds, but there is still a progression. You have to sit through the vegetable course before getting dessert.
Caren – the materials need to be engaging, but not flashy. You need to find a way to create a sense of community so the students will invest in the class. Materials must go beyond the video. Links and cross connections enable students to make connections, go back and build on what they’ve already done, or explore further. MOOCs have the potential for a huge impact. That should count for something, especially for tenure-tract and non-tenured faculty.
Guatam: Who cares if the students don’t finish the class. What really constitutes a class in this sense? In working on developement, it important not to invest too much time making something new and amazing – it is MUCH more than the videos. Also, never forget the residential students. They are the ones paying for the class and they need to be the ones who really benefit.