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Instructional Design Blog

teaching and technology resources

Video Tools Roundup(1)

(iPads, Flipped Classroom) Permanent link

Instructional videos are a great way to connect with your students and provide feedback.  There are tools available that can provide a recordable whiteboard, a recorded PowerPoint presentation, a screencast of how to navigate through a website, or recorded notes on a student's paper.  Below are a roundup of those tools for any kind of video response. 

Camtasia and Screenflow are two powerful screencasting, video recording and editing softwares.  They allow you to record your screen, annotate video with arrow and text, trim sections of video, record powerpoints, and more.  There is a feature in Camtasia that allows you to record from your webcam at the same time as you capture a screencast, letting your students see your face as you present content.  You can also export into a variety of formats.  These tools are available in the Media Production lab in the Learning Commons.

WeVideo and Mozilla Popcorn Maker are two online video production tools.  WeVideo provides similar tools to Camtasia, but for free.  The limitor for WeVideo is that you can only produce items to YouTube or Google Drive.  You can't take the file with you as easily as a tool like Screenflow or Camtasia.  Mozilla Popcorn Maker lets you annotate and collect video that already exists online.  You can insert pop-ups, loop sections, add Google maps or images, and create an interesting new piece from existing video.

ScreenChomp is a simple and intuitive iPad app that provides a recordable screen or whiteboard.  It truly works like a recordable whiteboard with an eraser, three colored markers, and a useful quick wipe feature.  You can insert images and rotate or skew them very easily by using two fingers.  Recordings are automatically uploaded to Screenchomp.com or to Facebook if you log in.  This would be an excellent app for sharing quick explanations, or if you would like to have students explain a concept in class.  This app is free.

Explain Everything is one of my favorite iPad apps because it is so robust.  You can insert images from the camera, your iPad’s photos, DropBox, or Evernote.  You can record one slide at a time, or continue through multiple slides and narrate each one.  You can also insert special shapes, write with different colors, or type text on the screen.  It also lets you delete objects you’ve inserted, which is helpful if you decide not to use a particular element.    Finally, and most helpful, you can export your movie or project file to email, YouTube, DropBox, or Evernote.  All video save in MP4 format, which can be viewed on any device.  This app is definitely worth the $2.99 price tag.

Coach's Eye is an iPad app originally designed for coaches to provide feedback to athletes.  You record someone with the app, and can then insert voice-over commentary, highlight sections, and slow down portions of the video for analysis.  Instructors have used this to provide feedback on student speeches in past cohorts.

Depending on what you are looking for, you have lots of options when it comes to video feedback.  If you have other tools or resources to share, please do so in the comments.

Video Tools Roundup

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One of the ways to present video content to students is to use screencasting.  A screencast can be a recorded PowerPoint, a recordable whiteboard, a voice-over with images, or any other combination of video and voice to explain concepts to your students.  A benefit of screencasting is that students can hear your voice and

Moodle Monday 28 October, 2013

(Moodle update) Permanent link

Hello Moodlers,

Spring 2014 classes will be available in Moodle in about two weeks..

News:

  • This week the Thursday open session will be in the Fine Arts Building, rm 440.
  • Please be cautious about changing the aggregation method you use for grades. We’ve had a couple of errors pop up thatmayhave occurred due to this. No one has lost any data, but it is a little scary until it comes back
    

Upcoming Training

All training sessions are in the Learning Commons (2nd floor of the library MC248), except Thursday’s Open Sessions

Thursday, 31 October, 9:30a-12:00p Fine Arts 440
Friday, 01 November, 9:30a-12:00p Learning Commons
 

Moodle tips of the week

  1. How can I view a single student’s posts/replies in a forum?There is an easy way to do this. Navigate to the discussion you want to look at. Once there, click the Search Forums Button but don’t enter any text first. The Advanced Search window will open next. There are a variety of things you can search for, but for this we are only interested in two of them. The third up from the bottom is “Choose which Forums to search”. It’s a dropdown menu, and you can choose to include all Forums or one specific one. Next we want the very last box “This name should match the author” You don’t have to enter the whole name, but you have to enter enough to be unique to the student who you are looking for. If you have 3 Jennifers in your class, you need to enter more than just Jen.
  2. 2. How can I grade students for doing a number of assignments out of the whole? If you have a situation where students are required to participate in 3 out of 5 discussion forums, or complete some percentage of assignments out the whole, there are a couple of ways to make this grading easy. First, each item needs to be separate, whether assignment activities, discussions or manually created grade items. If you are using Simple Weighted Mean of grades, just don’t put a grade in for the items the student didn’t need to do. If you have an ambitious student who does more than required, but don’t want to give extra points, you should leave the extra ones blank there as well. Don’t put in a zero or it will negatively affect the grade. If you are using Sum of grades for aggregation, then you can use the "drop the X lowest" You need to have all of the items in a category. (Remember that this means everything must be in a category, even if it's in a category of it's own), then in the Categories and items, click the Full View link at the top, and when the view expands, you will see some new columns. In the column headed by Drop the lowest, go down to the category in question and then put in the number students don't need to do. Conversely, you can use Keep the highest and put in the number they are required to complete. In Sum of grades aggregation, any empty grade is counted as a 0, so it would automatically exclude those as the lowest, or keep the others as the highest. Confused? Send an email to courserequest@viterbo.edu

Need Help?

Remember you can get awesome tutorials online 24/7 at http://viterbo.libguides.com/moodle.

You can also get help by emailing courserequest@viterbo.edu this works better than emailing Chad or I directly or leaving voicemail for us.

Revisiting Ebooks as Textbooks

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In the first year of the iPad initiative, I wrote about eBooks as textbooks.  Since I first wrote about these companies, there has been one major change.  All of the companies now support access to eBook textbooks through the iPad, Windows tablets, Android tablets, and through the web.  This makes it much easier for us to consider these tools for students as well as for ourselves.

One item I don't discuss here is making your own textbooks through something like iBooks author, by compiling resources in Moodle, or by using another book authoring tool.  I will cover that in a later post.

Below are the major tablet textbook companies:

Kno

Kno started out as a company aiming to build a stand-alone e-text reader.  It was a charming two-”page” device with interactive tools, a web connection, and a $1000 price tag.   After an infusion of cash from Intel Corporation, the company refocused on developing software for the iPad.  Features in Kno include annotation, notes, highlighting, bookmarks, 3D models, and zoomable diagrams.   There is even a “Quiz Me” feature for diagrams, which blacks out all diagram labels and lets you test your memory.  I couldn’t find a list of publishers, but a few searches of their catalog yielded some interesting results.  One of the interesting features of Kno is that you can view books on multiple devices, and have all features in both formats.

Inkling

Inkling started as an iPad-only textbook provider.   Inkling has many interactive features like note-taking, bookmarking, videos and multimedia, interactive diagrams, and one-touch buttons to find more information about topics online.  Inkling has a number of traditional textbook publishers on board, notably Pearson and McGraw Hill.  You can also buy books one chapter at a time; if you only need students to use certain chapters, this is a great way to achieve that end.

CourseSmart

CourseSmart is an e-text collaboration between Pearson, McGraw Hill, Cengage, and Wiley.  This venture primarily provides web-based versions of existing texts.  Pages and pagination are identical to print versions, and students can print pages, highlight and take notes.  The biggest drawback to CourseSmart books is that they offer less interactive features than the ones designed for iPad.  Currently, you need to be connected to the internet to read your text.  Some iPad books are available in an offline browsing mode that they are testing.  The biggest advantages of the CourseSmart platform are the extensive catalog of titles and the opportunity to easily connect to fellow students who have the printed text.

CafeScribe

CafeScribe is Follet Education’s platform for hosting digital textbooks.  Our bookstore uses this platform; it is almost identical in features to CourseSmart.  One of the major advantages is that students can make an online textbook purchase in the physical bookstore, and then enter a code on the CafeScribe website to access it.  This helps make the total text-buying process easier for students.  There is an iPad app for CafeScribe, but it got very poor reviews in the app store (bugs, crashing, not able to access texts).   I’m assuming the company is addressing the issues, but I wasn’t able to find more information.

Amazon Ebook Rental

Amazon has entered the rental market in the last year by offering text rentals through their Kindle app.  Text rentals function similarly to Kindle books – you can annotate or take notes (which remain after the rental), look up terms, and zoom text.  Some texts have more interactive features, but the app is mostly a book presentation tool.   One of the nicest features is the flexibility in the length of the rental; you can have a text for 30 – 360 days.   You can extend your rental as well.  Kindle books are viewable on a multitude of devices, but you are limited to Kindle titles in Amazon’s catalog.

One additional item to consider when looking at e-texts: Daytona State University conducted a study of four different means of text distribution, and found that students saved little money, if any, using e-texts.  So, cost savings shouldn’t be our focus.  It would be better to consider the strength of features and opportunities for interaction with course material instead.

Moodle Monday 21 October, 2013

(Moodle Updates) Permanent link

Hello Moodlers,

As some of you have probably seen, we had a technical glitch when deleting the courses from 2012SU and 2012FA. Once we fix it, they will go away quickly..

News:

  • This week the Thursday open session will be in the Brophy Common.
  • If you are teaching a class that runs the 2nd7 weeks of the semester, don’t forget to make it available to students. If your class ran the 1st7 weeks of the term, don’t forget to make it unavailable once students have had a chance to see their grades. This is the biggest complaint Chad and I get from students.
       

Upcoming Training

All training sessions are in the Learning Commons (2nd floor of the library MC248), except Thursday’s Open Sessions

Thursday, 17 October, 9:30a-12:00p Brophy Commons
Friday, 18 October, 9:30a-12:00p Learning Commons
 

Moodle questions of the week

  1. How can I put private comments on a student discussion?If you would like to make comments on a student discussion that you don’t want the rest of the class to see, you can do this if you use Advanced Forums. You can set it up just as you would a regular forum, but when you respond to a student, you can check the “Private reply” box just to the left of the box you would drag attachments to. Students can’t reply privately, and cannot reply to your private reply, so it’s really best used for grading comments. A private conversation should be done via the Quickmail block

Non- Moodle question of the week.

  1. How do I send a meeting request to someone? The easiest way to create a meeting request in Outlook (not the web access or OWA) is to open your calendar and double click on the time and day you want to have the meeting. Fill in the subject and location fields then click on Invite up in the Ribbon. It then looks like an email, you fill in the name as you would in an email. You can click send, and then be done, but if you want to make sure the other person is available, enter their name into the To: field, then click on the Scheduling Assistant tab just above where you would write the message. You then get a horizontal calendar that shows you when the other person is free. Times that are free show up as white, and you can click on a time that you are both free. Check the blog Instructional Design Blog

Need Help?

Remember you can get awesome tutorials online 24/7 at http://viterbo.libguides.com/moodle.

You can also get help by emailing courserequest@viterbo.edu this works better than emailing Chad or I directly or leaving voicemail for us.

Moodle Monday 14 October, 2013

(Moodle Updates) Permanent link

Hello Moodlers,

Tomorrow on 15 October at 5:30pm, I will be deleting all 2012SU and 2012FA classes. This includes META courses, but not groups.  If you think you will need anything from these classes, be sure to backup the course and download the backup. Instructions for backing up a course are available at http://libguides.viterbo.edu/loader.php?type=d&id=900672.  If you have a META course, you need to backup the MEA section as well as all of the child sections so that you get student records and grades. You won’t open the downloaded file on your computer, if you need the content, you will upload it back to Moodle.
News:

  • This week the Thursday open session will be in Murphy 434.
  • There will be no Friday session, enjoy your Fall break

Upcoming Training

All training sessions are in the Learning Commons (2nd floor of the library MC248), except Thursday’s Open Sessions

Thursday, 17 October, 9:30a-12:00p Reinhart Center – 2nd floor common area
Friday, 18 October, 9:30a-12:00p No session – Fall Break
 

Moodle tips of the week

  1. Are you looking for a place to record video or screencasts for your class? In MC 244 we have set up a great place to do this. We have a Mac and a PC with software to create screencasts and convert PowerPoint presentations to video and record audio. The room is quiet, with sound dampening panels on the walls and excellent equipment to make it easy.
  2. My grades aren’t calculating right! The two main culprits are overridden category/course totals and categories without items and items without categories. If a category or course total column is orange it has been overridden. Once this happens no other scores will be calculated. Use the editing gear over the grade box to fix this. If you use categories then all items must be in a category, even if it’s only one item, and categories must have at least one item in them.  Check the Categories and items tab to see if this is the case.

Check out the tutorials on grading for help: gradebook libguides

Need Help?

Remember you can get awesome tutorials online 24/7 at http://viterbo.libguides.com/moodle.

You can also get help by emailing courserequest@viterbo.edu this works better than emailing Chad or I directly or leaving voicemail for us.

MERLOT for Apps and Multimedia

(iPads, Flipped Classroom) Permanent link

In working with iPads or flipped classrooms, one of the biggest challenges is finding a source of vetted resources.  You can use a search engine or the app store all day long, but still struggle to find resources with an academic bent and meaningful review.

This is where MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching) comes in.   As stated on their website, “MERLOT is a free and open peer reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community.”  MERLOT’s library of open educational multimedia resources is a great place to research reviewed and vetted materials. 

I used MERLOT’s advanced search page to experiment with finding resources.  I limited my search to the Health Sciences community, and further limited it by Health Sciences and Science and Technology.  There is also a limit for iOS Tablet apps if you prefer.  While I didn’t try this limit, you can specifically look for PowerPoint presentations, videos, Moodle course packages, and other formats as well.

MERLOTIISearch

Limiting to peer reviewed content is also an option, but may limit your results significantly.

MERLOTIIPeer

The results screen is easy to navigate, and offers additional limiting categories on the left.

MERLOTIIResults

By selecting a record, you can get more detail on an item and see if there are any comments or reviews.

MERLOTIIrecord

The Go to Resource link sends you to the resource itself.

Do you have any other sources you’ve found helpful in finding good educational materials?  Feel free to post your responses in the comments.

Classroom Tools: Socrative 2.0

(iPads, Flipped Classroom) Permanent link

Whether you are flipping your classroom or just looking for quick feedback from students, Socrative 2.0 is a great tool to use.  Socrative (pronounced sew-crah-tive) is a web-based live polling tool designed by and for educators.  Students and faculty can use Socrative from any web-accessible device by going to http://www.socrative.com.  

SocrativeHome

Here's how it works:

  1. An instructor creates a free Socrative account on the website or through the iPad/Android app.  Each teacher is assigned a unique "room number.
  2. Instructors create quizzes, or use one of three pre-programmed activities: quick question, space race, or exit ticket.
  3. Students go to the Socrative website on any device (or download the app) and enter the room number.
  4. When the instructor starts the quiz activity, students can answer questions, and responses are immediately view-able on the instructor's device.
  5. At the end of the quiz activity, instructors can ask Socrative to send a report to their email for later assessment.

Questions can be created easily on the fly, but you can also create them ahead of time.  Socrative also has an easy-to-use Excel template for importing quizzes.

SocrativeQuizzes

For more information on Socrative, you can view their demonstration video and their user guide.  If you'd like to try it out and need help getting started, contact Chad, Vicke, or Gretel.


Mid-Week Moodle

(Moodle Updates) Permanent link

Hello Moodlers,

In a couple of weeks on 15 October at 5:30pm, I will be deleting all 2012SU and 2012FA classes. If you think you will need anything from these classes, be sure to backup the course and download the backup. Instructions for backing up a course are available at http://libguides.viterbo.edu/loader.php?type=d&id=900672

News:

  • Thursday’s Open Session will begin travelling every week. This week I will be in the Reinhart Center.
  • There are still spots in the Intermediate Online Teaching class, and enrollment is open through Thursday, October 10th.  If you are interested, email me atvndenniston@viterbo.edu.
       

Upcoming Training

All training sessions are in the Learning Commons (2nd floor of the library MC248), except Thursday’s Open Sessions

Thursday, 10 October, 9:30a-12:00p Reinhart Center – 2nd floor common area
Friday, 11 October, 9:30a-12:00p Open Session – Learning Commons
 

Moodle tips of the week

  • Do you use Power Point files in your classes?  Have you had problems uploading them to Moodle?  Gretel has created a handout to help you manage these large files using features within Power Point itself.  You can find this handout on the Moodle Help Guide at http://libguides.viterbo.edu/loader.php?type=d&id=898839.
  • I can’t find my class!: By default, classes not available to students appear at the bottom of your list of courses. You can rearrange the classes on your front page in Moodle and decide how many you would like to see. To do this Click on the “Customize this page” link in the upper right of your front page. Once this has taken effect, you will see a dropdown menu above your list of classes. Change this to “Always show all” Once this has finished loading (it may take a minute or so if you have a large number of classes) you can drag your courses to be in the order you want by using the drag icon that is to the left of each course title. Once you have the classes in the order you would like, you can change the number you want to show on your front page, you can keep all, or just the classes you need for this semester. The rest will be hidden, and at the bottom of your list of classes it will show how many classes you have hidden.

Need Help?

Remember you can get awesome tutorials online 24/7 at http://viterbo.libguides.com/moodle.

You can also get help by emailing courserequest@viterbo.edu this works better than emailing Chad or I directly or leaving voicemail for us.

Friday Links

(iPads, Flipped Classroom) Permanent link

Here are a few good resources that came up this week:

Flipped Classrooms

iPads

Other Tools

Getting Started with the iPad

(iPads) Permanent link

Several participants in the iPad Initiative are getting their devices today, so we wanted to revisit some great tools for getting started with the device.

Very First Steps

  1. Get connected to wifi under Settings --> Wi-Fi.  Choose Viterbo Private for seamless connection across campus.
  2. Set up your email under Settings -->  Mail/Contacts/Calendars.  Instructions on what to enter are available from IIT.
  3. Download iTunes and sync your iPad using the USB cable.  If anything ever happens to your device, you can restore your settings from this backup.  We suggest doing this at least weekly.
  4. Visit the App Store and load your gift card so you can start exploring apps.

I’ll be posting more as we get into the initiative.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Gretel, Vicke or Chad.

Resources

Moodle Monday 30 September, 2013

(Moodle Updates) Permanent link

Hello Moodlers,

I’m back! Mark your calendars! In a couple of weeks on 15 October at 5:30pm, I will be deleting all 2012SU and 2012FA classes. If you think you will need anything from these classes, be sure to backup the course and download the backup. We will keep the weekly backups, but often it is faster to get a course restored if you have a copy.

News:

  • Thursday’s Open Session will begin travelling this week. This week I will be in the Nursing Building. This Friday’s Open Session will only run from 9:30 – 10:30 for St Francis day activities.
  • At long last the Intermediate Teaching Online course will take place. It is capped at 22, and those that signed up this summer get first dibs, but that still leaves several seats. I’ll send some details about content later, but we will talk about content creation and making your online teaching life easier. We will discuss both the technical and pedagogical side of this. Jen Sadowski will be helping me facilitate the class.

Class will start October 8 and run 2 weeks. If you are interested, email me at vndenniston@viterbo.edu.

    

Upcoming Training

All training sessions are in the Learning Commons (2nd floor of the library MC248), except Thursday’s Open Sessions

Thursday, 03 October, 9:30a-12:00p Open Session – 2nd floor common area
Friday, 04 October, 9:30a-10:30p Open Session – Learning Commons
 

Moodle tips of the week

  1. I can’t find my class!: By default, classes not available to students appear at the bottom of your list of courses. You can rearrange the classes on your front page in Moodle and decide how many you would like to see. To do this Click on the “Customize this page” link in the upper right of your front page. Once this has taken effect, you will see a dropdown menu above your list of classes. Change this to “Always show all” Once this has finished loading (it may take a minute or so if you have a large number of classes) you can drag your courses to be in the order you want by using the drag iconthat is to the left of each course title. Once you have the classes in the order you would like, you can change the number you want to show on your front page, you can keep all, or just the classes you need for this semester. The rest will be hidden, and at the bottom of your list of classes it will show how many classes you have hidden.
  2. Grading Offline: Gretel has created an excellent tutorial on grading using Excel and/or Offline grading forms. You can find it here: Offline grading

Need Help?

Remember you can get awesome tutorials online 24/7 at http://viterbo.libguides.com/moodle.

You can also get help by emailing courserequest@viterbo.edu this works better than emailing Chad or I directly or leaving voicemail for us.