2009-Enhancing Students’ Learning with Technology

Welcome to the proceedings blog of UMass Boston’s 2009 EdTech Conference. This year’s conference represents an enthusiastic collaboration among faculty, IT, and Healey Library staff. We hope that these proceedings will encourage continued dialogue about how we can work together to support learning with innovative technology tools.
Many thanks to the presenters who have graciously allowed us to capture their sessions electronically on this site. We invite you to post your comments and questions about any of the session proceedings on this blog as a way to continue the conversations that were started during the conference.
Anne Agee
Vice Provost for Information Technology
Apurva Mehta
Director of Educational Technology and Learning Commons

Enhancing Students’ Learning with Technology- Session Descriptions and Handouts

Combining Face-to-Face Teaching with Online Content: Students’ Learning in Blended Courses
Opening: Mike Milburn

Presentation Materials: Blended Courses Talk (PPT)
Michael Milburn will show what he has been doing as he has moved from a combination of face-to-face and fully online courses into a blended course format, and he will present preliminary results from his evaluation of learning outcomes and student satisfaction with this new format.

Enhancing Student Learning with Library Productivity Tools
Presenter: Jeremy Seiferth
Presentation Materials: Enhancing Student Learning with Library Productivity Tools (PPT)
In this session, I’ll demonstrate a variety of tools that can be used to support students’ research, including Zotero, LibX, SFX, and Lib Guides.

Effective Uses of Blackboard for Course Management
: Wei Ding
Presentation Materials: Effective Uses of Blackboard for Course Management (PPT)
Effective Uses of Blackboard for Course Management (PDF)

I will demonstrate how to use the Blackboard system to support face-to-face lectures. Using the blackboard system helps me teach the class more efficiently. I have received very positive feedback from my students. I’ll explain how I use the system to share lecture notes online, announce important notifications to students, collect students’ assignments, set up a class discussion forum so that students can discuss questions even if they are not in class, and post sample solutions of assignments online.

Using Blackboard Blogs for Better Class Preparation
: Varghese George
Presentation Materials: Using Blackboard Blogs for Better Class Preparation (PPT)
In this session, I will show how I have been using the blog option within Blackboard for assignments that help students to become better prepared for class discussions.

Evaluating Blackboard Use in Relation to Students’ Academic Performance
Adugna Lemi
Presentation Materials: Evaluating Blackboard Use in Relation to Students Academic Performance (PPT)
My presentation will explore how students’ involvement in using various elements of Blackboard/WebCt (accessing materials, chatting with classmates, and others) affects their performance in class. Previous students report mixed results as to the effect of learning management system on students’ performance. Using my students as a sample, in this study, I am trying to explore how effective web-enhanced teaching is compared to just class discussion and whether those students who are active online gain in terms of performance.

Using Web2.0 Tools in the Classroom and Beyond
Presenter: Susan Mraz, Laurie Marks, Katherine Kiss, Xu Guo Chan, Mary Simone, Nan Cormier, Lisa Link

Presentation Handouts: Wikis for Group Projects (PPT) Wikis for Group Projects (PPT)
This session is will offer very quick overviews a number of Web 2.0 tools and how they’ve been used in teaching and elsewhere at UMB.
Included topics, Blogs & Wikis for Language Learning, Wikis for Students’ Writing & Peer Review, Wikis for Group Projects, Flip Video & Podcasts, Your Tube

Motivating Students through Digital Storytelling (Workshop)
Presenters: Janna Jackson, Donna DeGennaro

Digital storytelling is a method by which authors can create stories that embed voice, music, images and text.   In this workshop, Donna DeGennaro and Janna Jackson will provide examples of digital stories used to replace student autobiographies and to reflect on learning, and participants will be shown how to begin the process of creating a digital story.

Providing Students with Mobile Access to Academic Resources
Presenters: Joanne Riley, Brice Stacy
In this session, we will demonstrate the ways in which the library is providing resources that students can access through their cell phones.

Building an Online Community for Learning – The Students’ Perspective
Presenter: Wei Zhang
Presentation Materials: Building an Online Community for Learning- The Students Perspective (PPT)
I will present findings made by my students from a discussion on how they view participating in online discussions to build a community for learning. Hopefully, these findings will bring new light into the design and use of online communities for enhancing student learning experience.

“Who’s Afraid of George and Martha?” Role-playing Online with Wimba
Presenter: Mike Milburn

Presentation Materials: Role Playing with Wimba (PPT)
I’ll demonstrate an activity using Wimba inside Blackboard for the online version of my “Communication and Society” course.  Students all watch “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”. They then read the chapter in Watzlawick,’s Pragmatics of Human Communication that discusses the play and applies his systems theory of communication to understanding the play.   In my face-to-face class, I divide students into groups, and each group pretends they are family therapists.  George and Martha have come to them for therapy, and the film they watched is observations they just made of George and Martha.  Each group is to develop an assessment and recommendations for the couple, applying the Watzlawick model, readings on family myths, and any other relevant information from their psychology courses.  I will demonstrate how the same activity can be done online.

Learning is Delicious:  Using Social Tagging to Facilitate Research Collaboration
Pacey Foster
Presentation Materials: Learning is Delicious: Using Social Tagging to Facilitate Research Collaboration (PPT)
In this session, I will demonstrate the Delicious reference and social networking tool and discuss the ways in which I have been using it in my classes  for student collaborative research groups.

Working with Wikis (Workshop)
Presenters: Ellie Kutz, Laurie Marks, Christian De Torres
Workshop Handouts: UMB Wiki Getting Started (DOC)
In this workshop, we will introduce the unversity’s new wiki tool (using the Wikispaces platform) and guide participants in creating wikis and using the features that are most useful in providing an alternative to Blackboard as an online site for courses.

Enriching Courses with Live Media—Podcasts and Vodcasts (Workshop)
Presenters: Mary Simone, Jessica Downa, John Mazzarella
Workshop Handouts:
Enriching Courses with Live Media- Podcasts and Vodcasts- PPT

iTunesU FacultyFlyer (PDF)
Flip Video (DOC)
In this session, we’ll show participants  how to use simple digital voice recorders and flip video recorders that can be used in the classroom, creating audio and video files which can then be posted on a website, blog, or wiki.

Keeping Students Connected in Large Classes
Presenter: Bob Chen

In this session, I’ll show how I integrate the use of technology with face-to-face instruction in large classes in several ways:  I use news articles that students find in the media, primarily through web searches, to start off my large lectures (200).   These engage, but as I tie them to the main concepts of the course, introduce, reinforce, and contextualize the fundamental concepts of the course. I use small group, peer instruction and work to focus on the main ideas of the day. And I use i-clickers at various points for formative assessment. One of my students will then provide a student perspective on the ways in which these activities have contributed to his/her learning.

Learning in Virtual Worlds:  Second Life
Presenters: David Patterson,  Tim Chuvula

Presentation Materials: These three links take you to recorded student presentations given in Second Life as an optional assignment in Universe of Music, an online course.
Second Life Student Recordings 1
Second Life Student Recordings 2
Second Life Student Recordings 3

For those who have or would like to have a free account in Second Life and have created an avatar:
www.SecondLife.com User Name: umb ccde Password:  universe of music

Over the past year, a number of students opted to produce a project in Second Life in lieu of the usual course paper for the online course, Universe of Music. The intent was to engage in this technology as much as possible. This exploration was undertaken on the recently acquired umb ccde island. Here, student avatars gathered, exhibiting their newly built “prims” and their connections to musical culture and tradition. These presentations were filmed using the Web 2.0 tool, screencast-o-matic.  It must also be added that not all went perfectly; various issues, particularly, quality of audio, need further attention.

Guiding Students in Organizing Research Findings
Joanne Riley, George Hart
In this session we will introduce participants to such tools as RSS feeds, Google Reader, and  RefShare and the ways in which these can be used to help students with the research process.

Engaging Students in Large Classes:  Effective Strategies for Using I-Clickers and Why They’d Work across the Curriculum—Sharing and Discussion
Brian White, Marietta Schwartz, Ninian Stein
Presentation Materials: Engaging Students in Large Classes (PPT)
In this session we’ll show briefly how we’ve been using I-clickers in our classes and engage participants in a discussion of effective uses of this technology across different types of courses.

Using Blackboard as a Collaborative Virtual Lab in a Face-to-Face Course
Presenter: David
This session describes an undergraduate face-to-face science course that benefited greatly by using Blackboard as a virtual laboratory environment.  Online peer-to-peer collaboration was strongly encouraged, both as a core learning strategy, and as a mechanism to quickly identify any misunderstandings in the lecture material.  Survey data indicates that students were broadly satisfied with the online collaborative approach and its value in clarifying core concepts.  This session will also provide practical tips for designing similar courses.

Building Self-Managed Creative Communities in Online Virtual Worlds
Presenter: Gary Zabel

A tour and discussion of the Virtual Art Initiative: a self-managed creative and educational community of 35 artists, writers, and scholars in the online virtual worlds of Second Life, Open Sim, and Vast Park.

Using Apple Media, Adobe, and Xythos
Jay McSweeney, Tim Plummer, Colleen Malloy
In this session, representatives of Apple, Adobe, and Xythos will demonstrate the ways in which their products can be used to enhance teaching and learning.

Demo Stations

UMB Blogs- UMB Blogs site
UMB Wiki- UMB Wiki siteUMB Wiki Getting Started (DOC)
Flip Video & iTunes U-  UMB iTunes U siteFlip Video (DOC)iTunesU FacultyFlyer (PDF)
You Tube- UMB YouTube Channel
UMB Xythos- UMB Xythos siteXythos Usage Guide for EDMS
Safe Assign
Facebook- UMB EdTech on Facebook
Assistive Technology
Twitter- UMB on Twitter

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