OCTET

Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching

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How to use i>clicker – both standalone and integrated into Blackboard

$_3Why use iClicker? (Scroll down for instructions on use)

The i>clicker, student response system is now integrated into Blackboard.

The integration with Blackboard will allow you to more easily manage the registration of a particular clicker to a particular student, create the roster that is used by the iclicker software to identify users and make results accessible to students via the grade center in Blackboard so that students can monitor their progress.

Who’s using them on campus:

  • Computer Sciences:  Bob Geitz, Roberto Hoyle
  • Classics: Naomi Campa
  • Chemistry:   Albert Matlin, Matt Elrod
  • Biology: Yolanda Cruz
  • Physics:  Dan Stinebring, Rob Owen, Melinda Keller, Stephen FitzGerald, Jason Stalnaker

Why and how to use clickers in your course. Short Video Explanations from i>Clicker.


How to use iClickers
Download
To use the technology, the Instructor will need some software on their laptop. Links to Oberlin specific i>clicker software.  These packages also include the instructors guide on how to use the software.  If you have trouble installing the software, simply give us a call (775-8345) or email octet@oberlin.edu.

Click on the download link.  Open up the download, and copy the program inside onto your desktop (you can drag and drop).  Open the iClicker program from your desktop.  You do not need to register, but you can if you like.  After registering, click Create to create a new session.  Highlight the created course and click settings.  If you have your own iClicker (not needed but can be handy) you can set it as the instructor iClicker here.  You also can set the “frequency” code – it should be fine to use whatever is currently set.  It is simply a way for the students’ iClickers to connect to the proper base.  There are other settings here you can change if you like, but are not necessary.

 

Instructor will need a base, which can be borrowed from OCTET (Mudd 052).  The base must be attached to the computer you are presenting from (plug one end of the cord into the usb port of your computer, and one into the “To Computer” port of the base).
Participants will need clickers (but see below).  Clickers can be ordered through the bookstore in the same way that faculty indicate which book they will be using for the class. Students can then purchase an iclicker.  They do not need a different iclicker for each course.  They can register their iclicker through Blackboard and use the same iclicker for multiple courses.
During the presentation When you want to begin polling, link up your base station, open your presentation, and open the iClicker program on your desktop.  Click on the course you created earlier and click “Start Polling”.  A message should pop up within a minute or so giving you the frequency code that your participants need to enter on their iClickers to connect to your course, and the instructions to do so.  A small window should open on your screen allowing you to control the polling.  You can start and stop polling, and pull up the results by clicking on the graph button.  There is also a settings button if you need to adjust the settings.  If you have an iClicker connected as an instructor iClicker, you can control your presentation and the polling by selecting the buttons on the iClicker instead of having to click on your computer, but you will not be able to vote.
Feel free to come by the OCTET office in Mudd 052 or email us octet@oberlin.edu to try out the iClickers, ask questions, or borrow a base.

Other Notes
This software is compatible with version 5.04 on the base station. If you have an older version of the firmware on your basestation you can either upgrade the firmware using the utility provide by iclicker or download a previous version of the desktop software.
Instructions for getting your software connected to your Blackboard grade book can be found here 
Using the iclicker, polling software without a base station or clicker:

Additionally, i>clicker software can be used without a base station or clickers. Students simply use their phones, laptops or tablets. This is called REEF polling. To use this feature instructors need to create a course site that will accept answers that are not from the separate devices i.e. REEF polling  accessible AND the students will need to register their device.  The cost of registering the device is less then the cost of purchasing a clicker but not by much.

Clickers cost about $30-40 with a $10-20 buy back by the bookstore when the student is finished using the clicker.  The REEF registration has  costs associated with it.

For more info, visit the i>Clicker site at https://www1.iclicker.com/products/reef-polling/

 

 

 

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Blackboard Review Process outlined (2016)

A Blackboard review is being conducted during the Spring 2016 semester. The process includes:

  • Convening of a core group of individuals who make use of Blackboard. This includes reps from the faculty, ResEd, Deans Offices, Athletics and students:
    • Allison Gallaher, Ben Kuperman, Bill Denneen, Chester Andrews, Liz Clerking, Jan Cooper, Jason Hudson, Martin Hundley, Pam Snyder, Steven Wojtal, Zeb Page, Rebecca Mosely, Al Porterfield, Robert Thompson, Albert Borroni, Megan Mitchell
  • Development and deployment of a survey to assess usage, satisfaction and needs (week of Feb. 22nd, 2016).
    • development in Qualtrics
    • advertising via posters, image/notice in Blackboard and email
  • Analysis of survey data and review by committee 3/31/16
  • Reconvening the group to convey information from survey and Blackboard analytics
  • focus groups to address outstanding questions
  • Scheduling vendor demonstrations for Schoology, Canvas (May 10th, 2016), and Blackboard (May 9th, 2016).  Consider the use of google classroom and Moodle.
  • Reconvene group to form a recommendation.

Begin the process of negotiating and moving forward either with Blackboard or another product (the hard stuff).

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EXCO course shells in Blackboard

All EXCO courses  have an instance in Blackboard.  Users that are officially listed as instructors will see a link to the instance under the ‘My Online Courses’ module.

The courses are already pre-populated with anyone that officially signed up for the course. Therefore, the email function and class roster is ready to go.

Links to the course sites  are not seen by your  students because the course is ‘unavailable’ by default. The students will only see them if you make them available. If you do not intend on making material available to your students or do not  have anything for them to do in Blackboard, don’t make it available.  You can view the roster and send email without making the site available.   Instructions for making it available

To learn more about what you can do with Blackboard, see https://en-us.help.blackboard.com//Learn/9.1_2014_04/Instructor

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Photo Roster giving a JAVA error

In some cases trying to access the photo roster is producing a page full of error messages.  This is due to an interaction between the notification system and the way we've implemented the photo roster. While we ultimately would like to fix this, the quickest solution is to dismiss the notification (see the image below for details).

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Librarian Access to BB

There are two ways to give librarians the ability to upload documents to your Blackboard site (eReserves).

Ask your librarian which is the most appropriate.  Option 1 or 2 are for Art and Conservatory courses. Option 3 is for all A&S courses.

Option 1. From the Need Help tab from Blackboard, the right column has a series of request forms. Fill out the form “Give library reserves access” form. If you want to get it done quickly, go to Option 2.

Option 2. From your BB site, you can categorize a course as ERes. Under Course Management, click “Customization” and then “Properties”. Under “Categorize Course”, move “ERes (Library Support)” to the Selected Items box using the arrow pointing to the right. The box on the right hand side should now have ERes listed. Be sure to submit changes.
NB: IF YOU WANT THE ART LIBRARIANS TO HAVE ACCESS, USE THE CATEGORY: ‘ERes-ARTS (Library Support (ARTS))

Option 3. From the Menu area add a Tool to the menu.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 1.35.02 PM

Select the eReserves tool from the dropdown menu that appears.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 1.35.19 PM

Title the new menu area ‘eReserves’ or ‘Readings’ or anything else that will be useful to your students. Check off the ‘make available’ options and click on Submit. This will link directly to the content that was added by the librarian to your course eReserve folder.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 1.35.43 PM

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Data from student and faculty survey conducted in 2013

Technology in the service of teaching and learning: data from spring survey of Faculty & Students, 2013

We have created a site to provide feedback — finally — with respect to the tech and teaching survey taken by 118 faculty last spring.  The survey addressed faculty use of technology and their desires/needs for technology in the future.

It also contains information from the student survey that was taken by >400 students.

Thanks to everyone that filled it out. The results have already been used to inform a SPRITE committee on learning management systems AND classroom spaces.  We’ve also used it to make decisions on workshops and are using it as a starting place for discussions that involve student observations on tech and learning.

We are still referring to some of this data although we recognize that it may be out of date already.

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City Maps as an assignment

Question:

Let’s say you wanted to teach about a city, including geography, history, culture, and more.  Which software / online tools (aside from Google Earth) might you use to introduce a city to your students?  I would think that maybe our geography department might have some pretty cool tools.

Answer:

Your best bet is to use Google Earth but there are other options:

A mashup of travel sites, wikipedia pages, news articles and google scholar links. The mashup could be done in google sites, wordpress, tumblr …

David Rumsey's Map Collection (http://www.davidrumsey.com/view/google-earth) has a wide variety of historic maps from the scale of a single city to the whole globe for use in Google Earth. A little Google searching will bring up lots of other cool stuff.

Similar to Google Earth, ESRI's new Story Maps might be an option (http://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/collections/). The topics are scattered (and often specific), but you can find some for most major cities around the world. Here's one about the history of inclines in Pittsburgh: http://peoplemaps.esri.com/inclines/

Another cool thing to check out is the Urban Observatory (http://www.urbanobservatory.org/). The application isn't working for me, but hopefully you won't have any problems (or they'll fix it soon).

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In-class engagement –> polling / clickers

There are many ways to engage students in class, one can create better ways to present material, ask direct questions, create small group activities, employ ‘active learning’ techniques, mix teaching styles, use polling tools …

This post addresses tools for polling your students. There are hardware solutions, solutions that work via mobile devices and those that work as hybrids.

Some options for polling in classes

  • plickers – probably the simplest and cheapest way to set up class polling. Your phone is used to collect responses,  each student has a card with encrypted A, B, C and D answers. The cards can be printed from the website. Both app and cards are free.
  • iClickers – Standard around Oberlin used by a number of faculty.
  • Socrative by MasteryConnect – web interface (Chrome web browser), mobile apps
    user guide
  • Poll everywhere – txt messaging polls
  • Turning technologies – polling and response systems. Similar to iClickers

 

 

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Investigation of On-line Evaluation systems

Products:

There are many products that claim to do online student evaluations of teaching (SETs).  Here are but a few:

Implementing on-line evaluation system

Information on the implementation of on-line evals at Oregon State University. This article addresses many of the standard questions about moving from in-class paper evaluations to on-line out of class evaluations.

Some interesting pieces discussing the (mis)use of SETs (paper or on-line):

Functional Requirements

  • Administrator
    • Allows for multiple administrators who are administering a specific subset of surveys that go out to specific courses.
    • Allows for overarching administrators who can see all survey results
    • Collates information using different criterion relevant to Individual reflection, PTT, Dept Reviews and Accreditation
    • Allow for managing release of information to faculty
    • Has tools for increasing response rate
  • Student side
    • Integrates with LMS – timed release of notices to students
    • Keeps track of surveys that are complete for the student
  • Faculty
    • Differentiates between discuss based, lecture and labs
    • Collate information from the same course across years

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Putting a desktop icon of your Blackboard file system on your desktop.

This is in reference to the ‘Shared Location’ option found in the file system menu.

Blackboard allows you to create a server connection directly to the file system for a given course or organization. This will put an icon on your desktop and allow you to treat the Blackboard folder as you would a folder on your desktop. Once this is done you can upload, rearrange and delete files in your Blackboard course without logging in to Blackboard via a browser.

Here are the instructions for setting up the alias on a Mac or Windows for the course/org files area in Blackboard.

Blackboard’s instructions recommend that you disconnect from the server by either putting the icon in the trash or restarting the machine.  In cases where you are the only person working on that particular machine, you may want to retain access to the folder/server even after restarting your machine i.e. make the icon ‘stick.’  To do this you will need to

  1. Control and left click on the new drive connection on the desktop and select “Make Alias”.
  2. Rename the alias something else.
  3. When you restart the machine or disconnect the initial icon, the Alias will remain and can be used to easily reconnect. It will ask you to log in again.