OCTET

Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching

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CONNECT TO THE WORLD

Announcing a new and unique opportunity for faculty, staff, students, classes, and organizations (basically EVERYONE) at Oberlin College. CIT/OCTET is sponsoring a ‘portal’ that will live on Wilder Bowl for 2 months starting on Sept 10th.  This portal will connect to other portals in a variety of locations around the world and is curated i.e. there is someone else that will take care of the logistics. You simply need to indicate what location you want to connect with and when. Then just show up and engage!

Some sample engagements that have occurred at Harvard and other locations:

Erbil A musician from the Harsham Camp performs traditional Arabic music for conference attendees.
Berlin Sheila Gallagher, presenting artist at AAR, runs a creative workshop with youth.
Erbil Dialogue: What are you studying? What do you hope to do?
Berlin Comedians and those with a good sense of humor trade jokes and skits from their communities. What humor translates? What gets lost in translation?
Gaza Rappers in Boston and Gaza City Share Music and Stories
Amman World History/World Geography/Contemporary Political Issues Harvard classes
Erbil Responding to poetry prompts, Anne Loyer
Berlin How Design and Technological Innovation Can Help Refugee/IDP Communities
Herat Improving Distance Education for Refugees
Amman Using Architecture to Improve Refugee Camps
Erbil Soccer Tips and Tricks

Portal Locations:

Current Sites

  • Brooklyn, USA – Tech Hub
  • Chicago, USA – Community Center (may not be available)
  • Colorado Springs, USA – Library
  • Milwaukee, USA – Community Center
  • Mexico City, Mexico – Public Park
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras – University
  • Adelaide, Australia – Public Site
  • Astana, Kazakhstan – Public Site
  • Herat, Afghanistan – Girls Coding School
  • Kabul, Afghanistan – University
  • Erbil, Iraq – Camp for Internally Displaced People and Refugees
  • Amman, Jordan – Community Center
  • Gaza, Palestine – Tech Incubator
  • Berlin, Germany – Refugee-Run Tech Hub
  • San Jose, USA – Public School
  • Nairobi, Kenya – University
  • Kigali, Rwanda – Tech Hub

 

If connecting with someone in any of these countries would be a valuable experience for your students, please fill out this preliminary form. A curator will be in touch to help facilitate your encounter.

more info on Shared Studios website


 

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Current use of LMS (Blackboard)

Currently Blackboard …

serves as a portal that provides

  • interactive websites for all courses and various offices.
  • Space for HR information

Read More

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LMS players

Blackboard 9.1 (OWU)

Blackboard Ultra

Canvas (St. Johns, Middlebury)

Schoology (Wheaton)

Notebowl (Denison)

Google Classroom

Moodle (Kenyon, Wooster)

Sakai

 

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Survey of faculty and students who have used systems other than Blackboard

A recent survey was conducted via Blackboard (Nov 19-22) asking users if they have used other LMS products and what their impressions were of those relative to what we are currently using.

Here are some of the results: Read More

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Letter to Faculty (based on student data in survey)

To all faculty Blackboard users:

This letter is written by a Student Tech Assistant in OCTET and is meant to reflect views from the survey, personal opinions withheld. Please direct any questions and concerns to octet@oberlin.edu
The complete survey results can be found here.
Read More

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Common Themes in BB Survey Answers

The survey referenced in this article was administered in Nov or 2015 as a due diligence assessment of our current system, Blackboard.  The process is outlined in another post.

Broad stroke summary of results:

Faculty are definitely frustrated by some aspects of Blackboard. However, they are not so frustrated that they are willing to move to another system.  Students are frustrated more with how the tool is being used than how the tool works. We’ve put together a short ‘letter to faculty‘ that is based on the responses given by students.  In this ‘letter’ we’ve also included some advice on how to deal with some of the ‘problems’ students reported. Read More

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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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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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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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Who's online (Blackboard building block)

  Who’s on Blackboard is a Blackboard building block built to help students connect when they are working on Blackboard assignments. It was build by students for students and is under continual development.  For instance, students are currently working on an opt-out feature.

Photos are the same as the ones that show up on the landing page when someone logs in and can be changed by clicking on the Change Photo link in that module.

Information is taken from the student information system with the first name being taken from the ‘nickname’ field in Banner. Therefore, to change this setting , you will need to work with the registrar.

The program which was a winter term project, uses Blackboard APIs to access data that is stored on the blackboard server to show who is currently logged in. Furthermore this module filters and organizes the users who appear online by course. The purpose of this module is to encourage classmates to collaborate outside the classroom, especially in large lecture classes. This module will also be useful to students who are assigned group assignments with students they may not already know, allowing you to see your classmate’s photo along with their name and a link to their email.  All of this information is visible in the email directory.  Ideally, this module will be updated in the future to include an instant messaging feature.

    “Writing this module challenged us as programmers and critical thinkers. We became familiar with computer science languages including XML, HTML, JSP, CSS and strengthened our overall object-oriented programming skills. We experienced the difficulties of using APIs with mostly outdated documentation such as Blackboard’s and learned to navigate Blackboard’s framework. Overall, this experience has strengthened our skills as programmers and as team players.”

-WT OCTET 2014, Web Application Programming