Learning Preferences: Peter Fenrich

On Sept 17, 2014, the Centre for Instructional Development proudly presented the Learn @ Lunch Workshop “Learning Preferences” by Peter Fenrich.

This workshop allows you to assess your own learning preferences and then presents some research findings and practical ideas for designing lessons that effectively accommodate the varied learning preferences of students.

Peter Fenrich is an Instructional Development Consultant at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He supports instructor and curriculum development. He also creates innovative computer-based training and simulation software. His work has won international awards. Peter’s book entitled, “Creating Instructional Multimedia Solutions: Practical Guidelines for the Real World”, provides practical information gained through years of experience. Peter also works internationally as a consultant.

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Results of the Gradebook Survey (part II) and the Gradebook Workshop

The Gradebook Workshop was held in Long Beach, CA, USA a few weeks ago.

Moodle user and web developer Bob Puffer has posted his notes on the Gradebook Workshop to Moodle.org along with some handy resources to start making sense of what may come of the gradebook in Moodle.

One of the most major changes will be a UCLA modeled grader report with fixed columns and row headers which should greatly improve the usability of a large gradebook (similar to the LAE grader).

Two major changes specified from his survey results:

  • Grader report fashioned similar to LAE Grader where item headers and student info columns never leave the screen from UCLA (better than LAE Grader)
  • Natural weights allowing aggregation methods to be removed from the Setup (Cats and items) screen, display of natural weights allowing adjustment by teacher.

If you want to read the full notes that Mr. Puffer shared (and all of the great links he provided) check out his post at Moodle.org:
https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=263318

To flip or not to flip? Here are some great resources!

Posted by Robin Popow

Those of you familiar with Tony Bates and his incredible body of work will know what I mean when I note how hard it can be to keep up with the continuous flow of thought provoking posts from his blog. In his February 14, 2014 post, Thinking about the design of the ‘flipped’ classroom Dr. Bates provides a very interesting introspective as well as links to some must-have resources for those interested in ‘flipping’ elements of their classroom instruction.

Noticing a resurgence of interest in this topic at VCC in the past few months I thought I’d do what I can to distribute this useful resource.

Accessibility in Online Learning Environments: Betty Noble and Karon Lee

On Sept. 24, 2013, the Centre for Instructional Development proudly presented the Learn @ Lunch Workshop “Accessibility in Online Learning”.

VCC Instructor (and former head of the Visually Impaired Program) Betty Noble, and SFU Distance Learning Consultant Karon Lee presented their experiences with accessibility issues in developing online courses.

Some of the key topics covered in this hour-long presentation were:

  • Accessibility support in different Learning Management Systems (WebCT, Canvas, and Moodle).
  • How Universal Design for Learning (UDL) supports accessibility.
  • Compatibility issues of web browsers and the JAWS screen reader.
  • Key points to remember when striving for accessibility.

CID Activity Reports: 2012 to 2013

CID-Logo-Blue

Each year, the Centre for Instructional Development posts its annual CID Activity Report, which documents the consultation, development and support activities delivered to the VCC community.

The 2012-2013 Activity Report is now available on the CID website.
It covers a wide array of topics:

  • Program Renewal
  • Curriculum Development
  • Instructional Development
  • Distributed Learning
  • Study of Teaching and Learning
  • Policy Review Groups and Committee Work
  • IRA Support
  • Faculty Postings: Selection, Election and Area Hiring Recommendations

Learn more about the CID, its mission, and previous Activity Reports on our “About Us” page.

VCC Receives NSERC Applied Research Eligibility Status

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Dr. Karen Belfer

Congratulations to Dean Karen Belfer and to Vancouver Community College (VCC) for this great achievement.

Dr. Karen Belfer, VCC’s Dean of the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Applied Research & Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Science, attained eligibility for VCC.  Dr Belfer meticulously completed the rigorous application for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) eligibility status to apply for research funding.

Dean Belfer’s education and experience in applied research and active participation on VCC’s Education Council Policy Committee and her work as chair of the VCC Research Ethics Board greatly assisted with VCC’s NSERC application.

NSERC aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports university students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in post secondary research projects. NSERC researchers are on the vanguard of science, building on Canada’s long tradition of scientific excellence. (Cited Sept 3rd 2013 at http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/index_eng.asp)

This status is only granted to institutions that meet NSERC’s eligibility requirements to administer funds granted by them. The eligibility sets out the general terms and conditions governing the institution’s administration of grants and awards by federal granting agencies.

NSERC eligibility status is not a guarantee of funding. Each research proposal is investigated and assessed further by the NSERC peer review committees which assess the excellence of the applicants and the merits of their proposals on an individual basis.

The eligibility agreement is a document common to three federal granting agencies including NSERC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council    and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

VCC’s eligibility is confirmed by NSERC only. The eligibility status and the agreement between NSERC and VCC represents an important and tangible element in the accountability of granting agencies and institutions in support of research and in their responsibility for the effective management and use of the research investment made by the Federal Government of Canada.

Congratulations to Dean Karen Belfer and VCC for this great achievement!

Enhancing Post-Secondary Students’ Work Readiness for Multicultural Environments through Sociocultural Competence Training

On July 9, 2013, the Centre for Instructional Development proudly presented the Learn @ Lunch Workshop “Enhancing Post-Secondary Students’ Work Readiness for Multicultural Environments through Sociocultural Competence Training”, presented by Dr. Anita Mak.

In order to develop post-secondary students’ work readiness in culturally diverse societies and international environments, educators have advocated that program leaders should engage faculty members in embedding intercultural competence development in the curriculum, and evaluate the subsequent impact on faculty and student outcomes. This approach has been adopted in an Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Project titled “Internationalisation at Home” (IaH), which involved providing Business and Health faculty with professional development adapted from an established sociocultural competency training resource – the EXCELL (Excellence in Cultural Experiential Learning and Leadership) Program.

This VCC Learn@Lunch seminar reported the action research processes and outcomes of the IaH Project implemented at two Australian universities. Also, Vancouver Community College faculty and professional staff members shared their reflections on teaching innovations and first-hand experiences with embedding sociocultural competency training in the curricula of diverse disciplines.

About Dr. Anita Mak:

Dr Anita Mak is currently Visiting Professor at the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology & Special Education, Faculty of Education, UBC. She is Professor of Psychology, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Australia and a fellow of the International Academy of Intercultural Research. Anita’s specialist research areas are acculturation, sociocultural competence training, adolescent and immigrant mental health, and employment-related stress.

Anita is a co-developer of the EXCELL (Excellence in Cultural Experiential Learning and Leadership) Program. EXCELL is an evidence-based behavioural program for developing sociocultural competencies that has been introduced into over 100 educational institutions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK,
and Europe.

Mobile Devices at VCC: From Purchase to Practical Use

This blog post re-purposed from the Applied Learning in the Digital Age Learn@Lunch IMG_2067workshops for the VCC Day 2013 presentation.

The following information supports the VCC Day 2013 workshop ‘Mobile Devices at VCC: From Purchase to Practical Use’ as presented by Robin Popow on October 25, 2013.

Session Overview and Resources

1. Introduction

  • Session Overview
  • Socrative Setup
  • Early Years of Pen/Touch Technology
  • Devices changing lives
    • Developmental [Fattemeh, offline video]ipad
      • Apps used: Bitsboard, IXL Math Practice, 5 Little Monkeys
    • Accessibility for auditory and visual impairments
      • iOS
  • Trends/Tablet Petting Zoo

2. Teacher Tools

  • Socrative – Student Response Devicesocrative
    Price: Free
  • Swivl – Camera base that follows you as it recordsSwivl websitePrice: $219 US (plus shipping – with AC Adapter)
    Availability: Order online – manufacturer ships to Canada

    • Mike Tunnah [offline video]
  • Justand – Mobile Device Stand – Use your smartphone or tablet as a document camerajustand
    Price: $89. US (plus shipping)

    Availability: Currently n/a at local retailers.
  • Mobile Devices as Document Cameras
    • Smartphones and tablets, cross-platforms
  • Whiteboard Apps
    • Educreations App – Recordable cloud-based whiteboard application
      Price: Free
  • Note Taking Appevernote
  • Wireless Media Streaming
    • Apple TV – Project your device wirelessly  in your classroom
      Price: $110
      Availability: Apple StoreIMG_2068
      Notes:  Once purchased, this device must be programmed by IT to function within the VCC WiFi. Unit can be permanently installed by IT or, purchase an audio-enabled HDMI-VGA adapter ($20-$40) to connect to classroom Educational Technology Units.

      • Educreations demo
      • AST Demo [offline video]
    • Options for Androids

3. Moodle Integration and Classroom Managementipad-field-work

  • Attendance
  • Grades
  • Database
  • Passive media management
    • Educreations Lessons via Twitter
    • Embedded Youtube/Vimeo playlists
  • “Micro-Moodle” or Moodle 2.5 as an app

4. Student-created Contentepub-sample

  • Videos/Interviews
    • iPhones and Youtube – Mandy Davies
  • ePublishing with Creative Book Builder

5. Future trends

  • Active reading research and Pen+Touch [02:00 video]
  • Wifi – BYODGartner's Hype Cycle
  • Media server

6. Purchasing tablets at VCC

  • One size fits all approach obsolete
  • Predefine use a must
  • Funding sources
  • Educational Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC)

7. Petting Zoo

Additional Resources:

Motivating Students: Peter Fenrich

On May 13, 2013, the Centre for Instructional Development proudly presented the Learn @ Lunch Workshop “Motivating Students”, presented by Peter Fenrich.

This session discussed the ARCS motivation model and how it can be applied to address the attributes of attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction.  Attendees were asked to reflect on their own experiences and how the model can apply to their own classes.

Peter Fenrich is an Instructional Development Consultant at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He supports instructor and curriculum development. He also creates innovative computer-based training and simulation software. His work has won international awards.

Peter’s book entitled, “Creating Instructional Multimedia Solutions: Practical Guidelines for the Real World”, provides practical information gained through years of experience. Peter also works internationally as a consultant.

Peter Fenrich, Motivating Students, May13/13 – Clip 1 of 3

Peter Fenrich, Motivating Students, May13/13 – Clip 2 of 3

Peter Fenrich, Motivating Students, May13/13 – Clip 3 of 3

Conference Notes Continued: WIPTTE

By Robin Popow, Instructional Associate

Notes from Days 2 & 3

Click here to read Day 1 notes…

Pen + Touch Computing: From Research to Resource

Professor Andy Van Dam, Brown University.  "Inventor of hypertext and father of digital graphics"

Professor Andy Van Dam, Brown University. “Inventor of hypertext and father of digital graphics”

Andy Van Dam, Professor of Technology, Education, & Computer Science at Brown University kicked off day 2 with a look back at the origin of pen and touch technology. Considered by many as the inventor of hypertext and father of digital graphics, Van Dam has spent the last four decades working on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in education and research. He has contributed a great deal of industry leading research and taught many of the current leading researchers.

Fujitsu tablet PCsVan Dam expressed general dissatisfaction and frustration towards Apple and Microsoft, suggesting they have been developing products without paying attention to leading research that suggests people benefit from using pen + touch technology (as opposed to the current pen OR touch). Current products such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Fujitsu’s Stylistic Hybrid tablets offer the ability to use a pen OR touch but none offer the ability to use pen AND touch at the same time. Van Dam suggests pen + touch is what is needed to attain a truly natural user interface (NUI). Van Dam referred to the original two-handed technology and the origins of this research in a 1963 project called Sketchpad where Ivan Sutherland at MIT’s Lincoln Labs developed, “A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System”, described as one of the most influential computer programs ever written.

Van Dam showcased Hands-on Math as another example of affordances offered by pen + touch technology (I loved the crumple gesture). It was interesting to see how much negativity there was towards Apple and Microsoft from University researchers in attendance. It was suggested that while the iPad brought a great deal of popularity to tablet devices, it’s touch-only technology is somewhat shortsighted in the context of leading research. And although Ken Hinckley of Microsoft seems to be paying attention to the research (as noted from his Day 1 keynote) Van Dam and others at the conference acknowledged the progress Microsoft has made but were critical in pointing out that Microsoft has not yet developed consumer versions of pen + touch products 50 years after their original conception.  It will be interesting to see what happens in coming years.

Large Artwork Display on the Surface (LADS)

Van Dam also showcased a cool program developed at Brown University called LADS (Large Artwork Display on the Surface), a platform built for museums for viewing large, digitized artworks in a novel fashion. It uses Microsoft’s DeepZoom technology to dynamically load portions of images at different resolutions. This allows a user, in the case of the Garibaldi project (see video below), to see an entire 370 foot long panorama at once or the brushstrokes on the ocean in one square inch of the piece. Additional information can be accessed via hot spots in the image. LADS is open source and available as a free download for institutions that wish to use it. I couldn’t help but think how a program like this could be used by students as a group project to build interactive timelines, etc.

InkSurvey

InkSurvey is a free, web-based software designed to facilitate real-time formative assessment by collecting graphical, white board style responses from students. During our session I used my iPhone to submit my hand-written responses to questions asked by Frank Kowalski (the person next to me used her Kindle tablet), featured in this comical video. A major affordance of this software is that instructor can provide direct feedback to graphical student responses. This software appeared simple to use and quite effective,  and works across most mobile platforms (Android 4+). Click here to begin using it now…

Courseload

Dale Pokorski showcased Virginia Tech’s use of Coarseload, a company that provides source-neutral aggregated digital textbooks at up to 70% savings by integrating open source as well as (or in place of) proprietary content. In the spirit of active reading, students are able to highlight, annotate, share notes with other students. For additional functionality Virginia Tech students export materials to Microsoft OneNote.

Screen capturing

iPad image

Eric Marco’s iPad featuring a Doceri pen to prevent palm-drag and an “indestructible” M-edge neoprene case. (Click image to enlarge).

On Day 2, middle school teachers Eric Marcos and Stacey Roshan provided more tips in support of video in a flipped classroom. Select takeaways for me included screencaptuing apps such as Doceri for iPad, with a pen that effectively eliminates palm drag, Educreations (one of my favourites) and ScreenChomp. (ScreenChomp is about the simplest screen capturing tool you’ll find). Also, Eric made his tablet seemingly indestructible with a M-edge neoprene case (see image at right).

More on Tablets

In my Day 1 post I noted the popularity of the tablet PC hardware with interaction/sharing software such as ClassroomPresenter, DYknow and Microsoft OneNote. On Day 2 I had chance to use more of these tablets and must admit that they do provide functionality beyond that of touch-based tablets, laptops and desktop computers. A major take away from this conference beyond the affordance-rich tablet PCs has been the potential of cost effective technologies that can be used to innovate based on affordances rather than just integrate technology as a flashy tool. While some delegates rattled off bold statements like “every student in America should be using OneNote on a 11.6″ Fujitsu tablet PC” some institutions have dropped their brand-specific tablet programs altogether in favour of a bring your own device (BYOD) option. Some have found that free software such as ClassroomPresenter provide enough usability to support their learner-centred initiatives.

(BTW, during the conference I also learned that $20 Android tablets with VGA camera are being produced in India – 4 million on order).  

In Closing

VCC offers such a wide variety of programming that it is impossible to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to educational technology while maintaining pedagogically sound teaching and learning strategies. While I sometimes find myself envious of the relative ease to which K-12 and Academic institutions chose and implement blanket technology solutions I quickly think of the depth and richness of learning we can offer our students as an applied learning institution and the potential to go even further!

Click here to read Day 1 notes…