Today, Dartmouth Educational Technologies is hosting the second Northeast Canvas Roundtable. We are looking forward to connecting with our colleagues from Bay Path University, Brown, Harvard, Keene State College, Salem State University, Endicott College, New England Business College, and Malloy College.
Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference
Here are some things we hope to exchange with other northeast Canvas institutions today:
How are you using Canvas?
Uses of learning analytics with Canvas data
Exemplary course designs
Faculty support strategies
Uses of LTI’s for teaching & learning
Use case examples for the API
We will be collecting wisdom from the group in a hybrid conference/un-conference style day in a Google Doc. I will update this post later in the day with the link.
Taking good notes and studying them effectively can mean the difference between a mediocre or outstanding grade. Like most other Dartmouth students, I managed to get through my four years taking notes on pen and paper, or typing on my laptop. Often, I wished that I could marry the two note taking methods. Handwritten notes can offer more versatility for drawing diagrams, and the act of writing helps me to recall their notes later. Typed notes have the advantage of being more “tidy” and legible, They can also limit the number of books to carry, take advantage of cloud storage, and be searched easily with the computer search function.
As it turns out, you can have the best of both worlds. In preparation for my post-baccalaureate study, I decided to put an up-and-coming and, as of now, underutilized piece of technology to the test in the classroom: the tablet. In short I found that these little devices could be real powerhouses of productivity if utilized to their full potential.
This is a sample of some notes that I took sitting in on Math 8. I used an iPad and an app called Notability. I was easily able to change colors while writing quickly to make the figure more legible. When studying I may cut and paste the figure into a self made “study guide” in a separate document. Next week, I can also search my notes for “normal vector” if I forget what it means but cannot remember where in my notes I defined it.
Benefits of handwriting on tablets:
Handwritten notes can be saved as PDFs and stored in a single device or in a cloud.
Many apps and programs offer very accurate handwriting-to-text capability. Some can also convert handwritten formulas to text with the click of a button.
Most apps are searchable for handwriting as well as text. Ctrl + F (or Command + F) your notes, just like PDFs on the computer.
You can copy, cut, paste, resize, or rotate your handwriting. Some tablets can do this between different apps.
Add pictures and diagrams from the web, textbooks, or other documents to your own notes.
Record lectures while you take notes. Some apps will play back your handwriting so you can see how you got from A to B clearly.
One stop shop for all of your notes, from all of your classes, from any point in your academic career (or whenever you started uploading them).
Organize your notes into virtual notebooks and folders.
When it comes to tablets, there are many options, and choosing one that suites your needs should be a top priority. While the iPad has been very popular in academic institutions, it is not necessarily the best option for someone who takes extensive hand written notes. Some tablets to consider if you would like to give digital note taking a try:
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition and Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
Price: $450 – $850 | OS: Android | Stylus: Included
This is a wonderful textbook/notebook substitute. It allows multiple windows to be open at once and includes a smart stylus designed for people doing a lot of note taking. It also allows you to copy cut and paste anything that shows up on the screen into your notes. The two tablets are mostly the same, but the large screen on the Note Pro 12.2 lends itself to enhanced features. For example, the 10.1-inch screen has a maximum of 2 windows sharing the screen at once and you cannot float windows over the top. In contrast, the 12.2-inch screen can split the screen between 4 windows and float additional windows over the top. If, like me, you’ll need to have your class notes, the problem set, and the textbook open and readily available at the same time, the 12.2-inch screen may be worth the additional cost. The larger tablet has more RAM and a better battery so you can really make use of the extra features.
Windows Surface Pro 3
Price: $800 – $1300 | OS: Windows 8.1 (Full Version) | Stylus: Included
This tablet is a great option for those who want a tablet and laptop in one. It runs a full version of Windows 8.1 and offers a slim and light keyboard cover. It is pricy, but a great option for those who wouldn’t want to buy and maintain two devices. Most of the features available on the Galaxy Note series have a counterpart on the Surface Pro, so make sure that you compare the features that you want to use most between the two devices before buying.
Apple iPad Air
Price: $480 – $890 | OS: iOS | Stylus: Not Included
This tablet has the ever-familiar iOS and all the bells and whistles that accompany it. While it boasts a clean and easy to use interface, the iPad does not come with a stylus, and is not engineered with the digital handwriter in mind. You will want to research some heavy note-taking apps such as Notes Plus or Notability ($5 – $10 in the App Store) as well as Bluetooth styluses that will give you palm rejection and a small manageable point to write with ($70 – $120). The Adonit Jot Touch, Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, and Evernote Jot Script are a few of the top Bluetooth styluses. Also keep in mind that the iPad is not as efficient at multitasking as the Surface Pro and the Galaxy Note series, so you will have to do a lot of flipping back and fourth between apps. That being said, the iPad Air still offers a lot of the advantages of digital note taking and can be a wonderful resource for any student wanting to keep digital records of his/her notes and studies.
You: An inspired learning design professional who wants to improve higher education by working with faculty to provide stellar learning experiences for Dartmouth students.
Us: The Educational Technologies Group at Dartmouth – a growing team of Instructional Designers and Academic Technology Consultants, working together to support innovation in high-impact teaching and learning at Dartmouth.
What you’ll be doing:
Consult with faculty on educational technology, course design, and solving teaching challenges
Provide expertise to our faculty in optimizing our learning management system (Canvas) for teaching and learning
Lead or serve on teams supporting large-scale learning initiatives such as developing courses for the edX platform and re-designing large “gateway” courses to increase student engagement
Serve as a teaching and learning expert in campus groups
Build strong relationships with Dartmouth faculty
Collaborate with colleagues in the Library, Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, and the professional schools on teaching and learning projects
You’ll be right for this position if you:
Have experience in course design and course development, and instructional technology
Have skills and experience in supporting faculty
Have enthusiasm for technology, pedagogy, and teaching and learning
Enjoy working in a team, learning from others, and sharing what you know
Love working with people and helping them learn and navigate problems
Have excellent communication skills, and are good at “translating” technology
Enjoy change, and think that learning new stuff is fun
Are looking for a job that challenges your imagination, creativity and ambition
A meaningful mission: Supporting teaching, learning, and technology innovation in higher education
A dynamic, collaborative team of colleagues who have each other’s back
Great opportunities for growth and professional development
Outdoor recreation opportunities galore, right in your backyard
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.
Questions? E-mail email@example.com
Dartmouth College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer that has a strong commitment to diversity. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
Meyers and Jones (1993) wrote “Active learning involves providing opportunities for students to meaningfully talk and listen, write, read, and reflect on the content, ideas, issues, and concerns of an academic subject.” Faculty that use active learning strategies are shifting their classrooms and courses to be more student-centered, while they themselves shift more to a learning designer, facilitator, and mentor role. There is a multitude of online resources to help you get started with active learning strategies, whether for just one or two class periods to try it out or for a whole course design.
The basic definition of “blended learning” or “hybrid” or “flipped” is to mean that students are getting first exposure to new content outside of class and during class they are being active learners, critical thinkers, and collaborative partners. First exposure to content might be reading, watching a video lecture or movie, or internet searches answering basic questions, etc. With hybrid learning professors will replace 50% or more of class meeting time with activities done outside of the class on students’ own time. In a traditional flipped course model, the class still meets during the scheduled times and most class sessions are using active learning strategies where students are using or analyzing knowledge gained prior to class. Read more ›
A wiki allows a group of people to create content on a distinct topic. It is different from a blog, because there is no distinct author, and can be edited in real time by many collaborators. Faculty often assign wikis to groups of students to define, collect, or create information and materials, and share the results with the class.
Concept mapping can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. Whether done individually or collaboratively (or both!), mind mapping activities helps students organize concepts, see the bigger picture of a unit of study, and think critically about the relationships between concepts. They can be used as preparation of basic understandings prior to an active learning session, constructed during class to engage students and give them immediate feedback, or after a class activity as an informal assessment technique…plus many other uses! Here are some recommended resources to get you started:
In addition to getting assistance, tutorials, and more powerful tools from our colleagues in Jones Media Center, there are some simple-to-use yet robust video editing tools available for free. Student video projects could include: original movies, oral history projects, storytelling, recorded performances, newsreels, and more!
Incorporating a digital (or non-digital!) storytelling project in your course allows students to be creative while thinking critically as they analyze and synthesize course concepts. Storytelling or narratives are a space for students to relate what they are learning to their own lives and perspectives. Sharing storytelling products with classmates, the College community, or publicly online gives a sense of ownership. They can be very powerful engagement activities and empower students in their learning environment.
Digital storytelling tools:
VoiceThread (video, audio, feedback – digital storytelling at it’s best, educator plan available)
Polling tools are useful in giving faculty immediate feedback on what students are learning. Professors can utilize polling by asking a variety of questions, and then seeing the students’ responses in real time. Faculty members can utilize the responses as a discussion point with the students, or ask students to submit remaining questions about the day’s activities.
Giving feedback is very helpful for students’ learning, and there are many methods of providing feedback. Faculty can use individual comments on blogs and wikis, use discussion posts to reply to students’ posts, or use polling to get immediate feedback in the classroom.
Online discussions can take many forms — asynchronous like discussion boards or synchronous through live-chat tools. Well constructed online discussions can help students prepare for class or be an extension of activities that took place during class. They can be particularly effective in flipped or hybrid classrooms, keeping students engaged, critically thinking, and accountable outside of class time. They don’t always have to heavy lifting however, using brief and breezy discussions can be a jumping off point for higher order activities or for quick reflections for an informal assessment. Discussion board tools can also be used for peer feedback, group work, help/tutor forums, and brainstorm activities.
Student generated content and creative projects are great way to strengthen engagement with course content and allow students to have pride and ownership over their learning. They work particularly well when products are shared with classmates or made public on the internet for others to learn from. If students need artifacts of the learning for an e-portfolio there is an added benefit. Authentic projects for the content area are always encouraged, but sometimes letting student creativity run wild in a different format can bring inspiration and excitement to the learning environment. Various assessment methods can be used and detailed rubrics on ‘must have’ criteria to make the creative project robust and on-task are suggested.
Pixton (online comic book authoring tool, educator plan available)
VoiceThread (video, audio, feedback – digital storytelling at it’s best, educator plan available)
Collaborative learning is engaging with other students in active learning activities, which has been proven to increase retention. There are numerous ways to have students collaborate, whether it is through the use of wikis, content collections, aggregating, creating new multimedia, and sharing virtual learning space, just to name a few. To learn more about collaborative learning, click on the links below:
In addition to getting assistance, tutorials, and more powerful tools from our colleagues in Jones Media Center, there are some simple-to-use yet robust audio editing tools available online for free. You might have students create podcasts or record interviews for a class project, or maybe remix existing audio into a new transformative piece.
Aggregating activities consist of gathering information and resources for a variety of purposes. Usually, this is useful while conducting exhaustive research on the web. Several tools allow for the bookmarking and sharing of bookmarks as well, such as Delicious and Diigo. Aggregating can also conclude as a final multimedia project or web archive of resources.
Multi-media resources, tools, and projects can bring a multi-modal facet to your teaching. Using images, audio, video, interactives, visualizations, or immersion into a digital environment is not only engaging for students, but can bring the students through different perspectives on course concepts. Please refer to the following posts on our blog for suggestions on multi-media tools and strategies:
There are a variety of reasons a professor would want to record their classroom lecture or create a recorded lecture. Making recorded class sessions available allows students to review material covered in class on their own time and at a different pace. If you are teaching in a “flipped course” approach then you might want to record a short lecture narrated over a Powerpoint/Prezi presentation or capture a simulation from your screen as you comment. Here at Dartmouth we support Camtasia Relay, a simple downloaded program to capture anything happening on your screen, your mic, and your webcam. The movie file then uploads to a website and sends you a link for your movie file to pass onto students.
Data visualization software presents data in an easily digestible format, manipulating spreadsheets into glossy images, charts, and tables. There are more data visualization tools appearing daily on the internet, each with different options fitting for certain contexts.
Below are some links to ideas on how to use data visualization tools in your classroom:
Content collections can be utilized in a variety of ways in the classroom. Student can use numerous tools to visualize research, references, mosaics, and streams of thought and opinion. Depending on how the faculty member chooses to utilize the content collection, students have the opportunity to engage in multiple learning styles to display their knowledge.
Click on the following links for content collection tools. When you enter the website, you will see several ideas on how to use content collections in the educational setting:
Overview: One of the assessment activities in the Interactive Storytelling course was for students to craft interactive narratives using locative media and mobile technologies that were then playable on cell phones. The assessment addressed three of the objectives for the course:
To engage students with conceptual issues surrounding the development of digital storytelling;
To engage with fundamental concepts regarding computer technology as a creative medium;
To effectively communicate through multimodal ‘writing’ technologies.
The program identified to accomplish this goal was ARIS. ARIS is an open source Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling program created by members of the Curriculum & Instruction department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. VUE, created by Tufts University, was used as a means of mapping or visualizing the flow of the story based on the elements of the ARIS software.
Students were introduced to ARIS in a two hour class session. During that session, the students identified the components of an example game and then constructed the game within ARIS. A second session was held to introduce students to VUE and provide dedicated work time for the groups to develop their project ideas and ask questions. After various rounds of testing, final projects were presented as walk-abouts where the entire class with iPhones in hand experienced each groups game.