Head in the clouds? Ten free Web 2.0 tools to support faculty research — from FacultyFocus.com by G. Andrew Page, Ph.D.

Our Top 11 Most Popular Articles for 2011, part 1 — from Faculty Focus
As another year draws to a close, the editorial team at Faculty Focus looks back on some of the top articles of the past year. Throughout 2011, we published nearly 250 articles. The articles covered a wide range of topics – from academic integrity to online course design. In a two-part series, which will run today and Wednesday, we reveal the top 11 articles for 2011

Our Top 11 Most Popular Articles for 2011, part 2 — from Faculty Focus
It wouldn’t be the end of the year without a few top 10 lists, but this year we’re taking it one step further with the top 11 articles of 2011. Each article’s popularity ranking is based on a combination reader engagement metrics. Today’s post reveals the top five most popular articles.

Making the Review of Assigned Reading Meaningful — from Faculty Focus
The typical college student dreads hearing, “Let’s review the chapters you read for homework.” What generally ensues is a question and answer drill in which students are peppered with questions designed to make clear who has and hasn’t done the reading. In reality, these exchanges do little to encourage deep thought or understanding of the assigned reading. Here are some new ways to approach the review of reading assignments.

The Scholarly Kitchen - What's hot and cooking in scholarly publishing

 

Also see:

Building Learning Communities 2011 Keynote: Dr. Eric Mazur — from November Learning

Excerpt:

Today, we are officially relaunching our opening keynote from BLC11 with Dr. Eric Mazur. Dr. Mazur is the Area Dean of Applied Physics and Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.

In his keynote, Dr. Mazur shares his vast research on teaching and learning. Students in Dr. Mazur’s class are moving far away from the traditional stand and deliver lectures given in many k-12 and university classrooms around the world, and they are gaining a much deeper understanding of the material being taught in the process.

As you watch this video, we invite you to take some time and respond to one or more of the following questions…

 

From DSC:
What I understood the key points to be:

  • Teaching and learning should not be about information transfer alone; that is, it’s not about simply having students “parrot back” the information.  That doesn’t lead to true learning and long-term retention.
  • The more a teacher is an expert in his/her content, the more difficulty this teacher has in understanding how a first time learner in this subject struggles
  • Rather we need to guide and use peer instruction/social learning/collaboration amongst students to construct learning and then be able to apply/transfer that learning to a different context
  • Lecturing is not an effective way to create a long term retention of information
  • Peer instruction/human interaction creates effective learning
  • “The plural of anecdotes is not data.”
  • Eric is seeking data and feedback to sharpen his theories of how to optimize learning
  • Technology serves pedagogy — technology should afford a new mode of learning
  • Towards that end, Eric and team working on “Peer instruction 2.0”
  • How do I design good questions?  Optimize the discussions? Manage time? Insure learning is taking place?
  • Eric is working with several other colleagues to create a system for building and using data analytics to give useful information to instructor about who’s “getting it” and who isn’t; about how we learn
  • Peer instruction not without issues — how people group themselves and who students choose to collaborate with can be problematical
  • Why not have the system do the pairing/grouping?
  • System uses algorithms, facial recognition, posture analysis; cameras, microphones
  • Surveys also used
  • The system is attempting to help Eric and his team learn about learning
  • The system being used at Harvard and by invitation only

Eric ended with a summary of the 2 key messages:

  1. Education is not about lecturing
  2. We can move way beyond the current technologies and use new methods and technologies to actively manage learning as it happens

 

From DSC:
After listening to this lecture, the graphic below captures a bit of what he’s getting at and reflects some of my thinking on this subject as well.  That is, we need diagnostic tools — along the lines of those a mechanic might use on our cars to ascertain where the problems/issues are:
 


 

From Daniel Christian: Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes.


From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did for the Title II Conference at Calvin College back on August 11, 2011
It is aimed at K-12 audiences.


 

Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a K-12 audience)

 


From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did today for the Calvin College Fall 2011 Conference.
It is aimed at higher education audiences.


 

 Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a higher ed audience)

 


Note from DSC:

There is a great deal of overlap here, as many of the same technologies are (or will be) hitting the K-12 and higher ed spaces at the same time. However, there are some differences in the two presentations and what I stressed depended upon my audience.

Pending time, I may put some audio to accompany these presentations so that folks can hear a bit more about what I was trying to relay within these two presentations.


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Best practices help dispel the myths of online faculty hiring practices — from Faculty Focus by Mary Bart

Excerpt:

Some of the myths include:

  • Faculty who only teach online courses are typically hired “differently” than faculty who teaching face-to-face.
  • Academic departments are reluctant to use geographically-dispersed faculty to teach online courses.
  • Little to no effort is made to integrate faculty who teach only online courses into a department’s faculty community.
  • Faculty who teach only online courses are not subject to the same kind of teaching evaluation as those who teach face-to-face courses.

Check out the Teachscape Reflect product — looks very promising!

 

http://www.teachscape.com/reflect/

 

teachscape.com

 

Excerpt:

What if you could accurately capture everything that happens in the classroom? Imagine being able to catch every detail of teaching and learning, and then being able to review the captured material online anytime, anywhere, to assess instructional practices.

By combining 360-degree video and high-quality audio capture with online collaboration tools featuring research-based frameworks—including Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching—Teachscape Reflect delivers a classroom observation system and virtual professional learning community anchored in a common definition of teacher effectiveness.

From DSC:
We may be investigating this product for use with supporting remote student teachers. But Reflect can also be used for professional development purposes as well.

Also see:

 

Teachscape’s omnidirectional camera is used to capture in real time a 360-degree classroom scene. In the video stream it creates, both the instructor and the students can be seen. —Zhigang Zhu/Department of Computer Science, City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center

 

New software and hardware tools are being developed to help teachers get a more panoramic view of how things are going in their classrooms

 
 

10 telling employment trends in academia — from bestcollegesonline.com; also saw this at the ASTD.org site

 

Excerpt:

The job outlook for university professors is a bundle of contradictions, confusing — and threatening — even the most prestigious of teachers. While a generation of professors is retiring and leaving new job openings, the economy is still crumbling, and slashed state budgets and diminished endowments make it difficult for schools to pay competitive salaries, or keep full-time professors on staff. Part-time and online positions are increasing, however, and professors now need to be even savvier about how they track their careers, just like professionals in other fields. Here are 10 telling employment trends for academics.

Be nice to techies — from Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor of learning technology in the Faculty of Education at the University of Plymouth

From DSC:
A hearty “Amen!” to this Steve!   🙂

 

 

 

 

Should you write an ebook? — from forbes.com by Nick Morgan

Excerpt:

Here are some of the current e-options that have sprung up around traditional publishing and self-publishing.

Lecture Capture: Lights! Camera! Action! — from CampusTechnology.com by John Waters

A solid article that includes the following list of lecture capture vendors (along with this excerpt):
Lecture capture isn’t a new concept. College and university professors have been videotaping their courses for about 25 years. But in the past 10 years–thanks to the advent of warp-speed processors, broadband connectivity, and cloud-based data storage–the technology for recording and publishing class lectures has evolved dramatically.  The current lineup of lecture capture solutions includes products that rely on proprietary hardware, specialized software platforms, web-based systems, and combinations of all three. Profiled below are a few of the principal vendors.

[Concept] The new “textbook”: A multi-layered approach — from Daniel S. Christian
I’ve been thinking recently about new approaches to relaying — and engaging with — content in a “textbook”.



For a physical textbook


When opening up a physical textbook to a particular page, QR-like codes would be printed on the physical pages of the textbook.  With the advent of augmented reality, such a mechanism would open up some new possibilities to interact with content for that page. For example, some overall characteristics about this new, layered approach:

  • Augmented reality could reveal multiple layers of information:
    • From the author/subject matter expert as well as the publisher’s instructional design team
      • Main points highlighted
      • Pointers that may help with metacognition, such as potential mnemonics that might be helpful in moving something into long-term memory
      • Studying strategies
    • A layer that the professor or teacher could edit
      • Main points highlighted
      • Pointers that may help with metacognition, such as potential mnemonics that might be helpful in moving something into long-term memory
      • Studying strategies
    • A layer for the students to comment on/annotate that page
    • A layer for other students’ comments

 

 


For an electronic-based textbook


  • The interface would allow for such layers to be visible or not — much like Google’s Body Browser application
  • For example, in this graphic, comments from the SME and/or ID are highlighted on top of the normal text:

 

 

 

 

Advantages of this concept/model:

  • Ties physical into virtual world
  • We could economically update information (i.e. opens up streams of content)
  • Integrates social learning
  • Allows SMEs, IDs, faculty members to further comment/add to content as new information becomes available
  • Instructors could highlight the key points they want to stress
  • Many of the layers could offer items that might help with students’ meta-cognitive processes (i.e. to help them learn the content and move the content into long-term memory)
  • One could envision the textbook being converted into something more akin to an app in an online-based store — with notifications of updates that could be constantly pushed out

 

Addendum (5/26):

 

Separate and unequal

Separate and unequal — from InsideHigherEd.com by Dan Berrett

NEW YORK — Higher education’s own hiring practices are undermining one of its chief selling points: that a college education fosters upward mobility, several speakers said here Tuesday at a conference on academic labor.

In particular, it is the condition of adjunct faculty members, which was the subject of several sessions of the annual meeting of the National Center for Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, that casts the harshest light on the gap between academe’s aspirations and its actual conduct.

“In order to maintain faith with higher education, you have to be able to confront the idea that a high proportion of the most educated portion of the population is having trouble making ends meet,” said Alan Trevithick, founding member of the New Faculty Majority and an adjunct who teaches sociology at Fordham University and Westchester Community College, during a session entitled “Contingent Faculty: Issues at the Table.”

“The non-tenure-track faculty make the tenure-track research positions possible,” said Robert Samuels, a lecturer in the writing programs at the University of California at Los Angeles and president of the University Council, American Federation of Teachers. The adjunct faculty serve this enabling purpose in two ways, said Samuels: they assume much — and in many cases, the majority — of the teaching load, thus freeing up time for full-time faculty to do research; and their lesser salaries for teaching highly enrolled undergraduate courses also result in net revenues that essentially subsidize other, more costly work at the university.

From DSC:

It will be interesting to see how the developing online-based exchanges/marketplaces affect the professional adjunct faculty member — who may already be teaching at a variety of institutions at the same time. My guess would be that they will be well positioned to move into this developing new landscape — if this landscape continues to develop in that manner.


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Cal State University to cut enrollment, faculty, staff and more — from The L.A. Times by Carla Rivera
Facing an 18% cut in state funding, Cal State plans to reduce enrollment by 10,000, cut $11 million from the chancellor’s office and shrink campus funding by $281 million. No tuition hikes are planned, chancellor says.

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