Innovative Technology

New and emerging tools are available for teaching and learning online, but how do you know whether those tools are right for your course? It is important to first look at the way that you want students to learn, and your teaching practices. But once you have established what you want to teach, and how, there are some amazing tools for getting it done!

Judy Fisher Teaching with Technology Award

In memory of the contributions of Dr. Judy Fisher to our teaching and learning environment, and to ensure that we continue to improve upon our current progress, the College has set up the Judy Fisher Teaching with Technology Award. This award is given to the faculty member who has best exemplified teaching using technology over the past year. The Office of Teaching Excellence participates in identifying faculty who are using technology to engage students in interactive learning experiences based on sound pedagogical teaching and learning goals.

2016 Award Recipients

Dr. Amanda Phalin Video: 2016 Judy Fisher Teaching with Technology Award

Past Winners

Consider Using Your Webcam for Assignment Feedback

Posted on January 28, 2015 by Sarah Bleakney

Are you tired of the typing and handwriting that typically goes into providing feedback on students’ assignments? Could Video Feedback Replace the Red Pen? argues that instructors should consider video-based feedback rather than the text-based variety.

Instead of providing written or typed comments, the instructor featured in this article extemporaneously records critiques using his computer’s webcam. While, as the article acknowledges, providing feedback via video may have drawbacks, students are reported to prefer video-based feedback, often “finding it clearer and seemingly more sincere than written notes” (a finding reflected by other recent research included in the article). The instructor and a colleague, who have been using this approach for about five years, find this approach to providing feedback easier and less timely.

Interested but don’t want to track down any additional tools to enable you to upload and share video-based feedback? You’re in luck: Canvas offers video and audio recording functionality in SpeedGrader.

Using iPad Apps to Create Video Content

Posted on October 9, 2014 by Sarah Bleakney

So you’ve been using your iPad to respond to student emails. Maybe you’ve even downloaded the Canvas or SpeedGrader apps, so you can respond to discussion board comments and grade assignments while sitting in the Warrington courtyard or waiting for a flight at the airport. However, did you know you can also use your iPad to create interactive and innovative video content for your courses?

Perhaps you’d like to record short videos for your students on how current events intersect with the topic of your course or the like. TouchCast will allow you to use your iPad to not only record those videos, but also integrate them with web content, images, polls and quizzes, and other interactive elements. You can then upload the video to YouTube or another video-sharing site to share them with your students. Visit the TouchCast website for a video walk-through or TouchCast Studio on the iTunes store to read customer reviews and download this app.

Maybe you would like to be able to create written and auditory notes for your students, allowing them to follow along with a detailed explanation or problem solution as though they were in your office while you were recording it. You can use your iPad along with a Livescribe Pulse Smartpen to create Pencasts, which capture a digital version of the notes you take along with any audio that you can then upload and share with students. Visit the Pencast website for more information or Livescribe+ on the iTunes store to read customer reviews and download this app. In addition, this video provides a detailed demonstration of how you can create Pencasts to share with your students.

Online, On-Ground, or Hybrid? Online Conferencing Offers Multiple Benefits

Posted on February 13, 2014 by Sarah Bleakney

Have you heard about online conferencing tools—such as Adobe Connect, BigBlueButton, Google Drive and Hangouts, and Skype—but aren’t sure if they’re worth incorporating for your class? As two articles make clear, whether your students are online, in the classroom, or both, online conferencing can offer a variety of benefits.

A recent article, “Why I Love Conferencing Online with My Traditional Classroom Students”, details some of the reasons to consider using online conferencing for classroom-based, on-ground students. Pushed to try online conferencing when she left town for an emergency, the writer soon discovered online conferencing offered a variety of unexpected benefits. These benefits include higher levels of student engagement and increased time management and flexibility. The article also details some challenges to be prepared for, such as technical issues – though any faced have not stopped the instructor from planning to incorporate online conferencing for future semesters.

And, of course, the benefits of online conferencing are not limited to on-ground classes – as the article “Interactive Web Conferencing Brings Big Benefits to the Online Classroom” outlines, these benefits can also be realized if your course is hybrid or online. These benefits include increased accessibility, participation, and interaction. The instructor also found that online conferences also promoted active learning. The article provides a number of helpful “tips for success” on getting started, managing, and troubleshooting online conferences.

And in fact, though the two articles present experiences with online conferencing from different perspectives (one on-ground and the other online/hybrid), the benefits they detail are not limited to one or the other. Whether you decide to purchase an Adobe Connect license, register for a Google or Skype account, or use the Sakai- or Canvas-based conferencing tool, BigBlueButton, online conferencing can offer multiple benefits to you and your students.

For information on how Warrington faculty are using online conferencing tools—and suggestions for how you might, too—you can also view the Online Meeting Tools slides and Online Meeting Tools video from a recent Friday Forum on this topic.

Why Facebook Groups? Or, Should the Real Question Be: Why Not?

Posted on October 22, 2013 by Sarah Bleakney

According to a recent study, undergraduates were found to use smartphones and other devices for non-class-related purposes an average of 11 times a day. As social media can often be the inspiration for students’ errant in-class clicking, instructors have long been wary of including use of such sites for classes. However, an article in Faculty Focus suggests why and how you might consider leveraging social media to support and encourage student engagement.

Over multiple semesters, the instructor experimented with using a Facebook Page and both open and closed Groups. Both approaches can offer benefits, and are well worth considering, though closed Groups allowed students to more freely contribute to online discussions (students were uncomfortable asking questions on a Facebook Page or open Group, as their contributions were more or less public).

This instructor used Facebook to answer her students’ questions and to post articles (and encourage them to do the same), blending seamlessly from that day’s class discussions and, over time, enriching in-class discussions and increasing the overall level of class participation. Although this article focuses on using Facebook Groups in a small, on-ground class, this approach has been used to good effect by Warrington College of Business instructors in hybrid and fully online courses that range from small to large.

Thoughts on Mobile Learning

Posted on November 1, 2012 by Tawnya Means

Attendees at Abilene Christian University’s Connected Summit 2011 share their thoughts and perspectives on where we are headed with mobile learning: