Digital Studio

GVSU offers Virtual Reality space for Faculty and Students

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in education may seem simply like a tool for the student of the future, however, it is very much the here-and-now at Grand Valley State University!

Visit the Atomic Object Technology Showcase to experience mixed reality in person!

hunter_vr.jpgVR and AR have the reputation of being something “high tech” and often very expensive with high-end headsets and controllers and while we have those tools in the Technology Showcase it isn’t necessarily required for an effective educational experience.

A simple smart phone, a Google Cardboard headset, and a Merge Cube can be a handy and cheap teaching tool for some faculty. There are plenty of apps on a variety of subjects offering some educational value, however often they aren’t very helpful beyond basic information on a subject, and lean on the technology itself as a gimmick for appeal. They’ve been simply something cool and new to try.

Unsatisfied with what is available we, in eLearning and the Atomic Object Technology Showcase, created a small team to work with faculty on developing ideas for their subjects and courses to help them instruct and students learn. Within VR and AR possibilities are vast and we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what we are capable of. Whether 360 degree photographs or video, seeing objects and tools in augmented reality, or having a wholistic immersive virtual reality experience, we have the technology to develop and create new ways for students to learn.

“I am excited to be working with the showcase and student assistants, to engage with faculty and discover how virtual reality can enhance teaching and learning. If you are a faculty member at GVSU with an idea, let’s talk!” – Digital Media Developer, Hunter Bridwell


hunter_bridwell.jpgThis post by Hunter Bridwell, Digital Media Developer, eLearning and Emerging Technologies. Hunter is a Digital Media Developer at Grand Valley State University. He works with faculty and staff to assist, facilitate, and create digital content for courses and instruction. Leveraging his skills and expertise in photography, video capture, and a variety of other media, Hunter strives to create potent and effective content.

Using Lightboard Videos to Personalize Teaching and Learning

Christopher Harper, CPA, clinical affiliate at the School of Accounting, Seidman College of Business, at GVSU, has recently written an article for Strategic Finance Magazine. In the article he focuses on his move from one profession to another, while highlighting the use of lightboard videos with the goal to better personalize teaching and supporting a flipped classroom.

Read the full article here: “Leaping from the Office to Academia

Chris provides excellent advice in the article and focuses on quality teaching principles.

We have included the following excerpt to share how eLearning and Emerging Technologies is coming along side faculty at GVSU to help transform teaching and learning:

Progressive instructors embrace technology in the spirit of continuous improvement. I utilize light board videos so students can absorb concepts outside the classroom on their own schedules. You can obtain a sense of the light board experience by viewing my cost-volume-profit (bit.ly/HarperCVP) and financial statement analysis (bit.ly/HarperFSAnalysis) videos.

I am currently expanding my video library with the plan to “flip” my Principles of Accounting class in the fall 2019 semester. A flipped classroom will require students to view lectures outside the classroom, thereby allowing more hands-on, practical experiences when we meet in person. Recall the suggestion that effective instructors seek student feedback; flipping the classroom was inspired directly by insights gleaned from my student evaluations.

An example of Professor Harper’s light board demonstration video

It’s important to know each student individually. Learning student names is just the beginning. An instructor can enrich the educational experience by understanding each person’s learning style, hurdles, and natural approaches to problem solving. Personal knowledge helps an instructor craft relatable, meaningful examples that circumvent roadblocks (see “A Student’s Perspective: Tessa Keena, CPA”, below).


Interested in learning more about lightboard videos, flipped learning, or the Blackboard Class Photo roster to help learn your students’ names to personalize your teaching? Check out the following resources from eLearning and Emerging Technologies:

ELI Key Issues in Teaching and Learning

keyissues2019ELIRecently, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative released the 2019 “Key Issues in Teaching and Learning“.

Each year, ELI surveys the higher education community to determine key issues and opportunities in postsecondary teaching and learning. These key issues serve as the framework, or focal points, for our discussions and programming throughout the coming year.

More than 1,400 community members voted, and the following were identified as the 2019 Key Issues.

This blog post captures the highlights from the ELI’s 2019 Key Issues with alignment and connection to the work of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team at GVSU.

 


1 – Faculty Development & Engagement

ELI1The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team at GVSU is on mission to engage with faculty and to “Support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning…”

Innovation in teaching and learning happens when technology is creatively applied to craft active learning techniques that help students most efficiently achieve learning objectives.

The following facets of the eLearning team provide effective faculty development at GVSU:

From a professional development perspective, the eLearning team offers: consultations and coaching, on demand support, seminars and workshops, a teaching and technology podcast, tips for teaching with technology, faculty learning communities, video “TECHBytes”, and a “Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium” that has been held for 18 years.

2 – Online & Blending Learning

ELI2Distance education continues to grow at GVSU with a +25% increase in enrollment in online/hybrid classes since 2017.  With over 5,000 student enrollments in the Fall 2018 semester, just over 17% of all students are taking at least 1 online or hybrid course.

To support distance education initiatives, eLearning and Emerging Technologies has trained over 250 faculty to teach online/hybrid classes in the past year through the Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development and Delivery course.

As one of the most desired professional development opportunities, the “Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development and Delivery” workshop  is a required training for all faculty that teach an online or a hybrid class at GVSU. As part of this professional development, Blackboard competencies are also required.

As faculty begin to engage with online and blended learning, and construct courses to serve remote learners, the skills and techniques learned also provide extensive benefits to on-campus students as well.

3 – Instructional & Learning Experience Design

ELI3Through the IDeL group of instructional designers, the eLearning team facilitates faculty learning communities on the topic of online teaching and learning, enhancing the skills of faculty. The instructional designers have also established TIP (theory into practice) sheets, offering guidance to faculty in the use of student feedback to help shape and improve teaching.

The eLearning team also hosts regular weekly open office hours to connect directly with faculty, enabling opportunities to focus on learning experience design by leveraging technology.

Finally, each year, the eLearning team organizes the Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium to provide a venue to showcase unique innovative pedagogical approaches based on peer experience in delivering high quality courses.

4 – Digital & Information Literacy

ELI4GVSU has established opportunities for students to build literacy and fluency as it relates to the use of everything digital. The eLearning team supports equipping the digital literacy of students and the campus community by offering a variety of enterprise applications and services.

The eLearning Digital Studio maintains a vast project list that provides great breadth and depth of leveraging to technology that contributes to dialogue around 21st century literacy skills for students.

Virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and a wide array of other emerging technologies are provided to students through the Atomic Object Technology Showcase.

Further, the eLearning team is looking into the future by working collaboratively to establish more support for student-based digital media creation at GVSU through a potential “Digital Media Center“.

5 – Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

ELI5Diversity, equity, and inclusion is “built-in to the DNA” at GVSU through the university’s vision:  “GVSU demonstrates its commitment to providing an inclusive learning environment where all students can explore new directions, find their niches, and develop skills for life and productive careers.”

The eLearning team focuses on supporting inclusive education through accessibility and UDL by equipping faculty. Blackboard Ally was adopted and put into production at GVSU in the summer of 2018 to:  generate awareness, build capacity, and increase institutional oversight of accessibility.

In addition, Panopto was implemented to provide video caption capability for faculty who are using instructional video content in their teaching. Both Ally and Panopto support the principles of inclusive education through accessibility and UDL.

6 – Competency and New Methods of Assessment

ELI6eLearning facilitated the implementation of open badges for faculty professional development in partnership with the Faculty Teaching and Learning Center and University Libraries at GVSU.  In fact, the first badge awarded at GVSU was eLearning and Emerging Technologies’s “#EdTech Summer Teaching Institute” badge. Further, 7 badges are currently offered by eLearning, including 4 Blackboard badges, a digital media badge, and a badge for the successful completion of Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development and Delivery.

GVSU also offers a variety of credit and non-credit student badges such as mobile computing, data analytics, and cybersecurity.

7 – Learning Analytics

ELI7Taking advantage of “big” data and “small” data through analytics offers many opportunities.

BIG data, meaning the large scale and mass amounts of data that can inform strategic decisions. Also, SMALL data in the use of course level information about students and their levels of engagement in their courses. Solutions that include early alert, intervention, and that provide student insights empower faculty and advisors with unique capabilities in the support of early alert to improve student retention.

Applications such as Starfish Retention Solutions and Blackboard Predict provide capabilities to inform faculty and advisors with students at-risk through early alert, and also at the individual instructor level through in course tools such as the Blackboard Retention Center.

Notable also is “Clicks, Grades, Engagement, and Student Success” whereby, Blackboard has provided research in how successful students are using learning management system tools based on learning analytics.

“The most successful students are those who access MyGrades most frequently; students doing poorly do not access their grades. Students who never access their grades are more likely to fail than students who access them at least once.”

8 – Open Education

ELI8GVSU has been involved in the open education resources (OER) movement for many years, and most recently has seen a growth in the adoption and use of #OER in teaching and learning. For example, there have been several adoptions of OpenStax textbooks in Chemistry and Mathematics and a new interdisciplinary team lead by the university’s library is helping to coordinate resources and raise awareness.

In fact, GVSU has been participating with the K-12 community through the #GOOPEN initiative as part of the US Department of Education’s goal to encourage states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning. GVSU joined the K-12 #GOOPEN initiative in January last year.

Further, there has been activity across the state for several years, and one recent example is the #MIOERSummit, which brought together faculty across the state with the goal of improving student success through the use and adoption of OER. At GVSU, students have saved over $480,000 in textbook costs, with 3000+ course sections each semester that require no paper textbook.

9 – Evaluating Instructional & Learning Innovations

ELI9

Gathering data to inform decision making enables measurement and supports continuous quality improvement.

The eLearning team has used surveys to gather improvement recommendations for the Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Design and Development course, Blackboard, and also the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research survey of faculty and students and their attitudes and use of technology in education.

10 – Academic Transformation

ELI10

The eLearning team aligns with GVSU’s 2021 Strategic Plan in the following areas that support academic transformation and innovative faculty development and strategic academic transformation:

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching.

Objective 3.D.2: At least 30% of undergraduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented.

Objective 3.D.3: At least 30% of graduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented.

Objective 4.D.1: Effective technologies are integrated into every function and structure across the institution.

As part of the eLearning team’s work toward academic transformation, the latest emerging technologies are a focus of the Atomic Object Technology Showcase. The mission of the showcase is to provide faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to: interactdiscoverlearn, and share how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU. With over 40 emerging technology exhibits that include virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D printing and makerspace, the showcase is an outstanding and very unique example of education, technology, and innovation.


See also: “EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative ‘2018 Key Issues’ Meet the Initiatives in eLearning at GVSU

 

Congratulations to GVSU’s Teaching with Technology Award Recipients!

Each year since 2004, the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center selects faculty at GVSU to receive a variety of teaching awards. These awards were presented during the 2019 Faculty Awards Convocation, held on February 12 where faculty are publicly recognized for their teaching, service, and scholarship.

The Pew Teaching with Technology Award was established to recognize faculty who use technology in innovative ways.  This year, the FTLC recognized Julia VanderMolen and Julie White as recipients.

The eLearning team offers a hearty kudos and congratulations to Julia and Julie!  

Julia_VanderMolenJulia VanderMolen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Public Health
Joined Grand Valley State University in 2013

While integrating educational technology into teaching public health, Julia VanderMolen incorporates TED-Ed assignments that require students to research, present, dig deeper, inquire, and discuss. Other tools include Brainshark (for recording lectures), Lightboard technology, and Google Drive. Colleagues and students recognize the thoughtful implementation of technology coupled with sound pedagogical strategies to create excellent learning environments. VanderMolen also has successfully published on the following topics: assistive technology, disabilities as they pertain to public health issues, interprofessional education, and teaching and learning.

Julie_White

Julie White, M.A.
Senior Affiliate of Writing
Joined Grand Valley State University in 2002

The hallmarks of Julie White’s success in integrating technology with her teaching are her openness to innovation and her collaborative spirit. By partnering with Grand Valley librarians, she introduces new ways for students to use technology. Additionally, by using Google Sheets to provide feedback on student writing and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for office hours, she gives students opportunities not only to learn new tools, but also ways they can use the tools in their professional lives . As a testament to the success of this strategy, one of her student’s essays was chosen for publication in WRT 150: A Guide to Student Writing .

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S  !  !  !

ETOM Meet Up features GVSU’s Lightboard

The Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) conducts monthly “meet ups” when are live webinars focused on a variety of topics centered on distance learning and instructional technology.

On Thursday, January 17, Justin Melick, digital media developer, presented and shared GVSU’s experiences with building and using lightboards to enhance teaching and learning.

Justin brought the idea for a lightboard to GVSU and built the first one back in 2015. Since then over 30 instructors have taken advantage of the lightboard in in their online, hybrid, and in person courses. To date, there have been over 500 videos created by faculty at GVSU!

Here is professor Becky Bergakker talking about the benefits of using lightboards in her courses.

 

Lightboards are available on the Allendale Campus in the Kindschi Hall of Science (KHS), downtown in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) and coming soon to the Seidman College of Business (SCB).

Top 8 Posts from 2018

At GVSU, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is here to support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning. Our team is dedicated to supporting faculty, contributing to teaching excellence, and enhancing student success through:

  • exemplary instructional design
  • effective application and integration of instructional technologies
  • interactive digital media development
  • administration and enhancement of the university’s enterprise learning management system (Blackboard)
  • deployment of innovative emerging technologies

pexels-photo-714899

Reflecting back on 2018, we would like to recognize and celebrate the work of faculty at GVSU in their efforts to advance education through the application of technology in teaching.

Here are the top 8 posts from the eLearning blog in the year 2018:

1 – 7 Things you didn’t know that Blackboard can do!

2 – GVSU selects Blackboard Ally to Support Inclusive Education

3 – First ever hackGVSU ‘Hackathon’ brings Innovative Ideas to Enhance Blackboard at GVSU

4 – Applying the Blackboard LMS to TPACK

5 – Teaching with the Lightboard at GVSU

6 – EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative “2018 Key Issues” meet the Initiatives in eLearning at GVSU

7– eLearning Team celebrates receiving the 2018 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Professional Development

8 – GVSU selects Panopto to Increase Accessibility and Enhance Teaching with Video

Students Benefit from Emerging Technology in the Showcase at GVSU

Recently, an article entitled: “Students Benefit from Exposure to Emerging Tech” in EdTEch magazine featured a report by the EDUCAUSE Center for Analytics and Research.

In this report, benefits were demonstrated for students who have access to emerging technology for experimentation, encouraging interdisciplinary work, and to remove barriers of access to improve digital fluency.

“Increasing student access to 3D technologies … encourages student experimentation, provokes innovative interdisciplinary applications of these technologies and may support larger institutional XR goals and initiatives,” the report states. “Limited or no access to these expensive emerging technologies, especially based on student major, may exacerbate existing or produce patterns of digital exclusion among students at U.S. institutions.” – EdTech Magazine “Students Benefit from Exposure to Emerging Tech

Most noteworthy is that less than 4% of students have access to virtual reality and 3D printing. Further, the report encourages “…universities to invest in emerging tools for public spaces like libraries, makerspaces, computer labs or active-learning facilities.”

This is precisely where the Atomic Object Technology Showcase comes in at GVSU. Located in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons, the showcase  provides faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to: interactdiscoverlearn, and share how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU.

Since August of 2015, the showcase at GVSU has exhibited over 40 different technologies, supported over 700 3D printing submissions, used 11 miles of 3D filament, and has had over 65,000 visitors.

The showcase highlights a variety of technologies including:  wearable computing, augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D printing, and smart speakers, to name a few. Further, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is beginning to engaged with faculty around supporting the use of 360 degree video and virtual reality applications. In fact, Hunter Bridwell, digital media developer, has supported students (ART 394 – Interactive Studio) and faculty (Biomedical Sciences) in their use of the Microsoft HoloLens for teaching and learning, including a unique augmented reality vision loss application for medical education.

Learn more about the showcase at GVSU!