Systemic Change

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History of Instructional Technology

Graduate Student Peter MacKey offers a history of Instructional Technology to his daughter in the form of a bedtime story.

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Effect of Instructor-Personalized Multimedia in the Online Classroom

This article provided an experiment using the role of multimedia during an online class. Online learning and distance education are becoming more popular at universities, especially for students who live far away that may find it difficult to physically attend classes. This article asks the simple question to teachers: “What makes your online class more effective and engaging than the next online class?” Having an online class with a bunch of links and directions on what readings to do, websites to visit, and assignments to complete isn’t exactly as engaging for a student as physically sitting in a classroom. This article looks at the effectiveness of having the voice, face, or interactive avatar of the teacher while students are taking the online course. Student engagement is a huge part of being able to gauge the effectiveness of a teaching method as well as a student’s comprehension of the subject material. For certain types of learners, having an online class and being able to interact with a professor proves far more effective than sitting home alone clicking a bunch of links and reading assignments. It was interesting to see that there was an impact on student engagement, learning, and success with the additional multimedia via video and voice from the professor in the online classroom. Even this small increase of interaction multiplied by all of the distance education classes offered in the country would in fact make a significant change for the better in student success in distance education. The only problem is– many professors don’t feel the need to strive for this personal interaction with their students. Some professors don’t have the time, and some don’t believe the interactions will be effective in their online classrooms.

Title: Effect of Instructor-Personalized Multimedia in the Online Classroom
Page Count: 13
Type of Reading: Action Research
Worth: ***
Why: I gave the article three stars because the topic and research experiment done were really insightful and had supporting arguments and data. It also provided further research on a topic that most professors don’t think about, yet it could be helping their students become more engaged in their class. I didn’t give it five stars because after all of the research, there was a lot of inconclusive evidence and lacked concrete answers.
Reference: Mandernach, B. (2009). Effect of Instructor-Personalized Multimedia in the Online Classroom. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 10(3). Retrieved from
Reviewed By:  Barbara Haug

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Assessing the Impact of Cloud Computing and Web Collaboration on the Work of Distance Library Services

Web collaboration and cloud computing have become commonplace in many aspects of academic life. Students skype to discuss research and create Google Documents to manage group work on a weekly basis each semester. The web has redefined the way that scholars work together.

While this change has reached scholars quickly, it has not yet completely crossed into the library environment. There is no lack of knowledge or skills, however, libraries with older staff may find new technologies and integration of those technologies challenging. The trouble mostly arises around issues surrounding intellectual property rights, the role and prominence of the library/librarian, and the ability to connect users with reliable, useful sources.

So what does the future hold for web collaboration and cloud computing? As previously mentioned, the two technologies are frequently used by scholars, and were pioneered in the business and infotech world. Faculty and students are often used to using them for social outlets as well as academic needs. But librarians offer an authority on research and research technologies. Adding such services to library offerings cannot be taken lightly, even if the platforms are widely used.

The services might harvest information and could take credit away from the user or institution based on service agreements. And libraries might further lose their presence if students, especially those in distance learning settings, see the library as merely an entrance to other electronic media hosted and branded by different companies.

The answer to many of these issues could be found in redefining the role of the librarian. Librarians need training in all platforms offered by the library and must be able to facilitate their use for academic needs – above and beyond the call for their use to discover innovative ways to keep the library relevant as more of its services are offered miles away from the building itself.

Title: Assessing the Impact of Cloud Computing and Web Collaboration on the Work of Distance Library Services
Page Count: 19
Type of reading: Literature Review/Academic Research
Worth: ***
Why: The writing assumes various levels of technological literacy that do not always agree from section to section, but the material is valuable to concerned members of the library community
Reference: Scale, M. E. (2010). Assessing the Impact of Cloud Computing and Web Collaboration on the Work of Distance Library Services.  Journal Of Library Administration, 50(7/8), 933-950.
Reviewed By: Emily Mross

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Postgame analysis: using video-based coaching for continuous professional development

Medical Researchers collaborated with multimedia technologist to develop video based training tools. The tools were designed to help monitor the growth process of doctors and medical surgeons in the field of study, primarily performance. The research consisted of surgeons watching an informative, demonstrational video of specific procedures performed within the field. They video recorded senior surgeons, with ample field experience, displaying their coaching techniques and medical styles. A group of premature surgeons with limited experience were then video and audio recorded demonstrating their craft.

What’s video based Training? Video based training is the use of instructional multimedia tools, (i.e. video recorders, audio devices, computers) to aid one’s training and help an individual better comprehend the information at hand. This study is ongoing in the medical field, and with the help of multimedia devices, it has provided answers and helpful results. At all levels, this video based experience has proven beneficial to surgeons on all instructional levels. Multimedia has been a great avenue for training within various companies. The use of various technologies can aid the various learning styles in a work environment and make the material easier to comprehend. The medical field can use multimedia to their advantage with the use of iPads to help with initial registration process, recording devices for training, and photography and editing as visual aids. Ultimately this article displayed the importance for the development of multimedia training in the medical field and beyond.

Title: Postgame analysis: using video-based coaching for continuous professional development
Type of Reading: Academic Research article
Why: Important for medical advancements, but a bit hard to comprehend if not in medical field.
Reference: Hu, Y., Peyre, S. E., Arriaga, A. F., Osteen, R. T., Corso, K. A., Weiser, T. G., & … Greenberg, C. C. (2012). Postgame Analysis: Using Video-Based Coaching Journal of the American College of Surgeons; Jan2012, Vol. 214 Issue 1, p115-124, 10
Reviewed By: Katarah Jordan


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Mobile Technology Used in an Adventurous Outdoor Learning Activity: A case study

In this study, two groups within the age range of ten to fourteen, were formed to experiment with Geocaching, a treasure hunting activity. Using a PDA (personal digital assistant) equip with GPS, students were asked to navigate outdoors through a series of check points to collect clues leading them to the final destination: treasure.

This case study is an example of a constructivist learning activity on informatics education, which incorporates mobile technology. Throughout the activity, learners were observed and interviewed. Interviews found that students were motivated, continually engaged, and met their learning objectives. Student collaboration was essential in this exercise. Students were challenged with real world situations such as GPS calibration, technical accuracy, and GPS application.

This study marks trends in mobile technologies and their relationship with eLearning and informatics. It also addresses trends occurring in the business sector in regards to learning, training and communication. Mobile technologies are now becoming a valuable vehicle to incorporate into different educational situations. With vast accessibility, mobile technologies can expose students to a number of career related experiences. For educators as well as students, mobile technology provides convenience, flexibility, and the ability to fit many learning styles. When used for indoor or outdoor classroom activity, mobile technology can improve social learning, increase engagement and provide support in context sensitive learning. As educators and instructional designers, these themes also coincided with trends in social media and eLearning.

Title: Mobile Technology Used in an Adventurous Outdoor Learning Activity: A case study
Page count: 9 pages
Type of reading: Action research
Worth: ***
Why: Inspirational for ideas on how to use cross-curricular technology integration while teaching real world application.
APA reference: Palmárová, V., & Lovászová, G. (2012). MOBILE TECHNOLOGY USED IN AN ADVENTUROUS OUTDOOR LEARNING ACTIVITY: A CASE STUDY. Problems Of Education In The 21St Century4464-71.
Review: Stacy Keller


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Encourage Respect: Respect = Kindness + Truth

Society is wrought with disrespect, even in graduate classrooms (with professionals), yet most do not even realize they are being disrespectful. However, classrooms need to be a space of professional safety. When cell phones are ringing, people are texting and talking when there is a presenter, the learning space is not safe for professional interaction. Others feel disrespected; positive class participation decreases.

Showing respect has been a issue with some graduate students. I received the following email from a student which highlighted a problem, that other professors have mentioned. Please see below:

“I also wanted to thank you for your class management skills =) Shaqueen (fake name) and I get very annoyed with how some people act. It is distracting, so I really appreciate how you expect the best from everyone.”

Ideas for encouraging respect:

  • Establish your requirements for interaction and listening prior to the problem: “We respect other’s ideas….” To show that  we “LOOK” at each other when talking, not FaceBook & cell phones…When someone else is talking, you do not type or text.Repeat your requirements as needed.
  • Computers/Cell Phones/Mobile Devices: Tell students when to have their hands off the keyboard, turn computer screens off, phones on vibrate, no texting.
  • Welcome back”: To get the group back together after group work say, “welcome back” (and start singing if needed:-).
  • Class contract: Ask each student what they expect from their colleagues. Students should write it down, and read expectations aloud. Post the list somewhere.
  • Syllabus: on my syllabus I write, Respect = Truth + Kindness and talk about what that means. We want to be Truthful and tell people what we think which may be critique. But, if all true, our words/actions can be unbalance and harsh. We also want to be Kind in our words and actions so that the other person is receptive to our critique. We want the other person to listen, and not shut down.
  • Professional: Let students know you are preparing them for the professional world.

Respect is a national problem, and it is a topic at national conventions. As leaders, we need to model respect by embracing kindness and truth. We have phenomenal students and we want to bring out the best in each!

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Don’t Be a Victim: e-tutorial

Link: Don’t Be a Victim

By: Alyssa Bolante
In this Captivate module you will learn how to make choices that keep you safe, prevent you from being a victim, and how to be a good witness to help solve crimes or reduce crimes from occuring.
Intended Audience
College-aged students
Students will recall the proper technique in holding a pepper spray.
Students will recall statistics of college-aged females.
Students will recall the proper technique against a close up attacker.
Students will identify the buddy system instead of walking alone.
Students will identify ways to stay alert.
Students will identify that excessive use of alcohol can inhibit good judgment.
Students will list ways to reduce unknown persons at party/event.
Students will list ways to be a good witness.
Students will decide if this module is beneficial.

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Rhythm & Values – eTutorial

Link to Rhythm & Values eTutorial

This tutorial covers different note and rest types, including whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes and rests. The tutorial also covers dotted half notes and rests and dotted quarter notes and rests. The second half of the presentation covers how many beats each note or rest receives when in 4/4 time.empty

The overall objective for this presentation is that students will identify 7 note types and 7 rest types, and explain how many beats each note or rest receives in 4/4 time.

The audience was intended to be a 6th grade general music class, but this tutorial will be beneficial for anyone looking to learn about rhythm notation in music.

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Thesis Statements, Topic Sentences and Transitions: eTutorial

Link to Writing Basics: Thesis Statements, Topic Sentences and Transitions

Created by Ryan Sterner, December 2012
This is a basic tutorial I created to help my students distinguish between effect and ineffective thesis statements, topic sentences, and transitional topic sentences. It is intended to be administered prior to their 1st major writing assignment, and it is tailored specifically for that assignment. However, if used out of its intended context, it still may help students understand how to create the aforementioned pieces of an essay.

The module does need some tweaking, and the execution is not perfect.

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