TEACHx 2017 Abstracts


Keynote — What Should We Do with (Canvas) Data?

Jared Stein

Jared Stein, Instructure
The more Canvas is adopted and used for meaningful teaching and learning, the more data is aggregated. But big questions are yet unanswered: At what point does that data become the gold mine that futurists have suggested? Are we any closer to turning data into analytics that can realistically improve teaching and learning? What role do students play in analytics, beyond generating data? What do we want data to do for education, and where should it stop? This session digs in to these questions by reflecting on recent developments in learning analytics and examples of exploratory learning analytics (by both Instructure’s Research team and Northwestern University) that are informing how we at Instructure plan for the future.

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Using Games as Learning Opportunities

Candy Lee & Donald J. Dale
This session addresses the use of games in the classroom and in the university to achieve a goal of improved learning. Donald Dale uses MobLab to interact with his students. Candy Lee uses games in two very different ways: one, to allow students to showcase their learning by creating games for the rest of the class to play, and two, to showcase a university-wide game to inspire knowledge of our world. The session will look at what a game is; what the properties of a good game are; the adjustment to make between the anxiety to do well and the boredom of a game being too easy; the use of MobLab as a tool in Canvas; using games without technology; and the value of rewards as a motivator for learning.

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Using Technology to Create and Share: Engaging Students as Innovators

Alyson Carrel, Leslie Oster, & Esther Barron
Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, a pedagogical model for engaging students at different levels of critical thinking, suggests that the highest order of thinking requires students not just to remember, practice, or evaluate, but to create something new based on the subject matter studied. In this presentation, faculty from three different law school courses will describe how they have engaged students as innovators, asking them to utilize technology to address an ongoing issue or problem found in the particular area of course study. Students from these courses will join faculty to describe their experiences and demonstrate their final projects. Student projects have included creating automated documents, designing interactive guides, and developing new apps to enhance the public’s understanding or interaction with a subject.

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Canvas for the Artist

Donna Wang Su & Kurt Hansen
Juries are a rite of passage for Voice and Opera majors at Bienen. Traditionally, students performed their oral exam for a jury of Bienen School of Music Voice and Opera faculty, and then they waited at least a week to receive feedback as comments were written by hand and collected for distribution. By that point, memories of their performance had faded or taken on a life of their own. Now, through Canvas tools like Scheduler and SpeedGrader, students not only sign up for a time slot and submit their jury form online but also receive feedback from seven faculty members mere seconds after their jury is complete, while their performance is still fresh in their minds. Attendees at this session will have the opportunity to witness (and for a few, even participate in) a live demonstration, including a live performance from Bienen students.

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Active Learning Classrooms in Residential Buildings

Brad Zakarin
Learn about Northwestern’s new active learning spaces in residential buildings across campus. Consult with Brad Zakarin, Director of Residential Academic Initiatives at Northwestern, on the variety of rooms available and their special features to support instruction and engagement with students. See images of new spaces, including those opening this fall and winter.

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Planning an Accessible Online Course

Christine Scherer & Krissy Wilson
Want to anticipate the needs of students with disabilities? Not sure where to start with web accessibility? This session will briefly introduce web accessibility and provide attendees with practical (and easy!) takeaways for making online courses more accessible to students using assistive technology, regardless of level of technical expertise. Some of the topics covered will include descriptive links, alt text, visual landmarks, captions, color use, formatting, and text selection. This presentation is based on the webinar Planning to Write an Accessible Online Course, presented to SPS DL faculty in January 2016.

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Canvas for the Artist

Donna Wang Su & Kurt Hansen
Juries are a rite of passage for Voice and Opera majors at Bienen. Traditionally, students performed their oral exam for a jury of Bienen School of Music Voice and Opera faculty, and then they waited at least a week to receive feedback as comments were written by hand and collected for distribution. By that point, memories of their performance had faded or taken on a life of their own. Now, through Canvas tools like Scheduler and SpeedGrader, students not only sign up for a time slot and submit their jury form online but also receive feedback from seven faculty members mere seconds after their jury is complete, while their performance is still fresh in their minds. Attendees at this session will have the opportunity to witness (and for a few, even participate in) a live demonstration, including a live performance from Bienen students.

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Coding for Creatives: A Novel Approach to Teaching Web Design

Andy Hullinger
Steve Jobs said, “Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” Teaching the fundamentals of coding too often starts with a frustrating on-boarding process, the many small insults of installing new and unfamiliar software, and the confusing minutiae of organizing files and folders just to prepare to begin to learn. Recently, I’ve had remarkable success teaching code-phobic students web design/development with a unique cloud-based web app that is equal parts software tool and social network — CodePen. Bring your laptops, no software nor skill required, and join me for a hands-on exploration of this programming playground. I’ll share my and my students’ discoveries, process, and methods for using CodePen to help break down barriers to access, remove obstacles to understanding, and light a spark for continued learning.

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Field Trips: Creating Meaningful Engagement in Distance Learning

Caroline Goldthorpe
The Museum Studies class “Origins and Issues” is entirely asynchronous and attracts students from all over the world. Since such classes traditionally take museum field trips, the challenge was to create similarly valuable experiences for distance learners. Each week we discuss origins and ethical issues related to a different type of museum: natural history, science, local history, or art, for example. The students’ assignment is to locate such a museum near them, conduct their own field trip, and post to the discussion board a critique of their visit, with photographs or video. This creates an unusually rich, multilayered learning experience, still part of the online class, but unshackled from the computer. Since the upgrade of the class this spring, we have also incorporated interactive maps of museums throughout the United States. Sending students out to participate in museums in their own area that they may not typically visit also creates an awareness for the whole class of museums that they may never have heard of, not only here, but in Brazil, Japan, or Qatar, with lively conversations between fellow students as they compare and contrast experiences. (A virtual tour is an option if a physical visit is not possible.)  View poster.

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Wisdom of the Team: Information Sharing and Collaboration Network

Jacqueline Ng & Noshir Contractor
This digital poster has two parts. First, we will show how visualization of discussion boards as network graphs changes how team members share information with each other. Second, we will show how normative messages (i.e., formal instructions) designed to improve information processing improve the evenness of participation and the completeness of information analysis in team discussions. We use social network analysis to inform our findings in both parts.  View poster.

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Mindful Pedagogy: The Right Tool for the Job

David Noffs & Jessica Mansbach
The School of Professional Studies offers an online master’s program in Information Design Strategy (IDS). One of the courses in the instructional design concentration is IDS 425: Learning Environment Design. In a class about learning design, modeling of thoughtful decisions about how technology supports learning outcomes is particularly important. IDS 425 is designed with an eye to practicing mindful pedagogy. We illustrate what we mean by mindful pedagogy by sharing an example: the use of Nebula as a tool for discussion about learning theories. The visual nature of Nebula models the learning theories being discussed and, in particular, shows students how online technology can and should be matched with the intent of online learning outcomes. We will discuss the affordances and constraints of Nebula. We will share students’ feedback about their experiences with Nebula in the context of a broader discussion about the application of mindful pedagogy in online instruction. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of carefully determining how to use a technology tool to support course learning outcomes, as opposed to using a technology tool because it is the easiest tool to manage in the LMS or because it is the newest tool on the market.  View poster.

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The Digital Federalist: Technology as Pedagogy in the Humanities

Susan Gaunt Stearns
What happens when you present undergraduates with a real problem in a humanities discipline and then give them the tools they need to (begin) to address it? In 2015, I asked an undergraduate class to figure out how they would explain the ratification of the Constitution to high school students via a student-designed website. The key feature of the course would be to create an “augmented” version of the Federalist Papers that could be used by a real-world audience to better understand the ideas and themes surrounding the Constitution’s writing and ratification. The task required students to engage in traditional library and text-based research activities and apply them in a new way, not only by learning about web design, but also by writing in various styles that were often far afield from the usual persuasive essay. Sounds great in theory — the only problem was, I did not know how to code. Nor did my students. We didn’t let that stop us, though, and neither should you.  View poster.

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Teaching STS Courses at NU-Q Using Audiovisual Materials and Tools

Anto Mohsin
This presentation recounts my experience teaching Science and Technology Studies courses over the past two years at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q). In general, I face two main challenges: how to introduce my unfamiliar discipline to undergraduate students and how to engage them with the course material. To address these issues, I have implemented two main strategies. The first approach is to use as many local examples as I can find. This includes showing Al Jazeera-produced documentaries to illustrate some of the assigned readings. Many students appreciate the use of these audiovisual materials in the classroom since they help them retain new information. My second strategy is to implement two new pedagogical techniques. One is to allow my students to audiovisually record their reading responses. Some of my students like the option to videotape their responses, and a few consistently do this as it is the most comfortable way for them to reflect on the readings. The other one is to assign a group project in which I select the members of each group. I received some insightful and frank comments indicating that the students’ fear of working with unfamiliar classmates on a group project turned out to be unfounded and that they welcomed the new experience.

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Using AWS Educate to Support Live Webcasting

Ilya Mikhelson
This presentation will demonstrate how Amazon Web Services (AWS) was used to implement a live video stream and additional back-end image processing within an Engineering System Design course. The purpose of this course is to give students an opportunity to create an electronic system from scratch — in this case, building a low-level camera out of individual components. The camera itself is not used for anything. The goal is just to make it functional. As an analogy, if I taught a course on assembling cars, the purpose of the class would not be to race, but rather to make a functional automobile. The goal is not to use the camera, but to learn how it works and, more importantly, how the underlying electronics and systems work. Using AWS adds more functionality to the camera, and its various functions can be leveraged to perform image processing or to stitch multiple frames together into a video recording. This greatly augments the functionality of the original webcam that the students build, making the project much more interesting and expandable.

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A Jury of Your Peers: Student Peer Reviews

Monica Llorente
Have you ever wanted students to review and comment on each other’s work, but you don’t know where to start? In this session, we will focus on how to design, implement, evaluate, and improve upon a student peer review process. The session will be interactive, and we hope you will come out of it with a clear road map (if you have not implemented peer reviews before) or concrete steps on how to improve your process (if you have previously used peer reviews). We welcome folks who have no experience in this area as well as those who are more advanced. We hope that by working together and sharing our experiences, we will learn even more from each other. Research has firmly demonstrated that people learn more from others at their own level of learning; students learn more effectively by having to give constructive feedback; weaker and stronger students benefit the same from getting feedback from weaker and stronger students; and students develop key critical thinking skills through peer reviews. Plus, peer reviews ease the grading pressure and load on the instructor, and grades involving these processes tend to be more reliable.

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Coding for Creatives: A Novel Approach to Teaching Web Design

Andy Hullinger
Steve Jobs said, “Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think.” Teaching the fundamentals of coding too often starts with a frustrating on-boarding process, the many small insults of installing new and unfamiliar software, and the confusing minutiae of organizing files and folders just to prepare to begin to learn. Recently, I’ve had remarkable success teaching code-phobic students web design/development with a unique cloud-based web app that is equal parts software tool and social network — CodePen. Bring your laptops, no software nor skill required, and join me for a hands-on exploration of this programming playground. I’ll share my and my students’ discoveries, process, and methods for using CodePen to help break down barriers to access, remove obstacles to understanding, and light a spark for continued learning.

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AWS Educate Consultation

Craig Dixon, AWS Educate
AWS Educate is Amazon Web Services’ program to help students learn cloud technology skills and help educators incorporate cloud concepts in the classroom. Attend this consultation session to find out about a promotional credit available only to participants at TEACHx so you can get started using AWS services at no cost. Additionally, learn how to launch a simple web application on AWS.

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Teaching and Learning in the IMC Online Program

Reginald C. Jackson, Judy U. Franks, Stephen Hersh, & Anthony Poidomani
The IMC Online Program is part of the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications Program. This session will give participants an opportunity to meet three faculty members who teach in the online program. These three faculty members also teach on-ground classes in the IMC program. They will speak to their experiences teaching online, comparing their teaching strategies in an online environment to those used in an on-ground setting and explaining the differences in student interaction when teaching online. They will also share some of their active engagement approaches for teaching online.

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Using Technology to Enhance Second Language Curriculum Development

Tasha Seago-Ramaly, Benay Stein, Ana Williams, & Anna Diakow
We will demonstrate how new learning technologies available through Canvas and other sources help students develop their proficiency in the target languages of Spanish and Portuguese. In learning another language, meaningful input and output in a global community is essential for proficiency growth and retention. With the implementation of new learning technologies, such as Arc, BlueJeans, and Yellowdig, the contact time in the target language is increased outside of the classroom and students engage in meaningful interactions, increasing cultural interest and heightening linguistic proficiency.

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Pair Research: Matching People for Collaboration, Learning, and Productivity

Haoqi Zhang
To increase productivity, informal learning, and collaborations within and across research groups, we have been experimenting with a new kind of interaction that we call pair research, in which members are paired up weekly to work together on each other’s projects. In this session, we will present our socio-technical system for coming together and pairing, demonstrate various use cases, and help you get set up to use pair research in your research labs and groups you are a part of. The pair research system is publicly available at http://pairresearch.io and available for use for free by anyone.

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Building Learning Communities with Yellowdig

Daniel A. Gruber
Inspired by students who have shared their hope for seeing more faculty use Yellowdig across campus, this session is designed to showcase the tool and its capabilities for teaching and learning. Yellowdig is here at Northwestern for the foreseeable future and is easily integrated into Canvas, which makes it an exciting time to have more faculty learn about how it works. Yellowdig creates a social media environment in any Canvas class and provides every student a digital voice in the course. The interactivity and visual nature of the platform reach students in a way that is similar to some of the technologies they use in other aspects of their lives. So how can faculty take “small wins” to think about what learning goal Yellowdig can help them enhance? This session will work toward that objective by explaining the technology, its capabilities, and how it creates learning communities both within the tool and in the classroom. Attendees will see Yellowdig in action and be able to ascertain its relevance for their teaching.

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Access a Collection of Digitized African Studies Digital Content

Richard Lepine
While studying and teaching African film studies over the years, I have made a number of digital captures of movies and music by converting VHS tapes; VCD, DVD, and Blu-ray discs; and YouTube and PBS web videos. As part of the Educational Technology Teaching Fellows (ETTF) program, my goal has been to curate and make accessible the digital content from various LMS-based courses I’ve offered during that time. (My first Blackboard site dated from 2003; I’ve used Canvas since the switch in 2015.) I’ve incorporated digital video and audio quotation from music recordings and documentary and feature films into all my LMS-based course designs. I present a digital poster that provides samples of different Canvas quizzes and assignments from courses that have involved this digital quotation process. The site also presents ongoing research projects that involve the archiving and analysis of films with Swahili and other African language soundtracks, as well as representative collections of the films and writings of Ousmane Sembene (Senegal) and Pier Paolo Pasolini (Italy). The digital poster site is intended to serve as a portal for requests from Northwestern University NetID users who wish to access this large database of digitized primary sources archived in folders on Box.  View poster.

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Using Multimedia Projects to Enhance Demonstrations and Peer Interaction

Kate Schultz, Roberto Lopez-Rosado, & Jessica Mansbach
This project was developed as part of the undergraduate online human anatomy class. As an alternative to an oral exam, students were asked to create multimedia submissions to synthesize their knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy and innervation and apply it to a functional activity of daily living. This poster presents a student activity that provides a unique opportunity for creativity and diversifies assessment strategies in a course that normally uses more traditional teaching and learning methods (e.g., lectures, exams, research papers). By selecting their own topics, students investigate movements that are relevant to their interests or hobbies. Additionally, this project gives students an opportunity for more face-to-face interaction in an online course. This video project also improves student-to-student interaction through peer review, as an introductory human anatomy course is not conducive to more common methods of peer-to-peer interaction like discussion. This type of assignment could be used in similar courses for meaningful student-to-student interaction as an alternative to discussion boards. Finally, this assignment allows students to practice using appropriate medical and anatomical terminology and simulates a potential clinical scenario they may encounter in multiple health care settings (e.g., demonstrating how movement occurs to a patient).  View poster.

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Creating Podcasts to Bring the Practice to the Classroom

Marianne Seiler
To support the new Master of Science in Predictive Analytics (MSPA) course on analytics consulting, we created a series of podcasts that provide commentary and guidance from individuals active in analytics consulting. Our podcasts are designed to help students understand how course concepts are applied in the day-to-day work of an analytics consultant. To further engage students, we recruited MSPA graduates who are currently practicing analytics consultants. We believe using graduates of the MSPA program has two advantages over using non-affiliated consultants or MSPA faculty: 1) it demonstrates to the students that individuals with profiles similar to theirs are finding success in consulting, and 2) the graduates are able to link MSPA program learnings to their current careers. View poster.

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Emphasizing Interpersonal Engagement in Seminar-Style Blended Courses

Derek Thurber, Alyssa Dyar, & Lois Calian Trautvetter
In Spring 2016, the Higher Education Administration program in the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) began offering a blended format, alternative schedule graduate certificate to broaden its reach to potential students who work in higher education but may be unable to participate in the traditional format. In developing the blended curriculum, we focused on maintaining high-quality interpersonal learning experiences within these graduate-level seminar courses. Examining student evaluation data from our first four courses, which ranged in size from 11 to 41 students, we looked at how student perceptions of peer-to-peer and peer-to-instructor interactions correlated with students’ overall satisfaction. We will share some of the strategies we employed in designing the blended learning experiences to promote interpersonal engagement, including decisions about 1) program format, 2) activities and tools used, 3) faculty development and ongoing support, and 4) student training.  View poster.

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Pair Research: Matching People for Collaboration, Learning, and Productivity

Haoqi Zhang
To increase productivity, informal learning, and collaborations within and across research groups, we have been experimenting with a new kind of interaction that we call pair research, in which members are paired up weekly to work together on each other’s projects. In this session, we will present our socio-technical system for coming together and pairing, demonstrate various use cases, and help you get set up to use pair research in your research labs and groups you are a part of. The pair research system is publicly available at http://pairresearch.io and available for use for free by anyone.

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Creative and Interactive Use of Video Clips in Language Teaching

Ingrid Zeller
This presentation will feature examples of the integration of Arc, PlayPosit, and the lightboard in language instruction and show how these tools can help students achieve linguistic and cultural proficiency in German. Participants will learn how the presenter uses Arc to help students work on presentation skills and pronunciation as they prepare for and ultimately give their own architectural tours. They will also become familiar with the exciting tool PlayPosit, which can be used to assess student comprehension regarding specific aspects of video clips from films or other media. Finally, the audience will have the opportunity to see how the lightboard can be used to teach grammatical points, as the presenter creates videos that can be accessed by interested students via the German Writing Center.

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Creating a Collaborative Virtual Space for a Student Capstone Project and Advisement

Anne Marie Adams & Amy J. Hauenstein
This session is designed for those in an advisory role who have students in a course that does not meet regularly. Participants will learn how to use various educational technologies to create a collaborative student-focused Canvas workspace designed to make the overall student/advisor experience more efficient and interactive. The session will include a 10-minute talk and a five-minute Q&A. Participants will leave with practical takeaways informed by the experiences of the Master of Science in Communication program over the past nine months.

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Digital Illustration and Video Tools

Laura Geringer
This session will provide an overview of video and media communication strategies, paired with easy-to-use mobile tools in a hands-on exploration. These strategies and tools introduce faculty and staff to new possibilities for their own use or as tools for alternative student assessments or communication projects.

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Diversity and Its Discontents: A Readers Theater for the Classroom

Charlene Blockinger, Aaron Bannasch, Brian Runo, & Duncan Moore
Readers Theater is a learning technique where students read scripts aloud in front of their classmates. No acting or staging is necessary; preparation is minimal. Because the words of the characters are spoken aloud, they have greater impact, and audience members are more engaged because they must use their imagination to visualize the scenes being described. After the presentation, students participate in directed discussion about what the characters had to say and how they felt about it. This learning technique, which is especially appropriate for theory-to-practice course designs, was recently used in a live classroom setting for a course on intercultural competency. The exercise, called “Diversity and Its Discontents: A Readers Theater for the Classroom,” presented the real-world stories of five people confronting the challenges of diversity and cross-cultural communication. The exercise was then transferred to an online setting, which presented several challenges to ensure it offered a similar degree of immediacy and impact as the live version. To gain an appreciation of both the technique and how technology was used to facilitate its online implementation, the session audience will participate in an abbreviated version of the exercise that employs some of the online production materials.

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Hands-on Mechatronics Education

Nick Marchuk
Mechatronics is the study of electromechanical systems, and courses in this area benefit greatly from hands-on projects and activities. Mechanical Engineering 333: Introduction to Mechatronics is a hybrid class with traditional lectures, online content, in-class demonstrations and activities, problem sets, and homework demonstrations by video. In this talk, I will explain how the Arc video tool is used in Canvas by students to turn in demonstrations of their projects. I will present student testimonials of how their video-taking process evolved over the quarter and suggest best practices for courses that might use similar techniques.

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Integrating Library Research Guides into the Canvas Course System

John Hernandez
Learn about an exciting University Library project to integrate library research guides directly into Canvas course sites. Librarians at Northwestern use LibGuides, a platform for creating useful research guides that highlight essential library research tools and resources, to support instruction and learning. While the guides have been widely praised for their helpfulness, students typically report very little knowledge of the existence of these guides. In an effort to put our research guides in front of more students’ eyes, University Library has partnered with Academic & Research Technologies to develop an automated process to match course content to appropriate research guides. This gives students more direct access right in their Canvas course sites to tools that will assist them in their work. A Learning Technologies Interoperability (LTI) tool is installed in Canvas to provide a connection between the course site and LibGuides to deliver the guide content seamlessly into the course site.

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Keynote — Social Media as a Tool for Inclusive Teaching: Creative Approaches to Difficult Dialogues


Marcia Chatelain, Georgetown University
Social media are often blamed for distracting our students and shortening attention spans, but educators should take a second look. In her presentation on using social media to extend the boundaries of the classroom, Georgetown University historian Marcia Chatelain will discuss how she has been able to tackle difficult dialogue in her classes with the help of digital platforms. Chatelain will also talk about #FergusonSyllabus, the Twitter campaign she launched in August 2014 to organize academics to respond to the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri.

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Marcia Chatelain’s Office Hours

Marcia Chatelain, Georgetown University
After Marcia Chatelain’s keynote, attend this consultation session to ask questions about her social media work to create a more inclusive classroom or to speak with her in depth about difficult conversations.

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Undergraduate Student Panel

Moderator: Andrew Rivers, Panelists: Billy Kobin, Allison Lu, Lauryn Solana Schmelzer, & Erica Snow
The undergraduate students on this panel will consider questions about how experimentation, innovation, and technology impact their learning experiences. When instructors try something new in the classroom, how do students react? What advice do undergraduate students have for faculty members who want to do something experimental in their teaching? What’s the best way to communicate with undergraduates? What do they expect of their instructors? Should laptops be banned from the classroom? Do students prefer physical textbooks or electronic texts? These topics and more will be the center of the undergraduate student panel.

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Graduate Student Panel

Moderator: Victoria Getis, Panelists: Benjamin Aspray, Gideon Cohn-Postar, Chelsea Galoni, & Sidra Hamidi
The graduate students on this panel will discuss their experiences with technology in the classroom and its impact on student learning. What technologies do they typically implement in the classes they teach, and what do they encounter as students? What roles and responsibilities do they have as TAs and instructors to implement technology? How do they best work with faculty to implement technology? What innovative approaches have they taken and what challenges have they encountered in using Canvas and other technologies to support student learning? These topics and more will be the center of the graduate student panel.

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Professional Student Panel

Moderator: Daniel A. Gruber, Panelists: Mma Afoaku, Ewa Glowik, Tasmeen Hussain, & Chris Rinere
There are a wide range of professional students at Northwestern — from students in traditional on-campus professional programs to part-time online students and everything in between. The professional students on this panel, who represent a sampling of this group, will consider questions about how experimentation, innovation, and technology impact their learning experiences. How do professors engage students in the classroom and online? Do students see a continuity between the way their field is being taught and how it is practiced? How do students connect with their peers, and what part of that is mediated by technology? These topics and more will be the center of the professional student panel.

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Teaching Students to Teach Themselves

Brandon Williams & Pam Daniels
We teach an introductory design course called Design Thinking and Doing within the Segal Design Institute at the McCormick School of Engineering. In our studio-based course, students from a wide variety of majors across campus work within teams to create solutions to opportunities that they uncover through design research. Because of the nature of the class, we play a dual role of both teaching and learning alongside the students. Students are encouraged to stretch themselves, try new things, and grow over the course of a quarter. One of the hallmarks of our course is Flex Focus. Each week, along with team project work, students select a personal learning focus and post it publicly. This can be anything that they find interesting related to the course (in this case, human-centered design). They are then responsible for spending at least two hours learning something new, applying what they’ve learned, and writing a one-page description of what they tried along with evidence of their increased understanding. We will discuss our use of self-directed learning and how it fits into the course curriculum along with the outcomes that we have experienced both directly related to coursework and through the personal growth of students.

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Teaching a Map of Ideas

Andrew Rivers
Science courses build from many concepts that are best explained through visual presentation — demonstrations, infographics, and images. Traditionally, theories are explained through a lecture format. Through production of short and engaging five-minute videos, I aim to reduce lecture time on these ideas, making room for more active engagement during class time. Due to software advances, short video production is easier and more accessible than ever. In this presentation, I will discuss my use of screen-flow and mind-map software to create short concept reviews, supplemental problem solutions, and conceptual overviews. I will also discuss my use of Arc, a Canvas tool for sharing video, which allows students and faculty to engage in online discussion.

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Leading a Double Life: How to Be an Adjunct Lecturer and Keep Your Day Job

Ed Jaffe
Adjunct professors often lead double lives. Professionals by day, professors by night. And weekends. And lunch breaks. And sometimes by day (but don’t tell our bosses). Ed Jaffe is no exception — by day, he is the strategy lead for the Watson Marketing group at IBM, and by night he teaches a core class in the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program. And not just any class, but a long-running class offline that, while effectively taught in its online format, wasn’t designed to meet the unique needs of online students. Ed will present his experiences as a first-time instructor who redesigned a class from the ground up to be delivered online. Additionally, he will discuss the highs, the lows, and the lessons learned from how he balanced his own double life without sacrificing great course design or student engagement.  View poster.

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Learning from Online Water Cooler Conversations

Jeff Merrell & Kimberly Scott
We will share insights from our five years of experience using an enterprise social networking system (ESN) to promote participation and learning within the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) program. We will explain what an ESN is, highlighting key features that may be available in other educational technologies used by faculty and program administrators. We will also share our journey to foster a community of inquiry using the system’s online, informal learning spaces, along with results from our published study that describes the affordances of enterprise social networking systems. Finally, we will explore how student learning and participation may be influenced by certain aspects of an ESN, including the role of a community manager and the use of system features to support “above the course” discussions.  View poster.

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Curating German 203 Using Canvas

Denise Meuser
I will share the discussion assignments in Canvas that I added to my German 203 course. It is a third-year language course that focuses on improving reading and writing, but I also wanted to create community and opportunities for speaking for the students. The course introduces students to the “Kaiserreich,” or German Empire (1872-1918), and the modern art movements of the time. It also incorporates experiential learning, so we visit the Art Institute of Chicago and the Block Museum and take a field trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum during the quarter. Requiring discussion posts and the creation of a webpage in course assignments allowed me to gather the students’ work into an accessible public forum. Canvas helped to curate the turn-of-the-century artworks, objects, and artists that students had researched or viewed in the museum.  View poster.

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Language Without Limits: An App for Language Learning and Assessment

Daniel Tucker
Today’s app-driven world presents both challenges and opportunities in language education. Here, I focus on the opportunities by demonstrating how an app-based course experience can enrich a traditional academic language teaching context. In addition, I show how an app can integrate quantitative assessment methods and how these assessments can be visualized for students and instructors alike. To showcase the enriched course experience and quantitative methods I describe here, I will provide a demo of the app in real time, as well as summaries of user experience data to illustrate how the app is used by a current student population. I will also describe current experimental e-learning activities that are being piloted on this app and (if available) the tentative results of these experimental modules. Lastly, I will briefly touch on the present directions this learning model is taking and its applications to teaching pronunciation and proficiency test preparation.  View poster.

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Reimagining Imagining the Internet: Fiction, Film, and Theory

Jillana Enteen
Join an exploration of Gender Studies 374: Imagining the Internet: Fiction, Film, and Theory. The course, a distribution requirement for undergraduates, draws students from a broad range of majors. In previous years, students asserted they already “knew” internet culture and communication. Enteen’s revised experiential class form, with hands-on activities, successfully upended students’ refusal to explore their knowledge and assumptions. Conducted in a multimedia lab, students learned by using Canvas’s Arc video annotation tool to livestream their reactions to film clips; designing games that explored how content stems from gendered, raced, and location/nation-related axes; making videos exploring their connections with technological devices; and crafting Canvas pages for presentations. Enteen will demo the Arc tool and share other experiential learning strategies such as Activities and Student Page Presentations.

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How I Brought Chefs from Around the World into My Class with BlueJeans

Rifka Cook & Jonathan Diehl
Why learn about a country’s cuisine from a book when you can experience it firsthand and speak directly with the chefs who are shaping their culinary culture? During the presentation part of this session, I will explain how I brought chefs from around the world into my class using BlueJeans to speak with my students, letting them interact and ask questions about the culture’s food and its preparation in the target language, Spanish. The students not only spoke with the culinary experts but also got to create some of the culture’s food using the Global Kitchen. Stick around afterward for a hands-on session where you will learn how you can start using BlueJeans in your Canvas course. Participants are encouraged to bring their computers with them.

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Use of Personal Response Systems in Various Academic Fields

Emma Tevaarwerk DeCosta, Jonathan D. Emery, Owen P. Priest, & William J. White
This session will consist of a panel of instructors who have recently used a personal response system, some who are new to them and some who are experienced in using them in their teaching. To begin, each panelist will reflect on why they chose to use a personal response system in their teaching and what they hoped to achieve in using the system. This will be followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. Then, each panelist will present for three minutes on two slides, in which they describe the implementation and results of using their classroom response system; this will again be followed by 10 minutes of Q&A.

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Working Stories: Audio Interviews in the Field Study Classroom

Liz McCabe & Nina A. Wieda
Students doing internships while taking courses through the Chicago Field Studies Program in the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences have been recording interviews with people in their fields — asking them about their work and its meaning in their lives — and then creating short audio stories from the interviews. This presentation will showcase the “Working Stories” online archive built to exhibit the students’ audio stories and offer tips for executing audio interview projects with students in any class. “Working Stories” is supported by a Digital Learning Fellowship from the Office of the Provost.

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Reimagining Imagining the Internet: Fiction, Film, and Theory

Jillana Enteen
Join an exploration of Gender Studies 374: Imagining the Internet: Fiction, Film, and Theory. The course, a distribution requirement for undergraduates, draws students from a broad range of majors. In previous years, students asserted they already “knew” internet culture and communication. Enteen’s revised experiential class form, with hands-on activities, successfully upended students’ refusal to explore their knowledge and assumptions. Conducted in a multimedia lab, students learned by using Canvas’s Arc video annotation tool to livestream their reactions to film clips; designing games that explored how content stems from gendered, raced, and location/nation-related axes; making videos exploring their connections with technological devices; and crafting Canvas pages for presentations. Enteen will demo the Arc tool and share other experiential learning strategies such as Activities and Student Page Presentations.

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Effects of Unusual Quizorials Used to Flip a Classroom

Suzan van der Lee
The concepts of online tutorials and quizzes were mixed into an online learning resource (quizorials). These formed the main resource in a scientific computing course in Fall 2015. Canvas’s analytics and other feedback were used to modify the content of the quizorials, which were used again in Fall 2016. Some components were also used in an online summer short course. Students from both fall quarter courses created individual final course projects and are being surveyed about the course format’s effectiveness. This presentation summarizes course design, student behavior and projects, teacher experience, and survey results.

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How I Brought Chefs from Around the World into My Class with BlueJeans

Rifka Cook & Jonathan Diehl
Why learn about a country’s cuisine from a book when you can experience it firsthand and speak directly with the chefs who are shaping their culinary culture? During the presentation part of this session, I will explain how I brought chefs from around the world into my class using BlueJeans to speak with my students, letting them interact and ask questions about the culture’s food and its preparation in the target language, Spanish. The students not only spoke with the culinary experts but also got to create some of the culture’s food using the Global Kitchen. Stick around afterward for a hands-on session where you will learn how you can start using BlueJeans in your Canvas course. Participants are encouraged to bring their computers with them.

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MUST (Memorizing-Understanding Synchronizing Tool)

Alberto Cusi
Classes include concepts that must be understood and terms that have to be memorized — for example, gravitational theory must be understood, but the names of the planets have to be memorized. But rarely do teachers make this explicit. While redesigning his course, Cusi made the types of learning more transparent. He tailored the course’s activities to the type of learning. He flipped the course, asking students to learn basic terms outside the classroom. Cusi created what he calls a “Knowledge Tank” within his Canvas course. Students access this to learn definitions and descriptions. Then, students take formative, low-stakes quizzes via clickers. The Knowledge Bank allows the class to spend more time on challenging case studies and in-depth discussions. Another addition to the course is a personalized learning experience. Each student selects a few subjects that are of particular interest, and then they read about their chosen subjects in greater depth and take a unique quiz based on that reading. The course is improved by matching teaching strategies to the type of content and thereby allowing more time to be spent on concepts that require more critical thinking. Personalized learning has also been added, which should motivate students, allowing them more control.  View poster.

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The Mechanisms for Teaching Innovation

Daniel A. Gruber
This short talk will encourage attendees to view the opportunities for the integration of on-campus and online learning using a common theme of innovation. It will include a framework that introduces the presenter’s perspective on the mechanisms for innovation in higher education that attendees can utilize for thinking about their teaching and experimentation with technology.

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Student-Driven MedEd in the Digital Age: The SynapseGarden Trial

Tasmeen Hussain
In medicine, the mastery of skills is contingent on practice. As a result, medical education focuses on early clinical exposure, standardized patient encounters, and detailed United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) preparation. However, medical students still lack practice materials in one particular aspect of their education: institution-specific written exams. As medical students ourselves, we needed a way to reinforce the medical information we learned each day. To this end, we built SynapseGarden, a web-based question bank for Feinberg School of Medicine students and faculty. On our platform, students can write questions, take tests, and flag questions for quality control. It is organized by topic, module, and lecture to be easily accessible for quick review or longer practice sessions. To date, our site has grown to 204 active users and 165 questions with 1,156 tests taken. As the database grows, new medical students can access questions from past years and may also add new questions to the bank. Based on the early success and continued interest in SynapseGarden, we are exploring how to make it a more effective teaching tool. While still in its infancy, SynapseGarden provides a unique avenue for medical students to seek and share medical knowledge in the digital age.

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Yellowdig for Research Skills

Sureshi M. Jayawardene
Last quarter, students in my capstone course used Yellowdig to curate a set of additional resources based on the course topics. This activity was tied to the overall class participation grade, and I envisioned this resource list evolving with relevant contemporary material to supplement the course materials. This wasn’t quite how it turned out. Yellowdig motivated students to post and engage one another outside of class regularly, and they earned points weekly. This engagement drew attention to the usefulness, relevance, insight, and contentions of the content they posted. Their posts were informative and interesting and never duplicated. Some posts ended up as sources in students’ final papers, while other posts inspired final paper topics! By the end of winter quarter, we had a solid archive of artifacts related to the topic of slavery from a global and relational perspective. So, integrating Yellowdig was successful in a sense. It also revealed was how little seniors who have nearly completed programs and are ready to graduate know about the library’s wealth of resources. This quarter, the Yellowdig assignment is supported by a more purposeful and deliberate relationship with the library to bridge the gap between co-created learning spaces online and physical resources.

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Folk Folksonomies: Studying the Folk Music Revival Through Digital History

Michael J. Kramer
Since 2012, Michael J. Kramer has taught Digitizing Folk Music History, a research seminar co-listed in History, American Studies, and Humanities. In this presentation, he shares how students conduct original research on the history of the U.S. folk music revival through digital tactics of investigation and analysis. Some of these harness much celebrated aspects of computational technology — increased access to vast troves of digitized artifacts and resources, big data approaches, blended online and face-to-face learning environments, “distant reading” of texts through computational and statistical analysis — but just as often the course uses the digital domain to reinvigorate traditional, core historical activities, such as close reading through annotation and table building; deeper investigations of artifacts through creative remixing and glitching tactics; explorations of chronology and spatial relations through digital timeline and map building; and new experiments in multimedia narrative and design-as-argument. The digital approach to historical research works against the typical language of digital disruption: We use the digital to slow down rather than speed up, revive, recover, and revisit, as well as advance, alter, and adjust. The course puts the folk back in folksonomies, those tag clouds that are so ubiquitous online.

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