Quick Course Diagnostic Review – October 2019

October was a busy month for educational development at the CFC for Excellence in Teaching and Learning as we provided one of our primary teaching and learning services: a Quick Course Diagnostic for 16 different courses across the university with class sizes ranging from under 18 to over 200 and faculty in every stage of their career. It can be hard to know how to meet your students where they are at. Sometimes the only indication there is a problem can be an apparent lack of engagement in the classroom or poor performance on assignments. Is this the student? Is it the course? Is it the teacher? It can be hard to tell, which is why the Coulter Faculty Commons offers a Quick Course Diagnostic in the middle of every semester. The QCD helps to peel back the layers of course design, student motivation, etc… to find out where a change can happen to make the course meet the needs of the students. 

Whenever faculty request a QCD, a team from the CFC comes to visit the classroom to collect data from the students. In an anonymous survey, students rank their course experience from best to worst and describe why they made their selection. As might be expected, most courses end up somewhere in the middle of the scale with an average score just slightly above a 3.5 on a scale of 1-5. One of the reasons these courses tend to score above average is that the faculty who ask for the QCD are the kind of teachers who are responsive to the needs of their students, who want to learn, and who are willing to adapt in order to create a high-quality learning environment.  

Student insights range from observations about testing, reading load, clarity of assignments, accessibility of the professor, and even systematic issues that go beyond the individual classroom. It is no surprise that students usually know more than they let on and are very happy for the chance to contribute to the value of their learning experience. Often their reports align with hunches the professor already had, but now there is real data to work with and the CFC can partner with the faculty to develop creative solutions to learning challenges that are now clearly defined.  

In addition to describing their experience with the course, its content, the activities, readings, tests, technology, etc., students indicate what they are doing to contribute to their own success and imagine what they could do to support their own learning more effectively. Studies have shown that taking just a few minutes to reflect on their participation in the learning process helps students to recognize that education is a partnership between faculty and students, and many times this question by itself can help to increase engagement with learning (Hurney, Harris, Prins, & Kruck, 2014). 

After the data collection process is complete, another team at the CFC transfers the information into a digital format, runs some statistical tests, and performs a basic qualitative analysis of student responses. We take hundreds of pieces of data collected from your classroom and transform it into useful charts, insights, and suggestions for how you can take another step toward excellence in teaching and learning All of this folds into a report for the faculty that includes a selection of the data alongside key recommendations from the educational development team at the CFC. When the report is ready, the faculty and the education specialist from the CFC meet to review the results and explore potential strategies for moving forward. 

In March we will be offering 12-16 faculty the chance to participate in a quick course diagnostic. These weeks represent the midpoint of the semester, which gives you a chance to revisit your course design and facilitation strategy and make some changes mid-semester. If you think you will be interested in this service, reserve your space today by submitting a few details about your spring course using the link below. 



Hurney, C. A., Harris, N. L., Prins, S. C. B., & Kruck, S. E. (2014). The Impact of a Learner-Centered, Mid-Semester Course Evaluation on Students. The Journal of Faculty Development; Stillwater, 28(3), 55–61. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1696856596/abstract/58BDCD459BA472EPQ/1 



SiTL 2019 recap

On December 2, about a dozen faculty from across the university joined the Coulter Faculty Commons team for a SiTL appreciation lunch. In case you haven’t seen the acronym before, SiTL stands for the Summer Institute for Teaching and Learning, which is hosted every year the first or second week after finals end in May. Faculty attend this gathering to learn about new teaching methods, tackle changing technology, and get help with course design/redesign for the upcoming year.

It’s a good time to bring all your ideas questions from the semester into a lively community of growing scholars, teachers, and experts in learning, technology, and research. 

The SiTL experience includes a variety of sessions along with opportunities for networking or solo working on ideas you want to implement in your own teaching. Depending on your needs and interests, you can choose from a variety of short sessions, or join a more in-depth training that extends over several days of the event. Faculty feedback indicates a value for the option and variety, but also notes the benefit of a more focused track, which allows space in between sessions to reflect and apply what you’ve been learning.  

Last year the summer institute included a focused track on Team Based Learning (TBL), which was hosted by a cross-disciplinary team of faculty from physical therapy, nursing, nutrition, parks and rec, and social work. At the end of three days, faculty were excited and equipped to bring this model to their fall courses. 

More important than what happens at SiTL, though, is what happens afterward. The stories faculty told at the lunch meeting about student engagement and performance are the reason the CFC hosts this event for faculty every year. Some of the faculty who implemented Team Based Learning after this event are seeing the highest levels of student engagement in twenty years!  

Next month, we will share more details on Team Based Learning and how it has transformed the teaching experience for at least two faculty members at WCU. Meanwhile, if you’re curious about what’s in store for SiTL 2020, visit our event page from 2019 to get an idea of what will be on offer and then be sure you are subscribed to our newsletter for the latest updates and details. More information will be coming soon.  

Upcoming Panopto 2020 Update

Behavior changes and new features

Settings updates

The following settings have changed in this release:

  • Enable Embed Options UI in Embedded Session Picker — This setting controls whether the Embed Options UI is shown in the embedded session chooser, which users see when embedding Panopto videos within LMS and CMS integrations. This feature is turned ON by default.
  • Recycle bin available to non-admin users — This setting controls whether the Recycle Bin is available to all creators in addition to administrators. This feature is turned ON by default.

  • Email video deleter on restore — Setting used to enable email notification to the user who deleted a video when it is restored from the recycle bin. The email will contain a link to the video and information on who restored the video. This feature is turned ON by default.

  • Enable video preview — This setting controls whether the “Preview Mode” button is shown to users. When a user switches to preview mode, they can choose to watch videos in-line, within the session list or to launch videos in a new tab. This feature is currently in beta and it is OFF by default.

  • Allow Powerpoint downloads and external links — Specifies whether Powerpoint and Keynote downloads or other external links can be shown in the viewer.  When enabled, content creators can choose to make their slides available for download. This feature is ON by default.

  • Sort “Shared With Me” page by “Shared date” — This setting changes the default sort order for the “Shared with Me” page to list videos by the date they were shared, with most recent shares first. This feature is currently in beta and is OFF by default.

Show “Go to Parent Folder” button in Embedded Session List page — This setting controls whether the “Go up to parent” button appears within the embedded session list page, allowing easier navigation into, and out of, subfolders.

Beta Features coming in 2020…

A few Beta features not yet ready for production are currently being tested on our staging server.

  • Panopto Web (BETA) — Users can record multi-stream videos from their browser without installing any plugins or client software. Recordings can capture multiple audio and video sources, as well as entire screens, specific apps, and Chrome tabs. While we continue to gather beta feedback, this feature will only be available to site administrators. Initially, it will be supported only in Chrome and Chromium-based browsers. This feature will be enabled for only admin users when in Beta but can be turned off from site-settings.

  • Video Preview (BETA) — Users will be able to preview videos when browsing and searching in Panopto’s list interfaces, so they can find critical information faster. The new preview mode allows users to watch their videos in-line wherever they are without having to go to a different tab. If they choose to, they can still open the video in a new tab or watch it as full-screen. If the preview mode is off, then the behavior for watching any videos is unchanged. The preview mode will allow users to more efficiently browse and search for videos, so they can access relevant information faster. This feature is an opt-out feature but the preview mode is off for each user till they decide to turn it ON for themselves. Admins can also choose to turn off the entire feature using a site-setting.

  • Slack Integration (BETA) — Users will be able to search for Panopto videos from directly within the Slack app and share them with channels and direct messages with just one click. If you would like to join the beta for this integration, please contact Panopto support.