UPDATED LOCATION! WCU welcomes Keynote Speaker, Dr. Kevin Gannon for Teaching & Learning Day

Join us in person for a day of learning and discussion on Inclusive Pedagogy!

When: Teaching & Learning Day, is scheduled for Friday, August 13, 2021.

Where: Forsyth 101

Date: Aug 13, 2021

Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Dr. Kevin Gannon, author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto and a frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Higher education, will present the keynote, A Pedagogy of Hope for the Post-Pandemic ‘Normal’.

Following the keynote, he will facilitate an interactive workshop on Inclusive Pedagogy from Theory to Practice. We will reassemble in the afternoon to gather in small groups to explore what Inclusive Pedagogy looks like in our teaching.

This event is sponsored by the Coulter Faculty Commons, Hunter Library, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs.

 

WCU welcomes Keynote Speaker, Dr. Kevin Gannon for Teaching & Learning Day

Join us in person for a day of learning and discussion on Inclusive Pedagogy!

When: Teaching & Learning Day, is scheduled for Friday, August 13, 2021.

Where: Forsyth 101

Date: Aug 13, 2021

Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Dr. Kevin Gannon, author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto who will present the keynote, A Pedagogy of Hope for the Post-Pandemic ‘Normal’.  Following the keynote, he will facilitate an interactive workshop on Inclusive Pedagogy from Theory to Practice. We will reassemble in the afternoon to gather in small groups to explore what Inclusive Pedagogy looks like in our teaching.

This event is sponsored by the Coulter Faculty Commons, Hunter Library, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs.

 

Canvas Implementation Core Integrations

One of the reasons that WCU chose Canvas was for the shift in student engagement and consumption of media using mobile devices.  The best way to design your courses is, of course, using your computer, but your students will appreciate efforts to make the course more engaging, immediate, and easy to access. 

Canvas has two apps for smart devices, the Canvas Student App, and the Canvas Teacher App. As an instructor, you will use the teacher app most of the time.  It will allow you to do many of the things that you can do in the full web-browser but will be more accessiblePilot faculty report that using the Speed-grader function on their tablets is especially convenient. With the Teacher app you can keep track of the progress of your course and interact with students. 

Most instructors will also want to download the Canvas Student App if only for the fact that when the Teacher app is accessing a common element with both Apps, it will open the student app to give the most accurate representation of the student’s view. 

At WCU, the Panopto video storage and streaming platform is also integrated into Canvas and for full video functionality both you and your students should download the Panopto app. In the same manner downloading, installing, and logging into your Microsoft Outlook App, the Microsoft Teams App, and the Microsoft OneDrive App will add even more functionality to both of your Canvas Apps. 

Canvas Teacher App

Canvas Teacher App

Canvas ToDo List

Canvas ToDo List

Settings in the Canvas App

Settings

Canvas Speedgrader on IPad or Tablet

Canvas SpeedGrader on IPad or Tablet 

 

App Capabilities and Limitations 

With the Canvas Teacher App, You Can:

    • View Your Course Materials 
    • Email Students 
    • Email Photos and Audio Clips to Your Students from Your Phone
    • Do basic grading of Assignments, Quizzes, Tests and Discussions 
    • Add simple text pages to existing Canvas modules 
    • Create spontaneous non-graded group discussions 

Your students can use the App to:

    • Send and reply to course messages 
    • Record and submit short audio and video clips to discussions and assignments 
    • Attach files to discussions and assignments from devices and from OneDrive (if installed) 
    • Take quizzes (low stakes – will not work with Respondus Lockdown or Monitor)

Meeting students where they live often encourages deeper engagement with subject matter.

In Canvas you can encourage the use of mobile apps to help the students:

  • Remain engaged with your course and activities 
  • Get reminders of due dates and upcoming meetings 
  • Access course material in a variety of environments 
  • Remain more organized and use their time and resources wisely 

While the basic Canvas layout and the full use of Canvas tools like the calendar, the syllabus tool, and modules will help make your Canvas course more mobile friendly, there are ways to improve it more.  A travel or experiential learning class, for example, might want to adjust all the online material in such a way that it could all be accomplished on cell phones. 

Canvas has a special guide for optimizing courses for mobile work. 

We also urge faculty to use caution when using the app to build courses.  It is best to start on a full computer browser.  The app does not allow you to create quizzes or exams, to add graded discussions, to create a module or group, or to create or modify a rubric

DOWNLOAD APPS

Download and Install the Canvas Teacher App on Your Phone and/or Tablet iPhone/iPad, Android
Download and Install the Canvas Student App on Your Phone and/or Tablet iPhone/iPad, Android
Download and Install the Newest Panopto App on Your Phone and/or Tablet iPhone/iPad, Android
Download and Install the Newest MS Outlook App on Your Phone and/or TabletiPhone/iPad, Android
Download and Install the Newest Microsoft Teams App on Your Phone and/or TabletiPhone/iPad, Android

Encourage your students to download the Student App, the Panopto App, the Zoom and/or MS Teams App, and the OneDrive app for full functionality. 


 

There are Additional Training Courses About Mobile Apps available in the Canvas Training Services Portal which is available under the help tab in the WCU Canvas environment. 

Training Courses About Mobile Apps-Training Services Portal

Banerjee, Robert. The Effect of Mobile Apps on Academic Success. (2019, March 7). EdTech Digesthttps://www.edtechdigest.com/2019/03/07/the-effect-of-mobile-apps-on-academic-success/

How does this align to Canvas training materials?

Canvas logoPriming the Canvas: Module 6 “Structuring the Course”

 


Additional Resources:

Our next article will highlight Rubrics in Canvasvisit Canvas Blog to see all our Canvas articles. 

Lessons Learned: Back to School in the Time of COVID-19

Author – Lisa Bloom is the Jay M. Robinson Distinguished Professor at Western Carolina University where she has been a member of the faculty since 1989. Her current research interests include using technology to personalize learning environments and to promote creative and critical thinking, problem-based learning, culturally responsive teaching, and the social and emotional well-being of children. She is the author of Classroom Management: Creating Positive Outcomes for All Students published by Pearson, as well as numerous journal articles related to her research interests. She teaches both online and face to face courses in instructional technology, classroom management, and creative and critical thinking.

Navigating Engagement for Online Meetings

I’ve learned through the COVID crisis that I have amazing colleagues at WCU who don’t let a pandemic keep them from prioritizing student learning. Even so, the pandemic has brought some challenges to our instruction. Moving typically face-to-face classes to online and hybrid formats and navigating remote class meetings hasn’t been easy. In August, I sent a survey asking faculty to share their creative ideas and solutions for pandemic instruction as well as their questions and concerns. In addition, a small group of faculty has been meeting weekly to problem solve and share ideas. I want to share a snippet of the strategies that have emerged and invite your input where challenges remain.


Strategies for Negotiating Zoom

Zoom’s Breakout rooms have been a source of frustration for many because of the difficulty with pre-assigning groups. If there’s no need to strategize team membership, the automatic group assignment randomly put students into breakout rooms. However, for pre-assigned groups, if students use the Zoom link, the assignments will disappear.

Some of us became accustomed to sending students links for our zoom rooms. For pre-assignments to function students must log into Zoom with their WCU Zoom account and the meeting id instead of entering through the link for the professor’s Zoom meeting

As an alternative, Dr. Adrienne Stuckey came up with a creative solution. She has students change their user name to start with the letter she assigned based on the breakout room she wants them in. Think Aardvark Nan or Bobcat Derek. In this way, she can arrange students in strategic groupings by quickly transferring all the students that start with A to the A room, B to the B room, and so forth. Providing students with a set of easy to follow directions for changing a Zoom name allows this method of breakout room assignment to work efficiently.

Personally, I’ve found it difficult to monitor a large group of students on Zoom. Faculty have debated whether it is best to ask students to have cameras on or off during Zoom meetings. There are pros and cons to each side. Perhaps if delivering a lecture, cameras off is sufficient. But for active discussion, I found that cameras on as optional added an intolerable level of discomfort. Students were less likely to ask questions and add to the discussion. Hence, I ensured students had a quiet place on campus to access Zoom during our meeting time. I learned that not only were there conducive spots on campus, but a room had also been set aside at my class time for students to access Zoom. With this information, I then asked students to go to one of those locations on campus or an appropriate place in their own apartments and dorms to be ready to have cameras on. What an improvement!

In addition to my new cameras on policy, I asked students to sign up for roles, including class manager and note taker. The manager keeps time, monitors the zoom text chat for questions and comments, and watches for students raising their hands. Hence, I can devote full attention to the discussion and learning activities without the added stress of monitoring the screen. Similarly, a note-taker who uses a shared document to make notes of important points that arise during class discussions allows students to more fully engage rather than diverting attention to their notebooks. Roles rotate so that all students take their turn at each.


Dynamic Instructional Videos

Dr. Candy Noltensmeyer makes instructional videos using her smartphone, laptop connected to her TV, and a circular light. She displays a PowerPoint on the TV screen. The circular light aids with lighting and visibility. The PowerPoint then becomes her backdrop as she uses her smartphone to video herself narrating the PowerPoint. She keeps the narration informal and lively. She loads her instructional videos directly to her You-tube channel for easy student access.

Dr. Niall Michelson uses Numerade. This free online education platform provides access to a wide range of previously recorded lessons and a platform to create videos on any topic.

The tool provides the ability to track student engagement and offer lesson recaps.


Other Tools

Instructors are finding useful tech tools and apps for supplementing and facilitating remote learning. Dr. Kristy Doss uses Microsoft Teams for her students to collaborate on class assignments. She says that Teams “Provides a platform for easy and quick communication, a collaborative place to express opinions and explore ideas that are a tad easier to access and navigate than the Blackboard discussion forums.”

Other tools and strategies for student access and engagement in course content mentioned in the survey include lockbox activities, Zoom jigsaw, case studies, online simulations, home lab kits, home art kits, mini-lecture videos, and mini-quizzes.


Flipped Classrooms

For hybrid classes, many faculty such as Dr. Pam Buskey are using the flipped classroom concept where students access and learn content prior to class. Face-to-face time is then used for clarification and discussion. An anonymous survey respondent said, “I have split 3 of my courses into cohorts of 7-8 students, and my 4th course in half. Despite social distancing guidelines, I don’t believe that my classrooms can safely hold 25 students at a time. I will be performing a flipped classroom model, in which my students learn at home asynchronously and come to class to discuss their process, engage in peer feedback, get one-on-one instruction from me, and otherwise engage in an in-person community. Away from class, students will utilize Microsoft Teams for ongoing discussion and peer support.”


Concerns and Lingering Questions

Amongst faculty concerns are students who disengage and do not complete home assignments, keeping ourselves from being overwhelmed, the difficulty of demonstrating clinical skills online, too much screen time for students and faculty, dealing with students who fall ill, and the uncertainty of what spring term will bring.

One of the survey respondents reminds us of the need to take care of our own emotional well-being. Yoga and other exercise options can certainly help. Equally as important to ensure that we all flourish during these difficult times are the camaraderie, and support that comes from engaging with our colleagues. No one has all the answers, yet there are many untapped possibilities and innovative solutions that we can share.

If you are interested in sharing your ideas, solutions, or seeking support or solutions for your concerns, please join the Teaching Innovation Group on Microsoft Teams at https://teams.microsoft.com/l/team/19%3a36a11d49a475436dac08dbbcbc09d05c%40thread.skype/conversations?groupId=4e777b88-66fa-4d31-b002-b9118b09e714&tenantId=c5b35b5a-16d5-4414-8ee1-7bde70543f1b. If you are interested in attending meetings of the Teaching Innovation Group contact Lisa Bloom at Bloom@wcu.edu. I invite you to join one or both options.

Professional Development Grant: Upcoming Deadline

Established in 2012, this grant supports the strategic mission of WCU by providing funds for faculty and instructional staff to pursue professional development opportunities in areas such as teaching and learning, scholarship, leadership, certification, accreditation, assessment, and other related areas. This program replaces and expands upon two former grant programs: Microgrants and Provost Instructional Improvement Grants. Maximum Award: $1,000.

Deadlines for 2020-2021 Submission are September 25, 2020 / January 29, 2021 / March 26, 2021

View the application and guidelines

Faculty Can Register for Video-Conference Mid-Semester Course Analysis

Videoconference with laptop

Coulter Faculty Commons facilitating a mid-semester course analysis with students.

Faculty may now schedule Coulter Faculty Commons staff for a mid-semester course analysis for a fall course.

The Quick Course Diagnosis (QCD) takes about 20 minutes and helps faculty better understand challenges their students are facing with content, pacing, performance, and student behavior.

All fall 2020 QCDs will be conducted during a regularly scheduled class time which occurs in any video-conferencing software (Bb Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom) during the weeks of September 21 – 25, and September 28 – October 3.

For the fall 2020 term, we have capacity to visit 12 classes, and scheduling is first-come, first-serve.

Faculty may schedule through a Qualtrics link.

The process generates student insights about the course, teacher, and student behavior, ranging 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.

This year, the Coulter Faculty Commons developed a video that explains the process more fully; it can shared with students ahead of time prior to the virtual class visit, so students understand what is expected.

To Learn More:
Text-based information about the QCD
Video for sharing with students prior to virtual course visit

To Schedule (first-come, first-serve):
Register for the QCD

Dr. Eli Collins-Brown
Dr. Terry Pollard
Mr. John Hawes
Coulter Faculty Commons