MARYGROVE COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
Volume 3, Issue 2
The Marygrove Monitor Visit us on the web! www.marygrove.edu/ets
Emerging Technologies Collaboration Webs As the typical educator’s network of contacts has grown to include colleagues who might live and work across the country, or anywhere on the globe, it has become common for people who are not physically located near each other to collaborate on projects.
STIC FIGURES 22 computers in the STIC have increased memory, WindowsXP and MS Office 2007 software.
Collaboration no longer calls for expensive equipment and specialized expertise. Development in two key areas, however, have resulted in tools that are now quite inexpensive and often free. These tools require no special installation or setup, are designed to be used within a web browser, produce materials that can be easily shared and offer a convenience
25 alumni have returned for free computer training.
Inside this issue:
Student Tech Talk
Student Tech Talk
What’s new in Office 2007Excel
Teaching and Learning Online
Microsoft Office 2007 has come to Marygrove, and it’s spreading fast. The up-to-date versions of the Office Programs have a different look and feel to them. And each one has some fresh features to help you produce smarter-looking documents with less effort. In the second of three columns covering the latest innovations of the most widely used Microsoft Office applications, we explore some of the new and improved features of the popular spreadsheet program, Excel 2007.
and flexibility that can make virtual collaborations both simple and highly productive. The first area of development is in straightforward tools that allow people to break work into small easy-to-accomplish pieces that a team of people can work on together or in parallel. Website suites like Zoho Office (www.zoho.com) and Google Docs (docs.google.com) offer the most common features without the need to buy or install any software. The second area of development has been in the area of collaborative workspaces. Collaborative workspaces are “places” where groups of people gather resources or information related to their personal or professional lives.
New Limits on Rows and Columns Excel 2007 worksheets can accommodate up to 1,000,000 rows and 16,000 columns! Office Themes A theme (a predefined set of colors, fonts, lines, and fill effects) can be applied to an individual chart or table, or to an entire workbook to create attractive, professional-looking documents. Resizable Formula Bar The formula bar automatically resizes to accommodate longer formulas so they do not cover the other data in your worksheet.
The beauty of collaboration webs is that they make it easy for people to share interests and ideas, work on joint projects and easily monitor collective progress. For examples of and to learn more about collaboration webs look at the following sites: www.melbourne2051.com, combines traditional writing with digital storytelling, www.techcrunch.com/2007/07/ 24/9-ways-to-build-your-ownsocial-network, describes nine tools that can be used to build collaborative workspaces.♦ By Gwen A. Little
Table Header Rows Header rows can be turned on and off. When the headers are displayed, they stay with the data in the table columns, even when you move around in a long table. New Look for Charts New easy-to-use tools help you create more effective charts. The new options for charts include special effects such as 3-D, transparency, and soft shadows. (Continued on page 4)
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Faculty Spotlight The Faculty Spotlight section of The Marygrove Monitor is a place to highlight the innovative ways in which Marygrove faculty are using technology in their courses. In this issue, the Spotlight will focus on Jane Hammang-Buhl, Dean of Professional Studies.
I’ve been fascinated by YouTube….I still can’t get over how much multimedia it accesses.
We’re happy Dean HammangBuhl has agreed to share her experiences on the ways in which new technologies have changed her daily practice as an educator. Q: Describe for our readers the ways in which you have integrated technology into your courses. A: I’m going to focus on two different uses of technology that I’ve enjoyed lately— YouTube and electronic audio files (aka Podcasting). I’ve been fascinated by YouTube….I still can’t get over how much multimedia it accesses. During W08 for BUS384: Consumer Money Management I had the pleasure of using MC229. It’s an
effectively equipped room that has Smart Board projection technology and a small computer lab. That really allowed me to use the technology to incorporate a variety of activities. For example, when we discussed personal debt, students were able to go to the computers to check out a website that allowed them to see the student loan debt they had personally accumulated. You can imagine how that stimulated the discussion that followed! Having the Smart Board allowed me to easily project brief videos on money management issues to provide multiple points of view for participant discussion. Jeanne Andreoli and I will team teach an environmental policy course this July in the Master’s in Social Justice graduate program, and we’ll use YouTube to access multimedia resources for our case project in that course. We’ve discovered a variety of resources that deal with waste
management and incineration that will be pertinent to our study of Detroit’s waste incinerator. I’ve been recording my presentations in most of my classes for 4 years now. I experimented with the technology to see if it could solve a problem I faced in BUS382: Business & Professional Ethics. I had one presentation that pulled together ethical theories for use in a decision-making process for ethical dilemmas. If a student was absent, it seemed to impact their performance on case study assignments. Recording it seemed to have the potential of saving me the time of an individual tutorial session. I use software on my laptop to record and convert the audio files to an .mp3 format. I can then place those audio files on my course site on Blackboard. (Continued on page 3)
Teaching and Learning Online Blackboard 8 – Coming to a computer near you! Just as the Educational Technology Services Department began to catch its breath having spent the past academic year converting all of our training materials and other documentation for use with Microsoft Office 2007(no small feat), we find we’ve still got miles to go before we sleep. The latest reason for our sleepless nights is Blackboard 8. The College plans to upgrade our current version to version 8 next summer. While that may seem like a
long time from now, the education campaign to help make the transition begins now. A pilot group of faculty will begin using it in the fall.
So what are these new features you ask? Well, the short answer is they’ve added the Grade Center, SafeAssign, Blackboard Scholar, and a Self /Peer Assessment feature. For the long answer, please keep reading. •
The Gradebook has been renamed the Grade Center which is a fitting name for the • variety of new and improved features that have been added. Some of the new features include the following:
A variety of ways to customize the display of the Grade Center The ability to create and print Reports that display various grades and student information. For example, a report could be created as a final grade report or a mid-term progress report. The instructor can control what grades are displayed and what student information to report. The ability to categorize students into groupings based on selected criteria Smart Views--Inline editing: the ability to enter grades directly through the Grade Center spreadsheet
An improved weighted grades feature
SafeAssign is an augmented assignment tool that flags text copied from the Internet, journals, or other papers. It does not detect plagiarism per se. Instead, it flags copied material, indicates the source, and calculates the percentage of the paper that is not original. Because SafeAssign cannot determine if passages are properly cited, human intervention is necessary to determine actual plagiarism. (Continued on page 4)
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Faculty Spotlight (Cont.) (Continued from page 2) Q: What did your students think of these experiences? A: It has been my teaching experience that effective multimedia can enrich classroom discussion among students. I’ve found that the brief digital videos on YouTube have appealed to students. I’ve also noticed that when they have to orchestrate their own presentations that they’ve used YouTube as a resource, too. The challenge is that there is so much there, that you have to wade through irrelevant videos. I’m curious about the eventual impact of TeacherTube.com or Merlot.org in developing screens for higher quality shared multimedia. I receive across-the-board consistently positive feedback regarding the use of the audio files. During the term I experimented with my absenteeism solution, students clamored for me to do more. I did have a learning
curve to become more efficient in making the .mp3 files, and now find it easy to do. One of the criticisms of podcasting— placing the audio files on Blackboard—is that it could affect attendance, but I’ve definitely not found that impact. Q: Which of these experiences had the most positive influence on learning outcomes? A: I think the audio files have had the most value added. As soon as I started using them, I developed an informal feedback form that gave me a sense of their value. During the last academic year I did a more formal assessment regarding audio file use in the BUS382 course . Since I posted the files on Blackboard, I was able to use Blackboard’s tracking technology to determine their use by individual students. I found that use of podcasts had an impact on the final exam grade for students who were having a more difficult time in the
course. Students had reported on the informal feedback forms that being able to listen to a presentation again was an aid to them; the more formal statistics seemed to bear that out. Q: What are the lessons learned from these experiences? A: It takes improved search term strategy to find useful multimedia on YouTube! I’m getting better at that. Finding effective resources had a positive impact on my department’s instructional supply budget. 2. Students really don’t care about the silent pauses on an audio file when I’m doing board work, because they can easily advance the recording through the pause. As long as the lessthan-polished audio file is posted within the week of the presentation, that’s what they are interested in. That came as a surprise to me. 3. I can use audio files to experiment with what might work in developing an online
hybrid course. I did that in another business course. 4. Although I prepared written instructions for how to access the audio files, showing students how to do it during a class session increased their use by less technologically adept students. 5. A minority of students actually downloads the .mp3 files; most listen to them using something like RealPlayer or WindowsMediaPlayer on a computer. Q: What are your plans for the future with regard to technology integration? A: Early in my use of Blackboard I learned that what worked in a face-toface experience didn’t necessarily translate into an online environment. That led me to more focused study of newer technologies and their effective integration. (Continued on page 4)
Consultant’s Corner Becoming a Student Technology Instruction Center (STIC) Consultant The STIC is open 67.5 hrs. per week. Students have the opportunity to come into a quiet environment and receive homework help, attend computer workshops and/or have general questions answered. During the academic year, the majority of user contact is with the STIC consultants. We are beginning the process of recruiting consultants for the upcoming academic year. Listed below is a description of the position. TITLE: STIC Computer Lab Consultant
HOURS: Varies, based on student’s schedule •
FUNCTION: Provide technical support in STIC lab. RESPONSIBILITIES: • Open and close the STIC lab • Assist students with software questions • Assist students with CD burning and scanning • Assist supervisor with workshop materials as needed • Update reports as needed • Maintain computers (cleaning, reporting other problems) • Maintain logs and databases needed to track
• • • •
reservations and other appointments Scanning documents and slides Conduct Internet searches for director and supervisor Documenting procedures for using specific software packages Distribute and collect headphones Report problems to the STIC supervisor Set up computer lab for instructor workshops Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor
to all new applicants. KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Must have working knowledge of Windows XP, Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) 2003 & 2007, Blackboard and E-mail as required. SUPERVISION RECEIVED: Reports to Technical Trainers Gwen Little or John Stabile. TO APPLY: Gwen Little @ Ext. 1285♦ By John Stabile
EXPERIENCE: Must be able to pass the Assessment given
MARYGROVE COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY SERVICES Linda Brawner Director
Gwen Little Technical Training Specialist
Christine Malmsten Adjunct Reference and Information Technology Librarian
Jennifer Meacham Reference and Instructional Technology Librarian II
John Stabile Technical Training Specialist
Visit us on the web! www.marygrove.edu/ets
The Marygrove Monitor
Teaching and Learning Online (Cont.) (Continued from page 2) Self and Peer Assessment This tool enables Students to respond to questions or instructions from the instructor in submitting work. They then evaluate their own or another student's work based on a rubric-like set of questions and criteria established by the instructor. The tool is useful in helping students understand concepts, develop parts of papers, or test their own understanding. Blackboard Scholar Blackboard Scholar, is a "social bookmarking" service designed to connect faculty and students across institutions. Social bookmarking lets users save and categorize their favorite websites and share them with a community. Scholar lets Blackboard users save and classify bookmarks and searches; share resources with faculty, students, and administrators from other institutions; automatically update courses with dynamic content feeds; and enable student contributions to course collections. Saved bookmarks can be placed in a central repository and tagged with descriptors, which can then be accessed by other Blackboard users.♦ By Linda Brawner
Faculty Spotlight (Cont.) (Continued from page 3)
The Marygrove Monitor is a publication of the Department of Educational Technology Services. The mission of the ETS department is to provide technology training and support to students to enable them to succeed at Marygrove and beyond, to assist faculty in successfully integrating technology to enhance the teaching and learning process, and to help staff develop and improve the technology skills necessary to increase productivity. Physical facilities are located in the lower level of the Library, and include the Faculty Technology Center (FTC) and the Student Technology Instruction Center (STIC). Services provided include access to computer workstations, numerous workshops, individualized tutorials, and useful training documents. ©2008 Marygrove College STIC Drop-in Lab: Room L011 STIC Classroom: Room L012 FTC: Room L013
I learned, for example, new techniques—such as ‘weaving’-for facilitating discussion boards, and when I employed them I could see an immediate difference in the quality of student participation. There’s
nothing like an immediate payback to keep me learning! Newer methodologies push me to learn more about teaching and learning and I’m intensely interested in that. I’ll continue to explore the possibilities. For example, this summer Steffanie Bowles is sharing her use of
Student Tech Talk (Cont.) (Continued from page 1) Page Layout View In addition to the Normal View and Page Break Preview, Office Excel 2007 includes a Page Layout View that enables you to create a worksheet while keeping an eye on how it will look in the printed format. More, Accessible Templates A new workbook can be based on a variety of templates including those installed within Excel as well as many more available through the Microsoft Office Online website. Come explore these features of Excel 2007, along with other Microsoft Office applications, in the STIC.♦ By Jennifer Meacham
personally generated digital videos to Jeanne Andreoli, Sally Welch and myself. I think this technology can have applications not only to the classroom for examples and discussion, but also to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).♦ By Linda Brawner