ISIT Report — March 2013

Issues impacting students and teaching

  1. Our college president, Sonya Christian, is putting a priority on professional developmentthat focuses on training all faculty on knowing what tool to use in the right way. The focus of this professional development will be how to use the computer tools we already have so we are not diverting money from our serious physical infrastructure needs (there are over $200 million in critical repairs and upgrades needed in the physical plant). A group of 12 to 13 "technology advocates (faculty, classified staff, and administrators) are being sent to the Sloan Consortium's conference on Emerging Technologies for Online Learning in April. Funding for the conference+travel is coming from grants (VTEA, C6, STEM---no general fund dollars). The group will be developing a work plan to bring the lessons learned there back to campus to improve how we use technology in the classroom regardless of the mode (face-to-face, hybrid, or online) and thereby increase student engagement with the content of our classes. (So, no, what will happen in Vegas this time will NOT stay in Vegas.) Increasing student engagement will certainly lead to improvement in our student success rates. The Sloan Consortium conference is nearby (Las Vegas), relatively inexpensive, and soon (April). In addition, training courses focussed on the pedagogy of online learing are being developed and we may be able to offer them as soon as this early summer. We also need to keep universal accessibility in the forefront of our minds as we apply the technology tools (thank you, Adie!).

  2. A lecture capture system called "Echo360"will be demoed for the nursing faculty on the afternoon of March 19th and all faculty are invited to see the demo. Lecture capture is recording (capturing) your classroom presentations to make them available to your students for reviewing after class. The nursing faculty are looking to increase the number of students who can view their simulated human body sessions ("Sim Man") at one time---so that the rest of the class can see the interaction of the small team working with Sim Man. Look for an email from Kristin Rabe on the specifics of the time and location of the demo. To see what other schools are using Echo360, do a google search on "echo360 lecture capture".

  3. The ISIT task force on Classroom/Student Response Systems ("clickers")—developed a survey on clicker usage or interest on campus. Results were collected until the March 1st deadline. In addition the task force looked at the pros and cons of standardizing on a single clicker system. No word yet from district or state legal services on whether or not it is "legal" to require students to purchase clickers for a class---the link takes you to the Student Fee Handbook at the CCCCO. Here is a summary of the clicker survey (raw and collated results are in a spreadsheet):

    14 yes respondents

    Models used from survey: Model LR102 of IRespond (Engineering,Industrial Tech), CPS Einstruction (Health/PE), Iclicker (1st and 2nd generation; Biological Science, Physical Science, Social Science, Allied Health), Polleverywhere (texting or web-based; FACE)

    Engineering-Industrial Tech and Physical Science have classroom sets and FACE instructor uses free site – no cost to the student

    Cost to student: CPS Einstruction ($35), iClicker ($30 to $48 new, $10-$20 used, $23.40 rental BC bookstore)

    Uses include multiple-choice questions for quizzes + lectures either anonymous or by student.

    11 no respondents but interested

    Why not using them include: cost to the students, not knowing how to use them, lack of standardization on campus.

    Interested faculty use of clickers: will use for multiple choice questions, attendance.

    Features wanted include multiple-choice responses, very short answer and numbers input, and costs below $25.

    Pros on Standardizing

    1. Better for student to have compatibility with other classes. Purchasing multiple clickers is expensive!
    2. Other faculty would get on board to use them.
    3. Easy for students learn a single system instead of multiple systems.
    4. The bookstore would prefer one clicker model for better resale value.
    5. Media Services might be able to rent out clickers if we standardized on one system.

    Cons on Standardizing

    1. Already have departments invested in their own clicker system.
    2. Already have current students invested in one or more clicker system.
    3. If our chosen single vendor goes out of business or changes its licensing fees, that would cause problems.

    It was decided to wait on the legal opinion of whether or not we can require students to purchase clickers. Note that Cerro Coso and Porterville have purchased classroom sets and the other two California community colleges I heard from also have classroom sets purchased by the college.

Other Items of Note

  1. Three possible ways to approach the Accreditation College Recommendation #7—were discussed at length. Accreditation College Recommendation #7 says that the College must "develop and use an assessment methodology to evaluate how well technology resources support institutional goals and use the result of the evaluation as a basis for improvement (III.C.2)." Ways to meet the recommendation may include:
    1. Surveying faculty using the nine classrooms in Math-Science that have recently-installed smart boards/short-throw projectors and the counselors using the new "thin client" lab in SS151 for orientation of new students, including the creation of their education plans. This would be something we could do in the short-term but we do need to build into our processes assessment surveys after each major technology initiative or software such as our portal (InsideBC), Curricunet, and the upcoming DegreeWorks.
    2. Adjusting the Annual Program Review form or the Technology Request Form ("ISIT form") to include a section for assessment and evaluation of recently implemented technologies and other general technology. The College could use student success metrics before and after the implementation of the technology and/or get faculty satisfaction data and service call data in the APR.
    3. Do an annual survey in InsideBC to find out how satisfied campus employees are with the classroom and office equipment and training needs much like the technology questions asked in last spring's accreditation survey. Keep the technology satisfaction survey short so it can be done in less than 5 minutes.

    We could do all three or a sub-set of these ways. We (the College) has to have all of the college recommendations figured out, implemented, and written up by April 22nd, so the timeline is extremely short!

last update: March 7, 2013

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Document author: Nick Strobel
Math-Science 101 (Planetarium), 395-4526