Category Archives: Faculty News

Rubric

Week 8 – Blackboard Rubrics – 3/2/15

As educators, particularly as educators teaching future educators, we understand the value of feedback when grading assignments. In fact, perhaps there is even more value in the feedback than in the actual grading. This is why so much time is spent meticulously going through a submitted paper marking and putting comments in the margins, all to help the student better understand where he/she went off the mark. Students certainly appreciate the extra time that is taken and learn from this information, but wouldn’t it be nice if Blackboard could give us a little help with this? Perhaps by showing the students what criteria an assignment will be graded based on and then allowing us to use those criteria to grade the assignment and add comments and deduct points directly based on those criteria? Well, we are all in luck, because it does!

Blackboard has provided a Rubric tool that allows the instructor to create rubric for any gradable item in Blackboard that they can choose to let the student see before an item is submitted, and then once submitted, the instructor can just check the boxes as to the level of competency for each category and add comments as necessary that the student can review. Pretty nice. The rubrics can be used in conjunction with the new inline grading system that allows the instructor to mark and comment on a submitted paper directly in Blackboard, again giving better feedback to the students that is easier for the instructor to give.  The following video will demonstrate how to set up rubrics in your Blackboard class:

A rubric can be used for multiple assignments in a class, but cannot be edited once it has been used. So, for example, you can set up a Discussion Board Rubric once, and then use it as a standard for all of the Discussion Boards without having to recreate it. Want to try one out without going through the trouble? Blackboard is compiling some shared Rubrics where you can download some rubrics that have been contributed by other educators and import them into your course at http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Products/Blackboard-Learn/Features/Sharing-Rubrics.aspx Once you get the hang of it, perhaps you may want to share one of the rubrics you have created there. To use one of the rubrics that are listed there, just download the rubric, then in your course, go to Course Tools, choose Rubrics and Import. It will then appear as one of your rubrics and you can then use it as you would any other rubric.

If you haven’t used Blackboard Rubrics before, I encourage you to take at least one of your assignments this semester and try it out. If you need help setting it up, I’m happy to help answer any questions, but in the long run, I think you will find it will help save you a lot of time, and your students will benefit much more from the assignments that use them.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

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Captain Arrrgh Headshot

From the TRC: TeachingBooks.net

It’s Thursday, and a new edition of From the TRC is published to highlight another service or resource the Teaching Resources Center in Joyner Library has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. This week, it’s TeachingBooks.net.

Short of inviting an author to speak on campus it can be difficult for children and young adults to feel a connection to or the relevancy of an author’s work. It can be even more difficult to gain insight on the process of creating a book or illustration. This is where a resource like TeachingBooks.net comes in. TeachingBooks.net provides educators an opportunity to add a multimedia dimension to their lessons and their students’ reading experiences.

TeachingBooks-net_logoTeachingBooks.net is more than just a database of books, authors, and illustrators. It is an invaluable resource teachers can use as to supplement existing lesson plans or look for ideas to craft new ones. Users can search by book title, author or illustrator from the front page, or simply browse the collection of meet the author videos and resources by grade level or subject area.

To find strategies for integrating books and resources into specific curricular areas, see the Curricular Uses page. Looking for foreign-language resources?  TeachingBooks.net has resources in Spanish, French, Chinese, Ojibwe, Hmong, Russian and others. Book guides and lesson plans aligned to the ELA Common Core standards are available as well as booklists put together by the North Carolina School Library Media Association, and the North Carolina Children’s Book Award. Additional booklists from other states and those categorized by theme or book series are also at the ready.

Here are a few links to some of the TRC’s favorite authors:

Be sure to check out TeachingBooks.net’s free monthly webinar series.  Upcoming webinars will cover “Culturally Relevant Materials” and “How TeachingBooks is Used in Schools/Districts”. In addition, their on demand video tutorials cover topics such as text complexity and creating your own custom reading list.

Believe it or not, all this is the tip of the iceberg as to what TeachingBooks.net has to offer. If you don’t believe me, maybe you should check them out yourself on their blog, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or by signing up for their newsletter.

Until next time…Dan Z. in the TRC

PrestonRonald_prestonr

MATE Faculty and Students Provide Quality Professional Development at NCCTM Eastern Region Conference

ECU was well-represented at the NCCTM Eastern Region Conference in Kenansville on Saturday, February 14, 2014. Love was certainly in the air as president-elect, Dr. Ron Preston delivered the keynote address.  It continued as Eastern Region President, Dr.  Katie Schwartz led the event – both in terms of putting the conference together and facilitating on Saturday. Christie Wuebbles (alum) made many of the facility arrangements with James Sprunt Community College, where the conference was held. Many of MSITE’s grad students presented, most under the direction of Dr. Maureen Grady as part of their assessment work in MATE 6200:
James Grossman
Edie Smith
Sarah Patterson
Kristina Simpson
Kristina Godbolt
Victoria Jeffries
Robin Clapper
Robin Foster

Drs. Adu-Gyamfi, Grady, Preston, Schwartz, Sinicrope, and Thompson were in attendance along with MATE graduate students Gina Albright and Brooke Hill.

asynchronous

Week 7 – Collaboration in Blackboard – 2/23/15

This week’s blog is a continuation of the discussion last week on collaboration tools. As discussed previously, it can be difficult to build the same kind of community in an online class as typically occurs naturally in a traditional, seated course. The collaboration tools that are either provided in Blackboard or are available by third parties, can help provide the tools necessary to make this community easier to build.

Last week, we discussed some synchronous tools that are available to faculty to use. As a reminder, synchronous tools, are tools that require everyone to be online at the same time. There will be an online follow-up professional development session coming soon for faculty to learn more about Saba Meeting. Please keep an eye on the COE PD page for details. Now, without further adieu, asynchronous tools!

Asynchronous Tools

Asynchronous tools are tools that do not require collaborators to be online at the same time. This blog could represent an asynchronous activity if you, the readers, decided to later participate by commenting below and contributing to the article. In fact there is a Blog tool in Blackboard, but its purpose is a bit different. One thing to note before starting is all of the asynchronous tools that will be mentioned here are native to Blackboard and can be set as gradable items. Each can also be set to grade with a Blackboard rubric (discussed in Week 8).

Blog - Essentially a blog is a shared online diary for use in a class. It can be used by an instructor to let students know what was or will be done in class to save the instructor from answering individual questions repeatedly. It can open up online discussions about related topics or a place to provide evidence of class participation. It is organized strictly by date. Blogs can be set up for each individual student or by course. Blogs are much less formal than discussion boards, which will be discussed later.

Discussion Board – Even a Blackboard newbie has probably heard of the discussion board. It is the most commonly used method of communicating in an online course. Essentially the instructor creates a discussion topic and the students then respond and discuss the topic. They are organized hierarchically with forums, threads, and replies. Discussion boards are easily collapsed, expanded and searched. Users can subscribe to a forum or thread to receive an email each time someone contributes to it. One of the newer features is students can be required to participate before they are able to see other student entries.

Journal – A journal does a bit less to build communication with the class, but potentially more with the instructor, as it provides a personal writing space for self-reflection and private communication with the instructor. It can be used to reflect on personal growth, assignments, personal experiences, etc. Be advised that if you choose “Permit Course Users to View Journal” in the settings all class participants will be able to see each others journals, removing the privacy feature, essentially creating a non-commentable blog.

Wiki – A wiki is a collaborative space where students can view, contribute and edit content. It can be used if students are collaborating on a paper, study guide, etc. The biggest difference between a wiki and any of the other tools is that everyone essentially works in the same space. What this means is there is one text box and each student can contribute, but the particular contribution of one student over another is not necessarily identified, besides look at the history.  Multiple pages can be created to make essentially a website for a project.

So that pretty much does it for the collaboration tools within Blackboard that are designed to potentially work with the entire class or groups. In addition to these tools, you can also divide your class up into groups and then assign group projects. When groups are created, there is another world that opens up for students in Blackboard that provides a place for Group assignments, file exchange, discussions, tasks, and more.

In addition to the tools we’ve looked at this week and last there are lots of third party tools that are also available that may meet your needs, and new ones become available every day. In face Google provides a wide range of free tools that are certainly worth looking into.

Once you start looking at the possibilities, you’ll find there really are ways to do the things you’ve been doing in your traditional classes all these years. It might take a bit of time and training to master it, as it has in your classroom, but once you do, you and your students will be quite satisfied with the results.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

Michael W. Klein, J.D., Ph.D.

CEO of the NJ Association of State Colleges & Universities to Speak to Students

On March 25th, the College of Education and Department of Educational Leadership will host Michael W. Klein, J.D., Ph.D., CEO of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU). The purpose of NJASCU  is to represent all state colleges of New Jersey outside of Rutgers before the NJ legislature and Governor Chris Christie.

Dr. Klein will visit courses in higher education law and finance this term. Faculty administrators and students are invited to participate in a roundtable discussion noon at Chili’s. Proposed topics of discussion include President Obama’s proposed ratings plan and free community-college proposal, performance-based funding, and policies regarding veterans and undocumented students.

Dr. Klein has published articles on intellectual property ownership, college finance, collective bargaining, and the First Amendment.  His articles have appeared in the Journal of College and University Law, the Journal of Law & Education, the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy, the Education Law and Policy Forum, On the Horizon, and the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.  He co-authored a chapter on New Jersey’s higher education system in Richardson, R.C., Jr. & Martinez, M., (Eds.), Policy and Performance in American Higher Education:  An Examination of Cases Across State Systems (2009).  Dr. Klein’s op-ed pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the American Bar Association Journal, and Inside Higher Education.

Dr. Klein has made presentations at the International Conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)/Institutional Management in Higher Education, the American Education Research Association, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning at the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Klein was a 2003 fellow of the Higher Education Law Roundtable at the Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance, University of Houston Law Center, and a 2010-2011 Associate of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.  He was a fellow of Leadership New Jersey in 2002.  Dr. Klein is a member of the Policies and Purposes Committee and the Council of State Representatives for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).  Dr. Klein formerly served on the national Higher Education Government Relations Task Force.

Dr. Klein received a BA in history cum laude from Princeton University, and a JD from Boston College Law School.  He received his PhD in Higher Education and Postsecondary Education at New York University.

Synchronous Communication

Week 6 – Collaboration in Blackboard – 2/16/15

In a traditional classroom collaboration is natural, it doesn’t need to be planned or forced. In an online environment, it is quite different, since on the way to submitting an assignment it is, shall we say, highly unlikely, that one student will run into another and they will get into a deep conversation regarding the week’s topic. Hard to believe I know.

With that being said, as educators, we know that students learn best through interaction, so how can we provide this interaction in an online class. Let’s look as some options. This week we will be looking at synchronous tools, and next week we will look at asynchronous tools. There are of course many more tools than I will be able to mention here, so if there is a particular synchronous tool that you use, please feel free to add it in the comments at the bottom of the article this week. If there is an asynchronous tool you love, please add it next week. Any of these options can be done either with the entire class, or with the class divided into smaller groups, depending on what is more manageable for a chosen activity.

Synchronous Tools

Synchronous tools are tools that require everyone to be online at the same time. If synchronous tools are to be used, it is advised that students be made aware of this at the very beginning of the semester, if not earlier, as many students chose to take online courses because they cannot meet at a certain time due to other classes or life circumstances. It is also advised that if assigned after the semester begins, students should be given a few choices for times that work in their schedules.

Chat - Participants have an online discussion by typing short, text-based messages in Blackboard. Sort of like a real-time discussion board.  A great option for online office hours because they can be recorded and viewed later.

Virtual Classroom – A more robust version of the Chat, as it includes the test box for chatting, but also includes a Virtual Whiteboard to display course materials, websites and for drawing.

Saba Meeting – A tool provided by for faculty by ECU that takes the Virtual Classroom to the next level. With Saba Meeting, communication can be done either by chat or by microphone, and can also take advantage of live video streams. In addition to the “old fashion” whiteboard and presentations, a presenter can also share his desktop to demonstrate a program or browse the web. During a meeting, surveys can be given and breakout rooms can be set. Meetings can be recorded, but will be deleted unless requested each semester to be kept. Saba meeting is a great solution, but it can be rather technical, and sometimes students can have a hard time getting in, as typically Java needs to be updated/installed. Following the User Guide will usually help with the install process.

Second Life – If you are ready to take your students to a whole new way of learning, then Second Life is the way to go. I will warn you that there is a learning curve. In Second Life, you have an avatar and you can literally have the students sit in class, go on field trips, visit your office, the possibilities are endless. ECU even has a campus and its own Pirate Ship there. The more creative you are, the more you can make of it. In the past, I have seen a faculty member teaching Shakespeare require her students come to “class” dressed in Elizabethan garb and the students loved it. There are a lot of interesting, educational things that have been built that could possibly serve as great field trips: a Holocaust Museum, The Mayo Clinic, a Renaissance Gallery, New York City, Paris, even the RMS Titanic just to name a few.

So those are some synchronous ways you can encourage collaboration in your online class. A couple work directly in Blackboard and a couple can be linked in Blackboard and then taken outside. Are there others perhaps that you use synchronously? Use the comment area below to contribute what you use.

Next week we will talk about Asynchronous Tools that you can use in your classes to help encourage collaboration. Remember that any of these tools/activities can certainly be used in your seated classes as well to enhance collaboration amongst your students.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

Many of the ECU students and faculty attending the NC CEC conference in Pinehurst, North Carolina on January 29th and 30th 2015.

SPED Students Attend NC Council for Exceptional Children Conference

On January 29th and 30th 2015, members of ECU’s Student chapter of the North Carolina Council for Exceptional Children (NCCEC) attended the annual state conference in Pinehurst, North Carolina. In addition to attending presentations by experts in the field of special education from across the state, students volunteered to help make the conference possible by: introducing and assisting conference session presenters, helping out with the student scholarship raffle, working at registration booth and lending support to other integral parts of the conference.

In particular, Chelsea Skurow provided substantial assistance to Dr. Stacy Weiss, the state student coordinator, in advance of the conference and organized the student group’s visit to Pinehurst. Jordan McNeil, a graduate student in Special Education, presented at the student poster session on her research on technology assisted language instruction for students with autism. Grace Ferrell, a graduate student in Occupational Therapy, presented a poster with Dr. Chris Rivera on learning science vocabulary through multimedia shared stories. Dr. Melissa Hudson presented her work on differentiating instruction for students with disabilities.

ECU students attending the conference included Ayla Allen, Paige Anderson, Allison Bickford, Madison Bourn, Alecia Casetellano, Caroline Cummins, Kayla Dasch, Grace Ferrell, Katie Foley, Mackinsay Howe, Allison Keen, Victoria Locklear, Jeremiah McCoy, Jordan McNeil, Michelle Nendza, Callie Parker, Chelsea Skurow, Jenna Watral, and Catherine Wooten.

Crystal Chambers

Dr. Chambers Awarded the FSP Spring 2015 Arronette White Tuition Scholarship

Nat_Center_Faculty_Dev_Div_LogoThis Spring, Dr. Crystal Chambers, of the Educational Leadership Department, will participate in the 2015 Faculty Success Program (FSP) sponsored by the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development (NCFDD).

The purpose of the program is to support faculty towards increasing overall productivity while attaining a healthy work/life balance. Dr. Chambers is attending courtesy of the Faculty Success Program Spring 2015 Arronette White Tuition Scholarship.

Dr. William Sugar
Associate Professor of Mathematics, Science,
and Instructional Technology Education
College of Education

Dr. Sugar Selected for COE 2015 Scholar-Teacher Award

Dr. Bill Sugar of the Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education (MSITE) has been selected to represent the College of Education for the 2015 Scholar-Teacher Award.

The ECU Scholar-Teacher Award recognizes outstanding faculty members who integrate scholarship and teaching. Each year the colleges in Academic Affairs and colleges and schools in Health Sciences recognize one or more scholar-teacher(s), based on the number of faculty in the unit.

During the symposium, each scholar-teacher provides a succinct presentation (approximately 15 minutes) concerning his/her integration of scholarship in teaching. Each recipient also develops a poster presentation or display for viewing during the symposium. This year the symposium will be held during the Annual Research & Creative Achievement Week: March 23 – 27, 2015.

Dr. Sugar will be presenting in on March 26th in Mendenhall 244 at 2:50 p.m. on the topic of “Studies of Instructional Design Practices: Recent Research and Takeways.” Faculty, staff, students, and community friends are encouraged to attend all or parts of the afternoon symposium and to enjoy another wonderful celebration of scholarship and teaching at ECU!

MLS Faculty Celebratory Luncheon Feb 2015

ECU’s Master of Library Science Program Earns ALA Accreditation

It is with great pleasure that the East Carolina University Master of Library Science degree program is able to announce that their degree program is now accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).

ALA accredited sealALA accreditation provides students, and alumni who qualify, the ability to apply for library positions in any library setting. ALA accreditation is seen as essential to MLS graduates seeking employment in academic and public libraries. It is a required standard by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Graduating from an ALA-accredited program provides greater flexibility in the types of libraries that students and alumni can apply for and enhances career mobility. Most employers, except school libraries, require an ALA-accredited master’s for most professional level positions.

ALA accreditation indicates that the program has undergone a self-evaluation process, been reviewed by peers, and meets the Standards established by the American Library Association and Committee on Accreditation. Students currently in the program will receive an accredited degree upon graduation.

Alumni who graduated in 2013 and 2014 now have an accredited degree as well. However, for alumni who have graduated prior to 2013, the program cannot offer a path to altering their degree to become an accredited one, for example, taking an additional set of courses now that the program is accredited.