Entries by innovate @ umass

Digital Books, Open Access, and Accessibility

Original Prompt: The cost of paper textbooks can drive students to seek digital alternatives. What is your experience with using digital books personally and in your classes?  Come discuss different options for using  (and even making) digital books. Thursday, 11/10/2016, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (This workshop has been completed.) Notes and References This digital brown […]

New Tools and Techniques for Grading

December is grading season, what new tools or techniques have you discovered to help with the grading of student work? Come discuss tools that have made your grading more efficient, and useful techniques for grading new kinds of homework (how do you tell the difference between A work and C work when the assignment is […]

Adaptive Learning Systems: Surviving the Storm

(Educausereview, 11/2/16) The effective implementation and use of adaptive learning systems requires a broad, more inclusive conversation among institutions, vendors, and other stakeholders to realize the benefits of next-generation personalized learning. (Read the full article here.

Digital Badges and Academic Transformation

(Educause Review, Veronica Diaz, 9/1/16) It seems that digital badges are everywhere these days: in fitness apps, on social networking websites, and in company loyalty programs. In higher education, they’re taking the form of microcredentials, representing successful completion of a variety of learning experiences inside and outside of the traditional for-credit course. Institutions continue to experiment […]

Why Getting Twitter Matters in Higher Education

(Inside Higher Ed, Eric Stoller, 7/28/16) Everyone who works in student affairs/services should at least make an attempt to “get” Twitter. I know what you’re thinking. Some of you are disagreeing with the premise of this post before you’ve even read it. I understand your skepticism. I understand your resistance. Some of you may be quite […]

Teaching avatars

New lab allows education students to teach in a virtual classroom. Education majors at the University of Maine have the opportunity to teach in front of a virtual classroom of avatars in preparation for student teaching in area schools. The new lab enables students in UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development to teach five avatars […]

A Guide to Online Resources for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

(Andrea Eidinger, Unwritten Histories, 8/23/16) One of academia’s dirty little secrets is that few professors any receive any kind of educational training. The assumption is that since most professors have PhDs, and are experts in their topics, they are fully equipped to teach this information to others. I’m not entirely sure how this is supposed to […]

Virtual Reality on the Horizon

(Carl Straumsheim, July 13, 2016, Inside Higher Ed) The hype has some colleges wondering if now is the right time to jump in. High costs and development issues suggest the technology is still years away from making a difference. Virtual reality is not yet here — at least not in higher education. But as technology companies invest […]

Virtual reality: could it revolutionise higher education?

(David Matthews, Times Higher Education, June 2, 2016) With truly immersive headsets now on the market, academics are beginning to explore how to use the technology for teaching. In Ready Player One, perhaps the best known novel yet written about virtual reality (VR), the protagonist Wade Watts lives in a cramped trailer, scavenges for food and has […]

3 Ways Higher Ed Is Playing Along with the Pokémon GO Craze

(Meg Conlan, EdTech Magazine, July 12, 2016) The week-old augmented reality game has swelled to unprecedented popularity among college students, but they’re not the only ones getting in on the action. While some college students have integrated augmented reality into their research or coursework, others have embraced AR technology for a nonacademic reason: catching Pokémon. Released less than […]

Which Ed-Tech Tools Truly Work? New Project Aims to Tell Why No One Seems Eager to Find Out

(Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/21/16) Every year schools and colleges spend billions of tuition and tax dollars on glitzy digital teaching tools and other educational-technology products. Yet the institutions rarely demand rigorous evidence that those products are effective or take it upon themselves to conduct such research. (For full article click here.)

Adaptive Learning Could Be the Tesla of Education — in a Bad Way

(Michael Feldstein, Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/18/16) Jose Ferreira, the chief executive of the adaptive-learning company Knewton, has been endlessly mocked by many involved with educational technology (including me) for making exaggerated claims about the power of his products. Among his choice pronouncements: “We think of [our product] like a robot tutor in the sky […]

No More Pencils, No More Books

(Will Oremus, Slate, 10/25/15) Artificially intelligent software is replacing the textbook—and reshaping American education. Eighteen students file into a brightly lit classroom. Arrayed around its perimeter are 18 computers. The students take their seats, log in to their machines, and silently begin working. At a desk in the back, the instructor’s screen displays a series […]

Grading with Writing-Improvement Tools

Bring your lunch and join us for a discussion of evaluating and giving feedback on student written work. Many available tools already include powerful features that can enhance this process. Join us to discover and share techniques for helping your students get the guidance they need.

Lecture Capture

Bring your lunch and join us for a discussion of how recording course content can enhance learning. Tools are available that can record live lectures in the classroom or help create short pre-recorded snippets. See what is possible, and discuss what makes these recordings most effective.

Data Visualization

Bring your lunch and join us for a discussion of visuals can make the story behind the data more compelling. See how instructors and students in any academic discipline (not just science, technology, engineering and math) can use new tools to make powerful visual representations of all types of data.

Collaboration and Discussion

Bring your lunch and join us for a discussion of new ways to collaborate and discuss topics online. New tools are emerging that provide students and instructors with unique ways to share and comment on ideas. Come see what is possible and share what you would find most useful.

Learning More About Active Learning

(David Gooblar, Columnist at Chronicle Vitae, June 29, 2016) The scholarly literature on “active learning” is almost shockingly positive. Over and over again, when active-learning strategies have been studied — particularly when they have been compared to lecturing — they have been found to increase student learning. A 2014 meta-analysis of 225 studies measured student […]

Emerging Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Enable Active Learning

(Eric Kunnen, Educause Review, 8/3/2015) What will the classroom of the future look like? What technologies will a student’s backpack include in the next five years? Will students need a backpack? How will faculty and students interact, collaborate, and leverage technology in the next generation of education? These questions, among many others, often permeate campus […]

Incubating the Next Big Idea: The University of Michigan’s Digital Innovation Greenhouse

(Kristi DePaul, Transforming Higher Ed, June 27, 2016) Few can deny that big changes are afoot in higher education. The (still rather new) 21st century has already demonstrated the myriad ways in which education is capable of changing, thanks to novel technologies, ever-more-sophisticated infrastructure, and a willingness to reinvent curricula, course delivery methods and pedagogical […]

7 Keys to Strategic Innovation

Nice Educause video (“7 Keys to Strategic Innovation“) with Brian Gardner (Director of Academic Technologies, Columbia Business School). Worth a watch as he talks about how to stop “ triaging” and begin executing on strategic plans while building a culture of innovation with leadership, governance, and operational effectiveness. 

10 Ways to Make Tech New Again (and Your Soul Shiny)

This is a guest post about the challenges of the digital age by Jesse Stommel, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies at University of Mary Washington, and Sean Michael Morris, Instructional Designer at Middleburg College. Of particular interest is the chart they created for critically evaluating digital tools.

How Academics Can Use Snapchat to Share Their Research

“When Snapchat began, in 2011, the appeal of the video-messaging app was a mystery to Jill W. Rettberg, and many others over the age of 30. None of her friends were on it, she says, so the 44-year-old professor of digital culture at the University of Bergen, in Norway figured she was too old and […]

Small Changes in Teaching: Space It Out

The essential ingredient of learning is time. “In the last week of the spring semester, and the waning moments of class, a student raised her hand and, in a voice filled with dread, posed the question that I suspect many students wanted to ask…” (“Small Changes in Teaching: Space It Out,” The Chronicle of Higher […]

Multicultural Theater Practice

Professor Priscilla Page (Senior Lecturer, Dramaturgy, UMass Amherst), has been awarded a Five College Blended Learning Mini Grant. This will allow her to explore building blended learning into her course and to develop an oral history component for students. This course will teach students about how to conduct oral histories and then craft their material to so that […]

Training 21st-Century Curators for a 21st Century Audience: Presenting Historical Objects in Digital Media

Professor Gülru Çakmak (Assistant Professor, 19th-Century European Art, UMass Amherst), has received a Five College Blended Learning Initiative grant for 2016-17. These awards are supported by the Five College Deans and a multi-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The goal of the grant is to engage faculty members in the exploration and evaluation of blended learning’s potential […]

Climate Change and Narrative

Professor Malcolm Sen (Assistant Professor, English, UMass Amherst), has received a Five College Blended Learning Initiative grant for 2016-17. These awards are supported by the Five College Deans and a multi-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The goal of the grant is to engage faculty members in the exploration and evaluation of blended learning’s potential to enrich […]

Blending Resources to Enhance Fluency and Incorporate Interdisciplinary Learning in the Music Theory Fundamentals Classroom

Professor Christopher White, (Assistant Professor, Music Theory, UMass Amherst), has received a Five College Blended Learning Initiative grant for 2016-17. These awards are supported by the Five College Deans and a multi-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The goal of the grant is to engage faculty members in the exploration and evaluation of blended learning’s […]