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We often think of Qualtrics, Purdue’s online survey software, as primarily a research or data gathering tool, but it will also allow you to set up quizzes with scores and display results to students. Though the tool is by nature anonymous, a simple solution would be to ask students to fill in their name using a text fill in the blank question, if they want the credit for a given quiz. Results may be viewed in Qualtrics to provide the instructor with a composite view of the classes’ responses; as well as downloaded to Excel for further analysis or uploading to a grade column in Blackboard. It is not as robust as assessments in Blackboard, but if you are looking for a different kind of student self-study guide or short quiz format, this might be worth exploring.
For example, let’s review setting up a self-study quiz. To set up the quiz, create the questions in Qualtrics as you would usually do using multiple choice, ranking, fill in the blank or true/false formats. You may also create question display mapping based on certain responses to questions. What this means is that you may provide additional questions to a student if they had an incorrect response to an earlier question or to proceed past those extra questions, if their original response was correct. A mapping technique based on their answer choices is often useful as a self-study guide to develop mastery over course content outside of the traditional class environment.
To apply the scoring feature, while in Edit Survey mode, click on the Advanced Options button in the upper right of your screen. Then select Scoring on the lower half of the Advanced Options menu.
The next step is to select the correct answers by clicking on the answer choice that is right. It will default to 1 point value. You can click on the number 1 and type in a different value if desired. For fill in the blank questions, you may add alternative answers by clicking the plus sign to the right of the answer choice. Note each alternative answer needs a score value entered to the left of it to be scored properly.
The final score displayed to the student will look like the snapshot below after they click the submit button. Score displays per question may be used in addition to a final display.
If you would like to read more about scoring, use the following link http://qualtrics.com/university/researchsuite/advanced-building/advanced-options-drop-down/scoring/ or please contact one of our Ed Tech staff at email@example.com.
Purdue is currently collaborating with CourseNetworking (CN) to explore the possibility of offering faculty an alternative learning management system (LMS) that requires little administration and allows first-time users to quickly create courses independently. This light-weight LMS uses a familiar interface and focuses on academic social networking.
Ali Jafari, , professor of computer and information technology at Purdue’s School of Engineering and Technology and director of the CyberLab, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and the founder of CN was quoted in a recent Purdue News article:
“The learning systems we have today were developed almost two decades ago,” Jafari says. “We need to invent the next generation. We need to learn a lesson from Facebook and Twitter that connecting people together and let them learn from each other is a more effective way to go.”1
A new social learning-based system focused on networking and collaboration that produces a highly interactive learning environment, CN has the potential to connect instructors and students from around the world based on shared interests and subject areas. The walls between classrooms are broken down enabling learners from different classes and schools to have dynamic discussions and freely share learning resources through: Posts, Polls, Events and more. CN transforms the traditional teacher-centered learning environment to a more engaging and effective student-centered learning environment. Students enjoy their learning experience by “following” and “colleaguing” other learners, by compiling learning resources on their own, and through a unique reward system, collecting Anar seeds, that many instructors use to incentivize the learning and engagement.
Randy Bass in his 2012 Educause article, Disrupting Ourselves: The Problem of Learning in Higher Education, discusses the pressures that are being felt in higher education due at least in part to the evidence that significant learning experiences are happening outside of the formal curriculum. He describes the pressures coming from two sides: 1) “data surrounding experiential learning, and 2) the informal learning and the participatory culture of the Internet.”2
Instructors can create tasks in CN that include “Smart Links”. These links allow the students to quickly access functionality such as: creating posts, responding to polls, and submitting assignments into a “Dropbox” area of the course for grading.
The course interface is familiar to the students. CN is designed to allow students to post multimedia easily and efficiently. Students frequently share resources found on the Internet. This informally appears to be quite motivating for the students. Their observed interactions frequently indicate their understanding of the content being learned and their ability to connect it to real life experiences, making the learning relevant.
To learn more about CN, visit http://www.thecn.com
Debbie Runshe, Educational Technologist
1Tally, S. (15 October 2013). “Purdue, Course networking to collaborate on next-generation edtech.” Purdue News.
2Bass, R. (2012, March/April). “Disrupting ourselves: The problem of learning in higher education.” EDUCAUSE Review. 47(2), 23-33. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/disrupting-ourselves-problem-learning-higher-education
I’ve been teaching online at an institution other than Purdue for about 7 years now. During the Fall 2013 semester, a student commented to me that they really appreciated the amount of communication I had with them during the semester. Another student mentioned that I was much more engaged compared to his previous online course instructors.
For some reason these comments really haunted me after that term. Yes, it felt great to get that kind of feedback from students because it was positive. However, I have since been curious about why these students praised my involvement. Why is it odd to students that online instructors are engaged in their courses? If so, shouldn’t that be somewhat alarming?
Engagement is a two-way street. We can’t expect students to be highly engaged in their classes while as faculty, we appear to either simply observing the class…or at worst, completely unengaged and uncaring about what is going on.
One aspect where student performance can be impacted positively by communication from faculty is through feedback. Chickering and Gamson (1991), in their Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, list two principles that work hand-in-hand when it comes to communication: Giving prompt feedback, and communicating high expectations.
If I simply state in my syllabus that I expect strong performance from my students on an assignment, but I provide little to no feedback to students, I am not being effective in providing guidance to high-performing students who may simply need reinforcement that they’re on the right track. I am also not being effective with lower-performing students by not providing them with the feedback and information they need to improve their work and rise to the expectations I have for the class. If I don’t tell a student what I expect and clearly communicate to them what they need to do to improve, how can I expect them to do better?
So what’s so important about prompt feedback? Prompt feedback plus communication about what the student needs to continue doing (or improve upon) can make a difference in the student’s performance. Not providing prompt feedback can put a student in a position where they don’t know what to improve upon until after the submission of additional assignments or assessments.
There are other components of communication that can be accomplished to keep you engaged with the course. Consider using Announcements within Blackboard to provide updates and information that can help them, such as tips on how to complete assigned tasks, or emphasizing due dates. If you do use Announcements, change your course entry page from Course Content to Announcements so those are the first thing a student sees when they log in. In addition, critical announcements can also be emailed to students.
Furthermore, if you’re teaching online or a blended course where synchronous activity with your students is limited, you may wish to add online office hours using web conference tools provided by Purdue. This can allow you to host real-time discussions with students wherever you are.
Communicating feedback and expectations is important for student success. However, simply communicating with your students to let them know that you’re engaged and available can also demonstrate that you care about your students and their involvement in your class.
To discuss ways to increase communication with your students, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1991). Appendix A: Seven principles for
good practice in undergraduate education. New Directions for Teaching
and Learning, 47, 63-69.
As mentioned in Purdue Today, the University has purchased a site license for TechSmith’s all-in-one screen recording and editing software Camtasia. It is already available for personal installation for most full-time faculty and staff who request it, and soon it will be available in every ITaP lab on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus for faculty, staff, and student use. A Camtasia plug-in will also be installed in PowerPoint on those computers, allowing users to easily create recordings of presentations with audio, slides, and even a webcam if desired. Camtasia will be replacing Adobe Presenter on ITaP supported machines.
Windows and Mac versions
Purdue’s license of Camtasia includes both Windows and Mac versions of the software. It is important to note, however, the Windows version is an older and more robust product than the Mac version. While core recording and editing capabilities are available in both versions, the user-interface and features are very different. I must also mention that movie projects are not easily transferrable between the Windows and Mac products. This compatibility issue only affects the editable project files, therefore it is recommend to only create camera recordings and edit them on the same operating system. The final video product can then be saved in a non-editable video format (such as mp4) that will play across platforms.
Brief Overview of Key Features
Camtasia’s best feature is its ease of use. The entire computer screen, or a small selection of the screen, can be quickly recorded with a couple clicks of the mouse. It is also very easy to add audio narration and an external video source (such as a webcam). Once the recording has been created, it can be immediately produced into a sharable video file, or it can be modified with Camtasia’s full-featured editing studio. The editing pane allows the user to make cuts, zoom and pan the recording, add other media clips, and even include assessments. Camtasia also allows the importing of existing media clips, so it can be used purely as a video editor.
Share your Movies
After finishing the movie project, there are a variety of ways to share your video. TechSmith offers a free 2 GB of storage and bandwidth if you sign up for a ScreenCast account. This is useful if you need to share unrestricted video content to others who may not have access to Blackboard. Camtasia also supports direct uploads to YouTube if you link your account in the program. Finally, Camtasia also supports creating video files that can be uploaded into Kaltura (Purdue’s video storage solution) and shared in Blackboard.
One last feature worth mentioning is Camtasia’s ability to create videos that include various assessment features. For example, instructors can integrate videos in Blackboard in such a way that students can be awarded points based upon their completion of a video. For more targeted assessment, Camtasia also supports limited quizzing (multiple choice, short answer) during a video that can be scored and added into the Blackboard gradebook. As always with this type of assessment, I’d advise caution and reflection on its implementation, but it may make sense for instructors who want to tie some sort of low-stakes assessment with a student’s online participation.
Upcoming Camtasia Events
In the coming weeks and months, ITaP will be hosting several Camtasia events. Starting the week of August 12th, we will be providing hands-on training workshops for those who wish to become better acquainted with the tool. You can view and sign up for these workshops by visiting our training calendar. We are currently developing training documents for those workshops as well as stand-alone documents and videos that will be available online around that date. We will cover some basic Camtasia usage as well as how to integrate it with the systems we use at Purdue (Blackboard, Kaltura, etc). TechSmith has also created their own tutorials for Camtasia (Windows and Mac), which are pretty in-depth and useful.
This is an exciting piece of software for teaching and learning, and I look forward to finding out about all of the creative and useful ways it will be implemented on campus.