Good news for social scientists: NVivo, the software package for qualitative and mixed-methods social-scientific research, is now available free of charge to all BU faculty, staff and students. NVivo allows you to take verbal interview data and use your computer’s power to analyze it for subtle trends and patterns. You can now go to the NVivo page on TechWeb and download the software to your computer. The page also provides links to the NVivo company’s supporting documentation.
For the moment, NVivo is only available for Windows. The company has promised a Mac version for fall 2013. In the meantime, NVivo will run on a Mac in virtual Windows emulation software like Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, or VMware Fusion.
You should feel welcome to use NVivo in your classes. However, if you wish to use NVivo in a class with more than a handful of students, we request that you contact us at the Help Center so that we can add their additional licences without interruptions in availability.
The agenda is now ready for CEIT‘s fifth annual Instructional Innovation Conference, to be held on Friday, March 8, 2013. Among the many topics discussed will be increasing student engagement in online learning, simulation training in class, and using text messages for classroom polling – all coming out of the experience of BU faculty like you. For the complete agenda, list of abstracts, and registration link, go to the conference page. If you’re interested in attending, please register by Monday, March 4.
The Educational Technology Blog has moved to a new home at sites.bu.edu/edtech/. We hope you like the new look. Please update any links in your browser accordingly, but the old blogs.bu links will redirect you here. The move is part of an exciting upcoming transition from the old blogs.bu.edu WordPress server to a new and more powerful sites.bu.edu WordPress service, providing the full power of BU’s departmental WordPress installation to faculty and staff. (blogs.bu.edu will remain as an option available to students.) We expect the sites.bu.edu service will be available within the next few weeks; stay tuned on this blog for more details!
This Wednesday, BU engineering professor Lorena Barba will give a Teaching Talk on the topic of the “flipped” classroom, in which course content (such as lectures) is delivered online in order to free up class time for interactive participation. Practising what she preaches, Prof. Barba will be flipping the talk itself. She is asking attenders to view an interactive online presentation before they come to the talk. As a tool, Prof. Barba uses the free TED-Ed platform, which she also uses in her classes (see an example here).
Prof. Barba has written a longer piece in defence of the flipped classroom, with many links, available here.
At his Teaching Tech Talk today, Turnitin representative Shawn Lowney demonstrated some features of the Turnitin software that many users may be unaware of. Most faculty know Turnitin for its OriginalityCheck plagiarism detection function, and Lowney briefly addressed how it can perform this function well. But he also addressed other sides of Turnitin that may be less familiar.
Turnitin’s GradeMark portion contains many functions to make grading easier. Its QuickMark system allows you to save time on grading papers by dragging and dropping your most frequently used comments directly onto the paper. You can also add audio comments to convey the tone of your comments. Turnitin is integrated with Blackboard, so grades can be passed easily between the two systems.
BU offers Turnitin via the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching; these features are available to all BU faculty now. We do not yet have a structure in place for offering technical support to faculty, but hope to have one established soon.