Interested in recording video lectures and other digital content but want higher quality than what you can make on your phone? As BU faculty, you have access to a studio in Mugar Library with high-quality recording equipment and software such as Camtasia. You can learn to use it by signing up for a consultation with an educational technologist. Once you’ve done that, you can book and reserve the room to use it at your convenience.
If you’d like your students to use ePortfolios but you don’t want to go through the setup process for assignments, there’s a simpler way to track what your students did when. Every Digication portfolio has a site map, accessible in the upper right of the portfolio below the BU logo. You can look at this site map to see all the pages in the portfolio, when they were last updated, and which student last updated them.
The process of reporting program assessment is about to get easier. After a long process of faculty consultation, the office of Program Learning Outcomes Assessment, in conjunction with the Educational Technology office, has selected the Planning module from Campus Labs to assist in coordinating program outcomes assessment. This fall, instead of sending Word templates back and forth, we will have a streamlined web-based cloud interface for entering assessment options. This will make it easier for departments to record their processes as required by NEASC, BU’s accreditor. It will also allow departments to generate reports about their own learning goals in order to improve their own teaching, if they wish.
Are you interested in Turnitin, for academic integrity or the time-saving GradeMark features, but do not want your students’ papers added to the company’s proprietary database? There is a simple way to accomplish this. When creating a Turnitin assignment within Blackboard, press the Optional Settings button, and then select Submit papers to:. Change the drop-down option to no repository and papers will no longer be added to the database.
Turnitin, BU’s platform for checking academic integrity with a vast database of papers, will soon be moving to a new and revamped system called Turnitin Feedback Studio. Feedback Studio offers a streamlined user interface that integrates Turnitin’s well-known academic-integrity features with the lesser-known GradeMark features, which allow faculty to speed up their grading by dragging and dropping frequently used comments, and adding rubrics. The system will continue to integrate with Blackboard within a frame. We expect to change to the new system in late August. You can try a demo of Feedback Studio on their site, and browse a user guide for more details.
The EdTech Blog now has a Facebook page as well as our Twitter feed. New posts are now automatically pushed to both these pages, so you can keep up with the blog via your preferred social media site. And you can still get our posts in your email inbox or on an RSS feed, as before. There are now lots of ways to keep up with educational technology at BU.
In addition, we now have Share This options at the bottom of every post, so if you’re excited about a particular new edtech development you can share it on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or by print or email.
Thought about assigning film as course material? It can be easier than ever now – Boston University Libraries offer more than 15,000 films online via the Kanopy streaming video service. Titles cover a wide gamut of educational, documentary, and old and newer Hollywood films. Over one hundred providers include the widely used Media Education Foundation, covering many disciplines, and the Criterion Collection, for film studies. Individual titles, such as Race – The Power of an Illusion, can be found using BU Libraries Search.
With your own account in Kanopy you can identify favorites and create short clips to embed in your Blackboard Learn or other course site. Explore available content and/or contact staff in Krasker Film/Video Services for assistance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling (617) 353-8112, or by visiting them in Mugar Library, basement level.
The makers of Lucidchart have introduced a graphic-design app called Lucidpress. It allows easy, attractive design and layout of both print and online materials, easily shared through social media. since it is cloud-based, it works on Windows, Mac and other platforms. It is currently available to BU users free of charge through your BU Google accounts. Find out more through Lucidpress’s tour and use your BU Google account to sign up.
Fabula Maps is a new tool that allows the easy design of interactive maps. It has already been used by BU faculty in the Art History and Archaeology departments. It is free to explore, so please check out the tool and its gallery of sample maps.
Fabula allows the design of single-author public sites for free; collaborative and private sites require a paid subscription. For this reason, for student-generated map content, we continue to recommend the use of Boston College’s MediaKron tool, which the BU community can access entirely for free through our pilot partnership. (Please contact Amod Lele if you’re interested in MediaKron; you can find his email via Exchange or the BU Directory). If you’re looking to create a map as a reference for your students rather than having them create it with you, have a look at Fabula. To get started, try their first steps guide.
A group of BU faculty and staff met with students in early May to hear their recommendations on uses of social media in the classroom. The students were all seniors, from COM and Sargent College (previously from CGS). We are summarizing their recommendations here for the wider BU community.
These students recommended not to force particular uses of social media in the class: let students use a closed course Facebook group as they see fit to build community, not grading them on it (or at most grading their participation pass-fail). They also recommended that faculty acknowledge and integrate ongoing current events into their classes, as a way of moving the focus off grades and into applied learning, and that Facebook and Twitter are appropriate platforms for this. For more informal discussions, they preferred closed course Facebook groups to Blackboard discussion forums.
There will likely be another meeting before the summer is out. If you’re interested in attending and have not already been invited to this group, please contact Amod Lele (he can be found via the BU Directory).