On Wednesday, September 27th, Metropolitan College hosted the second in an ongoing series of presentations on the integration of various educational technology tools and techniques in online, blended, and face to face classes. This series has been organized by a group consisting of staff from Metropolitan College departments of Educational Technology & Innovation and the Office of Distance Education. Specifically, this session looked at a variety of methods and means for deterring and detecting plagiarism. We want to thank all who attended. If you were not able to attend the event, please feel free to watch the recording or view the slides from the presentation.
The presentation covered a range of methods, from more traditional strategies and best practices, to a demonstration of the Turnitin tool, its latest incarnation Turnitin Feedback Studio, and its integration into Blackboard. The questions and discussion that followed illustrated how important a topic this is for us to be focusing on at this time. Special thanks to Andy Abrahamson, Yuvaraj Gunasekaran, Emily Heffernan Helter, Dan Hillman, and Shannon Rose McAuliffe for presenting on such an important topic.
Be on the lookout for an announcement about October’s installment of this series on the topic of tools and techniques for incorporating video into your courses.
All presentations take place in Room 109 of the Fuller Building, 808 Commonwealth Avenue. Attendees who cannot come in person can attend virtually. Please direct any questions you may have about this series to Emily Heffernan Helter, Assistant Director of Educational Technology and Production, in the Office of Distance Education firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome back to BU! Turnitin has now moved to the new Feedback Studio interface, combining the Originality Check and GradeMark features into a single screen. Your experience with Turnitin (whether you use it through Blackboard or through Turnitin.com) will remain the same for everything except viewing papers. If you missed Turnitin’s presentation at BU on last week, you can now watch it online to get comfortable with the new system. You can also view Turnitin’s online Feedback Studio manual for instructors and manual for students.
Turnitin is providing BU with a free-of-charge training session on Turnitin Feedback Studio, Turnitin’s newly revised user interface. The new system promises to make it easier for faculty to streamline and speed up their grading of written assignments. The demonstration will be held on campus on Tuesday August 30 from 12:30 to 2:30. It will also be streamed and recorded; you can watch the stream through an Adobe Connect link. BU faculty and staff are welcome to attend in person; please contact Amod Lele (information available via the BU Directory) if you would like to attend.
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.
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.
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).
Many of you will remember Eldon Strickland, who served at BU as an Associate Director in the Office of Distance Education, as well as an advisor for centers such as CADER, CFLP and other units. Eldon attended many of our Ed Tech Collective meetings while he worked at Boston University.
Today we can congratulate him to his successful defense of his dissertation, which he accomplished on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at BU’s School of Education. In his dissertation entitled “The Effect of Teacher Self-Disclosure on Student Motivation and Affect Toward Teacher in Online Education” he examines the effect of TSD and comes to some interesting conclusions.
Hopefully we will soon be able to point to a published article based on his work and invite him to our Ed Tech Collective to share his findings. Overall the importance of student-teacher engagement as one of the pillars for successfully motivating students is highlighted, as well as the need for us – as Educational Technologists – to support and educate our faculty in leveraging the technologies and tools we have at our disposal to achieve this beneficial level of engagement.
Lucidchart, a free online software package for diagramming, is now available at BU in its enhanced educational version. Lucidchart is an easy way to draw flowcharts, mind maps and many other kinds of diagrams. It is comparable to Microsoft Visio, but unlike Visio it is cloud-based and cross-platform, and therefore an excellent solution for Mac users. The educational version allows advanced features not available to the general public, including Visio import/export and additional libraries of shapes. Lucidchart is integrated with BU’s Google Apps installation to make it easy to log into Lucidchart with your BU Google account and integrate with your BU Google Drive. TechWeb has a quick overview of Lucidchart and instructions on getting started.