To highlight the best work of their students, the College of General Studies – where all students produce an interdisciplinary ePortfolio as part of their program curriculum – recently introduced an ePortfolio Showcase. Out of over 1000 student ePortfolios, each team of faculty nominated a student that it thought produced the best porfolio. A peer mentor and the assistant dean for interdisciplinary learning selected the winners from among these: three freshmen (Kyle Cowper, Natalie Fritz and Nicole Jefferson) and a sophomore (Nahomi Velasquez). The winners received a $100 gift card from the BU Bookstore. Screenshots of the winners now scroll across the screen of the lobby at CGS, and Nahomi Velasquez’s winning portfolio is available for public viewing on the web.
BU’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA) has recently adopted ePortfolios as a way for students to display their accomplishments in the program’s required internship courses. ePortfolios allow students to document and showcase what they have done in their professional career while studying. The ePortfolio requirement encourages students to start thinking about their career paths from their first internship, by gathering materials and documents that they may find useful in charting their future careers. The many documents they post include: a résumé, a cover letter, a sample thank-you letter to an interviewer, a LinkedIn profile, information about jobs applied for, reflection on a mock interview, an elevator speech, documentation of a networking event, and a reflection on the experience. This ePortfolio documentation helps students make the job-search process an integral part of their SHA career.
In the coming months, BU Educational Technology, Training and Outreach plans to offer free training workshops on NVivo open to all interested BU faculty, staff and students. But if you can’t wait, or you’d like to focus more deeply on particular advanced topics, you may be inerested to know that QSR International (the creators of NVivo) have a special offer on paid online training webinars in June. If you enroll in one, you can enroll in a second of similar duration at half price.
90-minute workshops on special topics are $125 per course, or $95 for students. If you enroll in any one, you may enroll in a second at half price. (This applies only to purchases made between now and June 30.)
- Analyzing Text in NVivo: for those who are new to NVivo or for those who have used previous versions of QSR software.
- Working with Media Sources in NVivo: for those who are new to NVivo or for those who have used previous versions of QSR software who are working with media and image files.
- Classifying Data and Coding Queries: for those who have taken a prior course or have experience with importing and coding data in NVivo.
- Datasets and Web Content: for those with a special interest in survey data or social media content from the web.
- Literature Reviews and NVIvo: for those who would like to learn how NVivo can be used for a literature review.
Six-hour workshops are offered over the course of one week, Mon-Wed-Fri, 2 hours each day. The cost of each workshop is $325, or $295 for students. Enroll in Essentials, and enroll in Further Analysis at half price. (This applies only to purchases made between now and June 30.)
- NVivo Essentials: A basic introduction to NVivo that will provide you with the fundamental information and practice you need to get started with your own project.
- Further Analysis in NVivo: Go beyond the basics to asking questions of your data and your analysis using categorical date like demographics, grouping tools, coding queries and visualizations.
Want to learn more about using audience response systems in your classes – whether with traditional clickers or via mobile devices? Turning Technologies invites BU faculty and staff to a series of webinars from May 21st to 23rd, demonstrating several different aspects of these technologies. They have provided a flyer providing details on the webinars.
Are you interested in educational technology at BU but can’t come to regularly check the blog page? We’ve had our Twitter feed @edtechbu up as one way to keep up, but now there’s another way. If you scroll down to the lower right on this site, you’ll see new Subscribe options available where you can subscribe to our announcements, case studies, or some of our most popular genres of technology. Click on the Email option to have new posts delivered to your email inbox. (If you use an RSS reader, you can also receive new posts that way.)
These subscriptions are made possible by Google’s FeedBurner service. You can use FeedBurner on your BU WordPress websites as well.
Sophie Godley often begins the semester in her community-health class by setting ground rules, including expectations for electronic media. She gently teases students that perhaps they can spare an hour or two away from communicating with others, with particular reference to Facebook, and instead focus on themselves and their learning. During one of these conversations, it struck her that Facebook also had potential as a positive learning resource. Prof. Godley’s students often emailed her links to articles relevant to the current class’s material, and she thought that Facebook offered an easy way for them to share those articles with each other directly.
In fall 2012, she created Facebook pages for her classes at both undergraduate and graduate levels, which she invited students to “like”. She made it clear that students did not have to be her Facebook “friend”, and that participation in the page was voluntary. She has now started three different pages for the three classes she teaches, and has reached 462 students. In addition to generating student content and discussion, past and present students can interact on the page. Prof. Godley can post jobs and internships, and include both current and former students. She can also ask questions about articles and generate back-and-forth in the comments. She has also found it “relatively painless” to manage the Facebook pages, compared to many other administrative tasks of teaching.
WordPress is a straightforward and state-of-the-art technology for designing websites and blogs. If you’re interested in learning it, we’re pleased to announce that WordPress training sessions have now resumed. Trainings on the Charles River campus have been scheduled starting this Thursday, March 7, with additional trainings available in April and May. Trainings on the Medical campus will be announced soon. All trainings are hands-on events where you will have the opportunity to explore WordPress on our computers yourself. You can see our schedule and sign up for trainings here.
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 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.