Boston University has something new to offer those who use a survey tool to conduct research or course evaluations, offer tests and quizzes, get student feedback, and analyze data. A group of IT Partners from SED, CAS, ENG, SMG, and BUMC, together with IS&T, have purchased a site license for Qualtrics, a highly advanced yet easy to use survey tool. This means you should not have to pay for your own or a department survey tool license as long as the site license is renewed. It’s provided at no charge — to students, faculty, staff, students, even guests sponsored by a department.
To access Qualtrics, visit www.bu.edu/qualtrics and enter your BU login name and Kerberos password. On-line, you can create a survey, collaborate with others in and outside the University, distribute to anonymous or invited participants, view results, and build reports. Response has been very good. It’s a simple and productive tool. Introductory courses are now offered; you can sign up online.
Many new tutorials on educational technology tools are now being offered through the training calendar within TechWeb. In July and August there are sessions available on Blackboard Learn, WordPress, Qualtrics survey design, NVivo, Digication ePortfolio and BUworks (SAP). Sign up for hands-on sessions to learn how to use any of these tools.
BU offers a scanning and scoring service for a variety of paper-based needs including course evaluations, surveys and exam scoring, as well as data collection and professional form design. The scanning and scoring staff’s mission is to collect, analyze and report all these varieties of data in a manner that is effective, timely and accurate.
BU’s high-speed OPSCAN scanners can read both ink (black or blue) and pencil marks (#2). Quizzes and midterm exams are processed within 48 hours. Final exams are guaranteed to be processed within 24 hours, including item analysis and statistics. Scores can be provided via email.
Reports from course evaluations and surveys are generally available two to three weeks after receiving the evaluation or survey package, and within a week for data collections. Raw data and results can be provided electronically in database-compatible format for your own analysis. The scanning and scoring service also offers its extensive experience in forms design and scanning projects; its staff can assist you in tailoring forms that are intuitive and will accurately capture data needed for a project.
The Scanning Service is available to BU faculty, researchers, staff and departments, and can also be requested by outside clients or institutions. The cost varies by service. Visit links to learn more about BU scanning services in general, or specifically about test scoring, course evaluations, surveys and data collection, or custom form design.
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.