Category Archives: assessment

Turning Technologies Open House

Turning Technologies, maker of the student response system, TurningPoint Cloud, will be here to demonstrate and discuss the new version of their software. Feel free to drop in at anytime.

8/27/14 – Melville Library Classroom A – 9:00am – 12:00pm

FAQ — when getting your participant list through TurningPoint Cloud – the server address at Stony Brook University is https://blackboard.stonybrook.edu

 

 

Clicker registration changing

This Fall, Turning Technologies is changing their software to a cloud based registration system.  This doesn’t change it’s functionality for it’s use in the classroom or class preparation, and the software is already available online here:

turningpoint cloud image

 

 

As an instructor, be sure to create a turning account that is an “Instructor” account.
We are still using Turningpoint 5 till the end of the Summer II session, and therefore do not have the new building block for the cloud version installed on Blackboard. (Getting a roster/uploading grades will not work in TurningPoint Cloud till the Fall semester.) Just tried – and you can get your roster from the new software with the current production server of Blackboard.

 

The only difference in functionality is that we are allowing the use of ResponseWare for iOS/Android/web. This will allow students to use their smart device or laptop instead of a physical clicker — if you allow it. There are things to consider beforehand; like whether you want them using their devices in the classroom, the fact that they can poll in from remote locations (with assistance from a student in the class feeding them info), possible saturation of our wireless infrastructure and possible lack of cell service penetration.

 

Call me if you have any questions and here is a video showing how to download the new software and create your cloud account:

 

Stony Brook University’s first local Summer Institute

Faculty using low tech response cubes during a presentation
Faculty using low tech response cubes during a presentation

Attending the Summer Institute here on campus this week, primarily in the role of technology support and as a representative of TLT, was a really great experience.  There were many informative presentations given to prime the participating faculty for the workshop work that they would be diving into, including one given by Jennifer Frederick from Yale University’s Center for Scientific Teaching. The possibly confusing point here, is that while these Summer Institute sessions are all aimed at the departments involved in STEM education, and so therefore you are addressing a room filled with Biologists, Physicists, Mathematicians, Computer Scientists, Chemists, Engineers, etc….  “scientific teaching’ is not about teaching science, but rather teaching using effective methods that have been proven using scientific methodology.

It makes a lot of sense. These are primarily researchers. Don’t stand in front of them and tell them what they are doing wrong in the classroom and how to change it.  Show them what years of data have  to say about different aspects and strategies in teaching. Show them where they can find out data about the schools that their students are coming from (a great reason to hold these events at an individual institution or region is how you can really drill down to local issues – did you know that no schools in the Bronx even offer Physics in high school? (other than a charter school that doesn’t count because the students that go to that school don’t actually live in the Bronx)).

As soon as studies and data started to be presented to the faculty participating, I could feel them losing up and the defences coming down.  They became more comfortable and realized that they were home among their peers.

Structure of the Summer Institutes

Participants:

  • Engage in teaching and learning through interactive presentations, mini-seminars, group work, and discussions
  • Work in small groups to develop instructional materials for a general topic area
  • Design and adapt instructional materials that integrate active learning, assessment, and diversity and that have clear learning goals
  • Present and revise instructional materials based on fellow participants’ review and feedback

Three tenets of scientific teaching were explored everyday.

Active Learning (or Teaching)
Diversity
Assessment

Common activity teaching techniques that were demonstrated and then used in the faculty presentations included:

Think – Pair – Share
Student Response Systems (traditional clickers and low tech response cubes)
POE (Predict Observe Explain)
Demonstrations

IMHO the event went very well and CESAME did a great job bring it to SBU.  I hope everyone involved was happy with the outcomes and that the participants feel a bit revitalized the next time they are stepping into a classroom.

Low Tech Clickers

Here is a draft of a low tech clicker I am bring to the Summer Institute on Undergraduate STEM Education the week of July 7th.

draft of low tech clicker
draft of low tech clicker

When assembled, the students will have a cube that allows them  to chose from 6 possible answers.  The instructor in the room can easily see where the students are at by quickly scanning the colors being displayed.  It is also possible to show student confidence by encouraging them to hold them high if they are very confident and lower if less so.

Google Forms as a virtual clicker

Students could use laptops, ipod touches, or smart phones in class to respond to questions from the instructor. If you keep the “poll” or quiz open, you can also collect answers asynchronously for online/flipped learning. The answers are dumped to a spreadsheet, so you have all the data for assessment, attendance and participation.

poll seen from iphone
poll seen from iphone