Universal Design for Learning **New 3-Part Online Series**

MP90043953621st Century college students bring a diverse set of preferences, skills and expectations to the classroom. Engaging and motivating students in the dynamic age in which we live can be a challenge. The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is pleased to announce a series of 3 new online workshops on the topic of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). To address the diverse needs and preferences of students in 21st century classrooms, we will explore how UDL concepts can be applied in both traditional and online courses.

During the first online session hosted on February 23, 2016, an overview of Universal Design for Learning was discussed. The three areas of Universal Design for Learning: Multiple Means of Engagement, Multiple Means of Representation and Multiple Means of Action/Expression, were introduced to provide the foundation for the series of workshops. Additionally, the first workshop provided a more in depth focus on Multiple Means of Engagement. Participants from a wide range of disciplines and departments shared many different perspectives as well as tips and strategies for incorporating UDL principles in courses they are designing and teaching. We enjoyed collaborating with NIU participants and colleagues from other institutions in this online workshop. View the workshop recording below.

The series of workshops will be fully online to allow participants to connect from the comfort of their home, office or other location using an Internet connection. The newly released Blackboard Collaborate Ultra platform will be used to conduct all of the online workshops.

All of the workshops will be held from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. CST. The second workshop Universal Design for Learning: Multiple Means of Representation will be hosted on March 24th. NIU faculty, teaching assistants, and staff can register here. Those who are interested from other institutions can register here. The final workshop Universal Design for Learning: Multiple Means of Action/Expression will be scheduled for April 2016. We look forward to engaging with you during the series of workshops.

Smart Classroom User Training

Smart Classroom User Training — The Division of Information Technology is offering training on using the audiovisual equipment in Provost sponsored smart classrooms.Smart Classroom

Both new and returning instructors should benefit from these brief tutorials. A complete demonstration with hands on practice could take a half-hour of your time.

TRAINING DATES

Tuesday, January 12

Wednesday, January 13

Thursday, January 14

 

Please contact Keith Bisplinghoff (753-0172) to arrange for an appointment on January 12, 13, or 14, 2016.

Service Learning in Higher Education

posted in: Newsletter, Teaching | 0

pre service reflection, reflection during service, post service reflectionService learning is an engaging teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful, real-world community service with instructional goals and objectives. The service experience involves students in essential reflection activities that enrich the mutually beneficial outcomes of students and the community.

Falling under the umbrella term Experiential Learning, service learning joins other student-centered learning strategies such as problem- and project-based learning, active learning, and place-based learning (Wurdinger & Carlson, 2010, p. 7). Service learning can be further subdivided into direct, indirect, research, and advocacy service learning, each of which involve students in a variety of engaging and meaningful learning experiences (excerpted from Colorado State University, 2015; GenerationOn, n.d.; University of Minnesota, 2011).

Types of Service Learning

Direct Service is volunteer-focused where students are placed in direct contact with people who benefit from a specific service such as:

  • Counseling incoming or new students
  • Reading to small children in intergenerational projects
  • Helping local citizens fill out their annual tax returns
  • Serving food at a local food pantry or soup kitchen

Indirect Service is program- or issue-focused in which students engage in a service by providing goods or a product to a needy cause such as:

  • Collecting and distributing food items or clothing
  • Engaging in neighborhood beautification projects or local conservation efforts
  • Planting a community garden
  • Building low-income housing

Advocacy/Civic Engagement is policy-focused during which students address the cause of and are often personally committed to a social issue such as:

  • Establishing a voter registration campaign among students and the community
  • Distributing literature about a neighborhood watch program throughout specifically affected neighborhoods
  • Speaking on behalf of underrepresented segments of the community
  • Lobbying for more trash cans to minimize littering on campus

Research Service involves students collecting and reporting information for public welfare or interest such as:

  • Working in a laboratory that meets a community need
  • Testing water or soil quality
  • Conducting research to protect local wetlands
  • Developing or re-purposing products from recycled materials

Characteristics of Service Learning

All of the types of service learning share some common characteristics:

  • The service must be connected with course learning goals and objectives
  • The service must meet a genuine community need
  • The service will establish a reciprocal relationship among all constituents
  • The service includes time for students to reflect throughout the experience
    (Bethel University, n.d.)

Reflecting on Service Learning

Reflection is a key component of service learning and gives students an informal structure to connect the experience to the learning goals and objectives. The figure at the beginning of this article illustrates how this reflection can lead to successful learning experiences through:

  • Pre-service reflection, where students examine what they know and think about issues raised by the project.
  • Reflection during service (this is the “What?” phase), in which students identify where they are in the process and share their concerns and feelings.
  • Post-service reflection (this is the “So what” phase), during which students consider the significance of the service (their experience in it, how they can integrate their new understanding in the situation and course work, and offer further action).
  • “Now what?” phase, when students ask what they should do next and whether it is time to decide how best to proceed – considering the future impact of the experience on the community and themselves.

Getting Started

Getting started with service learning involves a number of steps for it to be meaningful for students, community partners, and instructors. First, connect the service and course goals and objectives; second, explain the relevance of the service to both the students and service constituents; third, incorporate the principles of service learning in your teaching through meaningful engagement, reflection, reciprocity (where everyone is a colleague); four, allow for public dissemination of the experience; and finally, each student, community partner, and instructor must have the opportunity to provide their assessment of the experience. Analyzing and assessing the service learning experience will help all constituents realize the effects of the experience and pinpoint areas of the course to make improvements for future experiences.

Service Learning in Action

Service-learning is often combined with interdisciplinary learning, where different colleges, departments, and curricula share service learning objectives (National Service Learning Clearinghouse, 2011). These cross-disciplinary opportunities are ripe for learning how to collaborate, problem solve, and reflect with peers, faculty, and the community. Where students, faculty, and community members often function in separate domains, service-learning experience brings all stakeholders together to share goals and decisions which benefit both the campus and community.

Service Learning in Online Courses

Service learning opportunities need not be restricted to face-to-face courses. Strait and Sauer (2004) highlight an “e-service” model at Bemidji State University that engages teacher education students in service opportunities that take place in their local communities. They also report on the lessons learned, challenges, and suggestions for those who are interested in incorporating e-service in their courses. Visit the Center for Digital Civic Engagement for articles and resources about ways to integrate online teaching and service learning opportunities.

Service Learning at Northern Illinois University

Visit the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning for more information on service learning opportunities at NIU and how to get started implementing service learning in your own courses. The Office of Student Involvement & Leadership Development is a great resource for identifying service learning opportunities for students. Also, both the College of Business and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offer unique experiential learning programs for their students.

Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning

Office of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

College of Business

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Service Learning Resources

The National Service Learning Clearinghouse

Campus Compact

Summary

Service learning can have a profound impact on students, faculty, and the community. Students are able to combine classroom knowledge with real-world issues as they work with community members to bring about realistic and effective solutions and faculty from different disciplines learn from one another and gain valuable insight for future collaboration. The partnership that emerges from service learning activities helps the community to see solutions and ways that can further their cause.

References

Bethel University Off-Campus Programs: Service Learning (n.d.). What is service learning? Retrieved from http://cas.bethel.edu/off-campus-programs/service-learning/

Colorado State University (2015). Types of service learning activities. Retrieved from http://tilt.colostate.edu/service/about/typesOfSL.cfm

GenerationOn (n.d.). Taking action: Four types of service. Retrieved from http://www.generationon.org//files/flat-page/files/taking_action_-_four_types_of_service_0.pdf

Strait, J., & Sauer, T. (2004). Constructing experiential learning for online courses: The birth of e-service. Retrieved from http://er.educause.edu/articles/2004/1/constructing-experiential-learning-for-online-courses-the-birth-of-eservice

University of Minnesota Center for Community-Engaged Learning (2011). Direct, indirect, research, and advocacy engagement. Retrieved from http://www.servicelearning.umn.edu/cesp/programdetails/engagement_types.html

Wurdinger, D. D., & Carlson, J. A. (2010). Teaching for experiential learning: Five approaches that work. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education. [Available at Founders Memorial Library]

Upgrade Details for TurningPoint Cloud

turningpoint_cloud_logo_200wThis is the second of two announcements about the upgrade the TurningPoint, which is currently planned for the Memorial Day weekend.
Registering a Turning Technologies Account
Once the upgrade occurs, everyone—faculty/staff and students—will need to register an account with Turning Technologies: https://account.turningtechnologies.com/account/user/validateEmail

For faculty and staff who teach with TurningPoint, the account will be necessary for logging into the TurningPoint Cloud desktop software.

For students, the account will be where they enter their physical clicker and/or ResponseWare license information. (It is up to the faculty or staff member teaching the course to decide if the ResponseWare app is an acceptable polling option.) Additionally, they will still need to access the Turning Technologies tool within Blackboard; doing so is what will allow your TurningPoint software to tie their polling grades to the Blackboard Grade Center.

Upgrading TurningPoint Software
By the start of the summer semester, all centrally-managed Smart Classrooms will be updated to TurningPoint Cloud. For those who are used to running TurningPoint off your USB drive or Turning Technologies clicker receiver, you will want to replace it with the new software. For those with older receivers, we have a number of new ones on hand that we can swap for your old one, if you wish; please come see Peter Gowen or Cameron Wills on the third floor of Adams Hall.

If you have registered a Turning Account, you can find the software in the Downloads section on your account page. You can also find the latest software (the version that’s installed in the Smart Classrooms), within the “Download TurningPoint Software” folder in the “TurningPoint Info” section of this Blackboard Community.

**TIP** Back up your session data before the upgrade. As with other student data, it’s always a good idea to make sure you keep a backup of your clicker session data, especially for any of it that wasn’t sent to the Blackboard Grade Center, in case of student appeals.

Requesting Clickers from the Bookstore
If you will be teaching with clickers, please remember to tell the Bookstore. They need to know roughly how many students will be buying clickers, in order to keep enough on hand for sale. Last semester, several classes weren’t listed, and there was a shortage; students had to wait for Turning Technologies to send them their clickers, which may have been disruptive for those faculty/staff who planned on using clickers during the first week of classes.

QT Clicker (1-Year Turning Account) 978-1-934931-52-3 $53.35
QT Clicker (4-Year Turning Account) 978-1-934931-75-2 $73.35
Turning Account (1-Year) 978-1-934931-71-4 $18.80
Turning Account (4-Year) 978-1-934931-73-8 $32.90

Preparing for the First Day of Class
Turning Technologies has a number of resources for the TurningPoint Cloud software, including helpful sample slides that you may want to incorporate in your lectures during the first week of classes: http://www.turningtechnologies.com/best-practices-higher-education/getting-started/turningpoint-cloud

More documentation and tutorials can be found here: https://www.turningtechnologies.com/training-documents/turningpoint-cloud
https://www.turningtechnologies.com/tutorials/turningpoint-cloud

Lastly, Turning Technologies runs weekly online trainings for all aspects of their software: https://www.turningtechnologies.com/online-classes

For further information on the upgrade, please contact Benjamin West from Turning Technologies (bwest@turningtechnologies.com), or get in touch with Peter Gowen (pgowen@niu.edu) or Cameron Wills (cwills@niu.edu) at the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.

FAQs

  • Q: Will my Turning Account work across institutions I attend (if I’m a student) or teach at (if I’m a professor)?
  • A: Turning Accounts will work across multiple institutions, and students will only pay to register a new Turning Account once (though they will have to pay the yearly renewal fee, for any year after the first).
  • Q: When TurningPoint is updated, will I be able to use the older software from my USB drive? Will I still be able to upload to Blackboard?
  • A: After the upgrade, the Blackboard integration will no longer be available for older versions of the software. All users on campus will need to install TurningPoint Cloud in order to upload grades to the Blackboard Grade Center and download student class lists to the TurningPoint desktop software.
  • Q: Will my students’ older devices still work with TurningPoint? Will they need to re-license them each year? How?
  • A: Yes. Come Summer 2015, once TurningPoint has been upgraded to the new “cloud” version, new devices (the ones with the single year Turning Account license “bundle”), will be sold to NIU. Any devices that students had previously bought (whether in Spring ’15 or earlier) will need to be registered with a Turning Account, which they can do for a one time fee of $20.
  • Q: After the upgrade, will students be able to sell each other their devices, if those devices are tied to a Turning Account?
  • A: Yes. The receiving student will be able to re-register it, but will have to pay the $20 registration fee to tie it to a new account.
  • Q: Will my current PowerPoint slides I built with TurningPoint still work?
  • A: Yes, you should still be able to open and edit them with the PowerPoint Polling features in TurningPoint Cloud.
  • Q: What happened to the “E-mail unregistered students” link in the Turning Technologies Tool?
  • A: The new module in Blackboard does not include this function any longer. Instead, the new TurningPoint software will display a list of unregistered students after you use the Integration to pull down a Participant List. If there are only a handful of students, you could look up their email addresses within Blackboard or within the NIU Directory, and email them directly. Otherwise, we would recommend informing your class about the necessity of registering their device, either in your face-to-face class, or through a Blackboard Announcement: students receive no credit for their submitted answers (though their data is saved for later) until they register their device.

TurningPoint Cloud to replace TurningPoint 5.3

turningpoint_cloud_logo_200w

TurningPoint is the desktop software used by faculty as part of the student response system (SRS), or “clickers”, to receive immediate feedback from students in class. The current version of TurningPoint, installed across Smart Classrooms at NIU, is 5.3.

TurningPoint will be upgraded at the end of May, after the Spring semester ends and before Summer classes begin. The new version comes with a mix of benefits and costs, which we wanted to make sure you were aware of.

The most obvious change to TurningPoint will be the requirement of registering a Turning Account. Both you and your students will need to create an account with Turning Technologies, which you can do here: https://account.turningtechnologies.com/account/user/validateEmail This will be necessary for you to access the new TurningPoint Cloud (TPC) desktop software. This will also be necessary for your students, in order for them to register their clicker device and/or ResponseWare license.

While an extra step for you and your students, the TurningPoint Account will work with the software to encrypt your clicker session data, making it secure from prying eyes. Noone else will be able to access your data, unless you choose to share it with them!

Turning Technologies is also instituting a new recurring annual fee to students. The up-front cost to students will remain the same for the clicker device at the bookstore (and will now include a license for the ResponseWare app for free, as a “bundle”): about $53. The bundle will include a one-year license for use of the clicker and the ResponseWare app. If a student needs to use either the device or the app after that first year, they will have to buy a 1-year license renewal; they can instead opt to buy a 4-year license renewal, if they anticipate needing the device or app for more than the first couple years, saving them some money over the course of their NIU career. Student financial aid will apply to both the clicker bundle and the license renewal codes at the Bookstore.

Here is a detailed breakdown of costs from the NIU Bookstore:

  • QT Clicker, 1-Year Turning Account, 978-1-934931-52-3, $53.35
  • QT Clicker, 4 Year Turning Account, 978-1-934931-75-2, $73.35
  • Turning Account – 1-Year, 978-1-934931-71-4, $18.80
  • Turning Account – 4-Year, 978-1-934931-73-8, $32.90

 

The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center will follow up later with information on managing the upgrade process for you and your students. If you have any questions about the upgrade, you can email Benjamin West from Turning Technologies (bwest@turningtechnologies.com) or get in touch with Peter Gowen (pgowen@niu.edu) or Cameron Wills (cwills@niu.edu) at the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.

For more information on using clickers at NIU, please visit: http://niu.edu/blackboard/assess/clickers/index.shtml.

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