Monthly Archives: June 2013

Open Resources Pose Challenge to Higher Education

Every year the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative produce the Horizon report. This report is the result of much literature review and research. The goal of this report is often to focus on major trends in education, often revolving around technology.

Download the full report here:

One of the key trends or challenges that the horizon report identified in their report this year dealt with openness.  The Key Trends section of the report has an area that focuses on concepts such as open resources, transparency, and easy access to data, but also on the evaluation of open resources. One statement made in this section that really stood out was that “authoritative sources lose their importance.” How do we determine if a source is relevant? Does this same criteria apply to open resources? Also open resources do not always take on the traditional academic form of a journal article; how do students evaluate these resources? What about other resources such as video or podcasts?

Instructors expect well supported and cited data from our students, but as relevant resources and media types change form, should instructors also change their expectations of their students? We need to be sure that we are providing our students with the appropriate skills to recognize a good source, and help them set criteria that information needs to be filtered through to decipher its relevance and validity. Building digital literacy skill development into courses is a way that students can develop these skills. One way this can be accomplished is to provide assignments in which a justification of sources is part of the assignment, if not all of the assignment.  Defending decisions with supporting resources will likely be a big part of the work life these students will be exposed to after graduation. Being able to justify a decision will not only help them make better decisions, but will also help their coworkers and stakeholders understand why a decision was made.

Consider involving the library in your class activities. The wonderful staff at the University of Lethbridge Library have a variety of  resources and ideas that could help your students develop the digital literacy skills they need. There is also a sections on the library website that may help in evaluating content found on the web.

Web Research Basics

Get More out of Google

Evaluating Websites

If you are struggling with how to build digital literacy skill development into the activities of your course, give the Teaching Centre a call. Our staff will be glad to help in any way they can.

Gamification…is what? Part 1

One of the latest buzzwords (Trippenbach 2013) to circulate in the education community has been “gamification”. According to the 2013 Horizon Report ,“gamification aims to incorporate elements of games, such as levels and badges (but also via quests and other strategies) into non-game activities” and is placed on the two to three year horizon of adoption. While games themselves can have value as an engagement tool or allegory, this teaching strategy seeks to use the mechanics of game play and leverage the unique elements of games to enhance or even completely redesign a course, activity or assignment.

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Shifting the Teacher Learner Paradigm

In 2010  Dr. Shelly Wismath created an elective Liberal Education course that teaches problem solving skills through puzzles. Alongside this new course offering, Dr. Wismath began a long-term research project to study how students develop problem solving skills, and how such skills can best be taught and enhanced. Over the pilot and two subsequent offerings of this course, this associated research project has been funded by the Teaching Center’s “Teaching Development Fund” which supports faculty research focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education (SoTLHE).  Several publications have resulted from Shelly’s research. In the first of these articles, Shelly has shared her insights and experiences on teaching the pilot offering of the course, and focuses on the importance of rethinking the post-secondary teacher-learner paradigm for the 21st century. This personal reflection on the changing face of post-secondary instruction is published in the peer-reviewed journal “College Teaching” Volume 61, Issue 3, 2013.

To read this article in full, please visit the following link.

Creating Videos for Use in a Class

Posted by: Todd Doucette – Teaching Centre – Digital Media Specialist (Video)

The other day a colleague in our office wanted to talk to me about creating videos for a class on flip teaching (or flipped classroom). He had to explain to me what flip teaching was because I had never heard of it before. What I learned was that flip teaching is where students do work prior to class. In this case it was to watch a video lecture and then come to class ready to discuss the topics in the video. It doesn’t have to be a video can be to read an article, chapter of a book, or anything done prior to the class. Considering my focus at the Teaching Centre is video I was intrigued by the concept.

I wanted to see how I could help the instructor create videos that would help with their teaching. We discussed how we could help and had many ideas, many good, some not bad and some that probably wouldn’t work. We wanted good quality for both video and audio. Many times in creating a video people don’t place enough emphasis on audio. We discussed how to make the videos to a quality that your students can see and hear everything. We talked about delivery, where to post your videos, what formats to export it to. We had many different ideas depending upon your goals so if you are interested in creating videos for your class come to the Teaching Centre and I would be happy to discuss how we can help you.