Wednesday, February 11, 2015

iMovie Lab Prep Videos by Eugenia Turov, Tanya Cordes, and Kate Friesen

Every lab for Chemistry 103 and 104 has a long description about lab procedure in the manual that students were not always reading prior to attending class. To combat this issue, we filmed instructional demonstration videos of each lab experiment as well as how to set it up, and give students access to the 2-5 minute video before attending lab. The videos do not contain much theory as that is completed in lab book, textbook, and lecture, but the video does film the whole experiment, outlining what to do, what to look for, and how to set it up. 

These videos are used in all sections of CHM 103 and 104 and we are finding several benefits:
  • the videos help streamline retention for what to do with each experiment
  • students know what to expect to see in the lab
  • students ask fewer but more in-depth questions about what is happening in the experiment, rather than as many questions about the process and set-up
  • help students progress through the experiment at a sufficient pace as they recognize material from watching the video
We use a camcorder to record the video in the lab space. We then use iMovie to edit the video and dub voice over the video. We find the sound quality in the lab is not great and dubbing sound after allows to create voice for only the final edited video. The editing in iMovie also allows us to highlight things in the procedure that are good or bad, or make recommendations within the video. The final videos are hosted on an unlisted YouTube channel but embedded in each instructor's D2L course site.

We work as a team to create these videos with each member having an assigned role. Our advice to anyone that would like to create something similar is to work as a team, have assigned roles based on strengths (editor, voice, performer of experiment, etc.). Also, we suggest filming a lot of footage to then be patient with iMovie as you cut and paste the best clips into the final form. Finally, we highly recommend dubbing in voice at the end of video editing to create better sound quality. 

For more information about iMovie: Here is an example experiment video:

Submitted by Eugenia Turov, Tanya Cordes, and Kate Friesen, Chemistry

CATME by Mary Hamman

Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME) is a system of tools that allows instructors to manage student teams. I use CATME in my BUS 230: Business and Economics Research and Communication course to help with two things in a semester-long project, (1) create teams and (2) collecting on-going peer evaluations.

First, to help create teams, the tool asks each student to complete a survey based on customizable factors which uses an algorithm to match team members together. I simply create the account and upload my class list, then CATME distributes the survey, collects responses, and I am able to use the algorithm to assign teams. I also have the opportunity to manually adjust the teams if I choose. Once I have confirmed teams assignments, CATME distributes the team matches to students along with a schedule matrix identifying which days and times during a usual week all members are available to meet. The system also does allow an instructor to upload a team list that is already created.

Also, CATME is used in BUS 230 to facilitate peer evaluations using CATME's validated instrument. The instrument includes scales that measure contribution to the team, interaction with other team member, extent to which kept team on track, extent to which they expect quality of self and team, extent to which they have the knowledge skills ability to perform team tasks, and more. Individuals rate their own performance as well as that of all teammates (i.e. 360 degree feedback) and I use the peer evaluation at various points throughout the course (after each deliverable on the course-long project). I distribute the evaluation task through CATME after each deliverable and after students complete it I am able to view all data as well as summary scores for each construct within the scale. CATME also "flags" teams where there appears to be a conflict, such as when one team member rating herself far higher than her teammates but her teammates ratings do not agree. CATME also provides a global evaluation score for each student, which I use to weight the grade the group received on the deliverable and assign individual grades. I also allow CATME to automatically release a summary of feedback to students so they know what team skills they should focus on improving. However, instructors can choose to withhold that summary if desired. I am extremely happy with CATME. Students also seem very happy as I am getting comments such as, "This is the best team I have ever worked with" and "I feel well matched with my team members." I feel it offers the opportunity to help students develop their team skills and improve rather than simply evaluate and assign grades.

CATME is free to instructors and information is available here:

Submitted by Mary Hamman, Economics

Jabber by Jorge Aguilar-Sanchez

Jabber is an application by Cisco that allows for video-to-video synchronous and recorded conversations. It is similar to Skype but it is supported by our campus and, in my opinion, offers better connection and performance with multiple people per call.

I use Jabber in both my online and face-to-face courses to meet a student learning outcome targeting the ability to carryout basic, intermediate, or advanced (based on course level) conversations in Spanish.  Students are assigned a partner with whom they complete specified oral practice exercises. The integration of Jabber allows my busy students to complete their oral practice exercises in a virtual place (not bound to a lab or library) at a mutually agreed upon time. The conversations are recorded and I can review the conversations for assessment and feedback. 

There are many reasons I like Jabber. First, I like Jabber because it is supported by the university and there is a person I can call for assistance (Terry Wirkus). I also enjoy Jabber because it is reliable, server controlled, and recorded for future review. Most importantly, I like Jabber because it includes the social part of learning a language. That is, there is another person actively receiving your communication and interpreting your message, your body language, your reaction, etc., making the experience more meaningful. Jabber allows for the back-and-forth communication to happen in real time.

For more information about Jabber, review the "Desktop Video Conferencing" section of this website or email Terry Wirkus.

Submitted by Jorge Aguilar-Sanchez, Modern Languages