Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kaltura by Kari Emineth

This past summer I taught ESS 281: Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries online. The course has a lab component in which students need to demonstrate various hands-on skills. I was able to evaluate the lab skills of students in the online course through student video demonstrations, using Kaltura for storing and submitting video through D2L.

I created and included in the course several instructional videos that demonstrated the hands-on skills. Students were asked to view the videos and practice the skills prior to assessment. Students were aware that only 4 skills would be randomly assigned for each assessment but all skills introduced were possible options. Prior to assessment, students were instructed on how to create the video demonstration using either a webcam or mobile phone. An area was provided in D2L to practice the process of recording and uploading, simulating what would be required during the actual timed assessments. 

During the day of the lab skill assessment, a quiz was activated which randomly assigned four skills that needed to be demonstrated as well as randomly assigning the student a "code word" that needed to be said in their video delivery to verify the video is a new recording during the assessment period. Once the student entered the quiz they had 2 hours to create the videos and upload the videos to the appropriate D2L Dropbox. In the Dropbox students were instructed to upload a provided file for submission but more importantly to add a comment to their submission and either (1) Insert Stuff > WebCam recording or (2) Insert Stuff > Upload Video (adding a video taken from their phone or other recording device), which attached their video to the Dropbox submission. This option was used because it allowed me to view and grade videos inline from one screen, quickly navigating from one student to the next while grading and providing feedback immediately after watching the video.

The directions given spelled out step-by-step instructions in the syllabus and a practice submission process (quiz and dropbox) were available prior to the assessments; students could complete the practice as many times as desired. Those that practiced were given greater flexibility should technical issues occur during an assessment. I also provided those students feedback on the submissions to aid in their studying.

Overall, this worked very well. I worked hard to make sure I outlined the directions clearly and explained my expectations step-by-step. I provided information about the video recorded lab assessments to students upon registration to the course so students could self-select if the course would be conducive to their level of comfort with technology. I also partnered with CATL and ATS colleagues to ensure I was using the tools and technologies appropriate to meet my learning outcomes. I had very few issues happen during the assessment submission periods. Thank you to the CATL and ATS staff for your assistance on this project. I would do this again.

Submitted by Kari Emineth, Exercise and Sport Science

FlipGrid by Virginie Cassidy

FlipGrid is a technology that allows me to create a question prompt and then students reply with video responses. According to the FlipGrid website, "teachers create grids of short discussion-style questions that students respond to through recorded videos."

I use FlipGrid in my Business French online course. My goal is to allow students to have a voice and to practice using the French language in a professional yet conversational tone. The online students first respond to discussion prompts about course content in a D2L discussion. Then I pose a FlipGrid question involving a more personal take on the course content, asking students to explain (in French) a past or present example of work experience as related to the content of the week. I do not want the FlipGrid responses to be read so the video component helps create a conversational tone as I can see if they are reading a response. The unscripted video also creates for a more natural conversational tone because the video has pauses, stalls, fillers, etc. similar to what would happen in a face-to-face conversation, and helps students become more comfortable with these.

In this class my goal was to have a tool that would allow students to have a voice to practice and use language. FlipGrid is providing a chance for students to practice their language as well as a way to help create a better community in my online course. Hearing and seeing a response to a question helps students get to know each other better and be more comfortable in their own language development. In addition, I get to know the students better and can evaluate their speaking skills on a regular basis while watching their skills improve throughout the course.

I am considering using FlipGrid in future classes to complete quick assessments such as 5 minute essay or muddiest point. The video response with assessment on class progress may prove especially useful because I may hear more of the language issues in the video than I might see in a written response to such a question prompt.

An instructor instance of FlipGrid is $60/year (21 day free trial) which allows for five different grids. I use one grid for each of my classes. FlipGrid does allow me to copy questions from one grid to another. My students do not create accounts but rather I send them a link to the grid, and they simply click to record.

For more information, visit

Submitted by Virginie Cassidy, Modern Languages 

CLEAR at MSU by Hongying Xu

CLEAR at MSU is a language resource center through Michigan State University that offers various free resources, materials, and products. I use two products offered through CLEAR at MSU. First, I use Conversations which is a web-based program that allows teachers to record video prompts or questions and ask students to record video responses. The teacher can set-up the system to allow students to practice their recordings or to spontaneously create their recorded response. Second, I have used Video Dropbox which is a virtual dropbox for video files which can be added to any webpage including D2L.

These tools work well when teaching Chinese because I am able to listen to their responses as well as watch a student and see a student's mouth when speaking the language, possibly alerting me to an issue and give more accurate feedback. The integration of CLEAR at MSU into my classes has allowed me to ensure that all students are able to practice their language skills since in class it is not possible for all students to orally response to all prompts. With CLEAR at MSU, each student has the opportunity to answer the question or do the language practice activity. In addition, students can work in groups to develop and record role plays in Chinese. Students report being more comfortable creating and recording role plays in CLEAR at MSU versus performing in a live class without the ability to practice. I will often pull up the recorded videos in a face-to-face class to use for examples and students report no issues with this playback.

The CLEAR at MSU website has helpful information and tutorials about the various resources available. More information about the resources available through CLEAR at MSU can be found here:

Submitted by Hongying Xu, Modern Languages