What’s New in Top Hat (JULY/AUGUST 2018)

Release Notes: July 2018, August 2018

  • The new Student Manager now supports searching by name, email or student ID
  • Click on Target questions with multiple correct answers now support partial credit
  • In web presentation mode, the “Play/Resume”, “Correct”, and “Responses” buttons now have text labels – no more needing to guess!

A reminder for additional beta features:

  • Secure Attendance (beta): This feature is available on web, iOS, and Android – it uses the students’ devices to help determine where they are and if they are in proximity with each other. This feature can be enabled under Settings – Secure Attendance Options.
  • Group Questions (beta): This feature can be enabled by Top Hat support. Once enabled, you can put students into groups and assign questions to groups – each student can submit a response, with the final submission of a group being locked in as the group’s submission.

What’s New in CarmenCanvas (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018)

Web

Release Notes: 08/04, 08/25, 09/15

For Everyone:

  • In DocViewer, comments with replies are now grouped together in expandable stacks.
  • In the Rich Content Editor, you can now provide longer descriptions for an image (for example, for accessibility purposes) using the longdesc attribute.

For Instructors:

  • The new scheduler is a great way for you to organize office hours and offer them for students to sign up, all inside Carmen; for example, Professional Development 1-A is currently using this new functionality to organize the Wellness Checks for VME-I students.
    • Instructors can also subscribe to the calendar feed that shows all scheduled appointments and related information; for example, using Outlook.
  • The SpeedGrader now lets you export submission comments into PDFs.

For Students:

  • The new Student To Do List View on the Dashboard lets you view all course tasks in a list format, organized by date and course. Besides graded items, you will also start to see non-graded to-do’s from your courses. You are also now able to add your own to-do items to your to-do list.

CPSL Showcase: Designing and Developing the PPE Donning and Doffing Module

In this Clinical and Professional Skills Lab (CPSL) showcase, we take a look at the design and development process of one of the first CPSL learning modules to be created, “Basic Information and Usage of PPE.” We hope that this showcase would give you an idea of what a CPSL learning module is all about, what the process is like, and how Teaching and Learning can help.

Image of Sean in PPE

Image: Sean in PPE

Continue reading

News from InstructureCon/Carn 2018!

The annual Canvas conference, InstructureCon (nicknamed “InstructureCarn” this year … as in carnival), took place from July 24th to 26th. Here are some of the new features and enhancements announced that I am most excited about, some of which have already been rolled out:

  • Available Now
    • Duplicate entire modules – This has made my workflow significantly more efficient in some cases!
    • SpeedGrader Enhancements including image annotation and comments showing on the same page as source location.
    • Non-scoring rubrics – This is a great feature for mastery-based marking, helping students focus on feedback rather than point values
    • App page view reporting – With all of your pre-clinical students having iPads, this helps with getting more accurate information on the usage of your course resources.
    • Anonymous & Moderated Grading – Did you know that
  • Coming Soon
    • Aug 4th Release:
      • Student Planner / Dashboard List View – This view puts deadlines and to do items front-and-center for students; this view also allows students to add their own to do items! Look out for an update on this from Teaching and Learning soon after release.

        New student dashboard list view

      • Assigning Pages and Ungraded Discussions to student to do – You’ve been able to set module requirements for students to view your content pages; now you can set due dates and help your students remind themselves by putting them on their Planner.
    • SP19 / Now in beta:
      • New Gradebook: This is a redesigned gradebook with additional functionality and a cleaner interface – faster, more informative, easier to customize view and make quick adjustments, and so on. In addition, you are able to set automatically-calculated late and missing assignment policies with the New Gradebook. Let Teaching and Learning know if you would like to explore the new gradebook in your courses!

        Screenshot of new gradebook showing ability to set late and missing assignment policies

  • In Development
    • Analytics 2 with “interactive and actionable charts.”
    • Quizzes.Next – This is a completely redesigned quizzing tool that will come with a new experience as well as additional question and stimulus types. I’m most excited about additional capabilities in question bank management and sharing, as well as ability to tag outcomes to individual questions!
    • More information forthcoming – Rich Content Editor drag and drop, SpeedGrader screen recorder, etc..

Work on AU18 Courses Continues! Easy Early Wins with Great Impact

The Office of Distance Education and eLearning held a focus group with students on their professors’ usage of Carmen, and created a video of the highlights:

In our Places to Start with Great Impact series (Part 1, Part 2), we offered some simple ideas for enhancing your students’ early experiences in your course. Even though July is almost over, it is certainly not too late to implement some of the ideas below – contact us today if you are interested!

  • Build as much of your course (materials) as possible now (in the master): Summer is a great time to build! Master shells are great for getting your course prepared for your students between semesters – you can start your projects (with us!) and/or revisions as we’ve got the shells prepared for a new semester, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally publishing something! As a bonus, Teaching and Learning does a final quality check of the master shells before we publish them to students in the semester shells. If you’d like instructor access to a master shell as a team member, please let your team leads know.
  • Syllabus quiz: This is a great way to make sure that your students review your course syllabus syllabus, and that you are all on the same page regarding course policies and logistics. ODEE describes an implementation in which the quiz is required, and course modules are released only upon passing. This is also a great use case for Top Hat questions, perhaps with bonus points, so your students are incentivized to review the syllabus, and also get an early, low-stakes experience of the tool
  • Course intro video: A short course introduction video can be an invaluable tool that serves multiple purposes: 1) it’s a great opportunity for you to talk briefly about your course, its purpose, why it is important, its structure, and so on; 2) it puts a face to your name; and 3) it can be your students’ first opportunity to get to know who you are as a professional, as an instructor, and/or even an individual from a personal perspective. Creating an intro video is simple with MediaSite; OTL would also be glad to help you with it!
  • Course banner: The latest iteration of the CVM Canvas Template added a banner on the home page that can be customized. We thought this might be a fun place to inject some personality into your course! Here are some examples:VM6550.01 homepage with banner
    VCS7722 homepage with banner
    VM6614.06 homepage with banner

What’s New in Top Hat (JUNE 2018)

Release Notes: June 2018

  • The pages editor has been redesigned to surface frequency-used functionality
  • You can now use Top Hat to keep track of attendance that you take outside of Top Hat
  • Newly available in beta and can be enabled by Top Hat support:
    • Long answer question type
    • Significant figures in the numeric answer question type on iOS

A reminder for additional beta features:

  • Secure Attendance (beta): This feature is available on web, iOS, and Android – it uses the students’ devices to help determine where they are and if they are in proximity with each other. This feature can be enabled under Settings – Secure Attendance Options.
  • Group Questions (beta): This feature can be enabled by Top Hat support. Once enabled, you can put students into groups and assign questions to groups – each student can submit a response, with the final submission of a group being locked in as the group’s submission.

What’s New in CarmenCanvas (JUNE/JULY 2018)

The annual Canvas conference, InstructureCon, takes place from July 24th to 26th. We’re excited for new features and enhancements that will be announced at the conference – stay tuned for another update coming soon!

Web

Release Notes: 6/23, 7/14

For Everyone:

  • You can now create recurring “duplicate” events in the Calendar
  • The Discussions page has been updated with a new design
  • Canvas now displays an error if you try to upload a file exceeding available quota using the Rich Content Editor Content Selector
  • In SpeedGrader, comments now remain on the same page as the annotation
  • Language referring to “wiki” has been updated to “page(s)” for consistency

For Instructors:

  • You can now duplicate entire modules
    • A duplicated module and its contents are set to an unpublished status
    • Classic quizzes (indicated by a rocket icon) cannot be duplicated; a module containing a classic quiz cannot be duplicated until it is removed from the module
  • (This is not a new feature, but did you know that you can do moderated grading in Canvas, in which you can assign multiple graders as well as the grader who can determine the final grade?)
  • You can now create rubrics without point values; previously while you have had the ability to attach a rubric and not use it for grading, the rubric creation process required that you attach point values to the ratings.
  • The menu icon in SpeedGrader has been updated to include “Keyboard Shortcuts” and “Help”.

Canvas Student

Release Notes: 6.3 (iOS, Android)

  • The Rich Content Editor now supports attaching images from User Files
  • Page views in the mobile app are now reported
  • Where permissions are granted, an user can now delete annotations and comments made by others

Canvas Teacher

Release Notes: 1.6 (Android)

  • The app now displays an error message when uploading a file that would exceed the file quota
  • The Pages tool now supports editing page content if a student has been given edit access
  • The Pages tool has been redesigned

 

OTL and Skills Lab Partners Working on Learning Units

Over the past few weeks, you may have witnessed the strange sight of third-year students carrying around stuffed IKEA dogs, silicone bladders, Wubble Bubble dog abdomens, and other oddities. Please be reassured that this is not a part of an elaborate student prank; rather, what you’ve seen is just a small selection of learning aids being developed for the new Clinical and Professional Skills Lab (CPSL)!

Summer Assistant Marshall Aanestad holding two prototype silicone bladders being developed for the Clinical and Professional Skills Lab.

Summer Assistant Marshall Aanestad holding two prototype silicone bladders being developed for the Clinical and Professional Skills Lab.

While the students have been busy working on the learning aids, over the past month Teaching and Learning has been working with our CPSL partners (i.e. the STRIVE groups) on the overall design of the learning modules, which will support the eight skills identified for Autumn 2018. Specifically, the first step of the design process involved discussion of the “Big Rocks”, such as why it is important for our students to master a skill, its real-life relevance, as well as common mistakes and misconceptions that have been observed in our students. The “Big Rocks” are summarized into unit learning outcomes that reflect the skills needed to be a day-one veterinarian, and will guide the creation of the CPSL learning modules, starting with checkpoint assessments that will provide opportunities to ensure that the students are on-track.

Example of the CPSL Blueprint Document

Example of the CPSL Blueprint Document

Building on our work in May, June’s focus will be on the development of the CPSL module lessons, as well as the creation of a variety of learning materials, activities, and aids for them. Coming from Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, we will work with our CPSL partners to provide students options in how the content is presented to them (“Representation”), how they can approach their own progression toward the learning outcomes (“Engagement”), and how they can demonstrate their achievement of such (“Expression”).

e-book lesson example

Shown above is an example of an e-book lesson with h5p interactive widget

During the summer, don’t be surprised to see OTL staff, CVM faculty, and DVM students popping up in different places around the campus shooting videos, drawing models for 3D printing, and piloting their lessons and learning aids with medical center staff! We continue to be very excited about the impact the CSPL can have on how our students learn and how our curriculum can be re-imagined.

Work on AU18 Courses Begins! Some Easy Places to Start with Great Impact (Part 2)

All masters for AU18 core and elective courses are ready for your edits! As a reminder, masters shells are used for getting your courses ready between offerings; currently, OTL refreshes the masters before each offering so they have the latest template, as well as content from the most recent offering of your courses for you to work from. Do let us know as soon as possible if you would like to use Carmen for your graduate courses as well!

Here are some important dates that are coming up:

  • July 15th: Spring course Team Reports due
  • August 1st: Autumn syllabi due
  • August W1 – W2: Autumn masters finalized and loaded into semester shells

The summer is a great time to work on projects (with us)! We’ve offered some low-effort but potentially high-impact project ideas in Part 1 of this series … and we have even more for you in Part 2!


Back to the Basics: Start with the Team Report

The post-offering team report is a good opportunity for you and your team to reflect upon how your course went: what worked, what didn’t quite work, how did the students respond, what can be even better yet, and so on.

In terms of overall course design, the following questions may be relevant:

  • Are your course goals and objectives still accurate? One way to approach this question may be to consider how well they support the latest industry expectations of day one veterinarians? Some courses, especially those earlier in the sequence, may provide such support indirectly by targeting foundational knowledge, skills, and so on. Sometimes, your students may need a little bit of help seeing the relevance of your course or your class session – this may be a good place to start tackling this need.
  • How well do your contact hour outcomes support your courses goals and objectives? Adequate alignment of contact hours is essential for achieving the overall goals and objectives of your course, and often helps with the (sometimes difficult) decision of what should be specifically targeted, and what should be supplemental. Here are some tips for writing learning outcomes.
  • How well do your assessments evaluate your students’ achievement on your stated learning outcomes? The content and format of your assessments should be aligned with your outcomes. For example, a multiple-choice question on what is considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may not be appropriate for “explain the importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)”, but would certainly be for “list common PPEs in veterinary practice.” Here’s our collection of resources on developing assessments.

As you review your student evaluations as part of the team report project, you may come across additional themes or ideas that you may want to explore or discuss further. Feel free to reach out to OTL for a conversation!


Examine Your Existing Assessments

Depending on your course design plans, you may decide to reuse your existing assessments and exam questions – but there is always room for improvement! In addition to alignment, some other suggestions include:

  • Rubrics that are well-constructed make it clear to all of your students what your assignments and/or assessments expect of them, and can make grading exponentially easier for you. For example, we have worked with instructors on constructing analytic rubrics for writing assignments, and the Spring 2018 Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) were graded on rubrics as well. We have a section on our website regarding rubrics in terms of transparency, reliability, and efficiency, including a recent blog post.
  • The summer is also a great opportunity for you and your team to review/revise your test questions in Carmen and/or ExamSoft. Testing is most appropriate for foundational knowledge and lower-order thinking skills, but it is not impossible for a well-written question to target something more advanced, such as application. We recently hosted a faculty development session on writing test questions and item analysis, and we are currently brainstorming recommendations regarding the process of writing test questions, which we will share in a future update.

Re-imagine Your Contact Hour

Continuing the theme of alignment, the learning materials and activities in your course should support your students’ achievement on the assessments and, in turn, your learning outcomes. This is not to suggest “teaching to the test itself” – rather, the alignment helps to ensure that students are provided the information as well as experiences that they need.

In many cases, aligning materials and activities may present opportunities to re-imagine your contact hour; for example, you can assign review materials and knowledge check activities to be completed by students before each class session, and reserve class time for discussion, elaboration, and/or application:

  • Carmen and Top Hat are great tools to implement your out-of-class experiences. Options in Carmen include modules, assignments, quizzes, and discussions; options in Top Hat include file uploads, interactive pages, questions, and discussions that can either be assigned for review or for homework.
  • During a class session, Top Hat is a great tool for quick knowledge checks and discussions. In addition, the Center for Teaching and Learning at Yale University provides a list of active learning strategies that you can implement to further engage your students in thinking and doing.
    • As we work with our Clinical and Professional Skills Lab (CSPL) partners to design and develop the learning units, we have also been brainstorming activity ideas that takes advantage of the new space.
    • In the meantime, the Wenger Lab is an existing space that is optimized for active learning, equipped with movable furniture and computers/screen for group work.
  • Lastly, the portability and versatility of the iPads presents opportunities for learning activities in terms of interactive / multimedia content, digital creation, as well as collaboration. We’d love to talk with you if you have ideas!

Work on AU18 Courses Begins! Some Easy Places to Start with Great Impact (Part 1)

While the summer break has just begun for (most of) our students, Teaching and Learning already has its sight set on the upcoming Autumn 2018 courses – in fact, we have just finished refreshing the Autumn core courses, and they are now ready for your edits, design/redesign work, and so on! We will do the same with electives in the next week or so.

With the students gone, the summer is not only a great time to slow down and recharge (as much as you are able to, that is), but also for projects (with us)! In fact, there are a couple projects that we think are relatively low-effort, but would have potentially large impact on your students learning experiences!

This is the first set of recommendations that we have – stay tuned for more in the following weeks.


When in Doubt, Start with your Syllabus

While a mere document, the syllabus is your students’ first look into the ins-and-outs of your course – who teach it, what are they expected to know and be able to do (i.e. outcomes), how would their learning be assessed (read: how are they graded), what are the academic integrity expectations (i.e. the honor code and assessment types), how can they get help (i.e. office hours), and so on. For this reason, the syllabus should be informative and accurate, while concise enough that it’s not an exercise in comprehension skills.

The Curriculum Management System (CMT) provides a great outline as well as templates for what should go in your syllabus.

One step further: While CMT-generated syllabi serve as official record, you may find it a fun exercise in creativity to transform your syllabi in something a little more designed, as long as the information is consistent – something like this, for instance. Read on for more ideas …


A Little “Incentive” to Read the Syllabus

Ever find yourself devoting most of your first class session reading through the syllabus verbatim? Answering students’ questions about the course when the answers are readily available on the syllabus? Well, you may need a syllabus quiz! The Office of Distance Education and eLearning recommends a required syllabus quiz at the beginning of the course, with the release of other course content contingent upon receiving a passing score on the quiz. For just a little bit more “incentive”, you can attach a point value to your syllabus quiz.

While you may continue to find it beneficial to engage in syllabus Q&A during your first class session, the syllabus quiz should help with filtering out the basic questions you might be asked otherwise. Contact Teaching and Learning if you are interested!

One step further: All DVM courses come with a “Course Q&A” discussion board that you can take advantage of – students may already have satisfactory answers to each others’ questions, and you can intervene / elaborate when and where needed. Many instructors have also used the Announcements functionality to share answers to individual students’ questions with the entire class.


“Face Time” with your Incoming Students can Start Before First Class Session

A short course introduction video can be an invaluable tool that serves multiple purposes: 1) it’s a great opportunity for you to talk briefly about your course, its purpose, why it is important, its structure, and so on; 2) it puts a face to your name; and 3) it can be your students’ first opportunity to get to know who you are as a professional, as an instructor, and/or even an individual from a personal perspective. This social presence can be especially in an online course, where “face time” with instructors can be limited if not non-existent.

Below is an example from the Online Master of Learning Technologies program – if you are interested, contact Teaching and Learning!

One step further: We have updated the Carmen template to include a course banner area – this provides even more opportunity for you to customize your course landing page! Below are some examples.