Archives—January 2014

Experimental Education Environment (E3)

The Experimental Education Environment (E3) is a new space meant to support all Michigan Tech instructors’ experimentation with instructional designs, use of instructional technology or educational media, and room or furniture arrangement.  As a collaboration among the staff of the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, Information Technology’s Media Services, and the Van Pelt and Opie Library staff, instructors interested in using this space for formal instruction or informal student groups can receive support for their pedagogical ideas or challenges.  With its partners, the library has developed this space to encourage faculty innovation as it evolves towards an Information and Learning Commons.

The initial start-up, supported by the Herman Miller Corporation, was based on the ideas of a group of faculty, CTL, IT, and library staff and jump-started by a student team under the leadership of Linda Wanless from the School of Technology.

For the next year, Dr. Wanless will be leading an educational research program in consort with the Herman Miller team to assess the value of the space and instructor and learner satisfaction.  The space will also support testing of new technologies, media, or furniture prior to larger-scale use.

Ways to fully maximize use of this space will be developed during the coming year. To begin, a first-come, first-served method will be used; so even if your interest is tentative, don’t hesitate to book time now. Refer to the Van Pelt and Opie Library’s Experimental Education Environment webpage for more information about the using room, scheduling, orientation, the research, and more.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.


Select Multiple Messages in the New Conversations Tool in Canvas

Canvas introduced a New Conversations tool recently.  The Conversations redesign was introduced to make it easier for students and instructors to communicate with each other. Communication is integral to learning, so staying in touch needs to be as easy and intuitive as possible.  Some of the new features include a streamlined look, similar to the Discussions interface that better aligns with the rest of Canvas, a new interface for composing messages, and the ability to filter your messages by course.

One highly sought after new feature in New Conversations is the ability to select multiple messages.  Frequent and heavy users of Conversations in Canvas often complained of the inability to perform the same action, like move or delete, on more than one message at a time.  Now, when multiple messages are selected, the right panel displays a multiple conversations message, and users can archive, delete, mark messages as read or unread, or star or unstar multiple messages.

New Conversations is an opt-in feature and you will need to select “Try New Conversations” from within the Conversations tool to access it.  You can see and watch illustrated instructions and a video demonstration on accessing New Conversations and using its new features on eLearning’s New Conversations page.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.


Improved iClicker to Canvas Integration Now Available

A clicker, also called a personal response device, allows each student to “vote” with an answer to a multiple-choice question posed during class.  Clicker systems also allow the instructor to quickly summarize and react to student votes, and most allow points to be assigned based on either participation or correct answers.   Electronic clicker response systems have been in Michigan Tech classes as a pedagogical tool for more than ten years.   A majority of 1st and 2nd year students own an iClicker as they are used in many large introductory lectures.   Most University classrooms have a base used by the instructor to receive votes that can be attached either to a laptop or the instructor PC installed there.

A recent integration allows students to “register” their clickers in Canvas and clicker grades to be uploaded to the Canvas gradebook.  Instructions and a video demonstration on setting up and integrating iClickers for use in your classroom and Canvas course, necessary software downloads, as well as pedagogical suggestions for iClicker use, can be found on the CTL website’s iClicker page.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Check out our website for iClicker information and a whole lot more. For general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.