Teaching & Learning

Introducing Techspresso Retreats

From Idea to Innovation: Introducing TECHSPRESSO Retreats Next week we will launch new TECHSPRESSO Retreats: Drop-in events where faculty can work with key Instructional Innovation staff, resources and campus partners to bring instructional ideas to life. Transform your course completely, or simply add a new component. Drop by to see the latest in instructional technology…

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October 2016 Moodle News

Turnitin Scheduled Downtime Saturday, Nov. 5 On Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Turnitin will be unavailable while Turnitin performs maintenance on internal network hardware to increase capacity and ensure continued dependable service. No submissions or grading will be possible during the downtime. We advise instructors to set submission deadlines be…

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10 New Echo360 Lecture Capture Classrooms for Fall 2016

For the Fall 2016 semester, UMass Amherst has 10 new classrooms with integrated Echo360 lecture capture technology: Ag Engineering 119 Arnold House 120 Furcolo 101 Furcolo 102 Draper 124 Herter 225 Marcus 131 Morrill IV N201 Stockbridge 301 Totman 156 To request Echo360 for these or any of our other classrooms with integrated lecture capture technology, see our Request…

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August 2016 Workshops and Events

To register, please visit:  https://etna.it.umass.edu/public/workshops When you get to this registration page, click on “August and September 2016 Workshops” above the calendar. If you are asked to create an account, remember to register for the workshop after that!   Echo360 Lecture Capture Information and Q&A Session Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Please join…

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July 2016 Digital Brown Bags

Bring a lunch, join the conversation! This July, we’re getting together over lunch to talk about technology and innovative learning and teaching practices at UMass Amherst. We invite anyone interested in these topics to join us for a series of brown bag lunches. Bring your lunch, your curiosity, your opinions, and any great stories you can share about these topics. If you…

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Digital Brown Bag Event Series

Bring a lunch, join the conversation, shape the future Every other week, we get together over lunch and talk about innovative learning and teaching practices at UMass Amherst. We invite anyone interested in these topics to join us for a series of brown bag lunches. Bring your lunch, your curiosity, your opinions, and any great stories you can share about these…

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First 5 minutes of class

The Spring 2016 semester is here, and you’re probably ready to jump into teaching. But first, you have to get your students’ attention!  Here is something that could help – take a look at this advice from The Chronicle of Higher Education: Small Changes in Teaching: The First 5 Minutes of Class: Four quick ways to shift students’ attention from life’s distractions…

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Getting the Most Out of Peer Instruction (with Clickers!)

Looking for a detailed guide to provoking rich, focused discussions among students in your courses, even large ones? Peter Newbury of UC San Diego has a great set of procedures and recommendations for how to use audience response tools like i>clicker to do just that. “Peer instruction is a powerful, evidence-based instructional strategy that supports…

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Teaching Anthropology of/Through Games

hand of cards

UMass Amherst Anthropology Professor Krista Harper (blog and Twitter) recently published an excellent two–part article on her experiences teaching a Fall 2014 Commonwealth Honors College on “Anthropology of/through Games,” and on game-based pedagogy in theory and practice generally. See also: our post on Using Games to Explore and Experience Complicated Issues If you are interested…

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Personalized Learning

This is video series produced by an ed tech consulting company on the buzzy but still hazily-defined topic of personalized learning in higher ed:

http://e-literate.tv/series/personalized-learning/

The series mainly consists of interviews with students, faculty, and administrators at Middlebury College, Essex County College, and Arizona State University, examining the programs and policies these institutions have adopted to provide their own brand of personalized learning. This series of video case studies has just finished up with a set of videos on UC Davis. Very interesting discussion.

The Story of Your Life on Earth

It’s no secret, we love technology here at IT (well, at least most of the time). We spend our days working with tech and assisting faculty and academic support staff. Quite often we’re tasked with predicting the future of instructional tech. We give presentations and teach about the newest and most promising instructional tools, we…

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Using Games to Explore and Experience Complicated Issues

Games and game-like activities can make the process of thought visible to players, and help them explore issues and topics that are difficult to understand except through experience and interaction. This is the theory of procedural rhetoric, which “argues that games can make strong claims about how the world works—not simply through words or visuals…

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Teaching with Google Classroom

If you’re looking for a Learning Management System option for a small, intimate classroom setting, Google Classroom may be the right fit. Classroom is Google’s most recent foray into educational technology, acting as hub for all of the work you are already doing with your students using Google Docs and Google Drive. Here is a 10…

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When iPad Use in the Classroom Goes Wrong

You don’t have to Google too deeply to find examples of how technology in the classroom can go off the rails, sometimes spectacularly. While doing research on why iPad use in education sometimes fails, I came across an article from @thomasdaccord on Edudemic, 5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them). Before reading the article, I could…

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Designing Effective Peer Review Assignments

Have you ever struggled with how to structure and administer peer review activities in your course? ELI Review published an excellent feature article (Designing Effective Reviews) on designing effective peer review activities, backed up with research and voices from instructors. Though ELI Review promotes their own peer review tool in this article, most of the faculty…

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Thinking about Tomorrow

Around the office we’ve been thinking about the future.  We have a new boss, some of us will be relocating to the Library in the next year, the UMass Amherst IT strategic planning process is going full tilt, and the New Media Consortium has just released their 2015 Horizon Report. At our most recent staff…

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Build Your Own Apps (Without coding!)

It seems, “to app or not to app…” is no longer the question. In a blink of an eye we turned into an app-savvy (or, some would argue app-dependent) society. Using apps in education became a common practice for many of us. It can be a great idea to have an app for some professional…

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Join us! EDUCAUSE ELI Virtual Annual Meeting

On February 9 — 11, you are invited to join members of the IT group at ELI Virtual Annual Meeting 2015. This conference is arranged by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. We’ll be projecting the virtual meeting sessions in our 40-seat conference room in…

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Teaching Untethered

Advancing technology and changing pedagogy have flipped our classrooms, changed the way we lecture, and put lectures, homework and assignments online. Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology David Gross has embraced these changes and uses his tablet as the lynch-pin to hold it all together. Here’s a look at how he’s integrated a ton of…

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UMass Instructors- Join us for the EDUCAUSE Online Virtual Conference

Can’t get to Florida? Join us in Lederle Graduate Research Center where we’ll be projecting the EDUCAUSE online Virtual Conference in our 40-seat conference room. When: Monday, September 29 (12-4 p.m.) and Tuesday, September 30th through Thursday, October 2nd, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: LGRC A215. For program and session details, visit  http://www.educause.edu/annual-conference/agenda-and-program/virtual-conference-agenda This…

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UMass Amherst Offering iPeer Peer Evaluation Software for Fall 2014

For Fall 2014, UMass Amherst is offering iPeer, a web-based tool that allows students to evaluate their peers as part of team-based work assignments. About iPeer Peer evaluation is particularly useful in courses where teams or groups are utilized for collaborative work. iPeer provides a number of different peer evaluation tools, including: Simple: students evaluate…

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Understanding This Year’s Incoming Students – Beyond the Beloit Mindset List

Beloit has published their Class of 2018 “Mindset List” to help inform instructors about the cultural references that will (or will not) make sense to the incoming class of students. While this list can be amusing, and may offer some useful information on what obscure sitcom lines may no longer make sense to 18-year-olds, it is…

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What About the Murky Waters of Copyright?

We all have questions about copyright, what is fair use and what may be in the public domain. Students may be on heightened alert about copyright when preparing presentations and final papers.  However, copyright considerations are equally as critical when putting together promotional materials for club events or updating a social media site. Consider including…

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