Category Archives: Disciplines

Wireless Projection – Chris Watters

ChrisWatters003-croppedTechnology used: Wireless Video Presentation System II by BlackBox
Course: BIOL0222A Human Nutrition from an Evolutionary Perspective (Winter 2010)
Reason for using the technology: This was a seminar course, and Chris wanted students to be able to present from their own laptops.
Received assistance from: LIS HelpDesk and Media Services

The BlackBox Wireless Video Presentation System allowed the nine students in Professor Chris Watters’ Human Nutrition class to share their work as peers rather than as presenters at a podium.  Discussion continued seamlessly through PowerPoint presentations that students ran from their own laptops.

Chris can envision other uses for this technology, including collaboration and peer review, and more simply, large projector presentations.  He first saw the BlackBox server in action at an international visualization conference in 2005.  A group would demonstrate a project, take feedback, make revisions, and present again.  When Chris learned that the server was available in the US, he mentioned it to Dean Cadoret.  Dean found the server and helped configure it with other LIS staff.

Full configuration remained difficult despite adjustments to the server, the network, and even the students’ laptops.  Some of Chris’ objectives couldn’t be met (he had hoped students would be able to pull up nutrition web pages and evaluate them as a group), but overall Chris found this experiment with new technology worthwhile.

Moving Away from Paper: Annotating and Grading Digital Documents – Jason Mittell & James Morrison

Jason Mittell (Film & Media Culture) and James Morrison (Political Science) are faculty at Middlebury who are moving towards completely paperless teaching and research.  Both cite similar reasons for preferring electronic versions of papers, articles and even books.  Digital documents are simply easier to organize and access when everything else you do is on your laptop.  Having your students submit electronic versions of their assignments means that you can retain a definitive copy of all your students’ work which is handy when you need to write references, find model essays from past classes to guide your current students or search for evidence of plagiarism.  This case study will focus on receiving and grading electronic versions of student papers.

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Podcasting Lectures – Prof. James Morrison

Technology Used: Podcasting
Course: PS0304 International Political Economy (Spring 2009)
Number of Students: 31
Objectives: To better serve the students and democratize education.
Anticipated Learning Outcomes: Better retention and understanding
Actual Learning Outcomes: Some on both fronts

Summary of Poster Session: James Morrison explained how he uses podcasts to record his lectures so that after class, students can review the lectures. “Students can double check difficult, complicated concepts; Overcome language barriers; Get Missed Material. ** Note: My podcasting had no noticeable influence on lecture attendance! **“.   Continue reading