Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

Tag: Eric Hagan

Results of IHE Survey of Faculty Attitudes Toward Technology

The trade publication Inside Higher Ed recently published the results of its 2017 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology.

Much of the survey focused on faculty attitudes toward online classes. In my view, like “regular” classes, online or hybrid classes can be taught poorly or well. Due to the increased use of technology, in my view, faculty members need to take more of a team approach and lean on support resources such as DEIT’s instructional designers.

Some highlights from the national faculty survey:

  • 62% agree with the statement “I fully support the increased use of educational technologies.” Only 8% disagree.
  • 42% of instructors reported having taught at least only one online class (but only 21% at private institutions).
  • An increasing minority of faculty (33%) agree that student outcomes are as good or better in an online class as an in-person class (roughly equal proportions either are neutral or disagree). But among faculty members that have taught online themselves, 45% agree.
  • Faculty concerns about online classes include lack of interaction during class (86%), reaching at-risk students (79%), rigorously engaging students in course material (60%), maintaining academic integrity (60%), and delivering necessary content to meet learning objectives (51%).
  • 70% of instructors that have taught online say the experience helped their teaching. Even more say teaching online helped them learn to use multimedia content and the learning management system. About 50% say they are more comfortable using active and project-based learning techniques and better at communicating with students outside of class as a result of teaching online.

If you have ideas for incorporating instructional technology in your classes, contact DEIT to either talk things out or to get help with implementation. DEIT is here to support the faculty.

Eric J. Hagan, Ed.D.
Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology

 

If you see something, say something (instructional technology edition)

Can’t get into Blackboard or email or MyDSU? Does the slide advancer “clicker” in your classroom not work? Is some other classroom technology component not working? Please submit a Help Desk ticket through the MyDSU portal or by emailing helpdesk@desales.edu or by calling 610-282-1100 x4357. Don’t assume that someone else already reported it. If they had, it would probably be fixed already since DEIT and IT try their best to respond to instructional technology issues ASAP.

 

Millennials: Our students, colleagues, and customers

This Baby-Boomer (a really late Boomer, okay) ran across a blog post describing an interesting infographic on the Millennial generation (those born roughly from the early 1980s to the early 2000s). While often mocked as “slackers” and “the trophy generation,” anyone who actually knows Millennials can attest that this generation has a large degree of variation among individuals, just like every other generation. That being said, Millennials may tend to have certain characteristics to a greater extent than previous generations. Knowing about these characteristics can help those from other generations function better as leaders, colleagues, friends and relatives.

What are the implications for our teaching practices at DeSales?

As the infographic summarizes:

“In short, many Millennials are overeducated, under-employed, heavily in debt, and looking to make a difference in the world – either working for themselves, or in a company that doesn’t just focus on profit. They also want to work in a collaborative, flexible environment that doesn’t require them to be in the office all the time and one that will allow them to utilize social media.

Any company that can adapt and accommodate these needs is going to have access to a large and talented pool of resources, who will be loyal and do great work. “

Check out the infographic. There may be some facts that surprise you!

Eric Hagan
Director, DEIT

 

Two Minute Tip: Setting Release Dates on Blackboard Folders

Check out Eric’s Two Minute Tip on YouTube at https://youtu.be/KlywTwZ4ycU.

 

2016 Online Learning Landscape – Infographic

DeSales University is a member of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), a non-profit dedicated to promoting quality online higher education. The OLC is just out with this infographic summarizing the scope of online higher education and the context in which it exists.

Among the highlights:

  • 5.8 million students are enrolled in online courses, a 263% increase over the past 12 years
  • 75% of undergrads are age 25 or older
  • 90% of students think online learning is the same or better than the traditional classroom experience (71% of academic leaders say the same thing)

If you are looking to do something new with technology in your course or program, let’s have a conversation!

Eric Hagan, Director, DEIT

DEIT Satisfaction Survey – Results

Thank you to the 145 DeSales faculty members that responded this past fall to the Distance Education and Instructional Technology Department’s Faculty Satisfaction Survey. The following are the key findings and planned actions from the survey’s results.


 

Key findings:

  • Ninety percent (90%) of respondents expressed overall satisfaction with DEIT’s faculty support services.

  • Sixty-five percent (65%) of respondents rated DeSales’ level of instructional technology infrastructure and support as better than peer institutions.

  • Eighty percent (80%) of respondents were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with DEIT’s Instructional Design Consulting, Workshops, and Response to Routine Requests.

  • Faculty opinion was very mixed about the impact of the implementation of Help Desk as it relates to DEIT-related issues. 37% thought the addition of the Help Desk was positive, 45% thought it was a negative, and 18% thought it was about the same.

Planned actions:

  • To improve awareness of DEIT’s services, DEIT will send a service reminder message to faculty each semester.

  • Through collaboration with the Academic Technology Committee and the Information Services Department, DEIT is working to better understand faculty infrastructure and support needs so as to improve the perception of DeSales in these areas relative to peer institutions.

  • In response to comments regarding workshops, DEIT has launched a series on instructional design theory and practice.

  • In partnership with the Information Technology Department, DEIT is working to improve satisfaction with response to emergencies by improving procedures and communication related to the Help Desk “dispatcher” model. The university has already taken action to improve satisfaction with the Help Desk by switching to only US-based agents during peak service hours.

  • To support continuous improvement, DEIT will repeat the Faculty Satisfaction Survey annually, beginning in spring 2017.

You may access PDF versions of the complete survey results, a slightly more detailed analysis, and a copy of the survey questions by clicking this link or by cutting and pasting this URL into your favorite Web browser:

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4nIGMhnNLnmZFZBS3pGQmh2YlU&usp=sharing

Please contact DEIT  if you have any questions or any feedback on the survey process.


 

Warm regards,
Eric J. Hagan, Ed.D.
Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology

Fall 2015 DEIT Updates: Message from Dr. Eric Hagan

Faculty colleagues:

As the Fall Semester gets underway, I wanted to communicate to you about several items that may impact your teaching. To follow-up or get more information, contact DEIT at deit@desales.edu or 610-282-1100 x2290. In addition, my personal contact information appears at the bottom of this message.fallupdatesleaf2015

  1. Blackboard course template change

As you know, all DeSales University courses are associated with a Blackboard “course shell.” This course shell has a template applied to it that results in a default course structure. After testing a new template in the ACCESS program during the second half of last year with positive feedback from faculty and students, a new template is now being applied to all courses in all programs. This instructor-customizable template is intended to incorporate best practices in technology-enhanced learning and provide students with a better and more consistent navigation experience. The functionality of Blackboard is unchanged. Some of the cosmetic changes you will immediately notice are the addition of a “Start Here” section and the relabeling of “Content” to “Weekly Units”.

It is NOT mandatory to use all elements of the template nor is the intent to change the way you teach. Indeed, although application of the template can benefit many courses, aspects of the template may be inappropriate for some courses and teaching strategies. Instructors are free to hide or delete content elements that they do not wish to use (in fact, many items are already hidden by default). If you need assistance in configuring your course or in using (or not using) the new course template, contact DEIT. You are also invited to attend one of the upcoming evening online workshops on the new template (see http://www.desales.edu/workshops).

  1. Classroom tech upgrades

Under the leadership of Instructional Media Engineer Mike Yorgey, each summer DEIT takes the opportunity to perform various classroom technology upgrades. Here is a quick run-down of this summer’s activity:

Dooling Hall – 1st Floor Classrooms:

The 1st floor classrooms (104-109) have gone digital. Instructors that teach in these classrooms need to know that the DOOLING HALL 1ST FLOOR CLASSROOMS NO LONGER HAVE VHS VIDEOTAPE PLAYERS. The DVD/VHS players formerly in the Dooling 1st floor classrooms have been replaced with BluRay players (these players play both BluRay and DVD disks). The 1st floor classrooms also have new screens and projectors and digital HDMI connections for newer laptops. Instructors that rely on VHS tapes have several options, including replacing tapes with DVDs or BluRay disks or having DEIT digitize (free of charge) content from the tapes so it can be played from a DVD or streamed from our media server. If you anticipate the need to digitize VHS tape content, please contact DEIT as soon as possible for assistance as the conversion process takes time.

Dooling Hall lower level, New Social Sciences and TV/Film labs:

As part of larger projects involving Campus Environment and IT, Mike Yorgey did the instructional media work on the new Social Sciences lab and refitted the Academic Computing Center classroom, Dooling Hall Room 14-D, for use by TV/Film students.

Dooling Hall Room 227:

Replacement of SMART Board, addition of ultra-short throw projector.

Hurd Science Center:

Work to allow display of digital imaging microscopes, work in process to add projector to 2nd floor conference room.

  1. New faculty support (any faculty, for that matter!)

DEIT has a variety of support resources available for new faculty members or experienced faculty members that want to try something new. Our instructional designers, Jim Holton, Chris Hewatt, and May Truong-Merritt (new as of this summer), are here to help you use technology effectively in your teaching. Contact DEIT to schedule a one-on-one collaboration session or access http://www.desales.edu/workshops to register for a scheduled workshop. DEIT staff are also available for hands-on technology walk-throughs in the classroom where you will be teaching. We also have a variety of self-service resources available in the faculty community in Blackboard as well as on the DEIT Web site http://deit.desales.edu.

DEIT is here to support the faculty. Let us know how we can help!

Peace and blessings,

Eric

Eric J. Hagan, Ed.D.

Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology DeSales University

Eating My Own Dog Food

Dr. Eric Hagan

Dr. Eric Hagan

According to no less an authority than Wikipedia, “Eating your own dog food, also called dogfooding, is a slang term used to reference a scenario in which a company uses its own product to validate the quality and capabilities of the product.”

I’m the Director of the Distance Education and Instructional Technology department. DEIT’s main job is to support faculty members’ use of instructional technology. This spring, I had the privilege of teaching a hybrid online/classroom section of MG 350 Introduction to Project Management for the ACCESS program at the Easton Area Campus. This gave me the opportunity to, yes, eat the DEIT dog food and more broadly to experience what it’s like to be a new adjunct instructor at DeSales.

I had previous university teaching experience, but this was my first time teaching for DeSales and I was teaching a brand new course. The first thing I recognized was that new faculty members, by necessity, get a lot of information thrown at them from the university in general, from their academic unit, and from DEIT. It’s the proverbial fire hose effect. It’s really impossible to assimilate everything – the best you can hope for is to keep track of what you have received so you can reference it later when you need it. The second thing I was reminded of is how much work it is to prepare a course with an online component. To do a good job preparing your course, you have to put in a lot of time.

I thought the DEIT dog food tasted pretty good. Between regularly scheduled group training sessions, online reference material, and opportunities for one-on-one consultation with DEIT’s instructional designers and technologists, faculty have a lot of support. However, I could see that all the support that DEIT provides could itself be overwhelming. To add structure to its support for new faculty, DEIT has established a more formal faculty onboarding process to help present support resources in a more logical, organized, and hopefully less overwhelming way. We are also going to experiment with bringing new faculty members together after they’ve taught their first course to share experiences with each other and to ask questions that may not have occurred to them earlier.

Finally, the big day arrived – my first live class – Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. Would I be able to fill three hours without boring the students to death? What were these ACCESS students going to be like? What if I had a problem with the technology in the classroom – wouldn’t that be ironic? Spitballs, paper airplanes, who knew what I was in for?

My dog food did have one nasty bit, and it was my worst fear – a problem with the technology! In my classroom, the “Laptop” button on the podium didn’t work. There was a workaround, and my DEIT colleagues ultimately corrected the problem, but I got a sense of what it is like to be in front of students, to have a technical glitch, and to be stared at while you fumble around trying to figure out what is going on.

As those of you who teach in ACCESS know, interacting with the students was the best part of the experience. I started off each class with a Direction of Intention, which had to help. I found the students to be smart, inquisitive, respectful, and possessing a lot of personality. They also had a wealth of life experience relevant to my class. One student shared with the class real-life project plans for a software development project his company was working on. Another described the challenges of a project to assimilate a small financial institution into a larger one. I am proud to say that for two of the students, my class completed their Bachelor’s degree program. Congratulations, Jack and Shawn!

The most important lesson I learned by eating my own dog food is that teaching with technology is still teaching, and teaching at DeSales is about people putting DeSales’ Christian humanist philosophy into action. It’s about the leadership of the programs and DEIT supporting the faculty. It’s about the faculty helping students meet learning objectives. It’s about everyone helping their faculty, staff, and student colleagues to “be what we are and be that well, in order to bring honor to the Master Craftsman whose handiwork we are” (St. Francis de Sales).

I will close with a big thank you to some of the people that helped me in my first course experience: Dean of Lifelong Learning Deborah Booros and Easton Area Campus Director Linda Bell, Dr. Gregg Jeffries in the Division of Business, and, of course, my DEIT colleagues. I’m looking forward to my next teaching assignment!

– Dr. Eric Hagan

Director of DEIT

Happy Spring?

It’s a little difficult to think Spring when it’s in the single digits outside, but the academic calendar says it’s Spring Semester. Even if the flower buds won’t be evident for a while, every new academic term provides the opportunity for a fresh start for students, faculty, and staff.

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.”
— St. Francis de Sales

If you are thinking about using technology in new ways in your teaching, DEIT can help. Visit www.desales.edu/workshops for a list of upcoming workshops on topics such as Blackboard Fundamentals, Blackboard Collaborate (for live online sessions), the Panopto lecture recording system, and classroom clickers. You can also request a custom workshop using our Workshop Request Form. Or schedule a one-on-one collaboration session with a member of the DEIT staff by contacting us at deit@desales.edu or 610-282-1100 x2290.

If you have an idea but don’t know whether there’s a technology to meet your need, let us know and we’ll do the research. We are always eager to help you execute on your creative ideas for classroom or online teaching.

Here are a few technologies we are evaluating and looking for faculty to try:

  • Swivl. A robotic turret that pairs with a recording device like an iPad or smartphone to record lectures or presentations in a very easy-to-use manner. Let us know if you’d like to give our Swivl a test drive.
  • ApprenNet. A Web-based system for creating and managing real-life video challenge exercises. The instructor creates a video challenge, the students submit video responses performing a skill, other students provide peer feedback, and finally the instructor provides an expert response and feedback to the students. ApprenNet can provide a highly engaging alternative to the standard Blackboard discussion board. Nursing is already piloting the system – let us know if you want in.
  • Respondus Monitor. Monitor provides an enhanced level of cheating deterrence for Blackboard online exams by recording the student’s exam session using the student’s Web cam and microphone. If you have a need for this level of security, contact us and we’ll help you set up your exam accordingly.

Peace and blessings,

Eric J. Hagan, Ed.D.
Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology

Good to Great

Many of you will recognize that the title of this post is taken from the title of a management book by Jim Collins. Collins is known for his research on long-lived organizations, including companies that made the leap from just good to superior performers. As the new Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology, “good to great” suggests to me both a strong foundation on which to build as well as a challenge to become even better.

I have been entrusted with the leadership of a wonderful, dedicated DEIT staff that enjoys a well-deserved reputation for competence and responsiveness. The core activities of our department center on managing DeSales’ hardware and software instructional technology infrastructure, training and supporting the faculty in use of this infrastructure, and providing instructional design services. My goals for this year include making sure that in addition to doing things well, DEIT is working on the right things – in other words making sure our efforts are aligned with faculty needs and the priorities of the institution. I need the help of formal and informal leaders to know how DEIT can be most effective in helping the academic units and individual faculty members to accomplish their goals. To this end, if I don’t get to you first, please reach out to me to help me understand how DEIT can support you better.

Of course, the imperative to go from good to great is not just for me and DEIT, but applies to our entire DeSales University enterprise. If the experts are right, in the not so distant future, many of today’s institutions of higher education will cease to exist. If these expert forecasts are correct, I am sure that small liberal arts institutions will be heavily represented among those that fall by the wayside. DeSales needs to be great to survive and thrive in this environment. To be great, DeSales needs to be a superior performer on the dimensions that matter to our stakeholders. I believe effective use of educational technology is one of the dimensions that will keep DeSales University a vibrant, modern, sustainable Catholic liberal arts university for many years to come. I look forward to the journey from good to great.

In closing, I want to thank everyone I have met at DeSales for their warm welcome. I am blessed to be here. My father had the good fortune to be taught by the Oblates at the late great North Catholic in Philadelphia. I was privileged to enjoy summers as a small boy at Camp Brisson in North East, Maryland and later to attend Salesianum School in Wilmington, Delaware. Now, thirty five years later, I end up at DeSales University, and rather than feeling like a coincidence, it feels like something that was meant to be, not least because so many people here have made me feel so at home.

Live + Jesus

Eric J. Hagan, Ed. D.

DEIT Director

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