Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

Category: DEIT reflections Page 2 of 3

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:

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

Chronicle Vitae Article: Commentary on Online Teaching

reflectioniconOnline learning is a great way to conveniently fit furthering your education into a busy schedule with its more flexible hours and course format. However, distance learning still faces a common misconception that because the course is hosted online, it is less personal than a traditional classroom course.

In an article titled “Online Teaching, It Turns Out, Isn’t Impersonal” featured on Chronicle Vitae’s website, the post’s author Gregory Semenza has found the exact opposite of this impersonal misconception. When Semenza was tasked with teaching his first online, intensive course, he found that the online format actually led to an interactive and engaging course. Semenza credits the success of online courses to two key factors:

  • All students participate in the class, rather than a select few in the classroom setting
  • All submissions and assignments were written, which allowed Semenza to better gauge the students’ understanding and provide better feedback

These two facts about online courses, combined with good instructional design and engaging material, prove that distance learning can be just as, if not more, personal and interactive between the three main players in any course: the students, the instructor, and the material.

To read the full article, click the following link: Online Teaching, It Turns Out, Isn’t Impersonal.

Special thanks to Kim Karpinski for sharing this article with DEIT!


edSurge Article: “The 3 Instructional Shifts That Will Redefine the College Professor”

reflectioniconThe role of the modern college professor is changing. In an article titled “The 3 Instructional Shifts That Will Redefine the College Professor”, Ryan Craig from edSurge cites three changes to the method of instruction in a university which are redefining what it means to be a college professor. These three instructional shifts are: The Dynamic Classroom, Smartphones and Apps, and Competency-Based Education.

To read more about these three shift and their effect on college professors, click here:

We’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this article! Comment with your opinion on these instructional shifts and their effect on professors in the comment section below this post!


Faculty Focus Article: More Evidence That Active Learning Trumps Lecturing

reflectioniconMaryellen Weimer of the blog Faculty Focus, discusses the strengths of active learning over lecturing in her article Move Evidence That Active Learning Trumps Lecturing. Weimer refers to a study conducted of 225 STEM class students whose exam scores showed an average improvement of 6% on exam scores when taught using active learning practices versus traditional lecturing.

Weimer attributes the increased improvement in student retention with active learning to the fact that students are able to better mimic more life-like situations when they are actively learning as opposed to lecturing. Lecturing may instill students with a sense of what the correct information and actions are for learning process, but having students actively participate in the learning process is more engaging and enables students to put their knowledge to use.

To read the full article, click here:

Creating Instructor Presence: Instructor Module in Blackboard

Creating instructor presence in your Blackboard course, especially in a hybrid or online course, is a great way to engage students and provide an introduction to you and your background as the instructor of the course. One way to achieve instructor presence in your course is to add an Instructor Module containing your photo and some background information about yourself. Here is an example Instructor Module (show module). The Instructor Module can be added to the “Course Home” page of all your courses.

To request an instructor module, log in to Blackboard and enter the “DEIT Faculty Community” Organization found under the “My Organizations” module. Once inside the DEIT Faculty Community, click on the “Instructor Presence” link on the left navigation menu. See image below for a screenshot:



In the Instructor Presence section, you will see an explanation of the Instructor Course Module and an example of what an Instructor Module looks like. You can use this example module to help generate ideas for the content of your instructor module. To request the creation of an instructor module, click on the “Instructor Module Creation Request” link below the module explanation and example. You will need to submit a 150 x 150 pixel photo of yourself in JPG format and a short biographical text about yourself in the form of a Word document. See image below for a screenshot:




Once your request has been submitted, a member of DEIT will use the photo and text you have provided to create your own personal instructor module. This module can be added to any number of your courses on the “Course Home” page.

if you have any questions, please contact DEIT at

Panopto: Is the Flipped Classroom the New Norm?

The staff at Panopto, a lecture capture application which allows instructors to capture video, audio, screencasts, and/or PowerPoint in a recorded format to share to students, has found that since the dawn of the concept of the “flipped classroom” in 2007, there has been a radical shift towards the idea of the flipped classroom becoming more and more common in classrooms.

According to Panopto’s article:

  • One in three instructors have flipped their classroom
  • One in three instructors are planning to flip their classroom
  • Two in five instructors have not tried flipping their classroom

Panopto projects that by next year at least half of all instructors will have tried flipping their classroom.

To learn more about Panopto and the flipped classroom, read the full article here:


DEIT is happy to work with instructors on learning how to flip their classroom with Panopto. Schedule a personal workshop with a member of DEIT through our Workshop Session Request Form found here: .

Call DEIT at 610-282-110 x2290 or email us at to learn more!



Social Media and Online Teaching: What’s the Connection?

Social media is form of communication which is just becoming more popular in the field of education, with increased academic Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and even Instagram accounts. Some instructors are now accepting and even incorporating social media into their courses.

In an article for, Joshua Kim describes his theory that there is a direct connection between instructors who maintain a effective social media accounts and create a good presence in online courses. Kim’s theory comes down to two principles that are best practices for effectively utilizing social media and online courses: creating a sense of presence and community.

In social media, presence often means sharing content to a group of followers on a regular basis and responding to any comments on the content that you’ve shared.  Similarly, in an online course, teachers can create a greater sense of presence in their course by being available and posting updates and comments on students’ submissions or comments in a timely manner. Instructor presence in an online course makes the students feel more personally connected with the instructor and the course.

To establish community on social media, users create groups or even special accounts to gather other users with similar interests together. In a online class, an instructor can create outlets for students to discuss and share ideas with each other surrounding the course subject. In developing a sense of community, instructors are engaging students to work on their collaboration skills to create a community of learning in their course.

To learn more about the connection between effective social media and good online courses, read the full article here:

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

NMC Horizon Report 2015: Higher Education Edition

The NMC (New Media Consortium) Horizon Report for 2015 in Higher Education studies the projected upcoming short-term, mid-term, and long-term trends for educational practices and technology. Technologies which are near-term, mid-term, and far-term for implementation in education are also discussed. This report also addresses the challenges that instructors will face in upcoming years, broken into three groups: solvable, difficult, and wicked.

To read the full report, click here: NMC Horizon 2015 Report: Higher Education Ed

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 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 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

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