CIRT Newsletter Podcast

Jonathan Pabalate, School of Nursing
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PabalateDr. Jonathan Pabalate is an instructor in the Nurse Anesthetist program in the School of Nursing and teaches a Technology in Anesthesia Nursing course in the program’s classroom on campus.  These class sessions are viewed in real time by students in the program’s distant classroom in Tampa, Florida.  A Tandberg HD Video Conferencing system sends a feed of both the presentation media and live video of the class. It simultaneously records and podcasts the sessions for viewing at a later time through iTunes or a mobile device. The podcast is distributed using Blackboard's Podcast LX tool, and presents both feeds in Picture-in-Picture format, with a voice presence algorithm determining which content should be displayed more prominently.

Even with a HD camera, the video feed did not provide enough clarity for pointing to a particular area on his slides with hand gestures or a laser pointer. Pabalate immediately saw the potential for using Keynote on his iPad in order to utilize the virtual laser pointer which displays on the screen as a red dot that can be moved by dragging a finger across the iPad screen.  By presenting from an iPad, he is able to allow students viewing remotely or from the podcast to clearly see his area of focus on the content channel on their projector display.

PabalateKeynote is presentation software that is part of Apple’s iWork suite, and available as an app for iPads. For those unfamiliar with Keynote, it offers the same features as PowerPoint: themes, tables, charts, media, shapes, text, and animations, as well as integration with music, photo and movie media content on the user's computer. PowerPoint users may also utilize the Keynote app to deliver presentations; it will convert .pptx files to its own format.  Visit the Apple website for more information on Keynote.

Pabalate chooses to use Keynote rather than PowerPoint for his lectures not only for its features on the iPad, but because of its ease of use and eye-catching themes.  “The slides I create in Keynote don’t look anything like what they've seen before, so the slides are more­­ visually appealing, memorable and as a result allow me to connect with students in a way not previously possible”.

Pabalate said “As a digital strategist for healthcare and educational institutions, I felt compelled to integrate presentation technology on a mobile device to better understand its strengths, weaknesses, and ideal use for other colleagues and clients.” He began using Keynote on his iPad for instructional and professional presentations during the 2010 summer semester shortly after the introduction of the iPad, and believes that the use of the virtual laser pointer within Keynote “allows for a deeper level of connectedness and interactivity for both sets of students (face-to-face and distant) not previously possible.”

CIRT has iPads and the VGA connector required to present from the iPad available for faculty checkout. If you are interested in trying presentations with an iPad and Keynote, please stop by to talk with us.  

Deb Miller, Director deb.miller@unf.edu
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TOLIn this edition, rather than focusing on a particular topic, I want to share small bits of news on a variety of topics.  First, we were very pleased with the response to our call for applications to the Teaching Online Seminar. We received 32 applications for 20 spots and are continuing to look at ways to increase access for faculty. We are also very interested in working with particular departments or programs looking to move several courses online, so please let me know if that is a need in your department.

Unfortunately, our plan to have you ‘vote’ for the workshops you wanted did not work out as well (see January newsletter), we got very little input. We’ll try again for the fall semester, but in the meantime have scheduled a few sessions that we hope will be of general interest- see the Events section below.  I’d be very interested in hearing from anyone with feedback or suggestions on workshop scheduling, either in terms what they didn’t like about the voting method, or topic suggestions for future sessions. We are also very interested in providing short demos and/or workshops to departments who have specific needs, so please email me if you are interested in further discussion along those lines.

ElluminateI’d like to remind everyone that our Elluminate Live! licensing was expanded last year and now includes graduate courses, courses in the School of Computing, courses in the Coggin College of Business, and all Distance Learning and Hybrid courses. Elluminate was also recently upgraded to version 10, which improves accessibility and enhances the Whiteboard and several other features for improved collaboration. More information is available here.  CIRT has Bamboo Pen tablets for long-term checkout to instructors using Elluminate who want a dedicated input for the Whiteboard.  You can find information about setting up and using Elluminate on our website:  http://www.unf.edu/cirt/bb/bbtools/Tools_-_Elluminate.aspx

iPadThere seem to be many interesting things going on with iPads in academia. One example is Jonathan Pabalate’s story in this edition’s spotlight.  We have scheduled the iPad Social, Part II for April 6, and in the meantime, you may be interested in ELI’s 7 Things You Should Know about iPad Apps for Learning, or my collection of iPad articles.

Finally, did you know that CIRT and OFE share a Foundation account? Donations to the account are used to fund refreshments at OFE and CIRT events, and to provide promotional items to faculty. If you are interested in donating to the OFE/CIRT account you can do so from the Annual Giving page by clicking Donate Now, and then selecting “other” in the Designation dropdown, and typing “OFE/CIRT Foundation Account 0625.” Please call the OFE/CIRT Secretary at x1447 for more information, or to make a donation.



Clicker Update and Mobi Demo
Date: Tuesday, March 29, 12 pm – 1:15 pm
Location: Building 1 (J.J. Daniels Hall), Room 2800 (President's Conference Room)
In this session, participants get an update on CPS Pulse hardware, and the new features it affords. Participants also see the Mobi mobile interactive whiteboard in action. This device can be used to view student clicker responses and write, draw, insert images, or annotate over instructional content projected onto any surface.
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu

iPad Users Social, Part II
Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2:30 pm – 4 pm
Location: Building 1 (J.J. Daniels Hall), Room 2800 (President's Conference Room)
In this informal session, participants discuss the the current state of the iPad, share app favorites and strategies, look at what's new in the tablet market, and get some updates from ITS related to mobile computing.
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu

Dave Wilson, Coordinator of Educational Media, david.wilson@unf.edu
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HR ReportThe Horizon Report is  a collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative with the goal of identifying emerging technologies that will have a large impact in higher education, and predicting when they will reach mainstream use. The report breaks the technologies down into ‘horizons’ based on the time they are expected to emerge and gain wide-spread academic use. There are three horizons, each comprised of two technologies.

The report identifies electronic books and mobile devices for the first horizon. They are expected to be widely adopted in one year or less. Electronic books were featured in last year’s Horizon Report on the two to three year horizon.  The most significant change in this report is that the focus is on e-book formats, and the potential for incorporating audio, video and social activities instead of the e-book readers and the number of e-textbooks .  Watch the five-minute video The Future of the Book by IDEO at http:/www.vimeo.com/15142335 to see conceptual mock-ups.

Mobile devices were featured in the one year or less horizon in last year’s report.  This year the report shifted more to focus on iPad style devices and the ‘always connected’ lifestyle.  Examples of academic use include educational apps and apps like Poll Everywhere that leverage students’ personal mobile devices.If you are interested in learning more about mobile devices,, we are holding an iPad social in early April. If you are interested in attending, please check our events page for time and location.

The next horizon is two to three years and it contains augmented reality and game-based learning.  The concept of augmented reality is to combine digital data with real world places and things.  An example is the StarWalk app for the iOS. The publisher says that it “enables you to point your iPhone at the sky and see what stars, constellations, and satellites you are looking at in real-time.” Last year, the report featured simple augmented reality for the same horizon. From the projects covered, I don’t see much progress from last year, and I’d describe many of the projects to be virtual reality not augmented reality.  Augmented reality is an exciting area, but I don’t believe that it will reach mainstream use within the next three years.

Game-based learning is a diverse technology that covers everything from board games to massively multiplayer online games. The report describes two paths that games may take in education. The first is that by playing games students learn general skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and innovation needed in an information-based culture. The second  is games specifically designed as course content that engage students in a particular topic, or place them in a simulated role.

The final horizon features technologies expected to mature in the four to five year time-frame. The two technologies in this horizon are gesture-based computing and learning analytics.  Gesture-based computing was also selected in the four to five year horizon in last year’s report. Consumer electronics in this field are making significant advances, all major console gaming platforms have some form of gesture-based input.These systems allow people to use their hands and bodies as controllers. Additionally, many mobile devices use touchscreens and accelerometers for input. The devices are relatively inexpensive and can be used with desktop computers. Gesture-based computing has a lot of potential for research projects. Teams at several universities are working on gesture-based projects including MIT, University of Oregon, and Ball State University.  I believe that the private sector will continue to drive advances in gesture-based computing which will create more research opportunities. 

The last technology in this edition of the report is learning analytics. The report describes it as “the interpretation of a wide range of data produced by and gathered on behalf of students in order to assess academic progress, predict future performance, and spot potential issues.”

Learning analytics can provide information to assist with course and program design, and to help improve academic success and retention.  For more information on Learning Analytics, please see 7 Things You Should Know About Analytics.

If you are interested in reading the Horizon Report it is available at http://www.nmc.org/publications/2011-horizon-report. Visit the Wiki if you would like to see more information about the creation of the report, or to participate in the project.

Julie Carter, Coordinator of Instructional Design, julie.carter@unf.edu
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onlineIn both higher education collaborative research and practice, the editable nature of a wiki is noted as a key feature for students to use when depositing, creating, and consuming knowledge.  However, the success of a wiki as a knowledge management tool is significantly dependent on the students’ participation to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing and creation.

Although a wiki is proving to be an effective tool for supporting knowledge creation, literature suggests a strong need to establish conventions to enable long-term success. What conventions should online faculty members develop to improve the success of a wiki as a collaborative tool?  It is recommended that faculty develop wiki guidelines and etiquette for student participants. Some faculty members monitor wikis to ensure that the guidelines are followed while others appoint one student in each group to be a moderator to ensure that the group follows the wiki guidelines.  Many faculty members assign groups of students to a “test” wiki to learn the wiki guidelines and functionality before assigning the students to collaborative learning group projects. 

When using a wiki as a group collaborative tool, at any time convenient to the students, they can add, delete or change the wiki page(s) content.  These revisions, sometimes considered to be knowledge that is incomplete, can be accessed by other students who can add to this content in the continuation of knowledge creation.  By having this capacity to store page revisions, wikis are supporting incremental knowledge creation and being used as repositories of information, thereby enabling effective knowledge management.

Research shows that wiki knowledge creation appears to evolve as a result of student participation instead of as a result of faculty collaborative directives.  For example, when students collaborate via their wiki to share research information, debate and discuss related issues, and organize their wiki content, “chunks” of knowledge are being created and organized. Therefore, educational leaders agree that it is critical that students share their knowledge, invite critique, present multiple points of view, and seek to change others’ ideas.  In order to advocate as much student engagement in group wikis as possible, faculty members are strongly encouraged to share with their students the expectations of their participation in the wiki development, communicate to them that their progress is tracked not only as a group, but individually, too, and let them know that their lack of participation will result in deductions in their grades.
At this point, you may ask “What happens to knowledge creation when erroneous information is shared via the wiki?  Because previous versions of the wiki page(s) content are accessible, students can “roll back” to these versions or correct the most current version. Therefore, this so-called “version control” not only supports knowledge creation, but also provides knowledge protection.

Another benefit, other than “version control”, to using a wiki as a knowledge repository is that the content can be indexed; and therefore, all content can be searchable by the students.  This organized method of knowledge management provides a much better learning environment than some other collaborative tools, and challenges the students to use their higher order thinking and writing skills than the inundation of back-and-forth emails and instant messages that some analysts have referred to as “occupational spam” (McKiernan, 2005; Bean & Hott, 2005).
A consensus among most online educators is that the use of a wiki alone will not be adequate for collaborative knowledge creation and management.  When using wikis as well as other virtual collaboration tools, it has been proven that it is difficult to encourage students to participate and share information.  Without all students’ participation and sharing of information, new knowledge cannot be created. Based on the diversity of learning styles of online students, it is evident that it will take a suite of collaborative tools to continuously engage students in creating and retaining knowledge.

Further Reading: http://www.educause.edu/ECAR/SupportingKnowledgeCreationUsi/162551


Erin Soles, Coordinator of Instructional Design, esoles@unf.edu
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BbBlackboard News: New Functionality for Course Requests and Upgrade to Learning Objects
In this newsletter, I want to tell you about some of the recent improvements to the Course Request tool (BbCAR) and some upgrades that will be coming to the Learning Objects tools in the next year or so.
Blackboard Course Request Tool Enhancements
The BbCAR (Blackboard Course Action Request) tool was recently updated to allow instructors more flexibility in requesting courses and managing course enrollments. You can now request all of your courses in a single step by building a list of course sites to create - with either single or multi-section enrollment. After your courses have been created, you can add or remove enrollment in courses using BbCAR, and the changes will be reflected at the next enrollment update. I created a short video to demonstrate how to request courses in BbCAR, which is available here: http://stream.unf.edu:8080/ramgen/cirt/bb/bbcar_term.rm

Instructions for requesting courses using BbCAR are here: http://www.unf.edu/cirt/bb/bbtools/BbCAR_Course_Requests.aspx#term
Information on all of the features of BbCAR, including user requests, is here: http://www.unf.edu/cirt/bb/bbtools/Tools_-_BbCAR.aspx

  • Summer 2011 Courses will be available for request in BbCAR on March 13, 2011
  • Fall 2011 Courses will be available for request in BbCAR on April 3, 2011

LOLearning Objects Campus Pack Tools Upgrade Coming
If you are not familiar with the wiki, blog and podcast tools available in Blackboard, please look at the description and examples of use at UNF below.  A new version of these tools has been released which offers some exciting new features, including tag clouds for labeling and searching content, side by side version history, activity feeds for viewing site activity at a glance, student podcasting, multiple podcast feeds per course, inline podcast recording, theme sets, personal learning spaces, and community areas.  These new features will allow instructors and students to collaborate within courses and in self-organized groups, build collections of academic work, selectively share work, and easily record and share media within the Campus Pack platform. For more information on Campus Pack 4 from Learning Objects, visit the Learning Objects Community.

What Are Learning Objects Campus Pack Tools?
Learning Objects Campus Pack provides social learning tools within a Blackboard course including wikis, blogs (journals), and podcasts. The Wiki and Blog tools can be used by students to generate content in Blackboard courses. The Wiki tool in a Blackboard course allows instructors to create a collaborative space where a designated group of students can create and edit content while saving a history of updates that may be reviewed at a later time. Wikis may be used by students for projects such as collaborative documents, reports, websites, and bibliographies.  The Blog tool can be set up by the instructor of a Blackboard course as a Private Journal (for student/ instructor interaction) or as a Group Blog (open to the entire class).  Blogs can be used by students to create journal entries, share writings, post essays, and pose questions. The Podcast tool is used by instructors to share media with students within a Blackboard course and may be made available to the public via RSS and iTunes subscriptions. Podcasts can be used by instructors to share lectures, to provide overviews, to introduce new topics, to provide tutorials and to elaborate on concepts.
How Are Learning Objects Campus Pack Tools Used at UNF?
To see how these tools are currently being used at UNF, take a look at these links:



We have a new Nikon SLR available for checkout for special projects. It is a D5000, with an 18-55mm lens, and will also accept any other Nikon lens. Let us know if you'd like to have a look at it and discuss a project.



We've made some updates to the Scantron/Parscore information on our website. You can view the whole page at: http://www.unf.edu/cirt/edtech/scantron/Parscore.aspx, and see general information about CIRT's machine and how it compares to the machine available in the general purpose computer lab.

Below are some tips to review before giving a test if you plan to use the scoring machine in CIRT.

  • Be sure students use ParScore TestForm F-289-PAR-L, available in the bookstore.
  • Be aware that the Scantron machine will only score the front side of the form (questions 1 - 100).
  • Prepare the test key(s) using ParScore TestForm F-289-PAR-L 
  • Be aware that each version of a test must have a separate test key form, with the appropriate form letter marked in the Test Form section.
  • Be aware that tests may have extra credit questions.
  • Inform students of the proper way to bubble as shown here.  They must bubble their N-number for the machine to score their responses.

This newsletter is a publication of the
Center for Instruction & Research Technology
at the University of North Florida.
Deb Miller, Editor

Please direct any comments or questions to cirtlab@unf.edu

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