Coursera App

Leave a comment

I’ve long been a fan of multi-media digital resources for my own reference and/or preparation. The Teaching Company (now called, it seems, The Great Courses) is perhaps the pioneer in this area (they contract with college professors to record lectures and courses that they sell to the general public, first in CD form and now CD, DVD, and digital format), but Apple’s iTunesU and, ultimately, the MOOC movement have exploded the number of available resources for everyone. These resources allowed me to prep for my teaching day during my commute; I would know what book of Homer’s Iliad I was teaching, and would listen to a lecture on it on the way in to school.

The problem has always been, though, how to store, organize, and deploy these resources. When MOOCs were hot, I was thrilled to find the resources available to me through Coursera. (For my subject area, the humanities, and specifically the Classics and Latin, Coursera has more resources than the other providers like EdX or Udacity (the latter of which is apparently out of the MOOC business).) I started downloading video lecture after video lecture. I would change the file name, import them into a school-specific iTunes Library (so that they wouldn’t clutter my music iTunes Library; to create a second or new iTunes Library, hold down the option key when you open iTunes; it will give you the option of creating a new one; you have to remember to use the option key when opening iTunes to switch between iTunes Libraries). I even had old iPods to which I imported these so that I could listen to them during my commute. At the risk of stating the obvious, this was cool at first but quickly lost its appeal given the work and time involved.

I noticed today the Coursera app among the App Store’s featured apps and decided to check it out. And right there, in the Coursera app, is the work that I had undertaken above, when I was first exploring Coursera. The courses are available directly through the app, with the lectures available for streaming or, it seems (haven’t done this yet), the lectures are available for download, which means that, as I do with Podcasts, I can download what I want when I want it. The limitation, of course, is that it is dependent on the courses being available but, as long as they are, the lectures are right there and available.

So I’ve not done much with it yet, because I just discovered it tonight, but I’m excited to use the Coursera app and to make my prep work more streamlined.

ACL 2015 (UConn) Teaching Latin Online Presentation

Leave a comment

Download the presentation here.

Discipline Survey (Demerits)

Leave a comment

A few months ago, the issue of our discipline system came up at a faculty meeting, specifically tardies and the demerits system to address tardies. I decided to poll my students about tardies and demerits and the results are below. (I thought I had posted these already, which is why they’re being posted a few months after the fact.)

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 3.44.57 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 3.45.07 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 3.45.18 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 3.45.33 PMAn additional open-response question and its responses:

What would or does motivate you to get to school on time?

  • If there was a 5-15 minute grace period before school (start at 7:30 and class starts at 7:45) so people can arrive within that time frame.
    I have a fear of being late to everything, no matter if there are consequences. I would be scared of being late even if there weren’t any demerits. I don’t need any extra motivation to be on time because I am always trying to be on time anyways.
    If i couldn’t play a sport
    Later school start times.
    personally I don’t like how you can be late then give a bs reason and then it is excused. This opportunity allows me to be late whenever I want.
    I feel like a jerk if I am late, and it disrespects the teach/class.
    I don’t want to miss stuff in class.
    food, money
    Not missing anything in class.
    I tend to be 1 -3 minutes late because most of my morning classes take 1-3 minutes to start. I would be on time/more worried about being late if I felt that I was missing anything educational.
    School starts way too early. Wayland is an extremely academically challenging environment that requires a lot of rest to recharge for the school day to come. We can’t all be Sharp.
    If school started later, if there were to be less traffic
    The reaction of the teacher, but mostly I just don’t like being late.
    I don’t like being late but the traffic is really bad. I’d rather get to school on time because missing class is a pain when you have to make up work and you miss lectures.
    School starts too early, and even at the risk of me obtaining demerits, I would rather get more sleep. Too add on to that I would also be still sitting in traffic, so it’s not worth coming in early.
    Literally nothing no matter how early I wake up I can’t judge time and I’m just always late.
    my mom usually makes me late. no joke. I will wait by the door for her
    I get to school early to hang out with my friends/finish homework. If I’m ever late, it’s usually because of the traffic.
    money, extra credit, candy, food
    Im chronically punctual. I like to be prepared for class and that includes getting there on time.
    My education
    i give people rides
    I don’t want demerits to pile up
    Embarrassment/ teacher gets angry
    I’m on time
    I don’t want to get cuts or demerits because I don’t want to spend frees in restricted study.
    I would say if you’re late to school then you have to spend twice the ammount of time you were late in restricted study.
    There is very bad traffic on my route to school.
    When teachers are disappointed at a late student, it makes you feel guilty for being late. Additionally, students who are punctual are viewed more favorably by teachers. This is basically why I am chronically punctual. This probably does not apply to the majority of the student population.
    I would be more punctual if school started later.
    I am on time for the most part because it is my responsibility to get to school. Its not like you are at school forever so people should be mature and get to school.
    I always wake up at 5:50-6:00 and have the same routine.
    If there was food in your first period class and it went away after the bell rang.
    If the starting time was pushed to 7:45, it would make it easier for me to get to school on time.
    trying not to get demerits
    Teachers don’t understand that the traffic takes at least 20 minutes to get through and it is very unpredictable.
    the disappointment of my teachers is one of the main reasons i arrive to school on time and demerits also determine my tardiness.
    nothing really
    Pushing back school starting time, I feel like school starts too early and having even just 30 more minutes of sleep time would be helpful.
    less traffic
    If i have have a test that morning or i have an important class that morning or if I know that the class starts on time
    I am chronically on time because I don’t like to be late.
    I have a test that morning… or meeting with a teacher
    I can’t get to school on time because I have trouble waking up so early, and if I leave my house at 7:15 I will be late no matter what, because of the traffic.
    I am motivated to be at school on time because I don’t want to be embarassed by the teacher in front of the students and get demerits.
    Later start time. Right now it’s too early, not getting enough sleep.
    My parents
    I’m responsible.
    I don’t like to be late to school because I find it very distracting to other students. Also, if I come late to school I feel that I am interrupting the class.
    just have people do them if they dont wanna come in they dont have to #senoir #norule #beside #theruleistherisnorules

On Not Using Laptops / Phones in (a College) Class

Leave a comment

An interesting article from the Chronicle about a laptop policy and, for the most part, even more interesting comments / discussion below.

Student Engagement Visual

Leave a comment

Saw this on Twitter (fromvia @edutopia) and thought it did a nice job (however sobering / scary it might be…). One of the comments on it too suggested adding a Carryover Level beyond the green that indicates that students carried over what they learned outside of the class(room).

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 12.12.13 PM

Online Testing Cheating Survey Results

Leave a comment

Last fall (around this very time), I had an unexpected meeting off campus on a day when I had scheduled tests. Rather than have the tests covered, I decided to let my students take the tests as a take home / take-where-they-want. After the test, I was interested in the experience, both in general and, specifically, about cheating, and so I surveyed them, the results of which are here.

This year, when the same test came around, it was back in the classroom but still on the computer, but I was still interested in both the test taking process and cheating, so I administered a modified form of the same survey. Here are the results of this year’s survey:

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.47.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.48.39 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.48.45 PMExplain (briefly / in bullets) your response to the previous question.

because its a lot more efficient and it just feels like less pressure.
I enjoy writing my answers down and typing isn’t my forte.
I find it easier to type on computers rather than writing.
It makes the test go faster.
i would like to keep doing the tests on the computer because they are more organized.
It is a much simpler way of testing and it fits this class well considering how often we use our computers anyways.
It’s easier to write out long essays/paragraphs Faster, so more time to think
I believe it is easier to do it on the computer personally because I have always done better on computers.
Although it is easier to write on a computer, I think that computer tests are more distracting and I think we should still be writing on paper for tests.
-I just don’t like doing things online. I’m old school!
doesn’t really matter if its on computer or paper to me, either way is fine; might as well save paper
I like online tests better because I want to write more for my responses because my hands hurt when i write.
The detailed directions scared me to not cheat. I have cheated on tests before, its pretty easy. When the teacher is walking around it is a lot harder to cheat.
Choose which statement best describes you and the test. * No correct option. Disregard answer.
its nice to type I do better work on a computer
It is much easier doesn’t hurt the wrists either
I like typing better than hand writing.
Its easier to type than to write it out.
Its easyer and dont have to worry about writing clearly
If the need was felt to cheat, I would’ve cheated. However, even though I didn’t read a page of the book, I read the sparknotes. The sparknotes allowed me to excel during the test and ace it without the need of cheating.
I like online tests
-Spellcheck is helpful
It’s easier to type answers than to write them and typed answers are usually more in depth.
Never in my life have i cheated nor will i every attempt to cheat because i’ve learned to accept failure rather than take the easy route out
i find it a lot easier to type instead of writing because it is quicker and less painful for the hands.
its nice
I like being able to see my work typed it makes me edit it more freely
I find it easier and way more time efficient to put down information and my ideas by typing. Writing I have to erase if I want to change what I wrote while online all I have to do is press “delete”.
I like typing my responses better on a computer, but I don’t think that I would cheat if I had the chance on a computer.
Online tests are ight, I like ’em
I just hate testing on technology
I think its easy to get your thoughts out typing because it can go much faster than writing it.
It was nice to be able to type on the laptops rather than to have to write out many paragraphs and essays.
I would like the format for the future tests to be online. Personally I like typing responses rather than writing
I like writing better
Please include any other thoughts about the test approach here, including but not limited to whether or not you know of anyone that cheated (no names) or whether you thought the approach helped or hurt your test-taking.
cheating is bad!
i didnt think it made a difference
I like the idea of an online test but it’s not the online part that I didn’t like. The test itself was difficult and too open ended to even be considered for a right or wrong answer.
I liked the test approach because it helped my my test-taking. I prefer to take tests online rather than the more traditional way.
Is looking at sparknotes pre test considered cheating? Even as just a review material?
easy tests discourage cheating, give easy tests to remove cheating.
I have no other thoughts about cheating on tests nor do I know anyone who cheated.
It was annoying having people be able to look over your shoulder or at your screen. I took the time to complete the work, so them getting the answers without having to try is pathetic.
I liked the online test!
got nothin
I thought the online approach helped me write more in depth answers. It helped me in my opinion.
it helped
I thought some of the questions were wordy
I liked the test format but did not know of anyone that cheated on the test.
Beyond the obvious potential contradiction of no one saying that they cheated vs. some other answers that suggest that there was cheating, the most interesting answer was that over half the students’ impulse to cheat was decreased by me circulating during the test.

Making Rubrics Interactive

Leave a comment

Saw this post on Edutopia and found it a very intriguing idea. Still not sure how I feel about QR Codes (truly efficient? or gimmick that looks great to outsiders but that students will rarely actually utilize?) but I do like the idea of linking content directly to the rubric.

Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers