...............................................................................................................                     November 2016
Wikipedia in the Classroom
How often do you look something up online and inevitably stumble across Wikipedia?  How often have you heard or experienced students using Wikipedia as a primary source of information in your course?  Wikipedia has become a powerful influence for how people, including our students (and ourselves), gather new information online.  But have you ever considered harnessing the power of Wikipedia for your classroom?
In this year’s first session of the Conversations on Digital Pedagogy series, we have brought together three instructors from across campus who have used or are currently leveraging Wikipedia in their classrooms to talk about their and their students’ experiences with Wikipedia.  In this conversation, we’ll hear from those instructors about ways their students are engaging with Wikipedia through projects, assignments, readings, and/or classroom activities, and the ways in which those instructors are using Wikipedia to help students achieve learning objectives.
Jessie Hock
, Assistant Professor of English
Carwil Bjork-James, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Tim Foster, PhD Student in Spanish & Portuguese
Join the CFT's Podcasting Learning Community
Podcasts have been around since the early 2000s, but the medium has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, thanks to increasing smart phone adoption and to very popular podcasts like Serial and Radiolab. Educational uses of podcasts are growing, as well. For some time, college and university instructors have produced podcasts for use in their courses. With the ready availability of podcast creation tools, however, instructors are now asking their students to produce podcasts, connecting students with authentic audiences for their academic work. See “Can New Media Save the Book?” by Vanderbilt’s Laura Stark (Medicine, Health, & Society) for one example.
Although technology use should always be driven by pedagogical priorities, sometimes instructors learn about particular technologies and want to explore ways those technologies might fit their teaching needs. This year the CFT is hosting a learning community for faculty, staff, and graduate students interested in teaching with podcasts, particularly those who see potential in student-produced podcasts.
The learning community will meet several times during the year to explore examples, tools, and teaching practices. Please contact CFT Assistant Director Stacey Johnson if you are interested in participating.
BOLD Fellows Program Now Accepting Applications for 2017
The BOLD Fellows program is designed to help graduate student/faculty teams build expertise in developing online instructional modules grounded in good course design principles and our understanding of how people learn. STEM faculty members partner with graduate students to design and develop online instructional materials for integration into a course, either as a tool to promote flipping the classroom, a module for a blended course, or a unit to supplement an existing course.

The teams implement these modules in an existing class and investigate their impact on student learning. The program is a collaboration between Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching and the CIRTL Network (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning). Example projects are described in the BOLD project gallery

This two-semester program is divided into a “design and development” semester, in which Fellows receive training and support as they develop their module, and an “implementation and assessment” semester. We are currently recruiting Fellows to begin the program in January for implementation and assessment in Fall 2017. The Fellowship carries a modest stipend as well as the opportunity to apply for travel funds to share this work at a conference. For more information about the program, including a video from the inaugural group of BOLD Fellows and application information, see the CFT’s BOLD program page.

Applications are due December 5; decisions will be made by December 16.

Blackboard Drop-in Sessions for November

Blackboard Support at the CFT will be offering drop-in training and support for the fall  semester for faculty, graduate students, and staff using Blackboard. Come get technical and pedagogical support from a team of Blackboard specialists during our drop-in support hours. Feel free to bring any questions or issues you want to resolve.
November Drop-in Hours

Monday              11/7      2-4pm

Monday              11/14    2-4pm

Monday              11/21    2-4pm

Monday              11/28    2-4pm

Junior Faculty Spotlight: Lisa Fazio

Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Lisa Fazio, Psychology and Human Development, talks about her teaching philosophy and interests.
A main focus of my research is how basic psychological principles can help to improve education.  Therefore, when I teach, I incorporate relevant research findings into the classroom.  For example, students show better memory for material that has been previously tested, as compared to material that has been repeatedly studied (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006; Fazio et al., 2010).  Thus, in my Developmental Psychology course students take short quizzes on the day’s reading at least once a week.  These quizzes are not designed as assessment tools (they are worth only a small proportion of the students’ grades), but rather as learning tools.  The quizzes serve a number of purposes.  First, they ensure that the students keep up in their reading, allowing me to cover topics in more depth during my lecture.  Second, by testing only the most essential material from the text, students learn how to extract the important concepts from their reading.  Finally, and most important, simply taking the quiz improves students’ memory for the basic concepts. 
Along with incorporating research results into my teaching, I make it a point to teach students about basic research principles.  I believe that students should know not only the content of a subject area, but also how that knowledge was acquired.  When students leave my class, they should know both the current theories in the field and how those theories were inspired and tested.  In both classes, I include videos, classroom demos, and discussion of classic studies in the field.  For example, in Developmental Psychology we spend class time discussing not only the general findings from Bandura’s bobo doll experiments, but the specific experimental procedures and manipulations that allowed Bandura to make his conclusions.
In my Make it Stick freshman seminar, the students read both a popular press book that summarizes the major findings on the topic and a scientific journal article for each class period. Thus, the students learn both what is known about a topic broadly and how some of that knowledge was discovered.  The students also begin to dabble in research design and analysis.  One group project involves developing a survey or experiment that examines a topic from the course. While the students have not yet been exposed to formal statistics or research methods, they are able to have complex discussions about creating unbiased questions, what control groups are necessary, and how best to provide evidence for their hypotheses.  
Date: Monday, November 7th
Time: 3-4pm
Location: Ctr. for Digital Humanities, 344 Buttrick 
Open to the Vanderbilt community.

New Podcast Episode on Ed Tech in Higher Education

In this episode, we feature two interviews conducted by Cliff Anderson, the Director for Scholarly Communications at the Vanderbilt library. Both interviews focus on Neo4j, an open source platform that can be used to visualize and analyze data and connections among data.
Cliff interviews his Vanderbilt library colleague Suellen Stringer-Hye, Linked Data and Semantic Web Coordinator. Suellen has worked with a number of faculty members and students here at Vanderbilt, helping them use Neo4j in their research. In the interview, she talks about some of those projects and how a database tool like Neo4j can be easier to use than one might think.
In the second interview, Cliff interviews Michael Hunger, who handles developer relations for Neo Technology, the company that has developed Neo4j. Michael shares a few more examples of how Neo4j has been used and how it supports collaborative data visualization and analysis.
To listen to the podcast, visit the Leading Lines website, search for “Leading Lines” in iTunes, or subscribe via RSS.  You can also follow us on Twitter, @LeadingLinesPod.

From The CFT

Discussions in the College Classroom by Jay R. Howard
This practical guide utilizes research, frames it sociologically, and offers advice, along with a wide variety of strategies to help faculty spark a relevant conversations and steer them toward specific learning goals. Applicable across a spectrum of academic disciplines both online and on campus, these ideas can help faculty overcome the practical challenges and norms that can undermine discussion, and foster a new atmosphere of collaborative learning and critical thinking.
Available in the Center for Teaching Library
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