eLearning Technology Blog

Tech Test Kitchen: Hands-on help with new educational tools

by Ruth Gregory 25. March 2015 09:42

By: Richard Miller, Global Campus 

WSU Global Campus and the Provost’s Office are launching a new way for staff and faculty to try out the latest educational technologies in a supportive environment.

The Technology Test Kitchen starts March 25 with an open house and runs for five weeks in the AMS offices at Holland Library. Each week has a different focus, and will explore such tools as 3-D printers, Google Cardboard, cell-phone videos, lecture capture technologies, and quick-response systems.

“We don’t expect faculty to use these tools only because they’re very cool,” said Rebecca Van de Vord, associate director of the Global Campus. “We’re offering these options to create a meaningful difference in faculty’s ability to engage and inspire students.”

Each Monday is a brown bag session at Holland. Each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be workshops or presentations on specific tools, repeated at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each Friday will be an open lab for exploring the technologies presented throughout the week.

More information is at elearning.wsu.edu/techtest, or select a link below for details on daily presentations and workshops. No registration is required, and all sessions are held in Holland Room 150. And be sure to check out the latest news on Twitter at #WSUTTK. 

Top of the page: The 3D printer at work creating new demonstration prototypes. Below: Emerging Technology & Multimedia Specialist Ruth Gregory demonstrates how to use the interactive presentation tool VoiceThread.

'An Expression of Care': Academic integrity workshop puts an emphases on learning

by Ruth Gregory 13. March 2015 11:23

Mary Wack


By Richard H. Miller/WSU Global Campus

A recent WSU workshop on academic integrity began with regulations and ended in compassion.

Adam Jussel, director of the Office of Student Conduct, started last Thursday’s panel discussion with a PowerPoint outline of WSU rules on academic integrity violations.

Plagiarism is the most common reported violation at WSU, Jussel told a group of about 25 faculty members in CUE 518. Second is cheating, and third is fabrication.  Between 2001 and May 2014, about 450 violations were tallied, he said.

Professor Richard Zack uses two approaches to academic integrity in his 100-level entomology courses. The first is to build discussions of integrity into his course—weaving in Aesop’s Fables, Chief Joseph and Steve Jobs—along with a talk about how science is necessarily based on truth. The second involves a bit of truth-twisting: He has a grad student pose as a cheater. The cheater gets spotted looking over someone’s shoulder, and is—with great drama—ejected from the classroom.

Communication Professor Doug Blanks Hindman recommended using TurnItIn, an anti-plagiarism tool, to reduce time spent tracking down violations, and help students learn proper citation style. To help students learn how to paraphrase properly, he asks them to complete APA citation exercises in a WSU library tutorial. 

“I prefer to be a teacher not an enforcer,” Hindman said. “My goal is to make infractions learning experiences for students.”

Hindman and Zack’s emphasis on integrating integrity into their courses reflects the latest national thinking, as outlined by the International Center for Academic Integrity and described by panelist Mary Wack, vice provost for undergraduate education.

The initial approach was the “speeding ticket phase,” in which universities focus on catching and penalizing violators, she said. But that can fail to create remorse, she said, “just as you can go 64 on the way to Spokane and not feel like you are morally at fault.”

The second approach was to make assignments and exams cheat-proof. “But experience shows there are not enough collective resources to have that whole burden rest on individual faculty,” she said. The newest method, she said, is to create a culture of integrity where “students, faculty and administrators all build a context in which students develop the inner resources of integrity.”

Jussel said that holistic approach is part of the reason he encourages faculty to report violations to Student Conduct. His staff may find documentation that a student’s academic issues are linked to other life problems.

“If we get that kind of information, we can look at the whole student,” he said.  “That can be the trigger point to engage our Student Care Team.”  

After the session ended, Hindman reiterated that intervention needn’t be punitive.

“There’s no reason that it can’t become a positive experience,” he said, “an expression of care from the University.”

Excerpts from the workshop can be viewed in the video below from the Global Campus Faculty Led Workshop channel on YouTube.

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