Professional Development Conference

Be A Digital Disruptor with FFC and IT Services

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On 4/17/19 at 11:00am, I attended the Wake Technical Community College Spring Professional Development Conference Session: Be A Digital Disruptor with FFC and IT Services. This was presented by Ryan Schwiebert, Benita Budd, Neal Stidham, Tracy Naleway, and Monique Williamson of Wake Technical Community College

Be A Digital Disruptor with FFC and IT Services

We began with a brief educational game getting to know one another in the group and finding the close connections with teaching and campuses. it was pretty fun, but there were several of us in here, so it took a minute.

Slide1

Technology has significantly changed the way we interact with our world!

Students interact differently!

  • U.S. smartphone users grew to more than 230 million in 2018 (that is about 70% of the population) (Statista)
  • 20% of households with an annual income less than $30k have smartphones without any other type of broadband. (Pew Research)
  • Wake County has set a goal to increase the availability affordable high-speed connectivity county wide. (County Commissioners)
  • Ubiquitous campus wi-fi connectivity is EXPECTED by students! (Based on student surveys)

Student technology expectations have increased

  • Every student in Wake County Public Schools is provided a computer for course work.
  • Students want to interact and collaborate through technology tools
  • Students are accustomed to receiving constant feedback. 24/7!

We have take some steps to address growing expectations:

  • Wake Tech Online is the largest “campus” with 9,867 students in spring 2017 (8,123 students enrolled at Main Campus)
  • We have several programs completely online Associate 16, Diploma 3, and Certificate 76
  • We have also improved connectivity on campus.

This transformative technology movement is known as DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Slide2

To be successful, our institution must begin evaluating our business processes and changing/adapting them to the digital world.

DISRUPTION IS POSSIBLE: If we do not meet this challenge, others will.

Why is this important?

Consider other industries that have changed:

  • Internet->Travel Agents
  • Napster->Music Industry
  • Amazon-> Retail Industry
  • Netflix -> Video Rentals
  • Streaming Services -> Broadcast Television
  • Taxi -> Uber (The largest taxi service in the world/owns no vehicles)
  • Hotel -> AirBNB (The largest lodging service/owns no real estate)

Most recently:

  • Google introduced cloud training certificate programs – for programmers and anyone interested
  • Amazon’s released ‘Machine Learning University’ – available to all developers
  • Gartner identified Higher Education as a growth sector for technology usage.

The first to successfully achieve this will become market leaders.

Today we are hear to explore how might we adapt to ensure our industry is not disrupted.

Slide3

Lets explore the benefits of digital transformation

Enhanced Competiveness

  • Competition for students has increased in Higher Ed. If we don’t attract students, we will see declining enrollments.
  • For profit institutions have increased dramatically.
  • We compete with other public institutions.

Higher Enrollments

  • It has become difficult to maintain enrollment growth.
  • Public funding for higher education is shrinking.
  • We are continually asked to do more with less.
  • WE should entice the students to come

Better Student Experience

  • The customer experience is often stressed in business/time for Higher Ed. to embrace
  • Student needs and expectations should be a priority
  • Students have a lot of choices!
  • A new focus on future employability.

Technology Works Together

  • Technology and college processes should work together seamlessly.
  • We should not expect the student to conform to an antiquated process.
  • Technology should be easily accessed and interacted with

This was adapted from an article recently published by Educause. Have a look at this article and several others they have. read, attend online seminars and embrace this.

Establishing a digital foundation

  1. Pilot with interactive displays in the classrooms (mostly south campus, a few at North). THis iss a collaboration with faculty, staff and ITS
  2. Conference Room Upgrades. WE are lagging behind. Through teams and conferences we shouldn’t have to campus travel.
  3. Wi-fi Upgrades. We moved away from old systems to Arube systems and we monitor this. Often this is when students congregate. we are asking students to spread out, but we’re looking to upgrade and work with this. We are looking to update to outdoors and parking locations. Once you’re connected on campus, we’d like you to continue to be connected.
  4. New network infrastructure. We’ve upgraded on all campuses, and are upgrading the fibre connections. We have an achilles heel- if southern campus is down, all campuses are down. RTP is redundant and independent. Soon others will also be seperated. If a fibre should be separated, all will be fine
  5. New network infrastructure. We’re focusing more on efficiency and optimization: In the traditional mode, processes should be agile. if the IT items do not work all the time, we have problems. we’re experimenting and dealing with uncertainty. This will mean an acceptance of failure but still have standards.

Slide4

The future growth of Wake Tech depends on our ability to adapt.

Now is the time to explore new ways of using technology.

  • We are looking to faculty to help identify those opportunities

Experimentation allows us to determine new and effective ways of teaching

  • This supports the applied benchmarking concept of continual improvement.

Technology can provide alternative learning methods

  • We need to test the effectiveness of these methods to see if they should be implemented collegewide.

Proper use of technology will put students at the center of the learning process.

  • Students are the reason we are here!

By enhancing faculty teaching methods, learning can be improved.

  • Faculty expertise is pivotal to ensuring success.

 

Slide5

We have spent the past 3 years establishing our foundation

  • Think Maslow’s hierarchy for technology
  • Ryan’s hierarchy of technology needs!
  • Here are some of the highlights!

Interactive Displays

  • Currently piloting interactive displays for classroom and meeting use.
  • A standard will be developed based on faculty and staff feedback.

Conference Room Upgrades

  • Our goal is to simplify these spaces to make it easier for everyone to use.
  • Providing more tools for collaboration/communication
  • Also implementing Microsoft Teams for web meetings
  • Hoping to reduce campus travel.

Wi-Fi Upgrades

  • Wireless access was a hot button issue for students.
  • We completed the upgrade college wide
  • We are continually adding additional access points.
  • Plans are underway to add wi-fi connectivity to outside spaces

New Network Infrastructure

  • We have redesigned our network infrastructure to reduce single points of failure
  • The intent is to increase resiliency and redundancy
  • Each campus will be independently connected to the Internet
  • We will also be upgrading fiber between buildings and upgrading old wiring.

Slide6

Our challenge is to continue operations as we innovate and experiment!

In a traditional mode:

  • Rigid processes
  • More governance
  • Low failure acceptance

In contrast innovation requires an agile mode:

  • High acceptance of failure
  • Some governance
  • Open Processes

To address this at Wake Tech, ITS has adopted a Bi-Modal IT leadership structure.

  • Mode 1 is the operational portion.
  • Mode 2 is the strategy and innovation.

The two must still work together.

  • New innovations are tested in an agile mode.
  • If accepted/successful they are eventually shifted to traditional operation.

Slide7

Collaboration is at the cornerstone of any great organization.

So, lets work together to improve technology adoption college wide!

ITS will serve as

  • your partner and technology expert

Faculty and staff input and involvement is welcome

  • IT needs you to be our partner
  • serve as classroom and teaching experts.

We want to be a technology leader in higher education. IT will focus on technology solutions that benefit student learning. IT needs a seat at the table, early and often.

Think of ITS when working on new ideas!

Slide8

As you can see, a lot of work as gone into preparing for our digital transformation journey. Now that the foundation has been established, we are ready to explore new technology opportunities in the classroom.  We need your input because the possibilities are endless!

Slide9

Poll Title: What tools do you prefer to use when teaching online or in the classroom? You can vote on the preferences submitted.
https://www.polleverywhere.com/discourses/uyJLkTMjCWUDNrDkZQloe

Poll answers were as follows:

  1. Cellphones – 4 (looking up words, fact checking, who’s going to look this up?)
  2. teams – 3 (videos, small groups, want to use this…)
  3. ipads – 3 (apple TV and ipad instead of flipping back and forth- crossplatform presenations- you could eliminate screens to give everyone a device)
  4. ppt – 3
  5. remind.com – 2
  6. kahoot – 2
  7. flipgrid – 2
  8. tablets in lab

Slide10

Poll Title: What benefits will faculty gain from digital transformation at Wake Tech?

https://www.polleverywhere.com/free_text_polls/ChvpPtbrqZuij0gWzOU24

Poll Answers were as follows:

  1. Remind.com
  2. yammer
  3. teams
  4. online lecture and video for online classes
  5. flipgrid

Slide11

Teams

Teams is a collaboration tool. Most people use it extensively. Its a collaboration tool like skype and video recording. Zoom is very similar. Teams uses filesharing as well. Is this like slack? it is like slack, but does more.

Interactive Displays

The technology has come a long way. Some classroom have it. Its a Wake Tech PC back there. You’ll see this more

LAN school

You can take student screens, interact with single or multiple students in classes, and will be coming in the future.

Lynda.com

Lynda.com is a flood of information and easy to follow. This has good PD credits opportunities and students also have access to this

Gartner.com

Gartner.com is another great site from http://go.waketech.edu. They are unbiased information sources. This takes you behind the firewall, and gives you access to all the data. This is great for research, and its available to students as well.

As you can see, a lot of work as gone into preparing for our digital transformation journey. Now that the foundation has been established, we are ready to explore new technology opportunities in the classroom.  We need your input because the possibilities are endless!

Slide12

Question and Answer Section

Q: labs in the class need assistance sharing information. How can he share data in the class?

A: Off the top of Tracey’s head- the answer will be teams. Add in items on teams and display that using teams.

Our Next Mission

Recruit other agents to room 149, and test out the materials. walk through some of the tools and items you’ve seen here. The first place winner won a small prize. A second prize was given out to a participant who offered to hold their fee to the fire.

I think this went along very well, and everybody seemed engaged. Well done!

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Gamification In The Classroom

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On 11/9/17 at 11:00am, I presented at the Wake Technical Community College Fall Professional Development Conference at the Session Gamification In The Classroom in the Engineering Technology Building in Raleigh, NC. This was co-presented by Tyler Dockery and Nicolas D’Agata of Wake Technical Community College

Gamification In The Classroom

In this presentation, we will cover 4 basic topics:

Some Background

This presentation is part of a grant we ran in 2014, discussing the reason behind what we did, the lessons we learned, and how you might be able to integrate these ideas in your classroom. This grant was proposed and monies set aside to train and develop gamified systems in low-performing courses in the WEB curriculum model. In this first part, we will discuss some of these results.

 

When Things Go Poorly

So, here we see a picture of one of my classes which was gamified, my 2014 class, WEB140 Web Development Tools. This graphic was used to help put students in the mood. It was nice, and captured the imagination of students right off the bat.
At the time, WEB140 Web Development Tools suffered from a series of problems: As an entry-level course for graphic design, web design and web development degree programs, this course had a very high enrollment rate. This was offset by a very low passing rate among students, and low student engagement of students in these courses. With our completions in this course at a very poor showing, I endeavoured to increase retention through greater students engagement by creating a gamified environment in which the students could learn and thrive.

Solution-specific ideas

The premise of the gamification came across naturally. I contacted students from the last year in WEB140 across several different sections, and asked some open-ended questions about the material. What made the courses work for them? Where did they stumble or fall, and how could we fix it?
Students admitted that the reason they did not enjoy the web coursework was because they were not engaged, and could not “get into it”. Based on numbers, quizzes and tests scored low because students did not retain the information or glossed over the work. Because they learned the material once, created it once, and then moved on— many students felt that they could ignore the material. Later, as each assignment built upon the last, students found that they had not repeated the material enough to absorb it, and had “forgotten what to do” or “how to do those kinds of things.” Further, they noted that it was difficult to contact instructors about problems, because many students waited until the due date to upload or even begin their projects.
In an effort to combat this, I made a herculean effort to pull this down into a workable format of solutions I could actually achieve:

ENGAGE

I would work to engage the students with great artwork and a storyline which would allow them to become immersed. They would take on the mantle of an Intergalactic Spy, using artwork (through written permission on the part of the copyright holder) and a small adjustment to the storyline. Assembling code, building specific content, troubleshooting errors and problems, and generally assuring that materials could be made in an HTML environment, students would work their way through a 16 week story, one episode at a time, protecting a priceless treasure and solving a murder mystery.

ALLOW REPETITION

A key point for students was that they were allowed to skip materials with low grades. This compounded their problems with quizzes, midterms, and final examinations. The solution: Allow repetition of course materials until a satisfactory solution was found. Quizzes offered every two weeks would require a minimum score to pass. If a student did not receive the minimum score, or desired to re-take the material, they were allowed 3 scores, and only the largest score counted. In this way, students who scored poorly on basic tags would be allowed to retake the quiz multiple times. Until they scored the minimum amount, they had to take the test again, and if all attempts were completed, the student would then be allowed to proceed and had to keep a low score (but the highest score would count).

LATE NIGHT ACCESS TO THE INSTRUCTOR

In an effort to make students feel as if they could reach out to me (the instructor), I offered to be available from 11p-1a 4 days a week: Evenings on the first day of the week, and within the last 3 days of the week.

Story Form Engagement

By taking the students through the materials one item at a time, student were exposed to a story in serialized form. Each decision allowed student to take quizzes and open things like a choose-your-own-adventure book. A strict list of deliverables were noting requirements each week, and each was made available one item at a time with encouraging messages and explanations. Great artwork moved them through the story with chunked information.

 

Did it work? Not really. In general numbers, the course was a success, with students having much improved quiz scores and test grades. It seems this was probably an extension of the multiple quiz attempts and a larger pool of exam questions from which to draw. A numeric success, students noted they were actually less engaged in the class than they were in other courses.

Chocolate Covered Broccoli

Students mentioned in exit interviews that the course was exciting for the first 8 weeks or less only. After 8 weeks, the gamification storyline began to become less exciting and more filler content which stopped them from getting to the real meat of the course. Students who missed assignments or failed to turn them in missed content, stating that they could not follow the story any more. Students who did not read the course material failed to understand that there were minimum quiz grades and found they were flunking early in the semester, and many chose to drop.

After the midterm, many students said that they were facing fatigue. Too many classes, too many projects, and they admitted that by week 9 they were simply skipping over the content to get to the work. One student mentioned very specifically: “I didn’t read the story after the midterm. I just wanted to get my work done and find out what the next item on the list was and get my grade.”

Seems like building out all the dependencies and choose-your-own-adventure story lines were really some wasted time and effort. Scores did increase, but the story was not engaging. After

Second Time Is The Charm

In WEB141 Mobile Interface Design, students found that they were highly disengaged with the class, noting that book materials were very paint-by-number, and had little to do with real life problems. Students found it difficult to tell where they in the class, with scores for midterms, finals, and assignments clearly defined, but still hard to calculate where students should put their efforts. Student who fell behind in online courses felt that they could not gain any headway, and messing up on a project or two when coupled with the midterm left them flat with no way to raise their grade.

To combat the issue, Nic D’Agata looked at the data and changed his tactics to better meet student needs.

 

GAMIFICATION AT THEIR WILL

Since students in the first class found that the gamification content was a distraction, Nic built his material as an overlay. Content for the course changed little, with the gamification built over the top. Students had the option to ignore the gamification elements without detriment to the course content.

QUICK GAUGE OF PROGRESS

Many students found they could not tell which items were best for their grades, and the best uses of their time. Nic installed a system of “Money” earned through the course of the semester. Each week offered one or more project. Each project was a contract with a client, offering money for project which met the minimum requirements, and greater funds for projects which excel. Students were given the goal to reach $1 million by the end of the semester.

Nic also included a leaderboard where students could see their progress compared to other students. No names were given, so no privileged information is released, but it could encourage students to work harder if they’re in the wrong spot.

INCREASE RANK AT THE STUDENTS’ CHOICE

Students often found that getting behind was like getting in a hole too deep to get out of. At strategic points in the semester, students were treated to “Freelance” options, where they could troubleshoot existing code and earn money to increase their monetary income. This was essentially enrichment activities where students could increase their understanding or take on additional work to increase their grades.

RECOGNITION FOR A JOB WELL DONE

Using blackboard achievements and badges, students would be automatically notified of “industry recognition”. Students could see the badges and gain an instant warm fuzzy for having some minor graphics provided to them.

On the right track

Overall, students reported that they felt more engaged in a course with open-ended projects and gamified elements.

Best of both worlds

Students enjoyed some open-ended projects and did not miss the “paint-by-numbers” approach. Some people really liked the 8-bit gaming platform of the course, and most people enjoyed the scoreboard/leaderboard process. This, along with the monetary system, was super-effective at motivating students

Nothing is ever perfect

Some people found that the assistant screen was difficult to watch and they got tired of waiting. Some students felt the monetary system was hard to understand, and they were looking for answers in grade format. It could very well be that they had skipped over some of the early material, but there is no way to tell.

The Assistant

The assistant is a moving digital display which lays out the information needed in each lesson. In some lessons this outlines projects, in others, it outlines specifics about the learning methods. While only a small number found it detrimental, it was almost a 50/50 split on Liking/Not Caring for the assistant.

Leaderboards

The leaderboard answered questions that many students had about their grades, their places in the class, and provided some good motivation. The material was helpful to most students, with many students noting it as a prime motivator. Some students (about 1-2 per semester) found the leaderboard to be a source of anxiety causing them to worry about their location in the class.

The Leaderboard was a simple tool plugin, and could quite easily be coded into your classes.

Hands-On Leaderboard Addition Demonstration

At this point in the presentation, Nicolas answered questions about adding in the leaderboard. Using HTML code directly in his blackboard course, Nic added the leaderboard in to an older course as a demonstration. It was complicated, but well-received.

SHOW AND TELL IS OVER

At this point, we’ve talked about our personal experiences, so lets begin some insight into how you can add this to your classes.

Blackboard Badging and Certificates

The blackboard badging and certificate systems are available to all current blackboard shells. They can both be accessed through the TOOLS menu options on the lefthand side. You can work with existing items, create your own, make your own certifications, etc. They are easily created, and can easily integrate with your course shells at any time.

At this time, we created a shown, in-person demonstration on the overhead.

Conclusion

The services we showed at the end of the material allowed us to include Quizlet materials for easy self-study materials, online games like Play Brighter or Virtonomics, advanced tools like Duolingo, or creating your own badges and materials with OpenBadges. The material was well received, and we did a few extra demonstrations on how to include teaching materials from duplingo, integrating quizlet, and Q&A was fairly sedate.