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September 2014

I   Johns Hopkins Teaching Academy Offers Inaugural Summer Teaching Institute
 First Summer Teaching Institute draws doctoral students and postdocs from three universities

II   CER Services for Faculty and TAs
How may we help you?

III   Teaching Tips: Creating Your Course Syllabus
Resources for developing a comprehensive syllabus

IV   Classroom Technology News and Notes
Big improvements for two big classrooms

V   Blackboard Updates
Reminders and updates for fall semester

VI   JHBox – A New File Sharing and Storage Service
More free stuff for all faculty and staff

VII   Homewood Welcomes Starfish to Campus
Paperless interim reports

VIII   BorrowDirect: The Collections of the Ivies
Now Delivered Straight to You

IX   Increasing Recycling at Hopkins
It is easy being green  

 

I   Johns Hopkins Teaching Academy Offers Inaugural Summer Teaching Institute

The Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Academy hosted PhD students and post-doctoral fellows from Johns Hopkins, Howard, and the University of Maryland on May 28-30th, 2014, during a three-day Summer Teaching Institute. The intensive workshop addressed common themes and challenges in teaching and education at the post-secondary level.  Topics included Teaching as Scholarship; Active Learning in Theory and Practice; Formative & Summative Assessment; Motivating Students with Diverse Learning Styles; Course Planning; Evaluation Tools & Building Rubrics. Collage of images from the 2014 Summer Teaching Institute. Through mini-lectures, panel discussions, presentations, and group work, participants learned about innovations and research in undergraduate education. Ten faculty shared teaching methods that engage students through problem-solving and discussion. Participants developed teaching artifacts for their portfolios and presented peer-reviewed "teachable tidbits." The PFF Teaching Academy and the Summer Teaching Institute are grounded on the principle of teaching-as-scholarship, which challenges instructors to bring to teaching the critical thinking, rigor, creativity, and spirit of experimentation that define research in all disciplines. The Summer Teaching Institute sessions were facilitated by some of Hopkins' most effective and engaging teachers, including; David Andrews, Dean, School of Education; Anne-Elizabeth Brodsky, Expository Writing; Richard Brown, Mathematics; Bill Egginton, German & Romance Languages & Literatures and Vice Dean for Graduate Education; Emily Fisher, Biology; Jane Greco, Chemistry; Judith Mitrani-Reiser, Civil Engineering; Louise Pasternak, Chemistry; Rebecca Pearlman, Biology; Christov Roberson, Biology; Richard Shingles, Biology/CER and Director of the Summer Teaching Institute; Katie Tifft, Biology. Robert Mathieu, Professor of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin at Madison and Director, Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), gave the keynote presentation on the first day of the Summer Teaching Institute.  Johns Hopkins University is a member of CIRTL, a national consortium of 22 research universities committed to developing and sharing innovative STEM instructional resources and strategies. The CIRTL mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate STEM education through the development of a national faculty that advances effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers. Do you have doctoral students who will be entering the job search for academic positions when they complete their work at Johns Hopkins?  Please urge them to consider participating in the Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Academy as part of their professional development!
PFFTA Logo
Applications will be accepted through September 30th, 2014. http://www.cer.jhu.edu/graduatestudents/pffta-application.html
 

II   CER Services for Faculty and TAs

CER LogoWhether you are a new Hopkins faculty member or an established professor who has not yet explored our services, the Center for Educational Resources welcomes you to the Fall 2014 semester. The CER provides pedagogical support and resources for both traditional and digitally supported teaching. Our location in the Garrett Room of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library allows us to work closely with Sheridan Libraries research services librarians and University IT staff.  CER staff have advanced academic degrees and experience in instructional settings, and, most importantly, they are flexible and willing to provide both individual consultations for faculty or small group presentations for departmental groups. Instruction services: Instructional technology resources: Resources especially for faculty:
  • faculty multimedia lab and equipment loans - industry standard resources to record and distribute lecture materials, enhance presentations visually and aurally, and prepare materials for conferences and grant proposals
  • mobile computer cart - laptop set can transform any classroom into an interactive learning space
  • Fall 2014 Class Planner (NEW THIS YEAR)
Screenshot of Class Planner Looking for a timesaver? Download, edit, and print out the CER's Fall 2014 Class Planner. With versions for M-W-F and T-Th classes, all the most important dates are included: holidays, schedule shifts, add/drop periods. Map out your assignments, tests, due dates, and exams. Word and PDF versions available. Fall 2014 Class Planner M-W-F Schedule | Word | PDF Fall 2014 Class Planner T-Th Schedule | Word | PDF Other services:
  • partnering with faculty to develop instructional assessment and educational outreach sections in grant proposals
  • reviewing instructional applications of Web-accessible resources to address individual faculty instructional or research objectives
Technology Fellowship Program:
  • annual mini-grant program to help faculty address course-specific student learning objectives
  • over 100 projects from 31 departments have been completed to date
Faculty are invited to e-mail or call any of our staff to discuss priorities at a convenient meeting time. For staff bios and contact information, click here.
 

III   Teaching Tips: Creating Your Course Syllabus

Stack of library books. With the start of the fall semester, it's a good time for tips on creating a syllabus. This topic has been covered in the CER's The Innovative Instructor Blog (see Rebooting Your Syllabus from November 2013), but a recent post in The Chronicle of Higher Education ProfHacker blog - From the Archives: Creating Syllabi - is chock-full of great advice. The article covers the basic elements that should be included in every syllabus, such as contact information, course objectives, assignment due dates, institutional rules and regulations, technology policies, and accessibility statements. There are also suggestions about logistics and design. For Whiting School faculty, some engineering-specific course syllabus templates have been created.  They can be found here.
 

IV   Classroom Technology News and Notes

This summer the campus classroom technology group has updated two large classrooms, expanded the Panopto video recording service, and acquired new software licenses for students.
View of Mudd 26.
The most significant project this summer is in Mudd 26. Seating 320, this room is home to many of the largest classes on campus. Based on faculty input, the A/V integration company, Design & Integration, designed and implemented a completely new system. The new setup includes a much brighter, high definition digital projector and large central projection screen, two side mounted 90" monitors, and four 60" courtesy monitors toward the back to improve visibility. Ceiling mounted pendant speakers with all new wiring enhance audio quality. A high definition pan-tilt-zoom camera will work with Panopto to make this room a lecture capture showcase. Remsen 1 upgrades will also improve the faculty and student experience in that room. With a capacity of 350, this room hosts numerous large classes.  A new, bright, digital projector makes viewing easy, even when the lights are on. The digital upgrade means that it is now compatible with the devices faculty want to use in their teaching, including Surface tablets. As we enter our first full academic year with Panopto as a production service, we have implemented several changes to improve the experience. First, there is a new URL.  As it is no longer a pilot, we have dropped that term from the name, and faculty should now go to jh.hosted.panopto.com to access the service. In addition, faculty should use the JHU Blackboard login. All existing content should remain accessible.  Privacy and security have been enhanced.  All new content is, by default, private rather than public. To make recordings widely available to the public via Panopto, faculty should consult a technical administrator, such as Brian Cole (bcole@jhu.edu) in the CER or Sean Stanley (sstanley@jhu.edu) of Krieger IT to change the settings. Faculty are encouraged to export material for general public consumption to other platforms, such as Vimeo or YouTube. Finally, Matlab is now available to all Homewood students, staff, and faculty at no charge! All new Matlab users can download and activate the software by visiting https://itservices.johnshopkins.edu, logging in with their JHED ID and password and searching for "Matlab."  For more information regarding these changes, please contact Fred Thomsen at thomsen@jhu.edu
 

V   Blackboard Updates

Blackboard Logo
VoiceThread logo.
  • Fall 2014 Blackboard course shells are available now. There is no need to request Blackboard course shells - all full time AS/EN courses have a course site by default in Blackboard. For a course to be seen by students, it must be made available by the instructor. Instructions can be found here.

  • Training: Blackboard training sessions are available for faculty and TAs at the CER for new and experienced users. Please check the training schedule for dates and times and to register for sessions. If you prefer an individual consultation, our staff is happy to accommodate that need as well.

  • Course Copy: A reminder that course material is not automatically copied over from semester to semester. If you want to reuse material from a Blackboard course taught in a previous semester, you'll need to use the Course Copy feature. Course Copy allows you to select which parts of a course you would like copied; the feature then copies those parts over to the new course shell. For the Course Copy feature to work properly, 1) you must be an instructor in both courses, and 2) the course to be copied into must be an existing course. Please see the Course Copy tutorial for more details.
  • VoiceThread Integration added to Blackboard: VoiceThread is an interactive digital communication tool that allows users to collaborate online using images, audio, video, and text. Instructors and students from all JHU schools have free accounts in VoiceThread. For those instructors using both Blackboard and VoiceThread, a new link is available in the 'Tools' area of Blackboard, making it easier than ever to share VoiceThread presentations with all members of a class. Once a VoiceThread presentation has been added to a Blackboard course site, students simply click the link to view it. Please see the Adding a VoiceThread Presentation to Blackboard tutorial for step by step instructions.
 

VI   JHBox – A New File Sharing and Storage Service

JHBox logo.All Johns Hopkins faculty and staff can now access a new file sharing and storage service called Johns Hopkins Box (JHBox). JHBox is a free, secure, cloud-based service that allows you to collaborate and share information through any device—desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. With JHBox, you can easily upload content, organize files, share links to files, and manage file and folder permissions. Because JHBox meets all HIPAA compliance standards, this secure cloud platform is ideal for collaboration, external sharing, and mobile productivity. You may use JHBox to collaborate with colleagues inside and outside of Johns Hopkins. Each Johns Hopkins user account has an ample 25GB of document storage space. Access your JHBox account through your myJH portal (http://my.jhu.edu, Cloud Apps quicklink). Support materials are available here: http://www.it.jhu.edu/jhbox, or for additional help and information, contact jhboxsupport@jhu.edu.
 

VII   Homewood Welcomes Starfish to Campus

Starfish Logo. During the 2013-2014 academic year, several faculty members tested a new software called Starfish.  This software allows faculty members to do the interim reports, currently run by the Registrar via a paper process, online, providing academic advisors with instant access to students' progress mid-semester. This year, the paper process is ending and all faculty are asked to complete the interim reports, now called progress surveys, online via Starfish.  Starfish is accessible via Blackboard and is an excellent tool for better academic tracking and intervention for students in need.  It is not necessary to use Blackboard in your course to access Starfish through Blackboard to complete the interim report. More information is available at the Starfish help site: http://help.sset.jhu.edu/display/SF/Starfish+Home
 

VIII   BorrowDirect: The Collections of the Ivies

BorrowDirect Logo. Johns Hopkins University has joined BorrowDirect, an 11-school consortium that offers users access to items from the holdings of all the member libraries. BorrowDirect includes all the Ivies plus MIT and University of Chicago. Hopkins users can click on the Borrow Direct link on the library's home page to search for books that are not available at JHU. These can include books that JHU does not own, books that are checked out, even books that are on reserve! Essentially, BorrowDirect expands your options to the more than 50 million volumes owned by the member libraries. Items that are requested will be delivered in three to five days, and if BorrowDirect cannot fill the request, the user's request is advanced seamlessly to an Interlibrary Loan form.
 

IX   Increasing Recycling at Hopkins

Kermit wasn't exactly right when he said it isn't easy being green. Thanks to students in the Global Environmental Change and Sustainability (GECS) major, it's about to get a whole lot easier to be green and recycle waste on the Homewood Campus. For a senior capstone project in Global Environmental Change and Sustainabilitiy, seniors Ruthie Burrows and Margaret Keener produced a 3 minute video to simplify and summarize how to sort your waste into the color coded bins on campus. Three color-coded recycling containers. This video - Face the Waste - will be on all teaching podium computers, and Homewood Recycling is requesting that faculty play the video prior to the start of class during the second week of the semester. The information in the video is relevant to more than classes with environmental themes - it is important to all members of the Homewood community.  The Homewood campus recycling rate was 35% last academic year.  Homewood Recycling is hoping to reach 40% this year and is urging everyone to pitch in to keep recyclable and compostable material out of the incinerator for our planet, advance our health, and support our University's reputation as a leader in sustainability! For more information about waste diversion at Homewood visit www.fm.jhu.edu/recycling