For the past year I’ve had the pleasure of participating in a SUNY working group focused on math accessibility. This is a thorny issue, with lots of variables (pun intended).
Two of my colleagues from this group recently presented at the SUNY CPD’s OTTER Institute. This hour-long presentation packed in many details and options for how to layer accessibility considerations into your current practices for sharing math content with students.
The CIT Instructional Design Team offers “Course Review” as a service to faculty who teach online. As with other terms new to Geneseo in the last few years, there is an air of mystery to what a Course Review entails. The review revolves around the Course Readiness Checklist rubric and is a process to support the continuous improvements to the quality and accessibility of courses at Geneseo.
You may have already sought help from CIT’s Instructional Design Team (colloquially referred to as our “Canvas Team”) for assistance. Perhaps you contacted Senior Instructional Support Specialist Alexis Clifton for aid remediating content in your course to make it more accessible for multiple learners, or one of our Instructional Designers, Joe Dolce or Becky Patt to create Pages in your Canvas course, address challenges within a Canvas Assignment, or a myriad of other issues.
While our team of educational specialists is intended to assist you and your students navigate the challenges of digital learning they also serve another purpose that is often overlooked: to assist in the design and implementation of your course’s online presence. Our Instructional Designers are more than happy to meet with you 1:1 at any point in your course design process to help you meet the needs and expectations of our learners. We usually recommend a series of three meetings spaced over an amount of time our faculty may need to implement the options discussed in the most recent meeting, but we are always flexible in adjusting the schedule to your needs and desires, whether that be more or fewer meetings.
Do you find yourself wanting more display area when doing presentations in a classroom setting? Have you thought about trying to utilize extended desktop?
Extended desktop treats each screen (the one on your laptop and the classroom projector) as separate displays so that you can have unique content on each of them.
Using PowerPoint for a presentation? Presenter view in combination with extended desktop can display your slides, and your notes for each slide on your laptop display and a full screen slide show on the projector for your students to view. Visit Microsoft’s support video on Presenter View for more information.
Using Zoom in a classroom for hybrid learning? With Extended desktop, you can have your shared content on one screen and Gallery View showing all of your students on another. Visit Zoom’s support page on Using Dual Monitors for more information.
CIT’s EdTech team just completed the first in a series of Canvas mini-skills courses, “Become the Quizmaster General.” A facilitated session of this professional development course ran the week of January 18th, which included opportunities to connect with the facilitator and other members of the cohort over the course of a week during Intersession.
SUNY Geneseo held its first remote ASSESStivus event January 25 & 26, 2021 via Zoom. The annual event is organized by the College Assessment Council to help the college community embrace a model of continuous improvement, highlight various assessment initiatives, and share assessment results across the college. The two-day remote event was highlighted by a keynote presentation “Telling our Stories in a Post-COVID World” by Dr. Kevin Gannon, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Professor of History at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Gannon challenged audience members to think about how we can use assessment–done organically, meaningfully, and well–to advocate for ourselves and our students once we return to a “normal” post-Covid landscape. However, Gannon also noted our view of “normal” was not equitable or sustainable for many, and implored us to use assessment to create equitable learning environments for all. “Assessment helps us tell the story of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences. Assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning (Huba and Freed, 2000).”
Assessment is more important now than ever as the “value” of college, especially that of liberal arts colleges, is under rising criticism. Other people are already telling our stories, and their narratives have had a negative effect on the perception of a college education.
Gannon argued we need to take care when designing assessment in order to prevent “weaponizing” it. Are our learning spaces creating an environment of privilege and prejudice? What is the “hidden curriculum” underneath the formal curriculum that unintentionally teach our students lessons of power and authority (Leask, 2009)?
SUNY Geneseo needs to ensure our assessment aligns with our values in order to keep promises made to students. To do this, Gannon took a critical and poignant look at our college mission statement and asked, “what is the hidden curriculum? Are we weaponizing assessment and learning spaces?”
In conclusion, Gannon inspired SUNY Geneseo to treat learning as transformational rather than transactional with meaningful and equitable assessment. You can view the entire recorded keynote address in the video that follows.
Kevin Gannon is the author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto, published in April, 2020, as part of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education series from West Virginia University Press. He is a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education, and his work has also appeared in outlets such as Vox, CNN, and The Washington Post. In 2016, he appeared in the Oscar-nominated documentary 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay. You can find Kevin online at his blog, thetattooedprof.com, and on Twitter: @TheTattooedProf.
SUNY recently announced that all SUNY faculty, staff, and students have access to Coursera courses at no cost.
Coursera for Campus provides access to a library of world-class learning experiences aligned with the needs of today’s leading companies. Additionally, professional development courses and course authoring tools are available for SUNY faculty and staff. Complete courses and specializations and add your new credentials to your resume or LinkedIn.
Coursera offers more than 3,800 cutting-edge courses. Until mid-2021, any SUNY student, faculty or staff has free access to these high-quality courses.
The Canvas Community is a treasure trove of opportunities to see how faculty and teachers at other institutions are leveraging Canvas for their students. All Geneseo users have access to the Community with their Geneseo username and password. Check out the limited resource list below for an idea of how to get started.
A self-paced course called It’s Due! was recently shared in the Mobile Users Group Hub. This blog post caught our eye, and we recommend the course if you’re interested in exploring “every single type of submission available for students in Canvas”.
To join in, simply Self-Enroll. You will need to share your name, email address, etc. If you would like to explore ways to apply what you learn in your courses at Geneseo with an Instructional Designer, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Uploading recorded videos to YouTube for captioning is the quickest way to automatic captioning and transcripts. This guide walks through the steps. Editing YouTube’s auto-captions will ensure that your students have the best experience when watching your lectures.
Prior to the first day of class, post some information about who you are as a person. Create a text-based page with one or more still photos or develop a video to show students something about your life and interests. Reveal your personality throughout the semester by interacting with students in your authentic voice. Darby and Lang (2019). Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Create at least one opportunity for engagement during the online period. For example, you might do this through a live Zoom meeting during your regularly-scheduled teaching time, through one or more icebreaker activities, or through discussion questions in a Canvas discussion forum.
CIT Instructional Designers have prepared an introductory module that can be imported into your Canvas courses. Search for “Engagement Materials” in the Canvas Commons, download the import file from Google Drive, or email email@example.com to request assistance. The module contains page templates, discussion ideas, and other resources to facilitate community building.