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Hostos Community College: Project Home Page

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

Our Objectives

Hostos Community College already has in place a system that assists the implementation of innovative technology in classroom and online learning. The academic and pedagogical objectives that participation in the pilot project will advance are:

  • Expand instructional technology infrastructure and services to support and manage the creation and distribution of audio and video podcasts for pedagogical practices across all curricula.
  • Facilitate the creation and dissemination of basic podcasts of course content in a manner that is effortless and friendly to instructors, does not interfere with their accustomed instructional practices, and increases student engagement.
  • Support and encourage faculty to expose students to innovative practices that bring into use rich media—voice recordings, images, video, sound effects, animations, etc—thereby taking them beyond traditional assignments.
  • Help faculty incorporate creative student assignments which will lead to an increase in student participation, collaboration, and engagement in the learning process
  • Hostos continually faces—and rises to—the challenge of exploring new technologies to fulfill college-wide academic objectives. In recent years we have tested different software and hardware that provide and enhance podcasting capabilities. Although our initial attempts at creating podcasts have been successful using these resources (content materials for Biology, Education, and Psychology classes), the process of creating a podcast is still fairly complex, especially as an independent effort by a college as small as Hostos. As a result faculty adaptation has been slow. In order to expedite the integration of podcasts at Hostos, we need to find a system that not only meets complex technical needs, but also one that provides a friendly environment for the faculty and student users.

Areas to be addressed through participation in the Rich Media project

  • Establishment of standard procedures for the design, delivery and sharing of new instructional technologies. The Office of Instructional Technology at Hostos has had continued success, as reported in the PMP, in creating, adopting, and implementing new technologies: specifically, in creating a process plan for design and implementation. We would bring this experience to the CUNY-wide discussion. Hostos has had, however, limited experience in podcasts. The Rich Media Pilot Project creates an ideal environment to learn how to adapt our best practices to this highly technical new endeavor. Contributing to the development and exploration of such best practices will allow us to gain valuable experience from what has already been done in other campuses, and have been successful.
  • A second area is faculty support.Starting from the faculty idea to create a podcast we need to clarify how support staff will provide guidance, training, support materials and tutorials that will ensure the creation and distribution of a podcast. The Office of Instructional Technology at Hostos is directed by a member of the faculty (full professor of mathematics), and staffed by one administrator, one CLT, three staffers, and two part-time college assistants. The resources of the OIT will be committed to support the faculty and to the entire Pilot Project.
  • The establishment of a repository of best practices for the use of rich media in online course content.Examples of topics posted would be matching software with intended production goals and proper use of hardware devices. Included in the repository, which will be posted in the iTunesU site, would be at least one lesson from each of the five disciplines represented by faculty participants in this project.
  • Hostos projects will involve creating podcast lessons for courses in Education, English, ESL in Content Areas, Sociology, Biology and Medieval Literature. Some of the lessons that will be captured are related to evolution, learning styles and human expressions.

Rich Media to be used in our projects

  • Different media will be used and incorporated into the development of the project.In the initial development process faculty will use PowerPoint, video clips, audio, graphics and text. In the early stages of the development process faculty will work with tech support on deciding which media choices are best in terms of suitability and user-friendliness in order to reach the production goals that they envision.
  • Tegrity and/or Camtasia will be used for rich media capture and to compose the final presentations.

Development and usage

  • The presentation pieces from each participating faculty will be created with OIT technical support and in a collaborative effort with all the participating faculty, sharing content, concept and best practices ideas.
  • Most of projects will involve capturing lessons that will be available to students. Some faculty have stated that they would like to make their production available to other faculty to use or on a website available to anyone interested in the subject.
  • All of the pieces cover topics included in the syllabus for the courses that the participating faculty are teaching.The rich media lessons produced in this project may be used as motivation exercises or as an illustrative device, assisting in delivery of lesson objectives.

Experience with the rich media technologies to be used

  • We have been using Tegrity and Camtasia to capture record lessons and presentations.Tegrity has proved to be easy, convenient, powerful and effective for faculty to post a rich media lessons online or in Blackboard quickly. Camtasia is a very powerful program which faculty can use when they want to spend more time and take full control of the production and post-production process in creating a more personalized multimedia presentation.

Hostos Community College: Project Home Page

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CUNY Online Baccalaureate: Project Home Page

From CUNY Academic Commons

Summary and Spring 2008 Objectives

The CUNY Online Baccalaureate Program, launched in Fall 2006, provides students who have previously earned at least 30 college credits an opportunity to complete their baccalaureate degrees in a totally online environment. Faculty who teach in the program are drawn from across the University.

Since its inception, the Online Baccalaureate Program has emphasized learning through collaborative discussions and projects, as well as conventional study of text and media materials. This project will allow us to more closely approximate the social learning environment to which we are already firmly committed. Using the capacity to provide digital materials through iTunes U, we aim to:

  • Facilitate shared reflection on and reaction to representations of authentic problems;
  • Provide opportunities for “just-in-time” learning of concepts and resources;
  • Present models of expert strategies for problem analysis;
  • Enable students to teach and learn from other students; and
  • Share student products with others.

Specifically, we intend to capture these advantages in three distinct components of the Online Baccalaureate: General Education courses, content courses in the Communication and Culture concentration, and research courses. Design, pilot testing and full implementation of podcasts will occur during the Spring, Summer and Fall 2008 terms. Eight faculty members have been identified as the initial participants in the project, with the expectation that others will join later.


Spring 2008: Course-Podcast Components

  • For General Education courses: One or more podcasts will be developed for each of the following courses: College Writing II (English), Computers, Society and Human Values (Philosophy), and Digital Information in the Modern World (Digital Competency). Faculty participants will be Prof. William Bernhardt (College of Staten Island). Prof. Phillip Pecorino (Queensborough Community College), and Prof. George Otte (CUNY Graduate Center and Online Baccalaureate Academic Director).
  • For Content Courses in the Communication and Culture Concentration: One or more podcasts will be developed for Studies in Urbanization and Studies in Communication and Cultural Change. Faculty participants will be Prof. William Divale (York College) and Prof. Barbara Walters (Kingsborough Community College).
  • For Research Courses: One or more podcasts will be produced for use in Research Methods 1 and Research Methods 2, by Prof. Ellen Smiley (City College).

Outline of Rich Media Products

  • ENG 102 Writing II (Bernhardt)

This course helps students develop the ability to write longer expository essays and complete research project that involves searching in online databases as well as the use and documentation of source materials in a well-argued essay.

A series of brief podcasts will be developed to give introductions to key steps in the searching, writing and documentation stages of completing a reading-based research essay.

  • PHI301 Computers, Society, and Human Values (Pecorino)

This course explores the impact of computers and information networks on

society. Topics include privacy and confidentiality, computer crime, harassment, identity, honesty, mechanization, secrecy, proprietary rights, and technological dependence. The course will help students identify and respond to moral issues and dilemmas related to information systems and communication networks.

A series of short videos introducing each module of the course. 14 total and each @ 5 minutes and a series of short videos introducing some key concepts (@4) related to ethical principles used in the course.Video created by Philip Pecorino. All students of the course will be required to view these items. They will be used to introduce course units (modules) and to introduce some key concepts.

  • CC402 Research Methods 2 (Smiley)

This course aims to enhance and extend the methodological competencies developed in Research Methods 1, with an emphasis on experimentation, advanced issues in design and program evaluation.

A podcast will be developed, focused on the topic Controlling Variables in Research. This will include text slides, slides with still photographs and diagrams, along with a voice narration. The podcast will be used by students early in the semester and reused as students plan their own research projects.

  • CC409 Studies in Communication & Cultural Change (Walters)

This course examines cultural change resulting from new technologies, scientific discoveries, demographic changes, political conflict, and changes in the environment. Special emphasis is given to how effective communication can help to resolve (and miscommunication can escalate) conflicts and stresses arising from such change.

As an introduction to a class research project, a series of slides (for the Huntington lecture) will be modified and an audio lecture recorded. The resulting podcast will help the students navigate through a very difficult article.

  • COM 110 Digital Information (Otte)

This course answers the question, “What does it mean to learn – to inquire, to investigate, to collaborate, to research – online? ”

A podcast will be developed to give an introduction and overview to web-based (re)searching, to search (and metasearch) engines, databases, data feeds, and Boolean formulas. Screenshots with talkover will be designed to be useable in other courses as well as COM 110.

  • Online Instruction (Student and Faculty Orientation) (Otte)

It is an enormous challenge to have students and faculty who are new to online teaching understand how interactive and intimate fully online instruction can be.

A podcast will be developed to give an overview of forms of interaction and functionality in the online courses of the Online Baccalaureate. The podcast will comprise screenshots and voice narration.

The College of Staten Island: Project Home Page

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

Introduction

Many faculty at the College of Staten Island (CSI) have begun to experiment with podcasting and other uses of media in their classes, both online and face-to-face. Efforts to incorporate new media in course preparations have generated substantial interest on campus and resulted in a variety of approaches to providing students access to this rich content. iTunes University offers a stream-lined framework for providing faculty with a consistent set of tools for content delivery, and students with a consistent, familiar interface, regardless of their department, course, or instructor.

Project Objectives

The College of Staten Island wishes to address four major academic or pedagogical objectives through participation in the iTunes University project:

  • Provide opportunities for students to create academic content in order to foster experiential learning.
  • Preserve and archive valuable historical or creative content which might include oral histories, expert commentary or interviews, student presentations, artistic performances, etc.
  • Address the varied learning needs and styles of our heterogeneous student population which differs on many characteristics including age, cultural background, and English language facility.
  • Facilitate communication between and among students and faculty, promote community-building and focus collaboration in a commuter college environment fraught with inadequate public transportation access, lengthy time-consuming commutes, and increasing transportation costs.

A fifth objective of our project relates to assessment. From the outset, we intend to have in place an assessment plan and data-gathering mechanisms to measure several facets of faculty and student experiences over time. These phenomena may include participant expectations, technological expertise, involvement, satisfaction, group dynamics, experiential elements, English language facility, and personal characteristics. We anticipate that we will gain considerable insight into the use and benefits of rich media production and content as part of the teaching and learning experience.

Student Learning Outcomes

To give students access to and command over:

1. The cognitive tools needed for crafting a point of view and for interpreting others’ point of view through such techniques as mind mapping and low stakes writing, as well as through verbal and nonverbal communication in spoken, written, and other forms. 2. The technological tools needed for making podcasts—specifically, audio recording and editing hardware and software. 3. A mode of delivery that will ease the flow of audio data from teacher to student, student to teacher, and student to student—specifically, the iTunes U website.

To empower students to use these tools and media effectively in order to:

1. Assemble and edit such raw materials as class subject-matter, field recordings, audio recorded documentation of musical performances and interviews, and other data. 2. Craft these materials into a podcast that renders to a listener in a compelling and meaningful form the podcaster’s point of view. 3. Access the materials whenever, wherever, and as frequently as necessary to accommodate different learning needs, language capabilities, and geographic logistics associated with commuting to CUNY campuses, particularly the College of Staten Island. 4. Share these materials as a means of social networking with group members, in classes, and longitudinally as exemplars of course content and best practice over time.

Project Overview

To accomplish the stated objectives and facilitate the aforementioned learning outcomes, the College of Staten Island proposes two projects, one within each academic division.

Division of Humanities and Social Sciences:

Oral History and Ethnography Applications

Students who conduct primary research in the form of ethnography or oral history projects using digital audio recorders will reap the many benefits that experiential learning has to offer. Furthermore, projects that take place within the local community will also involve a service learning component, in that they will enable students to document and preserve aspects of community life, such as local traditions, that may be undergoing change.

Students in Dr. William Bauer’s course Music in American Life (MUS 236/AMS 236) will conduct an oral history of the multi-faceted Staten Island music scene. In their field work, these students will record interviews with area musicians, club owners, and other individuals who hold within them vivid memories of meaningful musical experiences that they had on Staten Island and beyond. The iTunes University will serve as the repository for these interviews and as the vehicle for students to compare notes on different styles, genres, and traditions. The resulting audio archive will give students a database for crafting viable, empirically-based interpretations of various cultural practices that have existed (and often thrived) on Staten Island, many of which continue to contribute to the island’s expressive culture. Students will also develop ways to frame their data for a podcast audience through the expression of a clearly delineated point of view.

This research project will shed light on the careers and activities of local figures who have populated the music scene, whether they are known beyond Staten Island’s shores or obscure even to the borough’s residents. In so doing, it may well offer a basis for the reassessment of a figure’s impact, both locally and abroad. The project will also reveal how local communities support individuals’ growth as practitioners within any particular tradition. Looking ahead to future incarnations of this project, such field research conducted on an international scale will add to a rich database of information about the ways that, and the means by which, local traditions have contributed to the global phenomena that they sometimes spawn, as in the cases of jazz and, more recently, hip hop.

Division of Science and Technology:

Group Development and Organizational Communication

Teamwork is a hallmark of courses in business, computer science, engineering, and other disciplines. The Senior Seminar in Computer Science (CSC 490) taught by Professor Roberta Klibaner and other faculty in the department requires advanced students to prepare and deliver oral and written presentations on current topics in computer science and information systems.

A project in this division involves the creation of content on the assigned research topic, the incorporation of faculty input, and the opportunity to record outside experts in the field or industry in the podcast presentation. Faculty and peer evaluation of the final project, which is often a component of the grade in senior presentations, can be facilitated through podcast archiving. Students who have limited public-speaking experience or who are uncomfortable in front of an audience can benefit from the technology. By recording and sharing their presentations in small groups prior to the official class delivery, they can critique and improve their oral skills. Recorded material can also be made available for future class cohorts to use as examples of coursework.

Focus for Spring 2008 Timeline

The project noted above is ambitious and comprehensive. Given the interim deadline of May 30, 2008, the CSI iTunes team proposes to focus on the following activities:

Pedagogy:

o Students in MUS 236/AMS 236 will conduct fieldwork on Staten Island’s local music scene, interpret the data they have gathered in terms of its cultural implications, and then make their research available via podcasts posted on the iTunes U website.

Infrastructure:

o The College will continue to put in place the hardware and software necessary for implementing this project including the purchase of licenses for Camtasia Studio, acquisition of digital recorders, and procurement of appropriate audio devices.

Assessment:

o Concurrent with the classroom activities, the CSI iTunes team will draw from campus experts to refine ongoing assessment and develop instruments.

Project Milestone 2: Technical Goals – Audio Podcasting

1. Production standards will empower students to reach the pedagogical goals set by the faculty (for these goals, see CSI’s posting on 18 March).

2. Using digital voice recorders, students will gather audio data by recording interviews, sound clips, concerts, etc. The Olympus WS-210M Digital Voice Recorder will enable students to capture all of the audio material for the project. The stereophonic recordings will have a minimum sampling rate of 128 kbit/s.

3. Students will then transfer all digital files from the voice recorders to Library loaner laptops for post-production work. Configured to facilitate the technical goals, these laptops will allow students to process and edit the raw data they gathered in the field:

  • Students will convert all raw recorded files from Windows Media Audio (WMA) format to MPEG Audio Layer-3 (MP3) format in order to prepare the file for editing. The primary software tool used for this conversion will be Free WMA to MP3 Converter.
  • Students will than import these MP3 files into Audacity Digital Audio Editor. Using this software, students will cut, mix, adjust amplitude and otherwise manipulate the file in order to prepare it for upload to College of Staten Island’s iTunes U site.

4. In order to earn a passing grade for the class, students must not only produce podcasts but must also listen to the files created by their peers and comment on them using the Blackboard Discussion Board for the class.

Project Milestone 3

The College of Staten Island’s iTunes University team has made considerable progress on several fronts to implement rich media use in the classroom since its initial proposal submission in January. At that time, two course pilots were proposed, one in each academic division of the College, as settings for experimentation and innovation using rich media in instruction.

MUS 236/AMS 236 Music in American Life and CSC 490 Senior Seminar in Computer Science present different and complementary opportunities for podcasting: archiving music, producing oral histories, and service learning are elements of MUS 236, while group collaboration, peer review, and formal presentation preparation are major aspects of CSC 490.

CSI’s iTunes University pilot proposal addresses the four outcomes initially put forth by CUNY Academic Affairs as described in our prior postings. We detail some progress made to date since January below.


CUNY on iTunes University: Four Pilot Project Outcomes

Technology

Outcome: Promote the use of technologies and practical processes for producing or adapting quality and appealing audio and video content to a teaching and learning objective.

Since January 2008, the CSI iTunes University team has taken steps to purchase equipment, procure site licenses, development lectures/classroom activities, and organize training sessions which address this first outcome. To make content capture possible, digital voice recorders and site licenses for Camtasia Studio Screen Recorder and Presentation Software were purchased and made available to the pilot classes. In addition, the College procured laptops which can be checked out of the CSI Library.

Use of new equipment and software is being supported and facilitated by instructional and training initiatives. Professor William Bauer is incorporating lecture and training material on scripting a podcast, interviewing skills, recording and converting material in his MUS 236/AMS 236 course. Professor Roberta Klibaner, who is piloting the use of podcasts in her CSC 490 capstone computer science course, is instructing her students in the use of Camtasia, building upon a training session offered to faculty through CSI’s Faculty Online Academy.

Collaboration

Outcome: Foster an environment of supportive and results-producing collaboration where information technologists and instructional experts support faculty and student providers and consumers of rich media content.

The high level of cooperation among faculty and staff at CSI in collaborative technology endeavors is alive and well as the iTunes University pilot progresses. Faculty-student-staff exchanges are encouraged and facilitated in many forms as a result of this project.

Student-to-Student

Through the iTunes University pilot, interaction is occurring among students in new or augmented ways. Our undergraduates are

  • composing scripts and planning content for podcasts,
    * working collaboratively to record information,
    * learning how to constructively critique peers and accept well meaning comments and criticism,
  • experiencing enriched peer-to-peer learning in Blackboard which is enriched by the iTunes University pilot component, and
  • sharing audio in a way that amplifies impact on the class experience.

Student-to-Faculty

Students are interacting and contributing to faculty pedagogy by:

  • collecting research data in an ongoing and sustainable project about musicians on Staten Island,
    * developing new archives of assignments for faculty evaluative and grading purposes, and
    * generating content from faculty experts for inclusion in podcasts about technology innovations.

Faculty-to-Student

Faculty-student collaboration is facilitated through new vehicles including

  • training sessions designed to teach students how to use Camtasia and Audacity incorporated into lectures
  • student participation in research on music and oral histories, and faculty critique of rich media in student projects.

Class as a Whole

Class experiences are evolving through the pilot as

  • mutual learning occurs when group projects come to fruition and are seen by others;
  • the rich media activities embedded in Blackboard facilitate the exchange of ideas in a hybrid course set-up;
  • asynchronous exchanges allow for more flexibility and distance learning in a complex commuter environment (tolls, commuting expenses, and logistics were mentioned in our original proposal); and
  • students and faculty can experiment, take risks, and make mistakes as they learn within a somewhat “protected” environment prior to offering content-in-progress for all the world to see.

Class-to-External Community

Our pilot classes are interacting with people beyond the enrolled group as

  • fieldwork assignments involve scripting interviews with musicians and technology experts outside of the College,
  • podcast content is shared with other classes and eventually with the general public, and
  • sharing occurs longitudinally as project exemplars exist for future classes.

Staff and Faculty CSI’s very capable and responsive technical staff is expanding and enhancing its interaction to support rich media content in pedagogy by

  • outlining, developing, and standardizing training programs for Camtasia and Audacity to facilitate podcast production;
  • working one-on-one with faculty to provide technical instruction;
  • attending team meetings with faculty and administration to move the pilot forward and meet milestones; and
  • participating at central CUNY iTunes University meetings and training sessions which serve as a venue for meeting peers across the system.

Creative, Usable Enhancements

Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to incorporate faculty- and student-driven enhancements into a learning process influenced by the creative use of audio and video content.

During the Spring 2008 semester, CSI students, faculty, and staff have collaborated to adopt new technology, procured the necessary equipment and software to create rich media content, meshed new with existing skills, and learned from one another in the process. Professor Bauer’s music students are honing their planning, writing, editing, and research capabilities to create audio recordings of music and historical content. To do so, they are mastering Audacity. Professor Klibaner’s seniors studying computer science are coordinating their research and presentation skills while putting it all together using Camtasia.

In addition to the academic and technology skills being developed by students and faculty alike, there are many outcomes, some intangible, which are resulting from this process. Professor Bauer’s students are archiving ephemeral music and historical material. They recognize and appreciate the importance of their role in preservation and exhibit a sense of reciprocity and “service” – a giving back to the community. Students in Professor Klibaner’s computer science class, by recording, reviewing, and critiquing their final presentations to hone their communication skills, are helping to meet criteria for ABET, Inc. the accrediting agency for programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.

As we continue to adopt rich media into instruction on many levels, these types of learning enhancements and benefits will result. A fifth project outcome that we have added to the four proposed by CUNY is that of assessment. Our campus is taking steps to develop course-specific and overall assessment rubrics as outgrowths of this project.

Pedagogical Best Practices

Outcome: Encourage the development of best practices and demonstrate how these can be shared and incorporated into well designed, outcome-focused rich media content and associated learning activities.

Strides have already been made at the College of Staten Island since our initial posting and first milestone update. Our iTunes University pilot team meets to discuss this project and other technology-related endeavors; our group is cohesive, supportive, and synergistic in its approach and function.

A case in point is the adoption and diffusion of the Camtasia technology. Camtasia was the answer to a distance learning problem faced by Dr. Susan Imberman, the Director of CSI’s Center for Teaching and Learning. She familiarized herself with the software, demonstrated its use in a faculty training session, and made it available for the iTunes pilot.

Follow-up presentations from our iTunes team, particularly results from Professor Bauer’s field work on Staten Island musicians and others on the scene, as well as Professor Klibaner’s computer science group projects, are being placed on CSI’s Center for Teaching and Learning schedule. We anticipate that faculty will discover opportunities for enhancing their own courses once they see what their colleagues have done to augment instruction.

Milestone 4: iTunes University at CSI: Technical Challenges & Triumphs

Authentication and Network Access

The most significant technical issue was using Blackboard as the gateway to iTunes University. This could be solved by providing additional training to the students in how best to work with iTunes and Blackboard. Another issue was the length of time it took to upload the files to iTunes. Since most broadband and DSL services provide more bandwidth for downloading than uploading, the large files produced for podcasting take a significant time to upload. Again, raising student awareness of this would mitigate the issue.

It took a couple of weeks to get things going with the Vanderbilt Building Block. Ultimately, the start-up time for this project was remarkable small, but the building block still leaves much to be desired. The lack of an automated means of creating iTunes course sites presents a scalability issue. Additionally, it would be nice to be able to suppress the iTunes request button for pilot projects like this, and to have the ability to edit the email that is sent to faculty when their iTunes pages are ready.

The inclusion of rich media via iTunes U in face-to-face teaching demands strong network support on campuses, as well as a reliable means of testing presentations before they are attempted in the classroom, where difficulties can cause frustration, embarrassment, and waste valuable class time.

Many users expressed frustration at the frequent need to log back in to the CUNY portal when creating their media. As the portal session times out after a few minutes, users who are using, editing, or remixing content posted to iTunes U in a different application are required to re-authenticate before they can re-upload their content.

Hardware

The devices acquired to collect the audio programs were very easy to operate and present very little challenge to the students and faculty. The only additional complication from using the Olympus voice recorders was the file format being Microsoft specific which required the files to be converted to MP3 for editing and upload. Again, the students easily mastered this process.

This project’s focus on rich media has presented faculty with additional uses for hardware available in Smart Classrooms and other technology-enhanced areas of the campus:

  • Classes taught in the Performing Arts Center Atrium using a plasma screen and laptop used rich media to good effect. Professor Bauer prepared a Camtasia video that programmed the page turns in a pdf of the orchestral score of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and coordinated these page turns with a playback of Leonard Bernstein’s 1961 recording of the work with the NY Philharmonic Orchestra. He additionally used Audacity to compare the waveforms of several different performances.
  • Professor Bauer also showed YouTube videos of student conductors rehearsing the piece with their orchestras. The students accessed podcasts produced by National Public Radio to prepare for the class.
  • The use of recording and playback hardware in the classroom also enabled students to produce audio projects in class and instantly share with the group or anyone who was not present.

Software

The tools needed to create podcasts are freely available as either open source or freeware. With that in mind, the majority of support is available through Internet forums and newsgroups. The students easily mastered all the tools and encountered issues more related to their home PC rather than the software itself.

There are many file conversion options, each with their own challenges and advantages. Free WMA to MP3 Converter is free but user-unfriendly; SWITCH operates on a trial basis, and once the 30-day period expires, one must pay for the pleasure of converting your files with it. We solved the problem by having students convert files directly when saving them in iTunes. I posted a notice with the steps the students needed to take in order to change their preferences.

Shared tabs and drop boxes in the iTunes U course site have made uploading and file management available to student users; this provides students with the opportunity to engage in course content as contributors as well.

Additionally, the course page template features in iTunes U have made it quite easy for the administrators to roll out CSI-branded iTunes pages, which will eventually contain interactive training content for new users and serve to make student experience with the software consistent across courses

Training and Other Technical Concerns

Student participants received detailed instructions on how the use the software and hardware tools for the recording and transmitting their podcasts. This might be done more effectively in a dedicated session either with the entire group or as a set of one-on-ones, or even via rich media tutorials. This would serve to better orient the students and faculty to the entire process from recording the material to editing and to uploading. Although the tools selected are simple to use, there are instances where additional support would provide more comfort for the students. Freeing the faculty member from having to provide this type of instruction allows the professor to focus on pedagogy.

Because of the platform choice of the college, the process was not as smooth as we would have liked it to be. If direct uploading tools could be built into the PC version of iTunes, this would ease the process.

Powerpoint from CSI Teaching and Learning with iTunes U Presentation: csi_ppt.pdf

City College of New York: Project Home Page

From CUNY Academic Commons

A Podcast about Podcasting

We want to create a readily available resource on podcasting for faculty who are interested in learning about and possibly making podcasts for their classes. Therefore we will make a podcast on podcasting, discussing and modeling pedagogical and technological best practices in order to enhance teaching and learning. We will make this podcast available through our CCNY faculty Blackboard resource site, “Excellence in Teaching”.

Objectives

(I have started flushing out some of the details about what we might include.)

  • Create a relatively short podcast, maybe 20-30 minutes.
  • Demonstrate both audio and video podcasts and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Demonstrate the varieties of devices that can be used for making audio and video podcasts.
  • Apply Best Practices to our podcast, including:

1. Tailor the podcast to the needs of our specific faculty.

A. CCNY Economics Professor Kevin Foster has been podcasting for years. He will share some of his insights in this Podcast on Podcasts. (ok Kevin?)

B. CUNY wide Podcasts are available at [??????????]

C. One CCNY colleague with a podcast available at the CUNY site is Physics Professor Michio Kaku, who recorded a session conducted one Saturday this winter. Here is a sample of his podcast…..

D. Any CCNY faculty member or administrator who is interested in podcasting should contact someone on our team.

2. Structure the podcast so that it has a logical and coherent organization.

3. Communicate information clearly so it is easily understood in a distance learning context.

4. Elicit active engagement of faculty learners.

A. Ask which are you more interested in doing, an audio or video podcast?

B. Would you like to podcast all of your classes or just some of them?

C. Would you want to podcast an entire class period or just a segment or segments of a class or does it depend on the particular class and situation?

5. Assess faculty learning from and reaction to the podcast.

QUESTIONS WILL BE POSTED NEAR THE PODCAST SO FACULTY CAN ANSWER THEM AT THE BLACKBOARD EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING SITE.

Rate on a Scale from 1- 4 from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree.

A. Information in the podcast was organized logically. B. Information was presented clearly. C. Now I have a better understanding of podcasting. D. I would recommend this podcast to a colleague who is interested in podcasting.
E. This podcast was easy to access.

6. Build on existing technology used at the College (i.e. Blackboard) and Excellence in Teaching faculty resource.

Brooklyn College: Project Home Page

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

Project Objectives

Our initial objectives are to explore iTunes U as BC’s gateway to rich media to (1) supplement teaching and learning outside of the classroom; and (2) as a readily-accessible medium to share special events with the College community and the public at-large.

Brooklyn College’s iTunes U project will generate valuable information about the best ways to deliver digital learning materials to college students. We plan to demonstrate, evaluate, and document ways in which iTunes U can be used to improve teaching and learning, and to disseminate to other schools the resulting best practices. What constitutes a best practice depends on the intended use of a tool: for example, a best practice related to an application designed to teach a specific skill — how to use the Library’s Subject Resource Management System will differ from the best practice for an application designed simply to inform, like our on-line Library Art catalog.

Rich Media Outline

For the iTunes U project, we have identified four pilot “channels:”

• Supplemental instructional materials (recorded audio/video of entire class lectures) for a Health and Nutrition Sciences (HNS) course

• On-demand broadcasts of the Zicklin Lectures in Interdisciplinary Studies series

• Audio/video Library tour and several on-demand video tutorials on Library Instruction

• Library Art Tour

Thus far, we have:

• recorded and digitized 11 HNS lectures (successive Tuesday afternoons starting on February 5) )

• recorded and digitized 2 Zicklin Lectures: Dr. Robert P Moses (Wednesday, March 26) and Dr. Elizabeth Minnich (Monday, March 31)

• recorded a student-led Library tour (Friday, February 22)

• recorded and digitized audio narration for Library Art Tour slide show (audio recorded last semester; slide show under construction)


Project Criteria

Technology: Promote the use of technologies and practical processes for producing or adapting quality and appealing audio and video content to a teaching and learning objective.

AIT staff trained 1 faculty, 2 librarians, and 4 student-workers on how to use a MiniDV camera to record class lectures, and special events on-campus.

Collaboration: Foster an environment of supportive and results-producing collaboration where information technologists and instructional experts support faculty and student providers and consumers of rich media content.

Creative, Usable Enhancements: Demonstrate the ability to incorporate faculty- and student-driven enhancements into a learning process influenced by the creative use of audio and video content.

Pedagogical Best Practices: Encourage the development of best practices and demonstrate how these can be shared and incorporated into well designed, outcome-focused rich media content and associated learning activities.

Bronx Community College: Project Home Page

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

Summary

Participation in CUNY’s iTunes U Rich Media project will provide a foundation upon which BCC intends to create a complete institutional architecture of rich media academic use, including production facilities for faculty and students, a full program of faculty development, and all the support resources and mechanisms needed to bring podcasting to an appropriate scale. We expect to build these goals into planning and resource allocation decisions as part of a larger strategy for:

  • strengthening distance learning offerings, and
  • integrating a range of technology proficiencies (for faculty and students) into academic programs.

Objectives
The institutional strategies elaborated above will serve a basic underlying objective: developing faculty capacity to use rich media within effective pedagogies. This means exploring the application of such media within specific courses and programs and conducting the project with specific questions in mind: In what learning contexts—academic skill level (always a consideration in the community college), discipline-based, general education-based—do audio and video content serve the best purposes? What formats work best? How are rich media resources best integrated with other student learning activities, including student production of such resources? How can we assess their impact on learning in these various contexts? In this initial phase of podcasting at BCC, the project will draw upon existing faculty capacity in selected curricular areas (language instruction, history, and a therapeutic recreation degree program), while recruiting new participants through ongoing faculty development programs. We will also explore podcasting applications in supplemental instruction, for building departmental curricular resources, and for online coursework.

Additional Objectives

  • Stimulate a dialogue on theoretical and pedagogical innovations to be acquired by each discipline (re-formulate the learning and teaching objectives).
  • The creation of common assignments and lessons and initiation of a pilot project within the Modern Languages Department to create a common oral final with podcasting.
  • Explore the potential of podcasting to increase student interest in specific subject areas.
  • Model podcasts to inspire and motivate others within different departments to incorporate podcasting as part of the curriculum.
  • Create a group of interested faculty who will commit to making podcasting more visible on campus, and train/help others in using this method in their teaching. This group will also develop criteria for training as well as learning objectives appropriate to the use of podcasts

Foreign Language objectives with podcasts: see new page: Italiano at BCC

Project Criteria

Technology

The pilot project has allowed us to establish protocols for setting up iTunes U pages, and for our project team—which includes personnel from Instructional Technology and Information Technology areas—to learn the procedures needed to integrate iTunes pages with Blackboard course sites. Additionally, we have begun to organize and build the training and production capacity we will need to aid faculty in the creation of rich media content.

Collaboration

Recruitment of participants has elicited faculty interest from a range of disciplines beyond the initial participation of History, Modern Languages, and Therapeutic Recreation. These include including Speech and Communication, Allied Health, and Education. BCC’s Office of Instructional Technology has prepared a Blackboard/ iTunes U user’s guide for participants, and has begun to offer workshops in the use of appropriate software for creating rich media.

Creative, Usable Enhancements

As faculty begin to create content, open the process to their students, and utilize the iTunes U space, we will build the sharing of rich media into existing and new faculty development programs that focus on course redesign. We anticipate that these activities will become major components of instructional technology initiatives beginning in Summer 2008.

Pedagogical Best Practices

As audio/video instructional materials are generated and integrated into instruction, and as faculty development activities incorporate rich media production, systematic evaluation of outcomes and a focus on pedagogical design will be embedded in the campus processes we build. Our goal will be to make these processes replicable and scalable, looking ahead to a future in which rich media becomes a normal part of instructional practice.

Challenges

The Itunes site is not difficult to navigate and its layout design is intuitive and friendly to manage. Challenges experienced when uploading audio and video podcasts can be identified in the following points:

  • The initial page of iTunes freezes and the connection has to be often rebooted.
  • The uploading process of videos is very slow, up to 30 minutes. Some video files that are 13 minutes long, for example, (like parts of films that have been digitalized) are timed out, making it impossible to upload movie clips, etc. The size of all of the videos uploaded was within the guidelines of the amount of MB allowed by iTunes.
  • When the uploading of a file is taking too long, the server times you out.
  • When files are uploaded into Itunes in a certain order, for example, from 1-10, iTunes instead arranges the files to a descending order, from 10-1. This process should easy to change by iTunes. It’s time consuming and convoluted.
  • I advocate the acquisition of more software and hardware for students and professors (to edit videos, to transform file extensions, etc. ) and provide a space on campus that will facilitate the production of audio and video podcasts.
  • Transforming flash files (for example from Adobe Captivate) into mp4 has proven to be a challenge. Overall iTunes makes the process of uploading difficult, since most files must be transformed into mp3 or mp4. Other servers, for example, like Podomatic, automatically transform any file as s as it is uploaded into the appropriate extension, making the process very smooth and hassle-free. Perhaps iTunes should implement this procedure.


Borough of Manhattan CC: Project Home Page

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

Overall BMCC Project Objectives

The primary objective of the BMCC’s participation in the CUNY iTunesU Pilot Project is to improve student learning, success and retention. This objective may be met in several ways including:

  • increased student engagement
  • broader and deeper student learning through supplemental materials
  • enhancing the review and test preparation process
  • hands-on learning through student created media
  • increased student access to course content through a variety of media
  • increased faculty awareness of and facility with innovative pedagogical practices

Project Categories

To meet these objectives we see four broad categories of iTunesU related projects:

1. Documenting the classroom in action

2. Instructor created or collected material

3. Student created material

4. Extracurricular projects to support teaching and learning

By the end of the pilot we hope to have completed projects in each category. In the short term we are focusing on projects in categories 2 and 3, instructor and student created or collected material. To this end we have gathered faculty from a variety of disciplines each of whom have specific projects they would like to implement in their classrooms.

Best Practices

As these projects are developed and seen through to fruition the College will pay special attention to finding best practices in the following areas:

  • Using iTunesU as a pedagogical tool
  • Efficiently using and effectively allocating resources to create rich media for iTunesU
  • Training faculty, students and staff on using and supporting iTunesU
  • Organizing for quality interdepartmental communication
  • Legal issues related to copyrighted material

Spring 2008 BMCC Project Objectives

We see the spring as a training, development and trial period of the project. Faculty and staff will train on how to use and administer iTunesU and the Blackboard building block. Curriculum will be developed that tie the podcasts into the learning objectives of courses. And we will begin to record and upload audio and video podcasts. A limited number of podcasts may make it into the curriculum for the spring with an emphasis on getting the technology, pedagogy and process down so we are ready for full implementation in Fall 2008.

  • Do “test runs” related to creating and publishing audio and video content on iTunesU. This includes media created by faculty and students.
  • For those projects that will use existing media, begin collecting the material, converting it to the correct formats and establishing the legality of using the material.
  • Develop faculty training on the entire process (some of the actual training will take place over the summer). This process includes:

o Establishing curricular and student learning objectives related to the new material

o Developing related assessment materials

o Creating audio and video media

o Publishing media using Blackboard and iTunesU

  • Create a documented process for incorporating student created content including:

o signing out equipment to students

o training students how to use equipment

o setting up iTunesU courses so students can upload content

Baruch: Project Home Page

From CUNY Academic Commons

Overall Baruch College iTunes U Project Goals

The overall goal of the Baruch College’s CUNY iTunesU Pilot Project is to enhance and enrich the teaching and learning experience of faculty and students. Baruch will be specifically setting out to accomplish the following ongoing goals:

  • providing ease of access through mobile learning technologies (e.g., iPods)
  • enhancing learning motivation
  • ensuring increased time on task of students through interstitial learning
  • improving learning readiness and reflection on practice through pre- and post-class meeting audio and video
  • supplementing visual text-based content with rich media
  • making available pedagogically-sound iconic and symbolic visual learning materials
  • providing intensive audiovisual test preparation materials
  • engaging students in active audiovisual project-based learning
  • stimulating students’ reflection on practice through video self- and peer assessment
  • providing rich video-based case studies for intensive study in ill-structured domains
  • reinforcing schema acquisition of difficult course content using brief narrated animated videos on critical concepts

Implementation Strategy

In order to accomplish these goals, Baruch will gather existing materials from faculty, support faculty in formulating and carrying out new projects, and evaluate iTunes U projects to incorporate the outcomes into the managing of subsequent projects. We will also provide workshops for faculty, students and staff on functionality and best practices (including copyright) with video and audio equipment necessary for asset creation and with iTunes U itself.

Spring 2008 Baruch College Project Description

Baruch will work with several faculty members during the fall 2008 term in preparation for the spring to devise course lessons that incorporate and require the engagement with the rich media available on iTunes U (e.g., podcasts). The learning objectives, the media-enhanced lessons themselves, and the evaluation of learning outcomes will be aligned and will incorporate technology-use as integral to the meeting the learning outcomes.