Thursday, April 17, 2014

CTL workshops April 21-May 1

Hi folks!  The CTL is offering a range of workshops in the next two next weeks, focusing on some of the most popular technologies in general use.  Learn more about Twitter, Google Docs, Facebook, and Google sites!  You may register for any of these events by emailing us at ( or calling us at 605-677-5411.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Instructional strategies and tips with using polling technologies in teaching

Created by: Ryan Los, Graduate Associate and Katie Barnett, Tech Fellow for the Center for Teaching and Learning

In small classrooms and high schools it is acceptable to have students raise their hand when asked a question. But in large college lectures this can be a hassle due to the greater number of students in the classroom. Thanks to new technology, there are now many avenues that can be utilized to allow students to voice their opinions quickly and easily. Polling technology assists in getting students talking, thinking, and participating in the classroom in a matter of seconds. In addition, it gives professors instant feedback to see if their students are following along and understanding the content of the lecture. Some examples of polling systems include TurningPoint, PollDaddy, SurveyTool, and Poll Everywhere.

 While you may want to look through the polling systems listed above, USD supports the TurningPoint software. TuringPoint offers instant management of polling participants, content, sessions and reports. The basic features and advantages of TurningPoint include: polling from any environment and application; the ability to manage polling, participants, content, sessions, and reports. TurningPoint also supports pictures, characters, and question lists.

It is important that you ensure the students understand how they will be evaluated via using clickers. This should be explained during the first class and certainly laid out in the syllabus for the course. For example, you may use clickers at the beginning of every class and ask the students 5 questions based on the prior class and/or assigned readings that will be worth 20% of the course grade for both attendance and keeping up with course content. Upon completion of the course, all of the responses can be tabulated and if there are 20 classes, each classes’ clicker question will be worth .2% of the final overall grade to equal 1% per day x 20 classes = 20 % of the final course grade.

Tips for utilizing polling in the classroom:
1.      Plan in advance for how to deal with students whose clickers are forgotten, need batteries, or are broken.
2.      Attendance, if you want to increase attendance, use clickers daily and link clicker usage to the D2L grade book. This will encourage students to show up to class, listen to the lecture, and participate in the questions being asked during class.
3.      Communication with the students - explain to students why you are using the system and what you want them to gain from the experience. Also let students learn from their right and wrong answers by displaying the correct answer and discussing it. It is also wise to use a combination of simple and more complex questions, as this will challenge students and help generate discussion.
4.      Prevent wasted time and frustration - spend some time in class showing students how to use the technology and offer them a tutorial that explains the process.

The DON’Ts of using clickers in the classroom:
1.      Fail to explain why you are using clickers.
2.      Use them primarily for attendance.
3.      Don’t have students talk with each other.
4.      Use only factual recall questions.
5.      Don’t make use of the student response information.
6.      Fail to discuss what learning means or the depth of participation and learning you expect in your class.
7.      Think of clickers as a testing device, rather than a device to inform learning.

Polling technology is a great way to get students involved in the classroom. It not only promotes discussion and challenges students with questions, but allows the students to see what areas they need to work on, and offers the professor instant feedback on their students’ progress. By following the strategies and tips listed above, it is quite simple to improve student involvement in classroom discussions and to create an enhanced learning environment.

Note: Polling can be used at USD through clickers and the TurningPoint software. For more information on setting up polling in your classroom or if you have any questions, please contact the CTL at 5411.

Caldwell, J. E. (2007). Clickers in the Large Classroom: Current Research and Best-Practice Tips. CBE - Life Sciences Education, 6(1), 9-20. 

Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative. (2013). Clicker Resources. Retrieved from
Dunn, J. (2012, April 2). The Teacher’s Guide To Polling In The Classroom. Retrieved from

TurningPoint. (n.d.). Key Features. Retrieved from

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CTL workshops for faculty: Collaborate, Twitter and more!

Hi folks!  The CTL is offering a range of workshops in the next two next weeks, focusing on some of the most popular technologies in general use.   Learn more about Twitter, Google Docs, Facebook, and Google sites!  You may register for any of these events by emailing us at ( or calling us at 605-677-5411.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Review: Beyond the Asterisk

Shotton, Heather J., Lowe, Shelly C., & Waterman, Stephanie J.  2013.  Beyond the Asterisk:  Understanding Native Students in Higher Education.  Sterling, VA:  Stylus.  176 pages.

This book encourages its readers to “move beyond the asterisk” that so often typifies higher education’s response to Native American students.  The focus is on student affairs, and the essays present a variety of ways to recruit, engage, and retain Native students.  Specific strategies include Native Living-Learning centers, Native American fraternities, and sororities, Native American student centers, special presidential advisors, and increasing the number of Native staff in student affairs offices.

Friday, April 4, 2014

CTL workshops April 7-11: Incorporate Undergraduate Research into your classroom!

Hi folks!  The CTL is offering a range of workshops next week.  Note especially the workshop on incorporating undergraduate research into your classroom, co-hosted by CURCS.  Lunch (pizza) will be provided if you pre-register for that event!  You may register for any of these events by emailing us at ( or calling us at 605-677-5411

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CTL workshops March 31-April 4: D2L, Powerpoint and more!

Hi folks!  Now is the time to brush up on D2L basics.  We’re offering a full slate of D2L workshops next week, as well as one of our popular Online Faculty Forums.  You may register for any of these events by emailing us at ( or calling us at 605-677-5411.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

FREE WEBINAR: Transforming Education Programs for On-Demand Learners

Transforming Education Programs for On-Demand Learners
March 27, 2014 • 2pm EST/11am PST

Higher education institutions across North America are keenly aware of today's challenges in funding, student engagement and outcomes, and the need to operate with efficiency. The issues are known, but how can institutions transcend them to achieve record enrollment and retention rates, and increase financial stability, while maintaining academic integrity? The answer lies in transforming your traditional educational programs to meet the needs of today's growing population of on-demand, non-traditional learners. 

Join us March 27th at 2:00 PM ET for this FREE Webcast, where Connor Gray and Raymond Todd Blackwood share how colleges and universities can use advanced technology to:
  • Market their institutions to attract, engage, and educate on-demand students
  • Reduce the administrative burden of managing traditional and non-traditional programs through automation
  • Enable growth while protecting the financial security and unique identities of their institutions
  • Connor Gray, Chief Strategy Officer, Campus Management Corporation
  • Raymond Todd Blackwood, Director of Student Information Systems & Technology, Campus Management Corporation
Click here to Register

This exciting webcast is sponsored by Campus Management Corporation and hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education. All content presented during the event is provided by Campus Management.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring back from Spring Break--CTL workshops March 24-28

Hi folks!  Spring back from Spring Break and join the CTL for a number of exciting workshops coming up next week, from Respondus to online discussion techniques.  You may register for any of these events by emailing us at ( or calling us at 605-677-5411.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The future of technology in higher education--CTL workshops March 17-21

Hi folks, the luck of the Irish is with you!  The week after spring break features a number of exciting events, including the opportunity to interact with one of the nation’s leading experts on technology and the future of higher education.  The keynote lecture and teaching workshop will be available to distance faculty through Collaborate, details are at the end of this email.  Some faculty and staff may not have the full three hours clear for the Tuesday workshop, we encourage you to attend for whatever portions you are able.  You may register for any of these events by emailing us at ( or calling us at 605-677-5411.

Monday, March 10, 2014

MOOCs and More: Lecture & workshop on Disruptive/Innovative Technology in Higher Education

Dear colleagues,

Technology’s impact on higher education has been undeniable.  MOOCs, Online learning, Big Data, virtual collaborations, open educational resources and more have revolutionized the traditional college experience.  How will technology effect learning, teaching and creative inquiry in the future?  How will it effect OUR future?

Dr. Ray Schroeder, a noted expert in disruptive/innovative technology in higher education, will be on campus Monday March 17 and Tuesday, March 18.  He will lead a series of events that will examine technology’s role in education.  Ray Schroeder is Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield and Director of the Center for Online Leadership and Strategy at the University Continuing and Professional Education Association (UPCEA).  Schroeder has numerous national presentations and publications in online and technology-enhanced learning. Ray has published the popular Online Learning Update and Educational Technology blogs for the past decade. He was a Sloan Consortium Distinguished Scholar in Online Learning 2002-2003, recipient of the 2002 Sloan-C award for the “Most Outstanding Achievement in ALN by an Individual,” University of Southern Maine “Visiting Scholar in Online Learning” 2006-2009, and co-founder of the New Century Learning Consortium. Ray was named the inaugural 2010 recipient of the Sloan Consortium's highest Individual award - the A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award. Ray received the 2011 University of Illinois Distinguished Service Award. Schroeder is an inaugural Sloan Consortium Fellow and the 2012 Innovation Fellow for Digital Learning by the UPCEA.

The entire USD community is invited to participate in the following events with Dr. Schroeder.  You may register for either of these events by calling 605-677-5411 or by emailing us at 

Keynote lecture:  Disruptive Technology and Higher Education
Monday, March 17, 4:00-5:00, Beacom 133.

Dr. Schroeder will present an open lecture on the future of higher education in light of recent technological developments.  This is the time and place to learn about MOOCs and all their variants, as well as other forms of technology that may disrupt or innovate higher education.

Workshop on Teaching and Technology:  Emerging Technologies and Practices Shaping Higher Education
Tuesday, March 18, 2:00-5:00, MUC 216

We will examine the current and coming technologies and trends that changing the way we teach and learn.  Our workshop will emphasize resources and models that can make the transitions comfortable and effective for both faculty members and students.  Participants are welcome to drop in and out of this workshop as your schedule allows.  Don’t hesitate to come even for just an hour!