Lecture Capture

During the 2012-2013 school year, Jeremy and Tara have been piloting the new lecture capture system installed in two of the rooms in the Loyola Science Center. The pilot is intended to explore the technology and decide whether a larger-scale implementation is appropriate for our campus. Many schools have campus-wide lecture capture programs, and can be used on the small scale or the large scale. For example, MIT’s Open Courseware uses campus lecture capture to allow students to watch videos of professors in the classroom. The implementation we have on campus can be used to capture the experience of a single classroom, but it can also be used to record videos outside of class as extra-curricular materials or homework to watch. Jeremy wrote a short piece for the CTLE Newsletter, Reflections, about the technology and classroom uses, and can be found here.

From a pedagogy perspective, I’ve found having the recorded videos posted for the students to view outside of class to be useful. It has removed the need to answer the perpetual question of “I missed class… what did we cover?” The students can just watch the video afterwards. The problem is, though: They don’t. It’s not that the videos never accessed, but students don’t often seem to actually spend the time watching the videos during the semester. I have the Angel links set up to track the users activity in folders where I post the links to the videos, so I can see who accesses what and when. There was a flurry of activity right before the tests, but only from about 10-20% of the class. So clearly not many of the students watch the videos. I’ve asked for feedback from the students about how to use the videos more effectively, and I’ll receive that at the end of the semester. Since Spring 2013 is the first semester that the lecture capture system has been working fully and correctly, hopefully we’ll be able to move from testing the functionality to testing the pedagogy.

Benjamin Cohen on Novel Pedagogy

On Friday, March 2, 2012, invited speaker Benjamin Cohen came to the CTLE to talk about the novel pedagogy he has implemented in his classrooms at the University of Virginia and Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, mainly with engineering students.

Benjamin Cohen biography

Cohen aims to engage his students in learning about local foodsheds and environmental initiatives, connecting the college classroom to the surrounding community. Rather than using traditional assignments, he opts for creative, collaborative class projects. One of his classes authored a book rather than writing individual research papers.

Technology, Nature, and Sustainable Design
Behind the Curtain of ecoMOD3

Another class constructed a website of podcasts, which investigated various local food topics from farmer’s markets to health food stores to vegetarian diets to composting. They presented at the Charlottesville, Virginia, public library to educate the public on local options for sustainable eating and living.

Bringing Engineers into the Local Foodshed

Cohen’s current students are developing projects related to “the governance of environmental engineering in the Easton, PA, Lehigh Valley, and broader mid-Atlantic region.”

The Governance of Technology

Cohen’s presentation helped us to conceive of novel pedagogical techniques that combine elements of service learning, hands-on problem solving, and projects that result in lasting products rather than term papers or exams that are discarded at the end of the semester.


Critical Incident Questionnaires (CIQs)

Critical Incident Questionnaires (CIQs), by Dr._Stephen_D._Brookfield

Background: Katy and Tara have both been using CIQs in class this semester.  These are short learning assessments that are administered once per week, at the end of the last class of week.  The short survey (four open-ended questions) asks the student to be self-reflective about their learning throughout that week.  The responses (anonymous) can then be used by the instructor to categorize instruction methods and or topics that are particularly beneficial or challenging to the students.  Furthermore, it encourages the students to provide feedback and gives them active role in shaping class time.


  • Katy reported what seemed to be incidents of “survey fatigue” for the students in the class.  More and more, students appear to be leaving questions blank.  Additionally, at least one student described the CIQ as a “teacher evaluation” to another student.  If students consider these “evaluative of the instructor” it tends to defeat their purpose as a “learning-evaluation”.
  • It was suggested that, now that it is mid-semester, it may be a good time to remind the students what the CIQs are for and how they are used.  That they are an evaluation of one’s experience in class, not of the instruction.
  • It also became clear, in looking at the answers to the questions, that not all the students fully understand what the questions are asking.
  • There is some fear of “evaluation fatigue”, in that the students may spend less time and/or effort filling out the end-of-year evaluation because they have already filled out the CIQs.  Being that Katy is using CIQs in one class and not another, it may be possible to see a difference between the classes.