Testing New Technologies for Synchronous Hybrid Learning

 Spotlights  Comments Off on Testing New Technologies for Synchronous Hybrid Learning
Oct 292014
 
Telepresence devices bring online students closer to in-class action
Kubi2Double1

Could “robots” be part of the future of synchronous hybrid learning classrooms? Christine Greenhow and the students of CEP 956 think so. The class – a doctoral course on Mind, Social Media, and Society – recently experimented with devices designed to give online students more control over their in-class visual and interactive experiences.

Kubi1One device – called a Kubi – pairs an iPad with a desk-mounted swivel that is controlled by the online students so they can join in-class discussions like they were sitting at the table. Students using the Kubi have closer proximity to their face-to-face counterparts than when using wall-mounted displays, letting them see and be seen more clearly through a personal portal that they can control. The devices can run on battery power, making it easy to move them between whole-class and small group discussions. Nick Holton and Ginny Hiltz (pictured above) were two of the online participants, tilting and panning the iPads with the Kubi devices as they took part in different discussions around the room.

Double2The other device – called a Double – takes the autonomous telepresence concept one step further by letting users control a rolling motorized iPad mount that can be maneuvered around the room. A bluetooth speaker paired to the iPad allows the students to hear Colin Terry’s contributions to the discussions.

So what did Chris and her students think about their experience with telepresence devices? As Chris wrote to her colleagues later:

“The result was TRANSFORMATIONAL! The hybrid students – who have been with us for 3 years – said it was the BEST CLASS EVER!!! They felt like they were there, in the class. Because they could control the robots remotely, they could actually move their ‘heads’/screens to look at a speaker as we positioned them around the discussion table. Colin, on the ‘Double’ could actually roll around the room – getting into his small group and saying hello to his classmates.  Ginny, an online student present via the Kubi robot, asked if we could each say our names around the room and then, she moved her head/screen to look at each speaker – including the other robots. She said this was the first time she could actually put the name with the face.”


Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 12.24.03 PM
The CEPSE/COE Design Studio is looking forward to working with Dr. Greenhow and other faculty members as we continue to explore telepresence technologies and concepts.

Spotlight

Synchromodal Support for Deaf Students

 Spotlights, Synchromodal  Comments Off on Synchromodal Support for Deaf Students
Apr 152014
 

Screen_shot_2014_02_26_at_8.11.45_PM97919a9402bbe8d98a931b2897a88a26672e

Creating opportunities for meaningful interactions is one of the most important goals of many courses. Supporting students with disabilities is simply another opportunity for providing creative learning solutions to enable these meaningful interactions for everyone. A case in point is our work with a synchromodal course (including face-to-face and online students in the same learning experience as comparable partners) that features interpreters for deaf online participants.

The Design Studio has been helping Dr. Cary Roseth, associate professor in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, facilitate learner interactions in CEP 910 Motivation and Cognition for a variety of students. Since this course is a synchromodal course, some of these learners are online students. John Kirsh is one of these online students who is also mostly deaf. Our solution for John has been to include two (2) interpreters who sit in the classroom with the face-to-face students. Watching John through videoconferencing and interpreting his signing for the face-to-face participants, these interpreters act as John’s surrogate voice for engaging in class interactions and discussions. “I really enjoyed this online hybrid CEP910 course,” John told us. “I am able to take the class from home and reap the benefits of an almost face-to-face class.  As a result, I saved about 2.5 hours’ driving time as well as gas.” IMG_0985554671a91017John uses two computers to engage in the class activities.

One computer allows him to see in-classroom lectures and presentations by the instructor. The second computer links him to desktop computers that run Zoom videoconferencing sessions for small group discussions that take place during the class sessions. Since some of the students in the small groups are online, videoconferencing is already supported in the classroom via desktop iMacs. John participates fully both through his visual presence and through interpreters who are physically present in the face-to-face groups. This setup allows John to interact with and present to his classmates, sharing insights and opinions through a combination of human and digital assistive technology. Using a synchromodal assistive technology setup has been beneficial for the instructor as well. “Working with assistive technologies this semester has reinforced my belief that almost anything is possible when people work together towards a common goal,” noted Roseth. “Supporting a synchromodal classroom is a complicated endeavor and, initially, I was worried whether we could integrate this approach to teaching face-to-face and distance students with assistive technologies. Working together, however, we worked through these challenges and I am deeply thankful to everyone – including John, his interpreters, our technology coordinators, and the other students in the class – for their creativity, compromise and, above all, determination to make this work for everyone in the class. In the end, we all benefited from the efforts to integrate assistive technology.”

Linked Classrooms

 Spotlights, Synchromodal  Comments Off on Linked Classrooms
Oct 222013
 

2 groups, 2 instructors, 2 locations. 1 integrated class.

Maddy EAD807

 

This month’s Design Studio Spotlight takes a closer look at a course being taught this semester by EAD faculty Madeline Mavrogordato and Chris Dunbar in the Masters in Education Administration program.

Maddy and Chris have two different groups of students, one located in East Lansing, and one in the Detroit area. Bringing them all together via video conferencing allows students from different populations and backgrounds to discuss and explore content and ideas from multiple perspectives in a way that previously would have been logistically impossible. The two groups are now able to share presentations and other content synchronously, interacting through audio and video channels to exchange perspectives and insights as a single class.

Toopography-Linked Classrooms-01The technology set-up uses GoToMeeting as the video conferencing platform and features an omni-direction speaker microphone and two cameras in each location. (Using two cameras per location enables more dynamic video coverage of both the instructor and the students.) Both groups use large screens to view presentations and each other during class. In East Lansing, they use two screens simultaneously – one solely for computer presentation, the other for the group to view and interact with the people in Detroit.This particular course design creates a synchromodal face-to-face and online instance we call the linked classroom model. Synchromodal refers to the fact that online and face-to-face participants interact synchronously as comparable partners, whether their mode of interaction is mediate via technology or not.

To learn more about this exciting class model and how you can implement the linked classroom model in your own course, please contact us at dstudio@msu.edu or come by our office at 401b, Erickson Hall.

Virtual Guest Speakers in COE Classes

 Spotlights, Synchromodal  Comments Off on Virtual Guest Speakers in COE Classes
May 072013
 

“It’s been a great way to bring in outside expertise that spans beyond my own, and to introduce students to people who are widely published that would be very difficult to access otherwise (talking with a professor in a small virtual environment beats rushing the podium after a session at a conference!)”  – Ken Frank

IMG_0170

Prof. Ken Frank (top right of the SMART Board) guides two groups of students (in East Lansing and Ann Arbor) as they listen to a guest presenter speaking from Cambridge, MA.

A great opportunity with technology today is the ability to bring colleagues and experts from other institutions right into your own classes. Ken Frank has been doing this very thing over the last two semesters, engaging his students with colleagues from places across the US like Duke or the University of Chicago, and from as far away as Berlin and Nicaragua. Doing so has helped Ken build on his own connections with people to help his students get to meet key people in their fields as well as to gain exposure to unfolding ideas and research as it is happening.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 10.19.12 AM

A screenshot of the GoToMeeting interface between participants.

Would you like to give it a try? The CEPSE/COE Design Studio is glad to provide the support needed to make it happen in your class, either as a one-time event or throughout the semester. Just let us know!

The easiest way to begin is to schedule 452 when you need it, and then let us know what you would like to do. All that the people need at the other end is a decent Internet connection, and a computer or iPad with a microphone, speaker, and webcam. In addition, we can record these sessions and even let remote people participate in these sessions.