Welcome & Welcome Back!

This is our busiest day here in the TTL group and we are thrilled to see all of the new and returning students and faculty!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

On Monday, we were able to meet with the new faculty on campus, and compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions, which I thought I’d share here.  Let us know if you want to add to the list!

What if I want to learn more about myWPI?

The ATC- Technology for Teaching and Learning group offers workshops on myWPI, our branded instance of Blackboard 9.1, on a weekly basis.  If you would like to sign up for a session, please see http://www.wpi.edu/Regi/ATC.  If you cannot find a session that works for you, please let us know by emailing act-ttl@wpi.edu and we can schedule a one-on-one meeting!

How do I get a course site?

The course request process has been changed a bit for this upcoming academic year!  In an effort to make this process a little bit easier we moved to automatic course site creation.  This means that all AY12-13 courses automatically have a shell in myWPI that instructors can choose to use (or not use!).

Course sites created through this process will be generated using a blank shell in Blackboard 9.1 and will include Banner student enrollments.  You can request to re-use content from a past course offering, the merger of multiple sections into one master course site, and/or the addition of course support staff to your site by filling out the Blackboard Course Modification Request form at http://www.wpi.edu/+myhelp/content_migration.html.

Does my room have a tablet monitor in it, and how do I use it?

To check the equipment in the classroom you are teaching, visit http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/ATC/Facilities/eclassrooms.html.  For an introduction to the Sympodium, see http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/ATC/Collaboratory/HowTo/Sympodium/.  If you are interested a quick tour, please email atc-ttl@wpi.edu and we will set up a time to review the equipment (both hardware and software) with you.

How can I use clickers in my courses, and what is the procedure here at WPI for obtaining them?

For some great resources on peer-instruction and other teaching strategies for implementing clickers, see this page:  http://www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/clickers.htm (It’s not ours, but it’s still fantastic!).  If you are interested in using clickers in your classes, please contact Erin DeSilva (edesilva@wpi.edu) to set up a time to review the procedures and software.  We typically ask as much notice as you can give, so you if you’re planning for B, C, or even D term, let us know.

I do not really use multimedia in lecture right now…

One other possibility to consider is giving students a project to work on involving multimedia. There are some great opportunities for students to familiarize themselves with certain concepts, tools, or techniques by creating an explanation or demonstration themselves. The ATC can provide training workshops to give students the technical skills for using multimedia creation tools (video editing, image editing, web creation, etc).

What tools would students have to buy to make a video?

None at all! The ATC main office provides equipment for loan (2-day loans) including video cameras, tripods, and microphones. Every computer lab on campus has Camtasia Studio installed, which is a very easy to use screen recording and video editing program. The Multimedia Lab downstairs in the Library also has Adobe Premiere Professional and Adobe After Effects installed for full-featured moviemaking capabilities.

I am interested in recording my lectures in the classroom.  Is this an option at WPI?

This summer, the ATC  expanded the number of classrooms equipped with the Echo360 lecture capturing hardware to include three more rooms, bringing the grand total to 16!  With the acquisition of a site license at the start of last academic year for desktop capturing software, faculty have even more options for recording course content, including lectures.  To learn more about the use of lecture capturing at WPI, visit this webpage.

Can I use Web Conferencing to hold virtual office hours or lecture if I will be away from campus?

Yes!   Wimba Classroom, WPI’s web conferencing tool, allows you to present content, including: files, your desktop, webcam video, and an interactive whiteboard, synchronously to a group of participants.  You can manage Wimba Classroom sessions within your myWPI/Blackboard course site from the “Course Tools” area.      You can also set up Wimba rooms for student teams to use to collaborate on class assignments or projects.  To learn more, visit: http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/ATC/Facilities/Wimba/

How else might I use Wimba Classroom?

In addition to using the tool to deliver lecture content while on travel, many WPI faculty are using Wimba to host virtual office hours sessions; bring in guest speakers that are not able to travel to campus; or collaborate with colleagues, project sponsors, or guests outside of the WPI community.  If you’d like to explore a possible use for web conferencing, please contact atc-ttl@wpi.edu and we would be happy to discuss your ideas with you!