Category: General

Sep 10 2015

Harvesting The Commons: Finding & Using Open Images for Teaching

CTL recently hosted a lunch and learn workshop, called Harvesting the Commons: Finding and Using Open Images for Teaching (slides). In the session, we discussed open images: what they are, what Creative Commons licenses are, how to locate openly licensed images, and the importance of continuing to contribute to the pool of open resources. For those who missed it, here's a link to the 60-minute recording from the session. 

One of the key takeaways was the ease with which you can limit searches on Google Images or Flickr by license type, so that you can locate openly licensed images. Here's a handout on to do this, as well as the Open Image Resources handout from the Johns Hopkins Open Education Lab, which lists a great number of other possible places to find open images. 

To participate in upcoming workshops, please visit the CTL Events and Workshops page, and follow @courseplus and @jhsphctl on Twitter for all the latest news and updates.



0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 8:45 AM - Categories: Course Tools | General | Innovation & Inspiration | Online Courses | OpenCourseWare | Teaching Tips | Tech Tools

Mar 4 2015

Daylight Saving Time Starts Sunday, March 8, 2015

This is a reminder that Daylight Saving time starts in the United States on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 1am Eastern time. During Daylight Saving time, the US Eastern time zone shifts from -5 GMT to -4 GMT. Please keep this change in mind when preparing for your class work and due dates!


Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:34 AM - Categories: CoursePlus | General

Jan 14 2015

What Devices Students Are Using to Consume Course Lectures?

Lectures in online, blended and flipped courses at the School are delivered via Amazon’s CloudFront content delivery network. This allows the CTL team to push large video files closer to students no matter where they are in the world, rather than making them travel all the way around the world to servers in Baltimore to grab the files.

Until recently, Amazon really did not provide to its customers any metrics about who was accessing the files and what kind of devices they were using to do so. That changed recetly when Amazon released a set of reporting tools for CloudFront. The tools are limited, but they do provide some insight.

One of the reports available is a report on what kind of devices are being used when making requests to course lecture videos on CloudFront. The results from the second term are below:

Graph of devices used to request course lecture files in the second term, AY 2014-2015

It's striking to see that 22% of all requests for course lectures are coming from iOS devices. This validates the significant investment the School made in the past year to move all course lectures from a Flash Player-based format, which does not play back on mobile devices, to the MP4 format, which plays back on a wide range of mobile devices. It's little surprise that many students prefer the flexibility and freedom that consuming content on a mobile device provides.

It's also interesting to see that so few requests came from Android devices, despite the fact that more mobile devices are shipped around the world with Android than iOS devices. One explanation is that a majority of requests for course lectures come from the U.S., and iOS is more dominant than Android in the U.S. (that is absolutely not the case outside the U.S.). However, the School has a significant international student population, and one would expect that with Android's dominance outside of the U.S., we would see many more requests coming from Android devices.

The data also shows that, in spite of the emphasis on mobile technology in the last few years, the desktop/laptop environment still dominates. This may be the result of difficulty in taking notes while watching lectures on a mobile device (especially the single tasking environment of iOS), or it may be that most students are still simply more comfortable doing class work on their desktops and laptops.

Finally, it's surprising that 62% of all requests came from Mac OS devices. Imagine saying that just five years ago!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:38 AM - Categories: General

Jan 12 2015

Two Things to Help Prepare for Teaching During Inclement Weather

Are you looking for ideas to maintain the continuity of your classes during winter snowstorms? Here are a few things you can do to help stay prepared:

1.             Join us on Wednesday, January 14 from noon-1p.m. for the Teaching During Inclement Weather workshop. (RSVP link) In an eight-week term, losing a day or two to bad weather can be a big hindrance. Will you be prepared to continue your classes in the event of big snowstorms and school closures? In this session, we'll cover some of the major technologies and strategies you can use to help keep your classes going, including tools in-and-out of CoursePlus. Join us to explore how you can quickly create recordings, online discussions and host live remote class sessions. 

2.            Visit the Teach During Inclement Weather webpage to review information about the various ways you can record and create lecture presentations or hold live virtual class sessions. 

Stay warm!

0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 2:30 PM - Categories: Teaching Tips | General | Course Tools | CoursePlus

Dec 23 2014

VoiceThread Gets an Upgrade

A new version of Voicethread has been released, and is now the official active version in use by JHU. This version has some notable new features and a greatly updated user interface. (Catch a good glimpse of what it looks like in this short video.)


0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 7:30 AM - Categories: Course Tools | Distance Learning | General | Innovation & Inspiration | Online Courses | Teaching Tips | Tech Tools

Nov 26 2014

Reminder: University Closure for the Thanksgiving Holiday

The University will be closed on Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28, 2014, for the Thanksgiving holiday. CTL Help will not be available during this time. CTL Help will resume normal operations on Monday, December 1, 2014.

0 comments - Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:35 AM - Categories: General

Sep 9 2014

CTL Teaching Assistant (TA) Short Courses and Resources

The JHSPH Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers some comprehensive resources and courses for preparing to TA:

1.  The first is the Teaching Toolkit web site, which contains an area for TA's: including specific TA information for each JHSPH department, an FAQ, and information on our two mostly self-paced TA training offerings.

2.  The second part of the training program is a self-paced, fully online short course, Teaching Assistantships 1: Essential Elements (TA1), which orients Teaching Assistants to the roles and responsibilities of their position, relevant policies and regulations, technical tools, teaching tips, and other important information. This short course is offered every term and must be completed within an academic year. Facilitators will be available to answer questions, but the course is specifically designed so that a student can complete activities at their convenience.  Students will be required to interact with others at the school (i.e. faculty, academic coordinators, other TA's) in order to complete the brief assignments.  Register here!

3. Finally, there is Teaching Assistantships 2: Interactive Methods (TA2), a cohort-based practicum for those who have completed TA1: Essential Elements, in which TA's put their skills and knowledge into practice by facilitating discussions, resolving potential issues, brainstorming management techniques, and interacting with each other and their course facilitators.  This course is scheduled 2-3 times per academic year and runs for 3 weeks, with the first 2 weeks completed online, but requiring interaction with other students taking the course.  The third week will involve either two 1-hour on-campus sessions or two 1-hour LiveTalks.  Students can decide if the online or on-campus session in the final week is appropriate, based on their planned TA assignment (online or on campus course).  If desired, a student can attend both the on campus and online LiveTalk sessions. 

We offer a certificate of completion for those who complete both TA1 and TA2. 

We look forward to your participation!

0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 8:02 AM - Categories: CoursePlus | Distance Learning | General | Online Courses | Teaching Tips

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