2018 Session descriptions

Jump to sessions

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 4  | Session 5 | Session 6 | Lunchtime Session| Session 7 | Tech Lightning Rounds

Session 1: 9:00-9:30

Group discussions and group projects: How they increase life skills, course engagement, and content mastery

Presenter: Lee Ann Westman, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online and hybrid courses | Location: Multipurpose Room

Every semester, students email me at the beginning of the semester and tell me about how they loathe group work and beg me to allow them to just do their projects alone. I never agree. But I do tell them that I am confident it will go smoothly in my course, and that participating in group work provides students with many important academic and life skills. In both online and face-to-face courses, the key to successful group work projects is connecting students early and often with their group members. In online courses, weekly group discussions are a good tool for students to interact regularly, keep track of each other, figure out problems early in the semester, and deepen their understanding of course material. I will discuss why group work is important, describe the positive results of group work, share some group project failures and successes, offer some strategies for organizing students into groups, and provide some tools that help students be successful in group discussions.

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Innovative active learning techniques in the classroom

Presenters: Genevieve Turner and Theresa L. Covello, Rowan College at Gloucester County

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom |  Location: South BC

An essential skill of an effective educator is the ability to engage a diverse group of learners throughout a lesson. Active learning strategies has been proven to assist students in learning the necessary knowledge necessary for applying the material during exams and practice. Integrating Interactive Learning Activity (ILA) can change attitudes, teach content, or practice skills. We will demonstrate activities such as: Are You Smarter Than Your Instructor?, Headbands, Kahoot, & Mentimeter. According to research, the more often faculty integrate active learning strategies into the teaching and learning activities, the more likely students are to be successful in meeting course learning outcomes.

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SESSION CANCELED: Onboarding: An Activity to encourage new student success in online/hybrid programs

Moderator: Lester Owens, Camden County College

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: Executive Meeting Room


Session 2: 9:35-10:05

Using Open Access materials in the online environment: keeping costs low and quality high

Presenter: Jeffrey Podoshen, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses, Technology in the face-to-face classroom | Location: Multipurpose Room

This presentation details the use of Open Access Educational (OER) materials in online course development and implementation. Specifically this presentation will discuss how to find high quality OER materials for use in course development and online assignments. Additionally, it will cover how to integrate some of these materials into the LMS (in this case, Canvas) for simple discovery and access. We will also cover the creation of online assignments that require students to use resources available to them via the RU libraries in place of costlier publisher-produced assignments and materials. As students become more concerned about costs of materials and as universities like Rutgers continue to increase access to world class higher education, the use of open access materials and the demand for them will continue to rise. This session provides a starting point for those interested in embracing OER.

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Metacognition and VoiceThreads: Getting students to think about their thinking

Presenter: Sara Plummer, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom | Location: South BC

Participants will be introduced to the concept of metacognition and its usefulness in aiding students’ awareness of their cognitive processes and academic endeavors. The tool VoiceThread will be used to demonstrate how to encourage students to practice metacognition. Participants will be introduced to the use of voice threads as a weekly participation assignment for on the ground, traditional course, to facilitate students’ review of course work outside of class time.

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Moderator: Emily Wood, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom | Location: Executive Meeting Room

Social media sites, such as Twitter and Instagram, can be used to engage students and encourage them to see how the topics discussed in class are relevant to the world outside the classroom. They also enable otherwise quiet students to voice their thoughts and ask questions. This presentation considers how to decide if a class could benefit from social media use, how to assess student learning through a social media assignment, and how to overcome obstacles to using social media to enhance student engagement.

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Other presenter materials: Twitter assignment instructions, Twitter assignment grading rubric


Session 3: 10:10-10:40am

Text-it, Poll-it, Say-it: How to use Texting and Polling Apps to Improve Student Engagement

Presenter: Matthew Raden, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom | Location: Multipurpose Room

Texting and polling applications are often underutilized in the college classroom. These applications offer many advantages, including increased wait-time, which gives students more time to formulate better responses, increased participation, and greater student engagement. Special attention will be paid to applications which can be used on laptops, iPhones, and tablets during class. These apps can be used to poll students and tabulate responses, offer students the opportunity to text their responses to the class before having an oral discussion on a topic, and to verify student understanding before and during class in real time. I will demonstrate how these technological applications can be used to enhance or complement traditional face-to-face discussions in class. Texting and polling can result in more in-depth and enriching classroom discussions, greater student-to-student and student to professor interaction, enhanced student interest and reduced student anxiety. I will include a brief explanation of the rationale behind this use of technology followed by hands-on, interactive activities and examples on how these apps can best be integrated into the classroom.

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SESSION CANCELED: Flipping the classroom model: an iterative approach

Presenter: Amy Savage, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom | Location: South BC

Evaluating online teaching

Moderators: Gail Caputo & Christie DeCarolis, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: Executive Meeting Room

As the popularity of online courses continues to grow, how can we ensure course quality while still allowing for flexibility and freedom in teaching? What factors contribute to a quality online course? How do we see past the static content in an LMS to unveil the teaching and learning that occurs asynchronously during the semester? In this roundtable discussion session, we’ll explore potential methods for observing and evaluating online teaching.

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Break: 10:40-10:55

Session 4: 11:00-11:30am

Utilizing communication tools to keep students engaged in online courses

Presenter: Nancy Raftery, Camden County College

Track: Teaching online and hybrid courses | Location: Multipurpose Room

This presentation will highlight communication tools that I have used to improve student engagement and success in my online courses. These approaches are more qualitative than quantitative in nature, but I will share student experiences and reactions to these measures. The presentation will include an overview of how I use what I term “intrusive communication” (email and pages) to keep students engaged in the course. Online students can often feel disengaged, so I use the available means of personal communication to reach out to students, both as a class and individually. I use Friday “look ahead” emails to get students prepared for the upcoming week, and I send reminders twice a week as checkpoints. I employ this approach in all of my online courses (condensed and full length) as well as my face-to-face courses. I have found that these emails help to keep not only the students, but also myself, on track in each course. Additionally, I will explain some other strategies that I used to keep students engaged in the course.

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Improving student writing with VoiceThread

Presenters: Gina Yanuzzi & Michelle Harkins, Rowan College at Burlington County

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom | Location: South BC

We will demonstrate how VoiceThread technology can aid in multiple stages of the writing process to engage students on individual and small group levels. Writing activities using VoiceThread include, but are not limited to, pre-writing, conversation for the purpose of writing, essay strategizing, and peer or self editing. An overview of this technology and the ways in which it aids in the various steps of the writing process from brainstorming, to prewriting, and final revisions will be discussed and demonstrated. By using VoiceThread technology, we demonstrate that students are better motivated and able to translate their thoughts into written text, eventually leading up to a structured essay response. At the end of this presentation, instructors will be better equipped to discuss and effectively instruct on drafting techniques, writing style, and peer-editing in our tech-driven world.

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Formative assessment: how can we effectively monitor student progress?

Moderator: Dana Pilla, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: Executive Meeting Room

While traditional classroom courses give professors ample time and opportunity to spontaneously assess student progress, either through informal discussion, quizzes or summative assessments, the same course online presents challenges. Because there is little to no live interaction, formative assessment must be deliberate and planned, otherwise it may be forgotten. What are some ways in which we assess students as they move along online courses? How can we check for comprehension along the way? What are some tools in the LMS (in this case, Sakai) that make formative assessment easy to integrate? Let’s discuss how we chunk up our materials and assessments in online courses to move our students forward in their learning and to keep them engaged.

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Session 5: 11:35-12:05

Course design for all learners: four tips to make your course more accessible

Presenter: Christie DeCarolis, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: Multipurpose Room

*Note: this is a change from the originally-listed presentation that appears on print materials.

Can students with vision or hearing impairments use the materials you’ve posted online? What is Universal Design and how can it be used to make your online course materials more usable for all of your students? This presentation will discuss why accessibility and Universal Design are important for your online courses. It will review four tips to make your course materials more accessible to learners of all abilities moving forward.

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ExamSoft: An online exam assessment platform for faculty and students

Presenters: Jeanann Coppola & Peg Avallone, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom | Location: South BC

ExamSoft is an online examination platform with several benefits for faculty, students, and programs across several disciplines not typically found using the antiquated Scantron or pencil and paper format. This presentation will introduce this new online exam platform and how faculty can develop examinations that simulate terminal licensing examinations, including the National Council Licensure Exam- RN (NCLEX-RN) or Bar Examination. This presentation will cover how to develop enhanced assessments using multi-modal and alternative questions; streamline questions using specific categories; construct and post an exam with various security features to help maintain exam integrity; and use exam analytics to identify the quality of the exam and individual questions, as well as measure performance at a granular level to help achieve programmatic success. A discussion of how the strengths and opportunities report (S and O), created at the close of each exam, offers both students and faculty real-time feedback pinpointing areas needing improvement and supports student remediation with self-directed learning. Lastly, this presentation will outline how this online platform can be used for programmatic accreditation purposes by revealing how it is able to track individual and aggregate learning data to show proof of meeting both learning essential to accrediting bodies.

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Finding Open Educational Resources (OER)

Moderators: Tracie Paulson & Zara Wilkinson, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom or Teaching online and hybrid learning Roundtable discussion | Location: Executive Meeting Room

According to Rutgers Libraries, “Open educational resources (OER) are any learning or teaching resources that are available at little or no cost.” As textbook prices continue to climb, many instructors are exploring OER options to make course materials more accessible for students. But how can you find quality resources? How do students respond to using OER? This roundtable discussion will provide faculty an opportunity to discuss their successes and challenges with OER.

Tracie Paulson has implemented an OER textbook and online homework program in her introductory biology courses.. Zara Wilkinson serves as a library liaison and can answer attendee questions on finding Open Educational Resources.

OER Resources


Session 6: 12:10-12:40

All together now: Building learning communities in online classrooms

Presenter: Brynn Kairis, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: Multipurpose Room

Community is a cornerstone of the composition classroom. Discussing personal experiences with writing often puts one in a vulnerable place; teachers and students must build a community based on trust and understanding to create a space where students feel comfortable sharing their triumphs and failures when it comes to writing. Building a learning community presents challenges in a physical classroom, but the task faces even more obstacles when designing an online course.

This presentation discusses the challenges faced when creating online versions of a course that depends heavily on community and collaboration to achieve learning goals. It traces the development of online versions of English Composition at Rutgers-Camden, discussing strategies for encouraging student engagement and community building, focusing on the use of digital tools like VoiceThread and forum posts. Finally, it aims to start a conversation, inviting attendees to share their own concerns, questions, and experiences building online learning communities.

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Pre- and post-lesson polling to demystify complex subjects

Presenter: Steve Friedell, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Technology in the face-to-face classroom | Location: South BC

Admiralty law often differs from land-based law in some unexpected ways. Someone once said that there is no simple question about admiralty law to which there is not a long, complex, and uncertain answer. In this session, I’ll present my experiences with introducing real-time polling to the classroom, using Socrative. By quizzing students before and after presenting a topic, I hope to increase their comfort with this complexity.

Online discussions: getting past post once, reply twice

Moderators: Carol Wallinger & Christie DeCarolis, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: Executive Meeting Room

You’ve seen them before: the typical instructions for online discussions, asking students to post once and reply twice. Does this foster authentic engagement in online courses? How can we design discussions so they motivate students to participate meaningfully? We’ll share our own past experiences as well as new ideas to increase engagement. Join us to brainstorm different approaches to your online discussions.

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Lunch: 12:45-1:45

Location: Campus Center Multi-Purpose Room


From the other side: students dish on online learning (1:00-1:30)

Student Panel

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: Multipurpose Room

In this panel session, held over lunch, we’ll hear the student perspective on online learning here at Rutgers University–Camden. Students will share what they like about taking online classes, the problems they’ve faced, and what professors can do to help them succeed.

Session 7: 1:50-2:20

Using student discussion starters to increase engagement

Presenter: Kathleen Immordino, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: South BC

One of the challenges of online teaching is getting students to engage in discussions beyond just responding to a discussion question. One strategy is to have students function as “Discussion Starters” by allowing them to find, select, and post a video or article of their choice that relates to the course topic and engage their classmates in a discussion. The process of allowing them to choose the content creates enthusiasm and adds to the instructor’s knowledge as we see the connections they perceive and develop.

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Teaching in two places at once

Presenter: Sunil Shende, Rutgers University–Camden

Track: Teaching online or hybrid courses | Location: Executive Meeting Room

For the past couple of years, I have taught two Computer Science courses taken by graduate students simultaneously on the Camden and New Brunswick campuses. I’d like to present my experiences with a hybrid format that, for lack of a better description, could be called “synchronous online.” Briefly, I use a video conferencing tool called GoToMeeting over a projector-connected laptop, along with a tablet (an iPad) that enables live coding demonstrations, interactive discussions, and participative screen sharing alongside iPad apps like Explain Everything and GoodNotes for electronic whiteboard content and presentations. Recordings of class sessions, other offline media content, and assessment tools are managed using a Sakai site for the course.

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Tech Lightning Rounds: 2:25-3:30

Location: Multipurpose Room

What are tech lightning rounds?

The tech lightning rounds provide an opportunity for you to learn how to use a specific technology. There will be seven “stations” set up in the Multipurpose Room. Each station will feature a different technology. At each station, you’ll see a ten-minute tutorial of how to use the demonstrated technology and in many cases, hands-on opportunities to try it. Please bring a device (laptop or tablet) to the lightning rounds, if possible! After each ten-minute round, you can move to a new station. There will be five 10-minute lightning rounds for seven stations, so choose which technologies you’d like to learn most.

Stations and demonstrated technologies

Station Technology Demonstrator(s)
1 Adobe Spark video Wanda Williams
2 Kahoot (quizzing app) Matthew Raden
3 Interactive Lessons pages in Sakai Dana Pilla
4 Padlet Tracie Paulson
5 Feedback in Canvas Jennifer Sedlock &
Anna Wright
6 Powtoon videos Lindsay Gunther
7 Google Slides Allyson Meloni Scavuzzo

Station descriptions

1. Adobe Spark video: This station will demonstrate how to create a short video using Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark is a quick and easy tool that allows you to create video with audio narration. Instructors can use Spark to create short lecture videos, or students can use Spark to create projects. Sign up for an Adobe Spark account at http://spark.adobe.com if you’d like to create your own video.

2. Kahoot: This station will demonstrate how to create and administer a Kahoot quiz. Kahoot allows you to create short quizzes online. Students can participate in these quizzes competitively using mobile devices or laptops. Bring your device to participate in a quiz!

3. Interactive Lessons pages in Sakai: Interested in supplementing your course with more diverse online materials? This station will demonstrate how you can create multimedia, interactive pages in Sakai. Move beyond the Resources folder and guide your students through material using Sakai’s Lessons pages.

4. Padlet: Padlet lets you create a virtual bulletin board where your students can add text, images, files, and video using virtual post-its. Padlet can allow for “liking,” “upvoting,” and commenting, if you’d like to turn on those features. This demonstration will show you how to create a Padlet and try posting to a Padlet yourself!

5. Feedback in Canvas: This station will demonstrate how instructors can assess student work using the SpeedGrader tool in Canvas. This tool allows instructors to provide valuable feedback that can increase student comprehension and engagement, as well as add a human element to the online learning experience.

6. Powtoon videos: This station will demonstrate how instructors and students can create a short video using PowToon. PowToon is an animated video software tool that is provided to all students and instructors by Rutgers University at no charge! Accessing PowToon through Rutgers University’s Kaltura account, allows instructors and students the option to create videos from scratch or by using a supplied template. Note: for users outside of Rutgers University, Powtoon does have limited free options, as well as individual pricing options.

7. Google Slides: This station will focus on the use of Google Slides. Google Slides provides a venue for creating interactive presentations for use in the face to face or online classroom. The demonstration will focus on how to set up a basic presentation, how to change layouts and backgrounds to increase visual appeal and how to add media (for example, videos) to a presentation.

Hosted by Instructional Design & Technology at Rutgers–Camden
(856) 225-6090 • idt@camden.rutgers.edu