OLC Conference | Immersive Learning Institute

Augmented reality and virtual reality have been actively implemented in the classroom as innovative ways to engage students. Immersive learning is one of the fasted growing trends in education today. The 2018 OLC Accelerate conference provides a great opportunity for educators to discover such new technologies, tools, and trends in higher education. I presented at the conference and shared some insights on how to foster AR/VR community through the Immersive learning Institute. In Spring 2018, we hosted our first cohort for Immersive Learning Institute (ILI) with a group of adventurous faculty. Through the ILI, we gained valuable experiences on how to introduce AR/VR/MR/XR to faculty and engage them to create and integrate the immersive technologies into meaningful classroom activities.

eCampus is pleased to offer our Spring 2019 Immersive Learning Institute. The institute will focus on innovative Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) technologies and pedagogies that create immersive learning opportunities to improve students’ engagement and critical thinking. The goal of the program is to provide a focused and supportive opportunity for faculty to explore AR/VR technologies and work closely with the AR/VR Specialist to create immersive learning activities for their courses. Upon successful completion of all components, participants will receive a badge and $500 professional development funds. Review the entire program description for complete program requirements and additional details. Submit your proposal online by January 17, 2019.


Sharing Clickers at DET/CHE

The iClicker student response system in use at SJSU.

The iClicker student response system in use at SJSU.

The use of clickers for classroom polling continues to increase at SJSU with more than 6000 students using the student response system in their classes this semester. After collecting data from iClicker Campus analytics, Qualtrics surveys and classroom meetings with instructors, I presented results at the DET/CHE annual meeting. In longhand, that’s Directors of Educational Technology in California Higher Education (whew, good acronym).

Klaus Trilck, eCampus Instructional Designer, presenting at the DET/CHE annual meeting

Klaus Trilck, eCampus Instructional Designer, presenting at the DET/CHE annual meeting.

Presenting and sharing the SJSU “clicker experience” at DET/CHE had the benefit of receiving feedback, experiences and insights from colleagues at other institutions. Although SJSU is licensed for iClicker, this presentation included an open discussion regarding a variety of student response systems with varying features, limitations and relevance.

Professor Kourosh Youssefi uses iClicker with over 500 students in his Mechanical Engineering classes.

Professor Kourosh Youssefi uses iClicker with over 500 students in his Mechanical Engineering classes.

The SJSU experience showed that iClicker:
• Supports a spectrum of disciplines.
• Supports all class sizes, from less than 25 to more than 200 students.
• Involves all student classifications from frosh through grads.
• Engages all students.
• Encourages active learning.

Students use their own devices when taking polls with iClicker in Professor Gregory Hanle’s Economics class.

Students use their own devices when taking polls with iClicker in Professor Gregory Hanle’s Economics class.

Here’s a brief sample from the survey of faculty currently using iClicker in their classes:

Q: Why use iClickers?
A. To improve student interaction/participation and to assess student’s understanding of course content.

Q: How does the use of iClickers improve the classroom experience?
A. Clickers get students involved and learning and applying learning during class opposed to just taking notes and then learning the material later.

Q: How has the use of iClickers affected your teaching?
A. It helps me catch questions and confusions right away, rather than letting them linger. I can go over material again and make sure that everyone has fully understood the topic/concept before moving on.

Q: How does the use of iClickers improve your classroom experience?
A1. Class time is livelier.
A2. Motivates students to perform well.
A3. Keeps students alert and involved.

Q: What advice would you give faculty considering the use of iClickers in their class?
A1. Utilize eCampus program development staff – they are really helpful and
A2. Use it!

Using it is indeed a good way to see how well iClicker can work in your class. eCampus provides support and presents workshops. Learn more at sjsu.edu/ecampus.

Student Profile: Giri and Vaibhav present their Masters Project

  (Girivardhan Jigajinni- Top) (Vaibhav Kanchan-Bottom)

Girivardhan Jigajinni and Vaibhav Kanchan are the student assistants who in charge of helping the SJSU community with anything and everything eCampus related. Both are graduating this December with Masters in Electrical Engineering and presented their Masters Project in the Ballroom of the Student Union on Oct. 30th. Girivardhan better known as ‘Giri’ in the office has worked on his Masters Project for the past two semesters. His project, ‘Design and Analysis of Edge Computing in High-Speed Networks’ focused on cloud network and reducing lag. Giri says, “This network is used to perform computation at the “Edge” of cloud network thereby increasing computational speed, reducing data center loads and decreasing latency.  Amazon Web services, a cloud-based software was used to perform analysis of the packets traveling to the edge and the cloud nodes thereby helping in calculating the latency of the packets. The size of the edge network is optimized, and the computing speed is measured for both cloud and edge nodes”. There were many obstacles Giri and his partner faced while working on the project but they overcame them through wit and determination.  Giri states the hardest part of the project was researching and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. “The research took the longest. It is new tech and we couldn’t find proper simulation tools to analyze this technology”, Giri stated. With graduation creeping up he says he is glad he got to work on a project like this. He states, “I got to learn about new tech which is trending in the new market. It is exciting to be a part of it”.

Vaibhav’s project, ‘Study of Quantization & Bit-Width Augmentation for DNN on FPGA’ focuses on, “Neural Network models designed to target hardware model (FPGA), engineered to maximize precision and throughput while lessening energy and cost, which demonstrates the feasibility of adoption”, Vaibhav states. He goes on to say, “Human Brain and Machines work in different ways. Artificial Intelligence has been proving its worth in this industry for a decade now and would be a prominent aspect of the future. Data Processing rate, Power consumption, Computation needs, and Memory Maps have significantly increased”. Vaibhav told me it took him two semesters including summer break to complete the project. The most challenging part of the project for him was the Algorithm Definition and Hardware realization. He cheerfully said, “I am a thrill and happy of the creative efforts and the hard work we did”.

We here at eCampus are incredibly proud of our students assistants for continuing to be innovators and dedicated students in their field. Stop by IRC-206, M-F, 9AM-5PM for any and all eCampus related questions.

Conference Discovery Session: Integrating 360 Content With Instruction

Bethany presenting at table

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, winter is generally a good time for eCampus staff to focus on their own professional development.  I was delighted to be able to attend the Online Learning Consortium’s Accelerate 2018 Conference in Orlando, Florida. This was my first time at this enormous national convention and it was a whirlwind of learning and networking! There were over 500 presenters, and I was fortunate to be among those chosen to do a table-top interactive presentation. My topic was on Integrating 360 Content with Instruction, and for 45 minutes I went through some of the basic concepts, terminology, possibilities and pitfalls of using Canvas to share 360 content.

I had several mobile devices, two tablets, a couple Samsung phones, a Samsung 360 gear camera, and two Samsung Gear360 headsets along with a Google Cardboard, so that participants could view 360 content in multiple ways.  I also created a public Canvas course, Integrating 360 with Instruction!, participants could access via a QR code or bit.ly link so that participants could see how the content could be presented in Canvas. In particular, I strongly encouraged them to visit the course on multiple devices, just like their students would, to really get a feel for the challenges and opportunities this kind of technology presents.

I also attended many excellent lectures and discussions with my peers from all over the country. I took a lot of notes that I shared with my eCampus team, and I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned with faculty!

The Future Present: Rockcliffe University Consortium Conference November 2018

Winter for eCampus staff is a great time to catch up on our own professional development, and earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend this conference in San Francisco with a variety of participants who are involved using virtual worlds in education. One the best things about this conference was the smaller size compared to other ones I’ve attended. It was interactive too, we use a conference app to communicate and a communal Padlet for reflection on the sessions. Basically, it was like a two day breakout session with passionate and creative educational professionals, and I got to meet and network with old friends and new!

I was delighted to be able to finally meet (in-person) my mentor and the Director of the Community Virtual Library, Dr. Valerie Hill. I also got to meet the CVL’s Co-Director, Alyce Dunavant-Jones who just graduated from SJSU’s MLIS program that is also connected with CVL. (In fact, Alyce also posted about the event at the SJSU School of Information blog.)  I met Val and Alyce last year at the OpenSim Community Conference and I’m delighted to be co-presenting with Val for the same conference next week!

In addition to learning from a variety of different sessions, I loved getting to know some of the amazing instructional design team from University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. I also got the chance to  meet and extensively mingle with the leadership of Rockcliffe University Consortium who sponsor many of the conferences related to virtual worlds and education. As with Valerie and Alyce, some of these people I’ve met in-world at one event or another, and meeting in-person was just like meeting an old friend!

I also met Renne Emiko Brock who teaches multimedia studies at Peninsula College in Washington and we immediately “clicked”. She has worked with Valerie before, and I’ve seen her present in-world on several occasions. I immediately recognized her because she looks the same as her avatar! Before the group dinner together on the second night, Renne, Val, and I began talking about me making a visit to Washington this summer to visit both of them, and for the three of us to co-present on our overlapping projects at one or more conferences in 2019. So here’s to the authenticity of in-world relationships, and some exciting times ahead in virtual worlds and education!