EDLI Newsletter 6 – November 2021

General Team Update

The EDLI Team has been working this month on growing our initiatives underway, with significant effort going towards data collection in the multimodal classrooms, mid-semester feedback, and software evaluation. These three projects showcase our goals of connecting students, faculty, and administration to improve the overall learning experience. The next stage for most of these initiatives will be determining how to use the data to iterate upon current policy and learning environment and then how to normalize that process of data collection and iteration. Additional projects from this month have been centered around building collaborations and working with partners to build multipronged solutions to institutional problems as with the case of technology availability for students.

Multimodal Classroom Project 

This month, EDLI team members, in collaboration with MSU IT colleagues, have launched the second round of surveying for faculty, teaching/learning assistants, and students involved in the dedicated multimodal classrooms and other spaces on campus. For faculty that incorporated the use of live-streaming technologies (e.g., Zoom) in combination with the conventional classroom settings to accommodate both in-person and remote students, it is essential to understand the effectiveness of the technologies equipped (e.g., multimedia, classroom settings) and teaching strategies used (e.g., course design) that promote student engagement necessary for effective learning. Hence, the surveys for faculty and teaching/learning assistants aim at assessing their perceptions of students’ behavioral and emotional engagement across different modalities (in-person and online). Further, the survey for students includes measures of their sense of relatedness to the instructors and peers. In addition, through the surveys, the faculty, teaching/learning assistants, and students reflect on their experiences this semester and provide opinions on what key challenges or concerns they still face or perceive, and what possible changes could be made to achieve a more effective future teaching or learning experience. 

Throughout this semester, the team has conducted observations both inside the classrooms and in the online class sessions, to gather first-hand information about how faculty structured their learning activities across different modalities (in-person and online), what worked well or not so well in terms of the technologies or classroom settings, and how students engaged or disengaged in the learning activities. So far, the team has completed and compiled field notes for eleven observations. 

The team is currently scheduling and conducting interviews with faculty, seeking their feedback, recommendations, and thoughts on multimodal teaching and relevant technologies. In summary, the triangulation of data sources (first and second rounds of surveys for different populations, faculty interviews, and observations) could facilitate us to develop comprehensive insights on the teaching, learning, and technological aspects of the multimodal classrooms. We will use the findings to develop guidelines and recommendations for multimodal teaching through the use of technologies, grant applications, and to advance MSU’s teaching and learning mission. (Contact: Jun and Shannon)

EDLI mid-semester course student feedback survey 

Following the statistical analyses on the EDLI mid-semester course student feedback survey instrument, we reached out to the faculty involved (specifically, the instructors A, B, C, D, and E) and inquired each faculty member about if they could recall what, if any, changes they made to specific courses or to their instructional practices after implementing the EDLI mid-semester student feedback survey  (specifically in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021). Instructors C and D responded to our questions.

Both instructors indicated that they used the findings from the mid-semester student feedback surveys to inform their teaching. Instructor C viewed the ratings received from the survey responses as satisfactory, therefore did not introduce any changes during the remainder of the semester. Instructor D, based on the feedback received from the mid-semester survey, adjusted the due dates of assignments for international students during the remainder of the semester. 

As highlighted in yellow, for instructor C, the midterm and end-of-semester SIRS average instructor ratings were close (3.96 vs. 4.02). 

As highlighted in green, for instructor D that implemented an adjustment after receiving the mid-semester student feedback, the end-of-semester SIRS average instructor rating (4.23) was about 6.55% higher than the midterm rating (3.97). 

Based on these findings and the results from the statistical analyses as detailed in the previous newsletters, it will be meaningful to identify the faculty and courses that may benefit from the use of the EDLI mid-semester student feedback survey, and to expand the use of the tool to assist with their teaching needs. (Contact: Jun and Jeremy)

Software/Tool Evaluation

This project continues in two distinct areas, work with faculty and students in a classroom setting to evaluate software in use, and work to identify the data points and processes for broader adoption and maintenance of such software. 

Software Use Evaluation

In serving as an interface between faculty, students, and central administration, one clear service is helping faculty determine the efficacy of a new technology in the classroom, helping the faculty to leverage the appropriate pedagogical techniques, conveying the collected data and analysis to central administration, and facilitating a discussion between faculty and administration about the possibility of central support. This semester, EDLI helped a collaboration between the MSU Library, Department of Physiology and the College of Nursing evaluate a pilot of Playposit, an interactive web-based video platform that allows educators to provide formative assessment both inside and outside the classroom. 

Jun, in collaboration with Chris Shaltry at the Department of Physiology and Andy Greger at the College of Nursing, designed and conducted the evaluation of PlayPosit. This semester, PlayPosit has been incorporated into five courses across three different subject areas (physiology, statistics, and nursing). This evaluation project is centered on the following key questions: 

  • Does the use of this tool influence student engagement?  How?
  • In what ways does the use of PlayPosit influence student motivation?
  • In what ways does the use of PlayPosit enrich learning experiences in the classroom?

Based on 807 student responses collected from anonymous surveys containing both quantitative measures and open-ended questions, a presentation summarizing the results of this work is available

Innovation and Sunset Pathways

Scott and Jessica have continued to work on identifying the data points needed to provide a decision-making process for adopting and maintaining new software, or for choosing to start to sunset a certain piece of software. This project builds off the ongoing work that has been collaboratively done by members of the EDLI team, MSU IT, and the Hub. Two example projects have been identified (Credly and Turnitin) that we will be working on testing our evaluation process on during the spring semester.

The EDLI team is currently working to facilitate the next-step conversations between EDLI, the respective academic departments, and the MSU central administration regarding possibilities for further support. (Contact: Jun, Scott, and Jessica)

Projects Engaging Campus Collaborators 

Technology Loan Program: 

As the university expands the number and types of digital and blended analog learning approaches, it is important that students have access to technology that allows their active engagement and success in those experiences. Similarly, it is important that the university has some safety nets to help students deal with unexpected events that leave them without access unexpectedly.  The library technology loan program brings together the APUE, MSU Library, and Central IT together along with other stakeholders to discuss how to set up an ecosystem to best allow students to engage with these digital and physical educational experiences. To date the three components identified that will promote this are 1) an updated laptop requirement description 2) a set of recommendations for purchase and warranty obtainable through the MSU Computer Store and 3) a technology loan program.

EDLI Fellows Update


One of the MATH 101 faculty has asked for help in connecting student success to classroom practices. EDLI helped in the course’s redesign from in-person to online at the start of the pandemic. The course has shown some indication of increased learning outcomes; however other metrics of student success like rates of drops, failures, and withdrawals have increased. This split between student learning and student success has been documented in the literature. Initial examination of the course indicates a lack of engagement in the course materials. One intervention currently being discussed is a “high touch” ULA or TA for the section that will help to initiate contact between the instructor and the absent student. (Contact: Stephen and Jun)


Ashby, J., Sadera, W. A., & McNary, S. W. (2011). Comparing student success between developmental math courses offered online, blended, and face-to-face. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 10(3), 128-140.


Continuing our work with the BioSci program, we spent the month collecting data from evaluation surveys and seeking IRB approval for the next round of evaluation. Preliminary impressions from our faculty colleagues indicated potentially not much difference in the exam scores between her section and other sections of the course offered by different instructors. There was a concern that their implementation of equitable grading practices would reduce student participation in activities such as homework quizzes that would then impact their performance on exams. However, that has not been the case. We are now in the process of seeking IRB approval to explore how their grades compare between semesters they taught with and without equitable grading practices in place. (Contact: Jun and Stephen)

Jun Fu

Dr. Jun Fu joined the EDLI Team from Oklahoma State University, where she earned a PhD in Educational Psychology and served as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Aviation. Dr. Fu specializes in program evaluation, research and assessment for the EDLI team.