General Team Update
The EDLI Team has been working 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. We continue to also work with individual faculty to identify interactions between student success and learning in the classroom.
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)
Multimodal Classroom Project
In December 2021, EDLI and MSU IT colleagues launched the second round of surveying for faculty, teaching/learning assistants, and students in multimodal courses. For faculty that used live-streaming technologies (e.g., Zoom) in the classroom to accommodate both in-person and remote students, it is essential to understand the effectiveness of the technologies (e.g., multimedia, classroom settings) and teaching strategies used in promoting student engagement and learning. Hence, the surveys for faculty and assistants assess their perceptions of students’ behavioral and emotional engagement across different modalities. Further, the survey for students includes their sense of relatedness to the instructors and peers. In addition, participants reflect on their experiences this semester and provide opinions on what key challenges or concerns they still face or perceive, and what changes could be made to achieve a more effective future teaching or learning experience.
Throughout the fall 2021 semester, the team 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 also conducted 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: Caitlin, Jun, and Shannon)
Multimodal Classroom Project Grant
We have submitted an Intent to Apply form for the Spencer Foundation large education research grant to expand our multimodal classroom research (described above). The full grant will be submitted in February and we will apply for up to $375,000 to support further research in student learning and faculty satisfaction with multimodal classroom designs and teaching strategies.
This project continues in two distinct areas: working with faculty and students in a classroom setting to evaluate software in use, and working 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. In the fall 2021 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. PlayPosit was incorporated into five courses across three different subject areas (physiology, statistics, and nursing). This evaluation project was 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 preliminary results of this work is available. (Contact: Jun, Stephen, and Scott)
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: Scott, Jun, 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 will provide the funds to purchase the 20 laptops that the MSU Library will manage using their circulation system. Jessica has met with the circulation librarians to look at the workflow and identify issues. Stephen will be meeting with members of the APUE to define the scope of eligible students for this pilot to ensure the program is not overextended and is reaching populations with the most need. IT will be procuring and preparing the devices before and in between uses. (Contact: Stephen, Jessica, and Scott)
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 months 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)
Additional Grant Submission
In addition to the Spencer Foundation grant, EDLI is preparing a submission for the end of January to the NSF DEI COVID Challenge. The submission will frame EDLI as a solution for improving digital learning for at-risk populations in STEM and will showcase EDLI’s work with individual faculty such as student success in math, mid-semester evaluation, and the collaborative laptop loan project.