Technology Integration: Faculty Spotlight
Dr. Melissa Holland
“I teach in and oversee the curriculum for the online MS in Clinical Research (MSCR) program in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (CPHS). We have been a 100% online program since 2014; and, are the only online program within CPHS. Technology is key to staying connected to our students in our online MSCR classes. Here are some of the technologies we use in our program:
· Blackboard Collaborate
· Google Drive, Docs, Slides, and Forms
· Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor
Tegrity allows us to create short instructional videos for our students. We are able to present slides on course topics or review topics related to assignments. We can share our screen and Tegrity allows us to record our video; or, only our voice recording while doing so. Tegrity videos ensure student-to-instructor and student-to-content interaction within our online classes.
Blackboard Collaborate is utilized for virtual classroom events with students. Collaborate allows us to conduct interactive sessions such as Jeopardy reviews or student presentations. For Jeopardy, students are able to participate actively and respond. Students can raise their virtual hand to be the first to answer for a selected topic. It works best when you have assistance from a moderator to determine who is first to respond. For presentations, the students are able to upload their slides and present to faculty or fellow students. Having the ability to record these sessions is important to an online program because everyone has different schedules, so even if they cannot attend, they can view the session at a time convenient for them. Blackboard Collaborate also ensures student-to-instructor, student-to-student, and student-to-content interaction within our online classes.
I also use Windows Movie Maker to create short introduction videos so the students see my face weekly. This allows them to feel more connected to me as their course instructor. This also allows for student-to-instructor interaction within my classes. I typically upload these videos to YouTube and link within my classes.
Google forms can be utilized to create surveys for courses, like introductory course surveys. Google docs is key to all of our classes. Students can work simultaneously on their assignments and projects for dedicated group work, which is a must in online classes where student-to-student interaction is key. Most students use Google docs and Google slides for the capstone clinical research project for our MSCR program as they typically work in a group of 2–3 students. They can work simultaneously on the project deliverables and also share via Google drive with faculty advisors for review. The commenting and suggesting with Google docs, which tracks changes, allows students and faculty to see what revisions are needed from draft to draft. You can also look back at the history of the revisions from past drafts.
Another great technology utilized within our MSCR program is Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor. When we transitioned our program from seated to online, we had great concerns for ensuring the academic integrity of our program. Respondus Lockdown Browser locks a student’s computer during assessments (i.e. exams) and prevents them from navigating to outside sites. Respondus Monitor records the student while he/she is taking the exam; and, requires the student to show some form of identification (i.e. student ID or driver’s license) prior to beginning the exam to confirm their identity. Respondus Monitor also requires the students to perform an environment check prior to beginning the exam. They must show their work space and overall environment to ensure no resources are being used for an exam if the instructor does not want any notes or textbooks used. The instructor is able to review thumbnail pictures of the video and select specific parts of the video for review. It gives us great peace of mind to have this technology to ensure we have the same level of academic integrity as we did when we were a seated program.
Technology is ever changing. We are always trying to ensure we stay up-to-date on the latest technologies to better serve our students!”-Dr. Melissa Holland