We start the day with our faculty panel and lightning round presentations. After an informal lunch in the Weigle Information Commons, we offer discussion sessions and workshops. The day concludes with our undergraduate student panel and a reception.
Should I take my organic chemistry exam or accept an invitation for coffee with a Nobel Prize winning scientist? Eric Shiuey C’16 and Evan Selzer C’16 hesitated. Fortunately, their professor Jeffery Saven set them straight. Exam rescheduled!
A few weeks earlier, Eric and Evan had created a video for the course CHEM 251, Principles of Biological Chemistry. They had pored over journal articles on prions, a new class of pathogens discovered by Dr. Prusiner. As part of the assignment, students share links to their videos with the scientists whose work is referenced. Eric and Evan wrote to six scientists and four responded with feedback. One email brought a surprise! An invitation to meet with Dr. Prusiner when he visited Penn this April as part of the Year of Health activities.
We had a great turnout at our Winter Break Lunch for faculty last week. Our guest presenter, Dr. Jung Lee, Professor of Instructional Technology at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, shared a Prezi with ideas on how to incorporate visual literacy expectations into assignments in different disciplines. She gave several examples on what to avoid. I laughed out loud when she shared a graph where a student had sorted three sets of data on student achievement, numbered them and graphed them in comparison to each other – first generating a pattern and then discovering the same! She also shared an amusing photo of an out-of-business interior decoration business with rather unusual color sense.
The faculty attendees had several suggestions for WIC in terms of followup. They wanted to emphasize that visual literacy is gained by revising a graphic after feedback, similar to what happens in writing classes now – with peer review of writing. So why not explore peer review of graphics and presentations – before the presentations are finalized and shared in class? David Toccafondi dug out this great post on value added from February. We talked about the importance of telling stories with our graphics (instead of sprinkling them around wherever there might be some white space), and taking time to move from large chunks of text (that we may feel a bit possessive about after we author them) to visuals that make it easy on the learner. Stay tuned for more blog posts that build on visual design concepts like the alternative resume idea from this summer.
Just ten days left to go before our annual faculty symposium. We have 61 registrations so far from nine of the twelve schools at Penn. Do join us!
The symposium will include a faculty panel, a student panel, lunch and an unconference-style afternoon where participants propose sessions. The faculty panel – with Al Filreis, Shannon Lundeen, Connie Scanga and Peter Struck – promises to be packed full of good ideas. We invite undergraduates to contact us if you might be interested in speaking on the student panel facilitated by Peter Decherney. For the afternoon, we hope to build on our THATCamp@Penn experiences with an “unconference”. Each participant can propose sessions of interest and then we can pick topics as a group. We’re using a Canvas site to coordinate the virtual conversations before and after the event.
We’re glad to announce our program report on the iPads in the Classroom pilot and welcome your comments. Please do share the report widely. We began our pilot at Gadget Day in August 2011and over the past year, we have explored the use of iPads in a variety of classroom, meeting and travel contexts – from pair-share video interviews on identity to capturing conference moments in New York City to collaborative critique of multimedia content. We have learned how to manage the iPads and also begun to understand how to help faculty and students become comfortable with them in an instructional context.
We welcome faculty to reserve the iPads for class projects this fall. Please stop by or email us. Students can take photos, capture videos, share articles, comment on PDFs, explore web resources and use specialized apps. We can add apps by request in case our current list does not meet your needs. We can load the iPads with readings, bookmarks, videos and other relevant content. You can look for apps tailored for your discipline at the app store or ask us for suggestions. The Apps on Tap blog provides a great resource for exploring apps for iPad, as well as other mobile platforms.