Monthly Archives: November 2017

Socrative

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Submitted by Jeremy Barsell

The technology that I have decided to share is a web-based app called Socrative.  Socrative is an interactive app that allows for teachers to create a virtual learning environment for students.  Similar to how many college courses require the use of a clicker for quizzes, Socrative can serve a similar function.  Teachers can create a live quiz that students log into using a generated classroom code.  Each student would only need to provide their own laptop, computer, or smartphone instead of buying a separate clicker.  Instructors can view responses and statistics in real time, such as seeing how many students gave a certain answer on any given question.  The quizzes can also be set to anonymous responses, which can be a great tool for sharing opinions without outing the student.  On top of quizzes, Socrative has an exit ticket function, where it would be helpful to get every student's response before they leave class, and a group function.  Instructors can create separate groups or rooms to split up students into different activities.  Socrative is free to use, and can be upgraded to a pro account which has more features.  There are also separate logins for instructors and for students.  Overall, I think Socrative is an innovative classroom app that can engage students using technology.

YouTube Channel

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Submitted by Anna Cariello

I created a YouTube channel for Abnormal Psychology, a course I hope to teach at VCU. In order to engage undergraduate students, I plan to begin each lecture with a famous individual who has the mental illness. To peak undergraduate interest in reading each mental illness diagnostic criteria before class, I will choose 3 famous individuals and have students guess which one has the diagnosis. My hope is the activity will spark a class discussion of why each individual does or does not meet criteria. I plan end this activity with a YouTube video of the famous individual describing their experience living with the mental illness. I created YouTube channel of famous individuals with mental illness for this activity. A couple years ago Hollywood start a campaign to decrease the stigma of mental illness which resulted in many individuals sharing their experiences with mental illness. Due to this campaign finding YouTube videos of famous individuals with mental illness was easier than expected. During my search a large number of videos were compilations of individuals with mental illness verse videos of each individual relating their mental illness experience, which was a bit frustrating. Finding YouTube videos of individuals with more stigmatized mental illness was difficult e.g., bipolar disorder. Videos of famous individuals describing their experiences with depression, anxiety and eating disorders were pretty easy to find. Creating a YouTube channel was simple and I think a great addition to the classroom. YouTube videos can be integrated into the classrooms by providing basic information on broad topics as well as sparking class discussions. A caution I posed is ensuring the content in the video is accurate as no guidelines or checks are required by YouTube when posting digital media. In general, it was a good experience and I believe will be a great addition to my future classroom.

 

LINK:

Zotero: More than just a citation tool, a useful way to organize

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Submitted by Richard Henry

<a href="https://www.zotero.org/">Zotero </a>was introduced to me as a very useful citation management tool. It is a free, open-source research tool developed by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media. It can work as a stand-alone program or link directly with your web browser and is capable of handling metadata on books, articles, documents, webpages, artwork, films, sound recordings, legislative bills, court cases, legal statues, and more. The ability to capture information about a wide variety of sources combined with Zotero’s organization tools may have very useful applications when trying to organize course content.

In addition to storing source information and metadata for citations, Zotero has many useful organizational features. This allows users to create different collections (essentially folders for different classes, projects, or content), create notes about items, tag items (up to 6 tags can be assigned with different colors and numbers), you can perform searches through all the items metadata, tags, or content to quickly find relevant saved resources, and you can save searches that will update as new content is added.

Zotero is also a fairly convenient tool. If you sync information from your computer to the servers can be accessed by signing into your account online, even if Zotero is not installed on that computer. You can also share or collaborate items or collections, which might be another useful way to share interesting resources with students.

Learning to use Zotero was not the most intuitive process. I had to watch many how-to videos and tutorials. However, given the organizational possibilities and resource that Zotero appears to be made it very worthwhile.

Moral identities, social anxiety, and academic dishonesty among American college students

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Submitted by Hadley Rahrig

Article Reference

Wowra, S. A. (2007). Moral identities, social anxiety, and academic dishonesty

among American college students. <em>Ethics & Behavior</em>, <em>17</em>, 303-321.

Article DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10508420701519312

Summary of Article

Instructors can employ methods known to minimize cheating behavior, however, little is known about the motivations that influence students to cheat. Wowra (2007) posits that academic integrity is guided by two factors: (a) identification with moral principles and (b) sensitivity to social evaluation. Seventy undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory psychology course completed the Integrity Scale and students scoring in the lower tercile (expedient students) and upper tercile (principled students) were recruited for further evaluation. Participants completed self-report measures of social phobia and antisocial behavior (subscales measuring lying, stealing, cheating, broken promises, and aggression). <em>As expected, students who reported greater relative centrality of moral identity reported fewer instances of academic dishonesty. Results demonstrated a weak but significant positive correlation between cheating behavior and social anxiety. Interestingly, students in the expedient group reported 4 x the number of social phobia symptoms relative to the principled student cohort. </em>

Discussion Questions

  1. The social anxiety hypothesis of academic cheating (Wowra, 2007) states that cheating often occurs when students’ motivations to appear academically competent outweighs personal integrity. From your experience of students, do you think social factors of academic performance influence cheating behaviors? 
  2. Wowra (2007) provides evidence from experiments in which participants often cheated on bogus tests to avoid appearing less than average. As an instructor, how can you minimize preoccupation with appearing less than average for low achieving students? 
  3. What classroom factors do you think influence justification of ethical violations in those with peripheral moral identity?

Fostering Personal & Social Responsibility on College & University Campuses

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Submitted by Anna Cariello

Article Reference

Hersh, R. H., & Schneider, C. G. (2005). Fostering Personal & Social Responsibility on College & University Campuses. <em>Liberal Education</em>, <em>91</em>(3), 6-13.

Article DOI

Summary of Article

Hersh and Schneider (2005) discuss the importance of educating the “whole person”. College and university campuses are urged to integrate personal and social responsibility in curricula to produce empowered, responsible and informed students. The authors call for the formation of these responsibilities through moral obligation to the community and self, as well as the development of virtues including honesty, self-discipline, respect, loyalty and compassion. Fostering high ethical and moral standards was originally a guiding principle for most universities and colleges. As educators began to fear imposing their own values on students teaching shifted to strictly subject matter and analytical skills. Hersh and Schneider (2005) argue academia’s responsibility to not “leave students’ moral and civic socialization to chance”. The authors describe five dimensions of personal and social responsibility and five principles universities can employ to do so. Hersh and Schneider (2005) argue a cultural shift within academia is necessary to educate ‘intentional learners’ committed to individual and social growth’.

Discussion Questions

  1. Hersh and Schneider (2005) relate educators are reluctant to address moral issues with students due to fear of imposing their own issues on students. Are there universal moral standards and/or policies and/or virtues which are crucial to teach university students?
  2. Colby et al. (2003) quoted in Hersh and Schneider (2005) proposes ‘moral and civil messages are unavoidable in higher education’. Do you agree? Are universities strictly secular institutions? If not which moral and civil messages are important for you as a future instructor to incorporate into your class?
  3. Hersh and Shneider (2005) argue ‘faculty are the key to real change’ with regards to personal and social responsibility. Do you agree?

    The authors provide 6 key principles for personal and social responsibility development in college (found on pg 12; first presented by George Kuh (2005)). How would you go about incorporating these principles in your future classrooms?