Good recent research suggests that repeated testing enhances learning. How can I best incorporate those important findings into my courses? As a beginning, I have revisited a piece of software,StarQuiz, (originally developed by a high school student) that has proven useful and reliable since I discovered it about 10 years ago. There is something comforting about using a piece of software for almost 15 years and across many evolving operating systems without a glitch.
I am considering incorporating it into my PSY205 “Statistics and Experimental Design Course” —if the students can demonstrate to methat it enhances their mastery of the course’s material. I welcome student feedback—and suggestions from other readers of software they consider better.
To try it enter your name—you need not enter your email address. If a “David” has already tried it, enter a different name (e.g. Voldemoort).
Here is a link to one of the two practice tests I shared with students in my class today. I encouraged students to collaborate, use notes, and be mutually supportive of each other in the process.
Here is a link to a second example which I introduced in my class.
And here is a review of SPSS (with bloopers!) Keep those constructive comments coming
(and you international viewers, I welcome your comments, too).
Refreshed, recentered, rejuvenated, and fortified by candy (hence David in Candy Land) from Galena, Illinois, I’m back in the office preparing syllabi. Classes resume tomorrow (Tuesday) for me at Carroll. Even though I am teaching only one class (twice) this semester (“Statistics and Experimental Design“), syllabus creation takes quite a bit of thought and time. I hope to get a lot of writing done this semester. Alas, I say that every semester! Maybe I’ll instead follow up this statistical investigation of Candy Land🙂
It was a foggy 5:30 a.m. morning when I let the Newf out for her morning “duties.” One of many good reasons for driving carefully to Carroll this Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. I surely would NOT like to hit another deer—nor would Santa or my car.
I can still see fog outside my Rankin classroom. Thirty-seven years ago I was in this very building giving a sample lecture illustrating how I teach as part of my two-day job interview to become a faculty member at then-called Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I still have a copy of that presentation—and I remain at my first and only job for better or for worse. So much has changed—buildings, enrollment, technology, the institution’s name, the organizational structure. I feel obligated to protect traditions and overriding institutional historical values, but there are fewer and fewer here that remember them. So many of my former mentoring faculty and staff friends have moved on through retirement or from life. I miss their wisdom but try to preserve their gifts to Carroll.
And here I sit proctoring an 8:00 a.m.Saturday morning final exam covering “Statistics and Experimental Design” taken by students several of whose relatives (aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters) were former students or advisees of mine.
There are times when they look and behave very young and I recognize that I am 65-years old. Many other times they keep me young with their energy, willingness to learn, and playfulness. I feel that way especially in the present of my student research assistants—four of whom are graduating this year.
It has been a rough semester. I continue to find challenging teaching three consecutive seventy-minute courses in a row with 10 minute breaks even when two of the courses are the same. And this year I am co-chairing the Planning and Budget Committee (with a delightful colleague and poet BJ Best).
It has been the Dickens of a task: The Wurst of Times and the Best of Times. Younger colleagues like BJ, though, and the fewer and fewer remaining colleagues from my past reinforce my willingness to remain here and make a difference before departing.
The chimes just sounded. 10:00 a.m. Eight students remaining. Very good students among which several, should they wish, might join Dr. Simpson’s Neighborhood as student research assistants.
4 years ago, I anxiously started my career as a Psychology Research Assistant for none other than the “psychology professor with the big beard”, Dr. David Simpson. Our first encounter was delayed because after receiving my assignment and seeing his picture, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work for him, what a typical precocious freshman I was! But after meeting him and learned the ropes from the God-like junior and sophomores, I finally began to feel comfortable in Dr. Simpson’s neighborhood. Looking back, I can hardly believe how much has changed. Time has transformed me, well, all of us really. Now sitting in the office, reflecting on my future after Carroll in December, I’m nostalgic for those years. From silly videos and webcasts, to struggling through SPSS for the first time, to Survey Monkey, and our pilot course in global connections through technology, our accomplishments are innumerable.
Dr. Simpson always brings light and fun into the office, even when he has stuff to do. He always makes time to check in with us, or joke about his Chi Tea Lattes, and of course telling stories about dear Robin, the Newf. Working with Dr. S has turned me from a precocious freshman, to a slightly-cynical, confident, and “sassy” senior with smarts to match-or so he lets me think! Our S-Team is my work family and as a senior, it’s especially odd that Phoumany and Ryan aren’t still here working with us as they had for 3 years prior.
Life in David land is a never ending adventure full of learning, fun and family.
My time in Mr. David’s neighborhood has been fairly limited because this is my first year. I had heard through the grapevine that there was a waiting list to become one of Dr. Simpson’s research assistants and somehow I was given one of the positions! At the time of receiving the email I was really excited to be given this opportunity! Then I was on mycarrollu.edu looking up my class schedule and realized he was one of my professors… I was terrified to begin my time as one of his research assistants. I was nervous that he would bring up class work during work and work during class. But we are here now, 2 months later, and I have found out that I can apply what I learn during work to my classwork and vice versa.
I know I haven’t been here as long as many of the other research assistants but I have found this little lab in the back of his office to be very comforting. And the family type relationship I have formed with the other research assistants and Dr. Simpson is something I look forward to keep building.
I started this journey with Dr. Simpson in the spring semester of my sophomore year as one of his Psy205 students. At first, I was extremely intimidated by him because I was still a very shy, insecure underclassman with little self-confidence who had a lot to prove. I have learned that he is not as intimidating once you get to know him, and he is always around to help me out whenever I need it. After taking one of his classes, I was then curious if he had any openings for faculty assistants the following year. Because, I was not very assertive or timely, I waited to contact him the following fall when school began again. Long and behold, I received an email back saying he would enjoy having my help and welcomed me to his team.
After being shown the ropes from some helpful upperclassmen, I have grown to be quite comfortable when working in the office. I now also help the newbies get affiliated and comfortable with working in the office. I enjoy helping/working on ‘up and coming’ projects Dr. Simpson participates in outside of the Carroll environment. All of his projects provide great networking opportunities not only for himself, but for us, the student workers as well. As for the other student assistants, I have become very good friends with all of them. It is as if we are one, big, work family. We get on each other’s nerves at times, but just like family, we make up and act as if nothing ever happened. As I finish up my final year at Carroll, I look back and am so thankful for the opportunity I have been granted to work under Dr. Simpson, but also am grateful I took the initiative to push myself in a direction that will impact my future.
I remember as a freshman being assigned to Dr. Simpson as a faculty assistant for my work-study program. I took a breath and turned the doorknob into Dr. Simpson’s office to meet him for the first time. I was so nervous! What I did not know at the time was that I was walking into a place where I would make some great friendships and learn many things from the one and only Dr. Simpson. Starting off as acquaintances, they soon into my S-team family. See, these people are not just peers, but people who I look up to and admire. For the first few weeks working for Dr. Simpson, I was very quiet and shy, but that quickly changed. I slowly started to open up. Dr. Simpson takes the time to get to know each and every of his faculty assistants. He has challenged me to improve upon my weakness, while encouraging me to use my strengths. Over the years, there have been a multitude of projects that have taught me to collaborate with my fellow workers. Although, we did not always agree, we always ended up finding a solution in the end. One of the most memorable projects that we completed my sophomore year included creating our own course that focused on culture. Along with the project, we were each given an iPad. I loved participating in this project because I desire to become a teacher! Working with Dr. Simpson is a privilege. He involves us in projects and opportunities that are meaningful. I have so many memories that have accumulated over the years. My experiences here have shaped me into not only a better student, but a better person. When I graduate this coming spring, I will greatly miss the times spent in Dr. Simpson’s office.
Looking back on the past four years gives me such a bittersweet feeling. It seems surreal to think that in just a few short months I, along with several of the other S-Team members will be walking across the stage at graduation. I remember walking into Dr. Simpson’s office for the first time, feeling absolutely terrified. This did not last for long though, Dr. Simpson and the other S-Team members very quickly made me feel right at home. The first two years we had the same six S-Team members who quickly became my family away from home.
As an assistant, we always have work to get done, but Dr. Simpson makes sure that we have a fun time doing so. He is always filling us in on the latest stories about Robin, The Newf, his big black Newfoundland “pup”. Dr. Simpson, being an avid reader, makes it a habit of giving away books from his personal collection, so I always have a new book to add to my collection, a recommendation for something new to read, or someone to discuss Harry Potter with. Dr. Simpson has always played the role as a second academic advisor as well, giving advice about classes to take and what adjuncts he is familiar with and recommends. Working for Dr. Simpson has been an amazing experience that has taught me so much that I will take with me when I leave Carroll. Any future students will be extremely lucky to be one of his student assistants.
1. Amy’s List of Top Tools:
“Like Air” that I don’t even think about:
- Google Search
- It goes without saying
- Key to staying in touch with friends
- Mostly for entertainment or “life” tutorials
- Google Chrome
- My primary web browser
- Key for communication
- My home internet is slow. This is a problem, but I also live in rural Wisconsin.
- School is a little better.
Tools I use as a student:
- This should be higher on the list. It may charge you 3 dollars to get it, but it pays for itself.
- Don’t need to carry a notebook because I can take notes on the app, organize and divide by category and class.
- Highlight, type, draw, insert graphs and pictures. download powerpoints.
- This app meets all my needs as a student.
- Google Docs/Drive
- Two words: Group Projects
- Google Translate
- More for Tutoring than Student now that I’ve completed my minor.
- It’s like a dictionary.
- Powerpoint (But I resent that I have to use it)
- Most Professors expect it. You have to use it most of the time
It meets needs but lacks in presentation creativity. You follow a script.
Annie’s List of Top Tools:
Everyday Life (‘Like air’)
- Google Search
- Never use Bing. Google is everything. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I will to be guaranteed to use Google search.
- The website I spend most of my time on anyway…
- The best way to keep in touch with friends, especially as a freshman. I still have a connection to many of my dear friends from high school, and I can see what they are doing, how their college experience is developing, etc.
- Usually, when I do a Google search, the first link I click directs me to Wikipedia. I know Wikipedia is criticized because it is content that can be edited by supposedly ‘anyone.’ However, I dare anyone to make a ridiculous change to a Wikipedia page and watch how quickly it gets deleted. Especially on celebrity or historical figure pages, they do have people who monitor the information put forth on Wikipedia and they will change it if it is inaccurate/crude/stupid.
- Useful as both a tool of entertainment and also highly informative on up-to-date issues (if you look in the right places). They reported on the ebola case in Texas before most other news outlets. However, it has a very heavy liberal bias in most of their articles.
As a College Student
- Microsoft Word
- If there is any software that I feel like an expert it, it is Microsoft Word. Formatting is easy, it looks very professional, and I have never had any issues with lost files or data.
- Google Docs/Drive
- However, it is sometimes easier to use Google Drive, especially if you need to do a group project. It also saves automatically, which is very useful, but it did have a tendency to crash when I used it in high school. I did also occasionally lose information from my Google documents, which is always devastating.
- While doing a group presentation in Google Drive is easy, it is pitifully uncreative and formulaic. Still, it is easy and useful.
- Most professors prohibit using Wikipedia as a source BUT if you scroll to the bottom, you can click the blue citations and find your way to more reliable content. That is an excellent way to locate good material for a research project.
- Easy Bib/Bib Me
- Out of all of the bibliography makers I have used, Easy Bib and Bib Me are the most user friendly and accurate. However, between the two, only Bib Me allows free use of APA formatting. For Easy Bib, you have to subscribe.
- TED Talks
Highly informative, always powerful and revelatory
Jamie’s Top 5 Learning Tools:
- Google (Everything in Google)
As a student, having access to the internet is extremely important and efficient. I really like Google because not only does it provide you with a search engine, it also gives you options to share your research with friends and colleagues via Google Drive or Google Hangouts. In my opinion, everything relating to Google should be wrapped up into one massive tool because if you use one, you’re most likely to use them all, or at least another aspect of it.
I find PowerPoint extremely useful, especially when giving presentations. It is organized serially which is pleasing to the eye and easy to follow. The program, itself, is easy to use and make changes. Also, there are plenty of settings to mess around with when trying to create your own spin on the design of the final project.
I am familiar with WordPress and have used it a little bit with the Writing Center. I think it is a very good tool to use when blogging.
I have a LinkedIn account and I think it is a great tool to use when you want to extend your networking. As students, we want to build connections outside of our university in order to “land a job” or get hired right after graduation. However, it is also useful to stay in contact with former professors and peers, as well. In a way, LinkedIn is a shorthand, quick, glimpse of a resume for potential employers to get a sense of who they are about to incorporate into their companies.
I just really enjoy these. They are short (most of the time) videos about new and innovating ideas and research that people are currently working on. I find them fascinating and extremely helpful. I can draw connections from the content I learn in the classroom setting and then have something to apply that new knowledge to in a modern setting.
*I am also trying out Diigo, I will keep you posted about what I think of it…
Gracie’s Top 5 Tools
“Like air” tools:
- Google Search- Although this tool is very helpful, and I google everything. You never know what can come as result for your search and does not have many credible sources.
- Youtube-. Who doesn’t like to look up cute dog videos? Has many useful tools but can be highly distracting rather quickly
- Facebook- The world’s best way to procrastinate. A way to communicate. Especially with those you do not have daily interactions with.
- Instagram- Documentation of hobbies, likes, and dislikes by photo.
- Skype- I like the idea of skype but I have had been confronted with glitches. I prefer google hangout.
Tools I use as a student (Gracie):
- Google Docs- I find google docs to be extremely useful. It makes group projects and communication between multiple people easy.
- Prezi- Prezi it the cooler version of powerpoint. Most of my newer and younger teachers/professors enjoy prezi over powerpoint.
- Word- I could not get through college without word. I use it daily.
- Powerpoint- Although prezi is extremely eye catching and interesting, powerpoint is very professional and a less distracting visual aid
- Ipad/Apps- My ipad is put to more use that my computer. It has saved me a lot of time and money by just downloading a few apps.
Maxine’s Top Tools:
- iPad and Apps– The iPad along with its many apps appeals to a wide range of individuals. The iPad is easily transportable and has become a common tool used in school settings today. The apps span a multitude of subjects from games, to educational tools. The apps are endless and can aide individuals in everyday life. For example, there is a Common Core app that allows me to easily access the standards on my iPad that I can apply to the lessons that I create.
- Pinterest– Majoring in Educational Studies with a minor in Early Childhood, Pinterest is a great resource for finding ideas that I can incorporate into the classroom. This site, which is also an iPad app, allows me to browse through a plethora of lesson ideas. Within this site/iPad app I can create boards that allow me to organize the ideas that I find.
- Facebook– I have learned that Facebook allows people to communicate as well as collaborate with one another. Especially with the various group pages, communities are able to share common information with each other. For example, I follow a page called Collaboration and Inclusion that allows my classmates as well as other educators to share information that they find on the topic.
- Twitter– Although I do not use Twitter on a daily basis, I hope to utilize it more often. It is a great tool in staying connected to people as well as causes. It provides quick updates as well as links to information that one chooses to follow. I follow the New York Times as well as educational organizations that keep me up to date on the current state of education.
- All Things Google– Google Docs/Drive, Google Search, Google Scholar, Gmail are all tools that I use on a regular basis. Google Docs/Drive is a great tool to use when collaborating with others. When working in groups, this tool allows individuals to work on the project without necessarily meeting. This is important because finding a time when everyone is free to work on a project is difficult. Whenever I want to find information, I use Google Search as a first stop to finding out information quick. When researching, Google Scholar is a great tool to researching higher quality information. For my school email, I use Gmail and I really like formatting.
I hope I never find myself in the position of this monk where I need to call in technical support to figure out how to read an object called a “book.” In my judgment there IS a danger, however, in becoming too dependent on “technology learning tools.” My favorite tools remain a # 2 pencil with an eraser, a Pilot G-2 broad ink pen, some writing paper, and my mind. Nonetheless, this blog post is a heart-felt mini-festschrift to an Internet visionary.
I’ve written numerous blog posts about the tremendous value I find from Jane Hart’s annual identifying top learning tools. I have unbridled admiration and respect for her vision, willingness to share, and thought-provoking ideas. As I wind up (or wind down) my teaching career over the next few years, I am making an intentional, concerted effort to use things I have learned from Jane (directly or indirectly) over the past seven years. Thank you, Comrade and Mentor across the Pond!
- I have incorporated into my Experimental Social Psychology class use of a Ning (or see Julie Lindsay‘s superb utilization of a Ning). If you would like to visit this Ning, especially if you are a former student or classmate of mine or are also an experimental social psychologist, let me know. I would welcome incorporating into the Ning your thoughts about the course or your thoughts about being a social psychologist or using social psychology.
- Jane has influenced (favorably) my extra-classroom university academic life (e.g. I maintain alumni contact through Linkedin, and by my cross-posting my WordPress blogs across Facebook and Twitter.
- Jane’s influence has transformed the way I conduct my committee work (e.g. I recently began a Planning and Budget Committee meeting which I co-chair with a screenflow screencast which explained to colleagues how to access budget and planning information).
- Jane has transformed my daily interaction with my student research assistants who annually pilot test all tools on Jane’s list. Among the tools we currently use or are bench-marking for student learning utility are Google Drive, Class Owl, and WordPress. These research assistants continue to revitalize me with their intelligence, playfulness, eagerness to learn, and youth. I have invited this year’s S -Team to identify what Top Tools they find most valuable and which they’d like to learn. Stay tuned.
It was a reasonably quiet day at Camp Carroll as I returned to campus for the first time since Mothers’ Day (Commencement) . I adjusted my invisibility cloak to semi-permeable but kept the missile defense system active. I spent most of the morning shoveling a path through my office and lab—the piles of papers, notebooks, etc. gave clear evidence that I had departed in a hurry. So THAT is where my Ipod was! Yech—that sandwich needs an escort out to the trash bin.
I dealt with the usual annoyances of computers not working; lack of access to locked rooms and I left today satisfied with having created creating a semblance of order in the office and lab.
How delightful to find summer notes on my door from three alumni! (I’m looking forward to chatting with alumnus Mike Martin about our collaborating on an applied social psychology research project. Thank you, Anita Rodriguez, Julie Sascer-Burgos (PsyD!), and Kristina Dones for stopping by. Of COURSE, I remember all three of you—and yes, I’d love to get together either in person, via Skype, or by phone. Thanks for your kind words—and the memories! Yes, Kristina (class of 2009) I too have many positive memories. Anita and Julie (class of ’82) remember my office being in the basement of Voorhees. Each of these three former students also had classes with my two emeriti colleagues, Ralph and Virginia Parsons
It’s amazing (satisfying) how much I can get done with no interruptions. I chatted with a student who is trying to return to campus after experienced some academic difficulties. I believe that she will be able to graduate and I tried to be be both appropriately supportive and realistic about how she needs to change her behavior to succeed.
I had a brief visit from two colleagues. I shared with Psychology colleague Chris May my excitement about (self) publishing my statistics text and we made a lunch date. Tomorrow I (sigh) have three meetings.
Time to head home and see how the Newf is doing in my absence. She has now been home a week since her week’s hospital stay.