Giving Students Access to Film Footage and 3D Models to Enhance the Studio Experience

Matt Nash, Chair of Video and Animation at the College of Art and Design, received a $2,500 Academic Technology Innovation Grant in Fall 2016 for the purchase of professionally-produced data assets for students to use in Digital Filmmaking and Animation and Motion Media courses. The data assets are raw film footage and 3D models, which will be edited and manipulated by students in courses that focus on concepts of 3D animation, editing theory, advanced technical proficiency, audio design and other aspects of post-production.

Two sets of digital assets were purchased through the grant: professional produced film footage ($1,050) and 3D animation models for Autodesk MAYA ($950). The grant award also includes the purchase of portable hard drives ($500), which will store the assets that will be available for check out by faculty and students.   The acquisition of these sets of video assets allows the Animation and Digital Filmmaking faculty to focus on their primary pedagogical goals without the distraction of creating and managing assets that are outside the learning outcomes.

The Teaching and Learning with Technology committee reviewed the proposal and found it aligned with the criteria for grant funding including:

  • Funding request is primarily to purchase hardware or software
  • The hardware or software represents innovative use of technology to advance teaching and learning
  • Priority is given to projects that would have a direct impact on students

If you are interested in applying for an Academic Technology Innovation Grant and would like more information, please email tech.grant@lesley.edu.

Threshold Concepts: Helping Students Break through Learning Barriers

breakthrough-1027872_960_720Many, if not all instructors have seen their students struggle to grasp or even fail to understand a concept important to progressing in a course or subject area. This type of learning block can derail a student’s development and have a ripple effect in their studies, particularly if that concept is a building block for future learning. These types of concepts have been identified by researchers in a UK national research project into qualities of strong teaching and learning in the undergraduate disciplines (Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses). Erik Meyer and Ray Land, economics professors, found that certain concepts were held by economists that are central to mastering their subject, and that such “threshold concepts” had common features. The acquisition of threshold concepts has been likened to passing through a portal, where learners enter new conceptual territory. New ways of thinking or practicing, previously inaccessible, come into view for learners. Without these concepts, which often afford a transformed view of the subject landscape, students often cannot progress.

Further work over the past decade has examined threshold concepts in a wide range of subject areas, finding that identifying threshold concepts in an instructor’s discipline is a useful first step to tackling “troublesome knowledge”. A group of professors has created a process to increase student learning of threshold concepts called “Decoding the Disciplines”. The process begins with identifying learning bottlenecks making explicit tacit knowledge of experts (like professors) to help students master the mental actions needed for success.

For more information about Threshold Concepts and the Decoding the Disciplines model:
Decoding the Disciplines website
ETL Project (Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses)
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Threshold Concept in Practice (text)

Design Your Own Professional Development

Friday, January 20 9AM – 12:30PM

Join eLIS for a constructivist professional development workshop in an “unconference” model to kick-start your use of technology in instruction for the Spring semester. For those unfamiliar, an unconference is an organic, participant-driven professional development event. We will gather together from 9-9:30AM to brainstorm the key topics that participants would like to cover, and then we’ll break out into three one-hour workshops based on the topics the group generates.

Examples of topics we might engage in together:

  • Designing online discussions
  • Choosing technology tools to support learning
  • Using the online environment to support learning
  • Using video and multimedia in your class

Examples of technology tools we may discuss as part of the training:

  • Blackboard Basics
  • Advanced Blackboard topics such as using rubrics or the grade center
  • Using Atomic Learning in your classes
  • Conducting a webinar with Collaborate Ultra
  • Using Kaltura for sharing video in myLesley

Registration will be required. Click here to register.

 

Bonus 12 Days of Learning: Most Popular TED Talks

We have wrapped up our 12 Days of Learning series (shamefully stolen from Atomic Learning). As we head into the winter break, we thought we would leave you with some bonus viewing material for inspiration in the new year. The Most Popular TEDTalks, 25 of the most watched TED presentations.

TEDTalkPlaylist

Have a great holiday and winter break. We’ll see you in January.

Set Up Your Holiday Devices

Did you receive a shiny new gadget for the holidays? Are you giving someone a new device? Did your kids (or parents) get a new iPad or Surface and need your help to set it up? Have no idea where to start?

holidaydeviceFortunately, Atomic Learning has your back. They have short video tutorials to help you register and get started with your new toy including iPad, Surface, Kindle, Xbox One and PlayStation. They also have a section on online safety. Videos are short and to the point allowing you to get up and running quickly rather than fighting with your tech.

Log into Atomic Learning with your myLesley username and password. Then access the Holiday Devices tutorial series or search for “Holiday Devices.”