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 email@example.com.
Many, 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.
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:
Advanced Blackboard topics such as using rubrics or the grade center