• Lightning Round 2016

Lightning Round 2016

Our second annual spring Lightning Round was held on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 as part of the Weigle Information Commons' month-long 10th Birthday Celebrations. The Lightning Round is an opportunity to share creative ideas to engage students in a fast-paced format. Each presenter shares a favorite technology tool or idea for engaging students with a three-minute time limit enforced by our gong. Lightning Round 2016 included 18 speakers sharing a variety of exciting tools and ideas. Over 85 people joined the Lightning Round this year!  

Agenda | Video Playlist | Storify |  Topics

Lightning Round 2016 was co-sponsored by camrathe Center for Teaching and Learning , the Graduate Student Center,  the Penn Language Center, the Price Lab for Digital Humanities SAS Computing and the Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL)

Couldn't make it this year, or just want to relive the fun? Check out our Lightning Round 2016 video playlist!


Topic  Speaker Department
Creating an interactive e-guide (Slides /Video) Stefanie Alfonso Undergraduate Student, Digital Media Design
Using Processing in Humanities Classes (Slides/ Video) Etienne Benson SAS History and Sociology of Science
WordPress for City Design (Slides /Video) Rick Berman SAS Urban Studies
Poll Everywhere for In Class Polling (Slides /Video) Caroline Connolly SAS Psychology
Using LockDown Browser (Slides) Delphine Dahan SAS Psychology
WordPress for Prints (Slides /Video) Julie Davis SAS History of Art
In-class quizzes and games (Slides /Video) Amy Durham Vet Pathobiology
NVivo (Slides / Video) Andi Johnson SAS History and Sociology of Science
IdeaMachine (Slides /Video) Ethan Mollick Wharton Management
Twitter (Slides /Video) Litty Paxton Annenberg
Scalar for Freshman Seminar e-book (Slides/Video) Ian Petrie SAS History and Sociology of Science
Voice Thread (Slides /Video) Kris Rabberman SAS GSWS
Immersive Terf (Slides /Video) Ana Reyes SAS Organizational Dynamics
Film and multimodal pedagogy (Video) Arjun Shankar SP2
Topic modelling tool (Slides /Video) Catherine Turner SAS English
VideoANT (Slides/Video) Kristen Turpin SAS Comparative Literature and Literary Theory
Project-Based Differentiation Via Canvas (Slides) Lillyrose Veneziano Brocchia SAS Italian Studies
Knight Lab's TimelineJS (Slides /Video) Ben Wiggins SAS History


Stefanie Alfonso

Stefanie Alfonso, a senior majoring in Digital Media Design, has created a wonderful interactive e-guide for 3D software selection in collaboration with Norm Badler, the Rachleff Professor of Computer and Information Science. Stefanie discussed the guide and how she created it using CSS, HTML and Javascript. She welcomes the creation of similar websites by adapting the structure she has created. Stefanie writes, "I'm not a teacher, but I can imagine if a student has a 3D graphics project in mind they could use this tool as a starting point."  (Slides/Video)

Etienne Benson

Etienne Benson, Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science spoke about using Processing in humanities classes. Etienne writes, "I use Processing to introduce humanities students with little or no coding experience to the creative possibilities and challenges of programming. I suggest you give students time to play and explore and then see what they can do when you pose a real challenge, like visualizing the idea of freedom or the history of comparisons between humans and machines." (Slides/Video)

Richard Berman

Richard Berman, Lecturer in Urban Studies and Environmental Studies, discussed his class WordPress blog for daily interactions, assignments, and presentations. He notes, "Students rarely blog unless given as a required assignment." (Slides/Video)




Caroline Connolly

Caroline Connolly, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Psychology discussed real-time demonstrations of psychological research using live student data. She advises, "Simple is better!" (Slides/Video)


Delphine Dahan

Delphine Dahan, Associate Professor of Psychology, spoke about using the Respondus lockdown browser available through SAS Computing to administer quizzes on Canvas. Delphine notes that  it makes exams or quizzes taken on a computer manageable. (Slides)


Julie Nelson Davis

Julie Nelson Davis, Associate Professor of History of Art discussed her class' use of WordPress blogs and a group website on a new collection of Japanese prints.donated recently to Penn Libraries by Cecilia Segawa Seigle.  Her class website is phenomenal! Julie writes, "It's so easy and students enjoy it! Why not go for it?" (Slides/Video)

Amy Durham

Amy Durham, Assistant Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Pathobiology shared ideas for class engagement through interactive quizzes and games for real-time assessment of learning material. Amy uses Poll Everywhere and writes, "There is some work on the front-end to set up, but requires little maintenance over time."  (Slides/Video)


Andi Johnson

Andi Johnson, Lecturer in History and Sociology of Science and Science, Technology and Society, discussed a collaborative research project using NVivo and mentions "great exposure for the students" to professional-level qualitative research software available on library computers. (Slides/Video)

Ethan Mollick

Ethan Mollick, the Edward B. and Shirley R. Shils Assistant Professor of Management, discussed his students' experiences with Idea Machine. (Slides/Video)


Litty PaxtonLitty Paxton

Litty Paxton, Director of the Penn Women's Center and Lecturer in the Annenberg School for Communication, discussed how live Twitter feeds can be used to enhance student engagement with documentary films. She writes "Shout out to my amazing TAs for this popular #Comm123 tradition!" (Slides/Video)

Ian Petrie

Ian Petrie, Senior Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, teaches courses in the History and Sociology of Science Department. His freshman seminar students created a digital book using Scalar to present their historical research. He reflects, "It's important to think about how to scaffold the research underpinning the site and when to shift students towards building the book." (Slides/Video)


Kris Rabberman

Kris Rabberman, Assistant Vice Dean, Division of Professional and Liberal Education discussed her use of Voice Thread to set up discussion threads for students to analyze images as primary sources in history. She demonstrated how to analyze images in class discussions, and use voice threads for students to practice outside of live class meetings. (Slides/Video)

Ana Maria Reyes

Ana Maria Reyes, affiliated faculty in the Organizational Dynamics Program discussed Terf, a 3D immersive avatar-based online classroom environment to teach globally distributed collaboration. The 3D space can replicate technology-enabled physical classrooms and includes interactive versions of the Office suite of desktop tools online. It enables new forms of collaboration but there is a learning curve to adapt teaching practices and experiential exercises. (Slides/Video)

Arjun Shankar

Arjun Shankar, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the School of Social Policy and Practice and co-Director of camra @ Penn spoke about using film and multimodal pedagogy. Arjun asks his students to create films as the final project for his class and suggests including training and a written counterpart to the multimedia production. Arjun's films are part of the WIC's New Media Showcase. (Video)

Catherine Turner

Catherine Turner, Senior Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, teaches courses in the English Department. She described how her use of the Topic Modelling Tool in a course on 19th Century US Literary Radicals helped her students "see what regular literature was like." She advises, "Work with someone in the library!" (Slides/Video)

Kristen Turpin photoKristen Turpin

Kristen Turpin, Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, shared her use of VideoANT, a free tool to annotate videos for various purposes: to guide students' attention, to pose comprehension questions, and to connect the video to larger course themes. Students can collaboratively annotate videos. In the foreign language classroom, this tool can be used to define new vocabulary, point out regional differences in language use, and promote active listening (e.g. making predictions). On the most basic level, VideoAnt can be used to "bookmark" specific scenes or moments to which you want to return. She reflects, "VideoAnt is also a great medium to present your teaching--I've used it to annotate the teaching video I sent with my applications. Edit your video before uploading it to VideoAnt."  (Slides/Video)


Lillyrose Veneziano Broccia

Lillyrose Veneziano Broccia, Co-Director of the Italian Language Program, shared ideas for using Canvas Discussions and Pages to guide meaningful learning goals. She writes, "Differentiating may seem like additional work, but it actually makes the semester more meaningful for students and teachers." (Slides)

Benjamin Wiggins

Benjamin Wiggins, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives at SAS Online Learning and Lecturer in History, discussed his use of Timeline JS for a student-generated resource that accumulates across semesters. Ben's ideas were featured recently in the Chronicle of Higher Education article "A Pedagogy That Spans Semesters." He reflects, "The timeline--like many digital tools--can act as a dynamic resource that will continue to be useful for students in future semesters of the course." (Slides/Video)

Want to learn more about using these tools and other instructional technology? Check out one of our WICshops or submit a request for a custom workshop or consultation!