Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium 2014

Symposium Logo

The guiding question for our annual faculty symposium was:  How can technology empower our students, and us, as learners?

Over 130 people from all twelve Penn schools attended our symposium. This symposium, designed for a faculty audience, was live-streamed and videos are included below.

Photos | Storify | Printable Flyer | Canvas Site

Faculty Panel  |  Student Panel  |  Workshops I  |  Informal Discussion Sessions Round I  |  Workshops II  |  Informal Discussion Sessions Round II  |  Lightning Round

Faculty Panel

Jeffrey Babin

Rosemary Frasso

Marybeth Gasman

Jeffery Saven

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw

Student Panel

Peter Decherney

Rebecca Hallac

Laura Petro

Virginia Seymour

Lucas Siegmund

Dyana Wing So

Program Details

Faculty Panel 

  • Jeffrey Babin, Associate Professor of Practice and Associate Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship Program, will share lessons learned through use of synchronous and asynchronous technologies to elicit questions from students and encourage peer-to-peer collaboration. 
  • Rosemary Frasso, Director of Education, Center for Public Health Initiatives and Masters of Public Health Program will share her experiences teaching in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom and engaging her students with qualitative research techniques. 
  • Marybeth Gasman, Professor of Higher Education at Penn GSE will discuss how she has used social media, blogging and infographics to engage current students, alumni and prospective students with topics relevant to her graduate courses. 
  • Jeffery Saven, Professor of Chemistry, will share lessons learned through the use of video assignments and peer review to model and engage researchers in biomolecular science. 
  • Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Associate Professor of American Art and affiliated faculty in Africana Studies, Cinema Studies, and Women and Gender Studies, will share ideas for using presentation, web and exhibit design technologies to engage students. 

Student Panel 

Watch Student Panel Video

Browse 2014 Student Survey Results.

Peter Decherney, Professor of Cinema Studies and English, facilitated a panel discussion with five undergraduate students.

  • Rebecca Hallac is a Junior studying Digital Media Design. She does research with the school of Design and TAs computer science classes. 
  • Laura Petro is a Junior in the College studying Communications and Hispanic Studies. She is also a cast member of Bloomers Comedy and Editorial Director of The WALK Magazine. 
  • Virginia Seymour is a Junior in the College studying Art History and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. She serves on the Undergraduate Advisory Board for both departments and is a MAP Advisor. Virginia is the director of Feminism/s programming at the Kelly Writers House and the coordinator of the Robinson Press imprint of the Common Press. 
  • Lucas Siegmund is a senior in the College majoring in PPE and the Chair of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE). 
  • Dyana Wing So is a junior majoring in Visual Studies where she also works as a student assistant. She is an adviser for the Communication Within the Curriculum (CWiC) public-speaking program, and a cohort participant in the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program. 

Informal Lunch - Weigle Information Commons

  • Explore 3D printing with Nick Parrotta from the AddLab (The Porch, just outside the Kamin Gallery, First Floor, Van Pelt)
  • Watch student-created videos (WIC Seminar Room, Rm 124)

Workshops I

Active Learning Classrooms: John MacDermott, Director for Instructional Technology in SAS Computing, will provide an overview of the active learning classrooms at Penn. We will look at the how these rooms are designed to support collaborative, in-class project work for classes of various sizes. (Van Pelt Collab Class Rm 113)
Active Learning In Your Conventional Lecture Class: So you're interested in active learning but teaching in a regular classroom? This session will consider various strategies to facilitate student engagement and active learning in the large lecture class. Presented by staff from the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). (Van Pelt Rm 627)
Gessoing: Using Content Controls in Canvas for a Structured Learning Experience: Canvas has many controls that can be used to manage how students interact with course content. This workshop will give an overview of these controls and, through demonstration and hands-on exercises, show how they can be used to structure face-to-face, flipped, and online learning experiences. Presented by Joe Schaffner, Courseware Support Librarian.(Hands-on workshop in Van Pelt Goldstein Electronic Classroom, Rm 114)
Video Production Options: Join us to discuss the choices available on campus for video production. We will share suggestions and demos on when to go with a quick-and-simple option like a webcam and when to invest in high production quality, focusing on ways to think through the tradeoffs in terms of time, convenience and cost. Presenters include Amy Bennett from Open Learning, Jordan Boggs-Hines and Sarah Greenwald from SAS Online Learning, William Hodgson from the Vitale Digital Media Lab in WIC and Chris Vandergrift from SAS Computing. (Van Pelt WIC Seminar Room, Rm 124)

Informal Demo/Discussion Sessions Round I

The following informal discussions sessions were held in the Weigle Information Commons group study rooms:

  • Integrating Online and In-class Activities with Christina Frei (WIC Rm 129)
  • Assessing Student Learning in Real-Time with Google Drive with Samantha Kirk (WIC Rm 123)
  • WordPress with Natalie Lyon (WIC Rm 127)
  • Mendeley and Gale Artemis Visualization Tools with Rebecca Stuhr (WIC Rm 116)

Workshops II

Social and Collaborative: Vickie Karasic, Digital Projects Fellow at Penn Libraries, will conduct a hands-on exploration of the new Collaborative Classroom in Van Pelt, modeling how to use the space to explore social media tools. We will use iPads, Macbooks and online platforms through several writable display surfaces. (Van Pelt Collab Class Rm 113)
Teaching for Active Learning in Active Learning Classrooms: Many faculty are taking advantage of these spaces to encourage Structured, Active, In-class Learning (SAIL). This conversation will explore what such an approach might look like for instructors teaching in disciplines from STEM fields to the humanities and social sciences. Presented by staff from the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). (Van Pelt Rm 627)
Communication Breakout: Working with Communication and Collaboration Tools in Canvas: Deciding which Canvas communication and collaboration tools are best for facilitating learning can be tricky given the system's numerous features and the many contexts for which they seem appropriate. In this workshop, we will model four learning scenarios in breakout groups that highlight each of the following communication and collaboration tools--groups, discussions, collaborations, and wikis--to give ideas for how they can be used to enhance learning. Presented by Joe Schaffner, Courseware Support Librarian. (Hands-on workshop in Van Pelt Goldstein Electronic Classroom, Rm 114)
Technology for Building Community in the Language Classroom and Beyond: Canvas has presented us with novel opportunities for promoting learner agency by transforming students from consumers to producers of course content. Join Adabel Jimenez-Corretjer and Kara Moranski as we explore how Intermediate Spanish courses at Penn have incorporated a Canvas-based video blog as a core component of the course, in which students interact with both their classmates and Philadelphia's vibrant Hispanic community. Later, Maria Paredes Fernandez will also present her award-winning Online Course Calendar, which this semester has been developed around a carefully-scaffolded, peer-revision project on Canvas. (Van Pelt WIC Seminar Room, Rm 124)

Informal Demo/Discussion Sessions Round II

The following informal discussions sessions were held in the Weigle Information Commons group study rooms:

  • Evernote with Rashmi Kumar (WIC Rm 128)
  • MATLAB with Prathik Prakash (WIC Rm 126)
  • Omeka and Text Analysis with Katie Rawson (WIC Rm 117)

Lightning Round: Did You Know?

Watch Lightning Round Videos

Each presenter spoke for exactly two minutes, enforced by our gong.

  • Weebly: Rachel Chaffin, English Language Programs
  • Education Commons: Eric Janec, Penn Libraries
  • EdPuzzle: Ula Cutten, English Language Programs
  • Jing: Jenny Seng, English Language Programs
  • Respondus Browser: John MacDermott, SAS Computing
  • Canvas Videos for Business Spanish: Geraldine Lebaudy, Romance Languages
  • Active Learning: Rashmi Kumar, Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL)
  • Timeline: Andi Johnson, HSOC
  • Canvas Etherpad: Joe Schaffner, Penn Libraries
  • Canvas Groups: Joe Schaffner, Penn Libraries
  • Vitale II: Dot Porter, Penn Libraries
  • Annotation Studio: Ian Petrie, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Penn CAMRA: Chris Vandegrift, SAS Computing

We welcome your ideas and suggestions for the day's program. You can browse details from earlier years.

Co-sponsored by CAMRA, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Penn Language Center, SAS Computing and the Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL). We thank our Program Partners, our Faculty Advisory Group and our core organizing team:

  • Myrna Cohen
  • Peter Decherney
  • Kim Eke
  • Christina Frei
  • Teresa Gimenez
  • Vickie Karasic
  • Bruce Lenthall
  • John MacDermott
  • Kent Peterman
  • Ian Petrie
  • Kara Moranski
  • Joe Schaffner
  • Chris Vandergrift
  • Anu Vedantham

Please email us if you are interested in helping organize the day's events.