A Multimodal Digital Approach to Qualitative Research

By Jennifer Kingma Wall

This Spark session will briefly overview the concept of Creative Analytic Practices (CAP) (Richardson, 2000) as a qualitative research method, and will explain how integrating digital technology through a multimodal digital approach to a CAP qualitative study can provide new approaches and modes for meaning making as well as produce different understandings of the research process and product.  The bulk of the presentation will focus on sharing examples of students’ work, which use multimodal digital approaches to qualitative case studies, and describing how this approach changed their research process, interpretations, and products (videos, video collages, and audio mixes vs. traditional academic papers). The goal is to provide a quick picture into how and why professors might want to incorporate a multimodal digital CAP lens to teaching qualitative research, and more broadly, any teacher in the humanities might consider incorporating multimodal digital work into their traditional assignments.

Session Overview: The structure of this brief Spark session will include:

      • A brief introduction to the concept of CAP as an approach to qualitative research.
      • The introduction of digital technology and multimodal approaches as new ways to approach a CAP qualitative study.
      • A brief overview of a case study project from a Masters of the Art of Teaching course in which students had the opportunity to work with digital technology and multimodality through a CAP lens for their mode of representing their research findings.
      • The bulk of the presentation will show samples of students’ CAP projects, which include video projects, video collages, and audio remixes, while discussing some of the benefits for the students of learning about and working from this orientation toward research, including a deeper understanding of their role of as a researcher, more work on reflexivity and exploration of subjectivities, more attention to the work of representation of the participant, and a new understanding of how modes of meaning impact the presentation of findings.

Takeaways For The Audience:

  • An introduction to a particular method of qualitative research (CAP) and ways that digital technology can be used with it.
  • Samples of course projects that allowed for multimodal digital CAP work, which produced unique presentations of the research findings as well as deeper student learning about qualitative methods.
  • Audience members who teach qualitative research as a part of their courses will have a glimpse of a new approach for coursework
  • Other audience members working in the humanities or social sciences might use this type of technology integration as a model and consider revising traditional assignments within their field to multimodal digital work. The presentation links conceptually to digital humanities, in which digital tools are used in the humanities as alternative modes of meaning making beyond written words, with the recognition that traditional print modes are no longer the exclusive or primary mode for knowledge production and distribution.

With the Dice in the Library: Tabletop Games and Culture

By Teresa Slobuski

Nearly everyone has played some form of tabletop game in their life, whether dice, board, or card games. Indeed, the archaeological record shows humans have been playing games for at least 4000 years and have been an important socialization tool throughout this history. (Murray, H.J.R., 1952). As institutions that assemble artifacts of culture for future generations, libraries can and should include games in their collections. Indeed, some libraries have supported games and play for over a century, first documented when a chess club met at a library in San Francisco in the mid-1800’s (Nicholson, 2013). The early 20th century saw the emergence of toy libraries, established to support families in need by lending toys, board games, and other realia that support play (Moore, 1995). Today, more and more libraries are including tabletop games in their collections. In this session you will learn more about the history of games and their inclusion in library collections. You will also learn how tabletop/physical games can remain relevant and even thrive in our increasingly digital culture. Games and play are usually the first way humans and animals learn, so by understanding and engaging with the history of games participants may better conceive how games can fit into their teaching.

Teaching EFL Pronunciation Through Audiovisual Remixes of Children’s Tales

By Maria Dolores Orta Gonzíçlez

The pervasiveness of technological devices with available functions such as video and voice recording, paired with access to open software online have considerably widened the pedagogical horizon of language teaching/learning processes in general and pronunciation training in particular. Open Educational Resources (OER) are those sites, materials and tools available online that are released under open licences, which allow for their free re-use and adaptation (Twigg, 2003). These innovations have naturally brought about new possibilities of developing creativity and fostering studentsäó» motivation for language learning, without the dangers of infringement of copyright laws. Such is the case of the activity of remixing, and in this particular case, the remixing of classical childrenäó»s tales like Aladdin, Cinderella and the like, which are, in their own right already, works in the public domain. The present presentation will thus aim at analysing the pedagogical, artistic and communicative potential of the remixing of classical children’s tales which will result in the production of originaly scripted audiovisual material based on the exploitation of mashup principles and the incorporation of fanfic features (Knobel & Lankshear, 2011), to be later used to cater for and enhance the practice of dictation and phonemic transcription in a core subject at Facultad de Lenguas, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina.

The presentation will describe and explore a project that started in 2015 and which yearly actively involves teachers, student-assitants and students doing Pronunciation Practice, a core subject in the first year within a five-year teaching and translation degree in a national university in Argentina. As the context of the project is Argentina and the participants cannot attend the conference, the presentation will consist of a 5-minute video entirely produced by the presenter and all the people involved in the project. The video/presentation will first briefly discuss the rationale to the project, namely the main principles underlying the concepts of remix, mashup and fanfics, then delve into the process of audiovisual production, to finally share some of the audiovisual material/activities produced, which is shared on Facebook and on a collaborative open interface like Padlet. The relevance of these activities to the teaching of the pronunciation ef English and to the objectives of the course in question (Pronunciation Practice) will also be briefly discussed.

It is expected that the audience will be inspired and motivated by this experience in a university in such a remote country, where despite the obvious limited resources, students and teachers can collaboratively work towards the production of their own materials, using simple but interesting devices and OERs to design fun, engaging and pedagogically sound activities to improve dictation and phonemic transcription.

The New Jersey Digital Humanities Consortium

By Mary Balkun

This session will introduce attendees to a newly created organization (September 2016) dedicated to advancing the digital humanities in New Jersey: The New Jersey Digital Humanities Consortium. Created in the spirit of collaboration between universities and digital humanities programs, centers, and initiatives throughout the state, the NJDHC is modelled on similar consortia in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas, to name a few. The NJDHC is a partnership between Seton Hall University, Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Drew University, Princeton University, and Stockton University. Centenary College was recently added as a participating member. The NJDHC is dedicated to advancing both digital teaching and research, as well as promoting the humanities in a digital landscape.  The consortium’s primary objective is to provide a forum for collaboration at many levels. The goals, which were articulated at our first meeting in September 2016,  include sharing of materials, workshops, and speaker events in a time of limited resources; fostering inter-institutional communication and awareness of projects, whether new or long standing; cooperating on grants that will benefit the digital humanities both institutionally and more broadly; and providing avenues that enable and support various forms of collaboration–faculty to faculty, faculty to student, and student to student–at the participating colleges and universities. In this Spark! session we will give a brief history of the creation and purpose of the consortium, a quick snapshot of the projects at the member institutions, the current organizational structure, and our plans for moving forward. The goal of the sessions is to make people aware of this new resource for those involved in the digital humanities, to showcase the advantages of this kind of collaborative venture, and to encourage membership from additional institutions or individual faculty members.

Makey Makey and Spaces for Creative Learning

By Michael Patrick Wall

In this 5-minute Spark presentation, I will overview the Makey-Makey invention kit and briefly describe how and why it can be used in a classroom setting.  I will describe a project in an instrumental music classroom where this was integrated and the thought process behind the technological integration.  

The Makey-Makey is a small circuit board that connects to your computer through a USB cable and allows the user to turn almost anything into a proxy for a computer key.  By connecting anything that conducts electricity to the Makey-Makey via alligator clips, you can use everyday items to play music, games, or engage in a variety of other computer based activities.  Makey-Makey opens up a world of exploration that is quickly and easily accessible to teachers and students.  In this presentation, I will discuss the Makey-Makey in general as well as specifically how utilizing the Makey-Makey can help music educators expand the notion of creative music-making activities and allow for more varied and technological musical experiences within the classroom.

Within my own instrumental music classroom, I engaged in a project with three of my students.  Using the Makey-Makey, they experimented with various ways to make music, ultimately deciding to combine their love of music with art and robotics and create a working clock that played music as the hands passed each number.  This opened up a number of other possible music-making activities, such as performing acoustic music along with electronic music – combining art, robotics, and electronic music with traditional music-making activities.  In this presentation, I will describe and share examples of student work as well as describe the process of integrating the Makey-Makey into the classroom.  

Audience members who have not heard of Makey-Makey will take away a basic understanding of what it is and what it can do in and out of the classroom.  Audience members already familiar with Makey-Makey will see an example of a project done in a public school classroom as well as gain insight into the thought process behind the project so that they may feel more comfortable integrating it into their own classrooms.

Come Fly with Me: The NMC Horizon Project in Five Minutes or Less

Where do the trends, challenges, and developments in technology intersect across the various sectors and regions? What can ELD attendees learn from schools, museums, and libraries? Come fly with me, from Australia to Brazil to Europe to Asia and back to North America, as I explore the top 10 themes from the past year of the NMC Horizon Project.

Keywords: Learning Spaces, Blended Learning, Learner Analytics

Gamifying the Classroom with Character-Driven Technologies

Presented by: Christina Bazemore

Technology has forever changed the way we interact with information. Kids today are more comfortable with touch screens than pencils and workbooks. In fact, they probably can’t even remember life before computers became pervasive.

This new emphasis on technology has given rise to the “gamification” of learning. But for many teachers, what, how and why to implement a gamified approach is a mystery.

In this session, an education technology expert will share how elementary-level teachers can leverage customizable, animated characters to provide game-like learning experiences. Using specific software such as Voki, Tellagami and Duck Duck Moose, the presenter will show different ways teachers can leverage character-driven lessons and activities to engage students and facilitate the learning process for various learning styles.

Learn more about Voki by visiting www.voki.com. If you have any questions regarding Voki, you can drop Content Development Coordinator Christina Bazemore an email at cbazemore@oddcast.com.

Instant Relevance, Using Today’s Experiences in Tomorrow’s Lessons

Presented by: Denis Sheeran

Classes are too often guided by textbooks and dry course materials. But every day teachers experience moments that can and should be used in their classrooms the very next day. Instant Relevance is the idea of using today’s experiences in tomorrow’s lessons. We have reached a point where the question “when am I going to use this in real life” has become a joke among teachers and students. With the technology available and constantly growing, teachers can change that question to one of wonder. “Where in your life did you get THAT from?” And this time, we’ll have an answer.

Connecting Beyond the Classroom: Engaging Students in a Film Festival

Presented by: Michelle Brannen

At the University of Tennessee, Librarians and Residence Hall Assistants teamed up to host a film festival for residence hall students. Goals of the program focused increasing community among students in residence halls as well as increasing knowledge of library resources. In this brief presentation, we will share our goals for the program, tips for hosting a 1-day film festival, and outcomes from our event based on feedback from participants. Join us as we explore the benefits of engaging students outside the classroom using a film festival model.

Deeper Learning by Putting Students in Charge of the Problem Lifecycle

Presented by: Michael Bieber

Participatory Learning (PL) creates learning opportunities, increases student motivation for learning, and deepens learning through active participation in the entire Problem Lifecycle for assignments, quizzes and other kinds of activities.  Traditionally, students only solve problems assigned by the instructor.  However, by actively engaging students in every Lifecycle stage (including crafting problems for peers, providing solutions, peer grading, and disputes involving self-assessment), students are motivated to achieve higher learning outcomes. Experimental results will be presented along with really interesting issues arising from usability and pilot experiments, such as motivating students, assessing actual learning, learning to design and use rubrics, anonymity within online systems, trusting peers, contingency planning when students don’t participate, and what it takes for instructors to embrace the approach.

This research is transformative.  It combines various successful teaching approaches into a single framework and process.  It brings a new approach to engaging and motivating students, and deepen their learning across course modes.  We believe it will work in most types of courses including across the STEM fields; and possibly from junior high school through graduate education.   It may solve some issues of engaging students within MOOCs (massive open online courses).  The assessment and team work inherent within PL’s framework could enhance student’s interpersonal (soft) skills, better preparing them for the workplace.  The deeper learning and motivation PL brings, even to topics that students previously have chosen to disengage with, may increase retention and articulation rates.

Participatory Learning is supported by an on-line prototype infrastructure that facilitates the problem lifecycle tasks, underlying processes or “workflow” management, instructor activities and oversight, and ensuring anonymity throughout student interaction.   Future extensions include group support, commenting and flagging, rating, and teaching students how to do their tasks (calibration).  Further information may be found at https://web.njit.edu/~bieber/pubs.html#p

Keywords: assessment, evidence of impact, learner-centered