Teaching and Learning Collaboratory

To support active and blended learning we provide faculty with resources that define various concepts and tools to use in their classroom that promote student participation and engagement with the course content, instructor, and students.

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Rensselaer Teaching and Learning Video Tutorials Library

The TLC is happy to announce our Teaching and Learning Video Tutorials Library which is made up of some of the workshops and colloquium presentations that have been offered through the Teaching and Learning Collaboratory. The library will continue to be updated as more workshops become available. Please click on the link below to access the library. Enjoy!

Rensselaer Teaching and Learning Video Tutorials Library 

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Communication Resources

Concepts and tools faculty can use in their classroom to promote student participation and engagement.

Teaching and Learning Email List

An email list for faculty interested in instructional technologies, pedagogy, and innovative tools for classroom engagement. This list has been created to support faculty who wish to try new technologies and strategies for learning, and as a place to share success and troubleshoot struggles. Subscribers will be notified about any teaching and learning workshops/events on campus and will have the opportunity to share questions and best practices through this forum. Be sure to join this community and join an initiative that strives for active student participation and learning and nurtures the passion for innovation.

Subscribe to list

Learning Newsflash

Listed below are the Learning Newsflash articles that contain educational information and/or quick tips on innovative strategies to enrich knowledge.

2024  
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2023  
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2022  
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2021  
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2020  
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2019    
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Teaching and Learning Topics To Explore

Below is a list of popular topics that the Teaching and Learning Collaboratory currently focuses on. If you have an interest in one of the topics, please review our workshop schedule below to register for those currently available. If the workshop is not listed or the date and time does not fit for your your schedule, please reach out to Maureen Fodera to discuss what topic you would like to review and to schedule a time.

Pedagogical - Supporting In Person or Digital/Online Delivery
Active Learning
Best practices, benefits, and examples
Flipping the Classroom
Best practices, benefits, considerations and tools
Creating Effective Multiple Choice Questions for Student Response Systems Engaging Discussions – Get Your Students Thinking and Engaged with Your Subject Matter
Tips for Planning Your Condensed Course Tips for Incorporating Digital Story Telling as Assignments
Considering Brave Spaces vs. Safe Spaces in Discussions Tips on Ways to Engage and Motivate Students with Reading Assignments and Micro Video Lectures
Guidelines for Working with Online Approaches for an Online or In Person Classroom Format
(Being Present, Organizing Course Intuitively, Framework for Learning Activities, Online Discussion Board Etiquette, Asynchronous and Synchronous Modalities – When Best to Use)
 
Online
Tips for Improving Online Breakout Rooms
Note: This topic focuses on strategies to improve the flow of break our rooms. It does not review how to use the technology tool.
 
Software Application/Tools
Tips for Creating Basic Excel Pivot Tables Using Excel for Windows Tips for Creating Letter and Label Mail Merges Using Word for Windows
Working with the iClicker Tool – Student Response System Tips for Working with Google Earth – Chrome Version
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Workshops

Workshops are defined for faculty, staff, and graduate students of Rensselaer. If the workshop date and time does not fit your schedule or you are looking for a topic that is currently not being offered this term, please:

Webinar Date and Time Format Registration Link
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff Quick Learn Webinar: Ways to Engage Students with Reading Assignments and Micro Video Lectures January 24, 2024
11:00am - 11:30am
Online Webinar Register
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff Quick Learn Webinar: Creating Basic Pivot Tables with Excel for Windows January 29, 2024
1:00pm - 1:30pm
Online Webinar Register
iClicker Cloud Instructor Training Feb. 5, 2024
2:00pm - 3:15pm
Online Webinar Register
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff In Person Workshop: Beta Classroom Technology Preview Session Feb. 7, 2024
11:00am - 12:00pm
In Person
Location:
Beta Classroom, 
First Floor of Folsom Library

 
Register
Rensselaer Faculty Quick Learn Webinar: Best Practices for Dealing with Student Absences Feb. 12, 2024
12:00pm - 12:30pm
Online Webinar Register
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff Quick Learn Workshop: Tips for Incorporating Digital Story Telling as Assignments Feb. 13, 2024
2:00pm - 2:30pm
Online Webinar Register
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff Webinar: Active Learning Examples to Keep Your Students Engaged Feb. 15, 2024
11:00am - 12:00pm
Online Webinar Register
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff Webinar: Flipping Your Classroom Feb. 27, 2024
10:00am - 11:00am
Online Webinar Register
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff Quick Learn Webinar: Tips for Improving Online Breakout Room Sessions March 12, 2024
1:00pm - 1:30pm
Online Webinar Register
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff Quick Learn Webinar: Tips for Condensing Your Course March 20, 2024
10:00am - 10:30am
Online Webinar Register
Rensselaer Faculty and Staff Quick Learn Webinar: Considering Brave Spaces Vs. Safe Spaces in Discussions March 21, 2024
12:00pm - 12:30pm
Online Webinar Register

 

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Beta Classroom

The Beta Classroom is located on the First Floor of the Folsom Library. The Beta Classroom is a high technology testing space for interactive learning, which can accommodate about 20 participants. The goal of this space is for faculty to pilot new or interactive technologies and pedagogical approaches that may be appropriate for rolling out in a broad range of classrooms. 

Click the Technology Preview Session sub-topic link below for information on in person workshops available. Workshops are offered every term. If you are unable to attend the workshop, please view the following tutorial on the Beta Classroom Technology

Technology Preview Session

Check out our workshop schedule to see if a Beta Classroom Preview Workshop is running. Be sure to click the red plus sign to the left of the Current Workshop title to expand the listing.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, please view the following tutorial on the Beta Classroom Technology

If the workshop is not available or does not fit your schedule, contact Maureen Fodera to schedule a preview session of the technology. 

Scheduling the Beta Classroom

Send an email to Maureen Fodera with a brief summary on your learning concept using the various technologies available in the room. Define which technologies you would like to work with and explain how you will be testing/using the technology with your content to create engagement for the students and improve their learning. 

If your proposed concept is approved by the Vice Provost and Instructional Technology Specialist for testing in the Beta Classroom, you will work with Maureen Fodera to schedule your session(s).

After testing, you will be asked to complete a survey that collects your observations and conclusions on using the technology to improve learning. The data will be used to assist in the justification for pushing out some of the technologies into other classrooms on campus.

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Tools to Support Learning

RPI Supported Tools
Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is the Learning Management System (LMS) supported by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The platform contains multiple features, such as organization for your course documents, such as syllabus and lecture notes. Blackboard Learn also allows instructors to set up spaces for students to upload assignments, which can be run by the Safe Assign plagiarism checker if desired. Other features include online tests, discussion boards, and blogs. 

Link to submit a support request to our LMS Team: RPI LMS Support Link  

Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex is a web conferencing software service that offers immersive online meeting experiences for collaboration, virtual classrooms and webinars.  Learn more about Webex Meetings, Teams and Training.

Link to submit a support request to our MultiMedia Services Team: RPI MultiMedia Services Team

Gradescope 

Gradescope is an online grading tool that allows teachers to provide feedback to students on their tests and assignments. It provides detailed feedback on each section of the submission to students, and  instructors can access detailed assignment and question analytics. 

Gradescope support site

iClicker

This tool offers live responses to questions the instructor poses in class whether an in-person or online course. As an institute, we use the iClicker Cloud version. The remotes are no longer supported on campus as we have moved to the mobile subscription based solution for the students to offer more flexibility and engagement for in the classroom or remotely. The instructor can create polls or low-stakes testing in-class to have instant feedback about the lesson material. This took integrates with our LMS system. 

iClicker Cloud Resource Page

Contact: Maureen Fodera (foderm@rpi.edu)

Submitty 

Submitty is an open source programming assignment submission system from the Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software (RCOS), launched by the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It supports secure testing of many languages, including Python, C/C++, Java, and anything available on GNU/Linux, as well as advanced grading tools like memory debuggers. Other features include multiple submissions for students, flexible late day policies, hidden tests, an interface for instructor manual grading, and support for multiple instructors. 

Contact: Prof. Barbara Cutler (cutleb@rpi.edu)

Box 

Box is a cloud content management and file sharing service. Box's main features include online storage, secure file sharing, syncing with desktop, file editing, notes application and file preview. Box supports granular permissions, which allow the user to permit others to have specific permissions, such as "view only" or "edit", over files hosted on their account. Additional features include version history, commenting, and search options. Box supports usage via a web browser on a desktop computer, or the Box Mobile App on mobile devices, available for Android and iOS.

Percipio

The platform includes thousands of assets that you can access anytime from any device! Lifelong learning is a fundamental component of our mission at Rensselaer. New technologies and business practices require skill development and innovation. Whether you are interested in a short vignette for a specific job related need, or a comprehensive course designed to advance your career, the Professional Learning Center for Faculty, Staff and Students contains solutions. Explore the possibilities and login to your personalized account via the Skillport link above using your RCS login information.

Contact: Will Fahey (faheyw@rpi.edu)

VIDEO SERVICES
Professional Video Recording

The division of Production & Video Services of RPI MultiMedia Services is a full service video and multimedia production facility, dedicated to professionally producing and delivering content for the Rensselaer's instructional, event and Institute advancement needs. Its services are provided at no charge for course listed on the SIS Class Hour Schedule, but their equipment and services are also available (on a fee basis) for non-course, on-campus events.  

Contact: pvs@rpi.edu 

Mediasite  

Mediasite is a presentation tool that allows instructors to make live digital recordings of lectures or presentations. Students can view the presentation over the internet in real-time and/or can access the presentation for viewing at a later date. 

Link to submit a support request to our Mediasite Team: RPI MultiMedia Services Team 

 

Additional Tools
Voicethread

Voicethread is a collaborative, multimedia, cloud-based slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments using voice, text, audio file, or video. Voicethread's services incur a cost per instructor with additional per-student fees for classes of over 50 students.

Slack

Slack is a cloud-based platform of team collaboration tools and services. Features include teams, which groups to join through a specific URL sent by a team admin or owner, and channels, which are specific chat threads that can be public and open to all members of a group, or can be private an include only a subset of members. The platform can be accessed via a web browser on a computer, or via mobile app available on Android and iOS. Slack is a free service, with additional features available for a fee. 

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing platform that allows unregistered users to view all of its content, but users to log in with their Google account to upload, rate, share, comment on videos, make playlists and subscribe to other users. YouTube hosts user uploaded videos in a variety of topics, including education, science, entertainment, lifestyle, beauty, travel, fashion, and more. The plaftorm can be accessed via a web browser on a computer, or via mobile app available on Android and iOS. YouTube is a free service, with the option to pay a fee for the YouTube Red service, which removes advertisements and allows users to access restricted content.

Desmos Graphing Calculator

Desmos is a mobile application and browser-based graphing calculator. In addition to graphing both equations and inequalities, its features include: lists, plots, regressions, graph restriction, simultaneous graphing, piecewise function graphing, polar function graphing, and other features commonly found in programmable calculators. Desmos is a free service accessible via its website, and application available in Android and iOS

Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service that can be accessed with a Google account (which can be associated with an email of any domain, for example: Gmail or an RPI email address). Google Drive supports desktop via web and programs for Windows and MacOS, as well as mobile platforms, with apps for Android and iOS. It also includes a collaborative editing office suite comprised of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which allow multiple users to open and edit files of the following categories in real time: documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, and more. Google Drive is free to use up to 15 GB of storage, though additional storage can be purchased.

Surveymonkey

SurveyMonkey is a web-based platform that provides customizable online surveys, as well as a suite of paid back-end programs that include data analysis, sample selection, bias elimination, and data representation tools. Surveys can be created wither using a computer with a web browser or on a mobile device with the SurveyMonkey app available for Android and iOS. However, surveys can be responded via web browser on any device. SurveyMonkey can be used for free by a single user receiving 100 or less responses per survey, but further features can be accessed at a cost. 

Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator translates conversations so everyone can join in. There is also a feature to download the transcript once the conversation or course content has been shared.

GAMIFICATION TOOLS
Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, where anyone can create multiple-choice quizzes that a whole class can access and interact in real time by using their own electronic devices. Kahoot! supports use via a web browser on Windows or Mac computers, or via a mobile app on Android and iOS smartphones. Kahoot! Is a free service. 

Wheel Decide

Wheel Decide is a website that lets users provide a set of options to create a “wheel”, which can then be “spun” to output a random choice of the given options. The tool is available to be used by anyone at the website, and users that log can save wheels to their profile for later use. It is a free service and can supports use from any computer with a web browser.  

Discord

Voice and text chat tool. 

 

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iClicker Cloud Resources

Fall 2021 iClicker Reboot

In Fall 2021 the campus will transition to using the iClicker Cloud and Mobile solutions.  Clickers are the common term for Student Response Systems (SRS), a technology used to promote active learning within courses. iClicker is an effective tool for teaching in all modalities, seamlessly allowing instructors to poll their students. With iClicker you can:

  • Poll in-classroom and remote students synchronously -- students can participate in live sessions from anywhere in the world.
  • The “Assignments” feature allows for instructors to create assignments (polls) for students to complete asynchronously before a due date.

As we transition to iClicker Cloud we will no longer be using the radio frequency bases in the classrooms or using the remote clickers. Bases will be removed from all classrooms by the end of August 2021.

The iClicker Reboot consists of implementing the cloud and mobile solution for our campus. In addition, iClicker Cloud integrates with our LMS (Blackboard) so that polling points can be synced over to Blackboard Gradebook. Instructors use a free iClicker account to create their courses and sync with Blackboard. Students no longer purchase a physical remote clicker to respond, but will need to purchase a student subscription. Students can purchase the subscription with an access code card from our Campus Bookstore or through the App. Once a subscription is purchased by the student, the students can respond to polls using a mobile device or a web browser from their laptop.

Instructor Information

Below are links to further details and information on using iClicker Cloud, setting up the Instructor account, and polling.  The documentation is general so in the bullets below you will find more specific details that pertain to our Institute:

  • We will not be using the iClicker remotes.  The only way students can respond is by purchasing a subscription and then using a mobile device or their laptop. Students can purchase a subscription from the campus bookstore or they can purchase directly through the iClicker app.
  •  As an instructor, you will not need to import your students. iClicker integrates with Blackboard.  Once you integrate your iClicker course with your Blackboard course, you will be able to automatically sync your roster. 

Access iClicker Cloud through:

  1. The desktop software for running synchronous polling, quizzing, and attendance activities.
  2. The instructor website for everything else outside of live class time: class history, assignments, people management, gradebook, attendance, and settings.
  3. (Optional) The iClicker Cloud Mobile Instructor App. Download it from the App Store or Google Play to control polling and advance slides from your phone or tablet. (Desktop software is still required for running synchronous class activities).

The iClicker Cloud Instructor Checklist covers all the steps you should take to get ready to use iClicker Cloud in your course for the term. It includes links to how-to articles and videos for those steps, as well as troubleshooting information. 

Other Helpful Links:

Instructor Getting Started Resources

iClicker In-Class Activities (synchronous)

iClicker Assignments (asynchronous)

Attendance Settings & Data Management

Gradebook and Blackboard Integration

Student Resources

iClicker Support & Training

Student Information

If you have a course that will be using iClicker Cloud, a subscription must be purchased in order to respond to the polls.  Our Instituste no longer uses the remotes. There are several levels of subscriptions that can be purchased through our Campus Bookstore or directly through the iClicker app. One subscription allows you to respond to polling for all of the classeses within the time period purchased. 

iClicker Support

iClicker Knowledge Base and Support Ticket System

To search for specific topics or submit a support ticket, please use the following link: iClicker Knowledge Base or Submit a Support Ticket Link

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2023-24 Teaching and Learning Collaboratory Board

The group of people comprising the TLC is the Rensselaer teaching community, led by a board of faculty advisors. The goals of the TLC board are:

  • To cultivate an Institute-wide culture of pedagogical excellence in the classroom and to encourage innovations in teaching.
  • To host workshops where teaching best practices are disseminated, new technologies are introduced, and broader discussions around pedagogy take place.
  • To encourage and create teams of faculty to compete for external funding for research into pedagogical innovations.
  • To identify and support promising pedagogical innovation seed projects.
  • To develop new initiatives for gamification of courses and curriculum with emphasis on large lecture classes.
  • To support the development of team-based proposals for interactive learning and gameful learning initiatives on campus.

The TLC board is comprised of Rensselaer faculty members committed to pedagogical innovation. Members of the board serve staggered 3-year terms.

TLC Board Members
Keith Moo-Young (Chair)
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
mooyoh2@rpi.edu
Christianna Bennett
Assistant Professor, Architecture
School of Architecture
bennec5@rpi.edu
Robert Whalen
Lecturer, Music and Conducting
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
whaler2@rpi.edu
Adam Dayem
Assistant Professor, Architecture
School of Architecture
dayema@rpi.edu 
Helen Zha
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
School of Engineering
zhar@rpi.edu
Meng Wang
Associate Professor, Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering
School of Engineering
wangm7@rpi.edu
Judith Obiero
Associate Director and Lecturer, Archer Center for Student Leadership Development
obierj@rpi.edu
Glen Gross
Associate Director and Lecturer, Archer Center for Student Leadership Development
grossg4@rpi.edu
Jeremy Farrell
Lecturer, Sr, Biological Sciences
School of Science
farrej2@rpi.edu
Rui Fan
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
School of Science
fanr5@rpi.edu
Brian Clark
Associate Professor
Lally School of Management
clarkb2@rpi.edu
Thilanka Munasinghe
Lecturer, Information Technology and Web Services
School of Science
munast@rpi.edu
Maureen Fodera (Non-Voting Support Member)
Instructional Technology Specialist
Undergraduate Department
foderm@rpi.edu
Tiffany Powell (Non-Voting Ex Officio Member)
Director, ARCH Academic Programs
Undergraduate Department
powelt2@rpi.edu

 

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Call for Proposals

The Office of Undergraduate Education is pleased to announce this call for proposals supporting pedagogical innovation from the Rensselaer Teaching and Learning Collaboratory (TLC). 

The TLC invites proposals from full time tenure track faculty members or lecturers/Professors of Practice for piloting and assessing pedagogical innovations, especially those integrating interactive technologies into the classroom.  We wish to fund seed projects that will serve as the foundation for external grant applications.   Project proposals should entail the implementation of new interactive approaches, gaming, remote laboratories, or other innovative methods. The Beta Classroom is a space that may also be used for testing if appropriate for the project. 

Proposals are due until March 7, 2024 (pdf to rpiuged@rpi.edu)
Winners will be announced by May 8, 2024 and funding will commence July 1, 2024.

For further information on the call and details for applying, click TLC 2024 Proposal Information.

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Bridge

Bridge Mentors

Documentation

Bridge Students

Documentation