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Home CPDSC News
An Epic Win: Using Blackboard to facilitate Game-based Learning
News - Latest
Monday, 19 May 2014 14:15
Gamification, or game-based learning (GBL), is an emerging instructional model that is showing great success in the classroom. In GBL students actively engage in their learning as they collaborate and compete towards accomplishing a shared goal. This past October CELT hosted Dr. Larysa Nadolny, Assistant Professor, School of Education, for her presentation titled An Epic Win: Using Blackboard to facilitate Game-based Learning. She discussed how she uses the tools in Blackboard to facilitate GBL in a large lecture course. You can view the recorded session [View Panopto Video] and download the slides [Download Presentation Slides]. If this piques your interest, please join us on February 17, 2014 for a seminar on GBL and then a five-week Teaching and Learning Circle starting the following week.
FYI –Upcoming CELT Symposium, Call for Proposals: SoTL Scholars and CIRTL TAR, and Programming Survey
News - Latest
Monday, 19 May 2014 14:13
CELT Morrill Professor Panel and Teaching Poster Symposium
Monday, March 31; 3:30 – 5:00 pm in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union
Register to attend the Symposium via AccessPlus (click on Employee > HRS Training > Courses)


CELT SoTL Scholars Program 2014-2015
Proposals are now being accepted for ISU faculty participation in the CELT SoTL Scholars Program. Participants will conduct their classroom-based research project during the 2014/15 academic year. We anticipate funding up to 8 SoTL Scholars/Scholar teams at $1,250. To learn more about this opportunity, please view our CELT Scholarship of Teaching and Learning SoTL Scholars Program Request for Proposal form.

Proposals are now being accepted to fund (six funding slots available at a maximum of $1,250 each) ISU graduate student and post-doc Teaching-as-Research (TAR) projects. Students will participate in the TAR program along with faculty members who are engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Scholars program. Due Monday, April 7, 2014. For more information, visithttp://www.celt.iastate.edu/CIRTL/

CELT invites you to fill out a short survey to provide guidance for our faculty development programming on campus. The survey findings will serve as a useful guide in understanding your needs as instructors. This anonymous and voluntary survey will take 5-10 minutes. Your name will not be recorded or linked with your responses. Take Survey: https://classclimate2.its.iastate.edu/classclimate/online.php?p=8CFRA

Iowa State researchers return to communities to assess small town quality of life
News - Latest
Monday, 19 May 2014 13:57
AMES, Iowa – Time has changed many of Iowa's rural communities. Strengthening these towns starts with understanding how social capital and leadership influence development in a small town. A group of Iowa State University researchers has tracked changes in quality of life and social capital in 99 Iowa towns since 1994. This month, they begin a third, two-year study to determine if the changes have continued.


Terry Besser, a professor of sociology and the team lead for the project, says social capital refers to the relationships and trust between residents that can be used for the good of a community. Previous research has shown an association between high social capital and community economic prosperity, the availability of recreational and cultural amenities, and high quality public services.

"Small towns often don't have much in the way of financial resources," Besser said. "If they're able to marshal their social capital, they have a network of people they can call on who trust each other to get things done."

Iowa State researchers first surveyed residents in the 99 towns in 1994 and then 10 years later in 2004 to gauge their opinions on local quality of life and other community features. Besser and colleagues Stephen Sapp, a professor of sociology; Deborah Tootle, an associate professor of sociology; and Georgeanne Artz, an assistant professor of economics; will send a third round of surveys for residents in those towns to complete in May and June.

The project, funded by a grant from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture, also includes an in-depth analysis of six communities starting in 2015. At that time, researchers will look at development strategies, leadership structure and processes, and assess local amenities to evaluate the effectiveness of various kinds of strategies over the last 20 years.

While researchers reported an overall decline in social capital between 1994 and 2004, Besser says some communities sustained or improved their level and she expects the positive results will be reflected in this latest study. Overall civic engagement also dropped during that 10-year span. However, volunteering in community improvement projects increased. Besser says that could be a lingering effect of previous social capital or the response to an event in which the need was so great it brought people together.

Not all social capital is equal

The feeling of belonging to a tight-knit community is a quality many people value in a small town. It is a bond that unites people, but unfortunately it can also exclude new residents, Besser said. In some cases, people who have lived in a community for 15 or 20 years may still be treated as an outsider. This type of social capital can have a negative effect on community growth and development.

"It discourages people from coming into the community. It also closes off avenues for some great ideas, lots of volunteer energy and tapping into outside resources," Besser said. "It's a potential weakness many small towns face."

Towns where residents from different backgrounds (ethnicity, income, religion, and length of residence) work together effectively will have greater success in sustaining and improving quality of life than towns with tight-knit resident cliques. Besser says the leadership structure in small towns is also important. In some towns there may be one individual, family or organization that always initiates and organizes community projects. That person or organization generates financial support, organizes volunteers and makes the idea a reality. Besser says this can benefit the community in the short-term, but it is hard to sustain over the long-term.

A group of leaders who can work separately or as a team for community improvement can prevent the burn out often associated with a single "hub" leadership structure, Besser said. Depending on a single entity to provide leadership also gives it the power to veto projects and discourages other residents from participating or getting involved.

Identifying these issues will help the research team develop tools and programs that state policymakers and communities can utilize to enhance the quality of life in rural Iowa. Selected communities will receive an individual analysis of the survey results. Researchers will combine the data from all 99 towns to create an average or typical community that towns can use for comparison.

- See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/05/14/ruralcommunities#sthash.4DV4R2nw.dpufalt

Iowa State University to offer Iowa Caucuses MOOC
News - Latest
Monday, 19 May 2014 13:50
AMES, Iowa – It happens every four years. Iowa voters meet in churches, schools, even living rooms, to be part of the first-in-the-nation stop for presidential hopefuls. The Iowa Caucuses have helped launch and end the aspirations of many candidates. This initial test in the presidential selection process will be the focus for a new massive open online course (MOOC) at Iowa State University.


University Professor Steffen Schmidt, who has analyzed every presidential caucus for the past 40 years, will teach the online course. The Iowa Caucuses are a unique process that attracts media attention from around the world. Schmidt hopes reporters as well as interested voters will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about how the process works, the history of the caucuses, their future and the impact of Iowa's status as the first political battleground.

"The Iowa Caucuses are one of the most important events in the presidential election process," Schmidt said. "Iowa is small enough and not very expensive, so unknown and underfunded candidates have a chance to get on the radar screen and make a case for themselves."

The class will be offered in September 2015, leading up to the Iowa Caucuses in early 2016. Anyone can enroll in the MOOC for free and access the course online. MOOCs are a relatively new concept that offers course material and information to a large number of people. Students enrolled in the Iowa Caucuses MOOC can work at their own pace to complete the various units that will feature videos, readings, small lectures and interactive forums for discussion with other participants. The course will take approximately four weeks to complete.

This is the first MOOC offered by Iowa State. Students will not earn college credit, but will receive a certificate for completing the quizzes and earning 70 percent in the course. Jonathan Wickert, senior vice president and provost, says this is an opportunity to reach thousands of people who want to learn more or are just curious about the caucus process.

"Iowa State is uniquely positioned to offer this MOOC given our location and expertise. We have a front-row seat for the caucuses and participants will gain a better understanding of the process," Wickert said. "We also hope this experience will provide a blueprint for future MOOC opportunities at Iowa State."

Students can start registering for the class in the summer of 2015. ISU's Engineering-LAS Online Learning program will oversee the MOOC development and delivery.

- See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/05/13/caucusmooc#sthash.1iBsdkOe.dpuf

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