Sunday, December 14, 2014

A discussion forum for on-line office hours

The problem
I would like to hold virtual office hours.  I have considered Skype and Adobe Connect but it's not clear how they would show me their work, how I can give feedback quickly and effectively, and avoid answering the same question again and again.

I anticipate that most questions will be a photo of their handwritten work with the question "What am I doing wrong?"


The solution

* A discussion forum with threads on different subjects like, e.g. Reddit.

* Login is required to post questions and I control who can log in

* There is a teacher mode and a student mode

Student mode:

* Text-entry that supports equations (e.g. Mathjax)

* Students can easily post photos of their work, so seamless integration with webcam, tablet and smartphone is needed.

* It should also be possible to write/draw using a tablet.

Additional features in the teacher mode

* When answering the question, the question, including any pictures, is copied and it is possible to write/draw on the picture using a tablet.

* When answering questions it is possible to record the screen + audio and embed the resulting video automatically.

I need this feature so I can answer quickly, but I don't want the students to be able to pose questions as recordings because I can read the question much faster.

* Optionally: a feature where I can choose to get email notification when a new questions is asked (for off-peak hours).

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Smartphone wireless microphone apps for asking questions in large lecture halls


Just came across this app called Crowd Mics.  The price is pretty steep but they leave the door open for negotiations with academic institutions.

The same search also uncovered Beekast, but there is very little information to be had at the web site.

If you have used these or similar apps please share your experience in the comment section.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book chapter on my flipped classroom


I am writing a book chapter on my flipped classroom for a book on university pedagogy.  Normally I decline invitations for book chapters of any kind, but I was working on a web-book anyway so I thought I could just reformat part of that as a chapter.

Here is a draft.  Comments welcome.  Use either the comment function in Google Docs or the comment section below.



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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Teacher of the year, a year later

Harald at home on top of the bookshelf

Last November I received the teacher of the year award from the University of Copenhagen. This led, directly and indirectly, to some interesting experiences this year.

November (2013)
The award is announced, I receive my porcelain owl, and shake hands with the Queen (minute 66 on this webcast)

I am interviewed for the school paper with separate photo-shoot in my office.

January
I am interviewed (over the phone) for ForskerForum - the monthly newsletter for a series of academia-related trade unions.  The interview can be found on here on page 20.

I participate in a roundtable discussion on good teaching at the university, at the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.  The then-minister of education (now minister of taxation) moderated the discussion and the current minister of education was also there.

February
I give a talk to the chemistry department at the Danish Technical University about active learning. Here's a re-recording of the talk.

I am invited to give a talk on teaching at a local Rotary club.  It's in the evening so I decline.

I am invited to write a book review for the alumni newsletter.  You can see a draft of the review in English here.

March
I am invited to write a book chapter in the flipped classroom for a book on university pedagogy.  I am already planning a web-book on this, so I say yes provided I can write it in English.

April
I participate in a panel discussion on blended learning at the minister of education's annual meeting. The meeting is in Kolding, so I have to get up at some ungodly hour to catch a train.

May:
I give a talk to the Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Pharmacy at the University of Southern Denmark about active learning. This turns into a 2.5 hr marathon discussion!

The ministry of education gives me a free ticket to attend the EDUdisrupt2014 meeting.

Henrik from the Faculty of Science's IT Learning Center comes by and films my use of peer instruction in a course (here and here).  Afterwards we do a little interview.

June
I invited to asked write a comment on an (paywalled) article on the use of clicker in STEM education at the University of Southern Denmark in MONA - Matematik- og Naturfagsdidaktik, a Danish journal for research in STEM education.  You can find the English draft here.

I give a talk to the Faculty of Science's IT Learning Center about active learning.  That afternoon I give the same talk to the teachers of 1st year chemistry courses in my department.

August
I give a talk to the School of Pharmacy about active learning.

October
I give a talk to the Department of Computer Sciences about active learning.

I am invited to participate in a workgroup on the design of teaching portfolios for the Faculty of Science.

November
I am a keynote speaker at the Make a difference - teach and learn with technology conference.



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Saturday, October 18, 2014

100K views on my YouTube channel

I passed the 100,000 views mark on my YouTube channel. That's not very much by YouTube standards but I'm still surprised given the pretty dry videos I tend to make.  Most of these videos were made for teaching of some kind, so I am happy that a few other folks found them useful.

Anyway, here are the top 5 videos with number of views.

Illustrating Entropy  19,674 (20%)

Tunneling and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy 10,331 (10%)

The Computational Chemistry Movie 9,203 (9.2%)

Molecular basis of differential scanning calorimetry 5,450 (5.4%)

Four simple examples of the Schrödinger equation 5,438 (5.4%)


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0