2014 Penn State TLT Symposium Session: Two COIL Project Updates


{psychedelic sound} [ Glenn ]: And I think, as I look across the university in using Clone and Drupal, we use these as kind of fancy ways to deliver just HTML content and we’re not really taking advantage of a lot of the interactive capabilities that these kinds of tools can give us. So, can we put…our COIL grant, especially, was can we support this type of learning that we want our students to engage in by taking advantage of the different case materials the rich case materials that we already have, and be able to poi this in an interactive way that makes sense for our students? And so there are…so, what did we do? Before I get into the challenges, what did we do? Last spring, we put together a couple of different sessions to, kind of, understand what this problem was and, kind of, give ourselves a direction. So, we had a bunch of different programs come into our department, Applied Statistics, Forensic Science, all of these areas all have that, shared that same kind of thing where we were looking at cases. And looking at scenarios and those kinds of things that would there were similarities across all of those programs that would share this kind of learning environment. And it was really interesting to see the similarities across all these different programs. And then we had Dr. Ballard come from Hershey. And at Hershey, he spoke about the kinds of things that they do in teaching medical science. In other words, a woman, the example he gave was, a woman walks in and she’s got a pain in her leg. And so they actually teach the problem based approach. It was really interesting to see their perspective. So, we’re trying to learn how they take that, you know, I got a pain in my leg. Well, how do I diagnose that? What do I need to learn in order to understand this? And that’s how they, the motivation that they use to get them to learn what the doctors need to learn there. And then we had Tiffany Koszalka and Heng (Patrick) Luo who came from Syracuse to really look at how do we design cases? So, the activities that we did in the spring were ones that got us to look at what the parameters were of this thing and how could we kind of, get the…what were we dealing with and how could we, kind of, lay out a solution for ourselves that might make sense? So there are four challenges that we tried to get together and that is, how do we take, how do we change the way that we’ve been doing things? So, consultants would come in. Client, we’d get client requests. Consultants come into the consulting center and they are given advice. But those cases and those projects pretty much stay right there. And they don’t go any place. So, how do we change a habit to get those consultants to look for instructional materials. And so we put them in a queue. We have a bunch of cases that are kind of been archived, they’ve just been saved over time, and how do we get those and what were they gonna look like into those? So, this whole idea of trying to get a mindset around, in the department, of reusing this rich information in an instructional context instead of a consulting context. Can we save some of these courses and bring them back into our students so that it’s preparing those students in STAT 580, which is our practicum, as consulting cases? So, again, trying to get a good picture of the overall… where are these case materials and how to work with them? The second is, the second challenge…we’re still working on this. This is just not even, this is just looking at the overall, how do we handle this information? How do we store it? How do we work with that information? The second was the huge number of cases that we’ve had over the years. We go back to, looking at Jiaqi, because she’s worked on this. If you’ve ever seen the, is it the History Channel, we call it the huh channel in our family, because, you know, when you’re watching the History Channel we find ourselves saying, huh. That’s why they have the H for the History Channel, I think. Or at least that’s what we think in our family. But there’s a program in there about finding gold in the Yukon. And they have these big trammels that they put all this dirt through and they wash it out and then you get all these little gold nuggets, hopefully, that come out of that. Well, Jiaqi, in the back there, she’s our wash plant. We call her our wash plant, because she’s been charged with, kind of, going through a lot of these cases, opening up these old reports. These aren’t the ones that are walking in now. These are the ones that have been saved in the past and looking through them to see, oh, this is a really interesting case. Maybe that could be used. You know, this would be something that our students could take a look at. Could we turn these into instructional materials? So, she’s kind of our wash plant going through that. And whereas it seems like it would be really easy to make this kind of thing happen, there are a lot of challenges that kind of come up when you start to look at the individual different cases that we get involved. So, again, our first challenge was trying to get an overall perception of how we’re gonna change the looking at these materials, these consulting projects, and how can we turn these into instructional materials? Then how do we take those instructional, how do you take these consulting projects and then really turn them into consulting materials? And then next, I’d like Durland to talk a little bit about, if you could give us a little about your background, how you came into this project and how you’re looking at the cases. [ Durland ]: Yeah, thanks Glenn. I was a, or still am, a faculty consultant in the Consulting Center in the STAT department. I was in the position of overseeing a lot of these projects as they were coming through from clients and our graduate students were working through the statistical consulting process. And so I have some familiarity with a quite a few of these. And what I’d like to, you know, as Glenn mentioned, what differentiates a gold nugget from an ordinary rock, in this case, is that the… an example that may be given for students to look at for a statistical method is useful, like you might see in a textbook. But these case studies have the opportunity for students to see the process of developing a statistical method. So, there’s more to it. So, the case study idea really goes far beyond simply providing a example of how a statistical method is applied to real data. It involves that process rather than a simple prescription. So, as we look at these cases coming through, or potential cases coming through, that’s really the criteria that we’re looking for. Is there something in here that we can use to get the students to be thinking about not necessarily looking for a method to grab hold of and apply suddenly, but to think through the problems and work iteratively with an instructor as a process. This is an example of one of these that we recently set up for a case study from one of the projects that have come out of the Consulting Center. And I think it illustrates the process that we’re looking for here. This is study, it’s a pre and post assessment of taxonomic diversity in fresh water streams. So, it came to us from a client, a PhD student, who was doing the work on this. And what they had done was to look at streams that were, a lot of these streams are impacted from anthropogenic sources and what not. And they have restorations that they put in. You see one picture here. This is a rock vein. They have a number of these things to try to improve the quality of the stream for biological systems. So, they had some of these streams where these restoration treatments were gonna be applied. So, they had pre treatment data where they had gone out to…they looked at three streams and they captured, these are just aquatic insects, and they captured insects at three locations in each of the streams prior to installing these restoration treatments. Then following that, they went back several years later and, went back to the same locations, and looked at the taxonomic diversity at that point, and they wanted to do a pre versus post comparison. So, as the client had come to the center, they had run a simple keep sample T test. And I could see that the restoration treatment had actually produced a significant increase in the diversity of the aquatic insects. But the graduate student was in trouble because some of the committee members were very concerned about the fact that that may not be the best appropriate technique. The reason is the same streams were used for the assessment in the pre and post testing. And so the two independent sample T tests really isn’t the best way to go. And the student had been told hey, you should be maybe using a paired sample T test. And they weren’t sure how that all worked, so they came for some advice. And in this case, we see this as a case study development where, in this part of the process, students could take this and say, okay, well, let’s go ahead and do that paired sample test. And when you do that, remarkably, you see that the significance disappears, which is rather unusual. And so, it’s a motivation to go deeper into the problem and the instructor can kind of steer the students with a little bit of discussion to take a different approach. So, as this process develops, the students then will go back and say, well, instead of paired sample T test, they can consider using an analysis of variance with blocking where the streams would represent blocks and randomize complete block design. The advantage then is that you can see more of what’s going on behind the scenes. When you do that, you can see that there’s some problems with the residuals. And it is motivation for using a lot of rhythmic transformation dependent variable and it cleans up that problem for [ inaudible ] variances. But you still don’t have [ inaudible ]. So, at that point, the students can think in terms of giving this back to the client with the bad news that, okay, now the analysis is something that you can defend to the reviewers on the committee, but you’ve lost significance. These restoration treatments really didn’t work. Well, that’s kind of disappointing. But, in the discussion, it turns out we can reveal that the client says, well, you know, we went ahead and collected this data. What we had done, we went to these locations within each of the streams and we had captured the bugs and we aggregated those samples into one total count to represent that stream in both the pre and then, finally, in the post treatment analysis. Would it be of any use to consider the individual locations separately? Okay, so, from a statistical standpoint, that’s fantastic. Now, we’ve got some real data to work with. So, there’s a reveal portion of this process that is really not unlike the real world in that the consulting process does involve both communication with a client as well trying to find the right statistical method. You can see two things are going on at the same time. So, the client can supply the full data set without having aggregated the samples into a total. And the students can then start to work with that data set. When you start to approach it from that perspective, you can see that there’s some pitfalls that have to be avoided. If you just take all the data that’s been captured and you throw it into the computer, you will end up with, what we call, pseudo replication, if you’re not careful, and that will be an invalid analysis. So, there’s, kind of, a pitfall they got to avoid. But with some coaching from the instructor in the case study, they can be steered to thinking through this is a logical way that what we really have, in the final analysis, we have repeated measures on the locations within these three streams. And that’s a breakthrough. So, there’s this aha moment, but we’re not giving that aha moment up front to the students. They’ve got to get there by reasoning through and trying different computer runs and working their way to that point where finally they can see that is a repeated measures design and what happens is, in the study, as they model this system with repeated measures and a randomized complete block, blah, blah, blah, they find that the results are highly significant. And not only that, as they would prepare this for publication or defending it for their thesis, it’s valid and it withstand academic scrutiny as they would proceed forward. So, again, it’s the process of thinking through these things that’s really the advantage of a case study over a simple example. Now, the real work here is to develop the instructors guide and the student guide to make this happen. [ Glenn ]: That was excellent. Because from an instructional design point, let’s say I transform the department, think about these consulting cases as instructional materials now. And let’s say we’re able to pull all these cases out of the archives that we have. So, now we’ve got all these things. It’s not that easy. Because as you can tell, there are so many nuances and iterations that come into these cases, the challenge of writing these and presenting them in way so that the instructor or an authority instructor has an idea of what the ramifications of the whole thing before they get started and presenting them in a way to the student that doesn’t lead them down too many blind trails, but gives them that the challenge. And so our next challenge that we’ve just cracked the egg on is trying to develop an interface that allows for some of this. It won’t be the same as a one on one, face to face, you know, let’s work through this case kind of thing in an online environment. But can we present a first reveal as the doctor did? You know, I’ve got a pain in my leg. What do I about it? Or we’ve got this data, how do we… what does this tell us? And allow them to come in as individuals and then type in a response. Here’s what I think should go. So here’s where I think my exploratory data analysis takes me. And then once they submitted this, kind of move into a second section or a different part of the system that allows them to share what they’ve submitted with everyone else that shared that submission. So, now they’re looking at a bunch of other people what they said. And now we’ve got a community of students that are looking at this case with an instructor oversight. So, now we’re looking at this a community looking at this whole thing. And taking advantage of things like, you know, reflective aspects of things. This thing is hard to read but it says, how well do you think this submission met the needs of the client? So, you’re getting feedback and others are getting feedback, not at all, the details, some details are missing, that they did a good job or not at all, or right not sure, right on the spot. Things like this doesn’t allow us to rank or rate or buy feedback to allow those students to then move down that trail to say, okay, yeah, I’ve got those cases. I’ve got an idea of what’s going on here. And I’ve got a good handle as to how I’m gonna solve this. Our ultimate goal would be to say, rather than having our students go through our series of courses and get to the practicum at the end and say, okay, the first time I’m gonna take a look at one these real world examples. Instead, having gone through, I mean, our goal is having gone through a lot of these different cases before they get to the practicum, they go into that practicum and say, okay, I’m ready. Give me a good one now. I’ve seen all, I’ve worked in some of these. I’ve been exposed to a lot of these types, more than just examples. I understand the nuance that’s being asked of me. Give me a really hard one, because I’m ready for it. And so that’s really what we’re trying to accomplish with the help of the consultants that can really take these apart with Jiaqi who is our wash plant. And with the rich database of cases that we’ve gone through. So, that’s what our COIL project has been about. That’s where we’re headed. I think our year is coming to an end here as far as our funding goes, but I know that this project is not gonna stop because that year is over, we’re gonna continue to work on this. We’ll stop there and ask any quick questions before we turn it over to Alex. [ Audience ]: Have you thought about using the same approach in even the lower level courses undergraduate you state the same type of thing in that scenario worth [ inaudible ]? [Glenn]: It’s a sense of trying to get the students a bigger picture of what’s going on. And so yes, I think, it could work at the lower level. The problem with some of that is that it’s harder to, it’s harder to come up with cases that’s really easy. That’s one of the things. We look at some of these cases, oh, here’s gonna be easy one. You get into it and realize, it’s really not that easy then. So, you want to…looking for cases that are more confidence builders. And so, yeah, our introductory students or students that are just starting to take their first couple courses, we want to give them simple confidence builders so students can come away and say, I can do this. So, I think, one of the challenges of this is coming up with those cases that are gonna meet the need throughout. Good, I’m gonna stop there and turn it over to Alex. {silence} And I’ll let you take over. {silence} [ Alex ]: Great, thank you! And thank you for giving us the opportunity to present a little bit of our work. Also COIL RIG project together with Anthony Robinson here as well. And Kevin Sparks is our RA on this project. What we were interested in is using sketch-based learning objects in the area of geospatial education. And the motivation for that is that, or was that, we wanted to deliver dynamic rather than steady context concept and content. I think this is very much on books. Everyone has used Khan Academy, for example, has been exposed to that. We want to offer a highly modular approach. So, we wanted to not have, like, entire lectures but be focusing on individual concepts that then can be plucked in together in the lowest most versatile form possible. And then our focus was on sketching as a very natural and efficient way to communicate, which is under utilized. But especially in the spatial sciences, so, architecture, geography. It’s often the case that it is very efficient or much more efficient than actually using language. We wanted to evaluate feasibility and technical solutions for this approach. Look into how we can disseminate these learning objects and then also questions of engaging in our community and really making this a project. Just a little bit about sketching. So, we actually thought a lot about sketching. I did that awhile back in my research. So, sketching is fast, rough, and sort of, natural. Essentially everyone can do it. And once you start, even if you’re not an artist, embrace your pen and pad. It’s actually showing where, it actually shows that it’s a very effective tool to communicate. What I particular like about it is that sketching essentially separates the concepts from unnecessary details. Especially now, so I’m teaching spatial analysis. So, the focus is often on a concept that students have to understand first rather than technicality. And sketching is, sort of, rough in that sense and allows the focus on sort of, what is actually behind something. And I have an example like, the spatial weights matrix. Sketching is for everyone. I said that. You don’t have to be an artist. I’m particularly bad at drawing, actually. But I still think that it is a useful tool for me. Sketching, as I said before, is effective for particularly visual communication. And then, what I also said before is that, sketching allows for exploring linguistically difficult concepts to express. So, especially if you look into natural language how hard it is to express something spatial in language. Sketching is an ideal tool to make this problem, or to resolve this problem, and because it allows you to be very specific about something that in words is very hard to explain. And general, if you look into the architecture, literature, sketches allow you to create some insights while doing them. And then I would also say that sketching is fun. So, what we first did is we looked into a number of options that we could explore to facilitate sketching. And the options would be to either use your computer. In this case, you would have to have actually two programs. One that does the sketching and one that sketches the screen. And there are numerous solutions out there. I just listed a couple of them but then not going into detail to them. But very quickly settled on so it was the all kinds of tablet solutions. Is that this is more natural way for sketching, and I have an example. We looked into a number of options available for both iPad and Android, such as Explain everything, Brushes, Educreations, ShowMe, and so on and so forth. And did our own little evaluation. Especially for the iPad. So, we had a couple of criteria that we wanted to have as looking for like a versatile tool for sketching. Such as can it capture the actual action? Is it possible to comment at the same time as draw? How sophisticated are the drawing options, but then also maybe not too complex? Is it possible to record and playback video? Is it possible to export the video? Can you export images? Can you insert pictures and video and have additional features for example? If you have already a sketch for imported style pictures, can you actually show what you’re talking about while you record it. And after all this assessment, we settled on two [ inaudible ] to explain when [ inaudible ] explained everything. I actually have a demonstration. But maybe I do that at the end, because it messes with the presentation. What I can show you, then, is the next step. So, we create those as we go and focus on a number of topics. This is then also where the dissemination part comes in. At the moment, we just upload them to You Tube. So, and you explain everything too. It has a direct link to You Tube. I’ve created a channel. And then we create the little QR codes. So, if you wanted to, you can just point your phone or whatever device you have and I provided the link here just to give you a short idea. This is what Kevin did for {silence} for some of the content that we had. [ Recording ]: So, in today’s video, we’re gonna talk about the spatial analysis concept that is interaction. A good way to think about what interaction is is it’s the combination between distance and adjacency. We talked about both of these concepts in previous videos. And if you remember, adjacency is really a binary relationship. You’re either adjacent to something or you’re not. But if we added distance into this situation, then all of a sudden you have interaction. [ Alex ]: I just wanted to show you that this is essentially how it feels. And these videos are very short. They are on specific concepts such as interaction. What is the boundary/maup issue area unit problem? What’s the spatial weights matrix? What’s the concept of rook and queen contiguity and so on and so forth? So a lot of these concepts that are rather difficult to explain in in natural language. And that we feel although we don’t have enough actual proof benefit from being explained in a visual form. What we then do is that we are also trying to systematically organize these sketch-based learning objects. So, we started with courses that we, ourselves, are most familiar with. But the ultimate goal was actually to create a body of knowledge for geospatial education that is sketch-based. And that is inspired by projects that comes out of the university consortium for Geographic Information Science. They have created the body of knowledge for geographic information Science and Technology. The first edition was actually led by [ inaudible ], who’s now at [inaudible]. And they’re currently in the process of creating the second version. So, they are collecting the topics also in this highly modular form, of what it is that students actually should be able to understand or should capture in certain sub fields of this science. And the general idea is to, motivate enough people to contribute to as I said before, a sketch-based body of knowledge for Geographic Information Science. Just very briefly, we have a couple of things that we are currently working on. We have another five months, I think, for the project to go. We say a little bit about engaging in our community. claim that sketching someone natural, but it’s actually very difficult to sketch. So, that’s something we learned. So, I come back to that. So, what we thought as a way of convincing people is that we started now to redesign courses that we have and enhance them for some sketch-based learning objects. And we have a residential course, 464 Spatial Analysis, and a corresponding online course, 586, that we are currently working on. So, this is in part of another endeavor that focuses on blended learning or a flipped classroom experience. And then the sketch-based learning objects are part of more broader concept. So, this is how information, at the moment, provided in 586 to students when they work through. There’s a number of hyperlinks that people can access to get more information. So, in this case, again, it’s not very readable. There’s one here, for example, called Modify an Area Unit Problem. And this is how it is then explained. So, we are currently in the process of replacing or at least offering an additional form of assessing this information with the geospatial on which the sketch-based learning objects that we created. This is currently being redone. The other aspect is for the residential course. I would be getting a public conversation in about two weeks on Blended Learning with Lynda as well as sketch-based geospatial learning objects. So, we also used the material that we create to create this idea of the flipped classroom where students outside the classroom work with certain materials, get information, and then do a more project and problem based solutions in the classroom. So that valuable classroom face to face time can be used in a very, very different style. And I’m teaching this course for the first time in this flipped style this semester. And I’m very happy with this, because it’s a technical course and Kevin just that I faced before different learning speeds and so on and so forth. They’re really leveraged by letting people work through material on their own speed at their own time before they come to class. I’m very convinced about this one. Anthony is currently presenting about this MOOC, Maps and Geospatial Revolution session. There are a number of concepts there that we have identified that would benefit from this kind of official presentation. So, we’re working on that. The goal was second time we would be teaching it. We come in I guess, in early April, or late April so we hope that we can get some sketch-based learning objects in that. Then engaging in our community. So, we haven’t given up on this idea. So, we, as I said, it is a challenge to convince people to sketch and also to contribute. So, we focus on these case studies so that we now have something to show and present and say, look, this is really a nice way of presenting information. Can you think about ways of allowing my concept in your classes that might benefit, that would be able to present in this form? We’re also exploring a couple of other strategies, such as sketch-based geospatial learning object challenge [ inaudible ] in creating sketch-based learning objects. We then have two longer term goals. So, one is the sketch workbook for students. So, at the moment, we are doing all the sketching. But there’s also, if you look into some of the older material, that Kevin provided where people really have to work through problems by cutting up and drawing from the book. I find that to be a very interesting plot to digital to have a course where people have to very actively draw and engage with material by drawing sketches and find concepts, not just verbally or linguistically, but also by drawing. And then there’s a research focus on this. It’s called CogSketch. It’s actually a product that’s developed at Northwestern University. And what they are doing is they are developing libraries so that sketches don’t have to be completely created from scratch. So, for spatial concepts and for geospatial thinking, for example, architecture, they have they’ve created libraries and we’re looking into but this is an option for [ inaudible ] class as well, so that essentially there will be a library of objects that people can use as templates for creating geospatial sketches as well. That I’m finished with this part of the presentation and I can just give you a short demo of the Explain Everything tool. {silence} So, this essentially is the Explain Everything interface so it’s still pretty simple in the way that it’s designed. So, it’s not overwhelming, overwhelmed with menus and information. So, the good thing is it offers text for input. So, for example, start with a concept you don’t have to draw everything. So, my handwriting is atrocious, as my wife says. So, you can use the text for input. as well in case you have to type something. So, that’s a possibility. And then there’s various drawing options. So, if you have, for example, to explain the spatial weights matrix. You can start with, this is the country separated into various subregions. You can label the sub-regions A, B, C, D, for example, and then you can continue explaining that we need to record the relationship, the spatial relationship between those countries. For example, by looking into whether they are neighbors or not. And this information is then stored in the spatial weights matrix that can be created in this way. And it records the spatial relationships. For example, whether object A and B are related. In this case, it would be coded as a one. If two objects, for example, and A and D are not related, actually an example that I have online is a little bit more fluent than what I’m doing up here, would be recorded as a zero. You can pre-note the information as well. So, this is what I did on the second slide. So, this is the classic entity attribute diagram that is very useful. In this case, you could just select the laser pointer for example while you’re explaining. Okay, if you have aerial objects that are [ inaudible ] there are certain types of spatial analysis methods that are applicable. If you have aerial objects you have other spatial analysis methods that are [ inaudible ]. everything here is [ inaudible ] and move things around so it takes a little while to get used to it, but it’s actually not like a super steep learning curve. So, you get the hang of it pretty quickly. Then, as I said, you can export these things directly to You Tube, set your channel up, and that’s it. It’s pretty fast. And I used that a little bit so far. I use that in my class in two ways. To explain concept but also to respond to students questions. So, that seems to be something that students appreciate. Thank you! {applause} {silence} [ inaudible question ] [ Alex ]: I do have a pen that I use sometimes on my iPad. [ inaudible question ] [ Alex ]: Yes, sorry, I have the pen. So, that’s just what I have. What I like about the hand drawings actually that there’s certain operations that you need two fingers for. And that’s always the tricky part when you have the pencil, because then you have to put the pencil away and then do things. So, if you want to zoom in, zoom out, you need your two fingers. So, but I could see the beauty of having, like a, more detailed pencil rather than, as you mentioned, the fat finger. That was not part of our assessment. But I think there is something to it being more precise. I mean, the one way around it is that you can’t zoom in or not. So, and that helps then a little bit with the cool tool that we’re equipped with. Evolution probably would change that. [ inaudible question ] [ Alex ]: Yes, and I just have the [ inaudible ]. But I probably should try this one out. [ inaudible question ] [ Alex ]: Yes, so that’s in here. [ inaudible question ] [ Alex ]: Yeah, so the widths here is changed as well. Well, thank you! {applause} {psychedelic sound}

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