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Academic Integrity Videos
More academic integrity / plagiarism resources
I’ve recently watched a great video about paraphrasing from the Lehman College’s Leonard Lief Library, located via Sheila Webber:
Another colleague of mine has been trying to create their own plagiarism / citation videos in French using simple tools, like a voice over of a presentation. The videos are interesting but the sound could be a bit better.
Another colleague highlighted this simple website from Dr. Lipson, a Political Science professor at Concordia University (where I work), where he guides students through Plagiarism.
In addition, a colleague of mine indicated that this book on academic authorship discusses plagiarism:
Belcher, Wendy Laura, 2009. Writing your journal article in 12 weeks: A guide to academic publishing success, Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, USA. Pages 161-163.
Instruction meets the carnival
Yesterday was my home institution’s Librarians’ Forum – a very interesting mix of new and not so new librarians presenting their ongoing research projects, held mid-April for the past 12 years.
There were many fascinating research projects presented, but one of them struck a chord. My colleagues Rosarie Coughlan, Information Literacy Librarian, & Isabelle Roy, Special Projects Manager & Architect both at Concordia University Libraries were presenting on the various semi-directed focus group sessions that aimed to design our new classrooms in the Webster Library. I remember being invited to such a session but I had to rush out because of an emergency.
So, here is my unsolicited rather off the wall thoughts on the topic of “dreaming up a classroom – no budget restrictions” under the theme of instruction meets carnival.
What is more fun than a carnival? I remember when it came to town, I would love the bumper cars and the small, rickety roller coasters one could ride for a few tickets. So, if PT Barnum could design a classroom, here is what it would look like.
This spacious room with very high ceiling would have many desks, say about 50 0or 60. Each one would look like a bumper car, single seat narrower at the front and larger in the back, like a triangle with the front cut off (trapeze). Instead of a steering wheel, you would have a console comprised of a screen, keyboard, joystick, camera, microphone and speakers. There would also have enough room for a book, tablet or laptop on each side of the keyboard (it could be fixed to the console table).
These pods would be mounted on a network of rails (you still need wires to get electricity to the IT equipment, one could get batteries on these pods, but then you get into recharging & capacity issues). These rails would actually be mounted as a network of square tiles with perpendicular ovals rails in the middle to allow for lateral movement. This flexible smart grid would be the “under-floor” and would allow pods to rotate in their axis or move around the room in a fluid motion.
The floor would have a synthetic self-cleaning and regenerating grass-like covering, soft to the naked foot but robust enough to survive the wear and tear of the rails from the pods. It would smell like grass too if you stepped in it. Fresh grass is just the happiest smell.
Because of their shape, pods could come together to form hexagons or octagons of inward-facing occupants, allowing for group work. They could also form a square matrix and face in any direction. Actually, because of the shape of the networked tiles-as-rails, they could form any classroom structure.
Pods would be equipped with detachable wall & ceiling mounted zip-lines attached to the torso of occupants. Occupants would be able to leap from their pods to traverse the room in any fashion, assisted with cervo-motors and a really small, cool, hand-held controller.
All the walls are actually retractable smart glass that can become clear or opaque as well as become a projection space, a tactile smart screen. They could also be embedded with two-way capture technology, tiny cameras every few decimeters to record motion around them, but also an easy occupant-controlled “print-screen” function. So, you can use your finger or any object to write on these glass-screens, but also project, capture and share content on them or in front of them.
The environment would be controlled by really smart software. Heuristics could determine the best temperature, humidity or air pressure based on historical or actual outside weather, season or based on the biometrics from occupants (heart-rate, temperature, clothing they are wearing, etc.) or any other aspect (elections? winning local sports team? earthquake?) using the capture devices embedded in the smart glass-screen or open web datasets.
Of course, the synthetic grass floor-covering would emit the appropriate smell based on the heuristics of the environmental control (wet soil in spring, chlorophyll for summer, damp hay for fall or even snowy cool).
The classroom would be at the ground floor of the building or close to a busy passageway. Smart-glass walls are retractable so that passers by can look into or engage with the occupants of the classroom.
All pods double as podiums or desks. They are all equal but successful completion of classroom objectives or learning outcomes allow for badges that allow the occupant to pimp their pod. Of course, pods have an customizable exterior made of smart materials that would allow to show badges or tchatchkas earned from the learning process. If occupants misbehave, so would their pods, disabling certain features or even ejecting them (remember the zip-lines?) if they really fall out of line.
You could also have Pods without occupants. These could be rail-mounted or not – in that case, they would be robots. They can deliver print jobs (old fashion paper or 3D printouts of objects) as well as refreshments or other equipment.
So, there are a few examples from fictional works. Remember the flying pods in the Imperial Senate from the Star Wars saga (Episodes 1-3)? I also like the devices soldiers use in Attack on Titan to move around. Also, I’d like to thank the late French Bande dessinée articst Moebius (Jean Giraud) for his graphic style of science fiction. And of course, just classic bumper cars and roller coasters…
Blended Learning Read Me Videos
On compelling videos
Educause has a piece on what makes instructional vidoes compelling. Little surprise, the most viewed have content dealing directly with course activities.
Guidelines - recommendations Information literacy Inspiration
InfoLit Best Practices looking for example cases
According to the Information Literacy Blog, the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Best Practices Committee “is looking for information literacy programs that are exemplary in any of the categories outlined in Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline.”
More information here: http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/sections/is/iswebsite/committees/bestpractices
Blended Learning Inspiration
Power of/on e-learning
Sometimes, all one needs is a name to get started on researching a topic. Here is one: Michael Power.
I stumbled on his e-learning diary published in open access from Athabasca University Press in both French & English, called: A Designer’s Log: Case Studies in Instructional Design.
Already there are great insights in this book, including a thorough bibliography. It seems professor Power has been active within the Journal of distance education, such as:
– Redesigning Online Learning for Graduate Seminar Delivery Vol 24, No 2 (2010)
– Générations d’enseignement à distance, technologies éducatives et médiatisation de l’enseignement supérieur Vol 17, No 2 (2002)
Bibliographies Blended Learning Information literacy
Evidence from a flipped InfoLit class
I just read this interesting article from C&R Libraries about a flipped infolit class.
The flipped classroom: Assessing an innovative teaching model for effective and engaging library instruction
College & Research Libraries News
vol. 75 no. 1 10-13
Also of interest:
Four quick flips: Activities for the information literacy classroom
Ilka Datig and Claire Ruswick
College & Research Libraries News
vol. 74 no. 5 249-257
Concordia University Copyright Lectures and conferences
What’s up with Canadian Copyright? (new edition)
I just gave a lecture about copyright called: What’s up with Canadian Copyright? Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation.
It uses the excellent NFB documentary by Brett Gaylor called: RIP! A remix manifesto. See also the movie’s page here.
This is a similar lecture to the one I delivered in February 2013 in prof. Tagny Duff’s Intermedia class at Concordia University’s Scholl of Communication Studies.
It is part of a playlist of videos on YouTube, including one on Creative Commons and the user generated content exception. Here are the 6 videos in a single playlist:
Additional reading materials:
– Read the legislative summary for bill C-11 by the Library of Parliament. (in general, it is a great idea to find these legislative summaries, the Library of the Parliament of Canada usually issues these for most laws).
– The “CCH” supreme court case (on fair dealings): CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC 13,  1 SCR 339
Read the first dozen pages for a great introduction to Canadian Copyright. On fair dealings, start with paragraph 48, which reads :
48 Before reviewing the scope of the fair dealing exception under the Copyright Act, it is important to clarify some general considerations about exceptions to copyright infringement. Procedurally, a defendant is required to prove that his or her dealing with a work has been fair; however, the fair dealing exception is perhaps more properly understood as an integral part of the Copyright Act than simply a defence. Any act falling within the fair dealing exception will not be an infringement of copyright. The fair dealing exception, like other exceptions in the Copyright Act, is a user’s right. In order to maintain the proper balance between the rights of a copyright owner and users’ interests, it must not be interpreted restrictively. As Professor Vaver, supra, has explained, at p. 171: “User rights are not just loopholes. Both owner rights and user rights should therefore be given the fair and balanced reading that befits remedial legislation.”
On the 5 Supreme Court copyright cases delivered during the Summer of 2012, please access the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s website for the free full-text version of these rulings:
How to analyse a copyright issue (in French) :
Comment utiliser une oeuvre protégée par le droit d’auteur ?
Blended Learning Information literacy Open education Videos
The anatomy of a YouTube tutorial
I am happy to announce the launch of a new batch of tutorials on YouTube, the first of which is on PMB, the print measurement bureau:
This video follows a new template I have devised for my blended learning initiative to bring information literacy to my students. I want to replace my in-class lectures with self-mediated learning at home and hands-on exercises in class.
I often get asked about how I create these so I want to share my process with you. I currently have an earlier set of videos on my personal channel but I want to reshoot all of them following the process I outline below. These will be available on a new dedicated YouTube channel.
I have been a business librarians for over a decade and I have delivered hundreds of library training sessions on locating valuable information. My main community is comprised of students taking the Entrepreneurship class at Concordia Univeristy’s John Molson School of Business. Seeing that there are over 30 sections a year of the Entrepreneurship course and only one of me, I was not able to meet the demand for dedicated instruction on locating business information.
I created a step-by-step 4-page research worksheet, which is included in the student’s course packs as well as the Library’s Business Research Portal.
For more information on the background of this project, please watch this 45 minute lecture I gave in April 2013.
I have bought some gear to test various methods of creating tutorials. Of all these toys, I find that two are essential: my 15-inch MacBook laptop (actually, any Mac will do as long as there is enough disk-space and processing power) as well as a professional-grade table-top microphone, the Yeti from Blue Microphones in my case. On my Mac, I find all the software I need to produce the videos and I find that one needs an external microphone as the one included on the Macs sounds poor on a higher quality system such as one using a public announcement (PA) system in a classroom.
Also, I use an external keyboard and mouse when shooting my video. I find that taping on the laptop’s keyboard or using the track-pad makes the screen wobble. Because that is where the video camera shoots from, it makes the video seem like you are on a boat. I prod my laptop on an old dictionary and work from an USB keyboard & mouse.
No, I do not use any special software to screen-capture, I just use good old QuickTime. If you look at the “File” menu on the software, you find that you can launch a “New screen capture” and “New video” right from QuickTime. I just do both at the same time! I shoot a “High” quality video of my talking head with the MacBook’s camera and the Yeti mic as well as a soundless “High” quality screen-capture video. Both with QuickTime, at the same time.
This gives me 2 video files, which I then mix, match and edit in iMovie, also included for free on my MacBook. In iMovie, you have to go to the preferences to enable the advanced tools and then, you can create the image-in-image effect by draging one file to the other in the video editing screen. I also really want to experiment with blue-screens, which I will do with a 5 dollar tarp from Canadian Tire…
The trick is to “merge” the two video files in iMovie and then to edit the scenes from this main stream. I try to say out-loud when I click somewhere, to help learners follow what I am doing on-screen. This also assists with post-production. If you want to edit a part out, you can right-click on the spot you want to cut out to “split” it, you just have to do it at the same spot for both files… I will probably do a training video on how to do this soon…
Another trick is to go to your Mac’s preferences and change the size of the mouse cursor. I find it is easier to follow if your pointer is huge. In the preferences, access the “accessibility” options and you can toggle the size of the cursor.
Tone, look & feel
It took me a while to experiment with the look and feel of my videos. I got much help from Concordia’s Center for Teaching & Learning on my first set. Then, I tried different venues and modes to shoot them myself. I tried to lecture-capture in the classroom, but I could never get the sound or the lighting right. Also, the flow was off – there is nothing worse than a 60 minute lecture, with bad sound and lighting when FaceBook and other digital distractions are just a click away.
I find the best ones come from a relaxed and personal tone. I try to be myself and imagine I am explaining this to a distant friend or colleague. Warm and close, but still professional. Some personality is good, as you want your learners to feel they are interacting with a person.
I shoot the videos in my home office as I find the backdrop much nicer – those are my graphic novels and other fun readings I keep there. I also have better lighting with 2 windows on the corner of my home, which I supplement with 2 inexpensive LED reading lamps, one aimed at my face and a closer one pointed on my table in front of me. I find that my neighborhood a better and quieter place to shoot my videos than a bustling university library located in downtown Montreal. I also feel comfortable and relaxed, which helps.
I don’t fully script my videos, but I do prepare a summary or plan of what I want to cover. Reading text in a video sucks, feels and looks awkward. I’d rather jot down a few reading notes and ad-lib the rest. If I stumble or stater during the shoot, I usually signal to myself to exclude that bit by covering the camera – this trick makes it easy to pick up these error in the post-production.
I divide my videos in multiple parts.
First, I have a “pitch” where I explain what we will be covering in the video. This cannot exceed 30 seconds. If it does, I cut it down.
Then, I have a “first title” screen. It provides for my credentials and link to the library’s business research portal. This is about 6 seconds long. The text is fixed on the screen for that period. Should students want to read it further, they can pause it then.
Immediately following the title screen, I have a “second title” screen where I name the video and provide a more specific link on the library website to a specialized guide. This is also about 6 seconds long. The text flies from left-to-right with the link on the bottom.
During the two title screens, I play a loop of music a really awesome colleague of mine donated from his DJ console.
Then, I usually have a screen focus on my face for about a minute, to give more details of the resource I will explain. Then, I turn on the image-in-image feature and I guide users in using a resource. I may leave the image-in-image mode during the body of my video to mix things up a bit and break the flow. I aim to provide 2 or 3 topics for a maximum of 2-3 minutes each.
The last 30 seconds of a video are used to quickly recap what we have covered and perhaps offer an option to offer links to additional videos on my channel. YouTube allows you to add links to videos from the Dashboard of a video.
I then have my credentials on the screen again for about 6 seconds, followed by another 6 seconds with the video title and dedicated link on the library website. I make sure to paste the link to the dedicated page on the library website about the resource in the first line of the video’s description. YouTube makes that link active, so YouTube always points to the library website. I have another music loop during this part, slightly different from the one in the introduction, thanks to my awesome DJ-librarian friend.
I then have an “extro” screen branded to Concordia University, a few seconds long. A little branding goes a long way!
My videos will never exceed 10 minutes. It it must, I split the video – it is better to have two 8 minute videos than a long 15 minute one.
It takes me about 30 minutes to shoot a video, and anywhere from 2 to 4 hours for post-production. That means that I can whip out a video in half a day, including rendering time as well as uploading it to YouTube. I could make longer videos, but I find that 10 minutes or less is probably an unwritten rule for keeping an undergrad’s attention on the Internet.
I organize a stream of videos through playlists on YouTube.
I hope to work closely with course coordinators to further integrate these videos in the curriculum for capstone courses. For example, they can become part of assignments or additional materials included on the course’s online management system. I am focusing on a few course for now, to maximize the reach, but I can certainly roll the videos out to more niche courses. Or, I can use the time I free up from servicing the core courses to provide for more presence for higher undergrad or grad courses.
I feel this is a new way to service our communities while allocating resources more efficiently. It is also fun and motivating to see your statistics rack up. I may not reach the status of KPop stars, but I will certainly reach more students.
Big study on iPad is schools
Two researchers from the Université de Montréal just released a 50+ page report on the use of iPads in schools (K-12).
At tip to Antoine Robitaille from the Montréal newspaper Le Devoir on highlighting its publication.
2013 in review – Site statistics for OutFind.ca
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.