Media Creation Resources in Support of the Center for Psychological Inquiry

Project Title: Media Creation Resources in Support of the Center for Psychological Inquiry

Project Lead: Peter Wessels


Phone: (513) 529-2408

Affiliation: CAS

Other Team Members: Amy Summerville

Project Details: We seek to add media creation resources including screen casting software, supporting hardware, and an HD camera to support multiple missions of the Center for Psychological Inquiry (CPI). These missions tutoring undergraduate students taking courses in the Department of Psychology, creating training and advising materials, developing the technological skills among Undergraduate Associates working in the CPI, generating content for large enrollment courses in the department, and developing training modules that will facilitate the efforts of instructional staff to invert their classrooms and enhance access to course materials (e.g., closed captioning and visual enlargement).

Problem Project Attempts to Solve: The Department of Psychology faces multiple challenges as it attempts to meet a number of important pedagogical goals. These goals include providing an Experiential Learning (EL) experience for all majors, improving access to high quality tutoring and advising resources for all students taking psychology courses, facilitating course engagement by supporting "inverted classroom" initiatives, and ensuring that the materials from all courses are easily accessible to all students. A new course that will be offered for the first time in the fall semester of 2016 attempts to address many of the department's pedagogical goals. PSY 112 will provide EL experiences coupled with modules and activities that are geared toward student development and quality advising. We anticipate that 500 or more undergraduates from across the university will take PSY 112 each semester going forward, and the course will be required for all of our majors. Content in the course will include research participation, advice from faculty and experts in the field, career exploration, and content on ethics and critical thinking. The sheer size of the course and its diversity of content necessitates that high-quality materials be available outside of the classroom and that the materials can take advantage of closed captioning, visual enlargement, and accessible file formats for multiple viewing options. The creation of PSY 112 highlights the challenge of providing organizational and manpower support in the absence of effective technological support. The same hardware and software that can support the success of PSY 112 can also be used to support department advising, tutoring, and the enhancement of other courses. This purpose of this proposal is to acquire software and hardware that can be used to meet the pedagogical goals of the department, to develop expertise in the technology among a select group of undergraduates, and then to facilitate the sharing of this expertise with others. Specifically, we wish to acquire screen casting software, computer hardware for running the software and storing media resources in a "living" format, and hardware resources to capture and develop our own media. We will develop expertise with the software and hardware among the undergraduate Associates working in the Center for Psychological Inquiry and a major component of their training will be to produce training materials to instruct others (students, faculty, staff) how to use the same resources. The Center for Psychological Inquiry (CPI), housed in the Department of Psychology, is open to all students during most business hours. The CPI is staffed by approximately 10 undergraduate Associates, a graduate Coordinator, and at least one faculty Director. The Center is often the first stop for students seeking initial advising, information about graduate programs, opportunities for research and internship experiences, and tutoring for core courses in the major. The the undergraduate Associates in the CPI are a natural fit for beginning the software and hardware training process. They are engaged in many activities that would be helpfully reproduced as training media (e.g., a screen casting and video showing how to use statistical analysis software). Part of the training of the Associates will also involve creating some of the basic modules for PSY 112 as many of the services provided face-to-face in the CPI could be summarized in a media format for larger numbers of students. The Associates will also be available to help train instructors in the department who seek to use the technology to improve their courses. By housing the technology in the CPI, expertise in its use can be maintained and passed down to each cohort of Associates at no additional cost and as a normal part of training. The specific software we are requesting is an educationally-priced bundle that includes Camtasia and Snap-it. I have used the software in the past and I will oversee training of the Associates in the CPI. The software is especially useful for capturing media and integrating powerpoint, screen activities, videos, images, accessibility tools, and other media resources. The software produces both a native file format that allows for "living" updates to resources at any time, and also is capable of outputting media is a wide variety of file formats, making it especially useful for making the same resources available to web pages, smart phones, tablets, laptops, and so on. The software is very RAM intensive and many of the activities we wish to engage in require mobility (e.g., interviewing an expert in the field). In addition, many of the media files we wish to work with are very large and need to be archived. For these reasons, we are requesting a high-powered laptop with a significant amount of RAM. We are also requesting several storage (e.g., an external hard drive) and transfer options (e.g., a flash drive, external DVD player, media cards) for processing and archival purposes. Finally, we would like to capture our own live media with an HD video camera suitable for filming in interior environments such as offices and classrooms, and we have therefore requested an affordable HD camera package with supporting equipment (e.g., tripod, protective case, LED light attachment). Training on the requested technology will begin in the summer as we have already received funding from the Center for Teaching Excellence to host a workshop for interested faculty and students. In their letter confirming funding for a workshop, their reviewers specifically suggested that we submit a Tech Fee proposal for acquiring the necessary equipment."

Does this project focus on graduate studies?: No

Does it meet tech fee criteria?: There are multiple areas of anticipated impact on students. The most deeply impacted group will be the continuing small cohorts of undergraduate Associates working in the Center for Psychological Inquiry. Every Associate will be asked to develop expertise with the requested software and hardware by developing materials that will benefit the pedagogical initiatives of others. By building a core of expertise among cohorts of Associates in the Center, we can support an institutional memory for using the technology that should not be impacted by changes in staffing. A second area of impact will be immediately seen in the generation of content using the requested technology for large numbers of students taking PSY 112 beginning in the fall of 2012. Because PSY 112 is a core requirement for majors, every psychology major will be impacted by the availability of high-quality media resources that can be accessed at any time of day on virtually any platform through their college career. We will be encouraging faculty to explore "inverting" their classroom using the requested technology and we will support their training should they wish to do so. In this way, multiple faculty and the students that enroll in their updated courses will also benefit from this project.

How will you assess the project?: In the short term, assessment of the project will focus on successfully creating course content for PSY 112 and training materials for the CPI. That is, the generation of a needed product is itself a successful outcome. The impact of the project is expected to be broad and integrated across a wide range of applications. Some means of assessing the effectiveness of the project will include course evaluations of PSY 112, course evaluations and pedagogical projects initiated by faculty updating their courses by using the technology, and departmental assessments that measure student satisfaction and success in the major overall.

Have you received tech fee funding in the past?: No

What happens to this project in year two?: There are no anticipated ongoing costs. Continued training will be conducted by undergraduate Associates working in the Center for Psychological Inquiry. The software bundle is sold as a permanent site license. All staffing issues will be handled by the CPI and covered under other means of support if needed.

Software: Camtasia Studio/Snagit Education Pricing Bundle, produced and sold by Techsmith, $199

Hardware: Dell Latitude E7250 #2 Package Base + Backup Package of 1Tb Hard Drive and 32 Gb Flash Drive + External CD/DVD Drive, all sold by the Miami Bookstore. Sony Handycam HDR-CX240 Camcorder + 32 Gb Card + Battery + Case + Video Light + Tripod + Kit at non-sale, $2,277

Total Budget: $2,476