Nomination for Shawn Dunning and Jon Rust
Name: Shawn Dunning and Jon Rust
Personal home page: http://courses.ncsu.edu/tms211/common/ru...
Brief Description and Purpose of project
TMS 211, Introduction to Fiber Science, is a foundation course required for all students in the College of Textiles. Traditionally, it has included two separate components, a lecture component and a laboratory component. The lecture portion focused on characteristics of fibers and how they are used. The laboratory portion of the course focused on the identification of fibers, based on its macroscopic and microscopic properties. Students would work in groups (due to space and equipment limitations) in a traditional microscopy lab, preparing slides and documenting results in a lab manual.
In March 2010, DELTA began working with Shawn Dunning and Dr. Jon Rust to create a Distance Education (DE) version of TMS 211. Their primary goals were to create a course that:
* Combines the lectures and the lab into one seamless course
* Includes opportunities for students to simulate working with fibers under a microscope in a virtual environment
* Uses media to better demonstrate detailed processes
Significant time was spent early on to determine the learning outcomes and instructional challenges from the perspective of several of the instructors currently teaching the laboratory and lecture sections. After careful analysis, it was determined that the best approach would be to make the course a combined lecture and lab online, merging them together as one course delivered through Moodle.
The combined course is highly interactive, leveraging a keyed index in Moodle for easily accessing content. The course material uses the Moodle Book feature, customized and styled for structuring and delivering content following best practices in course design. Each book chapter incorporates a variety of avenues for student engagement, including:
* Articulate Interactions: A series of warm up activities, case studies, and self-quizzes using Articulate Engage and Articulate Quizmaker.
* Instructional Graphics: Custom graphics that visualize the relationships between fibers and how they are classified.
* Livescribe Recordings: A series of Livescribe recordings that walk students through how to calculate various mechanical properties of fibers.
* Animations: An animation that demonstrates how light passes through a compound microscope.
* Virtual Viewer: A great deal of research went into sourcing possible online microscope tools. Initially, consideration was given to the option of shipping a basic microscope to each student. It was ultimately decided that an online microscope tool would be developed that would not only simulate many of the capabilities of a compound microscope but also allow for features that a traditional microscope does not allow for, such as comparing multiple fibers side-by-side. With the Virtual Viewer, students are able to view and pan images of fibers at multiple magnification levels, compare multiple fiber samples under different media or conditions, and measure fibers with a virtual micrometer tool.
* MicroExplorer 3D: Students still needed to learn the various parts of the compound microscope and how to use it, so an online interactive 3-D animation of a compound microscope was developed. Both the website and the mobile application were developed in Unity 3D and include a 3D model of a compound microscope with supporting photographs, video, and textual descriptions for each part.
* Video and PDF Tutorials: Eleven instructional videos and eight fiber identification videos were storyboarded and shot. Accompanying each instructional video is a PDF step-by-step guide for students to follow along.
* Fiber Comparison Chart Project: A fiber comparison chart was set up in a Google spreadsheet that students work together on in groups on to complete.
* Moodle Glossary: Each content page auto-links out to glossary terms that are set up using the Moodle Glossary feature.
Shawn Dunning, Instructor, Subject Matter Expert
Jon Rust, Instructor, Subject Matter Expert
Dana Hartweg, Multimedia Designer, College of Textiles
Ruth Smith, Instructional Designer, Project Manager
Amanda Robertson, Multimedia Designer
Ben Huckaby, Multimedia Designer
David Tredwell, Multimedia Designer
David Howard, Instructional Designer
David Drews, Student Staff
Rachel Lloyd, Student Staff
Joe Lawson, Student Staff
Evidence of Project Impact at NC State
Several of the online laboratory tools developed in the course are already being used in courses outside the College of Textiles (PB 200, Plant Life, is one example). Both the Virtual Viewer and the MicroExplorer were considered common tools that many microscopy courses could use, even those taught only as on-campus courses where these tools would serve to supplement a traditional lab setting. Development of these tools was approached with this reusability in mind.
The custom Moodle Book was leveraged for content delivery to make it easier for students to access and think about the materials. For example, each book has an introduction page style with learning outcomes, a content page style for the instructional content, and a summary page style. Call-out boxes were used for quickly identifying particular types of content students would see throughout the semester. This approach to the Moodle Book design, and these styles in particular, have been adopted and adapted for many courses at NC State. In addition, this work informed development of an NC State Moodle Book Module, currently in the works for deployment with Moodle 2.x, that will make this approach more easily integrated into all Moodle courses at NC State.
Within the College of Textiles, this course has become a model for other distance education courses, transforming course development from a traditional way of lecture/video delivery to a richer multimedia format. This course has also been a model for rethinking the traditional approach to lecture/lab campus courses when rethinking them for online delivery. In TMS 211, the delivery was merged together, not taught separately, and other online lab courses have since adopted this model.
Evidence of Project Impact beyond NC State
The College of Textiles will use their global position as the leader in textiles education to deliver the fundamentals of fibers textiles to a broader audience. They already have a global audience among textile educators, fiber producers, and apparel manufacturers that will benefit from this course and this work.
The NC State Moodle Book module is being developed based on the model explored in this course and will be submitted to be made available to the Moodle community upon completion.
The lab tools, Virtual Viewer and MicroExplorer, are being publically shared in conferences. The MicroExplorer is currently available online, for free, globally.