Tegrity CREW Finds Recipe for Success

When everyone on the team is dedicated to helping students succeed, a Faculty Learning Community can make real progress and deliver tangible results for students and instructors.

That’s been the experience of the Tegrity CREW at East Carolina University formed 3 years ago under the auspices of the College STAR program and the Office for Faculty Excellence. The team, which includes faculty, technical experts, members of the OFE staff and the Pirate Tutoring Center, has focused on Tegrity lecture capture technology that enables faculty and tutors to record their audio, web-cam video and computer screen activity, right from their desktop.

Pooling their expertise and sharing experiences has enabled them to modify their instructional practices to create what they like to call natural Universal Design for Learning, providing for multiple means of representation, expression and engagement – all from the desktop!

Current team members are faculty members Xiaoming Zeng, Steven Sligar, Heidi Stone Bonner, Dan Guberman; Dorothy Muller and Joyce Newman from OFE; technical expert Allen Dennis; and tutoring representatives Elizabeth Coghill and Joshua Branch. They are assisted by former tutor and current College STAR graduate student Chris Pelletier and graduate student Carrie Baumgarner.

The CREW formed shortly after tutors in the Pirate Tutoring Center began regularly using lecture capture with their tutees. They meet every other week for 90 to 120 minutes. While participating in the CREW, the faculty members have been using the technology to record their lectures, critique student papers and reinforce difficult material. They’ve learned that a single topic and a single take are the ingredients for a successful video. 

For Dr. Heidi Stone Bonner, assistant professor of criminal justice, using Tegrity and other videos to flip her classroom has been liberating. “It makes it much more fun for me,” she said, “because I don’t have to lecture and I can focus on more active learning among my students.” Bonner acknowledges that it is more work on the front end but less work throughout future semesters.

Bonner, who is also a member of the Course ReDesign CREW, said she joined the Tegrity CREW because of her interest in learning new techniques for use in a flipped classroom and in qualitative analysis.

Allen Dennis, the technical guru on the team, says many faculty members are willing to adopt new technologies that will enhance student learning, particularly when students indicate that it will help improve outcomes. A big advantage of videos, he said, is that students can access them on demand, choosing the time that works best for them to learn. “Faculty members are finding that using tools like desktop recording enhances their teaching, not changes it,” he said. 

Dr. Dan Guberman, teaching assistant professor of music, recently recorded material for a summer review class in music theory for graduate students. The challenge, he said, was to review the material in five weeks that students may have originally studied for several semesters, many years ago. Recorded videos helped him meet that challenge. Guberman has grown quite comfortable with making a quick video to address a question that many students missed on an exam and posting it as a way of giving feedback on a large scale. He also uses video to give feedback on papers, finding that he can share more about an area that needs work than he can write in a margin. 

In addition to learning about the technology and its uses, the CREW members have been collecting data through surveys among students and tutoring center participants. The data have been analyzed and will be submitted for publication.

All of them enjoy being part of a team where people all contribute and challenge each other. They are grateful for the programs that bring together individuals from a variety of disciplines. They have enjoyed the camaraderie and sometimes the food. They have kept each other accountable. In addition, they have found the assistance of the graduate student who takes care of scheduling, minutes, data analysis and bibliographies to be invaluable. 

They’ve also begun discussing what their next CREW project might cover, giving special consideration to exploring other methods of lecture capture that might have advantages over Tegrity.

All members of the team share a willingness to talk about their experience and welcome the opportunity to talk with others in the College STAR community about their collective learning.