An Open SUNY Accessibility MOOC for Faculty and Staff Development: Creating Online Courses that Provide Access for All

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Awarded Grant: $52,600 Principal Investigator: Kathleen Stone, Empire State College This project will develop a SUNY-wide, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on online course accessibility. The collaborative team includes instructional designers, disability services professionals, technologists, and faculty members from SUNY Empire State College and Buffalo State College. The MOOC will be in live session and “on demand” format, and modular based for easy updating and excerpting. Participants will earn badges for successful completion. Content will be customizable to meet training needs across multiple campuses, and can serve as professional development for teaching faculty and staff. Course materials could also be similarly utilized by Open SUNY COTE. By providing faculty with a knowledge base to minimize potential barriers to online learning faced by students with disabilities, this project meets the IITG program mission and vision of providing access for all students. It also acknowledges trends in higher education policy, and the ways in which system training can widely and efficiently support campus needs. Co-PI’s and Key Partners: Ginger Bidell, Instructional Designer, Buffalo State Michele Forte, Assistant Professor and Mentor, Empire State College Antonia (Tonka) Jokelova, Coordinator of Curriculum and Instructional Design, Empire State College Anne Lane, Application Management and Support Specialist, Empire State College Meghan Pereira, Senior Instructional Designer, Buffalo State Julie Rummings, Coordinator of Curriculum and Instructional Design, Empire State College Sumana Silverheels, Technology Accommodations Coordinator in Disability Services, Buffalo State Kelly Hermann, Director of Disability Services, Empire State College Reports and Resources: Mid-project report

Ecology and Earth Science Virtual Field Experiences OERs: Expanding Access to Field-Based Research Techniques for Students at a Distance

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Principal Investigator: Nathan Whitley-Grassi, Empire State College We propose to develop and share six ecology/earth science virtual field experiences as OERs, based on the need to develop resources and expand access to scientific field-based research techniques for students learning at a distance or with other barriers to access. The OERs will consist of a series of broad and adaptable field activities supplemented with handouts and videos from the field site to provide immersion online. Our goal is to provide students with research skills needed to increase competency in the field after graduation by engaging them in common research techniques and methods for data collection and analysis. In an effort to ensure quality, each OER will be reviewed and examined for quality and accessibility. Importantly, these OERs will be part of the larger SUNY community as a resource in an online repository in the SUNY Learning Commons (SLC) that could be utilized by future Open SUNY programs. Co-PI’s and Key Partners: Audeliz Matias, Assistant Professor and Area Coordinator in Science, Center for Distance Learning, Empire State College Kevin Woo, Assistant Professor and Faculty Chair, Empire State Colleges Reports and Resources: Mid-project report

Online Initiative to Foster and Research Writing-Skills Transfer Across the Curriculum and Beyond

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Principal Investigator: Peter Khost, Stony Brook University Funding is sought to build, pilot, revise, implement, and assess an online pedagogical and data-collection instrument and instructional video for any writing program in the SUNY system, including Open SUNY. This tool promotes the transfer of skills and knowledge from required first-year writing (FYW) classes to courses across the curriculum and beyond graduation, which research shows neither typically nor sufficiently occurs. The proposed instrument employs freeware to offer locally-adaptable templates and a system of ongoing personalized alerts for fostering the key element to successful writing transfer, metacognition: awareness of one’s own knowledge and learning needs and styles. The online instrument also simultaneously provides host departments with rare and valuable information about effects of their curriculum. No such tool for encouraging and studying students’ writing transfer beyond FYW is known to exist, and this one sustains itself indefinitely without cost after its creation. The PI also proposes to present, run workshops, and publish about this initiative. Reports and Resources: Mid-project report

Improving student’s three dimensional visualization skills using an augmented reality sandbox

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Principal Investigator: Scott Giorgis, Geneseo Students often struggle with the 3D visualization skills necessary to reduce a 3D data set (landscape) down to a 2D, flat expression (paper topographic map). The augmented reality sandbox bridges the gap between 2D and 3D visualization by projecting a topographic map onto a landscape created in a sandbox. As that sandbox landscape is altered, the topographic map dynamically adjusts in real time to match the landscape, giving students the opportunity to discover how to read topographic maps on their own. We propose to construct two augmented reality sandboxes and develop the curriculum to deploy them in both introductory and upper level courses. Moreover, we will expand upon the augmented reality sandbox open source code to incorporate aspects of geologic map visualization. Potential student gains in 3D visualizations and/or topographic map reading skills will be quantitatively assessed and materials will be shared both nationally and within the SUNY system. Co-PI’s and Key Partners: Kirk Anne, Assistant Director, Manager of Systems & Networking, Computing and Information Technology (CIT) Nancy Mahlen, Instructional Support Specialist, Department of Geological Sciences, Geneseo