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Instructional Technology Projects

The CTL leverages its extensive experience with the purposeful use of media and technology to support teaching and learning projects and services. Working collaboratively with instructors, the CTL staff engages in a range of projects requiring software development, interface and experience design, media production, and project management, while maintaining a service-oriented disposition.

CTL learning designers, programmers, designers, media producers, and project managers collaborate with faculty to create reusable and scalable software and applications that serve Columbia students, and in some cases, the public at-large.

Interested in developing an educational innovation for your class? Faculty can apply for funding for project development through the Office of the Provost’s funding opportunities.

Recent Projects

From Books to Bytes: Navigating the Research Ecosystem

Barbara Rockenbach, Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning, Columbia University Libraries

From Books to Bytes: Navigating the Research Ecosystem project image A set of online resources that define the research cycle, provide students with practical strategies, and guide students through the vast resources available to them at Columbia. The primary audience for this series is Columbia-affiliated students.

In addition, “From Books to Bytes” provides faculty and instructors The Instructor Toolkit, a guide on how instructors can: contact and collaborate with a librarian to best leverage the series in class, access the series on CourseWorks, and utilize instructional strategies and assessment techniques to disseminate the content.

The series is made up of six modules that each consist of an informational video and several handouts that contain strategies, exercises, and worksheets, all designed with pedagogy and accessibility in mind.

URL: https://library.columbia.edu/services/faculty/modules.html

Eureka!: Digital Improvisation Guidebook

Peter Susser, Director of Undergraduate Musicianship

Eureka is a guidebook for faculty in the use of improvisation toward those goals in the Ear Training classroom at Columbia. The guidebook is organized into three parts: 1) Improvisation Types: definitions of improvisation concepts that are used to structure improvisations. 2) Ear Training Level: a catalog of improvisation techniques, organized by ear training level and elements of music. 3) Layering: suggestions for how to combine different types of improvisations as a “layering” of materials.

URL: https://eureka.ctl.columbia.edu

Simulating the Universe: Stimulating Active Learning

David Helfand, Professor and Chair, Department of Astronomy

CTL staff worked with David Helfand to develop online simulations of astronomical events and objects for his course Earth, Moon, and Planets, as part of an Innovative Course Design Grant. CTL staff ported and enhanced eight Flash-based astronomy simulations, providing visual and interactive representations of the course material to encourage active learning among students.

URL: https://columbiactl.github.io/astro-simulations/

Attaining Higher Education Interactive Map
Beth E. Morgan, Director of Higher Education Transition and Partnerships, Center for Veteran Transition and Integration
AHE Map Home Page Screenshot
CTL staff developed an interactive map tool for Beth Morgan’s Attaining Higher Education MOOC, which assists veterans in transitioning to higher education. The map helps veterans make university selections by allowing users to search for universities and programs that match their interests. The map uses data collected via a custom survey aimed at university admissions officers knowledgeable about veterans’ services and programs.

URL: https://ahemap.veterans.columbia.edu

Isobel Contento, Mary Swartz Rose Professor of Nutrition and Education, Teacher’s College
Pam Koch, Associate Research Professor, Teachers College

CTL staff helped develop DESIGN Online, an online curriculum builder for practitioners in the field of nutrition-science, for Professor Isobel Contento’s 2018 Hybrid Learning Course Redesign project. The web application models the research-proven DESIGN Procedure created by Professors Contento and Koch, and provides students with a systematic process to create nutrition education that is more effective at changing eating behaviors. The project was used in classrooms during the spring 2019 semester, with a larger rollout to entry-level nutrition classes planned in fall 2019.

URL: https://designonline.ctl.columbia.edu

Doru C. Cojuc, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs

CTL staff worked with Doru C. Cojuc to develop the StatsInteractives website for Dr. Cojuc’s Quantitative Analysis I course, as part of his 2018 Hybrid Course Redesign project. The website houses four interactive simulations designed to demonstrate complex concepts as students’ knowledge progresses during the semester. Three of the four simulations are used for evaluating students via a Canvas LMS quiz integration, while one serves to enhance understanding of a theoretical model described in course readings.

URL: https://stats-interactives.ctl.columbia.edu/

WritLarge - New York City’s Educational Past from the Ground Up
Bette Weneck, Lecturer of the Center on History and Education, Teachers College

The software development team concluded work on ​Writ Large​, the map visualization tool developed in conjunction with Professor Bette Weneck. The map tool was designed to inform research questions such as, “How did a neighborhood’s educational ecosystem change over time?” Final development work this year included enhancements to the map tool to offer advanced search and time filters and an updated homepage. Students in Professor Weneck’s class used the application throughout the spring semester to locate varied sites of teaching and learning and to develop new historical perspectives.

URL: https://writlarge.ctl.columbia.edu

Ongoing Software Projects

The CTL software development and design team builds digital experiences to augment curricula and explore how technology can further the learning experience. The team, with project management support, ensures that all CTL projects adhere to best practices; include well-documented, accessible and reusable components; and consist of code and methodologies that benefit audiences within and beyond the university.

mediathread-logo-2Mediathead, an open-source platform for exploration, annotation, and analysis of multimedia content, was conceived and developed at the CTL. The platform was utilized in over 50 courses in fall 2018, with students creating 14,787 annotations on 1,950 media assets. Mediathread continues to be widely used by the Columbia community for a variety of purposes. In spring 2019, the CTL Mediathread team worked closely with Barnard Professor Paul Scolieri and the New York Public Library’s Jerome Robbins Dance Division to make rare dance footage available for analysis by students.

URL: https://mediathread.ctl.columbia.edu

Michelle Chesner, Norman E. Alexander Librarian for Jewish Studies
Marjorie Lehman, Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, Jewish Theological Seminary

footprints-logo-2Footprints is a crowd-sourced database of information related to the circulation of printed Jewish books. Developed through a collaboration of researchers from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Columbia University, University of Pittsburgh, and Stony Brook University, the site synthesizes scholarship, software development, and project-based learning to help students and scholars trace the history and movements of Jewish books across space and time.

URL: http://footprints.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/

Columbia University and Slavery, Department of History
On January 30, 2018, University President Lee C. Bollinger hosted an event in Low Memorial Library for the release of Columbia University and Slavery, a website created by Columbia faculty, students, and staff to present information to the public about Columbia’s historical connections with the institution of slavery. This CTL-produced site contains a wealth of material about the University and individuals connected with it, including primary sources, interviews with historians, and a preliminary report authored by Professor Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History. Much of the content was derived from student research in the Department of History’s Columbia University & Slavery course.

URL: columbiaandslavery.columbia.edu

Media Productions

The CTL media team produces high-quality impactful videos that further effective pedagogy and expand the CTL’s visibility. By promoting productions, publishing articles on best practices, and sharing new discoveries through experimentation, the media team has established their expertise as media producers and thought leaders in the field of classroom and online teaching and learning.

Below are lists of highlighted projects from the 2018-2019 academic year:

‘Introduction to Grief Therapy’ with Interactive Videos
Kathy Shear, Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry in Social Work

The CTL media team produced videos for Professor Kathy Shear’s Hybrid Learning Course Redesign project for her Introduction to Grief Therapy course. The videos provided a simulated experience with realistic client-clinician interactions to better support social work students’ readiness for grief therapy.

CTL and Office of the Provost Events
Recent CTL and Office of the Provost events that the CTL media team has filmed and produced:

CTL Promotional Videos
Recent promotional productions for the following CTL initiatives:

The CTL researches and experiments.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of resources and tools for instructional activities.