No more lectures?!

No More Lectures?! 

It’s true. For the first time a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges, the University of Vermont Medical School (UVM), will completely eliminate lectures as a method of in-class instruction. According to this Inside Higher Ed story, the UVM will be removing all lecture classes in favor of a flipped classroom. Students will now be responsible for watching instructional videos on their own and class time will be used for working in active learning classrooms lead by an instructor.

UVM is not alone. They are part of a growing trend to flip classrooms in STEM education, especially in medicine. The sea-change has emerged from a large volume of data which supports active learning as a superior method of instruction when compared to traditional lectures (Freeman, Eddy, McDonough, Smith, Okoroafor, Jordt, & Wenderoth, 2014). UVM also cited research conducted by Stanford University in conjunction with Kahn Academy, which tested the flipped classroom model in medical courses, as pivotal in their decision. In a quote from the article, William Jeffries, senior associate dean for medical education at UVM stated in an interview, “We teach evidence-based medicine all the time, if you have the evidence to show one treatment is better than the other, you would naturally use that treatment. So if we know that there are methods superior to lecturing, why are we lecturing at all?”

This approach can work for all kinds of courses, not just Medicine. If you want to learn more about active learning and flipping your classroom, you are in luck! OLITS will be conducting a workshop titled, Flipping the classroom: How to implement an active learning environment on Monday October 3rd at 2pm! Visit the OLITS Professional Development page to add this workshop to your calendar, or contact Otis Wilder for more information.

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415.

Generational Diversity and Student Support

With increased online enrollment, traditional generational barriers are being greatly reduced. A person whose job or family may have stopped them from pursuing a college degree can now more easily become a college student again or for the first time. Universities are certainly happy about this because increased enrollment is usually a good thing. But are there things that higher ed may not be considering?

Senior Student

Middle-Aged Online Student

An Ed Tech Magazine story about generational differences and how they may affect tech initiatives provides some interesting insight. The article talks about the challenges of choosing ed tech initiatives that work for multiple generations.



It would be easy to make oversimplifications about how different generations of students use ed tech services… and this article does that. They talk about baby boomers being comfortable handing their computers over to IT for repair and millennials being more likely to try to fix the issues themselves. Although there may be some truth to these they should be viewed as anecdotal when searching for multi-generational ed tech solutions.
The most important thing that higher ed can do to help serve this generational diversity is ramp up and centralize student support. There is no practical way to separate student support by age but support can be given that reflects a more diverse population. Universities should think about ways to support their student population and build an inclusive presence for student support. Give the students a place to go whether it be a physical or virtual space, or perhaps both and support them in multiple ways so regardless of their generation students have a great support system.

Quality Matters Recognizes Dr. James McHale

mchaleOnline Learning and Instructional Technology Services is very pleased to announce that Dr. James McHale has received Quality Matters recognition for his online course, Introduction to Psychological Science (PSY 2012). The course received QM Certification on September 13, 2016.

The QM peer review is a rigorous process designed to certify quality and alignment through a rubric of best practices in online learning.

Dr. McHales’s course will soon be on the list of Quality Matters Recognized Courses from colleges and universities across the nation. Additionally, the QM Seal of Recognition will now be displayed on the homepage of his course.

Dr. McHale’s course is the eighteenth course to receive QM Certification at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg,  the ninth course from the College of Arts & Sciences, and the fifth from the Department of Psychology.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. McHale!

To learn more about Quality Matters, contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services or attend one of our upcoming workshops.


Atomic Learning: Online Technology Tutorials for Students & Faculty

As we get further into the semester, students may find themselves in need of training on certain software programs to be able to complete major course activities and assignments such as creating presentations with Prezi or analyzing data using SPSS. When it comes to facilitating that participation and grading assignments, faculty may want a refresher on those programs or how to use certain feedback features in Canvas.

Through the USF system subscription to Atomic Learning, all members of the USF St. Petersburg community have unlimited access to online tutorials for commonly used web and software applications. These online training resources teach you “how do I do that” through a library of thousands of short, easy-to-understand tutorial movies.  Topics include Microsoft programs, Adobe programs, Apple programs, Canvas, mobile apps, and much more.

To access this resource, log into Atomic Learning using your USF NetID and password.

Once logged into the Atomic Learning site, you will be able to browse or search for specific programs.

searching atomic learning

After finding the program you wish to learn more about, click on the Series Title to view the available tutorials.


Then click on the title of the tutorial to load the video and learn more about the topic.


For more help with getting started, view this text getting started guide (PDF) or video orientation.

If you have trouble with accessing this resource, contact the USF System Help Desk at 813-974-1222 or

If you have any questions about how to best use this resource for you or integrate it within a course, contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services at 727-873-4409.



Dr. V. Mark Durand Receives Second Quality Matters Course Recognition

Durand.jpg mugPlease join us in congratulating Dr. V. Mark Durand! On Wednesday September 7, 2016, Dr. Durand received Quality Matters Certification for his online course, Autism Spectrum Disorders (DEP 4220).

This is the second course for which Dr. Durand has received QM Certification. His other online course, Abnormal Psychology (CLP 4143), was recognized in April of 2016.

The QM Certification process consists of a peer review guided by a research based rubric for high quality online and blended course design. The rubric places significant emphasis on course alignment in the areas of learning objectives, instructional materials, and assessment. When asked to share his thoughts on his experiences with QM, Dr. Durand stated,

“Meeting the Quality Matters standards can be time consuming but the OLITS staff are incredibly helpful and creative. The process challenges you to ‘up your game’ and provide the best experience for students. It would be helpful to have a parallel process for face-to-face courses.”

Dr. Durand’s course is now listed in the QM directory of certified courses from colleges and universities across the nation. Additionally, the QM Seal of Recognition, and information regarding the course quality certification, will now be displayed on the home page of his course to share his commitment to a high quality online teaching and learning experience with his students.

Contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services for more information about Quality Matters.

Need fast, free screen recording software?

Need fast, free screen recording software? Look no further! Screencast-O-Matic allows you to record your screen and webcam for up to 15 minutes completely free! You can record your entire screen, or just a portion. Recordings download as an mp4, or can be exported to youtube for easy sharing and viewing. There is no limit to how many videos you can record. It is also PC and Mac friendly.

Screencast-O-Matic is perfect for when you need to record a quick lesson for your class. It is also an easy option for students who need to record themselves presenting a project for an online class. Personally, it is my go to when I need to record quick how to videos because this tool makes it so easy to record and share.

Visit to try it out for yourself. You can also watch this video for a quick overview on how to create recordings.

For more information on using Screencast-O-Matic and other tools contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services.