Retirement and Discontinuation of Redirects

The CITES website will be retired on February 1, 2016. Please update any bookmarks to point to the new Technology Services website (external link).

"Teaching with Technology" Brown Bag Series

Find out more about upcoming brown bag events and check out recordings of past brown bags.

About the Series

Sponsored by The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and CITES Academic Technology Services, the "Teaching with Technology" Brown Bag Series focuses on the intersection between new and emerging technologies and best practices in teaching and learning. This free and lively forum features award-winning faculty from across the disciplines sharing teaching strategies and effective uses of technology in the classroom. The Brown Bag series runs through the Fall and Spring semesters on the second Wednesday of the month.

NOTE NEW LOCATION: All events are held in 428 Armory from 12 until 1pm. Refreshments served. (Use southwest Armory entrance then take the turquoise elevator to 4th floor.)

Spring 2015

February 11 - Making Things
Aric Rindfliesch (College of Business, 3D Maker Lab)
Aric Rindfliesch leads business, engineering, and art & design students in the exploration of 3D prototyping as they plan, design, and market their products through trial and error.
March 11 – Physics in the Palm of Your Hand
Mats Selen (Physics) 
Mats Selen developed the Interactive Online Lab (IOLab) system, built around a low-cost, easy-to-use, handheld device that helps students measure and solve complex physics problems.
April 8 – Tips for Teaching With iPads
Michael Koerner, Doug Mills (Chemistry) and Michel Bellini (Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Koerner, Mills, and Bellini offer practical suggestions for teaching with iPads while demonstrating easy-to-use applications that allow them to enhance their presentations and increase student involvement. 
May 6 – Panel Presentation: Devices in the Classroom
Tim Stelzer (Physics), Lena Hann (Public Health), Robert Brunner (Astronomy) and Selected Students
Are cellphones a help or a hindrance in the classroom? Join the conversation as a panel of faculty and students discuss recent findings on the pros and cons of allowing devices in the classroom.

Fall 2014

September 10 - Best Practices for “Back Pocket” Video
Rick Langlois and Susan Muirhead (CITES Academic Technology Services)
Video pros and experienced faculty share their tips and tricks for producing video content for course enhancement and student assignments using only their phones and other “back pocket” devices.
October 8 – Using Google Glass for Teaching
Nancy Benson (Journalism) and Mike Bohlman (College of Media)
Try it on! See how Google Glass is being used as a tool to enhance storytelling and provide first person viewpoints for coursework, research, and reporting inside and outside of the classroom.
November 12 – Immersive and Embodied Technologies
Robb Lindgren (Education)
Explore new research on the effects of immersing students in virtual environments that completely involve them in the learning process. Cutting edge work on emerging technologies.
December 10 – Digital Badges for Teaching and Learning
Panel Presentation
Are digital badges changing the face of teaching and learning? Join the conversation as panel presenters describe the ups, downs, and inside-outs of using badges for coursework and micro- credentials.

Spring 2014

February 19 - Technology and Collaborative Learning
Emma Mercier (Curriculum and Instruction)
view the recorded video of this presentation

See the results of a research project that used multi-touch tables for collaboration in the classroom, and discuss other strategies for using technology to support collaborative learning. 

March 05 - Cooking Up Video Microlectures: Tips and Best Practices
Bob Dignan (CITL / ATLAS, Instructional Resources) 
view the recorded video of this presentation

In today's menu of course content, the video microlecture has become a favorite dish. Join us for tips, tricks, and a hands-on exercise exploring microlecture fundamentals.

March 19 - Engaging Learners with Student Response Systems
Jamie Nelson, Panel Moderator (CITES Emerging Technologies)

Student Response Systems (SRS) provide instant feedback to students and instructors. This panel discussion will focus on a variety of SRS, their many benefits, and the faculty who use them.

April 09 - Making Online Teaching Accessible
Marc Thompson (CITL, Instuctional Design)
view the recorded video of this presentation

Did you know your online course content may be inaccessible to some users? Learn how to create online content that can be used by anyone, including people with disabilities.

April 23 - The Limits to Digital Manipulation in Journalism
Lulu Rodriquez (Agricultural Communications)

Can digital photographs be used as evidence for anything? Join us for a fascinating discussion on the implications of audience tolerance for the alteration of digital images in the news.

Fall 2013

September 25 - Using Technology to Increase Time in Labs

Don DeCoste & Doug Mills (Chemistry)
view the recorded video of this presentation

Use of mobile-friendly web-based activities and computer-graded postlab analyses have improved the learning experience for thousands of students, doubling the number of labs and increasing hands-on lab time by 33%, without increasing TAs.

October 9 - What's Up DOCC? Feminism and Technology

CL Cole, Sharon Irish & Sharra Vostral (Cinema and Media Studies)
view the recorded video of this presentation

DOCCs (Distributed Online Collaborative Courses) offer a new model for online learning, vastly different from MOOCs, and Illinois is one of only 15 campuses offering one!

October 23 - Blended Learning in Business Education

Norma Scagnoli, Panel Moderator (Business)
view the recorded video of this presentation

Five faculty members share strategies, tools, and lessons learned by embracing a “blended” model that allows for customized course design and more engaged learning experiences.

November 6 - iPad Performance Investigations

John Toenjes (Dance)
view the recorded video of this presentation

Dance courses involving students as designers and performers explore a variety of musical, choreographic, and dramaturgical structures using iPads and other technologies.

November 20 - MOOCs@Illinois: First Year Report

Jason Mock & Jimmy Witte (ATLAS)
view the recorded video of this presentation

Through partnership with Coursera, Illinois has offered 13 sections of 6 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to nearly 210,000 participants. Report from the front lines! 

Spring 2013

February 06 - Team-Based Learning: More Learning, and Less Labor

Christopher Burns (Medicine)
view the recorded video of this presentation

Team-Based Learning (TBL) is an active learning method that teaches students to prepare outside the classroom ahead of time in order to participate in higher-order and collaborative learning activities during class time. In this brown bag session, Chris Burns will lead us through a hands-on TBL exercise while discussing the practical benefits and pitfalls of implementing TBL in the classroom.

This twelve minute video will help you learn more about the method

February 20 - Collaboration in the Scholar Learning Environment

Bill Cope (Education)
view the recorded video of this presentation

Scholar is a web-based writing and learning environment which brings together formative assessment (diagnosis and feedback) and summative assessment (measuring student progress over time and in comparison with other learners). The Scholar team has been working with instructors in a variety of settings to field-test the product, build new features, and develop a greater understanding of social media and computer-supported learning environments. Bring your laptop and join Bill Cope for a detailed tour of the Scholar learning environment.

More information at:

March 06 - Using McGraw-Hill Connect with Compass to Enhance Teaching and Learning

Melanie Waters (Spanish, Italian and Portuguese), Aaron Ebata, and Sarah Curtiss (Human &Community Development)
view the recorded video of this presentation

This informative panel discussion will focus on McGraw-Hill products used in conjunction with Illinois Compass 2g. Aaron Ebata and Sarah Curtiss will describe how they integrate Connect with their teaching strategies in different courses, and what students have told them about using Connect over the past few years. Melanie Waters will demonstrate the wide variety of question types that Connect offers for foreign language instruction, and how she uses Connect in her multi-section hybrid course. She will also highlight the features of LearnSmart, an adaptive learning tool within Connect.

April 03 - eText: The Future of the Textbook

Milind Basole and Yury Borukhovich (CITES Academic Technology Services)
view the recorded video of this presentation

eText@Illinois is an ideal platform for building multimedia-rich online course content (original authored content, course packs, or published textbooks) that can be viewed from any device with a web browser. Offerings on eText@Illinois are also fully accessible to students with visual, auditory, and motor impairments making this program a frontrunner in the national electronic textbook movement. Since the inception of eText@Illinois, over 7500 students have used an eText in place of a traditional textbook, saving them money and significantly improving their textbook user experience. Join us for an inside look as Milind Basole and Yury Borukhovich showcase the power of eText@Illinois.

More information at:

April 17 - The iPad in the History of Communication

Bonnie Mak and Julia Pollack (Library & Information Science)
view the recorded video of this presentation

Through a fascinating display of visuals, this presentation explores the use of the iPad as a vehicle to interrogate the long history of reading and writing technologies. Comparing the iPad with the wax tablet of antiquity and the illuminated manuscript of the Middle Ages, Bonnie Mak and Julia Pollack expose surprising similarities across diverse technologies, and show how the iPad itself has become the focus of critical inquiry in its emergent role in the shaping of knowledge in the 21st century. Join us for a lively discussion about how the iPad can aid the investigation of millennia-old questions about the communication of information.

Fall 2012

September 19 - Simulcasting and Blended Courses: Working with Live and Online Students Simultaneously

Mike Evans, Chemistry
view the recorded video of this presentation

Rich, synchronous communication tools can vastly expand the reach of the modern classroom. During a live class session, an instructor can use Blackboard Collaborate to teach live and online students simultaneously. But while the use of "simulcasting" can make the classroom more open and accessible, juggling the needs of both live and online students can be very challenging. In this session, Mike Evans will share some best practices he developed while teaching with this approach over the past year, and invite attendees to brainstorm positive strategies for engaging "simulcast" classrooms across the disciplines.

October 10 - Lights! Camera! Research! Building an Infrastructure for Multimedia Student Learning

Karen Rodriguez'G, Ethnography of the University Initiative
view the recorded video of this presentation

For ten years, the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) at UIUC has sponsored over 130 courses across 6 colleges. Through affiliated courses, students use a variety of ethnographic, archival, and related methods to examine the university in relation to their communities and larger national and global contexts. From its inception, EUI has provided an innovative approach to teaching and learning, evolving to include more complex technologies and sophisticated infrastructures for student learning. Join us for this close up look as Rodriguez’G explores the original impetus behind EUI, the challenges of building a technology infrastructure for student research, and the lessons learned from incorporating technology into syllabi, courses, and the broader university culture.

October 24 - The Amateur Video Hour: Home-grown Flicks for the Classroom

Walter Hurley, Animal Sciences
view the recorded video of this presentation

The use of videos for transmitting information related to course content is a well-established, and often-used, pedagogical approach. Are there other ways that video may enrich the learning environment of a course? Join us as Walt Hurley discusses a variety of approaches where videos produced by the instructor, and by the students, are integrated with course content to increase engagement, enhance comprehension, and enrich the students’ overall learning experience.

November 7 - Engaging Students in the Process of Learning to Learn

Chris Schmitz, Engineering
view the recorded video of this presentation

Chris Schmitz teaches Digital Information Technology (ECE101) which combines several facets of study: concepts of the internet, programming for the internet, audio-image-video processing, and digital logic, as well as problem solving and engineering design based on these concepts. Such a course must teach students to learn how to learn by engaging them in hands-on and reflective activities. Schmitz will discuss the process of designing a course that helps students master the tools of the trade, while building self-awareness of the learning process. Two of his students will briefly discuss their experiences with the course.

December 5 - Flipped! The Process and Results of Flipping the Classroom

Bill Simmons, Crop Sciences
view the recorded video of this presentation

The flipped classroom model is all over the news lately, but many of the concepts and practices have been around for quite a while. Join us for an inside look at the process of designing and managing a flipped classroom. Bill Simmons will discuss the planning, development, and classroom logistics of redesigning his course, and why he’s gone from simply trying something new to becoming a full-fledged fan. A fun and interesting presentation to finish out the Fall semester.

Spring 2012

February 08 - Illinois Compass 2g: Showcase of Teaching Tools

Panel of Selected Faculty and Staff
view the recorded video of this presentation

The second generation of Illinois Compass offers many new features designed to enhance teaching and learning. In this showcase presentation, a panel of Compass 2g users will highlight particular tools and demonstrate how they are used in teaching. Presenters include Darin Eastburn (Crop Sciences) discussing learning modules; Norma Scagnoli and Jill Moore (Business) discussing embedded media; Laura Hill (Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese) discussing blended learning, and Virginia Peterson (Online and Continuing Education) discussing group assignments and group projects. Join us for an informative look at these second generation teaching tools.

February 22 - The Many Faces of Facebook:  Enhancing the Academic Experience

Kathryn Anthony, Architecture
view the recorded video of this presentation

Can a social networking tool like Facebook enhance the academic experiences of students, faculty, and alumni?  As an active Facebook user with over 600 friends, Kathryn Anthony has been exploring the use of Facebook as a teaching supplement in six different courses during the last four semesters.  Join us for an in-depth look at her research on best practices, the benefits and disadvantages of Facebook in the classroom, and the innovative use of Facebook to reach out to alumni. A few students from her courses will be on hand to describe their experiences and offer different perspectives on the teaching and learning process.

March 07 - The Maps on Our Backs:  Teaching with Google Maps

Ashwini Chhatre, Geography
view the recorded video of this presentation

Your home contains a world map of exported clothing and electronics. Based on an exercise originally developed by Professor Tom Bassett from Geography, students in Chhatre’s Geography of Developing Countries course record the countries of origin from all the garments and electronic goods in their homes. The data is pooled together and students generate detailed maps showing the stark differences between countries that export electronics and those that export garments. Join us for a look at how Chhatre integrates freely available software like Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, and Google Public Data Explorer in this course, and others, to enhance student understanding and ability.

April 04 - Teaching a Large Class Online: A Case Study from Chemistry

Nick Llewellyn, Chemistry
view the recorded video of this presentation

Join us for an inside look at an Organic Chemistry service course with 550 - 700 students per semester. Dissatisfied with some of the online course management tools available, Llewellyn and colleagues Jeff Moore and Mike Evans set out to explore the pros and cons of using various teaching technologies to improve presentations, discussions, and evaluation. Their experiences with Wiki, Compass, Lon-Capa, and ACE Organic will surprise and inform anyone who is interested in developing or enhancing the online teaching and learning experience. View the Fall 2011 course site at:

April 18 - Effective Teaching Tools in a Large Enrollment Classroom

Julia Shapland, Accountancy
view the recorded video of this presentation

Keeping students focused and interested in large enrollment classrooms presents a variety of challenges. Join us for an in-depth look at the arsenal of tech tools and teaching methods Shapland uses in her ACCY 202 course (with 550 students) each semester to present content, increase engagement, and minimize cheating. Shapland will discuss a variety of high-tech tools including tablet PCs, media-rich online content, and i>clickers, as well as no- or low-tech methods for delivering and managing instruction.

Fall 2011

September 28 – Your Research Rights: Managing Your Copyrights

Sarah Shreeves, IDEALS Coordinator and Scholarly Commons Coordinator
view the recorded video of this presentation

What copyrights do you hold? What can you do with your work? Did you know that you own the copyright on your work until you transfer those rights to a publisher? Most authors don’t know that they need to retain certain rights in order to include an article, or reuse a chart, in another publication or on the web. In this informative brownbag Sarah Shreeves will help you understand your rights as an author, and offer suggestions for negotiating with publishers for the rights you need to retain. Visit the website at:

October 12 – Sneak a Little Science into their Day: Blogs in Teaching

Kathryn Clancy, Anthropology
view the recorded video of this presentation

Many course materials offer little in the way of two-way communication to introductory students, particularly the casual style they’re used to. But when blog posts are required reading, students will engage far more with the content than they intended to. Upper-level students need less prompting to engage with the reading, but may instead need to develop confidence in their writing. Join Kate Clancy for an informative look at how she uses blogs to build scientific communities for her students and for herself. See also:

October 26 – Engaged Scholarship and Digital Storytelling

Martin Wolske, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
view the recorded video of this presentation | view part two

Stories are used to entertain and educate us, and to define and preserve our cultural history. Initiatives such as the Center for Digital Storytelling, the KQED Digital Storytelling Initiative, and Story Corps have brought new attention to the value of digital storytelling by extending the reach of the storytellers and enhancing their use of new media. Join Martin Wolske for a thoughtful look at the ways in which digital storytelling has been combined with engaged scholarship as part of research and teaching at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

November 02 – Do-It-Yourself Instructional Video

Sanjay Patel, Electrical and Computer Engineering
no video available for this presentation

Video content enables instructors to connect with digital-savvy college students. But creating video-based lecture content can be a cumbersome process. Nuvixa StagePresence, developed by UI faculty and students, is a tool that captures a complete presentation-- content, voice, and video --from a computer in any setting. Join Sanjay Patel for a first-hand look at this exciting tool as he demonstrates its ease of use through a variety of case studies. Interested members of the university community are invited to join the pilot program as beta users.

November 30 – Teaching and Learning with Twitter

Joanne Manaster and Tracey Hickox, Integrative Biology
no video available for this presentation

How are instructors teaching with Twitter? And are there best practices for integrating Twitter into classroom and online settings? While this powerful tool has become indispensable for some it remains a mystery to others. Join Joanne Manaster and Tracey Hickox as they share insights and suggestions for utilizing the vast potential of Twitter as a pedagogical and professional resource.

Last updated Monday, January 26, 2015, 8:11 am