Yewno: Contextual Search and Discovery

The Hesburgh Libraries invites Notre Dame faculty and staff to pilot Yewno — a new conceptual search tool that can help expand your research inquiry or focus your research question at the beginning phases of a project. Its data visualization feature uses full text analysis, computational semantics, and machine learning to reveal complex connections between concepts at-a-glance.

A Yewno widget now appears on the left column after you execute a search in OneSearch or ND Catalog. You can also access Yewno directly on the Hesburgh Libraries website under Research > More Research > Search Tools, or directly at through the Yewno website.

Gamifying Poverty Studies

Image of the Landlord board game
The Landlord Game

In recent years, gamification has emerged as a popular pedagogical approach. Hesburgh Library’s Emerging Technologies Librarian, Dr. Randy Harrison, recently worked with faculty from Notre Dame and St. Mary’s, to create The Landlord Game, a free educational board game designed to help faculty gamify the economic dimensions of social justice for their students.

To develop the core rules for the game, Harrison worked with business economics professors Dr. Sianne Vijay and Dr. Arian Farshbaf at St. Mary’s College, as well as Dr. Connie Mick, the Associate Director of the Center for Social Concerns, at the University of Notre Dame.

An homage to Lizzie Magie’s original The Landlord’s Game (the precursor of the game we know today as Monopoly™), The Landlord Game leverages players’ knowledge of Monopoly in order to complicate reductive economic models of a level socio-economic playing field. By adjusting game rules and content to effect real-world economic disparities, the game aims to stimulate a frustration so comically absurd that gameplay evolves into a discussion among the players around the systemic inequities of contemporary capitalism.

The game board and materials were designed with Adobe Illustrator. To encourage other instructors to freely adopt and adapt the game, Harrison has released the game under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International license and built a website from which all game materials may be previewed, downloaded, and modified.

The Landlord Game may be played as part of the interactive component of the Money Worries exhibit at the Snite Museum through March 25th. Harrison also hopes that promoting the game through the exhibit may spark a discussion among faculty interested in talking more about gamification in their curricula.

Easily Record and Share Media with Panopto at Notre Dame

Panopto logoNeed to record your class lectures? Need to create brief tutorials for your courses or labs? Using laptops and mobile devices, a new OIT service–Panopto–makes it easy for faculty and students to record and share videos and screencasts. The OIT recently selected Panopto to provide campus-wide lecture recording and video content management capabilities to replace the Echo360 platform. For those curious, check out Panopto’s website

Look for more information in the coming months!

Guest Lecturers and Virtual Office Hours with Zoom

Zoom logoFor the new Silicon Valley Semester immersion program, Computer Science & Engineering needed an easy way to connect students in California synchronously with classes in South Bend. Thankfully, Zoom conferencing made it easy for students to participate in classes from three time zones away on their laptops.

Here on campus, Zoom conferencing allows instructors to bring in guest lecturers or hold virtual office hours. Zoom is easier to use than Skype, and has added features such as recording—all without forcing you to remember any new passwords!

For more information, check out these Zoom for Education tutorials.

Students Flip Over Meghan Sullivan’s Course, “God & the Good Life”

To encourage student engagement and participation during her “God & the Good Life” philosophy course, professor Meghan Sullivan reused media content created for her online course. Instead of lectures, Sullivan flipped the classroom—having students read essays, watch interviews and thought experiments, and complete assignments before coming to each session. During class-time, students interact with the material through community debates as well as in-class polling and voluntary responses.

Sakai “Turns it up to 11”

Sakai logoAt Notre Dame, a recent OIT survey of incoming first-year students confirmed that at least a third of them carry and use tablets, and almost all of them carry smartphones. This May, Notre Dame will launch Sakai 11 with a more contemporary look and the responsive design to meet the growing need for interaction on mobile devices. Not only will Sakai 11 offer a fresher, more modern interface, but will work equally well no matter what device students and faculty use. This version promises some dynamic improvements to commonly used tools such as the Lessons module.

Visit the Sakai home page for additional information.