Learning with Technology

for Teaching

May 3, 2016
by Rachael Inake

Flipping English Classes

This is a special guest blog post by Cara Chang, Writing Instructor at Leeward CC. Cara participated in our “Stop Lecturing and Flip Your Classroom” track at the PRLS conference (Summer 2015) which we are repeating again this summer at PRLS. In her blog post she shares how she flipped her classroom. We will continue working with Cara to further enhance her flipped classroom efforts.

20150520_113945-0-2cfk5yv-croppedI used the flipped classroom method in my ENG 100 class by creating different modules and activities for the first two essays that students write in class (Narration and Description Essay 1 and Literary Analysis Essay 2 Part 1 and Part 2).  The videos and activities worked well.  Students liked it because it was organized and told students exactly what they needed to do.  It then allowed me to use valuable class time to do more hands-on activities (applying what was covered in the flipped lessons).  For example, after learning about how descriptive writing includes figurative language like similes and metaphors, students used class time to create similes and metaphors in their essays.  In ENG 100, I believe that the flipped classroom method helped students work on SLO 2 (write compositions appropriate to a particular audience and purpose) and SLO 3 (incorporating source material appropriately) since the flipped lesson 1 and 2 covered how to write different types of essays and flipped lesson 2 covered pulling quotes from the text to support their point.

In collecting student reflections of what they learned in the course, many students wrote that they learned how to be more descriptive, which includes writing similes and metaphors.  Students were required to find and post a song that has similes and metaphors on the Tackk page in the comments section.  Students seemed to like this because it was fairly easy to use because they are familiar with social media.


This image shows student participation in the flipped class where students had to find a song with similes and/or metaphors and explain what it meant.

At the end of the semester, students are required to submit their favorite/best essay that I put on a student blog, so they may share their writing/work with the rest of the class, and students often choose to share their narration/description essay.  One student also wrote in her reflection that she learned how to quote and cite her sources from the flipped lesson on Literary Analysis.


This image shows my literary analysis lesson to prepare students to do their Literary Analysis Essay 2.

A challenge I faced with the flipped classroom method was managing and grading all of the activities I assigned and copying a course to be used more than once at the same time.  For example, I taught 3 sections of ENG 100, so I need to learn an easier way to manage these 3 (similar, but different courses).  I also realized that maybe I gave too many activities.   I think I will move some of my activities to a pre-flipped classroom activity.  Lessening the number of activities will make it less tedious for students to complete and easier for me to grade/manage.

In addition to using the flipped classroom in ENG 100, I also used the flipped classroom in ENG 24 to help students learn and practice grammar in collaboration with colleague, Jennifer Wharton.  Jennifer created a flipped lesson on Identifying Verbs, and I created lessons on Identifying Subjects and Identifying Prepositional Phrases.  Our goal is to eventually flip all grammar lessons, but this semester, we just decided to pilot a few lessons.  The videos were a great teaching tool as it allowed students to re-watch a lesson if they didn’t understand the material the first time.  In ENG 24, exposing students to flipped learning introduces them to a different way of learning.  After students experienced flipped learning, I believe that students better understood different ways to learn/study concepts (vocabulary, content, grammar).  This directly speaks to SLO 5, which states that students should “apply study skills to improve learning.”  In ENG 24, an improvement in student writing is very obvious, but I teach grammar using different methods (flipped and traditional), so I do not know if I can attribute their improvement to the flipped classroom experience.


This image shows a grammar flipped class lesson for ENG 24.

A challenge I faced in facilitating a flipped classroom with my ENG 24 students was not spending enough time helping students get to the assignment.  I ran out of time when assigning the lessons, so not as many students did it the first time around.  Next time, I need to walk my ENG 24 students through the flipped classroom process by having them go into the lesson in class before they go home.

Because of the positive responses I received towards the flipped lessons, I plan to eventually create flipped lessons for all types of essays that I assign (Cause and Effect Essay 3 and Argument and Research Essay 4).  Another thing I would like to try is to maybe have students create their own lessons.  I may try this in ENG 22 since I assign a lot of presentations in this class.  Furthermore, as stated earlier, I would like to create more grammar lessons for ENG 24 students since I only created 2 lessons.

Please find the links to my flipped learning lessons created using Tackk:

  1. Narration module: https://tackk.com/d7p43p
  2. Literary analysis: https://tackk.com/lylshz
  3. Literary analysis 2: https://tackk.com/5ds9g0
  4. Subjects (ENG 24): https://tackk.com/0e901a
  5. Prepositional Phrases (ENG 24): https://tackk.com/xa7tn7
  6. Study Skills: https://tackk.com/zr2tgr

May 6, 2015
by Rachael Inake

Leeward CC’s First Open Educational Resources ENG 100 Course


Susan Wood

Susan Wood, Professor CC of English, was the first at Leeward CC and in the UHCC system to create an open, online course for English 100: Composition I, which provides students with zero textbook cost, and allows anyone to re-use and re-mix her materials under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. With assistance from the Leeward CC Library, Susan found and used Open Educational Resources (OER) and her own content for the content modules. I was fortunate to work with Susan in planning and developing the content modules, putting the content in a weekly modules format using Google Sites, and publishing it as a template site for other Leeward CC ENG 100 instructors (or anyone) to re-use and re-mix under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. Susan also created a companion Laulima course site for instructors to copy to use with the weekly modules site and we created an Instructor’s Guide to help instructors put the course together.

The following is a guest post from Susan Wood.


I was fortunate to be granted a sabbatical for Spring 2015. Part of the project that I proposed in my sabbatical application was to create an online ENG 100 course using Google Apps for Education that would be available for lecturers (or anyone) to use if they were assigned to teach an online ENG 100. After that project was approved, I was approached by both Kay Caldwell and Leanne Riseley and asked to consider creating the course using Open Educational Resources (OER). I knew very little about OER but have always used textbook cost as a major factor when choosing a textbook, so I decided it would be a worthwhile addition to the project. I did not realize at that point what an adventure I would have in the world of OER.

My first exposure to OER was a video on the Leeward CC Open Educational Resources Guide. In the video, which has since been replaced by Jayne Bopp’s wonderful video, an instructor in social sciences effusively talked about how she decided textbooks were too expensive for her students, so she found a fantastic OER textbook, pasted the link to the textbook into her course website, and proceeded to teach her course from this free resource. She made it sound so easy… all I needed to do was find the perfect OER textbook for ENG 100 and I would be on my way!

However, after weeks of searching and reading, I realized that there was no perfect ENG 100 textbook. I did find some OER ENG 100 textbooks, but some were really long and cumbersome, some were poorly written (ironic, I know), some didn’t cover the range of material we cover in ENG 100, and some were incomplete. It was then I realized I would have to create the course using a re-mix of content from several of the textbooks.

My next step was to pick the best of the content from the textbooks I found. I bookmarked the three textbooks that had material that I thought would best fit in a Leeward CC ENG 100 course, and then I set to work. I wrote an outline of the course and then proceeded to search through the OER textbooks and pull materials that I then revised as needed to fit the course objectives.

Collecting course content was a mostly enjoyable process because I got to explore what others teach in first-year writing courses. It was also professionally invigorating to read through so many different approaches to teaching first-year writing. At times, though, collecting content was frustrating when I could not find what I needed– so I had to create some content myself. Luckily, I had Rachael Inake to help me with the technical aspects of creating Google Slides, YouTube videos, and PowToons, and I was able to use these tools and more to create content. All in all, the experience of choosing, re-mixing, and creating OER was a very positive one.

The ENG 100 course is now finished and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I am excited to use the course for the first time this summer and will use it again in the Fall. I am also really excited that my students don’t have to buy a textbook. In past semesters, some students would go for weeks or even the entire semester without a textbook because they could not afford all of the textbooks for all of their courses. I am thrilled that I can now offer a course that does not burden students with the cost of a textbook. OER makes that possible.


Below are a few screenshots of the ENG 100 OER course materials.

Screenshot of week 7's module

Screenshot of week 7’s module

Screenshot of ENG 100 Laulima site

Screenshot of ENG 100 Laulima site

Screenshot of the ENG 100 OER Instructor’s Guide

Screenshot of the ENG 100 OER Instructor’s Guide

Susan’s materials available for accessing, copying, re-mixing, and re-using, under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license:

Please contact the Educational Media Center (EMC) if you’d like to set up an ENG 100 OER course site using Susan’s OER materials or if you’re interested in using OER materials or creating an OER course.

We can’t wait to hear how things turn out for Susan and her students next semester!

February 18, 2015
by Rachael Inake

Dynamic Interaction with Writing Students and Assignment Management Using Google Docs, Doctopus, and Goobric

This is a special guest blog post by Eve Naia Tupper, ENG 100 Lecturer at Leeward CC.

“Google Docs was a great benefit especially for an online class. I found it useful that others (peers and/or professor) can add comments and that changes can be tracked on Google Docs.” – ENG 100 Student

How I Started


Eve Naia Tupper

I was hired in spring 2014 to teach online English 100 classes at Leeward CC. I originally began teaching English Composition in the late 1980’s for the Virginia Tech English department, and have lots of teaching experience, but this was the first time I’d be teaching online. I was especially interested in learning how to interact with my online students to help them revise their essay drafts.

I made many summertime visits to Leeward’s Educational Media Center (EMC) for assistance. I had previously met Rachael Inake, Educational Technologist at the EMC, when I took her Google Docs workshop at Windward CC during the HSI Gone Wild conference on March 7, 2014. I learned a bit about how Google Docs inspired cooperative writing, and wanted to know more about how I could use Google Docs in my ENG 100 online classes.

The Magic of Google Docs, Doctopus, and Goobric

Rachael used her expertise in Google Docs and Doctopus, a Google Sheets add-on app, to help me create an intensively interactive, highly-organized and efficient way to implement and manage essay assignments. I was intrigued by the potential to have a high level of student-to-student and student-to-instructor interaction using Google Docs for my ENG 100 essay assignments. I loved the concept that students’ drafts in Google Docs could be shared with me and the class, changes could be tracked, students could simultaneously provide evaluation feedback on each other’s drafts to use for revisions, I could comment on the students’ drafts, text chat with students online about their drafts, and grade and leave feedback on their docs using the assignment rubric via Goobric, a Google Chrome extension that works with Doctopus.

A student’s essay draft with comments using Google Documents. (Click to view larger.)

I learned, with Rachael’s kind and patient help and her excellent video tutorials, how to setup and use Doctopus. Doctopus is a free Google Sheets add-on that allows the instructor to mass-copy/create docs for each student (from a starter template Google Document the instructor creates), share docs automatically, monitor student progress, and manage grading and feedback for student projects. When I ran the Doctopus add-on, it made copies of my template doc I created for students’ essay draft assignment with necessary sharing permissions I chose in Doctopus (i.e. students can comment on each other’s), labeled each with the student’s name, course number, and assignment title, so that I would never again receive a “mystery essay” with missing information on top. It even created an organized folder structure in my Google Drive (see screenshot below) with necessary sharing permissions applied. The automated creation and sharing process saved a lot of time and prevented mistakes from having to do it manually for 40 students (two classes).

My Doctopus assignment folders for fall semester’s classes. (Click to view larger.)

For students’ final essay assignment, I created a similar template doc (like the draft doc), but this time I specified sharing permissions in Doctopus so that each student’s doc wasn’t shared with the entire class, but with just me and each student so I could give private feedback and his/her final grade for the essay. After I ran Doctopus to generate the assignment docs for each student, students copied and pasted the text from their draft doc into their final doc and made necessary edits for their final version. Doctopus has an “embargo” feature that allowed me to “lock” the students’ docs (which changes the sharing permission for them from “edit” to “view”) so no further edits could be made after the due date while I’m grading them. To grade, I used a free Google Chrome extension called “Goobric” to input my grading rubric that works together with Doctopus. It allowed me to input scores for each criterion and paste the completed rubric directly into each student’s doc.

Goobric (click to view larger)

Goobric (click to view larger)

Additionally, I shared the class’ drafts folder in Google Drive with the Leeward CC Writing Center, so that when online students call the Writing Center for help, the tutor and student can open the Google Document and chat on the phone and/or in the doc and edit the essay with ease.

Although I’ve used Google Docs, Doctopus, and Goobric for my online classes, it can definitely work well in face-to-face classes. Plus, students don’t need to have MS Word to do their assignments; Google Docs is free!

Students’ Comments

I can say that my fall semester with Google Docs has been a success, and my fall 2014 students had these comments:

“Google drive is very useful; especially it allows students to edit their drafts very easily.”

“I particularly enjoyed writing and getting feedback. I find myself writing reports, emails, letters daily at work- so it’s always nice to practice. Not just grammar, spelling and all those things but practice- how you write…Also, I have never used Google Docs, it’s a useful and effective program. It’s better than attaching a document to an email (which takes too much time). I would definitely use it again.”

“Another useful tool implemented in this course was the google docs.  It was extremely helpful to have a designated template for each step of each assignment in one easy to access spot.  This was the first time I had ever used Google docs as a part of an educational course, and I must admit that I did not immediately recognize the benefits of this tool.  It wasn’t long, however, before I came to appreciate the organization the Google docs provided.  Having drafts, peer evaluation results, and instructor feedback in one location was helpful when writing my final drafts as all of the information I needed to reference was located in one place”.

“Mastering Google Docs was a benefit for sure and a new skill I can add to my list. I did not know Google Docs existed before I was required to use it for this course. I even let my husband in on it and let’s just say we are both users of Google Docs. I never faced any problems with Google Docs. Everything worked just fine, thankfully.”

“Learning how to use Google documents is also a skill I have now acquired because of this course. In future courses it will help me if I need to use the Google documents.”

Collaboration with the Leeward CC Library

This spring, I am continuing with Doctopus and Google Docs, and am building on last semester’s work. This semester, the supportive and amazing Leeward CC Librarians Leah Gazan and Junie Hayashi are sharing a Google Doc in the Doctopus “Class Edit” folder (which gives students “edit” access to type on the doc) called Ask an LCC Librarian a Question!. This single document is shared by all of the ENG 100 students, myself, and the librarians. At any time, a student can type a question for the librarians on this Google Doc, and within 48 hours, the librarian can type the answer for all class members to see. This is a wonderful resource for ENG 100 students, who need to take the Library Information Literacy Exam and use the Leeward CC library databases to research and document their research findings MLA style in their papers.

Ask an LCC Librarian a Question Google Document. (Click to view larger.)


If you’re looking to get started with Google Docs, register for the “Google Docs Challenge” workshop on March 16 or 17, 2015. For help with Google Docs or Doctopus, contact Rachael at rinake@hawaii.edu.

Skip to toolbar