JupyterHub

Description:

JupyterHub is a server that gives multiple users access to Jupyter notebooks, running an independent Jupyter notebook server for each user.

“The Jupyter Notebook is a web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and explanatory text. Uses include: data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modelling, machine learning and much more.”

Basically Jupyter Notebooks are the up-and-coming thing in sharing data analysis, computer science teaching, etc. But they’re not the easiest thing for our students to set up. Having a JupyterHub installation that ties to UTORauth / UTORable would be great since it would allow us to focus on pedagogy and not technical support.

Notes:

The following courses in Computer Science and Engineering have been exploring using Jupyter Notebooks: CSC108, CSC180,  ESC103, and STA286 

Basically almost any Python programming course, Matlab (aka. Octave) course, statistics course (that uses R which is many, so I’m told) can benefit (we will need some help getting the R kernel and the Octave kernel working)

I have used the Jupyter Notebook through a local installation running on my personal laptop. Setup wasn’t too bad except for some issues at the intersection of Matplolib, Virtualenv, and the OS X system Python.

I haven’t used JupyterHub owing to a lack of server infrastructure and time.

I am in the midst of converting my personal data analysis pipeline from R to Python-On-Jupyter-Notebook because of the ease of development and visualization.

Website:

https://jupyterhub.readthedocs.io/en/latest/

Submitted by:

Jason Foster

jason.foster@utoronto.ca

Division of Engineering Science

 

ACTFBRef# 163617


Vocabulary Expansion Accelerator (VEA)

Description:

The Vocabulary Expansion Accelerator (VEA) facilitates students keeping up with their course readings and helps them expand their vocabulary at the same time. Students are able to look up the meanings of unfamiliar words and this helps students across all disciplines and years of study, both undergraduate and graduate, to be able to gain content knowledge and disciplinary terminology through reading. In addition, the VEA Skill-Builder enables students to self-train for writing in their respective disciplines. This tool is particularly useful for helping English Language Learners in acquiring the vocabulary and academic language skills they need to cope with the demands of their courses. The tool is currently accessible to faculty and students across all three campuses in a stand-alone format, but not integrated with the larger Toolbox.

VEA has meets accessibility requirements and has been subject to both an information risk assessment. Educational research has been conducted on VEA.

Notes

In the credit course I am teaching this semester, VEA is an integral part of the pedagogy. Since students are able to use VEA to accelerate their language development, I have noticed that students are able to express their ideas clearly and with a wider range of vocabulary compared to writing done in my classes in previous semesters (before the advent of VEA). Students’ increased ability to read peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic references that are part of weekly readings, was evident in the ideas they brought up in their assignments. As such, their written assignments were much richer in content, and had better syntax and grammar. In addition, students’ oral presentations turned out very well, as their expanded vocabulary and familiarity with concepts taught in the course made them feel more confident to present their ideas. Students reported that having learned how to use VEA, they are using it to help them with their other courses. From usage statistics across campus, we can see a steady exponential increase in number of logins as well as no. of unique individuals using VEA.

Website

http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/eld/vocabulary-expansion-accelerator

Submitted by

Elaine Khoo

khoo@utsc.utoronto.ca

English Language Development Centre, 

Centre for Teaching and Learning, UTSC

ACTFBRef# 159316