Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Communities of Practice

Blogs - Create a blog for your class!

TED - Video Lectures


Embed these free videos in your course to stimulate discussion, act as a "guest lecturer," or supplement a lecture.

Rubric for Online Instruction - CSU Chico

This rubric was developed by faculty at CSU Chico to evaluate their own online courses.

Audacity - Create an Audio File

Download and install Audacity to record audio files to narrate your presentation in SlideShare.

Online tutorial: http://www.uis.edu/podcasting/create/index.html#record

Wacom Bamboo Tablets

For use on white boards (like Elluminate) or for "writing" on PDF files to give feedback to students

Tiny Chat - Video Conferencing

Great for impromptu video conferencing for up to twelve users!

Communication Policies in Online Courses

Online courses typically involve a lot of written communication, which can be time-consuming especially if certain communication standards or expectations are not easily identifiable by participants.

Some faculty find it helpful to maintain a communication policy within the Syllabus or as an Announcement. A sample appears below.

As an exercise in professional communication and self-representation, all emails and discussion board postings must follow traditional writing standards. Each communication should include:
  • A Salutation: Hi/Hello Person's Name
  • A message or body that is clear, concise, polite, and has complete sentences with standard spelling and grammar--including capitalization and punctuation. (No text message-ese or IM slang).
  • A Sign-Off: Thanks/See you Monday/Have a nice weekend/Best wishes, and your name.
When you have questions for me, please use the following guidelines so that other students may benefit:

  • Questions about TECHNOLOGY should be asked in the Technology Questions discussion forum. 
  • Questions about an ASSIGNMENT or the SYLLABUS should be posted in the Questions for the Instructor discussion forum.
  • Personal matters should be discussed with your instructor through email. 

Proctored Exam Guidelines used at UIS

Michigan State University proctored exam resource:

An impartial individual, called a proctor, oversees a student while s/he are taking an exam.The exam can be complete through a learning management system, like Moodle, or on paper, which is faxed or mailed back to the instructor.

Classroom Assessment Techniques

"Classroom assessment differs from tests and other forms of student assessment in that it is aimed at course improvement, rather than at assigning grades. The primary goal is to better understand your students' learning and so to improve your teaching."

ASSURE - Instructional Design Approach

thanks to Mary Elizabeth Smith for graphic

ASSURE Model of Instructional Design
The ASSURE model incorporates Robert Gagne's events of instruction to assure effective use of media in instruction.

A — Analyze learners

S — State standards & objectives

S — Select strategies, technology, media & materials

U — Utilize technology, media & materials

R — Require learner participation

E — Evaluate & revise

Another good site describing the ASSURE approach to instructional design - the e-Learning Curve Blog.

Ten Questions to Consider When Designing a Blended Course

Designing a Blended Course

1. Start early.

Begin preparing your blended course at least one semester before you plan to offer it for the first time. When the course does not have any online materials, this is especially important.

2. Reconsider your role as an instructor.

How will teaching in a blended mode affect your role as an instructor? Zane L. Berge describes four roles for online facilitators that are helpful for instructors in blended learning models. Kaleta, Skibba, and Joosten re-define these roles for blended instructors.

  • Pedagogical
  • Social
  • Managerial
  • Technological

3. Focus on your course goals.

What do you want students to learn? What steps do you take to get there? How are these intermediate steps best facilitated? Or, how do you want them to learn it?

4. Make the most of each mode.

Sort through your content. What content works best online vs. face-to-face? What opportunities and projects will a blended course allow that might not be possible in online or face-to-face courses? Use each mode to its highest potential and ensure both you and your students spend your time effectively.

Examine what is NOT working in the face-to-face classroom and see if can be improved online. Consider what students can do independently. Many instructors find that online forums evoke more thoughtful dialogue from their students.

  • Discussion
  • Reflections
  • Readings
  • Remedial materials
  • Group work
  • Study guides
  • Self assessments
  • Lower-stakes quizzes and tests
  • Assignment submissions
  • Lecture notes
  • Lectures
  • Podcasts
  • Case studies
  • e-Portfolios
  • Games
  • Course/module evaluation surveys

Think about what is most engaging in the traditional classroom and retain that portion for the face-to-face experience. Often this includes:

  • Labs
  • Demonstrations
  • Film clips
  • Student presentations
  • Introducing complex assignments
  • Group work
  • Role playing
  • Field trips
  • Conferencing
  • Editing and revision
  • Follow up on online discussions
  • Exams

Michigan State offers an interactive tool to help instructors decide which materials belong online or face-to-face.

5. Keep them connected.

Make sure to integrate the online and in person portions of your class. They should feel connected and feed into one another, not feel like separate courses.

6. Consider your students.

Most likely your students will not be familiar with how a blended course will function. Be sure to make expectations clear for both online and face-to-face components. Be specific and detailed about your expectations. Explain the crucial importance of time-management, especially for the online portion.

How will you introduce and acclimate your students to the technologies used in the class?

Beware of "the course and a half syndrome." Coined by the Learning Technology Center at UW-Milwaukee, this phrase refers to the tendency for instructors to require more work in a blended course than either in face-to-face or online courses. How will you evaluate student workloads?

8. Making the grade.

How will you evaluate the online and in-person portions of the course? How will students receive feedback? How will students evaluate course modules and the course as a whole? How will you incorporate this feedback into the course development cycle?

* "Discovering and Designing Hybrid Courses" in Blended Learning Research Perspectives (2007), ed. by Picciano and Dzuiban.

Teaching & Learning Styles

Learning Styles - Felder and Silverman from NC State

From the Illinois Online Network

Learning StylePreference for information acquisition
Visual/VerbalPrefers to read information
Visual/NonverbalUses graphics or diagrams to represent information
Auditory/VerbalPrefers to listen to information
Tactile/KinestheticPrefers physical hands-on experiences

More on Learning Styles:
Learning Styles Research from NC State
Learning Styles Questionnaire

Teaching Styles - Grasha from University of Cincinatti

Why is teaching style important? 
It helps you to understand your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher, so that you may better adapt your style to meet the needs of all your students.

  • Expert
  • Formal Authority
  • Personal Model
  • Facilitator
  • Delegator

Learn more about Teaching Styles:
Learn to leverage your teaching style online.

    The Intersection of Teaching and Learning Styles
    "To overcome these problems, professors should strive for a balance of instructional methods (as opposed to trying to teach each student exclusively according to his or her preferences.) If the balance is achieved, all students will be taught partly in a manner they prefer, which leads to an increased comfort level and willingness to learn, and partly in a less preferred manner, which provides practice and feedback in ways of thinking and solving problems which they may not initially be comfortable with but which they will have to use to be fully effective professionals."

    How has Technology Changed Learning Styles?

    Dropbox - Sharing Resources in Blended Classes

    Dropbox is an incredibly useful free tool. It enables the storing of two gigabytes (or more) of files including text, photos, audio, video, and more. These files can be protected from others or shared with a group.

    Here's an introduction to Dropbox:

    Here's an explanation of some of the more advanced features including sharing:

    More tips and tricks: http://www.brighthub.com/education/k-12/articles/86024.aspx

    And, one more valuable tip - logon at http://dropbox.com/edu and verify your .edu address for yet another half gigabyte of storage! (and double credit for referring others)

    Elluminate Web-Conferencing

    Elluminate is a web-conferencing tool that allows you to connect with colleagues and students using text chat, voice, video, and desktop sharing. Elluminate compresses all the data -- even voice and video -- in such a way that even folks on dial-up connections can participate.

    Two related tools from Elluminate that are great for teachers:
    • Publish- convert Elluminate recording to video for uploading to YouTube, iTunes or other services
    • Plan- organize and time Elluminate sessions in advance
    Elluminate and Wimba have been purchased by Blackboard. The technologies are being combined in a new tool called Blackboard Collaborate.

    Free resource from Elluminate - LearnCentral.org
    • What is a v-Room?
    • A free 3-seat Elluminate virtual meeting room that has all the features of the full version of Elluminate, except recording
    • Good for virtual office hours and group work
    • Social networking platform geared toward teaching and learning
    • Access to free larger Elluminate rooms to hold Learn Central Events


    SlideShare is a media creation site for sharing presentations, documents and pdfs. SlideShare features a vibrant professional community that regularly comments, favorites and downloads content.

    Content also spreads virally through blogs and social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter. Individuals & organizations upload documents to SlideShare to share ideas, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses.

    Anyone can view presentations & documents on topics that interest them. Or, you can make your slides private and share them only with your class and colleagues. The site is growing rapidly with over 25 million monthly visitors.

    Get started with SlideCast's excellent GET HELP section.

    Slides + Podcast = SlideCast
    How to Create a Slide Cast

    Use the Internet Archives (www.archive.org) to host MP3 for your SlideCast

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Tools For Teaching Online

    Teaching with Online Discussion Forums

    A brief description of the potential for online discussion forums, with four main examples: 1) making student writing a point of discussion through webpage comments, 2) using voting mechanisms to help students evaluate writing, 3) allowing students to contribute to various online discussion communities, and 4) using wiki pages to teach revision and comparison.

    Social Constructivism

    Community of Inquiry

    Passive v. Active Learning

    Despite overwhelming research (and common sense) that passive learning is less effective than active learning, many classes emphasize passive approaches.

    Passive approaches emphasize:
    • Lectures
    • Readings
    • Watching video
    • Listening to audio
    • Observing demonstrations

    Active approaches emphasize:

    • Interaction through discussion
    • Student<->student / faculty<->student interactions
    • Student presentations
    • Group projects
    • Simulations
    • Problem solving

    Michael Wesch Video: The Machine is Us/ing Us:

    Some Strategies for Actively Engaging Students Online

    Using Online Resources to Promote Active Learning in Physics Teaching

    Active Learning and Quality in Online Courses

    Active Learning Online By the Numbers: A Compilation of Lists from Several Scholars of Active Learning with Technology

    UIS Online: Carla

    Web 2.0 Tools for Online Learning

    Google Docs/Apps:
    Google Docs for Educators Site
    Educause: 7 Things You Should Know About Google Apps

    Blogs: How to Create a Blog with Blogger
    Educause: 7 Things You Should Know about Blogs

    50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom
    Using Twitter to Facilitate Classroom Discussions
    Educause: 7 Things You Should Know About Twitter


    Digital video is growing.

    YouTube is a video sharing/networking site. Recently upgraded to support high definition video, YouTube hosts billions of videos. One of its key features is the ability to embed videos on other web sites. This feature allows students to watch video content without leaving the LMS and it makes your content more visually appealing.

    Other digital video services include Jing (screencasting), online media conversion with media-convert.com, Viddler (video editing and sharing).

    Educause: 7 Things You Should Know About YouTube

    Chronicle Article: From YouTube to YouNiversity
    YouTube for Higher Education

    Open Educational Resources

    MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resources for Teaching and Learning Online

    Open Licensing: Creative Commons

    Cable Green, Director of eLearning and Open Educational Resources, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

    Cable's List of Open Educational Resources

    Cable's Presentation to UIS:

    Time Saving Tips For Online Educators

    Implementing Rubrics

    Rubrics are scoring tools that explicitly represent performance expectations for an assignment based on specific elements. A rubric divides the assigned work into highlighted characteristics and provides clear descriptions of work associated with each characteristic at varying levels of mastery.

    Free Resources:

    TeAchnology; Rubrics, Rubric Makers: links to all sorts of rubric makers for a variety of subject areas and assessment forms in K-12 environment, to printable rubric collections for all sorts of purposes, and to rubrics resources (All About Rubrics); although this is designed for K-12 teachers, much of it is applicable

    Carnegie Mellon; Grading and Performance Rubrics: rationale for using rubrics and good examples from a variety of disciplines and assessment forms; higher ed specific

    Rubistar: free tool to help you create rubrics for a variety of projects

    Narrated PowerPoint Lectures

    Articulate Presenter:


    Articulate Quizmaker:


    Articulate Engage Interactions:


    Synchronous Strategies

    -- Common Synchronous Strategies --
    • Office hours
    • Student presentations
    • Guest speakers
    • Textbook author interviews
    • Guest instructors from distant universities
    • Subject matter experts in your field
    • Role-playing
    • Example: Interview and Assessment Skills in Human Services
    • Semester kick-off
    • Introductions, Course design, Expectations
    • Introduction to major projects/assignments
    • Group work
    • Reviews for exams
    • Follow-up for muddiest point surveys/CATs
    • Back-channeling (active!) for presentations, videos, and more.

    -- Reasons to Supplement with Synchronous --
    • Creating community among your students
    • Other solutions are just too complex

    -- Synchronous Tools --