Need for Training

2 12 2011

communicating dogsI just read the Grad Students and Digital Education  article by Joshua Kim and found the reflections of his participation in the strategic planning process interesting. I do think that the conversations that we intentionally have during periods of transition are incredibly insightful allowing people from various parts of campus to share their stories. Luckily, we continued to do this on our LMS committee and I think it keeps the ideas flowing between IT, Faculty and Support Staff.

In particular Kim’s take on what he heard resonated with me concerning faculty training and support. In ECAR’s 2011 National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, one of the student quotes is telling. “I’d like them to use [a commercial learning management system] to give us more resources outside the classroom, to post grades, and to have discussions outside the classroom. The tools are all there, but they’re not used.” (p. 14)

Most faculty members I know are BUSY, really BUSY. Which is why they need easy, intuitive tools to use. If a LMS is cumbersome, clunky, and archaic, how can they be expected (on a grand scale) to effectively utilize the tool? If the school is locked into an outdated system, then training and extra support services can help them fill in the gap between student expectations and a faculty member’s need for support.





Online Learning at Critical Point?

16 11 2011

We seem to be at a critical point in distance learning. With the implementations of open source and commercial tools, student privacy issues, administrative flip-flopping, and to top it off legal directives, where are we headed? Oh, don’t forget open education and digital badges too. ALOT will be happening in this mode of education in the next 2-5 years. We will see a number of changes in the aforementioned, certainly. So, how do we move forward?

  1. Stay on top of the legal issues!
  2. Benchmark, benchmark, benchmark.
  3. Keep your finger on the administrative pulse.
  4. Read your top 3 journals religiously.
  5. Keep learning. (this really is tied with #1.)
  6. Collaborate with your peers and colleagues.




The Backchannel

19 01 2010

slide rocket sponsored a webinar today with Cliff Atkinson about the backchannel that occurs during presentations. The backchannel that Cliff focused on is the use of Twitter and how it can inform the speaker of the status of her presentation.

Atkinson has two books which I have not read, but am interested in

beyond bullet points

Beyond Bullet Points

The Backchannel: How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever

Cliff opened today’s presentation with every speaker’s nightmare about getting negative tweets like “this presentation sucks!” and such. However, as with most technology today, we must find a way to deal with its appearance into “this modern life.” Cliff’s suggestion is to embrace and acknowledge your audience letting them know that you are “on” in Twitter.

Perhaps even use Twitter as a pre-conference survey tool. A “What can I do for you” prior to even showing up. Good idea I think. As Cliff said, acknowledging this side of the backchannel can sort of disarm people and keep “snarky” remarks at a minimum if people know you are going to be reading the posts.

On your first presentation slide add your conference hashtag and your Twitter account information. Take Twitter Q and A breaks. Provide backup material links via Twitter.

Also, as many of you already know, remember to add your twitter account, blog, etc. to your business cards and signature lines.

Welcome to 21st Century Teaching, Learning, Presenting!





23 12 2008

Do I really need to say more than this? Sure, we could argue semantics, statistics, etc. but why? when the fundamental issues are true.





Social Presence

22 12 2008

Social presence and its effect on teaching and learning is critical in an online environment.

Articles of interest: Validating a Measurement Tool of Presence





Creating a Comprehensive Online Syllabus

17 12 2008

Revising your face-to-face syllabus sounds easy, right?

You will need to consider several factors when creating an online syllabus. Remember all of the housekeeping issues you deal with at the beginning of each F2F class? Well, you will need to consider all of these issues in your online course up front…in the syllabus.

See the links below to review what to include and why. Remember your syllabus is the MOST important document in a course. Your course manifesto…

  • Evaluate Your Syllabus

“An Evaluation of Online Syllabi…”
Article byy Teresa Welsh

  • Planning the Course Syllabus

Center for Instructional Development and Research, University of Washington

  • Course Design and Planning Materials

Center for Teaching Excellence, Cornell University

  • Designing a Learning-Centered Syllabus

Center for Teaching Effectiveness University of Delaware

  • Syllabus Writing 101

Faculty Development 101, Penn State World Campus





Synch/video conferenceing tools

8 12 2008
  • We demoed Nefsis today. I really liked the format and the multiple views for participants. It was easier to use than Live Classroom, but I need to know more about pricing and LMS integration. It allowed annotations and on-the-fly loading of materials, which is good. Cost could make it prohibitive. JUST LEARNED THAT NEFSIS IS NOT MAC COMPATIBLE.
  • Also, heard about Agora which can be installed in Sakai our LMS. This is extremely important for student/faculty member seamless access. I need to learn more and confirm if our IT will integrate it in our Sakai at some point.