August 2010 Archives

Post-trekking

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I've been furiously trying to get my class together for the fall semester, but many, many, many interruptions! Still, I'm thinking differently about many things - both the potential offered through technology and some of the challenges as well.

I was very sorry to miss the last day of the week, and particularly to have missed the student panel and the presentations by each of the trekkers. I learned so much over the course of the week and am looking forward to integrating my learning in my teaching.

Many thanks to Dave, Michelle, Caroline, all the IT-Fellows, and Dean Quam and everyone else who made the experience possible. Great job in organizing a fantastic and pragmatic learning experience. My thanks as well to my fellow trekkers and I'm eager for our next time together.

http://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill2/html5/78553

Check it out. Using cell phones and other digital devices for clicker technology in our classes.

Hope you are all having a good week!
Orkideh

end of the week

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I have rarely if ever participated in a week long, really two week long program, such as this one that was presented with as much care in planning and instruction, materials available.I have been exposed to a lot more than I can use right away but that is not a problem. There are a lot of tools I know a little about now that I can play with, and encourage students to play with,in order to enhance learning experiences. Thanks to David and all the presenters and IT fellows for the skill and assistance this week.

Yay! We Passed!

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Thanks to everyone for making this an excellent opportunity for learning. There is nothing like getting a group of teachers together to share teaching ideas and seeing the products!

I look forward to working with you in the future.

Thanks also to Dean Quam, Dave, Caroline, Michelle, the IT Fellows, and Serena for making this bootcamp so successful!

Student Panel

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I really appreciated the panel this morning. I am still debating what aspects of PsTL 5106 will occur in the face-to-face classroom and what will be addressed online and how. To be really honest, after listening to the students today I am glad that my mission is to develop a hybrid course rather than a completely online course. Although from the conference and our conversations I have many ideas re; creating a social presence, I still want that face-to-face interaction at times.

Moving forward

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Moving forward


Originally uploaded by davidernst


Friday

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TGIF yet I am so sorry this extraordinary experience will be over in a few hours. I have learned so much and can't wait to try out these new opportunities one or two steps at a time, but I want all the Tech Fellows for my very own to sit at my side everyday. But alas--all good things must come to an end and now I shall take some risks--knowing there is support behind me. Thanks everyone!

Having fun

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I had a lot of fun yesterday, plugging away on some small bits of my future course, including: creating an avatar of myself on Voki (Thanks to Anna for the reference) and creating a prezi on my background as an instructor. Both of those elements are now embedded in my moodle course, and they look great! It is good to get small tasks done and that feeds my sense of making progress, but it also makes me realize how much work there is to do. Luckily, my course will not go live until next Spring.

If you want to see my avatar, come ask me. She has an Indian accent!!

wish I could see . . .

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all of the things you will be presenting today. I'm not going to be joining you today, but I wish that I could be there to see all of the wonderful things that you are doing. I have been so inspired over the course of the week hearing about the many creative ways you all engage your students in your teaching. I'm excited to about the possibilities ahead.

A huge thank you to Dave, Michelle and Caroline, and to all of the IT Fellows, Yelena, Pete, and everyone else who were on hand to help all week long. I don't who summonded Donovan for me to upload some things on my computer at a very opportune time. I was not even finished putting my message in the Coconut when he was at my elbow to get me fixed up and back on the road. So thanks to Donovan too!

Sorry to not be there for your live presentations, but Dave tells me they will be recorded so I hope to see them. Sorry as well not to make the Kitty Kat Klub, but always up for a raincheck!

Inspired

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It's so great to read the many wonderful blog entries here and to see how so many of you feel empowered and excited by the many things you can do with your courses. This has inspired me so much as well, and I too have learned a lot this week. I'm glad we now have this community within CEHD to continue to learn from and collaborate with. I can't wait to see your presentations tomorrow and to see what you do from this point forward! Thanks again for the drinks tonight. That was fun. :)

Thank you!

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I am so sorry to have missed the fun at the Kitty Kat Klub this afternoon. I have been interviewing candidates for a graduate teaching assistant and have felt empowered by my new awareness of (if not proficiency with) instructional technologies. Despite having a ton of work to do before the semester begins, I feel like I can handle it.

Thank you to everyone who has made this experience possible! I am looking forward to our ongoing interactions through the coming year.

Jeanne

Conceal to reveal

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Conceal to reveal


Originally uploaded by Linda Buturian


Kitty Kat Day

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The day started with anticipation of Kitty Kat. The discussion on Web 2.0 and UMConnect challenged my assumptions about the use of technology and the difficulties that students face when interacting with a new technology or keeping up with the technology resources that they rely on. I need to focus on "what will be engaging" . . . if I build it [engaging] they will come. The negotiation of what do I have that the student wants continues. It is not information it is processes and critical thinking. What are the questions? How can this be built upon. Much food for thought. I don't want to be the "enforcer". I want to be the "engager".
Looking forward to tomorrow.

Thursday's Thoughts

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What a week, my brain is FULL! I loved experiencing Connect today and plan to use it for class sessions in the spring, but more immediately, for virtual office hours this semester.

I also appreciated having the hands-on help from the IT fellows regarding how to use different options that Moodle has to offer and how to embed VideoAnt files. I can see so many applications for the technology. I think the key now will be to practice, practice, practice!

Tani

spontaneous communicative prattle

I have learned a lot today, and I have enjoyed learning more about other Trekkers' ideas for their work. I can't wait to see the presentations tomorrow.

Remember, if you have a Facebook account, you should join the "Wikipedia is Not an Academic Source" group!

It has been a great day. I again appreciate the input on tech resources as well as the time to collaborate and work on our projects. All of the new resources are well worth the time it takes to explore them. There is so much to learn... but then at least some of the names and procedures are starting to ring a bell now. I can't believe how long designing this course is going to take to do it the way I had envisioned. I feel excited and empowered. Many thanks to Dave, Caroline, and Michelle. You are great!

Lori

Appreciative

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I am so appreciative of the opportunities provided this week. I am convinced that the only way to "step in" is through immersion- and I am definately immersed. I appreciate the amount of tools and options and the many incredible minds who have developed the software. I appreciate the group of people around me who are so willing to engage in using the options. I appreciate the opportunity for professional development - and all the snacks :)
Thanks to Dave and the IT Fellows - I am looking forward to working with you more this coming year.

narrowing and focusing

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Today's presentation on web 2.0 stimulated reflection about the possibilities for acquiring information quickly and how our key role is in assisting students to make informed choices, evaluate information, think critically. We and they can so easily be dazzled by the speed of information acquired and the flash of the presentation that we lose or ignore evaluation. Some students developed web sites in my course last year that ranged in quality; in fact they helped me to refine my rubric. At one end I had several that were like Fibber McGee's Closet.Now that analogy will be meaningless to most of our students but might be telling for my peer group in this class. That is, they diligently assembled a variety of sources, information on a topic such as adoption, without any navigation or evaluation of the sources. Indeed many of the national sources they accessed were also at this level, where there was a grab bag available with no assessment of the quality or guidance. At the high end were more selective sites that were focused, had a clear perspective, evaluated the sources selected and demonstrated critical thinking. In addition to web sites, two students created a dvd with the combination of interviews of experts with a flash camera and a powerpoint review of the literature with voice overs (I will show it tomorrow). I want to use these top two projects as models for student work; I want to develop rubrics that help describe how to evaluate them. I want to then also make available links to students to guide them to the technology to create products such as these and others. Hyo Jin's presentation on umconnect was also helpful; some other uses I had not thought of.

Here We Are

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The three muses

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The three muses


Originally uploaded by Linda Buturian








Beauty and truth, take 2


Originally uploaded by Linda Buturian


Thoughts on blogging

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I was really engaged yesterday and got a lot accomplished, but when I left I had to chase from one thing to the next, and late last night I turned to my husband and said, "I forgot to blog today." Then, instead of logging on, I slid into the bathtub, which is where I choose to engage in my deepest reflection. I began thinking of all the professional women I have been close to over the years and how many of them have found joy in journaling and other ways to reflect by writing. But that isn't me. This is not the first time I have stopped to think about this, but last night in the bathtub my reflections had a different context. If I am not into writing as a form of reflection (and I enjoy writing--I spend much of my day writing), what about my students? In online courses, not only personal reflection, but also "discussion" can be limited to written forms of communication. So after this reflection I have a new appreciation for the many technologies I have learned about over the past 2 weeks, and I can tie this back to Chickering & Gamson's 7 Principles as well. It will be important to me as I design my hybrid course to think about multimodal forms (or choices) for reflection as well as for discussion, so that I remain respectful to students' different ways of knowing.

Hump Day

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I think I am over the hump :). In the past several days I have been overwhelmed, excited, frightened, motivated......I am sure you know the emotions. I just wanted to gather all the knowledge and the options from each of the tools presented and USE THEM IMMEDIATELY in EVERY CLASS.
I am over that hump and back to trying to formulate a plan that meets the objectives of the course and is manageable for someone with my skill set. I am back to moodle, media mill and (if I stretch) class capture. Still not bad for a couple weeks learning.

I really liked the content we had yesterday. The stuff on privacy and permission issues was excellent! At the end, someone noted that the take away message seems to be "it depends." A good summary.

I was excited about the Adobe presenter stuff and am eager to try that technology. As I think over my entire project I am re-thinking what I had planned. I think Presenter would work very well with some of what I'm planning to put online.

I had intended to work with some of the most interactive modules in my class to put those into an online delivery format. I'm now thinking that those are aspects of my class that work quite well in the classroom and to convert them to online delivery would take extensive planning. I think I'll begin with a couple of modules in which the students are less active and less interactive.

I would like to put some of the videos that I show in class into media mill and then have the students access them on their own, rather than using class time (I'm short-changed by about 6 hours because I teach in the fall semester so feel justified in asking students to see films outside of class time). That's something I will explore with Pete today.

How To Do It All ... Or Not!

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‎"OK, so you know about all of these great tools out there that can transform teaching and learning in your classroom but all you have is an ancient PC in the corner of your room. How can you effectively integrate technology with this dinosaur?"
- Blogger Mary Beth Hertz

Neither you nor I can do it all. Yet, we can do some things. We have learned about some great and affordable tools today: Camtasia Relay and Adobe Presenter 7. I hope to use Camtasia Relay in the next few days.

Things are moving forward with my videos, too, so I am happy to report that I have made a lot of progress since Monday! I never thought I could learn iMovie that quickly!

Great combination of great presentations and time to devote to my project. It was especially helpful to learn about the fair use analysis tool and the various policies and people available to help us answer questions about data privacy and materials use. Appreciated Brad's philosophy to push the envelope (within reason) when it comes to fair use. The Creative Commons licensing is a tool everyone at a land-grant university should know about and consider using. First time I'd heard about it and will spend some time exploring this option.

The introductions to Camtasia and Presenter provided us with a good overview of the tools, where to access them and how to get started using them. After listening to both sessions, I think I'll still rely on Presenter to do the audio-narrations of PowerPoint presentations. But Yelena showed me some of the finer points of creating the presentations that were very helpful.

I also found ways that Camtasia will be useful - demonstrations of how to find/use a particular site, a web-based tool, etc. I invariably have students go to the wrong website to access their free credit report, even though I demonstrate it in class. Creating a 'how to' presentation with Camtasia will allow me to post the tutorial on Moodle so students can access in real-time - hopefully avoiding a costly mistake. Same is true for navigating the IRS website... although I'll have to get better at that myself before I create the tutorial!

Afternoon time to play with UThink and other blogging tools was very valuable. Am going to create a blog using Tumblr. Austin demonstrated the site and it seemed much more user-friendly than other options available. Another step forward on the journey.....

Hump Day reflections

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Well, my mind was spinning with ideas again today. I accomplished a few minor things (created a google site with a unique header, made a test camtasia file explaining an excel spreadsheet, got camtasia and windows live movie maker working ib my computer. I will create a few topic tutoirals using camtasia to follow parts of students projects that will be done in google docs and google spreadsheet. The information on copyright, privacy, FERPA was most helpful. The take-a-way was "it depends" and consulting the website may be the best approach before moving forward. Thanks for another jam-packed day. This week has been even more valuable than last week. Great ideas and energy.

Wednesday reflection/blog

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I knew some things about adobe presenter but learned some new ones; the camtasia introduction was also useful. I am becoming more clear about the priorities of what I plan to do with my course: [1] modify the syllabus with student assignments, expectations etc; Peter's syllabus was helpful here; [2 create a web based session with current materials to serve as a model for potential student projects; [3] collect referrals and citations to provide to students about making multi media presentations; [4] as time permits work on other possible session conversions.

Wednesday - August 11

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After driving around for 20 minutes trying to find a parking place this morning and then yesterday finding a $108. ticket on my windshield, I was beginning to think that staying home was a better option. But getting into the room and listening to Brad who is a great presenter, person, and all around good guy, I was inspired. The material is valuable and can be used in so many different ways that it is difficult to keep focused on what I want to do for this project. I worked some with Pete today on UM Connect features and drawback and that was helpful. One thing I know I will need to do before going live with this project, is test, test test and evaluate evaluate evaluate. It's got to work well and not cause problems for me or the student if it's going to be worthwhile. I don't think there is an ideal solution to some of what I want to do, so it will be more a matter of keeping problems to a minimum rather than problem free.

Good day today.

Wednesday reflection/blog

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I knew some things about adobe presenter but learned some new ones; the camtasia introduction was also useful. I am becoming more clear about the priorities of what I plan to do with my course: [1] modify the syllabus with student assignments, expectations etc; Peter's syllabus was helpful here; [2 create a web based session with current materials to serve as a model for potential student projects; [3] collect referrals and citations to provide to students about making multi media presentations; [4] as time permits work on other possible session conversions.

VideoANT

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I really appreciated learning more about VideoANT today. Thank you for sharing what you do with us, Jill! I got so many ideas as I observed how you have used this tool in your classes. I teach a course called "Becoming a Teacher of Statistics," and we are currently working on an ATS project where we're attempting to videotape interviews (mostly through Skype) with key leaders in the Statistics Education community. I can see VideoANT as being a way for us to get our students to talk about and reflect on some of the things these educators have to say, and discuss how their own thinking has been shaped by some of the work of these individuals. I also have an assignment I use in an intermediate statistics course where I ask students to watch the following YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o. I then ask them to talk about the video, read an accompanying article that describes the video in more detail and the impetus for the video, and discuss issues related to data collection and experimental design. I can see trying to use VideoANT along with this video so students can have a discussion by adding annotations to that video (rather than watching the video offline and then sharing their thoughts in a WebVista discussion room). There are so many possibilities!

Continue to get a bit clearer everyday about my hybrid course design and the tools that will help me achieve my goals. But today I realized that using a blog and creating one are very different animals! Spent some time again with Austin to learn about style, design, etc. Tonight my task is mapping the course the old-fashioned way - on a piece of paper! Hopefully it will help me get the clarity and focus that's needed to set up the blog design.

Really appreciated the two presentations today. The information and personal reflections Michelle shared about on-line interaction were very helpful, particularly for an undergrad course I teach that uses a lot of web-based learning activities.

Jill's presentation took the mystery out of VideoAnt for me. I've really hesitated getting into video, thinking I wouldn't have the savvy to do it. But her demonstration inspired me to test it out and I thought of a way I could use it in the hybrid course I'm developing. Thanks to both of you!!!

Continue to be amazed at all the excellent resources we have here at the U but didn't know existed! I've added a couple I found tonight on the Moodle site.

light-at-end-of-tunnel61.jpg"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it is the light of the oncoming train."
-Robert Lowell

Things came together this afternoon as I continue to work on the videos for the first day of my fall term classes. I have learned a lot about iMovie in the past 24 hours, and I am happy to report that I now know how to add audio voice-overs to still images in iPhoto thanks to a consultation with Pete. I also want to thank Caroline and Suzan and Daniel for their encouragement and assistance with my iMovie project. We have the opportunity to work with some very talented individuals.

Michelle's presentation on teacher presence and involvement in student discussions was very helpful this morning as well. Even though it hasn't been mentioned in our training, Michelle won the CEHD Distinguished Teaching Award a couple of years ago, and her reflections on her teaching experiences have been very valuable to our group.

I feel very fortunate to be in Treks Transform because I have moved very quickly along with my projects with assistance and insight from many colleagues! Thanks, everyone!

I am making progress! I now have a list of what I want to do and have identified some applications to do it as well as eliminated some--definitely eliminated some! I think the best thing I can do for myself is to limit my ambitions and start w/simpler approaches, remember that I will not use technology just for the sake of using technology, and above, all maintain what I know to be effective practices, such as construction of syllabi, assignments, and evaluation.

Moodle Me!

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As of today I have decided to go with Moodle this fall rather than continuing with WebVista. This morning I requested a course site for my fall course and a development site for my spring course, and both were approved within minutes, so this afternoon I was able to work with Daniel on my fall site. Unfortunately, mid-day today one of my discussion sections was canceled and another added, so 2 hours in I already have misinformation on my site. Oh well--at least I now feel confident that Moodle will be fairly intuitive for me and hopefully for my students as well.

Now I really have a lot to do to get ready for fall, but I also know that the practice I get on Moodle this fall will help prepare me for taking a different course hybrid using Moodle in the spring
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Tuesday's blog

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Well, I had the question this morning about the difference between a blog, wiki, and Google docs for promoting collaboration. Five of us were able to work editing together on the same wiki and Google docs during our "play" time. In my minds eye Goodle docs won. multiple persons were able to edit at the same time. The history of individual contributions was extensive. Five people can work at the same time and see the editing happening with the authors names indicated. It was easy to use. I now need to experiment with " how to incorporate Google docs into Moodle so that all the course content can be accessed from Moodle. A good balance between think time and play time today. Thanks for the balance.

Tuesday reflections

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I agree- today has been incredibly helpful, and I actually had a chunk of time in the afternoon to think about how I want to incorporate some of what we have discussed into my online course. It was interesting to hear from others today who had the realization that what our thoughts about what would go into an online/hybrid course are really changing. Not only is it more complex than we thought, we are also finding that what we wanted to do originally may not have been the most appropriate use of teacher and student time. I think we really are "transforming."
There are so many technological resources we have at our disposal- it is hard to pick the two or three to focus on first. Thanks for a great day, for sharing your expertise, and for giving us the space to work on our own projects.

Reflections

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On Monday I was a bit unclear how we were going to utilize assistance from the various department IT Fellows - today it became much more clear how we can benefit from their expertise! It was so helpful to work on specific projects using technology and being able to practice!! That was key for me, getting the hands-on experience was important.

At this rate, I think that by the end of the week I will have my course at least 90% complete - which I wasn't expecting and am very excited about!

blog/feedback on Tuesday

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I found all of today to be quite useful. Michelle's presentation stimulated a lot of useful discussion and thinking about how I can work with student discussions better. I have been using videoant for awhile but it was useful to have another orientation to it. This afternoon, I went in to talk with Caroline about use of the Digital content library and came out learning about many other tools that may be useful: resources on digital story telling, use of wikis as part of group projects. These have created broader possibilities for how I might use these tools in my course. I need to make some decisions soon; it looks as if I am going to know about a lot more possibilities than I can feasibly learn or use at this time; it reminds me of early stages in learning a new language when I could follow a conversation better than I could participate in it; the interaction took time and was frustrating but was the only way to learn.

I thought Michelle's presentation on online discussions was really helpful. I took away a lot of very practical information, including ideas about how I would integrate some of this into my class. What I learned right away was that I'm not ready to put the most interactive part of my current in-person online: it simply takes too much work to make the interaction part meaningful in an online environment. But I certainly now see how it could be done, and that will be a long term vision for me as I look to the future. In the meantime I think I'll start with a smaller goal, something less interactive.

I am also intrigued by the possibilities afforded through VideoAnt. This could be a very helpful tool for SW students in field placements in agencies.

Most entertaining for the day: David juggling!

Testing Testing

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OK, I'm the person who has been blogging anonymously (unintentionally), so this is my test message to make sure I have set up my profile--
Jeanne

Monday reflection

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Consistent with many of the other comments about today, I enjoyed the overview of Quality Matters and appreciated the "show and tell" about Moodle. I think the rubric that supports high quality online courses will be really helpful in thinking through key elements as we move through the development phase. The time to sit and chat with the IT fellows + Pete was a nice opportunity for a little more show and tell and lingering questions I was having about some of the how to's and logistics of things I was considering for my online course. Specifically, I am looking forward to relying on Media Mill for video files and trying out Camtasia Relay for a quick and dirty attempt to capture some of my lectures on the fly. As much as I enjoyed the informal conversation time in the afternoon, I'm feeling like I have a lot of ideas and would like time to start to see if I can put some things into action.

Anybody remember the Mamas and the Papas, or am I dating myself?

Anyway, it was a good Monday, judging by the way my head felt like it would explode with ideas at 2:00 p.m.. A couple of good ideas I can put to use right away.

First, I plan to share the QM information with a couple of colleagues who are working with me to revamp an existing on-line course. It will be a good exercise for the 3 of us to walk through the standards to see if we're meeting the mark.
?? In what central black hole has this been hiding for three years ??

Second, I took a big step down the course development path this afternoon. Kudos to awesome Austin who helped me think through the best tech tool to use for the hybrid course I'm developing. Was leaning toward individual Google sites for all students - was it because it was the latest 'bell or whistle' in the tech toolkit? Anyway, Austin showed me how I could achieve some learner interaction with the sites, then showed me how it might work better if I use the UThink Blog. It will allow me to create separate categories which will basically be the students. They can use links to websites, reports, documents, etc. and share their evaluations and responses based on the rubrics I've prepared. Peers can comment and give feedback to what they post.

Since I'm already somewhat familiar with the UThink blog, I can concentrate more on creating good learning activities to reach the course objectives (better use of my time). Also seems like it will take less time for students to get up to speed on using the tool itself which should translate to more time spent on the substance of the course (better use of their time).

My tasks now are to revisit my course objectives and begin to map out the learning activities to achieve them. Then I need to decide which of them are best in-class, which will work best on-line and how the semester will play out accordingly. Am getting excited to see how it will take shape.

Thanks for the healthy and delicious salads and snacks today! Serena rocks!

Monday Reflection

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The Quality Matters session turned out to be a reassurance for me. A reassurance that those who traveled down the road of on-line course development before us, had some reflections and experiences that lead to standards. The standards are a welcome format for structure in an otherwise wide open field of possibilities. I appreciate the outline and the examples. Very helpful after the wide range of program options delivered in Madison.

Congratulations to IT Fellows: Angela and Matti on their engagement....oh yeah, I did learn a bit more about moodle as well :) I am starting to see the possibilities in bringing in the video technologies and the presentation technologies with Moodles as a launching site. NOW I JUST HAVE TO PUT IT TOGETHER. (I might need some extra work time during class sessions for this).

Monday's thoughts

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Today was a very helpful day. I was able to create a survey using google docs. After another discussion on maximizing collaboration, I am convinced that I will develop tools in Moodle and Google docs to allow students to work on or off campus on a group project based on collecting real data and then analyzing it and creating a report and presentation based on their experiences. I will be able to determine individuals imput into the project and have all resources available through Moodle but in Google docs. This will be my weeks work. I will look at audio and video ways to supplement this project but I will focus on collaboration tools. The presentations were good thinking and reflection time. Good teaching is the same online or in person. Some of the tools to accomplish this goal will need to change. That is my take-a-way. Thanks for a great day.
After talking with Peter, I am confident that collaborative activities will give me much more mileage in student achieving course goals than well structured "discussion' prompts.

Thoughts thus far

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I discovered that Moodle grade book does not work for me--yet I have to make it work because that is the system the U has chosen! That makes me nuts because I think technology should work for you rather than forcing you to conform to its quirks and shortcomings. On a happier note, I now think I know what I want to do with my blended learning course for fall and also what tech to include in my regular course. I quickly came to the conclusion that I have to start small and let expertise evolve.

Uff Da!

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"One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with."
-- Marshall McLuhan

I have come to the point of reckoning as I realize that I have some very concrete projects that must be completed in the next week so that I can free my mind and focus on my upcoming trip to Mozambique.

The three projects I need to complete are
(A) Intro Video for FYI Course for College Day (Thurs., Sept. 2)

(B) Intro Video for Public Speaking Courses (Weds., Sept. 8)

(C) Voice-over PPT Presentation on Communication Basics (Fri., Sept. 10)

Caroline so graciously videorecorded me for projects A and B, and now I realize I have to use iMovie to edit the videos and add a few photos. That's scary to me because I am a novice using iMovie.

I hope to use Camtasia Studio for the voice-over PPT, but I am willing to spring for the Adobe Connect, too. I feel a lot of pressure to get this work done as soon as possible so that I can focus on other tasks that I need to complete before Thursday, August 19.

Monday (8/9) thoughts

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The info on Quality Matters was helpful to me and will be welcome when I write my next grant proposal.

This afternoon I, too, sat in with Caroline and Pete. I have so many ideas and am glad that my goal is to implement them in the spring rather than in the fall, but even so there are things I now want to do (just have to find time) before fall for my first-year experience course, which I will not be taking online. I am rambling . . . truly suffering from information overload. I think the hardest thing for me is I just keep realizing how little I know!

But 1 easy take-away: I am going to schedule a time with Pete to record a video course guide entry for my spring course (current course guide video is for another instructor who also teaches the course) and script the video carefully so that I can also use it to introduce myself on the site for the new hybrid version of the course in the spring.

Trek - Day 1
Monday, 9 August 2010

For someone who thinks visually and in circular patterns, Prezi is a welcome tool in addition to the more linear Powerpoint. In my water seminar, I have students create a visual map of at least one complex article (for example, on the environmental components of cancer), in order to cultivate visual thinking to prepare them for the Digital Story assignment, and Prezi would be a great tool for an online version of a visual map. In the hybrid literature course as well as my Art and Identity course, Prezi will be a boon.

After lunch session on Video and Audio--Pete and Caroline

Lecture capture vs Audio:
Audio advantages. Files are smaller, can be listened to in the car,
Video could also create an audio
I'm excited to embed those videos into my Moodle site!

Camtasia Relay: No flexibility to edit. Screen capture tool. Studio is better. Streamflow is a mac version option. Can we get the department or college to purchase this?

Adobe Presenter takes PowerPoint slides and sync with audio to change the slides as audio is playing. Our fellow Trekkie, Tani Bialek, loves presenter. She does her PowerPoint/audio on her own. Her tip is to avoid time sensitive material in your modules so you can recycle them next semester. Adobe presenter also has quizzes, interactions and other handy tools.

Question: Does anyone else balk at having to purchase Adobe Presenter? I will do it, as I think it will be a good tool, but I wish we could share the love in an open-source kind of way.

A Shout Out: For an organized, relevant, enjoyable day with delicious food.

August 9th - Day One

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I was slow to get into the material today. Maybe I'm still having some conference lag from Madison, but the afternoon was better. The Quality Matters was good information, but somewhat boring to listen to. I see the value in it, but am uncertain how the University is planning (if they are) to incorporate it into what goes on here. I liked the mini session of the various technologies and am looking forward to more of them. It helped me congeal some of my ideas and generate more.

evaluation of the day

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I found the day useful, particularly the afternoon in learning about potentially useful technologies for my uses: camtasia and umconnect. I am becoming more clear about the uses I will make. I found the morning moderately useful. The first presentation on quality et al may be useful but was a bit flat for me, that combined with the darkness in the room to see the powerpoint, made me struggle to concentrate. Similarly in our discussion which followed, I found the discussion to be a bit random and it felt as if Michelle might have summarized at times or focused the discussion, I felt we were at times all over the place but maybe that is just me.

August 9 reflections

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I thought it was a great day today... I am definitely feeling "information overload," but the information was so useful and exciting. The resource people are fantastic. By the end of the day I was not only feeling "full" but also energized about rolling up my sleeves to work on my project. I'd love to have more time to work on my class... wonder if that kind of time will be available during our days, or whether that is what I am to do in the evening? Thanks for a great day!
Lori

Google Wave: Wanting to dig in to technology for a hybrid class, I spent my afternoon at a session on using Google Wave and a teaching tool. What a ride? Having my computer in front of me and learning a new tool--I had difficulty staying on task. I was either ahead of the class exploring or behind the class trying to figure out all the steps to using the new tool. (I have more appreciation of the position I have put students in when I try to keep them on task when I introduce a new statistical tool.) I found that the flexibility of Google wave had my mind racing with ideas on how it could enhance group projects in both my statistics class and in my freshman inquiry course. Being able to follow the development of student project ideas with web references, development of text, visual support mediums, and individuals' contributions to the whole was all possible using this medium. Too bad that it is no longer being supported by Google. I however have played with Google document since then and see that much of the tools that I do need are available in Google document including a presentation and spreadsheet tool. I think I will spend time exploring Google document this week.
Using a design framework to create a sense of presence: This workshop was the second presentation I attended with Simone as one of the presenters. It gave me time to think about a theoretical framework for designing an online or hybrid class. It primarily focused on the sense of presence that is so important when there is a transactional distance. Much food for thought. I did like the schema. If you are interested in a theoretical framework . . . I would suggest that you look it up on the conference notes webpage. I do have a copy of the hand out.
Second Life: I went to two presentations on Second Life to play further with a sense of presence (which I thought was an important concept for distance education). Both presentations were compelling. The presenters used their presentation to model a sense of presence and identity (synchronous and asynchronous). The presentation by Kay McLennan was great. We saw her interact with her avatar. Both presentations used second life for content delivery and for a sense of identity. Resources in second life included: virtually inspecting technology, historical information on significant leaders in a field of study, discussions and presentations by student with faculty (synchronous), role playing, conducting surveys, holding office hours (synchronous), tutorial materials, displays of information, and just social activities (flying, designing riding a skateboard type device, swimming, etc.). An interesting tool to study. There is second life educational portal.

This presentation was not what I expected primarily because the kinds of scenarios I use in my classes do not have right and wrong answers. This session focused on scenarios used in library e-tutorials. But I still learned some interesting general information about boring vs. engaging e-learning, etc. I was bothered by the fact that this librarian responded to a question from the audience by indicating that her library tutorials are not ADA compliant.

I apparently forgot about some of the sessions I attended. This was a research-based presentation that focused on different types of scaffolding. What I took away from it was that regardless of what types of formal scaffolding you build into your assignments, etc., what students value is the one-on-one feedback provided in a timely manner as they progress. But that does not mean that the formal built-in scaffolding is not important!

I hope it is OK to use one entry to sum up the many sessions I attended. I still have miles to go before I sleep and am trying to do this as efficiently as possible.

Wed. AM2: Visual & Video Media
I had hoped for something a bit more "hands on", but this 3-hour workshop did provide a wonderful overview of tools & resources, their cost, and their strengths and limitations. But I still have A LOT to learn!

Wed. PM10: Moodle & SoftChalk . . .
Although we do not have SoftChalk, this was still perhaps the most helpful session (3-hour workshop) I attended because it was so hands-on. We met in a computer lab in Pyle Hall. At first I was taken aback by the set up--the students' computer stations faced away from the instructor's at the front of the room. Within a few seconds of entering, however, I realized how brilliant this was. When the presenter was demonstrating we swiveled to face her (and had counter space facing in that direction for note taking, etc.), but could not be playing around on Facebook, reading e-mail, etc., while she talked. When we then implemented what we had learned our backs were to the presenter, but she could see our screens and could tell if we were progressing correctly from step/screen to step/screen, etc.
The presenter's goal in sharing SoftChalk was to encourage us to "package" our online lessons so that even if our institutions change platforms, etc., we would have easy transitions. we learned how to do things like upload YouTube Videos into a lesson on SoftChalk and then upload the entire less on to Moodle. We also learned some guiding principles for creating online quizzes, etc. We tried out developing course objectives in Radio James Objective Builder, which is based on Bloom's taxonomy. we created avatars at Voki.com. And we learned to "poster ourselves" at glogster.com.

#5: Students' Perceptions of Effective Teaching in Distance Ed.
This qualitative research study found that there was really very little difference by setting/mode of instruction in what students value in good teachers, although the order of importance of the 9 instructor behaviors varied slightly--with "responsive" much higher on the list for online courses, and "engaging" considered more importnat in on-campus teaching. The 9 instructor behaviors identified from the open-ended questionnaire were respectful, responsive, knowledgeable, approachable, communicative, organized, engaging, professional, & humorous.

#12: The Four Rs in Multimedia: Rationale, Roles, resources, & Rubrics
I liked that these presenters mentioned Universal Design at the beginning of the session. I realized that my only real weakness related to this topic is that students teach me the technologies rather than vice versa. However, the presenters pointed out that it is the instructor's job to be the content expert; there are campus resources to assist students with production.

#24: Redefining Online Discussions: A Taxonomy to Encourage In-Depth Interactions
This was a research presentation, using Garrison's Community of Inquiry (CoI) Model for the theoretical framework. I did not like the labels that the presenters chose for students' "stances" in online discussions. Overall their findings reminded me of the small group roles I learned about in group dynamics classes as an undergrad sociology major and then again in group theory courses in my MS program in Counseling. I don't think that the presenters are aware of some of this work from the 1960s and 70s. But what i took away from this session is that there are many similarities in the roles played in discussion, whether face-to-face or online, and that it is important to be aware of these roles and to facilitate students' movement into roles that contribute to rather than detracting from the conversation.

#27: Online Role Playing Activities for Developing Oral Presentation Proficiency
My notes are sketchy for this one--sorry! We did learn about using Adobe Connect for recording presentations.

#48: Beyond Accessibility: Online Students With Disabilities as Learners
Although she did not provide a citation, the presenter indicated that research has found that students with disabilities are more likely to self-disclose in online courses than in classroom-based courses--a finding that I consider interesting but perhaps not surprising. The most important thing I took away from this session is that distance education has a long way to go in providing equal access for students with disabilities, and that audience members were hungry for more information. Because my own grant work is related to students with disabilities, this provided many ideas for how to write my next grant proposal. The materials that institutions are contracting from private vendors--despite saying that they accommodate students with disabilities--are apparently problematic, and instructors need further professional development to create their own materials. My current grant involves partners from different academic disciplines from throughout the U.S. Clearly a similar model would work well for a proposal with a focus on online learning. There are many reasons why online courses would be attractive for students with a wide array of disabilities if they could be designed to be fully accessible. Yahoo! The next round of competition should be in spring 2011, and I have LOTS of ideas for developing a competitive grant proposal!

As I created this summary, I realized that most of the sessions I attended addressed the Chickering & Gamson guideline on which I especially focus my energies--respecting diverse talents and ways of knowing--although I did not realize that when going through the program to decide what to attend.

overall impressions

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I have been gratified by the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary conference of various actual and potential communities of learning through the Madison conference. I was exposed to technological and pedagogical possibilities that have broadened my perspective about the potentials for using technology to achieve pedagogical goals.I am thinking a lot about ways to stimulate communities of learning, create a supportive instructional presence, be humble and collaborative in experimentation with students about how to help them learn. I have thought about communities of learning I have been a part of and experienced one on Wednesday night when I was invited to join a group of Madison friends for a picnic meal and listening to music from Russian composers at the concert on the park series at the capitol. It was clear that my little group and many others gathered on their blankets had their own rituals and roles, leadership, and expectations for creating an enjoyable learning experience. I have been part of a couple of writing groups that have lasted over 10 years each with similar connections to roles, expectations, feedback, inherent enjoyment of learning. I now have a different framework for thinking about student learning in groups. Now comes the harder part about designing feasible objectives given the time and resources for advancing student learning. See you all on Monday to get further started!

overall impressions

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I have been gratified by the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary conference of various actual and potential communities of learning through the Madison conference. I was exposed to technological and pedagogical possibilities that have broadened my perspective about the potentials for using technology to achieve pedagogical goals.I am thinking a lot about ways to stimulate communities of learning, create a supportive instructional presence, be humble and collaborative in experimentation with students about how to help them learn. I have thought about communities of learning I have been a part of and experienced one on Wednesday night when I was invited to join a group of Madison friends for a picnic meal and listening to music from Russian composers at the concert on the park series at the capitol. It was clear that my little group and many others gathered on their blankets had their own rituals and roles, leadership, and expectations for creating an enjoyable learning experience. I have been part of a couple of writing groups that have lasted over 10 years each with similar connections to roles, expectations, feedback, inherent enjoyment of learning. I now have a different framework for thinking about student learning in groups. Now comes the harder part about designing feasible objectives given the time and resources for advancing student learning. See you all on Monday to get further started!

Mentor in a box

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Thomas Smith, program director for engineering professional development, demonstrated use of tools such as adobe connect, our version is umconnect, for mentoring learners on the spot in the field. Other mechanisms included devices like blue tooth for coaching the practitioner in the field, use of i phones and the like. His presentation made me think of an example I heard recently when doing training in Illinois. A social worker acting as case manager for a teen parent was in the dugout waiting for her next at bat in a softball game. She received a text from a teen parent asking whether she should take her child to the emergency room as she thought she might have measles. The social worker could have said "make up your own mind" or " contact me during office hours, not when I am on private time during a softball game". Instead, she texted back "take a picture of your child with your i phone and send it to me". The teen did so. The social worker then accessed a public health site and got a picture of what measles look like. She forwarded the picture to the teen. The teen texted back that the child in the picture was white, her child was black, and she could not tell exactly if the marks were similar. I don't know the outcome of what decision the teen made, but I was impressed with the process of mentoring on the spot and teaching the teen on line problem solving skills for making an important decision. And she still got her at bat! Others have described keeping in touch with teens on the run through facebook. I have been providing consultation through umconnect with social workers about their practice. When I had the opportunity to come in person to meet with the social workers and the specific clients we had been consulting about, I was surprised, more than I should have been, to see how the actual practice with clients looked different than I had imagined from only talking to the workers. I was able to do some joint interviews and model some alternative techniques. It did however suggest that if the clients were up for it, we might have done this earlier with umconnect such that the social worker, client and I could all be hooked up from a distance. We might have also used the blue tooth mechanism for on the spot coaching that might have been different from my interrupting to try something different. The point of all this is that we have opportunities for coaching practitioners and students who are dealing with difficult challenges on the spot and not always through second hand accounts.

cathy Cavanaugh described a well developed mostly on line educational doctorate fat the University of Florida. The program is designed to support educational practitiioners who don't want to be researchers or faculty members but rather are currently practitioners in educational systems. They have thought through well the sequence of courses and expectations and built them around practice applications of research, program evaluation, related to educational technology. They have some introduction with their phd in having phd students participate at some levels as instructors and tutors for students in this program. There has been a very high demand for this program; they have selected 50 participants over two years out of applicaitons of 400. There are significant implications for other such doctoral programs in education or social work or other professions for place bound students who are or want to be leaders of practice rather than researchers and faculty members.

I was less impressed with this presentation by Etienne Wingert than the earlier one. It caused me to think about the format of the very large group presentation such that he could interact less with participants. He also presented a series of concepts that were complex and not broken down to be chewed upon bit by bit as in the earlier presentation. This unfortunately showed me how a very skilled, knowledgable presenter can be stymied by the demands of the presentation such that I got less from it than I might have in a different format. Having "bonded" with him from the earlier presentation, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but know that students won't if they haven't connected successfully with an instructor's presence earlier.

Judith Boettcher and Rick Shearer presented a framework of predictions, opportunities and challenges for learners and broke them down by implications for learners, faculty members, content and learning environment. Participants suggested adding educational leadership and instructional designers to the groups considered. Predictions for learners were that students may draw courses from various institutions to build individualized courses of instruction. Predictions for faculty members included issues related to either incorporating technology/teaching more explicitly in tenure requirements or evolving to more of a two track system with tenure line researchers and adjunct or continuing appointment instructors focused on teaching. Challenges and opportunities include increasing focus on accreditation and competencies: zeroing in on what learners know and can do as a result of education. Concerns were raised about social networking "dumbing down critical and reflective thinking skills."

Betty Doo presented an interesting demonstration of using Second Life for encouraging active learning. Through the creation of avatars within a virtual world (shared meeting space, demonstration/simulations) students are able to become more engaged and connected to their community. Ms. Doo discussed areas within Second Life that are available specifically for individuals with disabilities. She also made reference to Second Life working well with Moodle for online course instruction, but I'm not entirely clear on what that means. Seemed like an interesting tool.

I found this to be a really interesting approach to preparing students for learning through an online learning environment. The presenter described a 1 credit online course that is required of all students prior to their enrollement in any other online courses. The purpose of the introductory course is to teach students how to use the various features and learning tools that instructors will be relying on throughout the program (which is entirely online). This includes things like setting up their user profile, how to view and print class reading materials, how to post to a discussion, how to upload assignments, and how to monitor their grades. Seemed like an easy to put together and really helpful approach to preparing students for online learning so their time is spent learning the content rather than learning the technology associated with the online class.

This lightning session offered a couple of interesting tools for giving students feedback. Ubernote appeared to be a favorite for sharing documents, providing feedback, and creation of online rubrics for grading. This application looks similar in some ways to google docs for making documents available for multiple people to work on them. Dr. Shari McCurdy Smith discussed use of Ubernote for tracking progress, checking the history of file editing for any given document to evaluate individual student's contributions within a shared docuemnt, and creating rubrics that are readily available to students to use when creating their own work. She also referenced My Note It (for online note taking and easy sharing).

I enjoyed this session and thought it provided some great insight, however I'm not sure how much we would be able to implement some of the higher-level technology tools. There are some branching scenarios we can create in Power Point or other tools like Articulate and Captivate, however there would be license issues for the college in addition to technical training and support.

Definitely something to keep in mind for the future though!

Tani

Scenario-based e-Learning

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This session was interesting but the title ended up being a bit misleading. The session addressed an instructor's use of wikis within a course and conducted a survey to assess the student's usage and perceptions of using the wiki as a collaborative tool. Unfortunately the results of her study did not support using a wiki in this way and students either suggested other tools to use instead or they ended up meeting in person.

This has really make me think about how important the design of a hybrid course is and that if students have an opportunity to conduct their group work in-person and complete it faster than doing it online... then what happens? I'm considering informing my students of the online work deadlines in the course syllabus but NOT putting in the assignment specifics. Instead I would post the instructions online after the face-to-face session. I'd love to talk about this next week and see what others are thinking about this topic too.

Tani

THIS WAS MY FAVORITE SESSION!!!

I loved this session. The presenter, from UW La Crosse, provided a wonderful model for creating active learning online. The presenter reviewed her 5 step process including:

Step 1: Unit Objectives
Step 2: Group Projects
Step 3: Dissemination
Step 4: Self & Peer Assessment
Step 5: Individual Essay Exam

The presenter focused on Step 2 in the presentation (Group Projects), and talked about how for each module she would have groups complete a different activity (these rotated). For her example she had 5 groups and each group took on one of the following:

"Wise Wiki" - this group created a wiki of key terms for that module's content
"Know-It-Alls" - this group responded to a problem-solving based situation requiring critical thinking to solve/answer
"Heads of State" - this group created a system from scratch (the course she referred to was a political science course)
"News Room" - this group addressed current events in the new addressing their topic
"Think Tank" - this group had an application-related situation/problem to solve

For the Step 3 Dissemination piece, groups would summarize their group work in one of a variety of formats. They could create a newsletter, a Power Point, or a multimedia presentation and the instructor would post them on the overall course site so all students could see them.

Hi Everyone,

Hope you enjoyed the conference! It's been fun reading your posts. It makes me feel like I was there.

One thing I was wondering about is if anyone attended any sessions that related to using social networking as a tool in an online or hybrid course. This is something I'm very interested in. I was curious about how it might work and different ways social networking or social media could be used for educational purposes. Last year, I attempted a "Twitter" experiment in some of my courses and asked students to tweet about statistics they were seeing in the news. I enjoyed this, but it didn't seem to engage my students in the ways I hoped it would (upon surveying the class afterward, several students said they would have been more motivated had I done something with Facebook instead of Twitter, but I've been hesitant to do this because of privacy issues, etc.). I wanted to try using Twitter again, but if I do, I need to figure out how I might better structure that experience for students, or if there is a better way to go (e.g., perhaps instead of tweeting about statistics in the news, students could blog about this).

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Michelle

Concluding thoughts

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OK, I'm done now; the other sessions I attended were either thumbs down or not worth much discussion. For me, this was a wonderful opportunity even though "overload" summarizes my experience. Looking forward to the nitty-gritty next week.

Wow! I have always appreciated his work and now even more so. I will add his content to my WHRE 5001 course--maybe I can get the video of his presentation to post on-line! What I greatly appreciated was that he positioned his presentation explicitly to his audience. I could not help but think that as TREK participants we comprise a community of practice and that the knowledge that will collectively be created will come from our expertise (competence) and experience. This presentation made me even more committed to becoming more technologically capable.

Best of conference info sessions! Some examples: students must identify to which course objective(s) [identified at the beginning in the syllabus] their project is directed; project may be a newsletter, video, etc; this speaker used Discussion Boards. Exams must include not only the tech project but also readings and instructor "lectures"--I got the impression from the other sessions I attended that only projects comprised the3 basis for grading.

Some great ideas: Create teams that must meet in person 1-2 times but must create their project collaboratively exclusively on-line; set up all tech options and let teams choose; "test" individually and then as a team--both count! Good list of references

Immediate reaction: I could do this! I could engage a panel of experts or my own co-researcher who is the recognized expert in Strategic Planning in HRD to include in a web-conference. Other approaches included data sharing, participant surveys, and use of case studies which could be sent to students in advance with structured questions.

Disappointing!

This was a 1/2 day Pre-Conference session. At this high-tech conference, Don Kirkpatrick used his over-head transparencies! Oh well. No new info but it occurred to me that the model can be used to evaluate the TREK Program. The 4 levels are
Reaction, Learning, Behavior (Application), and Results.
Reaction--My initial reaction is that technology in the classroom is both exciting and scary
Learning-- There are thrillions of tools. I plan to learn in more detail which of those will best assist me in (a) creating a blended learning approach for a course I will teach in Roch this fall, and (b) incorporating meaningful technology in other courses.
Application-- This will happen for courses this fall, the success of which will be determined by the students at the end of the semester and my own expertise--assuming I will acquire some!
Results-- I think the TREK program will be deemed successful when we continue to advance technology in our classrooms beyond the fall semester. We know the cost is high, but the return may be that TREK at the UofM becomes a model for training technologically saavy instructors and increasing student engagement.
Actually, all of the categories apply but I chose the following one

Kathy Hayden - award recipient. By far the most informative session!

Highlights and Ideas:
www.inacol.org - list of Standards for a Quality On-line Course

Important elements for an on-line course:
Ice-breakers and group discussion
Interactions and communications with the instructor and other learners.
Quality of instructor's responses to discussion (instructor posts to show presence but not to drive interactions)

Discussion Guidelines should be posted: The learner should: expand on the idea, give an example or give a different perspective. (no "ditto" responses)
Learner Centered Book suggestions:

"A Whole New Child" "Disruptive Class"


At this point she started listing free programs from Go2Web20 and showed examples and uses for the following list of tools:
Tapped In - chat community and group work platform
www.voki.com-storytelling avatar
glogster - a storyboard/poster creation
poll everywhere - an "every student response" tool using cell phones and texting
Fotolia = graphics (3 free/day for a week)
Audacity or Ccast or Voicethread = podcasts
Her website is http://www.csusm.edu/khayden for more ideas and resources

Gen Yers

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Who are they and how can we best connect to Generation Y:
They are:
Successful at Multi-Tasking
Not bound by traditional time lines (8-5:00 work days)
Respond best to VISUAL supports in learning
Rely on instant and frequent feedback from instructors
Repond to positive comment - constructive feedback - positive comment layering

This study presented by Betsy Bannier highlighted the key elements to engaging adult undergrads and promoting their success.
The key elements listed by Bannier:
Offer Problem-Based Learning Experiences
Identifiy the students' motivation (extrinsic/intrinsic)
Identify the students' Help-Seeking Behaviors
Limit group-work
Remain flexible with due dates
Explain relevance of the course content throughout session

Identifying the "adult learner" by their social experiences (marriage, parenting, military service...) rather than by chronological age made sense to me. I appreciate her attachment to her individual students - though she was completely physically removed from them. It minimized my concerns for loosing the energy and connection that an on-site course provides.

This was an interesting session in that the authors shared activities and anecdotal stories that engaged ME as well as their on-line audiences.
They spoke of the importance of providing "ice breaking activities" (this was also noted by Katherine Hayden in a future session) as an introduction to the other students and to the possibilities of the technologies. They introduced me to the idea of "Second Life" programs and "avatars" (no I have not seen the movie). I also latched onto the idea of the community graphic organizer.
Both Donalson and Conrad had an extensive list of ideas - I am motivated to buy the book.

Knowing that isolation is the catalyst for high drop out rates in on-line courses, I thought it would be wise to attend a session about creating presence. The authors of the book and presenters covers their theories - but again - did not cover practice.
Presence is a perception that is created by theoretically putting the learner in the center of the instruction session. The learner comes to the session with their own thoughts, emotions and behaviors. As instructors we are to surround the learner with experiences (objective and subjective), with modes (realism, immersion, involvement and suspention of disbelief) and the outer world.
The result of this formula is a most tangible presence - as documented by low drop out rates/high rates of successful completion.

E-Mentia

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"Technology can encourage humanity to reach their full potential" -Dr. Allen

Take away points from session:
It is the wise use of technology - not the technology- that results in success.

Include CCAF in every on-line instructional tool: Context, Challenge, Feedback, Activity. Using this framework should engage the learners.

I was hoping for more demonstrations of on-line course materials and less history of material development.

Stacey DeLoose, a PhD candidate at Wayne State University in Michigan, led a discussion about what might an instructor who teaches traditional courses and then moves those courses to an online format bring from that online course into the traditional classroom. It was a lively discussion and we spent some time discussing the 7 best practices of undergraduate education and how those apply to technology use. Not surprisingly, Chickering & _________ have an article about this. See the attached doc for more info.

I went to a session this a.m. on video conferencing educaiton for day care providers. It was interesting - built on the session that I saw yesterday. This group did a live demonstration and they had a couple of their students log in to show the demonstration. The connection wasn't great and the sound was pretty garbled. The presenters attributed this to using a hard connection rather than wireless. I don't know what it was, but the sound wasn't great.

What was interesting, however, was that the participants in the video conference wre all on vacation and were participating from their hotel rooms, or a coffee shop, or wherever. In any case, it certainly drove home the point about the convenience of being able to participate wherever you are.

Dr. Etienne Wenger is a great speaker and I assume just about everyone heard his keynote this morning. Does anyone in our community claim to have "purple in the nose"? If so, you could add knowledge to our community of practice and likely change our "identity". I think we have a few nodes of beer drinkers that definitely can transfer useful information but I don't know of any equivalent of "purple in the nose" for beer. Perhaps "hops in the palate".

Talking with a few others at my table, we realize that our communities of practice are limited by not having a contingent of community practitioners that are part of it. What if we expanded out communities to include others who have a different knowledge base?

This keynote provided some good food for thought and is worth talking about within our group next week I think.

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Originally uploaded by davidernst


Sent from my phone.

iPads?

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Has anyone attending the DT&L conference heard any presenter speak about using the iPad in an educational context? If so, what have you learned?

Jo Arney, UW-LaCrosse, shared her model for online active group projects, which she uses in her distance learning courses on political science and public administration.
She received a faculty development grant to look at active learning online. The literature didn't yield much, so she developed her own model.

She gives a Reading quiz first so all participants are at a basic starting point. Then the five following steps:

Step one: objectives
Two: group projects
Three: dissemination (this is what we did, this is out how it relates to the class)
Four: self and peer assessment
Five: individual exam (essay)

Example: in her Intro to State and Local govt. class, which has 25 students, she has 5 different group projects:
1) Wise Wikis-come up with key terms concepts
2) Know-it-alls-critical thinking question related to ideology, sum up discussion
3) Heads of State-design a courts system
4) News Room-current events
5) Think Tank-find data related to specific question

Step Three: dissemination. She gives them freedom to choose venue (newsletter, wiki)
Step Four: assessment: general rubric, individual and group. (first post up by 11:59 on Wednesday, etc.) Groups assess each other and their own group. This is important to the success of the projects.

Five: Exam reflects what the group projects and readings reveal.

In her Intro to Public Administration which is a Four week course, instead of all students doing group projects, she has one group go each week. She randomly chooses group members. Groups work on discussion boards.

Jo was a lively presenter, and committed teacher. There was a vigorous exchange after about whether students want group work or need group work online. Jude from U of M pharmacy (see photo), raised the point that we do group work all the time and don't have the option of not doing it. It's a good thing for students to struggle and collaborate.

I think I'm going to integrate at least one group project in my hybrid online world lit. course. I'll make it low stakes enough to not burden the students as they and i learn the technology, but enough points to honor their process and end product. Thoughts on online group projects? Experiences?

Hey Jude

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JUDE sighting


Originally uploaded by Linda Buturian


Hey, I ended up sitting next to Jude, who's doing IT and teacher
development related to technology for U of M's School of Pharmacy. He teaches an online leadership course that sounds cool. Jude is sharp about technology and pedagogy, and could be a good collaborator for us.

Although this presentation focused on childcare providers, I found this session to be interesting because they demonstrated a Web-conferencing program called WebEx which was created as a business application.

Rick Morgan and Linda Hurst from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Platteville explained their program, discussed the equipment required for course participation (webcam, etc.), and explained the course orientation for instructors and students.

The benefits of utilizing WebEx are its affordability, flexibility, convenience of scheduling and use, and providing students with a sense of belonging to a group as they work on their course materials. Students can actually do group work using this technology when their course is not meeting synchronously.

The presenters discussed several pitfalls of this technology including the amount of time it takes to orient students to the system and the limiting the class to 12 participants because they want to ensure a quality learning environment for their students.

NB: One takeaway is that students are given a ten minute break after every hour of synchronous instruction. The presenters pointed out the importance of establishing 'rules of engagement' for appropriate behaviors while participating in an online course (including in which room the participants sit as they participate in the class).

NB2: The keynote presenters were each given $10K for presenting at this conference. I learned this in my 8:15AM session.

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It was a memorable night!

Thanks to my colleagues and new-found friends who helped me celebrate a memorable birthday tonight at Madison's Great Dane Pub. It was truly a surprise - I don't know how you knew and how were able to keep it a secret! But know that I was very touched and will always remember the evening with laughter and a smile! And Jill, Linda, Anna, and LeAnne .... look out!



Where there is beauty, learning follows.

Hi Everyone.

Greetings from Vancouver!

I look forward to coming home soon and meeting with you again next week. I missed being with you in Madison, and I can't wait to hear more about the sessions you went to and the things you learned.

I'm curious about whether you have heard much at the conference about iPads and how they might be used in online courses (or how they might change the way online students are able to access content in online courses). I ask because I presented in a session today about effective uses of technology to teach statistics. Someone in the audience seemed concerned about the fact that currently, iPads do not provide students with the capabilities to use tools that require Flash, and that they might have other limitations as well. I am probably a bit naive because I don't have an iPad nor do I know as much as I should about them, but it made me wonder about issues related to teachers trying to adapt their courses to the kinds of technologies students are using and have access to. This certainly seems like something we need to be thinking carefully about as we design new learning environments for our students.

Hope you have safe travels back from Madison!

Michelle

Ok, so I attended this session as my second choice because the "hallway" session was full. 

It was actually an amazing session! The presenters were very professional and their presentation was JAM PACKED with information regarding their experiences - things that worked AND things that didn't. They talked about using Centra (equivalent of our UMConnect) synchronous web conferencing software for a 10-month CE program for vets.

Fortunately they didn't focus on the content of the program, because frankly feline intestinal problems would have probably made me sick right after lunch! They talked about how they engaged learners, the importance of guest speakers/presenters, web cams and other technology requirements, and their struggles with facilitating the breakout groups online.

I am hoping we can explore our UMConnect technology more next week when we're back in the "classroom". I would love to incorporate something like this in some of my sessions.

Honestly, I thought this session would be about how we, as instructors, should create multimedia presentations. It wasn't. However I'm very glad I stayed because it gave me some great ideas on how I might encourage students to utilized technology.

The session focused on how, as instructors, we can design a multimedia ASSIGNMENT for our students to complete. It was something that I had never really considered doing and how have several ideas on how I might utilize this type of assignment within an online, hybrid, or face-to-face course.

Most of the questions from the session attendees surrounded the technology portion, bandwith, training student may need surround A/V equipment, where to load presentations, and how to provide feedback electronically on the multimedia presentations. The suggestion was made to use YouTube as a location for posting the videos and using their feedback tools, of course a discussion ensued surrounding student privacy, FERPA, etc. There are ways to set up restricted access on YouTube that I plan to look into. I could see having students (working in groups) create a multimedia presentation using Power Point and including photos, diagrams, video, and narration.

This session reviewed the presenters' (and authors') definition presence in addition to their Online Learner Model. Their definition of presence was "being there" and "being together" with online learners throughout the learning experience. The use of the model seemed a bit nebulous and was presented at a high level (however after reading their corresponding book I imagine it would make much more sense). The components of the model included dimensions of the learner such as their interior world, thought, emotion, and behavior.

Sometimes the best learning at a conference happens serendipitously in the hallways when one cannot physically get in to a crowded session. Happened this afternoon when Linda, Jill, Dave and I sat down outside one of the over-crowded sessions.

Was hearing about a session Linda attended on service-learning and shared that I wanted to find a better way for students to share structured reflections about their service-learning experiences in a course I teach on global and diverse family systems. They submit their reflections on Moodle; I read them and give feedback. Was frustrated because peers didn't have access to there reflections; the learning was limited to me and the individual student.

"Why not use the UThink blog tool?" said one of my wise colleagues. Others agreed and pointed out the features of the blog that would facilitate sharing within the class. Duhhhhhh - why didn't I think of that? Problem solved! Thank you friends!

This session provided good information and also affirmed some of the work I'm trying to do. Sometimes one can feel pretty lonely in these new endeavors, so always nice to have someone else talk about similar struggles but also state how important it is to work through them.

I loved his reference to 'adaptive systems' that exist on the edge of chaos - don't think universities like to think of themselves as 'chaotic'.... so is that why we've moved so slowly into the distance learning world? These adaptive systems are stable but flexible - a shout out for flexibility!!! Referenced the book "Blur" by Davis and Meyer - anyone read that?

Dave King is a top administrator at Oregon State, a land-grant system like the U of M. He is trying to get traditional outreach entities like Extension and continuing education integrated with collegiate units who focus on credit-bearing courses leading to degrees. He shared a "spectrum of access" that moved from access to real-time research data to information to programs to learning objects to learning modules to undergraduate courses to degree programs. Difficult to explain without his visual, but basically there is a middle section on the continuum that is 'life-long learning'. This is the area we need to develop - in essence, a blend of the classic Extension programming with the credit-bearing learning experiences. A key to this is creating modularized, interactive learning experiences that can be 'packaged and delivered to multiple audiences, sometimes with some modifications but not always.

I think his model is right on target, maybe because it names what I'm trying to do with the creation of a certificate program for financial education/coaching. Target audiences would be non-profit and human services staff, social workers, teachers, etc. as well as students who are preparing for careers in those fields. A steering committee is considering the competencies needed to do personal finance education and/or coaching.

On-line delivery of these modules makes it so much more accessible to these different audiences. The bigger challenges for me are the start-up cost of time to develop the modules and the development of the business model to sustain something like this. I'm looking to Dave and his colleagues to help me figure this out!

I'm interested in knowing if anyone else is trying to reach learners within and outside the University with similar material through on-line delivery? Would welcome hearing about your experiences and tips for making this happen.

I enjoyed participating in this workshop on communities of practice (CoP). Wenger has an engaging style and encouraged interaction throughout the 3 hour session. He invited our stories of participation in CoP through which we came to understand some critical elements of this type of learning environment.

I liked his frame for CoP - the idea that these communities are learning partnerships - grounded in a 'social discipline of learning'. The goal is to make sense of our learning together - we help each other solve problems, we hear each others' stories, we find synergy across structures, we keep up with change, we reflect and improve upon our practice, we build shared understanding, we cooperate on innovation, we find a voice and gain strategic influence.

I really appreciated his comment that a "piece of design" such as a classroom is not necessarily a CoP. While this 'designed space' could be a CoP, it requires purposeful action to develop into that. The three elements of a CoP - domain, community and practice, must all be purposefully considered to create the space in which learning together can occur.

I wondered how a professor can truly be a member of a CoP in a course they're teaching if they are also evaluating/grading students' work? Wenger gave an example of a writing course. The prof created a CoP OUTSIDE the class requirements - a voluntary writing club. In that space, she participated as a full member of the CoP, sharing her own struggles with and questions about writing and getting and providing feedback from learners (who also happened to be her students). I continue to wonder if it is still possible for students to fully trust that the experiences they share in the Writing Club will not enter the evaluative process of the professor.

I do however, think this is much more feasible for a graduate level course and think I will experiment with a CoP in the family policy course I'm developing within this Treks experience. I will do the same policy analysis and web site development for my area of interest along with the students so I'll be able to enter the CoP as a learner as well. Because I assign grades on a very different basis in grad courses than I do for undergraduate learners, I think this will work. What do the rest of you think? Any snags you think might be problematic? Any experiences that will help me think this through?

Developing Visual Media

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The presenters modelled and introduced us to a variety of media useful for dealing with media with advantages and disadvantages of each. I tuned out to some such as electronic blackboards that would not fit my field much but others such as snagit, camtasia, uses of youtube, seem farily readily usable without too much technical support. Several programs are focusing on ways to record your class lectures and make them available to students through an archive after class.

Developing Visual Media

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The presenters modelled and introduced us to a variety of media useful for dealing with media with advantages and disadvantages of each. I tuned out to some such as electronic blackboards that would not fit my field much but others such as snagit, camtasia, uses of youtube, seem farily readily usable without too much technical support. Several programs are focusing on ways to record your class lectures and make them available to students through an archive after class.

I very much enjoyed Profesor Etienne Wingert's style of presentation, modeling his content as well as what he presented. He engaged the group effectively with story telling that felt as if he were with us and not manipulating us. He presented his model in small installments with time to consider it and ultimately apply the model to examples of our own. I highly recommend presentations by Dr. Wingert.

Is e-learning e-mentia

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Dr. White had clever videos to make his points essentially arguing that presentations need to be interesting, meaningful, motivating, memorable to be effective; he told stories effectively to make his points.

Rosemary Lehman and Simone Conceicao presented their framework featured in two books they have written.I am all for transparency but their book plugging put me off for awhile, before I could get into their framework. Essentially they argued for creating a sense of presence, activity, caring by the instructor for students and how that is done and shown throughout a course. Elsewhere I had heard a faculty member who teaches attachment theory reflect on early childhood attachment and the parallels to students and courses: that they need to attach early or it will be very hard to develop later. The instructors are arguring for a variety of ways for showing your presence and caring early in a course with guidelines, feedback, modeling discussion and so on.

This presentation demonstrated useful models of student work in multi-media presentations. It led to useful discussion about realistic expectations for media savvy skills for students in our courses. We concluded that the media skills may be more essential for such fields as advertising. If we only feature it in one course, we not be able to establish high proficiency requirements. Much of the discussion was then about rubrics, ways to assess such projects. The presenters shared several useful sites to orienting students to accessing media programs to assist them in making their presentations.

Buzz

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I was looking for more information about Google's decision to stop supporting and developing Wave and came across this new addition to Google's armada of tools. It has some of the features of Wave, but is clearly tied to gmail and may be one of the reasons Google quit developing Wave. Gmail is more proprietary and you can invite other to join Buzz, but it seems limited to the gmail list of your contacts. If you're interested, here is the link:
http://www.google.com/buzz

Professors Ford, Tancock and Putnam collaborated to analyze student responses to on-line discussion and came up with a taxonomy to describe those responses. The seven categories are familiar to instructors, recognizable; they also suggested prompts for nudging participants/students to a higher level of performance. For example, the most negative type was the "pessimist" who essentially said "that will never work" to most things; this style could be pointed out privately and encouraged to perform in a more constructive manner. Another style was the "information provider" who cited resources, policies, but did not engage further; on the other hand the "reinforcer: and "supporter" were there to say "great job, keep it up, I feel for you" but not go much further. the "counselor" meanwhile suggests a way to proceed. At the top of their hierarchy was the "reflective practitioner" who self-reflects about his or her own thinking and practice. I found this useful and it sheds some light on previous experiences. However, I found that those who performed as reflective practitioners, while gaining my approval, did not seem to be particularly popular or influential in the class. That is, it seems that that self reflective behavior my predict future doctoral or further graduate education but not be aspired to by most students. Still a useful presentation.

The best part of this workshop was the portion on Rubrics for evaluating multimedia projects. Students needs clear guidelines for how their project will be evaluated and especially when they are engaging in an activity that is new to them. There should be approximately the same amount of credit given to content as there is to technology. Students may produce a "flashy" project that is lacking in content and therefor misses the intention of the assignment. It's the same idea that we have been hearing about not using technology for technology's sake but rather choosing technology that will augment and enhance the content and delivery of it online. These are expectations that student need to understand from the beginning and have a clear sense of what they are being asked to do. In addition, they may need some instruction in the availability of specific technology and where they can find it as well as how to use it. This is where the R or Resources come in. There are many good tools and also instructional videos on how to use them on the web. YouTube is often a resource that has good instructional video on a wide variety of software.
One example of a way to use YouTube specifical for the purpose of creating a space for viewing student projects can be viewed through this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/jcparker4u
This is an educational channel that can be created and made private for only those who subscribe. It provides a way for students to upload their completed projects and then allow the instructor and other to view them.

Other resources:
http://www.lynda.com/ (costs, but provides a wide variety of software instruction)
http://www.iste.org/ (International Society on Technology in Education)

This was a lightning session (10 minutes) focused on the website Ubernote (http://www.ubernote.com). It looks interesting, although I'm wondering what it can do that Google Docs can't do. Something to play with...

Vera Polyakova-Norwood, an instructional desiger, worked with a nursing faculty member to create a syohronous role play experience for nursing doctoral students. They found that in an on-line program, students developed many skills: dealing with text, making multi-media presentations etc. but they were not especially adept at live handling of oral questions as they would be expected to handle as graduates. So they developed an assignment asking the nurses in teams to develop a persuasive presentation and defend it to a management team. Using adobe connect (we have umconnect) students could see one another and the instructor and could be called on to defend their proposal. This is a useful adjunct to on-line programs related to the need to demonstrate verbal proficiency.

I enjoyed Michael's presentation style. He tried to demonstrate his principles of using the 3 M's; meaningful, motivational, and memorable. He told three stories of projects that he was involved in that clearly demonstrated what is meaningful to him; i.e. helping others achieve more of their potential. He was quite inspiring and engaging. I think his comment that the way students learn today is really no different than they did 25 years ago. They still have to practice what they learn and be engaged in the process. "You can't teach students when they're asleep." He doesn't think student's brains are any different today than they were then, but the wise use of technology helps to create the learning environment and make it more engaging.

Overall what he said made good pedagogical sense and advocates for a very strategic use of technology to fit the situation rather than use technology for technology's sake.

These presenters demonstrated some best practices in the design and evaluation of a multimedia project by sharing a multimedia assignment and their development of a multimedia rubric.

The main takeaways from this session for me include the importance of including specific, measurable objectives and resources for the assignment; continued monitoring of student group progress, and reminding the students that they are the owners of their learning (both content and the multimedia productions).







Service learning online


Originally uploaded by Linda Buturian


Irene was there too.

To Individualize Make it Personalized: Creating Project Based Service eLearners

5 August 2010

Mara Kaufmann, Assoc. Professor, Center for Distance Learning, Empire State College (State University of New York)

Thomas Mackey, Interim Dean, Center for Distance Learning, Empire State College Author of Using technology to teach information literacy.

At Albany Tom developed First Year Experience program that included web based project and service learning), created an honors program and implemented service learning component.

This was my favorite session. I like how Mara and Tom stood on opposite sides of the front of the room and took turns talking, and how they featured a lot of photos of the students engaged in community work.

Tom and Mara gave me a lot to think about in terms of the potential to cultivate service learning projects online. They work with adult learners throughout the state and globally, who are doing service projects in the communities where they live, and then receive credit and apply their learning to their respective community projects.

They were excited to hear about the water seminar and digital story projects as there are two other instructors from other universities who are moving in a similar direction (applied, interdisciplinary, online, focused on water issues). If I have the opportunity, I'd like to create an online version of the water seminar, and have students across the globe making digital stories about water resource issues in their communities.

For his digital storytelling course and service learning courses, Tom uses: PBworks, wordpress, voicethread, jing, techsmith, googlewave, blogger, twitter, and animoto.

http://commons.esc.edu/servicelearning/

This was an interesting session on a continuing ed program for vets. The two presenters from Texas A&M ran this CE program essentially as a grand rounds for vets focusing specifically on feline health. Okay - not the focus of CEHD, but still, an interesting presentation.

These guys developed 10 sessions of 2-hours each, where they discussed interesting feline cases with widely dispersed DVSs across Texas. There were 20 participants in real time, but participants were able to participate from their home or wherever they had an Internet connection. Most of the participants completed the course.

Some of the positive feedback that they received included appreciation from the participants to be able access the library; receive case study materials; liked guest speakers very much.

Maybe people in the College are already doing this, but it seems to me that this would be a great area for growth for continuing education. Many of the programs in the College require ongoing CE to maintain licensure, and I wonder if there might be comparable cases that we might be able to use in delivering online CE. Presenting a case, giving some brief overview of current best practice and literature, and then working the case with a variety of practitioners could be an interesting way for different licensed professionals to get CEs. Could also be a way to maintain more active contact with alums.

Some down sides: they thought they were almost at their maximum with 20 participants. They couldn't do it with more than 30. It took the presenters/designers about 20 hours to lean the technical program, and even then they didn't feel completely comfortable with the technology until several weeks into the class.

Some strengths: the participants stayed in the program; promoted connections among individuals who lived in more remote communities, and also facilitated resource access for those students by giving access to the library; outcome measures from the participants indicated growth in knowledge, comfort in using the technology, greater confidence in discussing difficult cases with other vets and less inihibition in seeking consultation on difficult cases.

An interesting example of using technology for continuing educaiton.

The speakers, from Penn State's World Campus, discussed models of course design that balances course flexibility, scalability, and quality.
They examined previous models of course development/delivery through the lens of these three factors.

Their most recent model involves the integration of several web 2.0 tools (Prezi, PBWorks, Google Docs, Blogger, Flickr, YouTube). They site Dohn (2009), who said there is a "disconnect between the ideas behind Web 2.0 and the need to assure acquisition of knowledge" that our current educational system demands.

They explained how they see some uses of Web 2.0 tools, which would make courses very flexible (although not necessarily very scalable) and potential high quality.

I have yet to discover the truth after sitting through this presentation that focused on the research of knowledge generation online. If anyone sees the "Truth", please let me know.

The presenters did a thoughtful job of describing detailed elements of course design, but I it didn't really help me think more clearly about social presence. A "design framework" should help course developers examine their design to better see whether there is an appropriate level of instructor presence in an online course. But I didn't pick up any understanding of how their descriptions of course elements could help in this way. Anna was sitting next to me, and I'm curious to hear what she thinks.

Blended learning

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Interesting presentation on blended learning. They mentioned the lack of a "strict" definition of "blended learning." One definition says that if 30% of the class is web-delivered, it's web-enhanced. When 30-80% is web-delivered, it is considered blended. More than 80% is considered an on-line class.

Sounds as though a lot of programs are trying to deal with the issues related additional fees for students who have a blended or online learning classes. Seems as though institutions are really in different places on this question: some institutions giving a hefty fee for online classes, and others making a deliberate choice not to charge students for this kind of delivery.

Students' Perceptions of Effective Teaching in Distance Education
5 August 2010

Albert and Trudi Johnson - Instructional Designers (married 30 years)
Memorial University Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Half a million citizens live in Newfoundland, which is smaller than California in land mass.

Students were given 40 questions online, most of which were open-ended text based questions. Wanted students to link instructor behaviors to characteristics.

2,500 students accessed survey; 330 provided usable data, 161 students provided data on distance. They marketed the study and offered tuition vouchers of 1,000$
70% of the responses were from women. The study revealed nine instructor behaviors for both on campus and online were the same, though in different order of priority.

The 9 Instructor Behaviors that Distance Learning Students Value

1) respectful (courteous, patient, setting clear guidelines)
2) responsive (timely and constructive feedback)
3) knowledgeable (content, pedagogical, and understanding of technology)
4) approachable (positive interaction between prof. and students, sincere effort,
comfortable learning environment even online)
5) communicative (coherent use of organized teaching methods, prompt high
quality feedback)
6) organized (well prepared resources, asking students for feedback)
7) engaging (passion and enthusiasm)
8) professional (relationship with students, responsibilities to good teaching)
9) humorous (friendly, happy, stress-free, relaxed, "not only causes us to think but
help us to relax, with laughter")

I have a copy of the CD of the presentation and findings if you would like to borrow it.

http://www.distance.mun.ca/survey

demonstration D2 -

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I thought the demonstration on social networking was interesting. The presenter took us through his various tools for communcating with students, including things like sending blast messages to cell phones, connectons to his gmail calendar, etc. In many ways I think all of the tools that he demonstrated were tools available to us via Web Vista and now moodle.

The interesting part was the discussion from the people who were there for the demonstration. They raised many of the same issues and questions that we raised on Monday at the beginning of our trek. There were lots of good ideas about controlling "class creep," or the tendency of the class now to be taught 7 days a week rather than once or twice.

During the break there was an interesting demonstration from someone who works with Public Health at the U. This was a class on environmental health and the class has been built through combining a series of guest lectures. They record a lecture and then use this lecture for a number of years. Every year they replace a couple of lectures, and they figure the cost of adding a lecture to be approximately 2,000. They intersperse little self-quizzes through the lectures, and have fround that students like the self quizzes approximately every 20-30 minutes, rather than more often. A draw back is that the questions can't usually be discussion questions. Interactivity comes through discussion of the learning after students have recorded their answers to the self-quiz.

I attended the free introductory session that presented a comprehensive overview of the "morphs" of distance learning - from hybrid, topic and time guided distance learning where the group is keep in sync with assignments and assessment to individualized distance learning programs that had no constrains on time and topic. The audience for these difference models was discussed--from rural applications to isolated learners in a submarine environment with limited internet access. Probably the most important take away for me was noting the variability and needs based on program goals, audience, content, and learning style considerations. A disconnect for me was when the speakers from the Naval War College spoke of Michael Moore. Did he really see "Capitalism: A love story", "Sicko" or "Bowling for Columbine"? And how does this relate to distance learning in his world? On the more serious side, the panel was very helpful and it did assist me in identifying sessions to attend later in the conference since many of the panelists have individual sessions.



Thanks jill for the tip.

Holy Smokes! There is nothing like attending an educational technology conference and watching the speakers' assistant operate the PPT presentations with great difficulty.

This session incorporated four different speakers/speaker dyads who were supposed to speak for ten minutes about their research interests/studies/work. This was a very good example of watching a range of speakers present in different ways. I found that Dr. Cheryl Murphy (Univ. of Arkansas) and Fleur Thomas (Arab Open University, Saudi Arabia) to be very good speakers who knew how to use their visual aids and time well to get their messages across.

From Professor Murphy, I learned that there are five key elements that need to be clarified in online courses: navigation, events, content, assignments, and expectations. I strongly recommend you view her PPT slides when they are posted on the Conference Resource website.

Ms. Fleur Thomas shared a very interesting story of how she has come to work online with students in Saudi Arabia with female university students in a tutorial setting and the technologies they utilize. Her willingness to wait 2.5 hours to get through Customs at Chicago O'Hare yesterday also impressed me.
-Jill

Like Lori, I really enjoyed this presentation because it provided me with a framework which I can adopt for my speech classes and teach my students how to use. Presenters Traci Nathans-Kelly and Christine Nicometo from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison provided a number of important tips for using PPT:

(A) When a speaker/presenter/teacher uses PPT, it should emphasize and enhance what the speaker is saying.
(B) If a speaker uses Comic Sans font in PPT while working with adults, it destroys the credibility of the speaker. For instance, when the owner of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers franchise wrote his response to the loss of LeBron James to the Miami Heat, his letter was published on the Cavaliers website in Comic Sans font, so many people took what was to be a serious matter in a very casual way.
(C) As Lori stated in her earlier post on this presentation, the headers on PPT slides should be written in sentence form (rather than phrasal form) in order for the audience to take away the speaker's main idea.
(D) A speaker using PPT can easily use either blank black or white slides to give the audience members a break from the visual message and let the audience focus on the audio channel.
(E) A PPT slide without audio support is referred to as a "slidument" as it has no connective component.
(F) Do not use bullet points in PPT: workshop leader Christine noted, "Bullets are meant to kill. Bullet points mock complete thoughts and strip down the critical thinking process."

Traci and Christine recommended the following websites for further study:

**The 6 minutes blog by Andrew Lugan

**The TED website and a presentation on data by Hans Rosling

**Dave Paradi's PPT Blog

This workshop was my favorite experience of the day, and I know that I can incorporate what I have learned in my classes this Fall semester. The only thing is that I now need to rethink how I use PPT in my classes--being a model so that my students can do better in their presentations!

Visual and Video Media (AM-2)

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This morning workshop led by Ellen Smythe and Marcy Dickson from Austin Peay State University focused on a variety of visual and video media software and hardware tools that could be used to enhance teaching/learning online.

The following products were featured--SnagIt, Jing, Camtasia Studio (three stars), YouTube U, TeacherTube, Screencast, SMART Boards, and Wimba. I found the first three product demos to be very useful. Nevertheless, the workshop leaders spoke too quickly and attempted to move through their material too rapidly without giving enough time to the audience to process what they were discussing.

What I took away from this workshop is that I want to learn more about Camtasia Studio for Mac as it would be useful to use for a few activities in my speech classes.

When I think of which of the seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education, I think that my participation in this workshop would eventually bring about better learning opportunities for my students, so I placed this under the "encourages active learning" best practice.

Using Slides as Your Stage

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This session was interesting and very practical. The presenters gave us a little theory about attention and overload and then applied the research to what we should or shouldn't do in our slide presentations. I ended up with a long list of what not to do, as well as an even longer list of tips. Examples of what not to do were- force the choice of either listening or reading your slides; don't use dorky clip art. Examples of tips include- Use full sentence headers and avoid bulleted points; stick with black and white slides; harness the power of "story;" and blank out slides from time to time to calm the group and give their brains a break. We got time to try to change some of our own slides, and I enjoyed trying to put these ideas into practice. A good start to the conference!
Lori

Hilton Hotel, Wednesday, August 3, 2010

Etienne has a wonderful smile and conveys a sense of well-being that drew us in. About thirty of us sat around round tables and reflected on the vital elements needed for communities of practice.

Communities of practice recognize each member as a learning partner. They require avenues for hearing each other's stories so we avoid local blindness (love that phrase).

I live in a community of four families. We've lived along side each other for 15 years. We share property, have helped each other build houses, put in gardens, and have helped care for each other's kids and animals. In my mind my home life is separate from my teaching life at the U., but Wenger's session reminded me how much my belief in community informs my teaching pedagogy. Cultivating a strong feeling of community in the classroom has a direct impact on student engagement, and as I develop this hybrid online course, my goal is to foster community both in class and online.

A "Social artist" is Wenger's name for a person who is adept at fostering a sense of community.

This workshop was an introduction to Google Wave, a fairly new collaborative collection of tools that are exciting to find out about. In order to use it as a creator or participant, you need a google account. Since the U of MN is now using Google, I just typed in my email address and password which worked although I had to create a different user name for google wave.

Basically, the user creates a wave and invites others to join in. Each participant can view the wave in real time and see changes that each person makes.

There are a multitude of extensions and bots that are both Google and 3rd party created. Some we were introduced to in the workshop were a bot that translates text immediately into 50 different languages, an extension that quickly adds any uTube video to a wave, a voice recorder to leave up to 10 minutes of voice message for anyone to listen to. There are hundreds of these that can be added and used.

Since this is a new application it is changing all the time, but I think it would be a good tool to explore for online teaching.

by Linda Buturian

Moodle and Mist/C: Teaching Online Synchronous Courses

Wednesday 8 August 2010

By Linda Buturian

Dr. Mark Pullen and Dr. Charles Snow, "unabashed techies" from George Mason University, have designed MIST/C (mystic), which works with Moodle so that a teacher could offer a class both online and face to face simultaneously, (Simulteaching), and could have all the tools that they need to teach the course from one website (via Moodle and MIST/C).

MIST/C Provides easy to use open-source tool for teaching and conferencing over the internet (quality audio, whiteboard, video).

Goals and purposes:
• increase access to more students
• maximize accessibility of live classes over the internet while preserving interaction
• minimize student time to learn same amt material
• minimize faculty time to present
• minimize institutional cost
• classroom and online students should have equal access.

Dr. Pullen said he was gratified that for the first time he can run everything he needs to teach a course out of one website (via Moodle and Mist/C). This session is a coming out party for Mist/C as it has not been available to the public until now.

After a half hour of trying to get all of us onto Moodle/mist/C, I felt that this was program was clunky and complex, and I wouldn't use it, but I now have a clearer understanding of distinctions between asynchronous and synchronous, and I have a vision for having all of the tools and components I would need in one website. Quick exchanges with other participants helped me consider integrating other programs like Profcast (a program that records slides and audio), Wimba and Articulate.

http://netlab.gmu.edu/MISTC

Morning Workshop

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This is an interesting workshop on faculty development. The presenter talked about essential factors in good teaching/learning. Here is where he started:

In this order:
1. Teacher presence
2. Social presence
3. Cognitive presence

These are our first three principles! It's interesting that he says it should happen in that order: address teacher presence and social presence before you can get to cognitive presence.

When addressing teacher presence,we talked about what is effective for online instructors: post the instructor's vita probably doesn't do much to address presence. Instead, how about a video of the instructor welcoming everyone to the class? Students want to see the instructor as a person; see his/her passion for the topic, and concern for student learning. I think that's a compelling point.

First Session

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The first session was great. We discussed many issues from ping pong to communal living. We are looking forward to more technology discussions. . . especially technology for minimizing the effects of mosquito bites.

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