E-Learning Quick Tip of the Week

Each week the Training + Development team sends an E-Learning Quick Tip. To subscribe to the Quick Tip of the week, send an e-mail to: helpdesk@wit.edu

Here is the archive of the Quick Tips of the Week:

Date: 19 July 2010
Category: Assessment, Minimizing Cheating, Management
Quick Tip:  A common concern voiced by many faculty who are new to teaching online is "How do I know that my students are doing the work?" While this question frequently arises in fully online courses, the existence of a variety of "cheat sites" (sites where students can download term papers etc.) on the Internet may cause concern in traditional and web-enhanced courses as well.

The following resources can help you to deter "technology enhanced academic dishonesty".

Date: 12 July 2010
Assessment, Rubrics
Quick Tip:  
As you continue to work with your existing course materials in preparation to teach your hybrid or online course, we’d like to offer you some additional resources that provide examples and techniques on how to create a rubric for your course assignments.  Please see the follows:

Date: 28 June 2010
Category: Building Content
Quick Tip:  
As you continue to work with your existing course materials in preparation to teach a hybrid or online course, we’d like to offer you some additional resources that will assist you with locating multimedia content for your course, as follows:

  • World Lecture Hall – a collection of free online course materials from around the world.  Visit http://wlh.webhost.utexas.edu/index.cfm

  • MIT OpenCourseware - MIT OpenCourseWare is a free publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.  Visit http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm to search course materials.

  • As you find web-based multimedia resources for your course, take note of their URL’s.  You can easily reference these URL’s in your Blackboard course by adding what is referred to as a Web Link.  For instructions on how to add a Web Link to your course, please see http://www.wit.edu/td/bb/modules/Building_Managing/weblinks.html.

Date: 21 June 2010
Category: Building Content
Quick Tip:  
This week we’d like to share resources that can help you build digital content for an online course.  The resources in this edition expose you to different online format designs for online learners and resources for creating online content:

Date: 14 June 2010
Category: Building Content
Quick Tip:  
One key to preparing content for your course is knowing what you have, realizing what you need, and finding and/or making the pieces that are missing.  The optimal situation is where you are able to offer materials to your students in a variety of formats to create the most engaging online experience as possible.  Here we offer some resources to you to help you begin working with your content.

  • Understanding Available Content Formats in Blackboard – the first step to working with your course content is understanding what content formats are available for use in Blackboard.  See http://www.wit.edu/elearning/faculty/digitalcontent/Blackboardcontentformats.html for an in-depth look at the available content formats.

  • Using a Content Checklist to Review Your Course Content  – After reviewing your existing course materials and understanding what kinds of content you can use in Blackboard, take a moment to check whether there are additional elements you should add to your course.  View the content checklist to help you determine how to modify existing content or if you need to locate additional materials: http://www.wit.edu/elearning/faculty/digitalcontent/contentchecklist.html

  • Finding Additional, Multimedia-Based Content for Your Course – Now that you have looked at your existing course materials, understand the available content formats in Blackboard, and reviewed the content checklist, you may have determined that your course needs more multimedia elements.  Here are a few resources to help you identify resources that you can use in your course: 

    • iTunes University – many colleges and universities are offering video and audio resources through iTunes, the popular Apple software that allows users to listen to music and watch videos on their computers.  iTunes is available for both Apple and PC users free of charge from the Apple website.  Visit http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/.

    • Merlot – the Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching offers a wide variety of subject specific resources for instructors.  Visit http://www.merlot.org for more information.

    • YouTube – many colleges and universities use YouTube to share content with others in the academic community.  A quick search may yield potential content for your course.  To find more examples for your course, visit http://www.youtube.com/education.  

  • Creating Your Own Content - In some cases even after finding multimedia materials for use in your course, you may still wish to create your own content.  Watch Jim Lee of the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Department discuss how he created instructional videos for his hybrid concrete course: http://www.youtube.com/tdwit#p/c/F4AD072C3143C5C9/7/xhV_UpoWwV0.  

Date: 7 June 2010
Category: Student Engagement
Quick Tip:  
This week we’d like to share with you resources that can help increase your students’ level of interactivity and engagement in an online course.  Instructors who engage students have a much higher success rates with their students outcomes. If you want your course to be motivating and engaging, enjoy these resources:

  • How Interactive are YOUR Distance Courses? A Rubric for Assessing Interaction in Distance Learning.  Professors M. D. Roblyer and Leticia Ekhaml from State University  of West Georgia offer a rubric you can use to judge your level of interactivity when designing your course.  By simply scoring your course elements, the rubric determine the level interaction and interactivity.  See http://www.westga.edu/~distance/roblyer32.html for more information.

  • Getting Online Students Plugged-In Engaging Students Online.  Ellen Smyth of Austin Peay State University discusses how to constantly encourage, reassure, and give student advice in an online course. Enrich your course with pictures, videos, colors, podcasts, fonts and words. You will be surprised how effectively these elements add to your students engagement. See http://www.txdla.org/conference/2010/program/presenterresources/250-GettingOnlineStudentsPluggedInDocument.pdf for more information.

Date: 31 May 2010
Category: Course Design
Quick Tip:  
This week we’d like to share with you resources for developing a course map for a hybrid/blended course.  Course mapping is a way of organizing your instruction and developing a process to ensure that your students are mastering the content. A well thought out design should include; clearly defined learning objectives, followed by an assessment technique(s) that measures the mastery level (competency) of your students, it should also include activity(s) that reinforce the learning and provide experience to students.

  • Template for a course Map design (see attached). The Template is a design document you can use to develop your hybrid/online course. This template provides major topics and structure that make-up a quality hybrid/blended course.

  • Raleigh Way at the Center for Excellence in Teaching, http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/cet/workshops/mapping/index.htm. Course mapping is a way of "mapping out" or planning course of instruction visually to organize your course competencies, objectives, assessments, activities, and materials.

Date: 24 May 2010
Getting Started, Course Design
Quick Tip:  
This week we’d like to share with you resources that can help move your face to face course into a hybrid/blended learning model.  You’ll find that as you begin your course development, providing multiple learning strategies for your students will enable them to experience the content in different ways.

  • Checklist for a hybrid/blended course design (see attached). The checklist is a summary of strategies you’ll want to consider when building your hybrid/blended course. This checklist created by Ike Shilbey, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University-Berk, provides a blueprint on how to move from f2f to hybrid/blended.

  • Dr. Curt Bonk, Professor Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University Bloomington, shares his ideas and strategies on how to build a hybrid/blended course. Review the January 2010 STARLINK program on applying the Web 2.0 in higher education videos.  Visit http://www.trainingshare.com/starlink4.html.  See video One.

  • Karen Teeley, Assistant Professor at Simmons College in the nursing department, shares her experiences transitioning her courses from fully f2f to blended ones. She summarizes her experiences in a presentation called Top Ten Tips: Designing a Blended Learning Course. http://at.simmons.edu/blendedlearning/learnhow/casestudies/teeley/interview.php

Date: 17 May 2010
Communication + Collaboration, Discussion Board
Quick Tip:  
Last week, we discussed how asynchronous communication is an important element of flexible learning in that it makes use of communication tools to support interaction when learners and teachers are not online at the same time.  One such tool in Blackboard is the Discussion Board.  Use this forum to encourage communication and collaboration with your students.  See http://www.wit.edu/elearning/faculty/communication/discussionboard.html for more information.  Here are some additional ideas for ways to incorporate the discussion board into your course curriculum from the University of Nevada at Reno: http://teaching.unr.edu/OTL/webct/facres/discussions/disc_tips.html.

For step-by-step instructions on how to create a discussion board posting in Blackboard, watch the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5vcooAM8-I

Date: 9 May 2010
Category: Communication + Collaboration
Quick Tip:  
Online courses should offer a combination of both synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (not real-time) communication tools to support interaction between learners and teachers. Live synchronous communication is dynamic and uses tools like video-conferencing and instant messaging.  Asynchronous communication uses tools like the discussion board, blogs, wikis, and e-mail.  To learn more, read http://www.wit.edu/elearning/faculty/communication/synchronousandasynchronouscommunication.html.  Take a close look at “When, Why, and How to Use Asynchronous Vs. Synchronous E-Learning”, a chart that will assist you with designing class activities based on the communications format you decide to use.

Phil Comeau of Architecture has been using Adobe Connect to facilitate synchronous communication in his hybrid courses.  Watch Phil discuss how he uses Adobe Connect here: http://www.youtube.com/tdwit#p/u/7/KpJK7Ez4Gfo.  You can also watch an archive of one of Phil’s live classes for an in-depth look of how he works with students: http://www.youtube.com/tdwit#p/u/1/6BQI0i_JAtY

Date: 3 May 2010
Getting Started, Syllabus
Quick Tip:  
This week we’d like to share with you resources that can help set the right student expectations for your online course(s). You will find that as you move forward with your course development, communication will be “key” to its success.

  • Checklist for an Online Syllabus (see attached).  The checklist is a summary of topics you might include in your syllabus. This checklist provides topics that explain to your students what is expected of them during the semester and how to maintain communication and participation.

  • Lawrence Ragan, Director of Instructional Design & Development at Penn State University, shares specific examples for setting student expectations in an online course.  He discusses what an online instructor should include in his/her syllabus to ensure students meet course requirements as well as communication guidelines.  For more information, see Best Practices in Online Teaching – Getting Started – Specify Course Goals, Expectations, and Policies located at http://cnx.org/content/m14874/.

  • Susan Ko, Executive Director of Competencies for Online Teaching Success at the University Maryland University College, discusses the importance of Purposeful Design. She also provides insight on how to build student/faculty relationships and provide spontaneity in online course design. Please watch  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g-WB-rnvNo for more information.  In addition, Ko offers strategies for constructing a syllabus for an online or blended class.  Read Teaching Online: A Practical Guide, (Chapter 4): Creating An Effective Online Syllabus at http://college.hmco.com/instructors/catalog/walkthroughs/pdf/walk_0618000429_4.pdf for more.

Faculty Highlights

Faculty Quick Tips

As you continue to work with your existing course materials in preparation to teach your hybrid or online course, we’d like to offer you some additional resources that provide examples and techniques on how to create a rubric for your course assignments. // read more

© Wentworth Institute of Technology   |   550 Huntington Avenue   |   Boston, MA 02115   |   617-989-4590