Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Online Student Tips

Here are some useful tips to make sure online students get started on the right step and get the most out of a course.

*Get organized. Just because the course is not face to face doesn’t mean you don’t need a notebook and binder. Print out the syllabus and all the weekly agendas ahead in the beginning and start a course “paper” file. Also, start a “digital” file on your desktop for all your course files. Make a list of all your links and passwords that you will need.

*Being an online student requires self-discipline and strong time management skills. I suggest that you set up a weekly rhythm for yourself. Put aside a couple set days and chunks of time throughout the week that you will commit to working on the course. Then, along with key dates from the syllabus, put it on your calendar and make it a weekly routine. You cannot expect do all of the week’s reading, posting, replying, and project work at the end of the week; you must spread it out throughout the week.

*Draft it. It is a good idea to start a digital file like “class log” and draft all your discussion responses in Google Docs, Microsoft Word or OneNote before posting, as this can save time and the frustration of a browser crashing.  This is also helpful because you can catch spelling and grammatical errors more easily. In addition you have a backed up copy of all your work that you can refer to later.

*Back it up. Use must have a back-up plan for your computer and internet access such as knowing when your public library or local coffee shop is open so that you can use their systems or free wireless. Backing up your files frequently on a jump drive or uploading them online should be a regular habit.  Personally, I swear by Dropbox.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

BlackBoard: How to add a banner and customize the home and look of your course

Watch: http://vimeo.com/14654364

1) Create Course Home Page with Modules
2) Change Course Entry Point
3) Change Style of Content Buttons
4) Upload a Banner Image

BlackBoard: How to make class available and hide tools you are not using?

I always forget to do and how to do this at the beging of a course. Hopefully it will help you.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Discussion Portfolio

I have played with discussion rubrics in the past and found it very tedious to count posts and comments then nit pick on mechanics, then check citations and name drops, then assign, grade, and track a weekly participation point grade.  To me, I have felt that discussion boards should be less formal and more organic and natural and by overly evaluating them, instructors could crush natural collaboration and communication.  Lately, I  have been using the Community of Inquiry framework for students to holistically self evaluate and peer evaluate each other on their overall and total participation throughout the course.  Recently, I have found a participation portfolio that seems interesting. For a link to the  presentation pdf on Educause see http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EDU07320D.pdf

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Presentation: Notre Dame E-Portfolio Initiative: A Blended Advising Approach for Student Engagement & Success

Notre Dame E-Portfolio Initiative: A Blended Advising Approach for Student Engagement & Success

G. Alex Ambrose, Academic Advisor, University of Notre Dame, for more information visit his ePortfolio at www.gAlexAmbrose.com

April 22, 2011, Spring Symposium at Indiana University South Bend

Join the Backchannel:
Go to http://tinyurl.com/backchat9

Program Description:
The purpose of the First Year of Studies E-Portfolio Initiative (FYS-EPI) is to explore the use of e-portfolios in higher education to improve student learning and success. More specifically, we are examining the role academic advisors can play in using e-portfolios as a blended advising strategy to engage students across a-curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular learning experiences. The FYS-EPI has 3 main objectives: 1) Projects & Pilots: to design and test an open courseware, integrated e-portfolio system; 2) University Outreach & Collaboration: to develop a portfolio “culture” across student and academic affairs through student and faculty buy-in, workshops and professional development; and 3) Research: to systematically measure the qualities, programs, practices, conditions, and impact of e-portfolios in higher education on student engagement and report findings.

Program participants will:
Be introduced to an innovative blended advising approach
Assess a collaborative approach to fusing academic and student affairs
Analyze the role e-portfolios can play to support student, success, learning, and engagement
Examine a First Year program
Debate, critique, and judge the role technology can play towards student success

Slides will be posted soon.

Let's continue the conversation afterwards by commenting below. Feel free to contact the author if you are interested in collaborating.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Example ePortfolio Reflection for Ed Tech Master Degree

Watch this youtube video to see how this student in Boise State University Education Technology Master degree program reflects through his program and synthesizes his experiences. This webcam and screen cast tour gives great examples of what the student learned and the strength of the program.

You can visit his ePortfolio at:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Discussions in Google Docs= Better Peer Review

Finally, better discussions, commenting, and revision history to support peer reviews and colloborative editing.

Any educators have any good Google Docs peer review assignments, rubrics, or project ideas?