Category Archives: eLearning

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Upcoming Professional Development Offering: Instructional Design for Online Student Success

The NEW Instructional Design for Online Student Success professional development series will focus on motivating and retaining online learners by developing a course that incorporates interactive tools, student collaboration and a variety of assessment activities. Topics will also include strategies for creating and fostering a sense of community in online or blended courses.

The first session, Collaborative Tools in Blackboard, will focus on using the collaboration tools that are readily available within Blackboard and many other learning management software suites including groups, discussions, wikis and blogs. Both novice and experienced online instructors are encouraged to attend the session, as it will focus on sharing collaborative ideas among faculty in addition to showing how to use these tools.

Collaborative Tools in Blackboard-Part I will be offered face to face on Thursday, September 17th at 1:00 in Speight 239. Participants are encouraged to bring their own device to participate in the interactive session. The session will also be offered online Thursday, September 24th at 2:00 via Saba Meeting.

Part 2 of Collaborative Tools in Blackboard will provide a more focused look at one or more of the collaborative tools discussed in Part 1 based on participant interest and feedback provided during the sessions.

Faculty and staff can register for these sessions via Cornerstone. For more information contact Holly Fales at heathh@ecu.edu.

View all detailed descriptions of all COE Faculty/Staff Professional Development opportunities at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/oaa/facultypd.cfm.

COE Seal - Feature Image

Professional Development Opportunities for 2015-2016

The Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s professional development for the 2015-16 academic school year will have two different overarching themes for participants. The workshops will be presented in two different formats to better fit the schedules and preferred learning styles of those interested in attending.  Participants will have the opportunity to attend either a face-to-face or an online session.

Google Apps for Education – A Progressive Workshop Series

Google Apps for Education are becoming a powerful tool in the Pk-12 education world.  Google has created a cost-effective way to bring collaboration tools to the classroom.  This has led to greater integration and implementation of this tool in the classroom with many of our LCSN partners using them.  If you have any questions contact Jason Whited at whitedj@ecu.edu.

Instructional Design for Online Student Success

This professional development series will focus on motivating and retaining online learners by developing a course that incorporates interactive tools, student collaboration, and a variety of assessment activities. In addition, these sessions will include strategies for creating and fostering a sense of community in online or blended courses.  If you have any questions about this workshop contact Holly Fales at heathh@ecu.edu.

For detailed descriptions of each of the sessions, please visit College of Education Professional Development for Faculty and Staff.

ECU faculty and staff can register for these session via Cornerstone.

asynchronous

Week 7 – Collaboration in Blackboard – 2/23/15

This week’s blog is a continuation of the discussion last week on collaboration tools. As discussed previously, it can be difficult to build the same kind of community in an online class as typically occurs naturally in a traditional, seated course. The collaboration tools that are either provided in Blackboard or are available by third parties, can help provide the tools necessary to make this community easier to build.

Last week, we discussed some synchronous tools that are available to faculty to use. As a reminder, synchronous tools, are tools that require everyone to be online at the same time. There will be an online follow-up professional development session coming soon for faculty to learn more about Saba Meeting. Please keep an eye on the COE PD page for details. Now, without further adieu, asynchronous tools!

Asynchronous Tools

Asynchronous tools are tools that do not require collaborators to be online at the same time. This blog could represent an asynchronous activity if you, the readers, decided to later participate by commenting below and contributing to the article. In fact there is a Blog tool in Blackboard, but its purpose is a bit different. One thing to note before starting is all of the asynchronous tools that will be mentioned here are native to Blackboard and can be set as gradable items. Each can also be set to grade with a Blackboard rubric (discussed in Week 8).

Blog – Essentially a blog is a shared online diary for use in a class. It can be used by an instructor to let students know what was or will be done in class to save the instructor from answering individual questions repeatedly. It can open up online discussions about related topics or a place to provide evidence of class participation. It is organized strictly by date. Blogs can be set up for each individual student or by course. Blogs are much less formal than discussion boards, which will be discussed later.

Discussion Board – Even a Blackboard newbie has probably heard of the discussion board. It is the most commonly used method of communicating in an online course. Essentially the instructor creates a discussion topic and the students then respond and discuss the topic. They are organized hierarchically with forums, threads, and replies. Discussion boards are easily collapsed, expanded and searched. Users can subscribe to a forum or thread to receive an email each time someone contributes to it. One of the newer features is students can be required to participate before they are able to see other student entries.

Journal – A journal does a bit less to build communication with the class, but potentially more with the instructor, as it provides a personal writing space for self-reflection and private communication with the instructor. It can be used to reflect on personal growth, assignments, personal experiences, etc. Be advised that if you choose “Permit Course Users to View Journal” in the settings all class participants will be able to see each others journals, removing the privacy feature, essentially creating a non-commentable blog.

Wiki – A wiki is a collaborative space where students can view, contribute and edit content. It can be used if students are collaborating on a paper, study guide, etc. The biggest difference between a wiki and any of the other tools is that everyone essentially works in the same space. What this means is there is one text box and each student can contribute, but the particular contribution of one student over another is not necessarily identified, besides look at the history.  Multiple pages can be created to make essentially a website for a project.

So that pretty much does it for the collaboration tools within Blackboard that are designed to potentially work with the entire class or groups. In addition to these tools, you can also divide your class up into groups and then assign group projects. When groups are created, there is another world that opens up for students in Blackboard that provides a place for Group assignments, file exchange, discussions, tasks, and more.

In addition to the tools we’ve looked at this week and last there are lots of third party tools that are also available that may meet your needs, and new ones become available every day. In face Google provides a wide range of free tools that are certainly worth looking into.

Once you start looking at the possibilities, you’ll find there really are ways to do the things you’ve been doing in your traditional classes all these years. It might take a bit of time and training to master it, as it has in your classroom, but once you do, you and your students will be quite satisfied with the results.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

Synchronous Communication

Week 6 – Collaboration in Blackboard – 2/16/15

In a traditional classroom collaboration is natural, it doesn’t need to be planned or forced. In an online environment, it is quite different, since on the way to submitting an assignment it is, shall we say, highly unlikely, that one student will run into another and they will get into a deep conversation regarding the week’s topic. Hard to believe I know.

With that being said, as educators, we know that students learn best through interaction, so how can we provide this interaction in an online class. Let’s look as some options. This week we will be looking at synchronous tools, and next week we will look at asynchronous tools. There are of course many more tools than I will be able to mention here, so if there is a particular synchronous tool that you use, please feel free to add it in the comments at the bottom of the article this week. If there is an asynchronous tool you love, please add it next week. Any of these options can be done either with the entire class, or with the class divided into smaller groups, depending on what is more manageable for a chosen activity.

Synchronous Tools

Synchronous tools are tools that require everyone to be online at the same time. If synchronous tools are to be used, it is advised that students be made aware of this at the very beginning of the semester, if not earlier, as many students chose to take online courses because they cannot meet at a certain time due to other classes or life circumstances. It is also advised that if assigned after the semester begins, students should be given a few choices for times that work in their schedules.

Chat – Participants have an online discussion by typing short, text-based messages in Blackboard. Sort of like a real-time discussion board.  A great option for online office hours because they can be recorded and viewed later.

Virtual Classroom – A more robust version of the Chat, as it includes the test box for chatting, but also includes a Virtual Whiteboard to display course materials, websites and for drawing.

Saba Meeting – A tool provided by for faculty by ECU that takes the Virtual Classroom to the next level. With Saba Meeting, communication can be done either by chat or by microphone, and can also take advantage of live video streams. In addition to the “old fashion” whiteboard and presentations, a presenter can also share his desktop to demonstrate a program or browse the web. During a meeting, surveys can be given and breakout rooms can be set. Meetings can be recorded, but will be deleted unless requested each semester to be kept. Saba meeting is a great solution, but it can be rather technical, and sometimes students can have a hard time getting in, as typically Java needs to be updated/installed. Following the User Guide will usually help with the install process.

Second Life – If you are ready to take your students to a whole new way of learning, then Second Life is the way to go. I will warn you that there is a learning curve. In Second Life, you have an avatar and you can literally have the students sit in class, go on field trips, visit your office, the possibilities are endless. ECU even has a campus and its own Pirate Ship there. The more creative you are, the more you can make of it. In the past, I have seen a faculty member teaching Shakespeare require her students come to “class” dressed in Elizabethan garb and the students loved it. There are a lot of interesting, educational things that have been built that could possibly serve as great field trips: a Holocaust Museum, The Mayo Clinic, a Renaissance Gallery, New York City, Paris, even the RMS Titanic just to name a few.

So those are some synchronous ways you can encourage collaboration in your online class. A couple work directly in Blackboard and a couple can be linked in Blackboard and then taken outside. Are there others perhaps that you use synchronously? Use the comment area below to contribute what you use.

Next week we will talk about Asynchronous Tools that you can use in your classes to help encourage collaboration. Remember that any of these tools/activities can certainly be used in your seated classes as well to enhance collaboration amongst your students.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

SafeAssign

Week 4 – Checking for Plagiarism with Blackboard – 2/2/15

We all know, of course, that no student would ever submit work that is not 100% their own. With that being said, there are times when it can be confusing to a student when pulling information from a source crosses the line from being a resource to plagiarizing. This is a great opportunity to use the SafeAssign tool in Blackboard as a learning tool, to allow students to submit work to allow them to see for themselves whether or not they have crossed that line before it even crosses the professor’s desk.

A SafeAssignment can be set up as a draft, so the student can submit a paper and see where problems may be and make corrections before submitting their final draft. When ready, the final draft can be submitted and the professor is at an advantage because he/she can focus on the content of the paper rather than on possible plagiarism issues since they will all be spelled out.

Truly all classes should have all papers submitted as SafeAssignments in Blackboard. Why, you ask. One of the most difficult types of plagiarism to catch is when it is local, meaning one student writes a paper for another. Each paper that is submitted via a SafeAssignment is automatically added to the local ECU pool. So, if a paper, or part of a paper, is submitted in a class, it will be flagged when it is submitted again.

Within the next few Blackboard upgrades, we should start to see the plagiarism feature integrated directly within a regular assignment, but unfortunately we aren’t quite there yet. Currently SafeAssignments don’t offer the same robust grading features that are available in regular assignments, so perhaps a combination of the two types of assignments are the best solution. Below is a video that explains the differences and shows how to use SafeAssign:

If you aren’t quite ready to have your entire class submit papers as SafeAssignments, but instead have one or two that have been submitted that are just bothering you, then you’ll be happy to know that instructors can go into Course Tools –> SafeAssign and use the DirectSubmit option to submit papers directly to SafeAssign.

I hope this information about the SafeAssign tool was useful to you. If you run into questions or problems throughout the semester with Blackboard, please take advantage of the COE Helpdesk.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

Lock

Week 3 – Let Blackboard Work For You – Week of 01/26/15

So far we have been talking about dates, so this week we will continue along those lines. Chances are you already know when you plan to release each module of your course. Chances are you manually go in and release them, why not let Blackboard do the work for you? Did you know that you can set your course up so that modules can automatically release based on date or completion?

The tool used for this is Adaptive Release. It can seem a bit daunting, but is really easy to use. If you want to use it for an entire module, just create a folder for the module and put all of the items for the module within the folder. The items within the folder will only be able to be accessed once the folder itself if accessible.

To use Adaptive Release, click the down arrow to the right of the item’s name. Then choose Adaptive Release. You can then set up the Start and End date, Membership (Groups, or Individual Users), or Grade (Based on completion of another assignment). You can set up as many of these criteria as you like, but make sure that whatever you chose is achievable. For example, if you make it based on Grade, don’t set it based on completion of the Final Exam, when the exam won’t be taken before this item is completed. This is usually the problem people run into when trying to use Adaptive Release.

Once this is set up, students will only be able to view the item once the criteria are met. Personally, I like to set up Adaptive Release for Modules based on the completion of the assignment from the previous module, so those who may want to work ahead in an online class can do so. If you choose Advanced Adaptive Release you can set up several criteria if you chose. I like setting my courses up like this, when possible, so I can spend more time grading and working with students rather than worrying about opening and closing sections. (Although I have talked about setting up folders for Adaptive Release, you can also set up individual items.)

If you ever need to change any of the dates you have set up using Adaptive Release, did you know you can use the Blackboard Calendar to do so, like we talked about in Week 2? You can also use the Date Management Tool from Week 1 to make changes for these next semester as well.

Another benefit of opening sections up as you go, is you can arrange them in reverse order, so the Module you are currently working on is always at the top, and the previous ones are always available below for review purposes.

I hope this information on Adaptive Release is useful to you, and I encourage you to try it at least once. If you run into questions or problems throughout the semester with Blackboard, please take advantage of the COE Helpdesk.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

Blackboard Calendar

Week 2 – Course Calendar – Week of 1/19/15

Last week we talked about the Date Management Tool, which seemed fitting at the beginning of the semester. This week we will continue along the lines of dates, as this is the time when most faculty are working to get courses and dates set up for the semester.

In Blackboard, there is a Course Calendar for every course within it, and you can easily look at the calendar for every course you are involved in at once, you can even import these calendars into your Outlook calendar, if you choose. Taking advantage of these calendars can be a great benefit to your students, as they will be able to easily check on their assignments and requirements for all of their courses in one place. When you set up dates for assignments, tests, discussions, journals, announcements, etc., in Blackboard, you are automatically populating the calendar. There are no extra steps required!!

As the semester wears on, inevitably, due dates will change. It can be a pain to go into assignments to change these dates, and this is where the calendar can really be helpful to you. Did you know the calendar has a drag and drop feature? It’s true! If you have an assignment due on one day and it changes, you can simply drag that assignment to the new day and the date will change within the assignment. How easy is that? Need to change something about the assignment? You can do that from the calendar too!

Ok, I’ve made all of these promises, let me give you some more specifics. First of all, in order for this to work, you do need to set up dates in your course. The calendar will show Start, Due, and End dates for anything that is gradable as well as Announcements you create.

To access your calendar, you need to be in Blackboard, but not necessarily in a course. At the top left of any Blackboard page, you will see your name and an arrow pointing down.  If you click on the arrow, you will see several choices, including an icon of a calendar. Click on this icon.

In the light gray section you can choose a daily, weekly or monthly view, the date you want to view, and which Blackboard Course calendar(s) you’d like to view. Each calendar is color coded, and you can change the colors by clicking the dark gray triangle in the bottom right corner of that calendar’s name, if you choose.

The right side shows the calendar. If you want to change the due date or time, you can simply find the item on the calendar and drag it to the new date. If you need to change the time – change to the weekly or daily view to have more control over specific times. You can also double-click the item to make bigger changes. Once you have the calendar item open, you can change the name of the item all together (yes it will change the item in the course as well), and make bigger changes to the date. If you need to make changes to the actual assignment, you will see a link “Edit this . . .” If you click this link, it will take you to the item within the course and out of the calendar.

You can add events to the course calendar, but they will only be added to the calendar. This is not a way to add assignments to your course. One possible suggestion for adding events to your course would be to add your office hours, so they are easily available to your students.

If you would like, you can export your Blackboard Calendars to your Outlook calendar using the link at the bottom of the light gray section. Unfortunately you cannot import your Outlook calendar to Blackboard.

Plan to attend the profession development session “Becoming Date Friendly in Blackboard” on using the Calendar and the Date Management Tool on February 2nd from 2-3 pm in Speight 225. To attend, register today using Cornerstone!

I hope this information about the Blackboard Calendar was useful to you. If you run into questions or problems throughout the semester with Blackboard, please take advantage of the COE Helpdesk.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

Date_Management

Week 1 – Blackboard Date Management – Week of 01/12/15

It is nice that each semester you can reuse your class from a previous semester and only need to tweak the content and assignments a bit. It is a pain, if you use dates, you need to go through and painstakingly change each one throughout the class. Or is it??

A new tool introduced with the latest version of Blackboard, that ECU is using, is the Date Management Tool. It allows you to have all of the dates in your course change by a number of days that you, the instructor, determines, up to +/- 999 days.

Yes, I can already hear you saying, “But all the dates in the class won’t change exactly the same amount!” I’m sure that is true, but personally I would rather go in and manually change a few dates than have to go in and manually change each and every date, wouldn’t you? But, let’s say you wouldn’t, in the Date Management Tool, you can choose to “List All Dates For Review” and it will allow you to choose specific items and change dates as you see fit, if that works better for you.

Personally, I recommend a combination of the two. A broad sweep of the course getting the dates into at least the right semester, and then “List All Dates For Review” to go in and tweak several dates at once that still need adjusting for holidays, breaks etc.

Another option you have, once you get your dates in the right ball park is to use the calendar itself. It is particularly useful when dates need to be changed individually or on the fly. Next week, we’ll discuss how to use the Blackboard calendar to make your life, and the life of your students easier.

Plan to attend the profession development session “Becoming Date Friendly in Blackboard” on using the Calendar and the Date Management Tool on February 2nd from 2-3 pm in Speight 225. To attend, register today using Cornerstone!

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. We are currently still in the planning process for this semester, so please use this website if you have any specific requests. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.

Store-Swivl3

The Swivl is here.

What is the Swivl?  Swivl is a camera dock with a twist.  Instead of holding your camera still, the Swivl will follow you around the room, tracking you as you move around on stage or in front of an audience.  This device follows the paired mic wherever it goes.  It is compatible with Android and IOS devices.

So who is using it in COE?  Students have begun to use it to record class sessions for edTPA and ISLES.  OAA has been using it to interview faculty and students about Pirate Code innovations.  Why use this instead of a video camera?  It’s ease of set up and video download capabilities.  The device can connect to any Android or IOS device that has the Swivl app.  You place it in the dock, hook up the mic cable, sync the mic, turn on app and you are ready to go.  The Swivl zeros in on the mic and follows it.  You can use it for one speaker or pass the mic for a group.  The quality of the recording ability lets you place it in the middle of a table to record a small group.  If you want to know more or are interested in trying out the Swivl, feel free to contact OAA IT for more information.

 

#ECU_CAEPisComing

15 Facts and Stats That Reveal The Power Of eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 @ 12:45 PM

eLearning statsThere is a lot of talk about how the internet has revolutionized the way companies do business. With eLearning that’s no different. But, without hard data and solid advice, how can training professionals move forward and get ahead of the curve?

Here are some great eLearning facts, figures and statistics that you should take notice of:

  1. Companies are now increasing their use of eLearning regardless of size, but 41.7% of global Fortune 500 Companies used technology during formal learning hours last year. (Elearning! Magazine, May 2013)
  2. With eLearning students have more control over their learning process and can better understand the material, leading to a 60% faster learning curve, compared to instructor-led training. (Facts, Figures and Forces Behind e-Learning – August, 2000)
  3. IBM, after rolling out an eLearning program for managers, found that participants learned nearly five times more material without increasing time spent training. (Article: eLearning Success – measuring the ROI impact and benefits, May 2013)
  4. According to a 2009 study from the Department of Education: “Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.” Students who mix online learning with traditional coursework (i.e. blended learning) do even better. (Internet Time Group Report)
  5. eLearning is good for the environment. Britain’s Open University’s study found that producing and providing eLearning courses consumes an average of 90% less energy and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional face-to-face courses. (Knowledge Direct Web)
  6. Learning Technologies are boosting agility. 35% improvement in time competency, 32% faster roll out of new IT systems, 32% improvement in ability to introduce new products and services, 26% overall cost saving. (Towards Maturity Report, 2012)
  7. Revenue generation per employee is 26% higher for companies who employ training and development best practices through eLearning. (The Business Impact of Next-Generation eLearning, 2011)
  8. Reduced learning times – Brandon-Hall, reported that eLearning typically requires from 40% to 60% less employee time than the same material delivered in a traditional classroom setting.
  9. eLearning can help companies boost productivity by 50%. Every $1 spent in eLearning results in $30 of productivity. (The Value of Training- IBM Report)
  10. The Research Institute of America found that the eLearning experience increases the retention rate 25-60%! This is due to the student having control over the learning process as well as providing them with an opportunity to revisit the training as needed, which is ideal for infrequent users. ( e-Learning – A Strategy for Maximizing Human Capital in the Knowledge Economy)
  11. Several software companies recently found that by using eLearning to give their sales force information on eLearning (as opposed to the traditional approach of instruction), they were able to cut six weeks off the time it took to get their products marketed.
  12. According to most recent data published by CertifyMe.net on the state of eLearning in corporate education: 72% of organizations interviewed believe that eLearning is providing them with the competitive advantage by continuing to keep them on top of changes in their particular market.
  13. Companies plan to invest nearly 240% more into elearning in 2013. This was a similar pattern found in the previous year’s report, and the data is backing it up as a reported $1.46 million was spent in 2011 compared to the $3.5 million spent in 2012. (Elearning! Magazine, May 2013)
  14. Organizations with strong learning culture significantly outperform their peers. 46% more likely to be first to market, 37% greater employee productivity, 34% better response to customer needs, 26% greater ability to deliver “quality products”, 58% more prepared to meet future demand, 17% more likely to be market share leader. (Bersin & Associates, 2012)
  15. Companies that use online learning technology achieve an 18% boost in employee engagement. This way, as you increase job satisfaction and engagement among your employees, the overall health of your organization also improves. (Article: 3 Reasons to Implement eLearning in Your Organization, 2013)

Key Takeaways:

The internet is where all businesses have to be. If you want to stay afloat, you need to get online. As these statistics reflect, implementing an effective eLearning initiative can be an invaluable tool in generating greater business performance and learning outcomes for your organization.

Which of these 15 statistics is most shocking to you? If you like some of these stats, please share them!