UST course wins Blackboard award!
Congratulations to Dr. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan (Gifted & Special Education, CELC) and Lynn Murdoch (IRT) on receiving a 2014 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for SPED 716: Fundamentals of Mild to Moderate Disabilities.
Productive Online Discussions
I recently came across an interesting paper by Gao, Zhang, and Franklin (2013) which analyzes the limitations of 'threaded' discussion boards (that's what we have with the Blackboard system) along with how different types of online discussion tools support or hinder learning goals. The paper was particularly interesting not only because the discussion board is one of the most commonly used Blackboard tools at UST but also because online discussion is a staple of blended and online pedagogy.
Resources for Blended and Online Learning
The Online Classroom newsletter is available to all UST faculty and staff. The newsletter is broad in scope and includes a variety of topics applicable to both the face-to-face classroom and the blended classroom.
Faculty Feedback on iPads and Mobility in the Classroom Initiative
Information Resources & Technologies (IRT) and the Center for Faculty Development announce an iPads and Mobility in the Classroom initiative for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. This is an exploratory project to discover the ways in which faculty use iPads in their teaching and to evaluate how iPads can be used in meaningful ways in the classroom to support student engagement and learning.
Submit your course for the 2013 Blackboard Exemplary Course award!
Blackboard's Exemplary Course Program (ECP) award recognizes Blackboard courses demonstrating best practices in four major areas: Course Design, Interaction & Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. Even if you aren't sure that your course demonstrates best practices in all four areas, submitting your course for review will provide you the opportunity to receive detailed feedback on your own course development including best practices and areas for improvement. All courses submitted to the ECP are reviewed and receive detailed feedback on their design, interaction and collaboration, assessment and learner support components.
Think course your course has what it takes?
IRT announces Blackboard training
Don't miss these upcoming Blackboard sessions to prepare for J-term and spring!
Found Wisdom: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other.
“Technology is seductive when what it offers meets our human vulnerabilities. And as it turns out, we are very vulnerable indeed."
IRT Spotlight: Screencasting, lecture capture and webinars
Video is becoming vitally important in higher education classroom delivery and communications. Here at St. Thomas we tend to focus on three different solutions for our community to consider, depending on their particular need. For creating engaging screen recordings (e.g. screencasts) we recommend…
IRT announces Blackboard open labs
Whether you are confused about how a Blackboard tool works, wish to adopt a new feature, or need advice, this is a chance to advance your skills with online course management and stop in to one of the upcoming open labs.
Found Wisdom: "Bloom's Taxonomy Meets Technology: An Instructional Planning Tool"
“The key to effective integration of technology is to ensure that the use of technology is aligned with the learning objectives and assessment strategies.”
Blackboard Summer Updates
Summer updates to Blackboard include a cleaner, more streamlined design, a course set-up wizard, quota increases and course archiving.
Resources for Managing Blended/Online Environment
If you were not able to attend the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) webinar Managing the Blended/Online Environment the recording, handouts and slides are available online. Topics covered in the seminar included:
- Strategies to help organize and manage the blended/online course environment
- Ways to streamline learning activities
- Behavioral and motivational issues that manifest themselves in the blended/ online environment and solutions for managing them
- Plagiarism and how to identify and manage plagiarism when it occurs in an blended/online course
- Copyright and fair use as it applies to the blended/online environment
Spring Break Seminar: Managing the Blended/Online Environment
If you teach (or are thinking about teaching) a blended or online course, or even if you use Blackboard to enhance your course, consider attending Managing the Blended/Online Environment on March 19. Technology-enhanced teaching and the accessibility of the blended/online classroom demands that faculty develop new time management strategies. In addition, managing learner issues can be more difficult in the blended/online learning environment than in a traditional learning environment.
Part 2: If you can’t beat them, have them edit.
In the last issue of Synergia I described setting up a new assignment: having student groups edit Wikipedia entries. Now that those are articles are graded, and the teaching evaluations are in, I’ll discuss their assessment and student reaction to this assignment.
Using the iPad for Qualitative Research
It's lightweight, mobile and just plain fun, but the iPad is also a great research assistant! Dr. Avinash Malshe highlights how the iPad aids in carrying out qualitative research.
If you can’t beat them, have them edit: Using Wikipedia as a learning tool
I hear myself coaching students to “show, don’t tell” when writing. For years, I have repeatedly told students not to use Wikipedia as a reference. I warned them that it was filled with anonymous user-generated content that was not subject to peer review, and that it was plagued by pranksters who purposefully populated entries with factual errors. This semester, by having students edit Wikipedia topics relevant to our Sensation and Perception course, I’m showing them the process by which this content is generated, vetted, and changed, and in the process, I’m meeting some of the outreach initiatives of my professional organizations.
Using Library Resources in Your Courses
Have you ever wondered how you could improve the quality of your student’s research papers? Maybe pondered how you can get them to stop using Wikipedia or sources only found in the top 10 results on a Google Search?
Using Technology for Connection, Engagement and Empowerment in your Classrooms
One way of getting students engaged in class discussions is to pull their names out of a virtual hat. Dr. Yearwood demonstrated a simple program named "The Hat" . . . .
David Yearwood on “Using Technology for Connection, Engagement and Empowerment in your Classrooms”
The popular keynote presenter at this year’s Teaching Professor conference presents a day-long workshop for UST faculty, followed by week of eLearning Workshops.
Surprisingly, Audio Book Project Energizes Students
Summer is a time to recoup the energies spent in the last academic year, and it can also be a time of growth, experimentation, reflection, etc. You all know what I⊃1;m talking about. This past summer was a particularly rich one for me in learning new tricks of the teaching trade, in part due to my interest in the potential of online learning for blended courses. This was the topic of the Faculty Development summer seminar.
Spring Greetings from the Faculty Center for eLearning
Collaborative and social tools that can be used in the classroom took precedence at the January 2010 Faculty Center for eLearning event.