November 14, 2014
by Greg Walker
0 comments

Teaching Online- Some Nuggets of Wisdom

Adeline Koh highlights some ideas on teaching online that she came across  on THIS Medium post.

  • “It’s meant as a challenge, not a prescription: ‘If We (Profs) Can Be Replaced by a Computer Screen, We Should Be!’ I am amazed at how often my pronouncement, made most recently at the Harvard Innovations in Learning and Teaching (HILT) Symposium, is interpreted to mean “All profs should be replaced by computer screens.” Not at all. What I mean is that, given how sophisticated online technologies are becoming, given how many people around the world are clamoring for quality and low-cost education, given how seriously people in the online educational business (like Khan Academy) are studying how people learn and what kind of help and interaction they need to learn, given all that, then, if we profs are adding no other value to our teaching but that which could be replicated on line, then, well, turn on the computers and get the over-priced profs out of the classrooms now.” — Cathy Davidson
  • “‘Face-to-face’ is a misattribution. It’s not the face or the body that conveys intimacy, but shared, dynamic experiences of time.” — Kathi Berens
  • “Every single presenter got up and told us the most wonderful methods for creating great, effective learning experiences. They talked about the brain and cognitive research and technology options and design methods. All three brought forth a wealth of ideas. And I’m grateful for what I learned. But not a single speaker used the methods she described.” — Edward O’Neil
  • “‘What’s new’ then about online education — particularly the versions that rely heavily on videotaped lectures? (Because, let’s face it, it’s not the instruction itself that’s that innovative. A videotaped lecture is still a lecture.)” — Audrey Watters
  • “The funny thing about teaching with technologies, online or even in a face-to-face context, is that if you focus primarily on the technologies themselves the important things can fade from view too easily.” — Bonnie Stewart
  • “To paraphrase the inimitable Jan Dabrowski, we shouldn’t set off on a cruise, and build the ship as we go. Educational campuses have libraries, coffee shops, cafeterias, quads, lawns, amphitheaters, stadiums, hallways, student lounges, trees, park benches, and fountains. Ample space for rallies, study-groups, conversation, debate, student clubs, and special events. Few institutions pay much attention to re-creating these spaces online. The work done outside and between classes (which we would argue is the glue that holds education together) is attended to nominally if at all. Imagine this scenario: a business student shares a table at the campus coffee shop with an English major. A conversation kicks off with the inevitable, “What’s your major?” When and where does this conversation happen in online programs? How can we facilitate the interdisciplinary dialogues that bring a campus to life? What spaces can we build online that aren’t quantified, tracked, scored, graded, assessed, and accredited? How can we use tools like Twitter (and other social media platforms) to build the hallways between our online classes? Many individual educators have begun to do this work, but we need a larger discussion about the future of online education that privileges these spaces as central and indispensable to learning.” Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel

November 14, 2014
by Greg Walker
0 comments

Manifesto for Teaching Online

 

Manifesto for teaching online - Written by teachers and researchers in online education. University of Edinburgh MSc in E-learning 2011

 

  • Distance is a positive principle, not a deficit. Online can be the privileged mode.
  • The possibility of the ‘online version’ is overstated. The best online courses are born digital.
  • By redefining connection we find we can make eye contact online.
  • ‘Best practice’ is a totalising term blind to context – there are many ways to get it right.
  • Every course design is philosophy and belief in action.
  • The aesthetics of online course design are too readily neglected: courses that are fair of (inter)face are better places to teach and learn in.
  • Online courses are prone to cultures of surveillance: our visibility to each other is a pedagogical and ethical issue.
  • Text is being toppled as the only mode that matters in academic writing.
  • Visual and hypertextual representations allow arguments to emerge, rather than be stated.
  • New forms of writing make assessors work harder: they remind us that assessment is an act of interpretation.
  • Feedback can be digested, worked with, created from. In the absence of this, it is just ‘response’.
  • Assessment strategies can be designed to allow for the possibility of resistance.
  • A routine of plagiarism detection structures-in a relation of distrust.
  • Assessment is a creative crisis as much as it is a statement of knowledge.
  • Place is differently, not less, important online.
  • Closed online spaces limit the educational power of the network.
  • Online spaces can be permeable and flexible, letting networks and flows replace boundaries.
  • Course processes are held in a tension between randomness and intentionality.
  • Online teaching should not be downgraded into ‘facilitation’.
  • Community and contact drive good online learning.

 

The Doxa of the Classroom or When Online Learning Fails by Sara Humphreys

 

November 14, 2014
by Greg Walker
0 comments

Open Resources/MERLOT

What is MERLOT?

MERLOT is an open educational resource project from the California State University system that started in 1997.

“MERLOT currently indexes tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder web pages, together with associated comments, and personal collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material. All of these items have been contributed by the MERLOT member community, who have either authored the materials themselves, or who have discovered the materials, found them useful, and wished to share their enthusiasm for the materials with others in the teaching and learning community.” (from theMERLOT Collection page)

Open Educational Resources in MERLOT

MERLOT’s collection has over 2,500 open textbooks and a collection of other OERs that include whole courses, open textbooks, small instructional modules, and more. Typically, learning management systems make it easy for the faculty to add links to these resources for the weekly instructional schedule.

Click on a link to your subject area and you’ll get a hit list of open textbooks or online course materials in different disciplines. MERLOT’s indexing tools enable easy browsing and searching for their OER collections.

MERLOT: Find Course Materials Related to a Book

MERLOT: Find Course Materials Related to a Topic

MERLOT is the place to find online learning materials, web sites and educational digital libraries. Here are other Learning Object Repositories you can access through MERLOT.

November 13, 2014
by Greg Walker
0 comments

2014 Top 100 Tools for Learning

The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2014  – the results of the 8th Annual Learning Tools Survey –  has been compiled by Jane Hart from the votes of 1,038 learning professionals from 61 countries worldwide and published on 22 September 2014.

A learning tool is defined as any software or online tool or service that you use either for your own personal or professional learning, for teaching or training, or for creating e-learning

November 10, 2014
by Greg Walker
Comments Off

Blog Challenge Activites

Activity 1: Set up your blog

  1. UPDATE YOUR PROFILE
    • Update your name.
    • Change your password.
    • Update your contact information.
  2. UPLOAD YOUR AVATAR
    • Select a photo or create your avatar using an online tool.
    • Resize your image to 200 pixels wide by 200 pixels high.
    • Upload and crop the image
  3. CHECK YOUR SETTINGS
    • Select your timezone
  4. CUSTOMIZE YOUR BLOG THEME TO YOUR COURSE
    • Change your theme, header (course name)and background.

Activity 2: Create your first blog post (sensemaking artifact) and comment on other blog posts.

  1.  Create a blog post (sensemaking artifact)that provides some understanding of why you love to teach. What gets you up in the morning? What’s your core reason for doing what you do? Everybody has a reason WHY, but we can lose sight of our WHY, and so we want you to reclaim and embrace it!
    • Write an attention grabbing title
    • Insert a link
    • Use short paragraphs
    • Write the first sentence of each paragraph to make your readers want to read the rest of the paragraph.
  2. Comment on another learners blog post by analyzing OR asking a question that proposes answers.
    • Your comment takes something from the artifact and analyzes it. It might make a criticism, an observation an interpretation, or draw a conclusion
    • Your comment is a question that proposes answers. The good question asks “why” and “how” and demonstrates you have thought about, and have done some research, on the question. Answers are proposed and asked for feedback.

Activity 3: Share your WHY in a visual format.

  1. Create a blog post that includes a still image you create (this could be a photo of you holding up a sign – or something more imaginative, of course) that provides some understanding of why you love to teach.
  2. Tell us a bit more about your WHY.
  3. Comment on another learners image blog post.
    • Your comment takes something from the artifact and analyzes it. It might make a criticism, an observation an interpretation, or draw a conclusion.
    • Your comment is a question that proposes answers. The good question asks “why” and “how” and demonstrates you have thought about, and have done some research, on the question. Answers are proposed and asked for feedback

Activity 4: Embed a video in a post.

  1. Create a short clip, around 3-5 seconds in length, that provides some understanding of why you love to teach
  2. Upload your clip to YouTube.
  3.  How to upload a video to YouTube 
  4. Embed your clip in a blog post, and tell us a bit more about your WHY.
  5. Embedding Videos from Video Sharing Websites
  6. Comment on another learners blog post.
    • Your comment takes something from the artifact and analyzes it. It might make a criticism, an observation an interpretation, or draw a conclusion.
    • Your comment is a question that proposes answers. The good question asks “why” and “how” and demonstrates you have thought about, and have done some research, on the question. Answers are proposed and asked for feedback.

Activity 5: Create Pages and Menus

  1. Create a Course About Page that includes your course syllabus.
  2. Create a personal About Page that includes your posts about why you teach.
  3. Create a custom menu and add the pages you just created.

Activity 6:  Set up your widgets, tags and categories

Please complete the following:

  1. Setup your blogs sidebars and make necessary changes.
    • Remove unnecessary widgets you don’t need.
    • Add the custom menu widget. Add the menu to the custom menu widget that contains your 2 about me pages you create in activity 5.
  2. Create categories- go to Posts > Categories and set up the names of the new categories. Name one catagory about me.
    1. Assign your about me category to your why I teach posts using the Quick Edit action link menu in Posts > Edit.
  3. Add your Category widget t to your blog side bar
    • Remember categories won’t display in your Category widget until they have been assigned to a post
  4. Create a blog post called “Set up your widgets, tags and categories” and describe step-by step what you did what you did.