Learning with Technology

for Teaching

May 31, 2018
by Rachael Inake

Highlights from the “Course by Design” track at PRLS 2018

At this year’s annual Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS) at Leeward CC on May 14 to 18, Brent and I facilitated an updated version of our “Course by Design” workshop series from the one we offered last summer. Joining us this summer were:

  • Heather McCafferty – Math and Sciences, Leeward CC
  • Benjamin Zenk – Philosophy, Hawaii CC
  • Amy Shiroma – Hospitality & Tourism Education, Kapiolani CC
  • Don Maruyama – Culinary Arts, Leeward CC
  • Robert Oshita – Digital Media, Leeward CC
  • Sandro Jube – Human Anatomy & Physiology, Leeward CC

PRLS 2018 course by design track group

Using our updated four-step course design process for in-person classes, we guided instructors through systematically organizing and structuring their courses by aligning their course outcomes with appropriate learning activities. The four-step process consists of:

  1. Identifying student learning outcomes.
  2. Creating specific learning objectives.
  3. Creating activities to meet the learning objectives.
  4. Building your lessons on a website.

Participants used a planning worksheet (Google Doc) that guided them through each of the four steps. New to the process is mapping alignment of outcomes, objectives, and activities which greatly helped instructors to see all the pieces and how they relate to each other. Once they had everything mapped out, they started to build their lesson modules using our Google Sites template for a quick-start.

PRLS 2018 course by design mapping

The goal was to go through at least one cycle of the course design process to create one lesson module. Then you would repeat the process to create the rest of your lesson modules.

Participants who created at least one lesson module using the four-step course design process earned the “Course Designer Creator” badge of achievement that can be used as evidence in contract renewal/tenure/promotion dossiers.

At the end of the week, participants said the following:

Attending the “Course by Design” workshop was a great opportunity to reflect back at the course that I teach and implement new ideas and concepts to keep my students engaged and motivated. I will certainly implement if not all, at least some of the activities that I envisioned during the PRLS, and I am glad that we discussed about the development of rubrics to assist with the process of scoring the activities.

I’ve gotten a chance to look more closely at how my course activities align with my learning outcomes, and this has allowed me to cut a few unnecessary lessons and replace them with others that align.

Course by Design helped clarify the alignment of course level outcomes with modules and activities. It opened my mind to new connections, and I hope to take this knowledge and use it to re-work my class to improve the overall experience for the student.

We look forward to checking in with our participants and seeing what they create and how implementation goes!

August 1, 2017
by Rachael Inake

Highlights from the “Course By Design” Workshop During PRLS 2017

course by design workshop group photo

Each summer, the Educational Media Center (EMC) hosts the Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS) at Leeward CC, a week-long professional development opportunity for instructors. During this past PRLS (May 15-19, 2017), we offered a new workshop track, Course By Design. We were fortunate to have eight dedicated instructors who registered for our track:

  • Christina Mende (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Faustino Dagdag (Business Division)
  • Darci Miyashiro (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Eric Matsuoka (Math & Sciences Division)
  • I-Chia Shih (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Nolan Miyahara (Professional Arts & Technology Division)
  • Reina Ojiri (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Ross Higa (Business Division)

In this track, we guided the instructors through using our four-step course design process for in-person classes. This process helped them to systematically organize and structure their courses to align their course outcomes with appropriate learning activities. And then put together their lesson modules on a website. Doing so helps students to navigate through the course, identify the expectations, and identify activities they need to complete to be successful in the course.

During the week we led participants through our four-step process using a mix of methods and activities to:

  1. Identify student learning outcomes.
  2. Create specific learning objectives.
  3. Create activities to meet the learning objectives.
  4. Build your lessons on a website.

Participants used a planning document (Google Doc) and learning modules website template (Google Sites) which we designed and developed for the four-step course design process. Some started creating lesson modules for their courses, while others chose to create supplemental lessons and activities for their courses. By the end of the week, participants were able to go through one cycle of the process to create at least one lesson module on their website. Now they have the knowledge, skills, and tools to continue creating the rest of their lesson modules.

All participants earned the “Course Designer Creator” badge of achievement for planning out their course and creating at least one lesson module during PRLS. These badges are helpful to use as evidence in tenure/promotion dossiers.

Participants Have Said

“I learned how to design a google site and how to create pages with activities that focus on helping students meet the learning outcomes. After taking this workshop, I have a starting template that is ready to be used for my future courses. And that is a wonderful feeling! I would recommend this program to other instructors who wants to develop their course sites for face-to-face or online courses.”

“I learned about best practices for my lesson and activity planning; how to clearly connect them with our SLOs and Learning Objectives; and how to present them in a professional looking page!”

“As for advice, I would say the best thing a participant to do is to keep an open mind.”
course by design 2017 group photo

Register for Course By Design (Fall 2017)

If you’re interested in re-designing your course, consider joining us in the six-week “Course By Design” workshop series which we adapted for the fall semester. It will be on six consecutive Tuesdays from Oct.10 to Nov.14. For more information and to register, visit: https://course-by-design-fall-2017.eventbrite.com

Rachael Inake and Brent Hirata
Educational Technologists
Educational Media Center

May 27, 2015
by Rachael Inake

Turning Teaching On Its Head – Flipping for Flipped Learning!

Stop Lecturing and Flip Your Classroom

What could be so exciting as to capture the interest of instructors and staff for a whole week the week after finals? Our summer annual Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS), of course! Brent and I co-facilitated the “Stop Lecturing and Flip Your Classroom” track at this year’s PRLS. We developed a hands-on and authentic learning workshop to introduce participants to the “flipped classroom” concept and culminated with them creating (at least) one flipped at-home lesson and in-class activity.


What is a flipped classroom?

The main purpose of doing a flipped classroom is to use valuable face-to-face class time for meaningful, engaging, and interactive activities for learning, instead of for lectures. Class time can be better utilized to foster deeper learning or differentiate learning to address specific learners’ needs.


But much more than just “flipping” a classroom where content is learned at home and activities/projects are done in class, learning must be “flipped”. “Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter” (Flipped Learning Network).

A model of flipped learning we explored starts with an experiential learning experience to hook learners, allows for learners to explore the content, make meaning from it, and finally demonstrate and apply their learning.


Experiential and Authentic Learning

We designed the workshop like a flipped classroom. Participants learned the pedagogy of flipped learning, the process of creating appropriate at-home lessons and meaningful in-class activities, and how to facilitate and support learning in a flipped classroom, through experiencing, creating, and practicing together in various activities and reflecting/discussing about their learning along the way. Everything we did as facilitators to model a flipped classroom like scaffolding learning, creating “at-home” lessons, facilitating interactive in-class quizzes and hands-on team activities, to what the participants did and created in the workshop, was all part of the authentic learning experience. We are all learners!


Examples, strategies, tips, and tools to support flipped learning were uncovered and discovered throughout the week. Along the way, participants used a lesson planning document we created using Google Docs to plan their lessons and activities. They shared and received feedback from the class. Once they knew what they needed to curate and/or create, we guided them in trying out some tools that could help them. In teams, participants explored several tools like Nearpod, Educannon, Snagit, Google Forms, etc. and shared with the class.


Participants curated and created materials, and polished up their lesson and activity plans. The complete lesson including in-class activities is in the instructor’s lesson plan Google Doc serving as a facilitator’s guide to help him/her when they implement. But as for the “at-home lessons and activities,” they posted it on a Tackk webpage which they could then link onto their course schedule or use our Google Doc course schedule template (which can be embedded in Laulima) for students to access. You can view our participants’ lessons and activities on our workshop blog page here. They will continue to refine and develop more lessons and activities now that they’ve gone through the process.


Participants’ Comments

Survey results were highly favorable with 100% of participants rating the workshop as “Excellent”. Additionally, participants shared some of their thoughts in their blog posts:

“The tools are phenomenal, but the pedagogy was the most important. Getting the process right for the right reason to achieve the right result is the most valuable lesson of this week.” – Faustino D.

“I also have a better understanding of flipped learning and what it entails (i.e. not just putting your lectures online and having discussions during class time).” Jennifer W.

“Learning how to flip my class with the new tools that allows me to not only share information with my students, but is a way to collect data to assess my teaching skills.” – Malcolm C.

“Flipping the classroom will also meet the diverse needs of students because it will engage multiple learning styles and allow them to work at their own pace.” – Cara C.

“The pace of the classroom activities and the facilitators, Brent and Rachael were great! I can’t wait to get back home and develop more flipped classroom activities. This breakout should definitely be repeated next year. Mahalo for a great week.” – Kelly O.

“I really enjoy this week and appreciate being in the best track with a great group and awesome instructors!!! Thank you so much, Rachael and Brent =)” – Laney N.


Join us next time!

It’s not too late, Brent and I will be offering a multi-part flipped classroom workshop series this coming Fall. Look out for our email with the registration info early next semester. And we hope you will join us at PRLS next summer too!

April 15, 2015
by Rachael Inake

PRLS 2015 early-bird pricing ends this Friday, April 17


Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS) is a week-long professional development opportunity for educators designed to enhance your teaching and your students’ learning.

Look forward to:

  • hands-on learning
  • concentrated, in-depth learning
  • taking time to rethink and redesign your course
  • networking with others
  • learning new teaching ideas from a diversity of participants

Three tracks to choose from:

  1. Go Open, Go Free, Using OER
  2. Stop Lecturing and Flip Your Classroom
  3. Use Social Media to Connect and Learn

REGISTER by this Friday, April 17 for early-bird pricing! If you’re from Leeward CC, register by this Friday and your registration will be subsidized by the campus. (Your $50 early-bird deposit will be returned to you on May 20 when you attend PRLS.)


March 27, 2015
by Leanne Riseley

Open Educational Resources Faculty Leader

jayne_screenJayne Bopp has been teaching SOC 100, Survey of Sociology with an Open Educational Textbook for the last two years.

This video highlights how Jayne got started using OER and the results she has experienced since she has adopted OER in her classroom. She also shares how students are grateful and appreciative at not having to spend so much money on a textbook.

The following is a special guest blog post by P. Jayne Bopp.

I’ve always been interested in making books affordable and accessible for my students.  However even when I worked with publishers to customize books the costs never seemed reasonable and students usually couldn’t sell them back.  Today publishers constantly update editions and the bookstore can only order the newest versions.  I didn’t like being forced to order a new version, especially when it hadn’t even been published yet. When I tried sticking with older editions it became apparent that not all students have access to Amazon and shipping for low costs books can often take several weeks.

The homogenization of information started to put me off as well.  I couldn’t help noticing that the introductory textbooks in my field, regardless of the publisher were virtually identical, even down to the chapter topics. I started to feel as if the textbook was a necessary evil.  Having a book was required to legitimize the class and a starting point for learning but I always made the information my own by adapting it to my teaching style and using examples from Hawaii.  I am also not interested in having publishing companies design, implement and grade my students’ assignments; I prefer a more hands on approach.

In the midst of experiencing these frustrations I remembered an email I had gotten a year earlier about free open source textbooks.  I dug it out and lo and behold Open Stax College had, among other things an excellent peer reviewed Introduction to Sociology textbook.  All I had to do was paste the URL into my syllabus and students could view the book online, download it and even print it for free.   I tested the book with online students over the summer and it was it hit.

Like any time we use a new textbook or redesign a course there is a lot of initial work however, its well worth it.  Students have access to the required course materials from day one and are enormously grateful for the free textbook.  There is a lot more accountability because students have no excuses for not having a book.  So far, with the help our Librarians I’ve managed to make four of my classes completely OER.   Now I don’t have to fill out those pesky book order forms each semester!  


PRLS 2015 logoIf you are interested in adopting OER in your course, sign up for PRLS 2015 this year! We have a track dedicated toward helping you to find no-cost, low-cost, and creative commons resources as replacements to costly commercial materials.

For more information: http://prls2015.weebly.com/track-details.html

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