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Online presentation and course navigation contribute to students’ success. Students need to be able to locate information and understand how it relates to them. Help students by describing your expectations and placing them where students will access them.
@ONE Scholars Research in Instructional Technology

The @ONE Scholars Program is a fellowship for California Community College (CCC) faculty to conduct research on the impact of instructional technology on student learning in their own classrooms. Faculty members study the characteristics of their students, their own changes in pedagogical practices using technology, and changes in student learning in technology-enhanced learning environments.
http://www.cccone.org/scholars/index.htm
Course Settings

Appearance is important. Students are sophisticated consumers of tech-based presentation. The general “look” – background colors, font, icons, … are all controlled by the Theme for the course. Even within the same course management system, if individual courses are set to different themes, they may look a lot different. This may be desirable as it allows students to tell courses apart at a glance and keeps them from being confused. Some organizations want to “brand” their courses so they can be easily identified by their “look” and consistent layout reduces the student “learning curve.”

Catalyst – In the Settings page, near the bottom, is a pull down menu for Force theme – you can change that and your whole course automatically looks different. I use chameleon for CIS 2 and orangewhite for something else I’m working on. The option “do not force” is the plain mostly white theme.

Note – You can only change your settings in catalystdev, not the live server. However, settings in your Master course on the development system will be copied along with the rest of your course to the live course.
Hybrid courses

In “hybrid” classes, a significant amount of the course learning activity has been moved online, making it possible to reduce the amount of time spent in the classroom. Traditional face-to-face instruction is reduced but not eliminated.
http://www4.uwm.edu/ltc/hybrid/index.cfm

Ten Questions to consider when redesigning a course for hybrid teaching and learning
http://www4.uwm.edu/ltc/hybrid/faculty_resources/questions.cfm
Tracking Students

Tracking student participation is made easy. Tracking access to course content, responses to quiz questions, discussion participation, grade point totals – all are readily available for viewing and analysis.

  • attendance – not logging in for 10 days “counts” as 3 or more unexcused absences
  • log of messages to students – record of conversation
  • quiz response report – are students understanding the concepts that this question test? Should the questions be changed? Should the teaching be changed?

Students have expectations too…

Are YOU and your course meeting your students’ expectations? Do you know what students are expecting from a technology enhanced instructor? Ask them. Including frequent surveys or critical thinking assignments that ask students about their own learn experience in your course environment are wonderful sources of information and insight. You are not required to act on their suggestions, as some may not be practical or support your course objectives, but some are really useful.

Learn more…

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