TSL Update : May 13, 2011

News and information for the week of May 13, 2011


The Why and How of Using Facebook For Educators – No Need to be Friends At All!

Just today, Facebook released their own sponsored Facebook For Educators guide, but we found that there really wasn’t enough “how-to” in this guide to make it worth it.

However, it is a good document to read through to get the philosophical stuff down and get familiar with some of the unique facebook vocabulary such as profile, page, groups, etc.

The rest of this posts seeks to lay out all of the options you have for using facebook in the classroom and connecting with your students, parents, and community.

Outstanding Peer Reviewers

Our mission at College Open Textbooks Collaborative is driving adoptions of open textbooks and educational resources among faculty and staff primarily at community and two-year technical colleges.

The journey of adopting an open textbook starts with browsing our catalogue of 600+ open textbooks organized by subject and directly linked to repositories and individual faculty websites worldwide. But after locating one or more open textbooks, the next step is evaluating its appropriateness for use with students.

Faculty’s number one concern about open resources is their quality and they want feedback from other instructors on usability of materials as well. Fortunately, our site contains 130+ peer reviews and 100 accessibility reviews of open textbook which can help to answer these concerns. Peer reviews are a detailed evaluation of a textbook by a subject matter expert with teaching or training experience.

Jukebox Hero

“With the National Jukebox, the Library of Congress is now streaming thousands of speeches, comedies, and musical recordings from the early 20th century (including Sony’s entire pre-1925 catalog). Political speeches, comedic skits, popular music, and operas — recordings are accompanied with biographical information about the work and album artwork.” See also Miguel Guhlin and Rachel Maddow.


Have you considered blogging? Some faculty are “pushing” regular notices, comments and course updates to their students in blog (weB-LOG) format. Short postings displayed in reverse date sequence – newest at the “top” along with links to course materials, other resources and important bloggers in the topic area, along with links to “archived” copies of older posts.

Moodle / Catalyst

Moodle as a Document repository? It isn’t fancy but it works. A course management system such as Moodle can be used as storage and presentation for course documents that are only available to enrolled students. Files of all types, links, course notes, lists of assignments, class schedules… can be managed and displayed within Moodle. Limiting access to this information may be a requirement for “publishing” copyright or proprietary information ensuring strict educational “fair use” compliance.

Learn more…

@ONE is offering online courses and workshops over the summer. For anyone who has already mastered the basics of teaching online, this is a great opportunity to move your teaching to the next level.

Designing Effective Online Assessments with William Doherty and Marti Atkinson  (July 11 – August 5)

Properly assessing your students’ performance can be challenging even in traditional classrooms. While teaching online you’ll discover not only new challenges, but also more assessment opportunities. This course will introduce you to effective practices in online assessment. Building on a solid understanding of California Community College distance education policies and procedures, you will actively create an effective assessment strategy aligned with student learning outcomes.

This is a 4-week course. Course completion, including reading, online discussions, and assignments, will take a minimum of 10 hours per week.


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