elearning

Online, in the classrooms, and behind the camera.

course dev-02

September 19, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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How to design for virtual team projects

Creative ways to design and facilitate virtual team projects

eLearning Services held a meeting last month focusing on virtual team projects. During the meeting, eLearning staff and faculty members discussed how to facilitate virtual meetings and the best technologies and strategies to use.

Virtual team projects allow students to enhance their interpersonal and team skills as well as their presentation and communication skills. These projects also allow students to gain an awareness of different cultural and discipline-specific perspectives.

The challenge many faculty run into is how to design and facilitate the virtual projects and teams. When designing your team project, it is helpful to draw a schematic of how the project will evolve over time. This could include specific milestones, peer evaluations, and grading criteria. In the example, you can see that there are four milestones prior to the final project presentation – two of these being peer evaluations.

vtp milestones-01

When designing team project guidelines, you’ll want to indicate the objectives and communicate the final learning outcomes for the students. Think about team roles, how the students will be assessed (as a group or individually), and the kind of peer evaluations you want to use.

Facilitating team projects is important for the success of virtual projects. It is important to model effective teamwork, be a guide for the team, and provide positive encouragement. Be proactive early on and try to stay proactive throughout the project. Anticipate student questions, and monitor student discussion posts at least weekly. This will help you solve student issues as they arise. Below are some examples of common questions and concerns that may come up.

Slide1

Lawrence Tech offers a couple of different tools that can help support and assess virtual team projects. Blackboard includes groups with private discussion boards, journals, blogs, wikis, file exchange capabilities, email, and the virtual collaboration tool Wimba (soon to be replaced by Collaborate). Google offers Google Drive for file sharing, and Google Hangouts so students can meet virtually.

Each tool offers different advantages and disadvantages that you’ll need to consider when selecting the best tool for the virtual team project. You’ll need to consider time zones for live meetings, the need for transparency between group members, and ease of communication so that students stay engaged. Scheduling a test session beforehand is always advised. If you need help, you can contact eLearning Services for more information.

All of this information was presented at the Fall 2014 Online Faculty Meeting, but you do not need to be an online faculty member to participate. Many of the tips and best practices shared during these meetings can be used in any online, on-ground, or hybrid learning situation.

If you’d like to learn more about team projects or other topics, please join us on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 6:00pm. The topic for the next meeting will be chosen closer to the date of the event.

course dev-02

September 19, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Tips for effective course delivery

Common practices of effective faculty include focusing on the student and being involved in the course throughout the semester. Focusing on the quality of teaching and learning continues after a successful kickoff to the semester. Instructional interaction adds quality to students achieving learning success.

The act of teaching includes participation and helping students develop skills and guiding their progress in applying knowledge to achieve a level of understanding. This can include getting to know your student audience, creating an environment where students engage in the learning process, and holding students accountable to the responsibility of engaging in the learning process.

Effective faculty support students through social presence and availability.  Review the information presented to students in Module 0 and the syllabus.  Practice the guidelines set by you and your department with students. Timely grading and feedback are important. Include constructive comments with discussion forum posts and submitted assignments. Be consistent with grading, feedback, and participation in the forums. Thoughtful and consistent feedback can help you identify areas of confusion and opportunities to improve course outcomes.

Early engagement helps boost student retention. Faculty communication in the first week and during interval timeframes throughout the semester impacts whether students persist in their studies with the university. Monitor student progress and reach out to students who are not participating.  You can connect the college degree program advisor for support in addressing student concerns with their course work.

Set expectations early-on about the pacing of the course. A weekly communication at the beginning of the week can include summaries of learning and progress recently completed and a reminder of due dates.

classroom-tech

September 19, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Connecting your Lenovo Yoga tablet

If you’re using one of Lawrence Tech’s new Lenovo Yoga tablet, we’ve got some tips for you on connecting to the classroom projectors.

The display you see on the projector screen may not be the same display you have on your tablet. To correct this issue, you may need to change your display settings. Sometimes the settings automatically change from DISPLAY to EXTEND. To change it back, you’ll need to hold down the WINDOWS key and press the “P” key at the same time.

This solution should fix display issues on your Lenovo Yoga tablet. Below is a short video demonstrating how to connect your device. If you still have issues, we encourage you to contact the Lawrence Tech Help Desk or eLearning Services.

If you need an HDMI connector, you can pick one up at the Help Desk.

dr larry 2-02

September 19, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Dear Dr. Larry

Dear Dr. Larry is a regular column. Faculty and students can submit questions to Dr. Larry by emailing elearning@ltu.edu. Dr. Larry will answer each month with leading-edge, witty, insightful responses.

Dear Dr. Larry,

I have had a really hard time communicating with my students this Fall.  I emailed the syllabus and asked them to read it before the first day of class. Only about half of them looked at it.  Then we had a room change and I emailed them about the new room – twice!  In spite of my efforts, I still had many students go to the old room.  They said they didn’t get my email.  We clearly have a communication failure. What is going on?

Sincerely,

Lost Messages!

Dear Lost,

It’s not you.  The students are not checking their Lawrence Tech email.  LTU implemented a policy that all University communication now goes to the individuals LTU.edu email address.  In the past, students were able to change their settings in Blackboard to use their preferred email.  However, with this new policy, the only email in Blackboard is their LTU address. To make sure students never miss an important message, they can set up forwarding within their LTU email account. Here is a link to show them how to do this.

Help spread the word about this policy so your messages will always get through.

You and your students can always call those nice folks over in eLearning & the Helpdesk for more help.

Best wishes for better projects and happy students, and to your messages always being received!

Dr. Larry 

elearning-support

August 20, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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New academic year, new technology tools

On behalf of everyone in eLearning, welcome to the 2014-15 academic year. There are new technology tools to start the new year. Lawrence Tech is issuing new laptops to faculty and students.

Many of the new laptops are running Windows 8 operating system. Windows 8 may take some time to get used to, but there are many resources to help you with the transition. This YouTube video is a freindly introduction to Windows 8. You can also use your LTU subscription to Linda.com and use their excellent tutorials.

We’ve installed new projectors in many of the classrooms around campus. These projectors are brighter and crisper and have built in audio capability. We’ve also installed the connection cables needed to connect to the new laptops in HD quality. The new Lenovo Yoga tables need an adapter to connect to the new projectors. You were issued an adapter when you were given your new laptop. You’ll need this adapter to connect. Again, we’ve developed resources to help you with this. There is detailed information at eHelp and we are working to put posters in each room showing how to complete the connections.

Finally, eLearning staff is here and eager to help faculty get off to a great start. Please call eLearning at 248-204-2380 for any assistance with Blackboard, classroom technology and instructional design.

Window 8 video

Lynda Link

eHelp projector link

dr larry 2-02

August 20, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Dear Dr. Larry

Dear Dr. Larry is a regular column. Faculty and students can submit questions to Dr. Larry by emailing elearning@ltu.edu. Dr. Larry will answer each month with leading-edge, witty, insightful responses.

Dear Dr. Larry,

OMG IT’S FALL ALREADY! I’m still working on my June/July projects. The start of the new school year snuck up on my and now I’m scrambling. I have my syllabus and the bookstore has my textbooks, but I remember there were things LTU requires me to do in Blackboard now. What where they again?

Sincerely,

Frantically Working To Be Ready!

Dear Frantic,

First, breath – just breath. The requirements for faculty use of Blackboard are easy and likely things you are already doing. There are four (4) simple tasks EVERY Lawrence Tech faculty member needs to do in Blackboard.

Students need timely information about the course and their progress throughout the term. That is where Blackboard can help. The four (4) items are:

  1. Post your syllabus in Blackboard
  2. Post your contact information so students know how to reach you
  3. Use Blackboard to communicate with students by posting announcements about due dates, activities, etc. This helps keep students engaged as well as informed.
  4. Finally, use the GradeCenter in Blackboard so students can monitor their progress and grades.

There are many resources to help you meet these requirements. Check out eHelp or give us a call over in eLearning at 248-204-2380. We will be happy to help you.

Best wishes for better projects, happy students, and a great start to the new year!

Dr. Larry

classroom-tech

August 20, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Fall 2014 Update: HDMI projector connections

Each ceiling mounted projector at Lawrence Tech is now capable of using HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) display inputs. If you are using one of the new Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga tablets, you can take advantage of the higher display resolutions through the projector. Lawrence Tech’s Help Desk gives each faculty member an HDMI adapter to use for connection to the HDMI projector cables. The library also has adapters available to check out if you forget yours at home.

If your personal laptop does not have a HDMI connection, you may still connect it to the Video Graphics Array (VGA) cable in each classroom.

We recommend that you test your laptop or tablet with the projector in your assigned classrooms as soon as possible to ensure that you have everything you need. For more detailed directions on connecting to classroom projectors, check out our eHelp page.

eval and assess

August 20, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Evaluating best practices in your course design

Good course design begins with a plan. The components of good course design include clear objectives, assessment requirements and opportunities to engage students. Development and delivery of a quality course impacts learning, supports retention of student, reduces costs, and improves student attitudes and faculty satisfaction.

There are several tools and methods available to guide you in the development and evaluation of a course. The Blackboard Exemplary Course program provides a course evaluation rubric to support guidance in design of courses in four areas: Course Design, Interaction & Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. Instructors applying these design principles report the experience improved their courses and made them stronger instructors and course designers.

Applying the principles presented in the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric can assist in creating and evaluating your course for best practices. This rubric was used to guide and evaluate the design of a College of Management, Global Strategic Management online course. The course received the 2014 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award. Good design and delivery principles noted in the course were communication of learning objectives, consistency in delivery and design, standard design and location of course material applied throughout the course, and access to supporting university campus services.

Take a tour of the course to learn more about the design of the course and how best practices presented in the course evaluation rubric were applied.

To learn more about evaluation of your course and applying the principles presented in the Blackboard Exemplary Course rubric contact eLearning Services Course Designers.

media pro-02

June 29, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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How an idea becomes a video


Every year the Media Pro team comes up with a promotional campaign for online classes. It’s a lot of hard work and brainstorming, but I’ll let you in on a secret: We have a lot of fun doing it! anthony

Let me break it down on how an idea becomes a video from the Media Pro team.

Step 1: Brainstorming – The process begins with the team gathering around a table and shooting ideas at Scott. If we like them we write them on the board, if we don’t we throw it away.

Step 2: Developing the Idea – The idea we go forth with is creative and fun to grab your attention! Developing the idea is all about using the idea in two or three ways to get a number of videos.

Step 3: Story Boarding – Having a lot of personalities from the team makes it much easier to cast the characters for each video. Then we map out each scene and location to get ready for shooting. Don’t forget the props!

Step 4: Filming – This is our favorite part! Each person has a place on set and puts their part into the video. We try to film the entire video in one day just for consistency.

Step 5: Editing – The editing role goes to one of the team members. This is what takes the longest because we want all our hard work to pay off for an awesome project. We also add music or any other special effects we might want.

That’s an insight on how ideas become videos from our team!

eval and assess

June 29, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Evaluating how your course supports best practices for course design

Good course design begins with a plan. The components of good course design include clear objectives, assessment requirements and opportunities to engage students. Development and delivery of a quality course impacts learning, supports retention of student, reduces costs, and improves student attitudes and faculty satisfaction.

There are several tools and methods available to guide you in the development and evaluation of a course. The Blackboard Exemplary Course program provides a course evaluation rubric to support guidance in design of courses in four areas: Course Design, Interaction & Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. Instructors applying these design principles report the experience improved their courses and made them stronger instructors and course designers.

Applying the principles presented in the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric can assist in creating and evaluating your course for best practices. This rubric was used to guide and evaluate the design of a College of Management, Global Strategic Management online course. The course received the 2014 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award. Good design and delivery principles noted in the course were communication of learning objectives, consistency in delivery and design, standard design and location of course material applied throughout the course, and access to supporting university campus services.

Take a tour of the course to learn more about the design of the course and how best practices presented in the course evaluation rubric were applied.

To learn more about evaluation of your course and applying the principles presented in the Blackboard Exemplary Course rubric contact eLearning Services Course Designers.