elearning

Online, in the classrooms, and behind the camera.

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.

campus announcements-02

May 22, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Changes to Lawrence Tech’s email policy

As stated in a March 2014 email, effective August 1st, all communications to LTU students, faculty, and staff will be made through ltu.edu email addresses and will not be sent to any other email addresses.

What does this mean?

The only email address that will be allowed in Banner and Blackboard will be the ltu.edu email address assigned. You will not be able to change the email listed to another address. All emails sent from within Blackboard will be sent to the username@ltu.edu address, and your LTU email is easily accessed from the my.ltu.edu website.

What if I want to use another email address rather than LTU email?

You may forward your LTU email to another account if you desire. Here are instructions on how to forward your LTU email to another email address.

Why is this changing?

To ensure consistent, timely and safe communication to the campus community and after reviewing the risks and liability in using email addresses other than the official LTU email address, the change to our email communications practice is being incorporated.

What else do I need to do?

Make sure that your students understand that any email correspondence initiated within Blackboard will only go to their username@ltu.edu account. If you (or students) need assistance contact the LTU Help Desk at helpdesk@ltu.edu or 248-204-2330

classroom-tech

May 22, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Classroom projector maintenance

Did you know the LCD projectors you see in the classrooms require maintenance? To prolong the usefulness and efficiency of the projectors the manufacturer recommends they be periodically cleaned. An over-accumulation of dust inside a projector causes overheating and premature failure of the projector. Some projectors have a filter that require cleaning while other are filterless, however they require vacuuming to clear them of dust lodged inside. If you see a message on a screen indicating the projector filter needs cleaning please contact elearning@ltu.edu with the room number where the projector is located.

Additionally, if you have ideas about new display technologies you would like to see in our classrooms please let us know. Your suggestion will be given serious consideration and possibly increase the learning experience at LTU.

course dev-02

May 22, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Avoid PowerPointlessness!

PowerPoint, Keynote , Prezi etc., when used meaningfully, can be an enhancement to a lecture. However, sometimes it is used in such a way that it essentially takes away from the educational purpose of coming to class. When does this occur? And, what can be done about it?

PowerPointlessness occurs when an instructor reads off of a PowerPoint presentation without giving the students any additional information. Another example is when the PowerPoint slides merely repeat what is in the textbook, so that coming to class is analogous to rereading the textbook or done instead of reading the textbook. PowerPointlessness can also occur if the PowerPoint is straight from the publisher’s website and doesn’t cover much beyond the textbook. In other instances, publishers’ PowerPoints may cover topics that are not even part of the course objectives. An extreme example of PowerPoint lectures gone wrong is when old slides are being reused year after year and no longer align to how the topics are currently situated. If PowerPoint slides are posted online, should they include everything you do in the classroom? If they do, what is the point of attending class?

You can avoid PowerPointlessness by using PowerPoint, Keynote , Prezi, etc. to your advantage. PowerPoint slides should not be the lecture, they should be instructional aides supplementing an exciting lecture which not only engages student curiosity but involves them in solving subject matter problems. The presentation should tell a story and include the instructor’s valuable knowledge and real-world experiences. The slides should have built-in interactive elements. PowerPoints should be used to provide visual aids and/or illustrate a key quote or formula. If you need to remind yourself of what to say along with the PowerPoint, use the Notes pages and practice your presentation prior to the lecture. You can also use 3-4 shortened key points to prompt yourself.

Find out more about PowerPointlessness. Rebecca Shuman says you should avoid using PowerPoint to simply create an outline of your lecture. You also shouldn’t be able to understand everything you need to about the lecture by reading the slides. If that’s the case – try cutting the extra fat by taking out 50% of your slides and 90% of your text. She recommends sticking to simple transitions such as revealing text when it’s needed instead of using other gimmicks that take away from student attention. She goes on to say that you shouldn’t worry about whether or not your PowerPoints make sense because they shouldn’t on their own. The most important part of the presentation is the instructor interaction and communication with students. You can check out her entire presentation here.

dr larry 2-02

May 21, 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 made it! I’m done grading student projects and I’ve turned in all the needed reports to my program chair. It’s been a long winter and once I hit submit on my final grades in Banner, I’m off to enjoy the summer.

Sincerely,

Ready for the sun!

Dear Sun Seeker,

Yes, it has been a long winter for all of us, and students and faculty are ready for the sun. But are you sure you’re ready? Faculty are so busy at the end of the term that they often forget some vital steps in wrapping up a course. I assure you these won’t take long, and they will save you hours next semester.

  1. Have you exported your grade book so you have a record of student scores on assignments? Yes, Banner keeps the record of the final grade, but if you post individual assignment grades in Blackboard, be sure to export those so you have a record if the final grade is ever questioned. This will take 2 minutes! Here is a link on how to export the grades.
  2. Have you exported your entire course so you have it the next time you teach it? I used to spend hours building my course in Blackboard each term. I posted articles and handouts each term, but then I learned I could export a completed course and use it again the next term. All the files and information are already there. I tweak it each term, but it’s so much easier than building from scratch each term. Here is a link to exporting a completed course and importing it into a new semester.
  3. Have you collected any needed examples of student work? LTU Colleges are all working though the accreditation process. This process includes documenting evidence of student competencies and grading. Make this process easier by collecting these artifacts now. If you have exemplary work, ask the student if you can keep a copy and use it. Here is a link on how to collect student work. Not only is the example needed in accreditation, but it is also a great tool to use in future courses to show new students what you expect in an assignment. Create a folder called “examples of student work” and simply start your collection and add to it each year. You’ll be glad you did!

I know you’re ready to hit the beach, but take a few extra minutes to complete these valuable end-of-year steps. They’ll help you work smarter, not harder, and will ultimately give you more time each semester.

Below are some links to examples and resources to help you do this. If you need more assistance, call those nice people in eLearning. They are happy to help.

Best wishes for better projects, happy students, and a great summer!

Dr. Larry

Links to “How To’s”

ltu-online

April 29, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Quality Matters and how it relates to Lawrence Tech

Quality Matters (QM) is a nonprofit organization focusing on quality course design in online and blended learning. The Quality Matters Program is a nationally recognized and widely used standard of excellence. Colleges and universities submit courses to Quality Matters for peer review and evaluation. The process provides feedback for continuous improvement and faculty development. The Quality Matters Program is used by over 700 colleges and universities around the country.

In eLearning Services, Quality Matters is just one of the frameworks being used to evaluate online courses for quality improvement. Dr. Richard Bush is pushing for the implementation of quality improvement on both a programmatic and course design level within Lawrence Tech’s online courses.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) looks for evidence during accreditation visits that schools are incorporating quality standards into their everyday practices. Quality Matters is one of the frameworks that they look for – in addition to Sloan-C Quality Framework and Scorecard.

During the QM Process, courses are evaluated using the QM Rubric. This research-based, time-tested, and continuously improving evaluation tool helps bring courses into alignment with set quality standards. The QM Rubric looks at eight key areas, including:

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials
  5. Learner Interaction and Engagement
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility

The QM review process is completed by a team consisting of three or more reviewers. At least one the reviewers must be a subject matter expert in the discipline being reviewed, and at least one reviewer must be from a different school. All of the reviewers need to have taught an online course within the last eighteen months. Both Marija Franetovic and Lynn Miller-Wietecha recently completed QM training. They are reviewing ways in which our online courses can better align with QM standards.

Right now eLearning Services is focusing on three key areas of improvement for all of our online courses. These areas are course overview and introduction, learner support, and accessibility. QM standards will be incorporated into these key areas in the coming months. In the future, course developers will work directly with faculty to address other QM standards on an individual course level. The ultimate goal is to submit courses to the Quality Matters Program for evaluation.

eLearning Services is actively looking for ways to engage colleges, departments, and individual faculty members in implementing QM standards within Lawrence Tech courses. To get involved, please contact eLearning Services at elearning@ltu.edu.

eval and assess

April 23, 2014
by eLearning Staff
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Student evaluations: The value of student feedback

At the end of each semester, students evaluate the courses they are taking and the faculty that teach them. Some may wonder what the university does with all of this data.

eLearning Services reviews online faculty student evaluation surveys at the end of each semester to identify opportunities to improve course material and teaching effectiveness. In partnership with online faculty, course developers interpret feedback to view the situation through students’ eyes, university teaching requirements, and opportunities for continuous improvement.

Jones (2012) completed a study to determine if students’ response to student evaluation for online courses can be used to identify improvements in teaching and course value. The results of the study indicate data provided by students support faculty and higher education administrators to identify actions for improving overall student satisfaction (Jones, 2012). The biggest action items increasing student satisfaction, included well developed and organized courses, and providing students with engaging learning experiences. Another action with positive impact was strong presence of faculty facilitating the class and engagement with students.

As the semester comes to a close encourage students to complete their end-of-term student evaluation survey. Share with them the value of the information provided from the midterm survey results. Let them know you and the university are listening to and value their feedback.

Remember, as student satisfaction increases, it can have a positive impact on student retention, enrollment, and graduation rates.

Jones, S. J. (2012). Reading between the lines of online course evaluations: Identifiable actions that improve student perceptions of teaching effectiveness and core value. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(1), 49-58.