As someone who has taught online university courses since 2009 and taught high school level social studies for 13 years before that, I have met many colleagues who share similar experiences teaching. One commonality? Academic integrity is something we all strive to promote in our courses yet still find elusive in some respects. We try different methods for monitoring student activity in Canvas tests and quizzes and we develop writing assignments that are more authentic in nature in hopes that we get an authentic product from our students as a result. I came across this short article offering up three other strategies we can implement in our courses to help alleviate plagiarism. If you have any strategies that have worked well for you, whether online or face-to-face, please feel free to share them in reply to this post.
Article link: Keys to Stopping Plagiarism
Last week we were excited to host Cory Tressler from ODEE for a webinar discussion about Digital Flagship. He explained what it is and how it will impact the university and paused for Q/A throughout. If you were unable to attend the webinar live, below is a link to the webinar recording. (Please pardon the abrupt start of the recording as the preliminary introductions were inadvertently cut off.)
If you have any questions about Digital Flagship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webinar recording: http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p85i2euixuw/
Whether you are teaching an online, hybrid, or face-to-face course, at some point during the course you may want to engage with your students synchronously via the Internet. You may have a remote guest speaker, a need for students to meet in groups, student presentations, you name it. All of these experiences and more can be done through two OSU supported tools: Collaborations within CarmenCanvas and CarmenConnect. On September 20th, Jacob Bane and Marcia Ham presented different ways each of these tools could be used to engage with students live outside of the traditional classroom. Click the following link to view and listen to the recording of the 1-hour webinar: http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p1poexawu4r/.
Please join the Office of Distance Education and eLearning’s DELTA team on October 17th when Dr. Matthew Stoltzfus will present a webinar discussing the topic of metacognition in an online course.
As an online instructor who has been teaching in this mode since 2009, I am always keeping an eye out for strategies other online instructors use in their courses to make the learning experience more engaging for students while also maintaining the instructors sanity. Preservation of our mental faculties is important if we are to be effective instructors. To this end, I thought I would share a short article I came across the other day that highlights ten strategies you may or may not be using in your online classes to help manage the grading load and communicate with students: Ten Online Teaching Tips You May Not Have Heard. While I admit that some of the tips given I am skeptical about jumping on board with immediately, others are strategies I’ve used that have helped out tremendously (creating a forum, rubrics, etc…). Take a look through the article and see if you notice a strategy you might like to try out the next time you teach an online course. After all, we don’t know how a strategy will work until we try it, right?
Last month the Office of Distance Education and eLearning hosted a forum that brought together those around campus who are supporting or who would like to support students through digital channels. This event was a time for networking between peers, information sharing of best practices (Writing Center presentation and Adviser panel discussion) and information gathering of the support needed to offer digital resources for students. Twenty staff and faculty members from across the university attended the event. The group represented faculty, student support groups, support staff, and advisers.
To kick off the session, participants were asked the following question: What supporting student’s online scenario keeps you up at night? Their answers varied and are listed below.
- Students don’t always interpret written instructions the way faculty intend
- Support for graduate students (Master’s Thesis support)
- Connecting students to the community through sporting event tickets, etc.
- Connecting and engaging with students
- Career development support
- Student understanding of OSU procedures and deadlines
- After hours support
- Keeping online students motivated
- Students handling of setbacks (e.g. exam failure, family problems, emotional hardships, suicidal thoughts)
- Data validity
Through conversations during the forum, participants demonstrated interests in finding out more about
- chat options available for support at the Writing Center;
- best practices for providing constructive feedback and methods for online students to be successful on written assignments, projects, etc;
- graduation rates;
- co-curricular options and support for students.
There were several observations about challenges of supporting students online that the group shared:
- Students like to work with the same person (advisor)
- Students like coming to visit campus and feeling part of the student body
- The misconceptions about the work around online learning is not as bad as it used to be; most students are now familiar with online courses
- Some student advisers have created a type of “Bingo Sheet” curriculum plan to help students map out their courses
- A u.osu.edu blog can be used to support students and share how they can be involved in the university experience
During the course of conversations, participants gained a greater understanding of the issues to consider and a better familiarity with online student needs such as an awareness of time zones, awareness of the schedules of working adults, special issues of military students, etc. As the forum concluded, attendees identified the following as potential next steps in the effort to support students online:
- Continue to offer this type of forum on a semester basis to encourage knowledge sharing and gathering
- Questions to explore:
- How are various departments leveraging chat features? Can our students do chat with IT help like we can? Are there other uses for chat?
- How can programs (and ODEE) make use of the data from the student online readiness tool to support students?
- How could sending a “Student Welcome Package” with Buckeye swag to the homes of new students help them during the “app gap” period?
Stay in touch with ODEE events to be notified of the next Supporting Students Online Forum and other professional learning opportunities by subscribing to the Workshops listserv and/or the Digital Digest. If you are not a fan of signing up for listservs, you can also see a list of upcoming ODEE events at http://go.osu.edu/workshops.
You may have already seen this nugget circulating online or if you follow Henry Griffy (@Griffy2osu) on Twitter. For those who haven’t seen it, I thought it was a great place to start thinking about how Twitter can be used creatively in an online class (or a face to face class as well). “50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom” provides just that. Although developed with the k-12 classroom in mind, there is no reason these ideas couldn’t also be used in a college class. In fact, there is also a list of “50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom”! As you look over the now 100 ways to use Twitter, consider how other social media outlets could also be used such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Another quick tip for Twitter in a Carmen course: You can create a widget on the course homepage that shows the class Twitter feed if you have one set up! Cool, huh?
DELTA is offering a virtual Q&A session for online instructors and course developers on May 5 from noon-1:00pm. The session is an open discussion where attendees can ask questions about teaching online and/or developing their online courses This is a time when attendees can engage in conversation with ODEE instructional designers and colleagues around the university. The session is hosted through CarmenConnect with an audio conference call-in line. Click here to register for the Q&A session.
Presented by DELTA.
The Distance Education Learning and Teaching Academy (DELTA) has a special webinar offering this month! In an hour-long session via CarmenConnect, ODEE’s John Muir will discuss the pedagogy and technology of e-portfolios. During the session, John will introduce the concept, talk about the learning benefits of reflection and metacognition, and discuss tools at Ohio State for implementing e-portfolios in a course or degree program. The webinar conversation will also highlight current e-portfolio projects from instructors and departments across the university.
This webinar will run on Tuesday, April 21 between 12:00 – 1:00pm. Click here if you are interested in registering for this special presentation!
For more information on upcoming DELTA events, please visit u.osu.edu/delta.
The Distance Education Learning and Teaching Academy (DELTA) has had a busy winter season! Since December 2014, DELTA has held an Online Course Development Kickstart Week, hosted two Online Course Creation Studios in the Enarson Digital Union, run two online Q&A sessions and presented three webinars through Carmen Connect.
If you missed any of these events, don’t fret! DELTA will be offering another Kickstart Week in May (see u.osu.edu/delta/kickstart-week for information) along with monthly Creation Studios, online Q&A sessions for those who have worked directly with ODEE instructional designers on online programs or have attended Kickstart Weeks. Webinars will also be presented monthly on various topics related to teaching online. If you are interested in the webinars that were presented during the last three months, you can view the recordings posted on the DELTA blog site at u.osu.edu/delta. If you have a request for a topic to be covered in a webinar, we have provided a form you can fill out on the DELTA blog site at u.osu.edu/delta/webinars. We would love to hear from you!
As always, feel free to send questions to email@example.com.
There are two exciting events coming up this month that we want everyone to know about!
On March 20th, the Distance Education Learning and Teaching Academy (DELTA) will be hosting a Creation Studio event specifically for faculty working on creating online courses at OSU. This event will be held in the Enarson Digital Union where instructional designers from ODEE will be available to help answer questions you may have about putting your course online. Think of the Creation Studio as a makerspace for online course development! You will have access to the state-of-the-art software available on the computers in the Digital Union and be able to try out ideas you may have been thinking about for a while but weren’t sure where to start. Space is very limited for this event so don’t wait too long to register!
Click here to register for the Creation Studio!
On March 25th, join us for a webinar where participants will explore the basics of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) along with how it can be leveraged to create courses that effectively engage students. Participants will be invited to share examples of when they have addressed unique learner needs, ask questions of the ODEE Instructional Designers, and share in a dialogue about the benefits and implementation of UDL. Participants will leave the webinar with access to helpful resources for continued exploration.
Click here to register for the UDL webinar!