What is Digital Flagship? (webinar recording)

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 digitalflagship@osu.edu.

Webinar recording: http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p85i2euixuw/

Webinar Recording: A Beginner’s Guide to the Ohio State eLearning Toolset (8/31/2017)

View the recording at http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p458d5horg7/

You know the old saying, “When all you have’s a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail”?  Back when I started with ODEE (before it was ODEE), that was nearly true of the tools available to instructors at Ohio State: there was Carmen and there was CarmenWiki.  Since then the toolset has grown like the pit crew for a NASCAR team, and there is no longer just a single way to do most things.  To help sort through the options and provide a high-level map of what-all systems are available for free to every instructor at Ohio State, our colleague Valerie Rake stopped by the studios at Mount Hall on August 31, 2017 to present a basic explanation and illustration for each system, as well as details about how to get help getting started.

Ten Online Teaching Tips

Faculty working on laptops outside.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?


This one goes to 11: Faculty Focus

So the joke from Spinal Tap has worn a bit thin, I realize, but this is such an excellent resource that I’m not too worried about needing the perfect hook.

Namely, Faculty Focus has published an end-of-the-year Top 11 Teaching and Learning Articles, which seems like a perfect occasion to direct your attention to this high-quality resource.  I also recommend that you sign up for their free newsletter (aka, listserv), which you can do via the form on the right side of their page.

The Faculty Focus newsletter provides a judicious and manageable stream of e-mails with brief but insightful (and minimally booster-ish*) explanations of advice about teaching.  Articles usually emphasize issues specific to online but always address them with a mindset that remembers that learning and teaching retain some fundamental identities whatever the medium.  It is neither the be-all nor the end-all of teacher PD, but I find it to be a useful regular occasion to re-learn or re-think.

*While “less booster-ish,” their free newsletter does recommend paid services from time to time.

If you have similar resources you find particularly helpful, please recommend them in the comments below, along with a brief explanation of why you find them useful.




Technology Empowered Transformative Learning

Thanksgiving turkey illustrationHappy post-Thanksgiving everyone!  If you are like me, you are still recovering from over-eating wonderful food and, of course, a an edge of your seat game on Saturday.  Whew!

Now that I’m back at work, reading through emails and checking Twitter posts, I have come across a post by the director of the Office of Education Technology at the U.S. Dept. of Education, Joseph South.  He discusses what transformative learning is and how technology can be used to empower teachers and students through transformative learning experiences.  Although there is a certain k12 slant to his perspective, much of what he discusses is easily relatable to higher education whether we are talking about face-to-face, hybrid, or online modes of course delivery.  I’d like to share South’s post with you and gather your thoughts on how you have or are thinking of using technology to engphoto of OSU students working together at computer in classage your students in transformative experiences.  Click here to read South’s article. 

Have a great week back at work!


Using CarmenConnect for Virtual Office Hours

""Earlier this month, Jacob Bane, Sr. Instructional Designer with ODEE, presented a webinar on how to use CarmenConnect to provide virtual office hours to remote students.  As more courses and programs move to online formats, faculty and advisers find themselves rethinking how they connect with their students in meaningful ways.  Although this topic begs for more than one webinar of discussion, Jacob led participants through a few scenarios of how CarmenConnect (OSU’s branded version of AdobeConnect) might be used to help instructors and advisers connect individually as well as in small groups with their students and advisees.  In case you missed it, here is a link to the recording of the 1/2 hour webinar: http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p72v4dskw3d/.

For those of you looking to learn more of the “ins and outs” of the CarmenConnect tool, you can access a list of workshops hosted by ODEE by clicking here: http://resourcecenter.odee.osu.edu/workshops.  Workshops are updated regularly.  If you do not see a training on a specific tool, consider attending any of the eLearning Support Office Hours or Virtual Office Hours to receive 1:1 assistance.  Remember that you are welcome to request webinars on topics of interest by clicking the Webinars tab at the top of the DELTA blog site (u.osu.edu/delta).

Perspectives from a new online student

""This summer, one of our new student employees with ODEE enrolled in his first online course at The Ohio State University. Having never been an online student, he was not sure exactly what to expect going in to the course.

Ross reflected on the pieces of the online course that made the transition to online easy in certain respects. “Today, online and in-person courses are going to carry a great deal of similarities. In both cases, most of the course content lives online. In my online course, assignments were still found and submitted online, the syllabus was accessed online and most of the course files, help resources and other course components lived online, just like an in-person class. I knew these things weren’t going to be a problem for me.”

Ross had one apprehension going in to the course, though. “What I was unsure about was how the information was going to be delivered. Obviously, most in-person courses have information delivered through live lectures.” Ross wasn’t sure how he would be asked to learn class material in the online course, but was happy to discover that it was pretty similar how Ross had received lecture information in his on-ground classes yet a bit different. His professor had recorded topic-based voice-over PowerPoint presentations to post in the class. “This helped me learn in the best way that I knew how, and if anything, these online lectures were a little better because they could be accessed at any time.”

“If I had one complaint about my online course, it would be the lack of collaboration present in the course. One of the best parts of an in-person course is the ability to easily work with and communicate with classmates.” Ross explained that when they had to work in small groups, they relied on email with each other to collaborate. He would have preferred having a space within the Carmen Canvas course for his group to meet and collaborate such as using the group discussion board feature. “I felt as though there should have been an easier and more effective way to communicate with other students and the professor within the online course itself. For me, this is what really separated the online course from my previous in-person classes.”

Ross reflected on his first online course. “Overall, my first experience with an online course went better than expected. Some of the collaboration and communication abilities were lost online, but it didn’t end up being too much of an issue. With the online course feeling much like an in-person class, there wasn’t too much of an initial adjustment that needed to be made.”

As we read about Ross’s inaugural online learning experience, we can reflect upon our own course designs and how we deliver content and engage with our online students. Are there opportunities for us to set up spaces in our Carmen Canvas course for students to collaborate with each other? How is our lecture content being presented online and are we following best practices for video and PowerPoint presentations? Some of these questions may be opening up unfamiliar territory of study for instructors new to teaching online. For online instructors, ODEE provides on-demand resources along with face-to-face and online trainings throughout each semester. Feel free to peruse these resources and register for the workshops and webinars most important to your needs.

Considering Cognitive Load in your Teaching

A Description of Cognitive LoadHow often have you wondered whether your students are achieving the level of learning that you’d hoped?  Looking back into your experiences as a student, I bet you can remember those wonderful moments where the learning sunk in for you, and those wretched moments of confusion or learning burnout.  Much of this has to do with how the brain accepts and organizes a learning event, and you can readily affect the brain through being conscious of cognitive load.

The Assumptions of Multimedia Learning

As an instructor, you have an enormous potential for optimizing learning and instruction for your students. The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, from Richard Mayer of the University of California, can be used to guide you in the creation of a more effective mode of multimedia instruction.

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Using Carmen Connect to Collaborate

Have you ever wanted to connect, or improve your skills when connecting with your students, colleagues, and peers online? The Ohio State University’s online meeting space Carmen Connect, branded from Adobe Connect, is a robust web conferencing solution available to faculty and staff. With a variety of tools and options, Carmen Connect has proven a valuable asset for engagement and collaboration within course rooms, distance meetings, and peer to peer connection.

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Lightboard Lecturing

photo of woman drawing on lightboardThose of you who attended our last Kickstart Week in January had a chance to tour the Denney Hall Digital Union and try out the new lightboard in the video recording studio.  Lecturing with a lightboard is a growing trend that many online faculty love.  Take a look at examples and check out instructor insights from early adopters of lightboard lecturing by clicking here.  If you are interested in trying out the lightboard yourself, you can contact the Denney DU or join us for our May 2016 Kickstart Week, May 16-20, when we will have a hands on tour of the space.  Registration will be open the end of March through the DELTA site at delta.osu.edu.