Tips for Effective Online Discussions

As we close out 2018 and plan for the new year, I like to reflect back on teaching successes and challenges from the past year that can help me improve my teaching practices in my courses for the next year. Except for a few guest lecture spots, most of my teaching has been online since 2008. During this time I can say that I have become very aware of the definite similarities between face-to-face courses and online courses. The most significant similarity being capacity for making connections between instructor and students – and among students themselves – that can be fostered through class discussions. Of course, that is where the differences – and challenges – reside as well. Fostering those interpersonal connections while advancing learning in an online course takes strategic and significant effort on the part of the instructor – especially in the first few weeks as we get students acclimated to the learning environment and our expectations.

I could go on however, I am going to share the article “10 Tips for Effective Online Discussions” by Edwige Simon, Director of the Graduate Certificate in Language Teaching with Technology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Simon shares her experiences leading and managing discussions in her online courses along with a document that she uses to communicate discussion expectations and grading criteria to students.

Feel free to share your thoughts, reactions, and ideas about Simon’s article and online discussions below. I wish you best of luck as you prepare for your next semester of classes in 2019!

Webinar: “The When, Why, & How of Creating Video for Instruction”

How many of us, in the development of our online courses, have wondered exactly when to include video, what type of video to include so that learning is positively impacted, and then how to create the video needed? In our most recent webinar, ODEE’s Jason Connelly, Instructional Designer for Distance Education, presented on how we can go about addressing such questions when planning to integrate video in our instruction. You can view and listen to the webinar recording by clicking the following link, The When, Why, & How of Creating Video for Instruction, or copying and pasting into the address bar of your web browser: http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p2fjyrgyhtg/.

Join us on November 27th from 12:00 – 1:00pm when Anna Brady of the Dennis Learning Center will present on strategies for maximizing motivation of students in an online course.

Register for Maximizing Motivation webinar here.

Cool Ed Tech conferences in 2018-19!

Image of yearly calendar of ed tech conferencesSo here it is everyone!  One calendar to show them all – all the hot conferences in education technology that are coming up in the next year starting this summer. If you are curious about one or some that you haven’t been to, reply to this post with your question and we’ll be happy to give a description of what it’s like to attend as many of the folks here at ODEE have experienced many of the listed conferences.

Happy conferencing!

Click here to view/download the conference calendar.

Strategies for Curtailing Plagiarism

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

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.

 

Cheers,

Henry

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!

Marcia

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).