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

ODEE DELTA Webinar Recording (4/5/2018): “They Know, They Care”: Recovering Struggling Students in the Online Context (Audrey Begun and Jennie Babcock)

photograph of a lifeguard in a lifeguard stand on a beach near sunset or sunrise, with empty beach to the right of the picture, taken from behind, very scenic

Lifeguard by Md. Shafiul Alam Chowdhury

Recording available at http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p4hzrdo7e7v/

It is easy (well…) to tell when a student in your in-person class is struggling: you can see their detachment, their boredom, their sleeping, their scowling, their sadness, their confusion, their disappointment. Online courses don’t provide the same access. In some cases, an instructor may never lay eyes on a particular student. So how does a person even know that a student needs help?  And when you know, what can you do about it?  Are we compelled simply to write off some percentage of our online students as lost sheep?

Dr. Audrey Begun and Dr. Jennie Babcock offer some concrete strategies to resist that fatalism in this webinar (recorded Thursday, April 5, 2018).  Drawing on their years of experience in teaching and advising, as well as insights and methodology from the discipline of Social Work, they describe four domains of specific steps instructors can take to reduce the likelihood students will start to struggle, recognize quickly when it is happening, and intervene usefully.

Recording available at http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p4hzrdo7e7v/

ODEE DELTA Webinar: iOS Apps for Teaching (3/21/2018)

iPads are clearly powerful tools for teaching, in part because there are thousands of apps available.  Those same thousands of apps can, however, also make it difficult to know how to get started, in much the same way it would be difficult to learn how to eat if you had never had food before.

In this webinar, our colleague Scott Sheeler, educational technologist and app sommelier with ODEE’s Distance Learning team, stopped by to provide a rapid-paced high-level overview of four of the best apps to start with, including Canvas Grader, Notability, CLIPS, and Adobe Spark. You might want to slow down the video for this one, so that you can see all of the features he shows off.

Webinar recording at: http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p5ape9eq2tb/

Materials that Scott refers to in this session can be viewed and downloaded at http://go.osu.edu/iosappswebinar

Webinar Recording: Keeping It Together: Coordinating Multi-Section Courses (11/9/2017)

Webinar recording available at: http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p3ko8c9bcak/

six plates are spinning on top of six tall wooden rods, as a man in a chef's toque tends to them and a child (also in kitchen costume) signals to stage right

Plates spinning at the circus by bwstock

The struggle is real.  It takes a village to provide quality education to thousands of students, and that effort only becomes more complex as education becomes hybrid and even fully online.  How to ensure that students learn what they need regardless of which section they enrol in (without squelching the opportunity for variety and specialization)?  How to provide an ever-rotating cast of instructors with the training and support they need?  How to gather and manage data and information about how it’s all going and make sure that other departmental stakeholders know about it?  While it rarely leads stories about the impact of the Digital Revolution on universities, this layer of the puzzle is crucial for making sure it all works and that the fancy new tools and opportunities the future is making available help students and do not just become a fog of chaos.

In this webinar, Dr. Melissa Beers and Dr. Kristin Supe discuss their experience coordinating the exemplary Introduction to Psychology course at Ohio State.  Ranging from the philosophical to the logistical, they shared useful insights about things like how recent LMS features simplify creating the dozens of course shells, the importance of training, and the importance of research. Bonus points for the Harry Potter references.  It was a fun time!

Webinar Recording: Teaching Large Courses Online (7/25/2017)

View the webinar recording at http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p5p8lcegg1n/

In this webinar, Dr. Brian Lower  and his team, Kylienne Shaul and Ella Weaver, talked about some of the steps they have taken to develop a deeply engaging large online course, ENR2100: Introduction to Environmental Sciences. They will especially describe how they have used writing-based assessments and peer-review processes to enable students to think more deeply about the material and extend their understanding through interaction (in both on-ground and online versions of the course).

2013 in-person ENR Poster Session, the inspiration for a virtual poster session assignment that helps drive student engagement in the large course.  For more information and examples of student work, visit https://u.osu.edu/environmentalsciencesymposium/

ODEE DELTA Webinar Recording: iOS Apps for Teaching and Learning (Adobe Spark Pages and ExplainEverything) (6/27/2017)

It is easy to get lost in the large and expanding universe of apps that you can use to improve learning in your courses. This webinar will introduce you to two of the best, Adobe Spark Pages and ExplainEverything, both of which make it easy to produce fancy multimedia content with minimal training or expertise.  That means you can use them as an instructor to produce richer, more engaging learning materials for your students without needing to sacrifice the hours required to become a proper web designer or videographer.  It also means you have two more tools your students can use to create shiny, personalized assignments that nevertheless stay focused on demonstrating the understandings and abilities that are the true goals of your course.

In this webinar recording, Scott Sheeler, Educational Technologist on ODEE’s College Ready Ohio team, provides a lively introduction to these apps and shows how to use them like a pro in this webinar originally presented on June 27, 2017.

 

 

Lectures? We Should Talk… Or Not

What Does the Research Say about Lectures?
It is well-established in the lore of online instructors and those who support them that lecture-centered teaching is not as effective as almost any other kind. Who wants to share the road with young drivers who only ever heard about how to steer but never got to try it yet? Who wants to be the first patient of a surgeon who got a solid B on all the quizzes but has not yet seen blood? Proper learning must include lots of opportunity for students to put their hands (and minds) to work. People learn by doing not listening. Humans can only pay attention to lectures for 10 minutes before losing attention, less online. (What is the longest cat video you ever watched? And cat videos are intrinsically awesome.)
It makes intuitive sense. But this is a university; we do evidence, not intuition. (And use semi-colons is obscure but technically acceptable ways.) As I was reminded recently by a colleague during a consultation, it’s not enough to be correct in academia. One must also share one’s bibliography.
So what is the evidence for the lecture lore?
The list below is intended to begin to answer that question by listing a few of the broadest, clearest, most influential, and most evidentiary write-ups on the subject. Thus, I will also include a request: if you have a bibliography you like to use — or even just a compelling research publication or persuasive presentation not included here — please add it in the comments below.

ODEE DELTA Webinar Recording: eXperiencing Play: An Introduction to Game Design (4/24/2017)

The potential for games to engage students and deepen learning is well-established by research, as well as intuition: play is part of the way most animal species teach their young, and we can observe games and competition playing a role in most areas of human culture as we walk through the world. The challenge for educators, especially online educators, has been to tap into the power of games and play without breaking the bank.  It can seem daunting to compete with commercial video game developers.  The good news is that you don’t have to.  There are several powerful ways to build game-based learning activities for students using tools that are easy to learn and efficient to use.

In this webinar recording, Ben Scragg, Manager of Learning Technology at ODEE, introduces you to some of these design tools, as well as deeper understanding of how games can enhance learning and situations where they can do so most effectively in “eXperiencing Play: An Introduction to Game Design,” originally presented on April 24, 2017.

DELTA Kickstart Week: A Student’s Perspective

Instructional Designer assisting kickstart week participants in the Digital Union.

So, I did the math. I’ve been in school mode for the past 16 years. I certainly don’t recall using the Internet for school activities as a 2nd grader in 2002, but I know that gradually, technology did become a big aspect of my education. And now, as I prepare to graduate from OSU and embark on a fully online master’s degree program, there is absolutely no escaping eLearning. Educators across our campus are embracing the inevitability of eLearning as the norm.

Which brings us to Kickstart Week…

This is why the Distance Education Learning and Teaching Academy (DELTA) January 2016 Kickstart Week exists. As a student assistant with ODEE, I had the opportunity to help facilitate this past week of learning and collaboration with educators from a wide range of OSU departments. Kickstart Week, for me, was also an intensive training on all things Distance Education.

For the group of 10-20 educators that participated in the program, they got the chance to build a course in Carmen, play around with new software and applications, and ask questions. Most importantly, they heard so many of my fantastic coworkers speak on topics such as: accessibility, Quality Matters standards, building rubrics, academic integrity, design basics, video recording, copyright law, and mobile security.

Sitting on the sidelines all week, I saw these professors light up when talking about their areas of expertise. They found new and exciting ideas for representing course content in different ways.

We explored a wide array of free online content building websites, some of which are included in the padlet below.

http://padlet.com/mfogel8/iuae84rixkpi

A new perspective…

Having never been on the teaching side of a course, it was fascinating for me to see how much consideration these professors put into their work. I was also able to share from my experience as a student at OSU, offering them different examples of how my professors have handled the situation being discussed. Walking away from Kickstart Week, I know the participants now have the ability to develop beautiful and smart online courses.

Blog post written by Megan Fogel, ODEE Student Assistant, and submitted by Jessica Phillips.