AccessEDU Episode 6 – Margaret Price

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Episode 6 – Margaret Price

“The fact that a book is all stuck together in one piece, in a sense, is an adaptive technology because otherwise we would probably lose pages … If we start thinking of all features of technologies, whether they’re print technologies or digital technologies as adaptive for some reason, then students start to get really excited and interested.”

In this episode of AccessEDU, your host interviews Margaret Price, a professor in the disability studies program at OSU. She shares insights into her strategies for making her classroom more inclusive.

Referenced in this episode:

Read a transcript of episode 6

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

ODEE DELTA Webinar: Simplify Your Teaching Life with Office365 (2/16/2018)

It’s tempting to be glib and introduce the link to this webinar recording about Office365 with a snarky reference to 90s retro, maybe by embedding a grunge cover of “Macarena,” but the thing is, we’re actually excited by this. Basically every instructor and student at Ohio State now has a license to Office365, which means we now have access to a better-than-Google-Docs platform for students to share files, simultaneously edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and otherwise write in multimedia formats online.  Office has been around for a while, and that means that your students (and you!) already know how to use it, so there is that much less training you’ll need to do to make use of it.  It even integrates directly into Carmen.

In this webinar, our colleague Instructional Designer extraordinaire Tim Lombardo explains in more detail how to set up Office365, some of the complications you might need to work around, and some of the fancy and awesome things your students can do with it.  Thanks especially to the attendees, who asked excellent questions.

http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p7wn1km2km5/ (recorded 2/16/2018)

 

PS. Having mentioned a grunge cover of “Macarena,” it would seem cruel not to embed an actual instance of the genre… (OK, strictly speaking it’s metal. What can I say? It was a crazy decade. Some lines blurred.)

Office 365 Integration in Carmen

Microsoft Office 365 is an online, browser-based tool that is available to Ohio State students and faculty for free (with the exception of Medical Center (@osumc.edu) employees). The traditional Microsoft Office suite is brought to a web browser and allows users to create and collaborate easily within Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

While Office 365 can stand alone as a useful tool for students and faculty, its recent integration with Carmen will allow for a greater and more practical use for Ohio State students and faculty. The integration creates another avenue for collaboration, creativity and sharing within Carmen.

Ohio State students and faculty can take advantage of Office 365’s features in four different areas within a Carmen course:

Collaborations

Instructors

Office 365 has now taken over the Collaborations feature in Carmen, which can be enabled/disabled in the course navigation by an instructor. Within Collaborations, instructors have the ability to set up a Word, Excel or PowerPoint collaboration for select students or pre-defined groups within the course. Collaboration settings can be edited at any point.

View this help article for a clearer step-by-step of this process and more information.

Students

If a student is in a group in a Carmen course, they will have the same access to Collaborations feature as instructors. Within that group, students have the ability to create Word, PowerPoint or Excel collaborations. As a student, keep in mind that instructors will be able to see any collaboration created within their course, even if they are not directly added.

Assignments

Instructors

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the integration is the ability for an instructor to create a “cloud assignment.” For example, an instructor may create a worksheet using Word in Office 365. They could then assign that worksheet to their students, and students could fill out the worksheet by editing the Word document themselves in Office 365. This could also be done using Excel or PowerPoint.

For a step-by-step of using this feature, view this help article. The article also highlights a few current limitations of the feature.

Students

Things aren’t too different from the norm on the student end of a cloud assignment. Staying with the worksheet example, students would see the ability to open and edit the worksheet in Office 365. Their work will be saved automatically, so they simply need to click “Submit” back in Carmen whenever they are finished.

To learn more about the student side of this feature, view this help article.

Along with the cloud assignment capabilities, on any assignment with “Website URL” as a submission type, students now have the ability to log into Office 365 directly from Carmen and select a compatible file to upload.

Office 365 tab

If instructors enable the Office 365 tab in the course navigation, students can now view their OneDrive files directly in Carmen. Clicking on a file will allow student to edit it in a new tab.

Essentially, this feature is just an easy access point to Office 365 from a Carmen course. To learn more about this feature, view this help article.

Rich Content Editor

Screenshot of a rich content editor toolbar in Carmen with the external tools icon highlighted

Lastly, students and instructors can link to OneDrive files within any rich content editor. By selecting the “More External Tools” icon in the tool bar (pictured above) and choosing Office365, any file located in a user’s OneDrive can be linked to. View this help article for a step-by-step of this process.

Using Office 365 is a great way to bring collaboration and innovation into your course(s). We encourage you to play around with these features on your own and come up with some ideas on how the integration may benefit you in one of your courses.

Over the coming months, be sure to revisit this blog for updates on our multimedia efforts. I will be sharing monthly updates, presenting easy-to-use tools that can improve your course(s) and sharing up-to-date research and developments from the eLearning world.

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/

AccessEDU Episode 5 – Anna Voelker

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Episode 5 – Anna Voelker

“[Astronomy] is just completely full of mystery that scientists get to constantly investigate. In terms of accessibility, what really kickstarted it was a class here at Ohio State, called Shakespeare and Autism.”

In this fifth episode of AccessEDU, Megan interviews Anna Voelker, a senior at OSU who was recently awarded the President’s Prize to complete a project at the intersection of astronomy and accessibility.

Referenced in this episode:

Read a transcript of episode 5

Branching Activities – Planning and Building

Last month, I touched on the concept of branching activities, specifically focusing on the why and the when. Now that you’ve got a solid foundation and understanding of their practicality, it’s time to look at how we may plan and build out a branching activity.

Planning

Planning is the most crucial part of the branching activity process. In some cases, you’ll have a good idea of starting points for your activity but may not be sure where it will go from there. This could just be having a topic and understanding of what you want to accomplish with the activity without much content. To plan through a situation like this, we recommend identifying decision categories that students may need to work within and building out content from there:

In other cases, you may have an idea of where you want students to end up but aren’t sure how they will get there. You’ll have to plan backwards in this situation:

Either way, it’s important to think about every possible landing point that students may reach and map out every possible way they may get there.

While thinking about these things, there are multiple processes you may use to plan content for your activity. You may use pencil/paper or Dry-Erase, drawing boxes to represent each page. You may use notecards or Post-it notes in the same way with the added flexibility of being able to move things around. You may also use mind-mapping if you would like to plan digitally.

Building in Carmen

Once you’ve planned, the hardest part is over! It’s now as easy as building out your planned pages and connecting them. We’ll start by walking through this process in Carmen:

  1. Within Carmen, we recommend you start by creating a module specifically for your activity. You can move the activity into another module with the rest of your content later, but it’s easier to keep everything for this one activity contained during the building process.
  2. Within this module, create each page that you planned out. Think about it as a page for each notecard/Post-it note or each box if you used the pencil/paper or Dry-Erase method.
  3. When creating pages, naming convention is extremely important. Using “BA” (for branching activity) or some other recognizable naming structure at the beginning of each page puts every page for one activity next to each other in Carmen’s “Pages” list, which makes bulk publishing/unpublishing and/or editing much easier to follow.
  4. After all pages have been created, you’ll need to connect them together. Go to any one of your pages and list any other pages that can be reached from that page. Then, highlight text that want to turn into a hyperlink and use the “Links” tab to the right of the rich content editor to link to additional pages.
  5. Once everything is finished, you’ll need to decide whether your students should only see the beginning page of the branching activity or all pages within the activity, which you can toggle by adding or not adding pages to a module. Either way, every page in your activity needs to be published for students to see them, and all modules that hold any pages within the activity need to be published.

I’m guessing that this may have been hard to follow without any visuals, so we’ve created this step-by-step video to walk you through the process:

Building for Other Systems

There are other tools that will may be able to produce something a bit more robust than what Carmen can provide or produce something more specific to your needs. One alternative option is Twine. Twine is an HTML-based, mind-mapping software that is easy to use and produces basic scenario/decision-based activities.

Larger software programs like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate are specifically made to create rich interactive projects with multimedia elements, but these tools are pricey and require a steep learning curve. Also, Twine, Storyline and Captivate are not OSU-supported.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of branching activities and how you may plan and build one for your course(s). Over the coming months, be sure to revisit this blog for updates on our multimedia efforts. I will be sharing monthly updates, presenting easy-to-use tools that can improve your course(s) and sharing up-to-date research and developments from the eLearning world.

If you have any questions about branching activities or anything related to multimedia elements of course design, feel free to reach out to me at tamburro.5@osu.edu.

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!