Standards for Design: Part 36 – Obtaining Technical Support

Welcome to the thirty-sixth blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the first standard in the seventh general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Learner Support.  This post starts our discussion about where learners can get support for their online or hybrid course.

Standard: 7.1 The course instructions articulate or link to a clear description of the technical support offered and how to obtain it.

This standard is fairly straightforward.  The idea is to give the learners an easy path where they can get technical support.  Students may be inclined to contact you as the instructor for problems they are having in the course; however these questions may sometimes require more technical expertise than you can provide.

This is why it is important to include a space in the “Start Here” section of your course with how you would like students to handle tech support issues, as well where and how they can get assistance.  It is also important to include where they can submit a help desk ticket online, the help desk phone number and an email for technical support.  This gives students multiple avenues to get support as quick as possible.

Remember, it is also important to list the tech support locations for all software and websites that you are using, especially if you do use tools outside of the supported toolkit!

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

Standards for Design: Part 35 – Privacy Policies Provided

Welcome to the thirty-fifth blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the fifth and final standard in the sixth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Course Technology.  This post finishes our discussion about technology used in the online or hybrid course and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 6.5 Links are provided to privacy policies for all external tools required in the course.

Over the past few standards we have emphasized the use of the supported ODEE Toolkit. The ODEE Toolkit is important is because it contains tools that are supported by the department, as well as being reviewed by the OSU legal department to clear privacy uses.

The most important thing to remember about this standard is if you are going to have assignments using tools that require students to create an account of their own, you should always link to the privacy policy. This ensures students know what they are signing up for.  Even if the website does not require a user accounts to be created, it is still vital to link to their privacy policy for the same reason.

An institutional note for OSU on this standard: students should not have to sign up for third party sites for an assignment.  It can be optional, but never mandatory.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

Standards for Design: Part 34 – Current Course Technologies

Welcome to the thirty-fourth blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the fourth standard in the sixth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Course Technology. This post continues our discussion about technology used in the online or hybrid course and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 6.4 The course technologies are current.

In previous few blogs we discussed three characteristic important to classroom technology and distance education: making certain that the course technologies align with the course learning objectives, being sure that they promoted active learning, and making certain that the tools are easily obtainable. This week’s standard looks at the important of ensuring that all of those technologies and tools are current.

Some popular educational technologies include an LMS, synchronous video conferencing tools, Blogs, Wikis, mobile applications, and simulations for varying assignments. You don’t need to have all of those tools in the course and there are certainly many more available beyond this list.

The tools provided in the supported ODEE toolkit would help meet several QM standards, including this week’s. We went over a list of the supported tools in the “Standards for Design: Part 31 – Aligned Course Tools” Blog on January 12, 2015.

This is not to say that you can’t use other tools in your course; however there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, educational tools must be accessible for students who need special assistance. Second, students should not be required to sign up for third party website. Finally, you as the instructor take the responsibility for supporting the technologies if students have technical issues with the outside websites.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

Standards for Design: Part 33 – Obtainable Course Technologies

Welcome to the thirty-third blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the third standard in the sixth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Course Technology.  This post continues our discussion about technology used in the online or hybrid course and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 6.3 Technologies required in the course are readily obtainable.

This standard closely relates to the blog on the Minimum technology requirements Standard.

In that blog, we talked about how students should be provided with a list of the hardware and software needed in order to be successful in the course. In this blog, we are looking back on this concept in a bit more detail.

This standard stresses the importance of listing all the course technology and how to obtain it.  Is there a specific website that students need to go to in order to obtain the required software? Are fees involved?  Is it cross-platform compatible? If not cross-platform compatible, is there an equivalent version that students can use on a Macintosh, PC, or Linux machine? Are there any online materials?  How do the students access them?  It is important to have clear and concise directions on how to access those materials.

While this standard may not be essential for Quality Matters, it does address two OSU requirements for all online courses.  “Requirements or procedures for proctoring are clearly laid out” and “All required materials, technology, and fees are stated up-front and in the syllabus” are both quintessential, institutionally mandated criteria for all OSU online courses.

Back in the Minimum technology requirements Standard we talked about the minimum technical skills.  Along with how to obtain the technology, it important to add information on how students can get tutorials on how to use the technology.   You can create links to YouTube instructions, create your own instructions, or see if the software you are using is on Lynda.com.  Student can get access by following one of these three steps for free access to Lynda.com.

It is recommended to plan which technology you are going to use in the course.  Not only should it align with the Learning Objectives and support active learning, it should also always be obtainable for the students.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

Standards for Design: Part 32 – Active Learning Course Tools

Welcome to the thirty-second blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the second standard in the sixth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Course Technology. This post continues our discussion about technology used in the online or hybrid course and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 6.2 Course tools promote learner engagement and active learning.

Now that we have picked out the tools that we are going to use to align us to the Learning Objectives, it is important to make sure that these tools will keep the students engaged.

I really like this 4:18 YouTube video from S.L. Young on Active Learning vs. Passive Learning.

The techniques he talks about focuses on the Face-to-Face classroom environment. However, the idea of active learning is also very applicable to the online environment. The main idea is that the course should not be strictly a recorded lecture, but should also include ways to engage your students.

This doesn’t mean that you always need to include a discussion forum. How about creating self-checks throughout the course so students can gauge their own progress? Self-Checks can take the form of a quiz, a reflection blog post, or simply a question that a student needs to internalize.

Or, what about presenting students with a simulation. Let the students go through the simulation that has consequences and have students reflect about those decisions.

Those are just a few ideas to have your students not only take in the information, but also actively participate in the online course.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

Standards for Design: Part 31 – Aligned Course Tools

Welcome to the thirty-first blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the first standard in the sixth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Course Technology.  This post starts our discussion about technology used in the online or hybrid course and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 6.1 The tools used in the course support the learning objectives and competencies.

Now that we have our aligned assessments, instructional materials, and learning activities, we need to make certain that we are using the correct tools in the courses that align back to the learning objectives.

The important thing to remember here is to make sure you are utilizing the correct course tools that corresponds to the learner’s achievement of the Module / Unit / Weeks objectives.  At OSU, the primary tool we use will be the LMS (Carmen). Within Carmen, however, we have a number of different tools we can use. This includes things such as Discussion Forums, Dropboxes and a blog tool.

The Office of Distance Education and eLearning provides other resources outside of Carmen in their supported toolkit to OSU faculty, staff and students.

CarmenConnect Is OSU’s version of Adobe Connect-which provides a powerful, yet flexible and user friendly way to bring people from various parts of the world together.  CarmenConnect – is most beneficial in scenarios requiring individuals to interact from different physical locations.

CarmenWiki A wiki is an online space that can be used for collaboration or information sharing. Wiki pages switch easily between viewing and editing modes. In viewing mode, a wiki strongly resembles a website. Pages can be linked in multiple ways, rather than being limited to the linear structure of a word-processing file. A wiki owner can control who has access to see and edit the space as a whole as well as individual pages. Commenting can also be allowed on pages.

Mediasite (Faculty and Staff Only) Mediasite is a lecture capture software created by Sonic Foundry Inc. This can be leveraged by Faculty to deliver their lectures in an asynchronous format.  This can also be used to create course introductions, course navigation videos and any other video lectures the faculty member chooses.  As a reminder there needs to be alternative formats for any video that you create.  This includes creating a transcript and captions to the video.  We will talk more about accessibility in standard seven and standard eight.

Secured Media Library (Faculty Only) Shortened class times and the continued move away from physical media has made it difficult to show movies in class. Ohio State’s Secured Media Library is an online portal for securely streaming movies to your classroom and to your students outside of class. Instructors can access and exhibit all of the resources within the repository with the ability to create assignments for their students to access from home or on the go as homework or review.

U.OSU Wish you could easily build a great professional site for free? You can. U.OSU.EDU is the university’s website development service which provides easy to create personal web space to Ohio State faculty, staff, and students to support their professional and educational activities at the Ohio State University.  We think U.OSU.EDU is something special. While this phase focuses on personal sites, future phases will support class sites, organizations, and groups across campus.

Overall, there are two very important takeaways in regard to this standard. First, you don’t have to use technology for the sake of using technology. Second, when using technology make sure it aligns back to the learning objectives.

For example, if I have a learning objective of “Student will create an IRB plan”, a discussion board would not be the appropriate technology.  However, if my learning objective was “Student will discuss show to create an IRB plan”, a discussion forum would be appropriate.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

CarmenConnect | ODEE Resource Center. (2015). From http://resourcecenter.odee.osu.edu/carmenconnect

CarmenWiki | ODEE Resource Center. (2015). From http://resourcecenter.odee.osu.edu/carmenwiki
Secured Media Library | ODEE Resource Center. (2015). from http://resourcecenter.odee.osu.edu/secured-media-library

U.OSU | ODEE Resource Center. (2015). from http://resourcecenter.odee.osu.edu/uosu

Standards for Design: Part 30 – Requirements for learner interaction

Welcome to the thirtieth blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the fourth and final standard in the fifth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Learner Activities and Learner Interaction.  This post completes our discussion about creating meaningful Learner Activities and Learner Interaction and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

With finals, vacations and holidays coming soon, this will be the last standards post for 2014. I will finish up the last fourteen standards starting January 5, 2015.

But this doesn’t mean there won’t be any more December QM posts! As we wrap up 2014, I want to spend the next few weeks looking at what we as a QMmunity have accomplished this year, and look forward to what is in store for 2015!

Standard: 5.4 The requirements for learner interaction are clearly stated.

This is closely related to what we discussed back in Standards for Design: Part 18 – Specific and descriptive criteria.

In that post, we talked about having a rubric for assignments and essay questions on quizzes and exams. We discussed why a rubric important, as well as some questions to ask yourself, including how many posts and replies do the student need to make, is there a certain length the posts need to be, when are assignments due and are there special instructions that students need to follow. This can include instructions such as replying to your initial post over starting a new thread.

Standard 5.4 looks at these same criteria in regard to student discussion requirements. It is vital that students understand the requirements and expectations for them in regard to learner interactions.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

Standards for Design: Part 29 – Instructor’s plan for classroom response time

Welcome to the twenty-ninth blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the third standard in the fifth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Learner Activities and Learner Interaction.  This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful Learner Activities and Learner Interaction and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 5.3 The instructor’s plan for classroom response time and feedback on assignments is clearly stated.

In world of online learning, students have access to their courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  This type of access to the course also makes students think they have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to the instructor.  This is, of course, a misconception.  As instructors, you are people too.  You have other teaching and research obligations, as well as a normal life with other responsibilities outside the course.

So to help balance the course instructor work/ life balance, it is important to let students know what your plans for response time is.  The best place to put it is in a “Start Here” section.  Some questions to answer are: What is your response time for E-mails?  What is your response time for discussion forums?  What is your response time for grading papers, quizzes and exams?  Are these times different during the week compared to the weekends?

The important thing to remember is you don’t want to make these response times too long.  The optimal time frame that I would suggest is 48 hours (2 days), but no longer than 72 hour (3 days).  These times give you enough time to respond without feeling te pressure to drop everything else and respond immediately.  If a circumstance happens and you need to change the response time, it is important to communicate that information to the students.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

Standards for Design: Part 28 – Opportunities for interaction

Welcome to the twenty-eighth blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the second standard in the fifth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Learner Activities and Learner Interaction.  This post continues our discussion about creating meaningful Learner Activities and Learner Interaction and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 5.2 Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction that support active learning.

Now that we have our aligned assessments and instructional materials, we need to start figuring out what learning activities we are going to have students interact with.  In the last blog, we briefly mentioned about the Community of Inquiry Model.  This model argues that there are three aspects of interaction in an online course – Cognitive Presence, Social Presence and Teaching Presence. The Cognitive Presence looks at the interaction with student to the content. The Social Presence examines the student-student interaction, while the Teaching Presence examines the student-instructor interactions that happen in the course with the idea that the instructor takes an active, participating role in the course.

The Community of Inquiry Model is a prime example of interactive, active learning, which is what this standard is all about. All three types of interactions should be present in an online course.

This standard is also a great example about how Quality Matters focuses on the design of an online or hybrid course rather than the delivery.  In a QM Peer Review, it is asked that courses are copied into a blank shell because the peer reviewers should look to see if these discussions exist, not how students responded.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.

Standards for Design: Part 27 – Aligned Learning Activities

Happy Quality Matter Monday OSU QMmunity and Happy national distance education week!

Welcome to the twenty-seventh blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the first standard in the fifth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Learner Activities and Learner Interaction.  This post starts our discussion about creating meaningful Learner Activities and Learner Interaction and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives

Standard: 5.1 The learning activities promote the achievement of the stated learning objectives or competencies.

Now that we have our aligned assessments and instructional materials, we need to start figuring out what learning activities we are going to have students interact with.  The interaction isn’t just what happens with the content and other students, but should also include what is happening between the students and the instructors. This idea is best exemplified in the Community of Inquiry Model, which we will talk more about in the next standard.

The important thing here is to make certain that you are creating interactions that will promote the learner’s achievement of the Module / Unit / Weeks objectives.  There are a couple interactions that are an exception to this rule, such as an introductory discussion forum and a general forum to ask questions.  It is a great idea to create opportunities for students to talk about related materials that are not part of the normal discussion forums.  These forums are usually not for credit assignments and simply allow students an opportunity to expand on their knowledge of the class.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at lombardo.89@osu.edu to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog

Citations

Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.