Image Design for Teaching REDUX! Every Monday in October

image of digital ad for workshop sessions. shows camera, session days time, and contact infoThis summer, we offered our first ever Image Design for Teaching bootcamp — an all day training over the best practices, policies, accessibility, image resources, copyright, and Photoshop skills needed to create informative and organizational images for teaching. The enrollment requests are plentiful, and we’re offering it again, but in a new format.

This round will be a month long series occurring each Monday at 1:00. The sessions will each allow for some hands-on practice time during which participants can play around with the skills we’ve just covered while having access to support staff from the Office of Distance Education & eLearning. Sessions one through three will build on each other, with each using the skills from the previous one. The fourth session will focus on building images for Carmen and using prefabricated templates, and this one only requires attendance of Session 1 as a prerequisite. Group size for each session is limited to ten seats in order to allow for effective teaching and support as we cover new tools.

Participants who complete the series will takeaway:

  • resources on copyright
  • resources on fair use
  • resources on where to find “good” or nice looking images that are available for use
  • slides on image best practices and accessibility that they may share with their department
  • a folder of Carmen-fitted Photoshop templates to drag and drop images into
  • an entire set of image designing skills that can be used on any Digital Union computer (all have Adobe Photoshop)

Have questions? Email Tara Koger (

Ready to sign up? Registration is open now and may fill quickly, so log in today:

Monday, October 5th: Image Design for Teaching Series, Session 1: Photoshop Tools Introduction & Basic Image Adaptation

Skill Level: Basic
Tools Covered: Layers, Layer duplicating, Rasterizing, Brush Size-type-hardness, Transform, Cropping, Adding Text, Adding Shadows/effects; opacity, JPEG and PNG export
End product: Attendees will be able to bring an image, crop or adjust lighting, and add text and lines to diagram and title. 

Monday, October 12th:Image Design for Teaching Series, Session 2: Basic Image Diagramming and Intermediate Editing

Skill Level: Basic/Intermediate
Tools Covered: Background removal, adding background, Adjustment Layershealing, layer duplication, transforming, masking, blendingLevelsAdding Lines, texture overlay, selection tools
End product: Attendees will be able to remove background images, add in other backgrounds, add text and lines to diagram, and title. 
Prerequisite: Must attend Session 1 (“Photoshop Tools Introduction & Basic Image Diagraming for Teaching“) OR be proficient in those skills.This workshop will not cover preliminary skills tools taught in Session 1. 

Monday, October 19th: Image Design for Teaching Series, Session 3Advanced Diagramming – Bring Your Own Images

Skill Level: Basic/Intermediate
Tools Covered: Background removal, adding background, healing, layer duplication, transforming, working with text in detail, masking, blending, color changes
End product: Attendees will be able to remove background images, add in other backgrounds, add text and lines to diagram, and title. 
Prerequisite: Must attend Session 1 (“Photoshop Tools Introduction & Basic Image Diagraming for Teaching“) OR be proficient in those skills.This workshop will not cover preliminary skills tools taught in Sessions 1 & 2. 
Skill Level: Intermediate
Tools Covered: Using a template, masking layers to other layers, importing previously authored images, resizing images (Aaron)
End product: Completely customized images for learning purposes designed to use in Carmen or other LMS as section headers 
Prerequisite: Must attend Session 1 and Session 2 in this event series OR be proficient in those skills.This workshop will not cover preliminary skills tools taught in Session 1 and 2. 

General Education on iTunes U

Oval Banner 2 for BLOG
If you’re unfamiliar with Ohio State’s iTunes U presence, the already popular platform is not even closer to the heart of the university community as general education courses make their way there. OSU is one of Apple’s featured providers on the site, meaning that we host a substantial collection of educational resources and are one of the premier content creators in the world. Courses vary from those that are useful to a broad audience such as Matt Stoltzfus’ General Chemistry to niche expertise, like Karl Danneberger’s collection of courses over turf management.

While the general education audience among OSU’s undergraduate population is a familiar demographic, the audience for the course editions on iTunes U is significantly different and wide reaching. The site averages over 115,000 visitors each month, and more than 50% of that audience is international. While 42% of the traffic last month came from the United States, the content also reached users in China, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and a miscellany of other nations. In the roughly two years since Ohio State launched a presence on iTunes U, more than 4 million visitors and 3.6 million downloads have taken the educational resources of our faculty far from Ohio and around the world.  Continue reading

Project Update: March 2015 | Preparing for Round Two in 2015



The original eleven online GE course offerings are now in their second semester of enrollment, and thus the partners at the Office of Distance Education (ODEE) and eLearning and Arts and Sciences (ASC) are working with a new batch of teaching faculty and courses. Just as with the previous round, these twelve will undergo a course redesign process balanced between professors and instructional designers:

  • Introduction to Public Affairs
  • the Evolving Art and Science of Medicine
  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Statistics 1350
  • From Planets to Cosmos
  • Macro-Economics
  • Introduction to Theatre
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Art and Music Since 1945
  • American Civilization to 1877
  • American Civilization since 1877

Special attention will be given to accessibility, mobile usability, and Quality Matters alignment. Each redesign process begins with the intent to take the original course objectives and Continue reading

Project Update: Autumn Semester


The midpoint of the autumn semester is nearing, and Ohio State’s online general education initiative has rolled out its first term of offerings. As undergraduates study through various platforms, instructional designers provide quick updates on how things have unfolded.

Course: Statistics 1450

Update by Kevin Kula

Approximately six weeks into the term, instructor Jonathan Baker and teaching assistant Timothy Book are in full swing for Statistics 1450.  In total, they are serving 52 online students this autumn term.  The team has done a great job inserting update videos into the weekly course structure.  These overviews have helped students stay up-to-date and on track for course assignments.  Among faculty members in the department, Statistics has embraced this process by engaging in biweekly discussions on online teaching and learning tools

Jonathan and his staff have been committed to producing high quality, engaging videos throughout the course.  With the help of the great Arts and Sciences tech, Jonathan’s team produced more than 120 videos as lectures, weekly overviews, and demonstrations for their students.  We have used ODEE’s Mediasite tool to host these videos for easy insertion and management into the Carmen course.

Continue reading

Student Q & A: Sean LeFever

Student Q-A Banner


Sean LeFever, Material Science & Engineering Grad

Sean LeFever is a recent graduate from the Ohio State University, having just finished a degree in Materials Science and Engineering this spring. We asked Sean to give us his perspective on the upcoming online offerings.

Q: Currently, undergraduates are able to sign up for these new online sections for the first time. When making the choice between taking a traditional, in-person section or an online section, what do you think students will or should consider?

Sean: A lot of students will consider the convenience of online courses versus traditional courses.  The ability to stay at home and get work done in their pajamas is an attractive feature of the online section.  They should also consider their individual learning styles.  For some students, learning through the internet without engaging in person is not the best way for them to learn.

Q: Nationally, online classes are being requested more. Why do you think they appeal to students?

Sean: The obvious appeal is that you can get work done from the comforts of your own home.  There is no wasted time commuting to classes, and if students feel like they learn sufficiently online then there is really no reason to ever leave your house.

Continue reading

Administrator Q & A: Robert Griffiths, Director of Digital Scholarship & Development


Administrator Q-A Banner

Robert Griffiths is the Director of Digital Scholarship for the Office of Distance Education and eLearning. Dr. Griffiths has significant knowledge in deploying technology-empowered learning experiences, including spearheading the ODEE Impact Grant program in an effort to study how using technology can engage students, increase instructor efficiency, and support anytime/anyplace learning. He also oversees Ohio State’s effort for Massively Open Online Courses. Additionally, Griffiths’ team supports the online general education initiative for autumn 2014 through providing instructional design leadership to teaching faculty involved with the project.

griffiths.44-1394716098.71Q: How do you see the creation of online courses, specifically those designed to be available to a wide audience through general education, as key in the present and immediate future of the Ohio State University?

 Griffiths: There is a confluence of pressures on higher education. At almost every turn, decisions are being made on how to reduce cost, reduce time to degree, and accept a wider-range of qualifying activities as credits while at the same time institutions are being asked to use technology and data to prove learning effectiveness and better educate a society requiring advanced degrees to meet a changing work environment. In many ways, right now higher education is the calm between disruptive storms, but that storm is quickly approaching.

The creation of online courses, specifically those available to a wide audience, affords Ohio State an opportunity to be at the table and decide how we can meet the mission of our institution. It is an opportunity for scaled yet individualized education that allows for flexibility and greater opportunities to engage in the community.

Think of your daily experience. How often, today, do you feel tethered to the radio hoping you can hear your favorite song? How often do you purchase an entire CD just to hear one song? How often are you required to wait for the exact rerun of Seinfeld you’re hoping to watch? How often are you sitting on the front porch at 6am waiting to read yesterday’s news? Probably never.

It’s our time for students to have a premier education that meets the expectations and lifestyle they are already enjoying in other facets of their lives. We are developing the capability to do so via distance education and in a way that promotes the hallmarks of OSU’s quality and prestige.

Continue reading

Project Update: May 2014



Course: English 1110

Update by Tara Koger

The final touches are being put on the course as instructors prepare to take over video development. Throughout April and May, the four instructors have been developing their skills in iPad instructional video creation. They’ll primarily be using Explain Everything for the course. This feature allows them to mark, highlight, and explain concepts visually and via audio with minimal software usage. Moving forward, they’ll be working both independently and collaboratively to develop content. The team coordinators are also working on the Writer’s Exchange platform, which is currently being redeveloped for the autumn semester. English 1110 and at least one other course will use the platform to facilitate student discussion of each other’s work.

Course: Biology 1102

Update by Cory Tressler

Biology 1102 Syllabus: “The goal of Biology 1102 is to provide students with baseline knowledge of human biology, and to help identify current limits of knowledge related to human biology issues and 21st century human behavior and lifestyles.”

During the second week of Biology 1102, students will explore DNA and genetics. Lecturer Kristin Smock continues to prepare her learning materials and has decided to participate in National Geographic’s Genographic Project. Smock’s DNA will undergo advanced analysis and she will be presented with results that show her ancestral heritage. By participating in this multi-year research initiative, Smock is able to demonstrate concepts related DNA and genetics, as well as adding her own personal touch to the course. Developing a personal, human connection with students is important in fostering an online learning community. By sharing a part of herself with her students, Smock is modeling a spirit of collaboration, scholarship, and dedication to the subject matter, which will hopefully inspire students to dive deep into the content and surpass the stated goals for learning.

Continue reading

Instructor Q & A: Melissa Beers, Ryan Hansen & Jackie Spiegel of Psychology

Instructor Q-A Banner


In this series of posts, we’ll ask instructors to describe their experience at the onset of the online GE creation process. Once the semester has finished, we’ll revisit them to see how things went. 

psychPsychology 1100 is a popular GE course that has been taught online through a number of different incarnations.  It is currently taught by Ryan Hansen, a graduate teaching assistant in clinical psychology, who will continue to teach through fall semester.  The original version was created by Jackie Von Spiegel, who is now an advisor in Psychology Department. We spoke with Ryan, Jackie, and PS 1100 Program Director Melissa Beers about how this course first began and what it has evolved into over the years.

Q: Thinking back to the initial decision to create the online general education courses and your involvement, what were some of your first concerns or questions?

 Melissa Beers (MB):  I was first involved with developing an online section of Introduction to Psychology in 2007.  Our biggest concern at the start was what resources it would take to mount the course online. At that time, the only models we had to work with were examples in which faculty programmed their own courses, and those were an enormous amount of work for a questionable return on investment.  Carmen was key.  From the beginning, the ability to build, structure, and manage the course through Carmen was essential. Carmen makes it extremely easy to manage an online course.

Continue reading

Searching 101: A new interactive digital book teaches student how to [re]search

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 2.58.25 PMMost instructors who assign any kind of research and work with first-year students have probably spent time explaining good search practices. Some courses, especially those in the humanities and specifically those in composition, often dedicate a day or more of each semester to walking students through the process. Now, the Ohio State’s library department has created a fantastic, free resource for students: Searching 101 is a crash course in search engine mastery using practice search terms, quiz questions, and simple, pleasing images.

This text really is a great, zero-cost tool for both instructors and students:

  • First, let’s revisit the cost — free! While the internet is full of resources that are available at no cost, they usually come with ads, require wireless connection, and are limited to text and images. This is a full guide for learning the research process developed by library professionals for student purposes. Once downloaded, students can access this text anytime they need, regardless of connection.
  • Wonderful design. At fifteen pages, not a word or widget was wasted, but nothing is missing either. The design of this book is really purposeful, seamless, and effective. The visual representations are clean and clear as well.
  • Practice, not just instruction. Each step of the search process is first explained them demonstrated with widgets that give students the chance to check their answers. Readers are given situational prompts throughout the book and asked to choose the most effective action. Not only can they practice, but the book is filled with pop-up answers that will help them understand why their choices worked or didn’t work.
  • The book file type is an iBook, meaning it can be read on an iPad or Mac. If you want to review the book but don’t have an Apple device, visit any of the Digital Unions to browse there. Continue reading