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.

Course:  Political Science 1100

Update by Ben Scragg

POLSCI 1100s developing has been progressing through May. Professor Jan Box-Steffensmeier has prepared video lectures that are nearly ready for captioning, and the course design decisions are complete. With the assistance of GTA Lauren Ratliff, the course will likely be finished toward the beginning of July. The course also makes use of excellent content from Soomo Publishing, which features interactive text, graphics, and web-based practice and credit-based quizzes for students.

Course: Math 1116

By John Muir

We started a little bit later than some of the other courses, but we’re very much on track now to create an excellent update to this online course. On the housekeeping sid, Jason has now submitted his syllabus for ASC review and has recorded his introduction videos. Almost all of the instructional content for the course already exists in various formats, so Jason is working week by week to update and improve what he has and deliver it all in Math’s chosen e-learning format, Articulate Storyline. While he does that, I’ve been working one week at a time to build appealing and intuitive content modules in Carmen. Each week has a different (very interesting) math topic with real-world application, so it has been fun to find images and examples to frame the math instruction. We’ve also worked with the Learning Environments team from ODEE to find ways to improve the course’s synchronous CarmenConnect recitation sessions, which have been instructionally valuable for the students and instructors but have had some technical problems in the past.

Course:  Economics 2001.01

Update by Ben Scragg

 As May winds down, instructor Lucas Coffman is working to integrate MobLab’s free(!) economic simulations into his course, which should be both an exciting and effective learning tool for his students. Dr. Coffman is taking an innovative approach to the course, challenging students to think of economics as a way of thinking and decision-making, and not as a set of abstruse concepts, demand curves, and theories. By setting up MobLab simulations, such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Matrix Game, Dr. Coffman will invite learners to jump in and experience the impacts and effects economic thinking and decision-making. Once students have engaged in the simulations, they will have concrete experiences and recent access to support their lectures and readings. Students will be able to utilize some of the web’s best open resources, including videos from the Saylor Academy and iTunesU.

Course: Statistics 1450 (and 1350)

Update by Kevin Kula

June will be a content creation month for Statistics 1450.  We’ll be partnering with the Arts and Sciences technology team and using the Hagerty 142 studio for video lecture recordings.  Our plan is to have the first chapter of the course ready in June.  A major contributor to these efforts will be Deborah Kunkel, who we are happy to add to the team as a Graduate Assistant for Summer 2014.  Deborah is currently being on-boarded and has begun incorporating ODEE/OSU branding into existing course content.  We are also thankful to colleagues in the Math Department who have shared great online teaching and learning practices with us.  A few weeks back, Jim Fowler spoke to our team on his MOOCulus course and we saw some great ideas he was able to integrate into his open course.  Moving ahead, our Statistics 1450 team will hold bi-weekly meetings during the summer months.  Course registration has been up for almost one week we have our first students enrolled in the Autumn online course.


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