Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

NC3DLA Conference Update

The NC3DLA conference has been exceeding all our expectations. We had approximately 350 participants and 31 vendors. I brought 15 colleagues from Carteret Community College and they all have shared positive feedback about the conference and the presentations they attended. Dr. Abbie Brown gave a great luncheon Keynote yesterday (Monday) and Bob Irvin from FTCC was honored as a Distance Learning Pioneer for the Community College System. I can remember the first time I met Bob about 15 years ago when we first began learning about online teaching. His award was well deserved.

The thing about these conferences I enjoy is not only being able to renew connections with my dl colleagues across the state, but to learn about the very latest technologies and best practices in Distance Learning going throughout the Community College System.

Many of the presentations basically reinforce and validate the things we are already aware f and doing at at our colleges and in our online classes however it’s just good to be reminded about those “key” best practices for e-learning. Like I say in my DL Workflow presentation. Teaching online is not rocket science. Students what to know their teaching is engaged and an active participant in the teaching/ learning process care about their learning.

There are so many things going on at the state level as far as funding issues and the directions they want us to take with our CMS (Course management System) decisions. There is no doubt that Blackboard and Moodle and the main acts in town and will both be major players.

We are now listening to the founder of Moodle and lead developer Martin Douglamas who is presenting about the history of Moodle from Australia via Skype.

One of our Adjunct Faculty members Lisa Taylor Galizia stated about the conference…”I just returned from my brief, but information-filled, first-time NC3DL conference. Enjoyed “The Good, Bad & Ugly” of Distance Learning by Kelly Kirk from Randolph… Great tips and great discussion among session attendees about Quality & Credibility in distance education. I appreciated the reminder that students expect online instructors to be engaged, visible and active participants (checking and responding frequently, not just at grading time) not “ghost” instructors, as one participant said.”

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Comments on: "NC3DLA Conference Update" (16)

  1. David Roach said:

    I just returned from the NC3DL conference in Durham. I was able to network with some other instructors and see some new technology available. I also got a look at Blackboard 9.1 and what it offers.
    I had a good conversation with the SoftChalk representative and I saw some nice innovative work that Fayettville Tech is working on with 3D images.NCLOR provided a nice overview of their services and some new things they are offering.
    The session I personally got the most from was by Jane Bozarth from the NC Office of State Peronnel. I hope Jane will be able to visit our campus in the near future and share some of her great ideas to improve presentations.

  2. I thought a few of the presentations were pretty good others so-so; i had just about decided to leave before lunch… then decided why not get lunch and then why not check out one more talk … “better than bullet points” by Jane Bozarth … wow!
    so glad i did, it was by far the best in the show. David Roach and I got her contact information and a promise by T3 to bring her to CCC to give in-service training. hopefully in mid-January after we get started up with Spring semester. we only have to pay her travel and accommodations because she already works for the state.
    Jane gave an energetic talk that was inspiring, gave great ideas for instructors to use the tools we are already using such as PowerPoint to make more engaging content for in-class and on-line lectures and to make it POP! nothing to buy. she is an expert in this area and has written several books. that talk alone was worth the price of admission for me.

  3. The following feedback was sent to me via e-mail by Sandy Gilliken.

    “My first DL conference was a blast. I was extremely motivated and the wheels started turning so fast I actually got dizzy. I realize as a cosmetology instructor we are limited as to what we can offer our students course wise online. Well, of course Deana Steed and I almost always think outside the box and truly are rebels at heart and the DL conference just pushed the button for us. We have plans of becoming the pioneers for a online hybrid course in the future for our Cosmetology Concepts classes. Once we get the ideas completed and most of the kinks ironed out we hope to present it to the North Carolina Stateboard of Cosmetic Arts to plead our case. We as educators realize the future lies with online courses, even if they all cannot be taught online some hybrid courses will have to be added eventually to keep up with the ever changing pace and future students.
    My favorite class which helped my realize we possible could add an online course was titled Hybrid Courses a Starting Point or Destination? I learned the difference between a hybrid class and a blended class. Once I understood the definition of a hybrid class I knew that was the way to go with our theory cosmetology class.
    I also learned more about retention and how we must keep in contact with our student while teaching an online course. Teaching an online course has to offer the same benefits but the technique of teaching is totally different.
    I believe we should all as instructors attend a DL conference or at least a class if on our own campus to understand the importance of online classes and the difference of a f2f course to an online course. I am so glad I got the opportunity to attend . You know it was a good conference when you walk away excited and ready to change the world of the classes you teach by implementing an online class when you were first against the concept of online classes.”

  4. David Hisle said:

    I really enjoyed my first NC3ADL conference. Besides what I learned in the sessions, it was great getting to know my colleagues at CCC a little better. My report (crossposted on Yammer):

    My primary goal in attending NC3ADL was to learn as much as possible about Moodle, especially course design and migrating content from Blackboard. The library would like to have Moodle versions of our Blackboard library skills courses available for Moodle instructors in the spring. I attended 4 Moodle presentations, all of them useful. In particular, I’m more informed about the differences between Moodle 1.9 and 2.0 and what’s involved in moving material between Blackboard and Moodle (we’ll probably start ours from scratch anyway).

    The big unexpected discovery for me was NCLOR. NCLOR is a digital repository for instructional materials and includes some really good stuff. Just as important, NCLOR welcomes submissions, so it’s a great way to see the content you’ve created potentially used by a much broader audience. They do seem a little understaffed, and the website discovery tool feels awkward, but I will definitely be spending a lot of time on NCLOR in the future.

    The Google Apps presentation was interesting, though it didn’t include a lot of new material (if you follow Google Apps). The collaborative features are really impressive. The ease with which users can import graphs and graphics will probably lead to citation/plagiarism issues down the road. Alternately, it makes integrating web-based resources into research projects simple enough that students can really expand their options without needing to learn a lot of new spreadsheet/word doc tricks. Instructors should definitely consider Google Apps for student collaborative projects—it saves older versions of the document, and records who made what contributions.

    Nearly every session I attended at NC3ADL reinforced the importance of our dl community to today’s community college, being mindful of their unique needs, and taking advantage of the instructional opportunities a large dl community creates. The tools for serving them are already there, or nearly there. If we use the tools and continue to build on the work that’s already being done by others, we can really distinguish ourselves as distance educators. To my mind, the real lesson the conference is that we should keep trying new things and sharing whatever works. I am very grateful to the DL Pioneers Program and Title III for providing travel funds to attend the conference.

  5. First of all, let me say “Thank You” to those of you that were concerned for me during the conference (especially Cathy:)). My “bug” (and I) managed to attend only two sessions.
    The first one was transitioning from Blackboard to Moodle, the differences, pros and cons. According to the surveys these two instructors had taken at their school, the students were great with either, they just wanted to stick to one or the other. The instructors them selves felt Moodle was comparable to Bb, easier in a lot of aspects, but a few glitches regarding saving EACH grade as you go through the gradebook. The gradebook is trickier in Moodle. However, they feel a lot of the glitches will be fixed in the upcoming version.
    The second workshop was on Annenberg Media, and discussed Telecourses. Learner.org was discussed, going there to grab free educational videos and such. However, if you “borrow” enough to make a class..you need a license..right Patrick? 🙂

  6. This was an amazing conference, it was my first NC3ADL conference…something that made me really open my eyes. I learned so much about student services, and how to make sure that they are accessible by all. I was able to meet so many different people, from differenet jobs, at different colleges that brought a variety of perspectives on DL, and its place in the world today. I was able to get many new ideas that I plan to work with my department Student Services and the college overall to make Carteret Community College a great place to work, teach, serve and learn.

    I thoroughly enjoyed going to the sessions on the NCCCS Help Desk, the Online Student Services, Google Apps for Education, and the great Skype presntation on Moodle.

    Though it scares me, it excites me…stepping out on the ledge…driving the engine of Student Services, getting them up the hill and down the other side. I came back with great suggestions, so much energy, and great comments…the Registrar’s Office decided today to add live chat to their website.

    I am so excited about the ideas swirling in my mind…causing waves of DL energy!! I hope that I will be able to go next year and the regional meeting in March….!!!!

    Also, the most important was spending time with the other faculty and staff that attended…yeah I work non-stop…but enjoyed laughing and talking with all the great folks that went.

  7. […] far, and near(!).  And now that the conference is finished, I’d encourage to jump over to Patrick’s DL blog and check out his reporting, as well as commentary from some of CCC’s team that […]

  8. I’m happy to hear that those of you who attended the NC3DLA conference came away with some new ideas and technologies to implement in your courses and/or departments. I always come back from these conferences inspired and motivated to incorporate what I’ve learned back into my teaching and distance learning initiatives. One thing is certain…education is changing rapidly and the tools, techniques and methods are very different than what they were 10-20 years ago due to technology and the rapid growth of online education (e-learning). We as educators must keep ourselves abreast of the latest innovations in education and online teaching technologies if we are going to remain viable in the digital age. We don’t have to incorporate everything into our courses and departments – it’s just a matter of being aware of what is going on and incrementally adapting to and adopting the technologies that help us be better educators and administrators. It all comes down to being great teachers and helping students and teachers succeed in all aspects of the learning journey.

  9. Phil Morris said:

    I was greatly impressed with the NC3DLA conference. From the level of organization to just how incredibly informative the conference was. Kudos to those involved in putting the whole thing together. I came away with knowledge and ideas that I hadn’t even imagined.
    The first thing I took with me is how many improvements I can make to my online courses. It doesn’t matter how good you think they already are there is always room for improvement. I personally am now aware at how deficient my courses are in the area of accessibility for special needs students. I will certainly work to correct that.
    Also, seeing what is now out there in the area of online science labs impressed me. From the late-night-lab presentation and demonstrations to the virtual microscope software available, all I kept saying was “wow”. Always something new, always changing.
    As a new faculty member, it also gave me a chance to really get to know some of my colleagues here at CCC. It was a group of great people and great educators. People who love what they do. It was a great experience. And oh yeah, they fed us very well too.

  10. Having just sent off my spring syllabi, I have read this afternoon the comments from my colleagues. Rather than ditto you each to distraction, I’ll try not to repeat your comments too often. It was indeed an excellent learning experience. For the most part I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the presenters and the conference attendees. I wish that round table discussions could have followed some of the sessions as I wanted to talk to everyone there. One of my favorites was the Google Apps on Sunday. Unlike David, I did not know that we already have these tools at CCC. The week beforehand I had struggled to open a wiki account for student groups to use before the end of the semester. Now I realize I could have used Google groups if I had known about them, along with the calendar, etc. I did learn from my sessions, but the realization of my own ignorance hit me in every one I attended. Sometimes it was an unpleasant feeling because I want to know more. Have we ever considered using technology mentors at CCC? I have some tools I did not have before, but I know I’m going to need to ask some soft chalk questions. I was excited to meet lots of English teachers and more than a few developmental instructors who shared how they twitter and use iphones in the classroom. This is a STEEP learning curve I am on, but as Sandy and Joseph both declared, my head is swirling with ideas to have better online and technology-enhanced interaction with my students. Thank you so much to Patrick for your ongoing encouragement and to Don for providing funds to make the experience possible. I had a wonderful stimulating conference. Va

  11. cathy crowell said:

    WE are very lucky to have the Title 3 grant here at CCC to fund our exceptional professional development opportunities. This is the third NC3ADL conference it has given me the chance to attend and it was by far the best yet! Each year there are more varied presenters and amazing hands on workshops. I learned many new techniques and possibilities and also had many of our “best practices” for blackboard reaffirmed. Thank you Patrick and Pre-Ah for the many in house DL workshops. The preview I attended for Blackboard 9.1 was an eye opener. There were many improvements that will be time savers and visually enhance the courses, but I was excited to see there was a way to tie outcomes to college assessments in this version. Hurray. The presentation on Hybrids reaffirmed why I think that is the best format for most of my students who are very visual hands on learners. I believe most retention data also supports this. Its like having your cake and eating it too. Love google, what can I say, they have it going on in everything they do. Great presentation. Last but not least it is so productive to spend time and network with our own colleagues away form campus and learn more about them and what they do at the college. THANKS Title 3 and DL!

  12. One thing is certain…education is changing rapidly and the tools, techniques and methods are very different than what they were 10-20 years ago due to technology and the rapid growth of online education (e-learning).

  13. […] and Written Testimonials by Staff and Faculty. Categories: DL Reports Tags: Title III Grant LikeBe the first to like […]

  14. […] and Written Testimonials by Staff and Faculty. Joseph Croom from CCC Student Services commented about a Title III sponsored […]

  15. […] and Written Testimonials by Staff and Faculty. Joseph Croom from CCC Student Services commented about a Title III sponsored […]

  16. I really enjoyed my first NC3ADL conference. Besides what I learned in the sessions, it was great getting to know my colleagues at CCC a little better. My report (crossposted on Yammer):

    My primary goal in attending NC3ADL was to learn as much as possible about Moodle, especially course design and migrating content from Blackboard. The library would like to have Moodle versions of our Blackboard library skills courses available for Moodle instructors in the spring. I attended 4 Moodle presentations, all of them useful. In particular, I’m more informed about the differences between Moodle 1.9 and 2.0 and what’s involved in moving material between Blackboard and Moodle (we’ll probably start ours from scratch anyway).

    The big unexpected discovery for me was NCLOR. NCLOR is a digital repository for instructional materials and includes some really good stuff. Just as important, NCLOR welcomes submissions, so it’s a great way to see the content you’ve created potentially used by a much broader audience. They do seem a little understaffed, and the website discovery tool feels awkward, but I will definitely be spending a lot of time on NCLOR in the future.

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