Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

Effective Online Teaching BB

Please post and comments, suggestions, ideas for retooling (updating) this course.

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Patrick Keough wrote…..

I have taken a hard look at EFFECTIVE ONLINE TEACHING and propose we do a major overhaul (retooling / upgrading) to this course. Thanks to a Title III Grant at CCC I was able to initiate (develop) a Blackboard / Effective Online Teaching certification program for all our faculty. All CCC online faculty MUST attend 6 hours of training before they can teach for us. This training is called Blackboard Boot Camp (see attached blog links) and is in 3 parts. Part one is basic nuts and bolts on how the blackboard works, control panel, adding content, discussion board, gradebook, etc…..,Part II is Online Teaching methodology (Best Practices / Online Teaching Tips) and Part III is about creating, producing and adding Rich Media Content (Podcasts, Screencasts, Video, Camtasia, Flash, etc.) to online courses. We already have much of this instructional content (media) created as far as Screencast videos on how the blackboard works, uploading content, navigating, gradebook, text editor and course configuration. We can also interface this blackboard to the various Tech Grant resources on the Tech Grant Web Site like Podcasting, Flash, Camtasia, ITunes U, Blogging, etc. to create a very comprehensive online training resource. We must also incorporate assessments for the various modules. This redesigned training course could also be the standard for training in a workshop setting as well as having faculty take it online. I have a professional narrator (listen to this linked podcast) on staff here at CCC who we could contract with to do the voice overs for the instructional podcats and screencasts that would be embedded throughout the course. I also propose we do an introductory video that explains all the expectations for the course.

Cristifor Harshman responded…

I think Patrick is right on the money. We have put the finishing touches on our pod/screencast studio, and would be happy to contribute to audio, video and learning object content for the course. We’re using Heil PR-40 mics and a Mackie firewire audio mixer to capture clean sound, and have voice talent on hand. I’m hoping to have a video showcasing the studio and its uses by the end of next week; if anyone is interested, I’d be happy to share.

One complementary project we’re working on is a wiki-based ed tech documentation store. With a wiki application like Wikimedia (the application that drives Wikipedia.org), I hope to provide an easily-searched repository for technology-related articles including definitions, how-to guides, videos, screencasts, tips for practical uses and more. Leveraging the peer-review model a wiki gives us, we should be able to quickly build the library and maintain the information as it changes. Hosting a repository like this outside of an LMS gated community makes it usable in Blackboard/Moodle/etc, but does not lock the information into any particular LMS, alleviating the need to replicate and convert the information from one format or LMS to another.

Has anyone else implemented something similar? I hope to have the wiki framework installed and operational soon, and would be happy to share the link and welcome any feedback and suggestions.

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I think we can scale this course down and add some screen casts, instructional video’s and podcasts to illustrate the content. I suggest we all all take an area (Assignments, Announcement, Resources, How course Works, Discussion Board) and reevaluate the content and way it is delivered. I also suggest someone gets Instructor rights to this course and we can archive it and make a copy we can all work on without screwing up the master.. I’ll be glad to make a copy of it and put on my BB server so we can deconstruct and reconstruct it. How does that sound?

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Who wants to do what??? I’ll volunteer for the Assignments.  This will go hand and hand with the DB – so is anyone interested in working with me on this part?

Just post to the comments below what you want to work on – if someone has a better idea I am all ears.

Patrick Keough


Comments on: "Effective Online Teaching BB" (13)

  1. I think we can scale this course down and add some screen casts, instructional video’s and podcasts to illustrate the content. I suggest we all all take an area (Assignments, Announcement, Resources, How course Works, Discussion Board) and reevaluate the content and way it is delivered. I also suggest someone gets Instructor rights to this course and we can archive it and make a copy we can all work on without worrying about screwing up the master. I’ll be glad to make a copy of it and put on my BB server so we can deconstruct and reconstruct it. How does that sound?

    Who wants to do what??? I’ll volunteer for the Assignments. This will go hand and hand with the DB – so is anyone interested in working with me on this part?

    Just post to the comments below what you want to work on – if someone has a better idea I am all ears.

  2. Candace Holder said:

    Hi~

    I would like to work on moving the content over to the new VLC Template and formatting requirements. Also, I am willing to review all content once it is recreated into a new format to verify it meets accessibility requirements. How does this sound for my part?

    It will be Sunday afternoon before I get to work on this project again.

  3. Candace Holder said:

    One more thing. Let’s get Wanda to put a copy on the system server for us to work on. I’ll send her an email and ask her to set this up ASAP.

  4. Great Candace! We need a working copy of this course with Instructor rights so we can get into the control panel. I will be glad to create some screen cast videos, and podcasts to illustrate the content in other forms to meet the needs of a variety of learning styles. Let me know how to access the course once we copy it. I am going to be coming up with a list of content to enhance with rich media. Patrick

  5. Candace Holder said:

    David is working on the course access. It is my understanding that the course will be setup on Fayetteville Tech’s server. David will provide us access.

    We still need a copy of the new VLC template. I’ll send this to Mary Mitchell (BB admin) at Fayetteville and ask her to set this up.

  6. sounds great Candace! Thanks! Please send me the url – login and password via e-mail when you get this so we can tear into the guts of this course. Patrick

  7. Here’s my initial observations:

    I think the information needs to be presented in three different ways – discussion, modeling and practical application. For instance, we could discuss what a podcast is, use Patrick’s recording as a model of how to use a podcast in an LMS, use iTunes University as an example of how to truly leverage podcasting, and suggest practical applications for one’s use of podcasting (coursecast, ancillary materials, student-driven roundtable, etc).

    I think the biggest hurdle will be deciding what to include, what to provide as further reading materials, and what to exclude. For instance, discussions on podcasting and RSS might be good to include, advanced audio, image and video editing might be good to provide extra links for, and discussions on how to use Adobe Flash might be good to exclude.

    One possible alternative to each person taking a section of the course would be divvying up the course by topic, so each person would be responsible for the Assignments, Resources and Discussion Board for topics he/she chooses. If we go with Patrick’s suggestion, I’d be happy to assist on Assignments/DB and Resources.

    I have two questions:

    The course states “This course is designed to assist faculty in moving into the online teaching environment with adult learners in an effective manner.” Is this still the purpose of the course and the specific targeted audience? If so, that may change some of the technologies we model and how we present the information.

    To me, this course currently reads like a dry history textbook. While screencasts, PDF step-by-step tutorials, videos and other interesting objects will make the information a little more interesting, the text still seems to miss the point (at least as I understand it) of newer research into educational delivery, like inviting students to contribute to the content of a course, student peer collaboration, etc. Are we re-writing the course as well as embellishing it?

  8. Great ideas and observations Cris! I agree 100% about the need to rewrite (update) a lot of this content. Due to time constraints David just wants us to give this course a face lift, however I thing we should also pull out all redundant and outdated content – stream line this thing and create a template so to speak with each module having like you said assignment,discussion, modeling and practical application appproach. Lets you and I go through and first think (PULL) all content in assignments and discussions we don’t think is applicable anymore. Once we do this you and I can cross reference what we have pulled and then begin to build (redesign) from there. Once we have a plan I think we can knock this thing out pretty quickly – I have an intern who can do screen shots and screen casts for us and an great professional narrator I can hire to do a few instructional introductory podcasts. Is this ok with you? Candace…how does this sound? Patrick

  9. Rusty Holmes said:

    Let me preface this by saying I have not seen a statement of work yet so I’m not sure how things might have changed. When I was working with David earlier on this project, he was trying to constrain what we could do with the time and resources available. He had discussed several categories centered around actions that needed to be completed to produce a tangible product. I don’t think the following issues conflict with dividing up the pieces as discussed above by Patrick and others. I’d like to think they are complementary. Again, I’m not sure if these have changed but we discussed:

    Content Revision – review of course content materials to ensure consistency with subject matter expert (SME) guidance (that would be us I guess as online teachers and administrators), delivery platform updates and/or changes (feature sets available with newer versions of Bb or changes that facilitate migration to Moodle), and changes in NCCCS or VLC policies (from the new template to new audit concerns for example).
    Instructional Design – review of course content sequencing, delivery, and evaluation supporting intended learning outcomes (we had discussed using a systematic approach such as but not limited to the VLC Quality Assessment Support Center ONLINE COURSE EVALUATION taxonomy to pull in that product but that might be too complex for the time allowed.) We won’t have time this go around to completely rip things apart and rebuild. We should be able to identify sequencing or evaluation issues of what it in the course already.
    Multimedia – review course content for opportunities to add multimedia enhancements, specifically those currently addressed at the NCCS Technology Center (http://66.39.75.209). You can mouse over the Technology Showcase link to see a list of the technologies.
    i3d – review course content for opportunities to add i3d objects.

    Dividing the course up as proposed shouldn’t conflict with these topics if you consider them as a list of things to check. The use of Patrick’s examples or production of new multimedia and i3d content can still be presented as Cris has suggested. That is pretty sound sequencing. Time may be what forces choices in this area. My understanding is that we should give priority to technologies presented at the Technology Center site.

    And finally…

    Technical Editing – review of (updated) course and content materials to ensure consistency with the VLC style guide, notation of errors (for example from this blog), and corrections that bring the course and content materials into alignment. ADA access compliance should be included here as Candace has noted. It has been my experience that technical editing tends to happen as you do the things listed above but sometimes we forget or lose focus. We probably shouldn’t consider the technical editing done on a section until it has been reviewed by someone who didn’t work on the section (extensively).

    Anyway, that’s my two cents worth at this point. I don’t care which section I focus on fixing. I just wanted to have some discussion on a systematic list of things to check for fixing.

  10. Candace Holder said:

    David is the course available on the FTCC server?

  11. The course seems to have lots of content that can be updated fairly easily — but we probably do want to assess how well the content meets the objectives and make adjustments based on that assessment and the new technologies. We could set up chart that briefly makes recommendations module by module.

    If the main purpose of our project is to model and recommend the use of the new technologies, then I’d like to volunteer to work on the lecture/reading materials.

    What do you think about setting the lecture/readings up in a more visually appealing way perhaps using Soft Chalk, adding some illustrations and visual examples? If we do this, then the lectures/readings could be uploaded easily to the Moodle version as well.

  12. I’ve been reviewing all the comments left on the site for the past few weeks. I’m pulling all the major questions and comments into one document and will get together with David Monday afternoon. From there we will discuss specifics of deadlines, goals, and how to distribute the work. You should receive a specific set of instructions/goals/necessary outcomes by monday evening.

  13. Sounds like a plan Torie! I have a dl intern that is great with graphics – one things we can do quickly to give a face life to this courses is to illustrate some of the content (with thumbnail graphics) that we are sure we are going to keep. Looks like we are ready to roll on this course upgrade.

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