Category Archives: eLearning

Back in Action!

How many of those types blog titles do you see? (“I am back”, “Sorry for the delay”, etc.) Well, a couple from me this year, but I am back! The last 6 months have been a wild but rewarding ride! I am still adapting to new experiences and processes in my role here at SCC, but I feel I am starting to get to a point where I know how I can better contribute to the blogosphere. \0/ Hooray!

This will be a short post but I do want to clue you in on a few ideas I would like to write about in the coming weeks:

  • I went to the AHG conference in Colorado last month. LOTS of great resources on online learning and accessibility in general.
  • Universal Design for Learning – this has been a focus recently and I have some resources to share. I also look forward to hearing from YOU and any additional tools/resources you have!
  • Adobe – always great things to share from the Adobe Education Exchange, as well as an exciting update from me!

Stay tuned. Even if I do not write, please know I am always thinking of things to share and talk about…now that I know more about what my responsibilities are in my new-ish role here at SCC, I feel more confident about how much (and when) I can post.

Let’s Talk soon!

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LEC4: Module 7 – Four Roles of an Online Coach

Reflect on what you learned about the Four Roles of an Online Coach in this Module. As you complete the steps below, you will be creating your own Personal Learning Plan for Online Coaching:

  1. Create a table or use a graphic organizer to develop your Personal Learning Plan for Online Coaching in your reflection journal.
  2. Feel free to use the following document as a template or guide for this activity. (link removed)
  3. Your table/graphic organizer must include the four coaching roles (instructor, social director, program manager, and technical assistant) listed/labeled from your weakest role to your strongest role.
  4. Include a table column/section in your graphic organizer that identifies the skills for each role that you believe you need to gain or strengthen.
  5. Include a table column/section in your graphic organizer that identifies for each role how you can gain or strengthen those skills.
  6. Please use your professional journal or journal you created using google docs for this entry. Please the URL to your journal so we know it is ready for us to look at. Make sure that the instructors have the rights to view your journal.

Reflection:

In searching for a new way to organize my learning plan for this assignment, I went on a several day journey (off and on as per usual) reviewing various task and goal management apps and websites. As you can see below, I ended up with a great graphic organizer from MS Word. I tried a Voo2Do project (find out more about this tool at http://www.voo2do.com) but decided against posting it here. I do, however, plan to do a later post reviewing some of my findings from that journey, and will include Voo2Do as part of that process.

Listed below, in order of strongest to weakest coaching roles, is my learning plan for online coaching. Each role has what I need to do to gain or strengthen that role and how I will take action to do so.

Four Roles Plan for Online Teaching

Module 7 – Assignment 7.3 for LEC4 course

LEC4: Module 6 Reflection-Technology and Assessment

This module has explored the use of technology tools for both formative and summative assessment. As you think about how you will implement formative and summative assessments in the online and blended environments, what are some of the factors you need to consider?


As I describe below, there are a lot of great tools to use for both formative and summative assessments in online and blended environments. After having reviewed several web 2.0 and other online tools, I have two main reflections:

  1. Critical Reviews are a MUST!
    1. With so many options, it is important to review each tool carefully. Of course, no one has enough time to do a thorough review of every tool they find but doing so with a few top choices will save time in the long run. The advertising and cute videos may hook you quick, but make sure each tool does what you need it to do.
  2. Try Before you Buy (or download).
    1. Review videos on their website as well as reviews and videos from others who have used the tool. Even before trying out the software or app, you can sometimes exclude it based on that review.
    2. If your initial reviews check out, then download or install it for yourself. Make a teacher and a demo student account (if applicable) and go through a few use cases (examples of how you and the students would use the tool). My own experience in reviewing web 2.0 tools for this course included keeping a pros and cons list for each tool and then comparing each to find which tool best fit the activity. Having a few tools available helped focus my thinking and what tool worked best for each type of activity.

Time is well spent by going through these reviews and trials. It may seem difficult to spend so much time on just that part, but the better you know the tool, the better it will fit your (and your students) needs. Of course, I am not recommending doing this on a daily basis, but on a regular basis for sure…new tools are being developed all the time!

Module 6 Review of Online Assessment Tools

There are so many tools out there and it can get overwhelming, but after choosing a few options and then comparing them…I have a winner! I am going to try out ClassKick. From their website (http://getclasskick.com)-“As students work on a teacher-made Classkick assignment on their iPads, teachers see every students’ work progressing all at once. Students can privately raise hands, teachers give individualized, real-time student feedback, and so much more.” Sounds interesting and fun! From Tuttle’s Stages of Formative Assessment, this tool will allow students responses, allow the teacher to monitor and diagnose the responses, also allows the teacher to share feedback based on the diagnosis, it allows the student to immediately receive that feedback and hopefully learn from it but it does not seem to report growth.

I want to play with it some more and will report back with any interesting tidbits or experiences. I plan to use it in my iPad classes or maybe even in the 1:1 for additional practice after the class. Since my classes are typically less than 10 people, it should work out great. I could see this being a lot to manage for a larger class, however. But still valuable.

For those interested, my other choices were Kahoot, Verso, and Infuse Learning. Sadly I learned that IL is ending on April 3rd. So sad too, such a fun tool!!

LEC4: Module 5 Reflection-Accessibility

Reflect on your learning and practice regarding Accessibility. How accessible are your current instructional materials? Are there elements of your instructional materials that could be revised to make them more accessible? Please share any resources you know or use to make your curriculum and course accessible.


It seems that there are two places where most of the training I do takes place…as a Tech in my current fulltime job, and with our local Community Education. Most of the training as a tech is JIT (Just In Time) training so little to no preparation or resources included. Just whatever is on hand at the time…So the answer to my question will focus on the other instance, classes I teach with Community Education.

The classes I teach for Community Education are mostly one-to-one or one-to-two people, but now and then I have classes in a group setting. I use most of the same materials for both classes, but there are a few differences. With the group classes, I used more videos and Powerpoint presentations, and with the 1:1’s I use more individualized Word docs or PDF’s. Overall, I realize I have not done enough in regards to making sure all materials are accessible. This is terrible! However, it is not as if I am not doing ANYTHING…Since many of the participants are elderly, I know I automatically consider pace, using larger fonts on the computers, and other tools, but I need to do more. Doing so would not only increase the level of enjoyment and learning for current students, but also might encourage others to take a class or two.

Here are a few things I would like to do:

  • Talk with the director about resources available such as screen readers etc.
  • As I develop online materials, incorporate transcripts to videos, alt tags to images, etc.
  • At the end of most classes, I give a list of tools, websites, video, and books each participant can use for review and/or further information and study-I plan to make sure that those resources are accessible.
  • Revitalize my interest in Universal Design. There are a lot of actions that can be taken right from the start of a project to make it accessible to individual with and without disabilities.

Resources:

Brajnik, Giorgio. “Comparing accessibility evaluation tools: a method for tool effectiveness.” Universal Access in the Information Society 3.3-4 (2004): 252-263.

Elias, Tanya. “Universal instructional design principles for mobile learning.” The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 12.2 (2011): 143-156.

Mcguire, Joan M, Sally S Scott, and Stan F Shaw. “Universal design and its applications in educational environments.” Remedial and special education 27.3 (2006): 166-175.

LEC4: Module 4 Reflection-Impact of the Internet on Learning

Think about how the Internet has impacted your own personal learning, communication, and sense of community. Write a new post that includes a screenshot showing your participation in a social or professional network, and a summary of how you use that network for personal or professional connections or for new learning. In your post reflect on:

  • When does the Internet help your learning? When does it distract from good learning for you?
  • How might your answers to these questions be similar to or different from the answers your students might give?
  • How might you support your students in using the Internet as their own personal learning space?

I LOVE this prompt! For lifelong learners like myself, the Internet has been a blessing (and a curse, at times)! I mostly joke about the curse, of course…but it has led to more than a few other tasks not getting done and even more than a few late nights! This mostly happens when I lose focus on my objectives and what I am working on at that moment. It is almost always something related to what I am working on, and not Facebook, Pinterest etc. But sometimes there are those shiny articles in other areas of interest that pop up…and I have to reign myself in. I find bookmarking and to-do lists in One Note to be a huge help at times like these!

THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF THE INTERNET ON MY LEARNING

I have several hobbies that have benefited over and over again by engaging in forums, researching websites, ordering materials (books mostly), checking my social media connections etc. I have been able to learn new skills, enhance or refresh current skills, discover new passions/interests and meet people who more than likely would have never otherwise crossed my path! I think student answers to these prompts would be less on the learning side in most cases, and more on websites/apps that enable them to socialize with their friends more. This could be a gray area, but I think most students K-12 and many in college like to and should be socializing with their friends. It is just harder to balance that and school for them, I think. Again, some, not all. I encourage students to use the Internet for finding out more about topics of interest, to share their work, and to get to know others…BUT, in a responsible way. Good digital citizenship does need to be taught or at least made aware that it is a focus in the classroom. Just because they may use the Internet and social media, does not always mean they know how to do so in a responsible way.

COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNITY

My job history, like many I would assume, includes jobs that were not entirely suited to my career goals. Having groups and forums online that I could participate in and people who I could network with allowed me to keep up what I was learning in college and continue to move forward in my field. For the most part, my professional life has existed mostly online. Due to that I feel a real sense of community when I am online…so many people who I have never met, but appreciate and enjoy learning from and talking with! Communication within those groups often makes more sense to me. This could probably be (as we have talked about in past modules) due to being able to better focus on the message when online…in person, there are tendencies to misread people or be distracted by other things going on around you. Different personality types can conflict more easily and sometimes the communication is one-way. True, there is the possibility that messages online can be misread or misinterpreted, but I feel that is something that can be overcome.

ONE OF MY PROFESSIONAL NETWORKS

One of the most useful and frequented professional networks that I participate in is the Adobe Education Exchange. I engage in the community as a learner, a trainer, an instructional designer and a moderator. There are live and on-demand classes to take and tons of great resources on using Adobe products. Since I use a lot of these in my work as a trainer and ID, I find it invaluable.

Adobe Ed Ex profile

My profile on the Adobe Education Exchange.

Most recently I have become an Adobe Campus Leader (ACL) and an Adobe Education Trainer (AET). Some of you may have seen my past post from my T4T classes (Training for the Trainer)…the first Adobe T4T was last Summer. The most recent one I am actually finishing up this month...the focus of this T4T is eLearning. The courses are a great way to learn new features of Captivate, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Muse, etc. (Photoshop alone could keep almost anyone occupied with things to learn for a long time!) I have used a few of the resources and lessons here in my Community Education courses and with staff at my full-time job. Last year we received a grant from Adobe (HOORAY) for Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements, and Captivate so I am gathering ideas and formulating a plan for professional development. This site and the ConnectEd group I am a part of is and will be a primary resource as I work on that project!

LEC4: Module 3 Reflection-Web 2.0 and Bloom’s Taxonomy

Write a post that briefly describes the activity you would create and how you might minimize possible challenges students and the teacher might have to address. Make sure that your activity is aligned to a learning objective, and uses verbs from the top three levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.


Background Information: A regular series of courses I teach through Community Education is on Computer Literacy. It is a basic to intermediate level course (depending on the skills and experiences of the student) that covers basic computer, email and internet skills. The activity I describe below would more than likely be in the intermediate level course since the student would need at least a basic level of skill using the computer and internet. The tool used in this activity is EDpuzzle, a web 2.0 tool that will allow them to design and produce a video complete with quiz questions. With EDpuzzle teachers can select videos, edit them down, assign them to students, and quiz them as they watch. As in the activity below, students can create videos as well.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes:

PART ONE: The student will design a plan for a 2-3 minute video on a piece of computer hardware (printer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, tablet, etc.) using a word processing or diagram tool of their choice.

PART TWO: The student will produce their video.

PART THREE: Once the video is created, the student will use EDpuzzle to make an interactive quiz containing at least three questions for the viewer.

To introduce the process, I will design and produce a video of my own on a computer-related topic. I will get students set up with an account in EDpuzzle, and assign the video. Through this experience they will become familiar with what is expected for their final product. I will make sure they have access to EDpuzzle either on a tablet or a computer, and give them class time to work on it, if needed. Since our classes do not meet every day, clear expectation will be needed to avoid confusion or incomplete projects. To ensure understanding of the project objectives, I will make available online and in paper form (if needed) the detailed instructions of the project. For the student, this experience will give them an opportunity to take the knowledge of a particular piece of computer hardware that they know well, and through the video show that understanding. Students may struggle with finding a topic, but with guidance and encouragement, we will find something they can work on with confidence. Sometimes the students come to the class with a friend or family member, so in that case it may work to have them complete the project in pairs. Depending on the size of the class, they will also be able to view and engage with their classmates and their videos.

At the completion of the project, I will give feedback on each one and since we do not deal in grades, congratulate them as to the level of completion of the lesson objectives. Being able to design and produce the video and the applicable quiz items will show they have a higher level of understanding of that piece of computer hardware.

LEC4: Module 2 Reflection-Online and Blended Learning

The reflection this week is guided by the following questions:

  1. Reflecting on the information covered in this module, how might your instructional methodologies need to change in an online or blended learning environment?
  2. What skills and strategies might you improve or expand upon in order to best support student learning in a blended or online environment?

Having a good foundation and understanding of effective instructional methodologies and strategies is key to any learning environment. In an online or blended learning environment, much of this does not change but the online component does require an awareness and often a change of methodology. During this module, we reviewed four emerging models (flex, rotation, self-blend, and online lab) where either all or part of the student contact time is online. Whether it is the online component of the blended classroom, or a fully online course, attention to the following areas can be noted:

  • Communication-students will expect, and within reason should expect, regular feedback and replies to their questions and assignments. Parameters should be set so that student expectations are reasonable to keep the pace and progress of the course. This is the same for a face-to-face course, but in an online course there is a bit more urgency due to the 24/7 nature of being online.
  • Class Discussions-guiding online discussions require closer attention to keeping on topic and moderating discussions towards the lesson objectives. Since several students can post at once, versus just one student being called on at a time, this can be challenging but also can lead to very rich and informative discussions.
  • Assessment-not being able to adjust on the fly based on facial cues and body language as in a face-to-face class, the teacher needs to interact and question students to ensure understanding in ongoing assessments. Pre and post assessments remain largely the same.

There are other instructional methodologies that need to change, but those are a few of the areas that came to mind after reviewing this module. Depending on the course and the students themselves, other strategies can be effective as well.

Personally, the skills and strategies I can improve on revolve around stability and keeping on top changing educational technology and course design. In an online course, students can be left feeling isolated and not part of the class if the teacher does not maintain a regular presence online. Replying to forum posts, returning assignments in a timely manner, maintaining regular “office hours”, and personalizing lessons can help offer this stability. When designing courses, an awareness of these factors can help make for a more interesting and engaging experience for the teacher and students. To some extent the LMS (learning management system) maybe set so there is only a limited number of ways to set up the online environment, but this is where knowing what does and does not work related to instructional design is valuable.

LEC4: Module 1 Reflection-Goals for LEC4 Course

Considering the online learning self-assessment you took this week, and thinking about your reasons for taking this course, what is your highest priority learning goal for this course? What are some specific skills, strategies or tools you are hoping to learn more about?

My highest priority (other than completing the course) is to have a portfolio completed by the end of the course that is a good representation of my knowledge and skills in this area. I have learning objects and lessons all over (on my computer and in various places on the web) so it will be great to have one place that shows some of what I know and can do.

I am hoping to learn more about what makes a great and engaging online lesson, how to abide by copyright and online safety regulations, and since I work as an instructor and an Instructional Designer, what I can do as an ID when working with others (instructors, SME’s, etc.) to create quality online materials.

I admit, I did not read all 29 pages of the letters, but after getting through about half of them there were some common themes-plan, work hard, read everything, relate to cohort members, and have fun (among others)! Hey, I like to have fun so there is the piece of advice from the LEC letters I connected the most with. I really do love technology and have ever since I was a kid. I really enjoy learning new tools, playing around with new software or new web 2.0 tools as we are in this course. Even when I am working on a tough project like programming or learning how to build my own mod for Minecraft, I am having fun. Sure, sometimes I might want to throw my computer across the room at times when things get really tough, but it is so rewarding in the end. I know I will be putting a lot of time and effort into this course and at times with other stuff going on, it may get a little frustrating but I know we are all in the same boat and will have our portfolios and the certification when we are done! Along with having learned about some new tools and skills-that sounds like FUN to me! Let’s do this!

Online and Blended Learning Course

This week began with a full day introduction to the Leading Edge Alliance course “Online and Blended Learning”. After the completion of this 8-week course, participants such as myself will received the certification and have a completed portfolio showcasing our skills in that area. Like others, I have learning objects and lessons in various places so it will be great to put some of that together in a professional and organized fashion.

Part of the course requirements include regular reflections on the weekly units, and I will be posting those reflections here. I encourage feedback, tips, and other related information on those posts (as I do for any posts).

For more information on this course, please visit their website.

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