Coming Soon…Bb Grader for iOS

Blackboard has been working on an iOS iPad app for instructors to use for grading submitted assignments in Blackboard. The app was briefly demo’d at BbWorld in July and Blackboard recently posted an archive of an online webinar offered this past week where more information about the app and a more extensive demonstration was offered by Trey Buck, Product Manager at Blackboard.

The presentation with an overview of the app, technical specifics, etc. begins at the 3:21 mark (see link below) with the demonstration beginning at about the 9:40 mark in the video.

Near the end of the presentation, Blackboard shared that they are in the final stages of QA testing and will be submitting the app to Apple to review in the next several days for App Store approval. It could be released as soon as a few weeks and Blackboard mentioned that the availability of this new app will be widely publicized once available. This new mobile grading functionality that is coming soon will certainly be welcomed by many instructors. I myself look forward to giving the app a try!

Flipping Not Flopping: Infusing Active Learning in Online and Blended Courses

Flipping Not Flopping: Infusing Active Learning in Online and Blended Courses
In this keynote session by Jason Rhode at the St. Mary’s University of Minnesota Fall Faculty Conference on 9/19/14, we considered how the flipped delivery model aligns to online and blended course designs. Jason Rhode shared tips and best practices for designing engaging and interactive online and blended courses that incorporate a flipped methodology. Additionally, we explored practical steps for embracing e-communications in developing a virtual learning community that facilitates active learning. Accompanying slides are available here and links included in slides shared below.

Resource Links

10 Rules to Improve Your Presentations

10 Rules to Improve Your Presentations

  1. No Bullet Points. Bullet points ruin presentations. When you use bullet points, you take away from your talent as a speaker and reduce your meeting or presentation to a read-aloud session. Bullets work great in reports and documents, but keep them out of your presentations.
  2. Start on Paper. PowerPoint is a great tool, but starting your presentations on the computer will only box you into the templates that Microsoft and your company has created. Instead, grab a couple pieces of paper and a stack of sticky notes. Treat each sticky note as a slide and write the overall idea on each slide needed on a sticky note. Then peel and place them on the paper until you have a solid presentation outline that tells your story.
  3. The 30pt Rule. Your audience does not have super-human vision. When you use text on your slides, use a font size no smaller than 30pt. Any smaller, and your audience won’t be able to read the text on your slides.
  4. No Starburst. What is a starburst? When you think about it, it’s really just a crazy circle that serves no purpose. When we refer to this rule, a better way to think about it is to make sure your slides are simple. Don’t use crazy shapes or clip art in an effort to “jazz up” your slides. Instead, think about what you can delete from your slide to make sure the message you are trying to communicate is clear.
  5. Time-limits, Not Slide-limits. Does your company ask for “3 slides” for meetings? When you’re only allowed a set number of slides, it can lead you to break all our above rules. Ask your manager to change the slide limit to a time limit. In a three-minute presentation, some presenters may use 20 slides or even more. By setting a time limit and not a slide limit, organizations can empower employees to give better presentations.
  6. 1 Thought Per Slide. Presentations give you the opportunity to tell your story and sell your ideas. When a slide is packed with five different ideas, your story is lost. When you are looking through your slides, make sure they only communicate one idea per slide.
  7. No Noise. Glance at a slide for a couple of seconds. Do you understand clearly what the slide is about? If you do not, then it likely has too much noise. Keeping slides simple is one of the most important steps you can take in making great presentations.
  8. No Logo on Every Slide. If you are 20 minutes into a presentation and your audience doesn’t know who you are and what company you are with, then you have a major problem. The problem isn’t going to be solved by placing your company logo on every slide in your presentation. These logos add extra noise and distract from the story you are trying to tell.
  9. No Chart Junk. Your presentation was likely not created for an academic class. Don’t fill it with complex charts that will take your audience a minute or more to determine the data point you are trying to emphasize. Make your data clear. If you are going to use a chart, make sure its takeaway is clear. Remember that, sometimes, posting a single stat on a slide can have more of an impact than an elaborate chart you plucked out of a pivot table./li>
  10. Tell a Story. The first nine rules all support this one. As a presenter, your job is to tell a story. Make sure your presentations – both slides and speech – work together to tell a clear story. It should consist of essential story elements like conflict and humor. Tell a story!

via pinfographics

10 eLearning Design Principles Infographic

10 Design Principles for eLearning Infographic

Design is too often overlooked by course developers, or otherwise misunderstood – some eLearning designers think that as long as their course “looks good,” the visuals are sufficient. But graphical composition and design affect the way a learner takes in information, so giving a bit more thought to the visual layout of the pages of your course is an important part of eLearning best practices. The eLearning Design Principles Infographic presents 10 simple changes that will improve the layout of your eLearing course.

  1. Guide the viewer’s eye
  2. Control the clutter
  3. Shorten the columns
  4. Proper use of white space
  5. Smart font choices
  6. Keep things consistent
  7. Watch your alignment
  8. Let prominence inform position
  9. Offer easy access
  10. Use contrasting colors

via info.shifelearning.com

Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching and Learning

Blended and Flipped Special ReportAt the heart of both blended learning and flipped learning is a learner-centered curriculum that changes the traditional roles of instructor and student.

This downloadable special report features 12 articles curated from past issues of The Teaching Professor, Online Classroom, and Faculty Focus. With six articles dedicated to blended learning and six articles on the flipped classroom, Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning provides an inside look at how faculty are using these approaches to reshape the college classroom. Articles include:

  • Putting the Learning in Blended Learning
  • Recommendations for Blended Learning Course Design
  • The Process Approach to Online and Blended Learning
  • Expanding the Definition of a Flipped Learning Environment
  • “I Don’t Like This One Little Bit.” Tales from a Flipped Classroom
  • Looking for ‘Flippable’ Moments in Your Class