Volunteers Wanted for Research Study on Creating Online Courses

volunteers wanted for a research study

Are you a faculty member who has designed online courses? Boise State University is conducting a research study about online course design and looking for your input! The study aims to understand the process instructors use to create online courses in higher education. The researchers’ hope is to provide information that helps instructors in designing online courses. To participate in the study you will be asked to describe your experience with creating online courses in a twenty minute interview. Faculty members at four-year colleges or universities who have designed online courses may participate.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Sally Baldwin at sallybaldwin@u.boisestate.edu. Sally is the graduate student who is conducting this research under the direction of Dr. Yu-Hui Ching, Educational Technology Department.

Trying Periscope for Video Discussion

Periscope There are many ways to quickly and easily share video today from mobile devices, with video becoming increasingly popular in web-based learning environments. While I try to model best practices of online course design and delivery in the courses I teach, I’m also curious to try new approaches and technologies to see their potential within online learning. One such intriguing technology that I’m curious to try is live mobile streaming video. To do so in our course, I’m going to use the free Periscope app for broadcasting and recording video announcements throughout my spring 2016 course, ETT 570: IT Leadership. If you’d like to try Periscope with me, simply download and install the free Periscope app onto your phone and then follow me within the Periscope app, username @jasonrhode. After doing so, when I post a start a live video broadcast on my phone, you’ll receive a push notification and can watch live and post questions/comments via text chat in real time while watching the video.

After each live video broadcast, I plan to upload the video to our course YouTube playlist and post in Blackboard to the appropriate online discussion forum or as a new announcement, so even students who don’t try Periscope can still watch the recorded videos from me. Here’s an example of the recorded video from my most recent live video broadcast on Periscope.

I’ll be interested to hear feedback on my use of Periscope in the course and I think this could have MANY different educational applications. More to come!

Quality Online Course Series: 7 Online Workshops with Tips for Designing Quality Online Courses

Quality Online Course SeriesIn Spring 2015, Northern Illinois University Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center developed and offered for the first time a series of 7 online workshops sharing principles, best practices, and tips for designing and developing quality online courses. The workshops were archived and available for on-demand viewing below or directly within the series playlist on YouTube. Kudos to my NIU colleagues, Stephanie Richter and Tracy Miller, for developing and offering the series!


Ensuring Quality in Your Online Course

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How do you know if your online course is good? More importantly, how do you make it better? In this archived workshop offered 1/23/15, you will learn about why quality is important and how to create more student-centered online courses by using the Quality Matters rubric (a nationally-recognized benchmark for online course design based on research-supported best practices). After viewing this archived online workshop, you will be prepared to develop or improve an online course that is designed to promote student learning. View archived workshop »


Learning Objectives and Assessments

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Once you have established objectives and the assessments to measure them, the next step is to create and/or curate course content and instructional materials to support the learning objectives. It is also important to clearly explain the purpose, source, and alignment of instructional materials. In this archived online workshop offered 2/13/15, you will learn about creating and curating course content from quality sources as well as communicating them to your students. View archived workshop »


Course Content & Instructional Materials

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Once you have established objectives and the assessments to measure them, the next step is to create and/or curate course content and instructional materials to support the learning objectives. It is also important to clearly explain the purpose, source, and alignment of instructional materials. In this archived online workshop offered 2/27/15, you will learn about creating and curating course content from quality sources as well as communicating them to your students. View archived workshop »


Course Activities & Student Engagement

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How do you encourage students to be fully engaged in an online course? By designing engaging and active, which foster interaction with you, the other students, and the content. In this archived online workshop offered 1/27/16, you will be introduced to some strategies to build learning activities which connect to your course objectives, as well as engage students in their own learning. View archived workshop »


Promoting Learning with Technology

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In an online course, technology is necessary for connecting with students, engaging them in learning, and assessing their knowledge. It’s important to choose the right tools that support the learning objectives but are also obtainable and suitable for student use. In this online workshop offered 3/20/15, you will learn how to ensure technology in an online course supports learning and discover some tools you can incorporate into an online course. View archived workshop »


Accessibility, Usability, & Student Support

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Online students can feel isolated, but they don’t have to be. In this online workshop offered 4/10/2015, you will explore how usability and accessibility can set students up for success. You will also learn how to connect students with valuable support services. View archived workshop »


Getting Students Started

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Now that you have designed a high quality online course based on the other standards, you are ready to introduce it to your students. Set the right tone and support student success by helping them get started with a welcome message, a course tour, or a navigation guide. In this online workshop offered 4/24/2015 we will explore best practices for introducing course structure to your students and building community View archived workshop »

Twitter Resource Sharing Instructions – Spring 2016

Twitter Resource Sharing

For students of my spring 2016 course, ETT 570: IT Leadership, I’m sharing the following instructions regarding our Twitter Resource Sharing activities.

In addition to engaging in discussion with classmates via the discussion board in Blackboard, you will share resources and engage with the broader educational community regarding current trends and instructional technology leadership on Twitter. In doing so, you will continue to expand your perspective beyond the “walls of our course” on the issues we’ll be exploring together, while continuing to build your personal learning network. If you haven’t already setup a free Twitter account in a previous class, please do so and be prepared to “tweet” using it throughout the course. For more information on getting started with Twitter, see https://sites.google.com/site/twitterinedu

Each week, you are expected to post a minimum of 5 tweets per week using both hashtags #ett570 and #itleadership (only tweets that include both hashtags will be considered as intended for this class resource sharing activity via Twitter). Your tweets in your Twitter account need to be public in order to receive credit for participating in this weekly activity.

  • At least one tweet must have a link to an online resource regarding current module topic related to IT leadership that hasn’t already been shared by your instructor or classmates thus far in the course
  • At least one tweet must have a link to an online resource related to the topic(s) from the required reading(s) for the module that hasn’t already been shared by your instructor or classmates thus far in the course.
  • At least one tweet must be a public reply to a fellow classmate (beginning your tweet @username of the Twitter user you are responding to).
  • At least one tweet must be a public reply or mention to someone else not a member of the class (including somewhere in your tweet @username of the Twitter user you are responding to or mentioning).
  • One tweet may be a retweet (RT) of someone else

Using your preferred Twitter client, save searches of hashtags #ett570 and #itleadership and follow the streams for each hashtag throughout the course.

Also, make an effort to follow at least one new educator and/or IT leader on Twitter each week.

There will be a discussion forum in Blackboard where you can post your Twitter username to share with your classmates and begin following your instructor and fellow classmates on Twitter as you like.

DUE: end of each Module (1-12) at 11:59 pm

How to Setup a Custom Course Entry Home Page in Blackboard

For several years, I have been customizing the entry point / home page in my online courses that I’ve designed and taught in Blackboard Learn. In some courses, I’ve setup a course communication dashboard home page where I’ve aggregated various course communications and information items into a singular location. Most recently, I’ve shifted to utilizing a course welcome – start here page that provides my students with general overview information about the course, instructor contact information, and helpful tips for getting off to a strong start in the course.

Sample customized course home page

For those interested in developing their own customized course entry home page in Blackboard, I’ve recorded this video tutorial overview of the course entry home page template that I use in my Blackboard Learn courses, with step-by-step instructions for how to setup in your own course. The template home page HTML code is available in HTML or TXT formats.

If you’d like to experience the custom course home page referenced in the tutorial within a course, the Blackboard course that I demonstrated is available for self-enrollment or to download as an OER package, more details here.

If you found this information helpful, or if you have developed your own custom course home page template, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let’s connect.