Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Did you Know? Using some method of personal disclosure appears to reduce the psychological distance between online learners and instructors. In the online world, you do have to plan to communicate your interests and passions. We often take this for granted in F2F communication, preferring spontaneous conversation and communication. You can still do this in the online class, but planning some of the efforts is one proactive approach that may make a difference in the tone of the course. These efforts are also the first steps toward establishing trust and are very important for the future direction of the course.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Did you Know? Students establish their perception of the instructor and the course in the first fifteen minutes of a F2F course. Limited research has been conducted on when students establish their perception of an online course. Think about the adage, “You have one chance to make your first impression.” This also applies to the online course. Your welcome or opening statement is your chance for that first impression.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Did you Know? The best organized courses look so simple that anyone could navigate the course. This is exactly what you are seeking. Consistent organization (called internal standardization) assists users to anticipate where they should go next and what they will find when they get there. Using some visual indicator (usually an image with an alt tag so it can be read by a screen reader) helps users to quickly see the organizational categories.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Did you Know? Careful explanation of the navigation should reduce the number of questions you answer throughout the semester on where to find activities or assignments. While we are on this subject, the most pressing thing most students want to know when they open your class is what to do next. One thing you can do is to create a “Start Here” button or icon. You don’t have to use the exact language but do consider creating something directing students what to do next after reading your opening announcement.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Did you Know? Permanent announcements always appear at the top of the announcements section and any new announcements that are non permanent will appear beneath the permanent announcements. We have heard of students missing these announcements and instructors wondering why their announcements do not go to the top of the page. We recommend that no announcements be created as permanent announcements. Announcements will come into Blackboard in the order you create them or when you schedule them using the Date function. Our strategy is to teach students that the View All tab allows them to see all announcements for a course (unless the instructor removes them).
What: Information on pedagogical reasons to use certain tools in Blackboard to manage and teach an online class
When: Friday, August 10 and Friday, August 24; 9 – 4
- 9 a.m. – noon will feature trainings and presentations
- 1 – 4 p.m. will be hands-on assistance with course designers
Where: TWU, Denton Campus
Monday, May 14, 2007
Who: All faculty members who will use online tools to teach during the upcoming 2007-2008 academic year
What: Online Educator’s Symposium
The day will be broken down into three concurrent tracks:
- Track one - “Dare to Share” - Learn from current TWU online faculty members. Presenters will select one element of their online coursework to share.
- Track two - “Online Initiatives”- Get an update about online initiatives that are in development at TWU.
- Track three - “Online Pedagogy” – Discover what’s new on teaching and learning in the online environment.
When: Thursday, August 23, 2007; 8:30 – 3:45
Where: TWU, Denton Campus, Faculty Center
- Learn what your colleagues are doing in their online courses.
- See a showcase of examples from TWU online courses.
- Meet faculty who teach online.
- Find out about other online initiatives at TWU.
- Learn techniques to try in your own classes.
Are you interested in presenting your ideas? Submit a proposal for the “Dare to Share” track! Send your name, name of the presentation, and a one paragraph description to email@example.com no later than June 15, 2007. You can expect to present your topic for about 20-25 minutes. Please allow some time for questions from the audience. This track is all about sharing what you do well!
From T-B, L-R: Julie Brown, Senior Administrative Assistant; Lynda Murphy, Director of Distance Education; Keith Restine, Manager of Instructional Design; Allison Mabry, Coordinator of DE Communications; Alli Peterson, Senior Instructional Design Specialists; and Mike Simmons, Assistant Vice President for the Office of Lifelong Learning.
The Office of Lifelong Learning at TWU is interested in assisting all online faculty members in a variety of ways. This blog is one way to send brief information about issues related to teaching and learning in the online environment. We will post tips, breaking news about online issues, information about free software, and announcements of interest to TWU online educators. We are piloting this format to allow you to bookmark the blog or subscribe to the blog so you can be informed when new information is posted. We want you to have control of how you access the information. If you are interested, we also encourage you to post comments about tips, tricks, and information pertinent for other TWU online educators.
The Office of Lifelong Learning provides leadership and support for online teaching and learning at TWU through leadership and policy. We are vested in developing appropriate structures, policies, and supports to advance the academic mission of the university through online education. We are here to answer your questions and to listen to your ideas about how to make your academic work more robust.
If you would like to subscribe to this blog, either fill out the email subscription form to your left, or subscribe via RSS. Whicheve way you choose, we hope you will find this blog relevant and useful.
We are happy to maintain this blog to help connect TWU online educators. Please provide us with information about issues and topics that you would like to see addressed on the blog. Contact Allison Mabry at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.