Wednesday, September 19, 2007

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Fall 2007 DE Faculty Development

Applying QualityMatters Elements to Your Distance Course
Wednesday, October 10th, 1 -2 pm, Denton-MCL 308, Dallas-Presby 109, Dallas-Parkland 229, Houston-IHSH 5305

Learn how to identify and apply many of the QualityMatters elements to your distance course. This presentation will identify QM elements that are easy to add to your course. You will see examples of verbiage for some of these elements so you have a model to adapt for use in your own course. Most QM elements focus on communicating expectations for the course and making these expectations available to students. See how to create an Online Course Policies and Procedures menu item to make this information available to students from any location in a course.

Managing Distance Education Coursework

Monday, October 22nd, 2-3pm, Denton-MCL 501, Dallas-Presby 109, Dallas-Parkland 229, Houston-IHSH 5305,

This presentation will cover effective online course management strategies, including:

  • Characteristics of good distance educators
  • Getting started on the right track
  • Developing your course for high efficiency
  • Time management: course overload, slow turnaround of assignments
  • Using course evaluations and student feedback in the course revision process

Thursday, November 1st, 10-11 am, Denton-MCL 501, Dallas-Presby 109, Dallas Parkland 229, Houston-IHSH 4305

TaskStream is a customizable electronic portfolio toolset. It is useful for developing and managing e-portfolios but one of the greatest strengths with this system is the ability for faculty to provide formative and summative assessments of individual artifacts or entire portfolios. For many programs or courses, portfolios offer a way for students to demonstrate competency and for faculty to assess competency in an asynchronous format.

Come and learn about TaskStream and how the TWU Instructional Design Team can help you build or redesign a portfolio for your program. This presentation will cover topics such as how to navigate TaskStream, what you need to build a strong portfolio, and how to use tools such as conducting reviews and evaluations of student’s work. We will also have time for Q&A and hands-on troubleshooting for those already using TaskStream.

Blogging as an Instructional Tool
Tuesday, November 13th, 11am-12pm, Denton-SH 308, Dallas-Presby 109, Dallas-Parkland 229, Houston-IHSH 4305

Interested in learning about educational blogging? This presentation will cover the basics: What is blogging? How are blogs being used for education? Who is using blogs? And, are blogs an effective educational tool?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Using Module or Unit Checklists in Blackboard

An easy way to decrease student stress and increase performance in your course is to provide a checklist at the end of each module or unit of study. Here is an example:

Simply adding this item at the end of your module or unit allows the student to be sure that they have completed all the requirements, and it allows you, as an instructor, an extra way to clarify what you expect from the students.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dr. Nancy Hadsell earns a QualityMatters Recognized Course

The Office of Lifelong Learning is pleased to announce that Dr. Nancy Hadsell (Music) is the first TWU faculty member to have a QualityMatters™ recognized course. TWU’s MU2713 will join almost 30 other recognized courses from 2007 on the QualityMatters website. We are proud of Dr. Hadsell’s achievement with her online course and hope you will take some time to congratulate her. She is a great example of what can be done with this process since Dr. Hadsell teaches this online course once each summer.

The QM model uses a rubric and a peer-review process to guide the development and revision of distance education courses for continuous, quality improvement. It evaluates distance education courses for quality in the following areas:

- Course Overview and Introduction
- Learning Objectives
- Assessment and Measurement
- Resources and Materials
- Learner Engagement
- Course Technology
- Learner Support
- Accessibility

TWU is an institutional member of Quality Matters and has just finished the first year of the pilot project. For more information about Quality Matters, please visit

Once again, our congratulations to Dr. Nancy Hadsell.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

DE QM Year Two - only 10 slots available

Distance Education is pleased to announce the opening of applications for Year Two of the Quality Matters Pilot Project for TWU Distance Education faculty.

The Quality Matters™ (QM) model uses a rubric to guide the development and revision of distance education courses. It also uses a peer-review process for continuous, quality improvement for distance courses.

TWU is an institutional member of Quality Matters and has just finished the first year of the pilot project. In this first year, we submitted two revised courses for external QM review (national process using reviewers across the nation) and had one participant who served on a review team. We are awaiting the results of the review so we can announce the first QM Certified TWU courses.

Year Two Quality Matters Pilot Project
Eligible participants must:
Be faculty (full/part time & visiting) serving as instructors of record in a distance course
Have taught a distance course for more than two semesters
Have taught online within the last 18 months

Project Requirements:
Attend QM Peer Reviewer Training (3 weeks, fully online) to become eligible as a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer
Modify an existing distance course to meet the QM standards
Review other TWU courses revised by TWU QM participants

To learn more about the Quality Matters Pilot Project at TWU, go to

To apply, go to

Self-paced Course Option for TWU

Calling all Distance Educators

Promising Practices in Online Teaching & Learning (Self-paced Version) is ready for your review.

Due to numerous requests from attendees at the Online Educator Symposium, we are pleased to offer you a chance to participate in a self-paced course on Promising Practices in Online Teaching and Learning.

Faculty requested access to the information used with new faculty over the summer so Distance Education quickly put together a self-paced course for you to review at your convenience. We will open the course for a six week window beginning September 10 and ending October 19. We plan to open the course for six weeks each semester so you will have another chance at the course if you are unable to participate this semester. To participate, please go to and provide us with your name and portal username so we can enroll you in the course. It will appear on your list of courses within Blackboard.

Feel free to review the information, and use samples and examples for your own courses. TWU instructional designers will facilitate the discussion boards, offer suggestions and answer questions throughout the course. Distance Education is proud to provide these materials to you as you think about design and instructional issues for your distance courses.

We have provided a tentative course schedule for your convenience. Feel free to contact anyone below for more information or for assistance with your distance education courses.


Keith Restine 940.898.3232
Alli Peterson 940.898.3486
Heidi Ashbaugh – Health Sciences 940.231.3673
Robin Bartoletti – Nursing 940.231.4956
Tracey Mac Gowan – COPE 940.231.3498

Creating a Syllabus - TWU Template

Did you know that TWU provides an optional template for your use to create your syllabi? To use the template, download the Word document to your desktop. Each gray field allows you to insert your information in the field. Click once on the field and enter your information. You can also delete the fields and enter your information by highlighting the field and clicking delete.

Syllabus Template (Microsoft Word Document)

Note: Use of this template is optional. The template is a "Work in Progress". We actively seek your input on the template before we investigate ways to build a more interactive form. To provide feedback, please send comments to

TWU requires a syllabus for all TWU courses (TWU Faculty Handbook/ Faculty-Student Relationship/ Minimum Requirements for Course Syllabus). But there are other benefits to creating effective and detailed syllabi for your courses for both faculty and students. For more information regarding benefits, best practices, and TWU syllabi requirements, please visit:

Creative Ways to Use Announcements In Bb

One of the simpler ways to personalize your course and interactions with your online students is through the Announcements feature in Bb. Since this is often the first page your students see when they log in to their course, you might imagine the Announcements page as the lectern of your online course. Just as you might in a F2F course, use the beginning of a class period to make general comments about a particular subject for clarification, or praise the class or an individual student for work well done, you can use the Announcements page for this purpose. The Announcements page can also provide your students with a guide to the week ahead or to emphasize important concepts to concentrate on. In short, Announcements may be used as a vehicle to demonstrate your presence and personality as well as provide information and feedback to students.

Example - Personal disclosure used as an example and encouragement for students to post about themselves:

Hello, and welcome back to Early Aviation 1010. I hope you all had a grand holiday. I spent mine fishing with my dad and best friend – we caught more tall tales then fish but a good time was had by all. If you have a good tale to tell, I invite you to post it on the Water Cooler DB.
[Provides students with a picture of who you are, and the type of post appropriate to this DB]

Example - General feedback and prompt to class to delve further into topic

I am intrigued by the lively discussion in DB 2 regarding if gender or the turning tide of the war that primarily influenced the defeat of the bill in Congress to militarize the WASP. Both A. Blake and R. Stamos have provided some interesting evidence from government reports showing that sustaining the program was draining financially. However, T.Kelly countered with facts from the Congressional record showing how gender has played a role. Great job providing examples to support for both sets of points, and crafting your writing. I look forward to hearing from others on these points. Question for the class -- was Jackie Cochran a factor in this issue too and if so how?

Example - Clarification:

Note -- Remember term papers are due Nov. 11th. You must use APA style for your papers and, yes, I do take off points for misspelling and grammar errors.

Be sure to not make an announcement permanent if you wish your latest posting to appear as the first announcement on the list when your students log in. For more information on the nuts and bolts of how to post an announcement, you may wish to view this tutorial: