Thursday, December 18, 2008

Houston DE Faculty - Online Pedagogical Techniques workshop

Houston Faculty who are teaching online this spring...

Register today for this face-to-face workshop at the TWU Houston campus!

Online Pedagogical Techniques
Thursday, January 15
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
IHSH 4115

Session Objectives:
1. Increase skills for utilizing Blackboard for teaching and learning
2. Increase skills for managing and moderating Discussion Boards (DBs), providing feedback, and promoting communication with students and instructor
3. Be able to manage tests, pools, and solve common problems associated with tests and assignments
4. Increase skills for basic course design, build and management
5. Promotion of good practices for communication and feedback.

Have questions? Contact
Valerie Shapko.

Space is limited! Register today!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trainings for TWU Distance Education Adjuncts and TAs

TWU adjuncts and TAs who teach online,

Prepare for the spring semester with these face-to-face trainings.
The Blackboard and Blackboard Advanced trainings have two sessions to choose from.
For more information, or to register, please click here.

Teaching and Learning with Blackboard
Friday, January 16, 2009
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
ASB 211

Teaching and Learning with Blackboard Advanced
Friday, January 16, 2009
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
ASB 105

Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0
Friday, January 16, 2009
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
STOD 308

Teaching and Learning with Blackboard
Saturday, January 17, 2009
8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
ASB 211

Teaching and Learning with Blackboard Advanced
Saturday, January 17, 2009
8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
ASB 105

Space is limited! Register today!

Friday, December 12, 2008

How to stay informed of upcoming, DE Faculty events

· Email from Distance Education – Don’t ignore these emails that come from Distance Education! They really do contain important announcements about upcoming workshops and development opportunities. Please make sure these emails are not going to your junk-mail/spam folder.

· DE Faculty Website - Bookmark this page and check it periodically for upcoming events, new resources and professional development opportunities.

· The Online Instructor Blog - This blog is designed just for DE Faculty at TWU! The posts will be not only about upcoming events but also helpful tips and tricks on how to make your online class even better than it already is! You can subscribe to it, so that anytime a new post is made, you are notified.

· TWU Calendar of Events - This is a University-wide resource that lists events from a variety of departments. Distance Education posts all of its workshops and events here, so be sure to check it periodically.

· Look for the Logo - All of our emails and any print pieces we send out will have our Distance Education logo:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

23 Things for Learning - Post #6

#12 thing Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a copyright license that allows us to choose to share intellectual property. By acknowledging the original authors, they have given permission for you to share.  Watch a short video on CC here:
One place for good information about what's going on with the Creative Commons is Lawrence Lessig's blog. Lawrence Lessig is one of the Creative Commons developers and a Stanford University professor."

Search Creative Commons  This search will help you find photos, music, text, books, educational material, and more that is free to share or build upon utilizing Creative Commons enabled search services at Google, Yahoo!, and Flickr. Find some content that you would like to post on your blog. Create a blog post with your find. Be sure and include the correct CC Marker on the post (the same attribution that is on the original materials.)

#13 thing Take a look at an online productivity word processing tool

One major benefit to web-based applications is that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC. Another bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs to author and publish posts to your blog.

It’s this type of integration with other Web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing. For this thing, you are asked to take a look at a web-based word processing tool called Zoho Writer, create a simple document and then document your discoveries in your blog. If you are up to the challenge, you might even export your document as an HTML file or publish it through Zoho to your blog. With Zoho and web-based applications, the possibilities are endless.

Create a free account for yourself in Zoho Writer
Watch a tutorial

Video found at WeShow
Explore the site and create a test document or two.
Try out Zoho Writer’s features and create a blog post about your discoveries.
If you’re up for the challenge, try using Zoho’s publish options to post to your blog.
#14 Take a look at LibraryThing and catalog some of your favorite books.

Are you a booklover or cataloger at heart? Do you enjoy finding lost and forgotten gems on the shelf to read? Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you. Developed for booklovers, this online tool not only allows you to easily create an online catalog of your own, it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes. Add a book to your catalog by just entering the title or connect with other users through your similar reading tastes. There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. You can even view your books on a virtual shelf, add a widget to display titles that are in your catalog (see sidebar for sample), or install a LT Search box on your blog.

Students could create a LibraryThing catalog of your classroom library. This is also a great way to teach organization skills, sorting, cataloging, etc. You can have the students decide how to best organize those materials. Have your school teacher-librarian help explain why libraries catalog using the Dewey System. Create alternative systems and see how they work. This assignment can work at all grade levels; just create your lesson around the skill and ‘big idea’ level you’d like to work with. This lesson could also be used with CD titles. [In the old days, we used records for this assignment!]

Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.
Add a least 5 books to your library.
Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalog. How popular were your books?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Managing Online Burnout: Tips #7-10

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Below you will find some final tips for managing online burnout. Now that we are nearing the end of the semester, some of you may be already experiencing some of the symptoms I mentioned on Monday! Please feel free to add any other tips that might help faculty, staff, and administrators:

Tip #7: Take a break.

Back away from your monitor and do something that does not require use of your computer. Rest your eyes. Take a walk. File some papers. As hard as it may be, try to keep your weekends to yourself and to your family and/or friends. Otherwise, that feeling of “24/7” will begin to overwhelm you. You may also consider applying for faculty leave or taking a summer off if possible.

Tip #8: Use the resources available to help you.

More and more administrators are becoming aware of the time and effort it takes to produce a quality online course. If your plate is full, and you just never seem to find the time to concentrate on course development or skill building, talk to your Chair or Department Coordinator. He/she may be able to juggle your work load to accommodate for this request since quality course development benefits everyone involved. At the very least, work with one of our outstanding TWU instructional designers to help assist you with course development.

Tip #9: As Thoreau once wrote, “Simplify, simplify, simplify!”

Start by clarifying your job responsibilities and (if applicable) tenure requirements. Like all service-oriented professionals, we have a tendency to feel guilty about saying “no.” Because of this, we often have too much on our plate. Determining how much of those portions come from external demands and expectations and how much we put there ourselves is a critical step in reducing and eliminating burnout. In my case, I knew that I could not remain a program coordinator, teach two online classes (over 20), advise 12 doctoral and Masters students writing dissertations and theses, generate my own research and publications, run a community grant-funded program, and be a mom and a wife. My work units as junior faculty had climbed to 23! I had to pare down.

Tip #10: Don’t try to do everything at once.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by technology because it evolves at lightening speed. You may be feeling like you’re “constantly running” to stay up with the current trends. Keeping abreast of what is going on in E-learning is important, but don’t try to do more than you can handle. Often times, your students may not be ready, either. So take it one step at a time. Try incorporating a new tool once per semester (or year) and/or focus on quality of your design and instruction. Sometimes even the simplest of online courses (text-based) can be more effective than an online classroom that is “uber-tooled,” and chaotic.

To read more about conquering professional burn-out, link to some of the helpful resources below:

Understanding and Preventing Teacher Burn-out (Wood & McCarthy, 2002).

Can’t Get No Satisfaction. (Senior, 2006).

Job Burn-out: Understand the symptoms and take action. (, n.d.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Strategies for Managing Online Burn-Out: Tips 4-6

Tip #4: Collaborate!
Form a learning community with your fellow faculty and friends (even if it’s a small group), and meet at least once a month to dialog about your experiences, best practices, and E-learning literature. TWU has an Emerging Technology learning community that you may wish to join. It’s amazing what this hour can do for your spirit! Social support is essential for burn-out prevention. Working together, across disciplines, can reduce feelings of isolation and can even lead to vita-enhancing projects.

For example, two years ago, I was asked to lead a learning community focusing on E-learning. Aside from the social aspects of the activity, five of us from the group explored asynchronous audio communication, implemented it in our online classrooms, and facilitated a study which led to a recent publication in the Journal of Learning and Teaching Online at

Increasing interaction and collaboration may sound like "more work," but it actually can help you manage and even ease the load of grading, planning, creating--and even research! As your students interact and dialog using Web 2.0 tools, you don't have to keep downloading and printing out formal assignments. You can blend the informal with the formal. As you see and hear their responses, you are better able to asses whether they are really "getting it." Collaborating with peers, across disciplines, can also stimulate creative teaching strategies, increase your social support, and even help with course development. Form a learning community with your fellow faculty and friends (even if it’s a small group), and meet at least once a month to dialogue about your experiences, best practices, and E-learning literature. It’s amazing what this hour can do for your spirit! Social support is essential for burn-out prevention. Working together, across disciplines, can reduce feelings of isolation and can even lead to vita-enhancing projects.

Tip #5: Establish boundaries but keep your social presence.
To reduce the “24/7” feeling some of us experience, inform your students of days and times that you will be available for office hours (live) either in person, online chat or by phone. Also, consider asynchronous mechanisms of communication, such as a Q&A board that you check twice a week. .

Tip #6: Include informal, non graded assignments to stimulate discussion and increase learning comprehension.
This can also reduce the amount of grading required of the instructor, but allows the students to stay connected to the content. Self quizzes, online games (speak to one of our TWU instructional designers), web tutorials (ex: breast health quiz at, online chats, wikis, online scavenger hunts, digital story telling, and blogs are just a few tools used for informal application.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Managing Online Burnout: Tips 2-3

As we continue our discussion of reducing burnout and reviving your online courseroom, consider tips 2 & 3 below. Please post your own ideas and experiences as well!

Tip #2: Try using some Web 2.0 tools!

If you want to reach a variety of learning styles, Web 2.0 technology is the way to go. There are a number of free and easy tools available at your fingertips and take less than 5 minutes to learn. While TWU provides a number of these tools through Learning Objects (included in every Blackboard online course shell), there are also number of innovative tools available on the internet. Some, by category, are listed below:

*Blogging: Try;;, and/or

*Audio/Mp3 recorders (for leaving audio messages): Find a multiple of audio recorders for your computer (free) at (or (allows you to edit your audio files)

*Vodcasts: Include digital video in your online classroom to enhance your online discussions! Search ItunesU at, Youtube (, or Discovery Streaming
( for videos to share with
your students

*Wikis: Try out or Or, try the wiki tool that is available to TWU faculty and staff through Blackboard.

*Social Networking: Are you familiar with Myspace or Facebook? Now you can establish your own “social network” that allows students from your class as well as others to stay in touch using Web 2.0 technology. For example, I have established a social network for all 3 sections of our Community Health class for students in Health Studies. All three sections are taught by 3 different instructors, but we meet on our Community Health Ning site to share video, blogs, photos, and dialog. To explore this in more detail, visit

Document Sharing
: Allows students to peer review and share documents online. Try Google docs at

Phone chats or webcasting: Try,,, or Want to try out a webcast with your students? Contact your college's instructional designer for more information.

Podcasts: There thousands of helpful, free audio podcasts available for students to download on disciplines ranging from Anthropology to Zoology. Visit iTunes U (,Podcastalley (,and/or Yahoo podcasts (

Second Life: Take your class to the "4th Dimension" of learning through virtual simulation by touring the Second Life universe at (TWU hosted a portion of the Annual Student Creative Arts and Research Symposium through this medium last year). Educators around the world are finding Second Life to be a powerful teaching tool.

Tip #3: Create a more “affective,” diverse environment.

As learning theory supports, the affective domain is just as important as the cognitive or psycho-motor. What rattles the soul can often stimulate the brain! This is true for online learning as well. Add in some “affective” type questions or assignments that allow for a range of answers and perspectives. Consider adding in some opinion-related questions, discussion topics, or field activities that allow students to share their own experiences. Avoid posing discussion questions that initiate only one possible answer. The students’ responses will grow stale if you don’t incite a diverse range of discussion topics. Students will feel less inclined and less enthused about logging in over time. This also gives the student a "voice" beyond what the textbook authors or experts in the field have to say.

To inject some “affective” interaction and rev up the discussion, try posting audio messages to the class as well as to individuals. This can be done by using a simple computer headset with microphone from Best Buy, Walmart, or Target, and your computer (or phone or voice recorder). Or, try some asynchronous and synchronous forms of group audio discussion by visiting Yack Pack ( or Voice thread (

Want more tips? Tune in tomorrow for tips 4&5!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Burn-out and Online Instruction: Ten Tips to Revive Your Online Course and Yourself

By Jody Oomen-Early, Ph.D., M.S, CHES

Feeling tired, drained and unmotivated when it comes to online instruction? The malaise you are experiencing might be a symptom of something I’ve deemed, “Online Burn-out.” This burnout can happen to any of us, no matter how many (or few) online courses we’ve taught or developed. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to remedy this condition, and hence the purpose of this blog. Over the next five days, I’ll share with you my own experience with “Online Burnout” and tips for reviving your class and yourself! I hope to also generate some discussion with all of you about your own experiences and insight.

How I "hit a wall" and bounced back

I’ve been teaching since 1991, and teaching online since 2001. E-learning has always been an incredible journey and “new frontier” for me; its invigorating and evolving—which is why I love it. I’ve always felt a certain sense of excitement when discussing E-learning philosophies, pedagogy, or instructional strategies with others, and creating active, energetic online classrooms. Applying technology to health education has offered me a unique path to walk in my field. So, it was disheartening for me to “ hit a wall” this past year when it came to my online instruction.

I don’t really know how or when it started. Things just started to feel really monotonous. I was tired. I couldn’t seem to get rid of that “always on” feeling, and I wasn’t exhibiting much enthusiasm with my online students. Pretty soon, I was “going through the motions” and not feeling much “E-motion” at all. It wasn’t long before this "virus" had spread to my students. My apathy was matched by my students’ lackluster discussion posts.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and I’ve learned that if you’re not careful, your discussion board (and your teaching performance) can slip into a coma. Without the energy and active facilitation of a motivated and engaged online instructor, a virtual classroom can become nothing more than a hitching post of vague responses posted by tired students who just want to “get it done” and log in just enough to get the assignments submitted. This was the complete opposite of the wellspring of constructivist dialogue and critical think that I had always envisioned for my online students. Hence, I began to realize I was suffering from some form of professional and online burnout and needed a remedy—for both me and my students’ sake.

Burnout is not recognized in the DSM-IV, so how do you treat it?

Unlike conditions such as depression or post traumatic stress, burnout is far less discussed. Perhaps this is because in our “achievement-oriented” society, no one wants to appear that they are giving less than their all? It’s not a condition described in the DSM-IV, so how do you treat it?

My first step toward reducing my burnout was attending the Sloan-C’s International Emerging Technologies Applications for Online Learning in Carefree, AZ. It re-lit my fire for online instruction and got me integrating some free and easy Web 2.0 tools, which really energized my online classroom and improved my dialogue and interaction with my students. It also inspired some research projects currently underway.

One of the biggest complaints about E-learning from both online instructors and students is that the online experience can seem impersonal or isolating. Over the years, I have heard from many faculty and students that online learning lacks the “affective” appeal that many face to face courses provide. I know for me, this was a factor that largely contributed to the burnout I was feeling. When I became “reconnected,” it was easy to get my students—and myself—engaged.

So what can advice can I offer you? Over the next 5 days, I’ll be offer ten tips that might help you re-energize your online classes and yourself. Please feel free to post your own ideas and experiences as well!

Tip #1: Expand your horizons

Try attending a conference, webinar, or workshop relating to E-learning. Delve into an E-learning journal or newsletter that can help you strengthen your online teaching skills, help you save time or better manage your workload, and spark ideas to apply to your own online courserooms.

E-learning Conferences, Workshops, and Webinars

While time is short for all of us, a conference on E-learning or even a simple 1-hour workshop or webcast can do wonders to spark your interest and motivation for online learning. Some of the most popular E-learning conferences include:

*Educause: One of the most preeminent associations relating to higher education and technology. Find out more about their annual conference by going to:

*The Sloan-C Annual Conference (in the Fall) and their Emerging
Technologies International Symposium (in the Spring). Find more information at

*E-learn 2009: An international conference sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education (AACE). Learn more by visiting:

*E-learning 2009: Sponsored by the Instructional Technology Council, this annual conference includes pre-conference workshops, keynote speakers, vendors exhibiting the latest e-learning technologies and services, and nearly 60 one-hour concurrent sessions.

*3rd Annual Texas Educational Technology Research Symposium (in Austin in
Feb. 09): A venue for educational technology researchers and higher educational
professionals to share their expertise and research relating to E-learning. Find out
more at:

*12th Annual Texas Distance Learning Association Conference (Corpus Christi, April 6th-9th): Includes pre-conference workshops, keynote speakers, vendors, and break-out sessions exhibiting the latest e-learning technologies and research for educators, administrators, and instructional designers.

Out of travel funds? Try a webinar!

*The Sloan-C, USDLA, and Magna Publications sponsor online webinars(synchronous and asynchronous) relating to E-learning and instruction. Visit,, or to view a list of scheduled pod, vod, and webcasts. TWU has special rates relating to its membership with these organizations, and the Office of Lifelong Learning has offered several of these throughout the year. If you find one that interests you, email Dr. Keith Restine or Dr. Lynda Murphy to see if the presentation might be made available to TWU faculty and staff.

*TWU’s Online Teaching Symposium (TWU, Denton): The Office of Lifelong Learning and many of your fellow TWU faculty and staff facilitate this annual event (held during Faculty Development Week in the Fall) to help administrators, faculty, and staff learn more about E-learning and share best practices in the field.

Read all about it!

Keep current with the latest technologies, strategies, and
research by subscribing to one or some of the leading journals in the field or by
visiting open-source websites (such as Sloan-C) that publish on best practices.

Some popular journals relating to E-learning include:

*International Journal of E-Learning (IJEL)
*Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT)
*Online Classroom
*Academic Leader
*American Journal of Distance Education (AJDE)
*Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE)
*The Internet and Higher Education
*Journal of Interactive Learning Research
* Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE)
*E-learning-It Blog (
*The Online Instructor (TWU’s blog)

It's easy to justify our reluctance to attend continuing education opportunities related to E-learning, especially when technology may not seem directly related to our personal research interests or primary professional responsibilities. Time, of course, is always our most limited resource. However, taking even 10 minutes to look over a monthly periodical or "tune in" for a desktop, lunchtime webinar could be just what we need to restock our energy stores and find a better way to create, manage, and faciliate our online classrooms. This is a vital step to overcoming "Online Burnout" and why I have positioned it as my first tip.

I look forward to sharing more with you throughout the week. Please feel free to post your own suggestions as well as add to my list of conferences, webinars, and E-learning literature.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Making your online class accessible

After attending the Texas BlackBoard Users Group (T-Bug) conference last week, I came back with lots of new grey matter fodder. But, the one that sticks out in my mind as an action item was the break-out panel on “Suggestions for Accessibility for Visually Impaired Students”. I have always promoted accessibility for any online material throughout my training career and felt I was rather concise and thorough about my information. Well, I found out that I was close but still had a lot to learn about some of the common uses of online tools that make web pages and Course Management Systems less than user friendly. I have l listed below the notes I gleaned from the panel:

• On images and animations give a detailed “alt” text to give a meaningful description for the reader. To illustrate: think of describing the item over the telephone to a friend.
• When the item is complex use a long description “alt” text page.
• Make hyperlink text that is specific to where the link is going instead of “click here”.
• Convert all PDF files where the text is seen as an image so the screen reader can translate the information. Scan PDF’s as text and not images.
• Don’t use frames within web pages.
• When using video make sure to have a transcript available and to have a note on what kind of player will be needed to play the media source. This will help the individual to know what player is needed and how to use the player.
• Scripting languages that are not supported by readers will need an alternative site to provide the information.
• Use "strong" and "em" tags instead of Bold and Italic when creating your web pages.
• Try to use tabs to navigate your site instead of mouse clicks.
• Do not use color as the singular indicator of different types of information.
The panel also played a typical web page through a screen reader named JAWS. It was the most confusing thing I had ever heard. Imagine looking at the source code for any web page and then hearing R2D2 on speed reading aloud to you! It definitely caught my attention and made me plan a trip to my university’s disability support services office to learn more on how to help our impaired students with their online learning courses.


Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI):

Histosoft validation software:

U.S. General Services Administration IT access for Persons with Disabilities

Markup Validation Service

Texas Woman’s University Disability Services Support:

Friday, October 24, 2008

23 Things for Learning - Post #5

# 11 thing - Let's Wiki

A wiki is a webpage that multiple people can edit. An example you may have heard of is Wikipedia: information may be added by its readers in a collaborative format. Another wiki is Project Gutenberg, the collection of free book texts. Many people collaborate to bring non-copyrighted material to Project Gutenberg. Here are a few more samples:

Welker’s Wikinomics
Salute to Seuss
El Mundo Tarvin
Human Physiology

Wikis can be set up for personal reasons, too, including family genealogy projects, group vacation planning, and more. A wiki can support nearly any collaborative effort that requires updating a document or information.

Set up a wiki.

(Estimated time to complete: approximately 60-70 minutes)

There are several wikis you can use that are free and web-based. We’re going to use PBWiki, so go to

Click on Create a Wiki (green button).

Fill out the form and click on the Create My Wiki button.
Follow instructions for checking email and confirming.
After confirming, keep your wiki “public” and then agree to the terms and follow the instructions for setup. (Scroll past the $$ wikis down to click No Thanks, just take me to my wiki).

You will go to a page that says: Welcome to PBwiki 2.0! Click on the EDIT tab.

Highlight everything in the window and delete it. Now you can start fresh.

Type in a question. It could be something like What are the barriers to student retention? or What is your favorite restaurant? or something like that. Just type a question.

Click the save button at the bottom of the entry.

To the right, click Create New Page.

Name the page My New Page, skip the choices, and then click on Create New Page.
On the new page, type your own answer to the question on your homepage, and click save.

Feel free to fiddle with the settings or create other pages. When you are done, click on the name of your wiki at the top left.
You must give someone access to your wiki to make it available for editing. If you are asked by someone else to grant access to your wiki, you’ll need the requester’s email address (the one they used to sign up for PB Wiki). You give them access in Settings, (located at far right of wiki page). Then it’s just like editing your own page.

There are some great videos on how to use pbwiki here:

Blog it. This has been a very abbreviated introduction to wikis, but in your blog entry, be sure to share your thoughts on the process for setting up the wiki, whether or not you like it, whether or not you might find it useful. You might go back (above) and check out some of the example wikis shared. Be sure to include your wiki URL.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

TBUG is on!

The 2008 Texas Blackboard Users Group is about to be underway! Preconference sessions were held today at Houston Community College. The main conference officially kicks off tonight at the the vendor reception at 5:30. There will be appetizers and drawings for door prizes.

Representatives from Blackboard will give a presentation tomorrow at breakfast, then we will have a day full of sessions led by fellow Blackboard users (several of them from TWU!!!). Then, tomorrow night is the Night in the Bayou dinner party! The conference concludes on Saturday. You can check out the official schedule at

If you are on your way, travel safely and get ready for a great conference!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Follow-up Materials from the Adjunct Webinars

The Division of Academic Affairs offered two webinars that provided an opportunity to learn more about supporting adjuncts at TWU.

Training and Supporting Online Adjuncts: Practical Ideas
Featuring Dr. Kimberly Hardy, Dean of Instruction and Student Success for the Open Campus at Florida Community College at Jacksonville

Delivered by Magna Publications, Inc.
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Webinar Summary
  • Creating an online mentoring program
  • Helping adjuncts with development and preparation of courses
  • Meeting adjunct needs for technical support and assistance
  • Developing robust communication and information tools and forums
  • Creating adjunct tutorials
  • Building a community of learners among online adjuncts
  • Connecting offsite adjuncts to the campus
  • Establishing professional development opportunities
** If you were unable to attend the live webinar and would like to receive a copy of the handout, please contact the Office of Lifelong Learning at 8-1-3409.

Supporting Adjunct Faculty Online
Featuring Richard E. Lyons, Senior Consultant for Faculty Development Associates and Helen M. Burnstad, Director Emeritus of Staff and Organizational Development at Johnson County Community College (JCCC)Delivered by Academic Impressions
Thursday, October 2, 2008

Webinar Summary
  • Strategies for implementing a plan to support adjunct faculty
  • An appreciation of the advantages of online support for adjunct faculty
  • Strategies for development of online tools for supporting adjunct faculty

**Handouts from both of these webinars can be obtained by calling the Office of Lifelong Learning at 940-898-3409.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I’m excited to be blogging this week on The Online Instructor. Today, I’d like to hopefully clear up some confusion regarding the designation of a degree program as distance education. I think that most faculty at TWU understand that a DE course is defined as one in which over 50% of the instruction is delivered electronically. Similarly, a DE degree program is one in which a majority of the courses are designated as distance education. However, before academic units can declare and begin to advertise all or part of their programs as DE, they must gain University—and possibly other—approvals, even if TWU already has degree authority to offer the program on campus. Please note the last part of that sentence. Just because the program is approved to be offered on campus doesn’t mean that the program can be offered electronically without approval.

This process is detailed in the TWU Policies and Procedures Manual at (login required). The requesting department must prepare a proposal and submit it to the Office of Lifelong Learning. This proposal will outline the need for the online program as well as describe student and faculty preparation and support services, the anticipated course rotation, and the requested budget. The proposal will be reviewed by the Office of Lifelong Learning, the Graduate Dean or the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies as appropriate, a representative of the TWU Curriculum Committee, and the Distance Education Advisory Committee. Finally the proposal will be submitted to the Provost.

If a partial degree is being proposed, the Provost’s approval is the final step. If the proposal is to create a full bachelor’s or master’s degree program, the Provost must submit the proposal to the TWU Board of Regents for final approval. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) are then notified of their decision. DE doctoral programs, upon approval by the Regents, must actually be reviewed and approved by the THECB. Again, this process is required even if the University already has degree authority. The THECB has a nice chart on their website detailing the requirements of full programs. It can be accessed at

If you or your unit is considering the offering of a DE program, please feel free to contact me in the Office of Lifelong Learning at 940/898-3409. I’ll be glad to go over the process and to set up a timeline for gaining the approvals. Since the Regents and the THECB only meet on certain dates during the year, it is important to start as soon as possible before the anticipated start date of the program.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tests, Video, and Music Databases

Learning Express Library - Provides aids for College Prep Tests (such as GRE), Math aids, and Grammar/Writing skills, including some e-books. Each student sets up their own account and remains in the system for a year.

"Learning Express Library is a comprehensive, interactive online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial course series designed to help students and adult learners succeed. There is immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of results."

Consumer Health Complete - Contains video and animation, short clips, and excellent quick viewing segments that can be used supplemental to discussion/lecture. Students may also find items to add to presentations.

"It is the single most comprehensive resource for consumer-oriented health content designed to support patients' information needs and foster an overall understanding of health-related topics. CHC covers all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated medicine. This full-text database covers topics such as aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs & alcohol, fitness, nutrition & dietetics, children's health, men & women's health, etc."

Classical Music Library - Add music to your class or to your day by using this database.

"Classical Music Library is the world's largest multi-label database of Classical music recordings for listening and learning in libraries. The award-winning Classical Music Library's growing collection of 50,000-plus tracks for listening and searching is supplemented by extensive reference materials.

Classical Music Library includes recordings of music written from the earliest times (eg Gregorian Chant) to the present, including many contemporary composers. Repertoire ranges from vocal and choral music, to chamber, orchestral, solo instrumental, and opera."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Online and Open Access Journals

Where do you find Online Journals and Open Access Journals?

The TWU Libraries Catalog is a good starting point.

From the Basic Search screen, enter the journal title and search "Journal Title Keyword" in the drop-down box. The results for online journals will state "electronic resource." When you click on the title, the Links heading will direct you to the database where the journal resides. You will also be able to see the range of dates available. TWU currently subscribes to over 34,000 electronic journals.

To search for journals by subject or keyword, enter your term in the Search for an E-journal title and change the drop-down box to "Title Begins With" or "Title Contains All Words." Your results will display the names of the journals, years covered, and the database that contains the journal.

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a "service that covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. It covers all subjects and languages. There are now 3,678 journals in the directory. Currently 1,260 journals are searchable at article level. As of today, 211,108 articles are included in the database."

BioMed Central is another publisher of open access journals. It currently has 193 peer-reviewed journals.

All these journals and articles may be linked directly to your course.

Please contact me for details on how to provide articles and journals to your students.
Stephany Compton

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Finding Full-Text Articles through the TWU Library Webpages

Find Full Text and Available TWU Library

What does it mean when you see these two phrases in a database?

As electronic collections have grown, the challenge is to find specific items through a variety of resources. The Find Full Text and Available TWU Library links enable you to efficiently access full-text content anywhere in the Library.

TWU Libraries provide access to over 180 databases and thousands of full-text journals.

Find Full Text

When you click on this link from an article citation in a database, you will be directed to a page that restates your search criteria and provides citation information. Below the citation, you will find the links to content showing the article, journal, dates of coverage and the resource or database where the article is located.

More Full Text Options takes you to the TWU Libraries Online Catalog and...
If the full text is not available, there is a direct link to the Interlibrary Loan Request Form.

Available TWU Catalog

When you click this link from an article citation in a database, you will be linked directly to the TWU Libraries Online Catalog which will display the citation(s) for the print and/or electronic versions of the journal that contains the article you are interested in.

Click on the electronic journal citation to see which databases contain online access to that journal. By clicking on one of the database options, you will be directed to a listing of the publication years for that journal that are covered by that database. Be sure to note the Year, Volume Number, and Issue Number for your article so that you can navigate through this listing.

If you need materials that are only in print, please complete the Interlibrary Loan Request Form and the article will be sent to you via e-mail.

You may also contact the Distance Education department of the Library for assistance finding and gathering full-text articles. Simply send a description of your search topic or a listing of the articles you would like to find to and our department will be happy to search for full-text articles.

Stephany Compton

Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Books Week – September 27 – October 4, 2008

Banned Books Week is observed during the last week of September each year. The American Library Association began this observance 27 years ago to celebrate our First Amendment rights including the freedom to read, the freedom to write, and intellectual freedom.

From the ALA website, Banned Book Week “celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.”

You can find many Banned Books (and many other books) online at:

TWU Library Website – TWU databases include NetLibrary and eBrary. Follow the “Find E-Books” link from the TWU Online Resources page.

University of Pennsylvania Online Books Page – This page contains links to 30,000 online books.

Project Gutenberg – This page contains links to 25,000 online books.

Google Books Banned Books –

You can find out more about Banned Books through the following links:

American Library Association – (discusses why books are challenged/banned and lists the top banned books for each year)

The Forbidden Library – (alphabetical listing of banned books and why they have been challenged/banned)

Banned Books Week – (lists local Banned Book events)

The Most Challenged Books of 2007 and the reasons for challenge (according to ALA):

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell (anti-ethnic, sexism, homosexuality, anti-family, unsuited to age group)

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (sexually explicit, offensive language, violence)

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes (sexually explicit, offensive language)

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (religious viewpoint)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (racism)

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language)

TTYL by Lauren Myracle (sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (sexually explicit)

It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris (sex education, sexually explicit)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Texas Blackboard Users Group is Still On!

2008 Texas Blackboard Users Group (TBUG)
October 17 & 18 / Crowne Plaza Downtown, Houston
Pre-conference - October 16 / Houston Community College

TBUG is fast approaching! Make plans now to attend this valuable opportunity to learn new online teaching techniques, share what you are doing in your online courses and network! The conference will also provide plenty of opportunities for fun!

Program Preview: The keynote speaker will be Dr. Joel Theirstein from Rice University. More details about the program will be coming soon!

Conference registration: Conference Cost - $250 (Preconference workshops are an additional cost.)

Hotel Reservations and Parking: Room rate - $85/night (A third person is an extra $10) The deadline to get the state rate at the hotel is through midnight on Monday, October 6!

Parking - $10/day for daily attendees; $12/ night for overnight guests

For more information about the conference and to register, please visit the main TBUG website at

Thursday, September 18, 2008

23 Things for Learning 2.0 - Post #4

Discovery Exercises (Things)
9. Tag a blog entry
10. Find and set up Bloglines feed reader
11. Set up a account

#9 (Post 4) Tag an entry in your blog (Estimated time to complete: approximately 20 minutes)

You now have a blog. If you like, you can use this blog to report your progress on your 23 Things. If you use this blog for other purposes, be sure to explain what you’re doing. Feel free to link to any part of The online Instructor (this blog) in your blog. But, first, let’s explore just a bit more so that you become more comfortable with your blog.

A tag is metadata (descriptive information) - it’s a key word that helps you index something, like a blog entry or a set of online photographs or bookmarks. You choose your own tags when it comes to your online content, so it’s helpful to think through (and sometimes go back and edit) the tags you set up in your blog or other online collection. You are setting up an indexing system. Depending upon your application, it may also link to others who have chosen the same tags.

First, let’s tag a blog entry. Go to your blog (and be sure you’re logged in to your blog host; if you have to log in, then do so and then go to your blog page to continue with Step #2.)

In Blogger, click on the word Customize (top right). (In other blog hosts, look for the tagging option on the page where you write the post or in the administrative area.)

Next, look at the tabs that appear just below your blog name (top left). Click on Posting.

You are now in the Create Posts mode. Below the Posting tab, click on Edit Posts.

Now click on the word Edit next to any post in the list.

At the bottom of the box with the blog post in it appears a blank line. The words Labels for this post appear to the left of it. Essentially, this means that what is typed here “tags” your video with a topic or label.

Type a tag in that line. Make it something that other posts will have in common with it. For example, if you chose your a post with a link to a video in it, you might tag it video. You can give it several tags if you like.
Click the Publish button.

When your view your blog now you will see the tags show up below the entry. Readers who click a tag will see a list of your blog entries that are tagged with that label; depending upon the application you are using, you may also see other people’s posts that are tagged in the same way. So it can bring to gether a community blogging about the same ideas (like, say, Learning 2.0).

If you have not yet set upyour blog, check out how in this Slidehsare "creating a free blog with blogger" from Visualthink

#10 (Post 4) Set up and use a Bloglines account. (Estimated time to complete: approximately 30 minutes)

Feeds allow you to subscribe to a blog, photo archive or other web-based information that provides an opportunity to track new entries via a feed reader. It’s often referred to as syndication, sometimes used interchangably with the word feed or aggregator, or to mention a specific type you may have heard, RSS (which stands for Really Simple Syndication). On the left side of this blog, below the blog posting archive links, you will see the word subscribe next to an orange button.
You can click on the button or the word subscribe and see the feed page, or (if set up by the blogger) a page that lets you subscribe to those feeds.
We’re going to use a simple web-based feedreader called Bloglines to subscribe to this blog.

Visit Bloglines at /.

Click on SIGN up now - It’s free! in the middle of the page.

Enter the requested information and click register. Close your browser. (Record your user name and password!)

You will get a confirmation email: click the link in the email to confirm your subscription.

Go to this webpage and bookmark it so that you can find your way back later.

You will automatically be placed in a page that gives you one feed. Feeds are in the left column, at the top. Your feed will be Bloglines News. Click on the title of the feed, and the right column will now show the text in the available feed. Under Additional Features (left column), click on Easy Subscribe Bookmarklet. Choose the appropriate browser name and follow the instructions.

Now, let’s subscribe to a blog. Go back to and then from your Bookmarks or Favorites, choose Sub With Bloglines. Don’t bother changing any settings on the page you go to; just click on Subscribe at the bottom. Look in your left column. You are subscribed to a new blog!

Choose at least one more blog or website with a feed to subscribe to - CNN, somebody’s Flickr account, etc. More ideas for feeds are at

Use this link once a day or a couple of times a week to check on updates to your favorite sites! If you like, blog about your experience on your own blog.

#11 (Post 4) Social Bookmarking

Have you made it this far? Yay!!
Social Bookmarking is a way to save and share your favorite websites in a web-based format. Why? Well, you might wish to have particular collections of bookmarks available to you when you travel (not computer-based but rather more accessible). You might want to share collections with friends or family. Or, you might use social bookmarking to share a web bibliography or set of resources with students or other instructors. Students might use social bookmarking to develop a collaborative collection to support research or project-based work. Some people or institutions develop their own “social bookmarking” tool and may use the word tag interchangeably with social bookmarking. Here are a few examples:

Set up a account. ( ) is a website that allows you to store your Internet bookmarks online. This means that you can access your bookmarks from any computer. When you book mark a webpage, you can “tag” it with keywords of your choosing which will help you organize similar pages. This is more versatile than bookmark folders since you can “tag” a website with more than one descriptor. For example, one could save a link to this blog on and tag it with “blog” “web 2.0” and “distance education.” is most commonly known as a “social bookmarking” site. This means you can share your bookmarks with friends if you choose (but you don’t have to!) You can also see what websites other people are bookmarking and what tags that they assign them.
Go to and create a account. provides easy to follow, step by step instructions through this process. As part of this process, you will be offered the opportunity to install “post to” button on your web browser. If
you choose not to do so, that’s okay! You can always go to and enter the URLs of the websites that you’d like to post to

Find five websites that interest you (they don’t have to be about Web 2.0).

Assign them tags based on whatever organizational scheme makes sense to you.

If you make a mistake or think of another tag later, don’t worry…you can always go back and edit your tags.

You can also import bookmarks from your browser.

After finishing this, look at your list of bookmarks.

Click on “saved by – other people”

Click on one of the usernames of the people that have saved your page. See if they have saved some pages that you may find interesting.

Write a quick blog post in your own blog with a link to your account.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Live, Desktop Presentations for Distance Educators

The Office of Lifelong Learning is offering a series of live, desktop presentations on topics that relate to teaching at a distance. Information on how to access the most upcoming live presentation is available by following the links provided below.

Managing the Discussion Board for Distance Courses
Today! 11 a.m.

Setting the Stage for Discussion Boards in the Distance Course
Tuesday - October 7, 2008 at 11 a.m.

Managing Grade-Related Items for the Distance Course
Wednesday – November 12, 2008 at 2 p.m.

Management Strategies for Distance Courses: Student Communication and Assignments
Thursday - December 11, 2008 at 2 pm

If you are not able to make it to the live presentation, an archived version will be immediately available after the presentation on the DE website with each corresponding session description.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TWU Fall 2008 Online Educator Symposium Presentations now available online

Presentations from the Online Educator Symposium (OES) are now available online at The OES was a half-day event on August 21 that provided information about current distance education initiatives at the University and provided participants an opportunity to hear innovative practices from current DE faculty. The Office of Lifelong Learning invites you to view the presentations on the website and please contact us if you have any questions.

Dr. Sharon Van Sell earns “Quality Matters Recognized” Course

The Office of Lifelong Learning is pleased to announce that NURS 3612 Intro to Nursing Research, developed by Dr. Sharon Van Sell, has been reviewed by Quality Matters™ (QM) and passed the review, meeting the quality standards of this review process. The course has earned the “Quality Matters Recognized” distinction. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Van Sell for this outstanding achievement.

The Quality Matters™ program is a faculty-centered peer course review Quality Assurance process. Review criteria are linked to external standards; criteria and process are supported through instructional design principles; and the process is vetted by faculty experts. The goals of the program are to increase student retention, learning and satisfaction in online courses by implementing better course design. Quality Matters is sponsored by MarylandOnline and has been adopted by hundreds of higher education institutions across thirty five states and Canada.

For more information about Quality Matters, please visit If you are interested in submitting an online course for review or want to apply the QM rubric to your course, you can find more information at The application deadline is Friday, September 26.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The 23 Things for Learning 2.0: Post #3

Week 3: Photos & Images

Discovery Exercises (Things)

6. Explore Flickr and learn about this popular image hosting site.

7. Have some Flickr fun and discover some Flickr mashups & 3rd party sites.

8. Create a blog post about anything technology related that interests you this week.

#6 (WEEK 3) Explore Flickr and learn about this popular image hosting site

Photo sharing websites have been around since the 90s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Flickr uses "tags" or what we would call subjects or keywords to help identify and search for photos.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags  work, what groups  are, and all the neat things
that people and other classrooms  and courses are creating thanks to Flickr.

Discovery Exercise:
In this discovery exercise, you have two options…

a. Take a good look around Flickr and discover an interesting image that you want to blog about. Be sure to include either a link to the image or if you create a Flickr account, you can use Flickr's blogging tool to add the image in your post.


b. If you are up to an easy challenge ... create a Free account in Flickr and use your digital camera to capture a few pictures of something in your office. Upload these to your Flickr account and tag at least one of the images “TWU virtual office” and mark it public. Then create a post in your blog about your photo and experience. Be sure to include the image in your post. Once you have a Flickr account, upload through Flickr's blogging tool . So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun and if you're interested in looking at some photo hosting sites, then check out Picasa Web Albums from Google and another service called Smugmug .

PS: A quick word about photo posting etiquette and cybersafety - When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) get the person's permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload
pictures that weren't taken by you (unless you have the photographer's consent) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog.

Flickr Learn More tour (6 steps)

Mediamazine Flickr Tutorials

Flickr Services (3rd party applications & mashups)  and here's another Flickr site that lets you create movie posters, CD covers, magazine covers and so on.

[Note: Please remember to include WEEK# and THING# in your heading posts.]

#7 (WEEK 3) Flickr fun, mashups, and 3rd party sites

Like many web 2.0 sites, Flickr has encouraged other people to build their own online applications  using images found on the  site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups* that use Flickr images. Here is just a sampling of a few …

Mappr - takes Flickr images and allows you to paste them on a map

Flickr Color Pickr  - lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific color.

Montagr  – create a photo mosaics from photos found on Flickr.

Poster Maker  with inspiration sayings (add in any picture and saying)

Discover more web apps , and Flickr tools .

Discovery Exercise:

Your discovery exercise for this “thing” is to: Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there. Create a blog post about one that intrigues you. You might want to check out FD Toys’ Trading Card Maker . So have some fun discovering and exploring some neat little apps. If you are up to the challenge while you’re at it, create a trading card of your own. :)

All sizes of this photo are available for download under a Creative Commons license.

* Mashup Note: Wikipedia offers some great articles that explain mashups. Basically they are hybrid web applications that take features from one application (like Flickr) and mash it up with another (like a map) In this example, you get Mappr ( )

#8 (WEEK 3) Create a blog post about anything technology-related that interests you this week

Simply blog about anything technology related. Yes, it can be anything that relates to technology! You just need to share a few thoughts. For example: "I like digital cameras because it's much easier to share photos with family and friends now that I have a Flickr account. Skype lets me talk with friends through computers. Technology advancements for music and medical equipment are amazing! Video Games, iTunes, iPods, Flatscreen televisions, etc. "

Monday, August 25, 2008

The 23 Things for Learning 2.0: Post #2

Blogs and Avatars
The word blog is an abbreviation of web log. It could be an online journal, a “column” (to use newspaper speak), or a series of posts tied together only by a loosely identified topic. Here’s what blogs have in common: their entries are usually listed in reverse chronological order; they can contain not only text but pictures, video, audio, and links to other websites and blogs; and they are available for syndication, meaning you can subscribe and have entries delivered to your “feed.” In the verb form, to blog, or blogging, just means contributing to a blog. If you’re interested, see Wikipedia’s more in-depth article with a definition and the history of blogging. If you prefer, here’s another source at Encyclopedia Britannica. There’s even a blog about blogging.

Here are some samples from university-related blogs:
Check out TWU Connection, the Distance Learner blog!
E-Learning and Distance Education Blog
Create and Post to Your Own Blog

Discovery Exercises (Things)
#3. Set up your own blog
#4. Post your Blog URL here
#5. Create an Avatar

#3. Set up your own blog. You have several choices for blog hosts that offer free blog hosting. This blog is hosted on Blogger. Others include WordPress, and LiveJournal. That’s just a sampling; there are many more. Because it’s an easy blog service to work with, I’m going to give you instructions for Blogger. Those of you who are experienced bloggers may use any blog service you like.

  1. If you already have a blog, skip to #6; if you are new to blogs and blogging, proceed to #2.
  2. Click on this link to blogger: (this will open in a new window, on top of what you’re now viewing).
  3. If you have a Google Account, sign in with that at the top right of the page, and then click on SIGN IN; if you do not have a Google Account, use the CREATE YOUR BLOG NOW button (in the shape of an arrow).
  4. Google will walk you through setting up your account, naming your blog, and selecting your template.
  5. Be sure to record your blog name and password! It is recommended that you bookmark your blog.
  6. Play around and add a test post or two.
  7. You will create a blog post for each of the "23 Things" you try.

Please clearly label each entry in your blog in the following way: WEEK 1, Thing #1, subject. Each of your posts should provide insights into what you’ve discovered and learned. Feel free to share what worked for you … and what didn’t … what surprised you … what frustrated you … what amazed you. TIP: This is a good time to "bookmark" your blog for easy access.

#4 Post your URL for your blog (the “address,” like to this page using the comments button. [ ]

#5. Create an avatar -- a representation of yourself. Go to , design an avatar [representing you or a younger version of yourself] with a school, library, or classroom background. (You will have to set up an account if you don't use Yahoo!) Save your avatar and export to your blog.

Yahoo! Avatars
[HINT: Here's how to export your avatar to your blog. When you are on your page, go to "home" tab and look to the right column. One of the options is: "EXPORT: Use your avatar in web pages and blogs and more." Click there. Then, in the Center of the page, 0ne option is your avatar's HTML code. Copy the code, go to your blog (Sign in. When you first sign in, there is an option to add a post OR manage posts, settings, or layout; Go to "LAYOUT." You will see various page elements.) Paste (Control V) the HTML code in the PAGE ELEMENT marked "HTML/Java Script." Then move that PAGE ELEMENT to wherever you want your avatar to appear on your blog.] Each blog application: blogger, wordpress, edublog, typepad, and so on has a unique method of exporting avatars and other images onto your pages. Be sure to use the ‘help’ menu within your application to work your way through any problems you run into. ]

Texas Blackboard Users Group Proposals - Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit proposals for the 2008 Texas Blackboard Users Group Conference (TBUG) has been extended to Sunday, August 31. You can access the proposal submission web page at

Please take advantage of this opportunity. Presenting is a win/win situation! It gives you the opportunity to showcase the hard work you have put forth, the valuable courses you have provided to our students, and presentations also look great in your professional portfolio! Your presentation contributions also provide excellent learning opportunities for the conference attendees.

For more information about the conference and to register, please visit the main TBUG website at

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two Webinars about Supporting Adjuncts

The Division of Academic Affairs is pleased to announce two webinar opportunities to learn more about supporting adjuncts at TWU.

  • Who should attend? Deans, chairs, program directors, faculty and staff who work with and support adjunct instructors.
  • Cost? These webinars are Free.
  • RSVPs are NOT required.
  • These webinars will be available on the Denton and Houston campuses.

Please join us for the following:

Training and Supporting Online Adjuncts: Practical Ideas
Featuring Dr. Kimberly Hardy, Dean of Instruction and Student Success for the Open Campus at Florida Community College at Jacksonville
Delivered by Magna Publications, Inc.

Thursday, September 25, 2008
11 a.m. – noon
Denton: STOD 308/ Houston: Room 3111

Learn More About:

  • Creating an online mentoring program
  • Helping adjuncts with development and preparation of courses
  • Meeting adjunct needs for technical support and assistance
  • Developing robust communication and information tools and forums
  • Creating adjunct tutorials
  • Building a community of learners among online adjuncts
  • Connecting offsite adjuncts to the campus
  • Establishing professional development opportunities

More Information

Supporting Adjunct Faculty Online: A Case Study
Featuring Patrick Nellis, Director of Faculty Development, Valencia Community College & Daryl Peterson, Teaching and Learning Support, Valencia Community College
Delivered by Academic Impressions

Thursday, October 2, 2008
Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Denton: STOD 308/ Houston: Room 3318

Learn More About:

  • Strategies for implementing a plan to support adjunct faculty
  • An appreciation of the advantages of online support for adjunct faculty
  • Strategies for development of online tools for supporting adjunct faculty

More Information

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The 23 Things for Learning 2.0: Post #1

Hello! Welcome to a special series of blog postings for the online instructor. This series is brought to you by the Instructional Designers from Distance Education at TWU as a professional development self discovery program. It is designed for you to do on your own.

On future posts, you will encounter the tools of Web 2.0 that are bringing users in touch with the entire world through social networking, video, audio, and and more. The Instructional Design Team encourages you to take time to explore and enjoy all the tools of this new Internet and discover how they may be applied to learning.

Read on!

For this series of postings, there are 23 Things for you to complete. Each post will show you one more web tool. There are many places for you to explore, experiment with, and think about creative ways to use 2.0 tools in your courses.

Learning 2.0 is a discovery learning program created by Helene Blowers. Content and style for Learning 2.0 have been borrowed and duplicated with permission, under a Creative Commons License.

Each post begins with a brief explanation of a new web 2.0 topic or tool, followed by Discovery Exercises. These exercises give you the background you need to understand the tools you're learning about. After the Discovery Exercises, you'll find a Thing -- activity -- to complete. After each Thing you will write about the experience on a blog you will create. In other words, you will comment or "post" to your online log (Blog.) You will learn how to set up a blog on the 2nd post of this series. This is a tool to communicate your thoughts, new found skills, ideas, questions, and favorite websites. It's your space!


Post 1:
#1. Please begin by reading & finding out about the 23 Things program.
#2. Discover a few pointers from lifelong learners and learn how to nurture your own learning process.

#1 (Post 1) This 23 Things for Learning 2.0 series of blog postings has been set-up to encourage all of us to experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the context of teaching, learning and information. The Instructional Design Team modified The Learning 2.0 program designed by Helene Blowers, Technology Director, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and is loosely based upon Stephen Abram's article, 43 Things I (or You) might want to do this year (Information Outlook - February 2006) and the website 43 Things

Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How does this work? This is a self-discovery program which encourages participants to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and play. This content is web-based and not tied to any particular computer. In fact, you may want to work at home or in your TWU office.

2. Is this program open to everyone or just some? This program is open to all who want to learn and grow. Participate individually or as a group. The benefit to participating as a part of a group is that your cheer one another along. Participants tell us this is incredibly rewarding and also a way to learn from one another. Don’t we all like positive reinforcement?

3. How long do I have to complete these activities? This is a series of 9 blog postings. The idea is that you work on a new “thing” or activity every other week. However, you may work ahead or take a week off here and there. It is up to you how fast you decide to work!

4. How do I track my progress for the 23 Things? You will be asked to make a blog of your own to track your progress. Please use your blog to write your reactions and add any ideas you may have on how to use web 2.0 tools for yourself and your courses. This is YOUR time to experiment, have fun, and learn at your own pace.

We recommend you to label your blog posts this way: Include THING # in the heading of each post. It will help you track your progress. It is also helpful when you want to refer back or add something new on a specific topic or tool.

5. Will there be any training classes offered to show participants how to do this? No, this is a self-directed learning program. We will provide helpful hints, encouraging words, and post comments from time to time. You are also encouraged to be resourceful and to find a co-worker or another staff member who can help. Be sure to share your knowledge and expertise too!

6. Why Do This? Web 2.0 is a phrase that was coined in 2004. It refers to the fact that the Internet is now an interactive medium rather than a ‘place’ to go to get information. Since it is the young who are flocking to these Web 2.0 sites, it is important that those of us who work in with learners be up-to-date with the latest trends in education and technology and learn how they can be utilized in or with our classrooms and courses.

#2 (Post 1) Lifelong Learning Habits

It makes sense that before we embark on this online learning and discovery journey that we review a few habits that can assist in creating lifelong learners. These habits, called the Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners, will provide you with a refresher on what it means to be a lifelong learner.

The Seven and ½ Habits tutorial is a great introduction to Helene Blowers, the person who put together the very first “23 Things.” [Please note that at the end, where she invited her staff to submit their comments and questions to the We Value Your Opinion! link, DO NOT use that link. Instead, post your comments here on this blog or on your own blog. Here are instructions on how to leave a comment on this blog:]

Discovery Exercise:
1. Make sure you have headphones or speakers attached to your computer.

2. Open up the 7 & 1/2 Habits online tutorial and view the online tutorial. The tutorial was developed by the training specialists at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

3. As you watch and listen, write down which habit among the 7 & 1/2 that is easiest for you and which is hardest. You will use your personal blog (which you will set up in the next post in this series) to post your thoughts about lifelong learning. Have fun! If you haven't jumped on board yet, it's never too late to become a lifelong learner. This is a great time to create a “learning contract” for yourself.

Next Up: Creating a blog so you can begin tracking your journey.