This week I have the pleasure of attending the Sloan Consortium’s 7th Annual International Symposium: Emerging Technologies for Online Learning as a virtual attendee. I think this is the first time I’m experiencing remote participation in an on-site event … and it’s great!
Not only are there a lot of streamed sessions to choose from, the social media interaction is helpful in bringing us all together through shared conversations and resources. Thanks to Saint Leo University for making it possible for me as an adjunct instructor and course designer to experience this event.
Here are a few of the sessions I attended, along with (very) brief notes and links that take you to the conference pages where more information (including slides and handouts) are uploaded and openly available.
- “Keep class fresh and fun for you and your students.”
- Try having students submit discussion questions – students may be more likely to participate.
- Provide a table-format course schedule with details about due dates, instructions, objectives, etc.
- Decide what your policies are (e.g., late assignments) and stick to them. “Otherwise it’s a guideline.”
- Good conference tip: “look for a few gems.” Ideas that intrigue you, make you think about what you are doing, and could be actionable.
- Take a look at the Discussion Participation Tool presented in the session.
- Good breakdown of types of responses – social, teaching, cognitive.
- “It’s nice when you can’t tell who is the teacher and who is a grad student” in an online discussion forum.
- We’re all in search of a “desirable instructor profile” that includes optimizing frequency of posts and types of posts. Would expectations be different for full-time/part-time instructors?
- Challenges exist in creating outcomes and activities that meet the needs of students from novice to expert.
- Importance of the role of social presence cannot be overstated.
- Advice includes: move toward synchronous sessions, intentionality in assignments, complexity of group work, use of webcam, on demand videos and assignments.
- Consider designing, approaching online course in phases (Boettcher and Conrad, 2010).
- Provide step-by-step instructions for students’ “first night” in your online course.
- Reflective blog prompts bring closure to every assignment.
- Interesting assignments described, including “Cool Tool Duel.”
Thanks again to Sloan-C and Saint Leo! This is a small sampling of the range of speakers, topics, and interactions that are being shared. Explore the conference program online for more info – most session pages include downloadable materials and presenter contact details.
You may also want to follow @et4online to get updates about next year’s conference, and, of course, the #et4online hashtag.
Update! I’m an official Sloan-C Ninja after completing the conference’s social media challenges, including my first video upload. Check out the badges. :)
I’m guest hosting #AdjunctChat again this week (3/18)! Join in on Tuesday at 4pmET.
End-of-term student evaluations are a common way to ask students for feedback at the course level. The format has changed, at many colleges and universities, from paper and pencil questionnaires to online forms.
As an online adjunct instructor at two universities, I’ve had trouble accessing evaluation results in the past. It can take a long time for the completed forms to be tabulated and distributed to the instructor, and there is often a low response rate. But recently, and quite coincidentally, I received notification from each of my institutions letting me know about new systems that allow me to log in and retrieve all of my past evaluations.
Having access to the information is just the start. Now to figure out how the feedback can be put to practical use. From course revision to future job applications, there are many possibilities. For this week’s #AdjunctChat, we’ll use the following questions to guide the discussion:
- What role do student evaluations play in your adjunct teaching?
- When, how do you receive formal feedback from your students?
- Do you have any specific examples of how these evaluations have been a benefit to you?
- Do you conduct your own course evaluations?
- What are your suggestions for improving the process for adjunct instructors?
What would you like to cover during this chat? Please add your ideas and questions to the comments area below, and plan to join us on Tuesday, March 18th at 4pmET! All are welcome.
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who participated in this conversation! If you missed the session, the AdjunctChat site will post a transcript and a Storify version is linked below.
I’m excited to be guest moderating #AdjunctChat this week! This weekly Twitter conversation takes place on Tuesday at 4:00pm ET.
As a full-time education writer (a.k.a. blogger) and an adjunct online instructor, my interest in this topic is close to home. Blogging platforms (e.g., WordPress, Blogger, EduBlogs) offer the opportunity for an individual to be heard, to share a perspective based on his or her unique combination of experiences, context, and areas of interest. And many academics have turned to blogging, as an alternative form of publication, to do just that.
Blogging can be, well, whatever the writer wants it to be. Consider the possibilities for:
- Developing an online presence
- Sharing practical experience and advice
- Disseminating research results
- Connecting with students
- Collaborating with colleagues
- Exploring professional development
- Developing a portfolio
These questions will guide the chat:
- Is there a value to blogging?
- How can and adjunct faculty member add his or her voice without adding to the noise?
- What cautions should adjunct bloggers be aware of?
- What are your favorite adjunct resource blogs?
- Do you blog? Share your link(s)!
If you are interested in finding out more about how students, faculty, and administrators in higher education are creating blog content, you can visit my ongoing collection of related articles via Scoop.it, and a related conference presentation: All about Blogs: Universal Tool of the Digital Academic.
What would you like to cover during this chat? Add your ideas and questions to the comments area below.
Please join us on Tuesday, January 28th at 4pm ET! All are welcome.
UPDATE: Thanks to all participants for their enthusiasm for this topic. A long list of ideas, experiences, and further questions were shared. The group took the chat in a helpful direction with a discussion about the use of blogs with students and in a class setting. The AdjunctChat site will post a transcript and a Storify version is linked below.
Image credit: Travelin’ Librarian, Flickr, CC:BY-NC-SA
As of this month Design Doc is three years old! Thanks to you for following and providing comments and encouragement along the way.
Reviewing the Past Year
I fell a little short in reaching my goals for 2011. I never moved Design Doc from WordPress.com to a self-hosted format. And while I did continue to post about practical topics and career issues for instructional designers, I managed only 14 posts during the year. Not what I had planned, but I also encountered unexpected opportunities during the year, writing 148 posts at the Inside Online Learning blog with OnlineCollege.org, powered by WordPress.
A list of the five most popular Design Doc posts for 2011 includes several from 2010. Glad to see that a few of the older items are still of interest!
- Tools for Freelance Instructional Designers
- Instructional Design and Technology Skills in Demand?
- Instructional Design Documents
- RSS Reader Review: Feedly
- Rubrics. Yes? No? Maybe…
In 2011 I also attended WordCamp Miami and was fortunate enough to present sessions about blogging at two conferences: The Technology, Colleges, and Community (TCC) Online Conference in April, and The Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning in November. Both presentations focused on student use of the blog format to build career portfolios. The Sloan presentation is captured in its own blog: Blog Your Portfolio.
What will 2012 bring?
So far I’ve already started reorganizing a bit, adding a new page for Guest Posts I’ve written for other sites, and retooling the events page with links to recent Presentations & Papers. In March I’ll be part of a panel presentation on “writing amid dissolving media boundaries” at a writers’ symposium organized by Wake Forest University, my undergraduate alma mater. And I’m scheduled to facilitate a professional development session entitled “Blogging Basics with WordPress” for career counselors at this year’s National Career Development Association (NCDA) conference in June.
My Design Doc goals for 2012 are broad and basic:
- continue writing about relevant topics for practicing instructional designers and instructional design students, and
- seek out opportunities to learn new blogging skills and share my lessons learned.
Thanks in advance for your continued participation and assistance in the process! We’ll see where else blogging takes us in 2012…
Photo credit: Stock.xchg