This month we are highlighting Principal 7: Good practice respects diverse talents and ways of learning. I recommend that you take a few minutes this week to learn about UDL (Universal Design Learning). UDL allows educators to provide a spectrum of activities, assignments, and assessments that can increase opportunities for all facets of learners.
Here are some resources that I highly recommend:
Faculty Focus Article – UDL: A Systematic Approach to Supporting Diverse Learners
TOEP – Web 2.0 Accessibility Discovery Resources
Universal Design for Learning: How to Improve Satisfaction and Retention for Students at All Learning Levels
Using Universal Design to Support All Online Students
Atomic Learning* – Learning Styles
* Must log into Blackboard to view Magna Commons and Atomic Learning content.
This month eLearning at NCCC will continue providing training and workshops to support our online course observation and effective online teaching guide by providing resources and workshops to support Principle #6. Principle #6 is “Good practice communicates high expectations.”
With this principle, effective instructors have high, but reasonable, expectations for their students. They clearly communicate those expectations and provide support to their students in their efforts to meet those expectations. In an online course you can communicate high expectations through the following:
- Explicit communication of the skills and knowledge every student needs to have in order to be successful in the course.
- Explanation of course learning goals and student learning outcomes, and how the assignments are designed to help students achieve those goals.
- Frequent feedback provided to students through written explanations or narrated screencasts that provide detailed feedback on assignments and other course activities.
- Motivation and encouragement that inspires students to move past the easy answers to more complex solutions.
- Routine use of critical and probing questions when communicating with students about course assignments and activities.
- Examples of high and low quality work, along with a discussion of the differences between these.
- Examples of student work that demonstrate advancement toward learning goals
We curated some great resources to support this principle and they include:
Online Assessment Techniques (OATs)
Exploring the Advantages of Rubric
Rubric Resources from NCCC eLearning Blog
5 Ways to Help Students Succeed in Online Courses
Screencasting Feedback and More from the NCCC eLearning Faculty Support Blog
SUNY Tools of Engagement Discovery Resource on Screencasting
Grading with Voice on an iPad
In addition, we’re holding some workshops and drop-in clinics focusing on the Blackboard Grade Center, Setting up Rubrics in Blackboard, Screencasting feedback, and more. View our eLearning event calendar for dates and times.
Remind text messaging! At times throughout the semester, do you wish you could get a quick message to your students? I would highly recommend using Remind to communicate with your students. This tool is free! Many students already have knowledge of this service because it is used in most high schools to communicate with their students. This service allows you to quickly push out messages to your students without giving them access to your personal cell phone number. You choose if the service is one way or allow students to text you back. This is all done without exchanging phone numbers.
To learn more about Remind visit their channel in YouTube.
This academic year the eLearning department at NCCC is focusing on providing training and workshops to support our new Online Course Observation/Effective Online Teaching Behaviors self-evaluation guide. Each month we will focus on one of the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education with a specific focus on Online Teaching. December will focus on Principle 3 which is to “encourage Active Learning.”
Active learning methods engage students in the learning process by encouraging them to discover, process, and apply information. In an online course, student activities to support this would be active uses of writing, speaking, or other forms of self-expression, opportunities for information gathering, synthesis, and analysis in solving problems, engaging in collaborative learning, and reflecting on their learning. Below are a few articles you can read to learn more and I invite all NCCC faculty to join us for our live sessions via Zoom. We will showcase examples of active learning tools such as reflection journal assignments, resource curating and sharing, and collaborative learning spaces. See this document for the session schedule and log in information.
7 Things You Should Read about Instructional Strategies for Active Learning
Simple Techniques for Applying Active Learning Strategies to Online Course Videos
This trick is for those of you using the Blackboard Grade Center.
As the semester is winding down we are constantly getting the question “What are my grades” or “How am I doing”. In the Blackboard Grade Center the faculty view is showing all students grades making it hard to sit down with a student and go over their grades.
Blackboard has a quick feature that you can use to hide all rows except one. To do this go the Bb Grade Center, point to the students last name and an arrow will appear to the right of their name. Click the arrow and select “hide other rows”. This will show only the one students data. To display all the rows again go back to the student’s last name click the arrow and select “Show All Rows”.
This academic year the eLearning department at NCCC is focusing on providing training and workshops to support our new Online Course Observation/Effective Online Teaching Behaviors self-evaluation guide. Each month we will focus on one of the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education with a specific focus on Online Teaching. We will start this series off this October by providing resources, tools and strategies to support Principle #1 which is to “encourages contact between students and faculty.”
In the guide you will see evidence that can show you meet this principle. Examples are detailed and frequent announcements, timely responses to messages and email, a great narrated screen cast that welcomes students to your online course and that provides an overview of the course and the student learning outcomes. The students should be able to see a picture of you or (use a web cam) and hear your voice. In addition, you could communicate with students through email, free text services like remind, and provide online office hours through web conferencing tools like Zoom. We will also send out tips of the week through the Blackboard eLearning faculty group to help you enhance your teaching skills with Principle #1.
During October the NCCC eLearning department invites you to join in to listen to our lunch time webinars, register for our campus workshops, and view the additional resources in Magna and Atomic Leaning to help you enhance your online teaching skills for Principle #1.
So how can you ensure that online course requirements meet the same “time per credit hour” requirements as grounded courses? Courses delivered online are still required to meet the same “time per credit hour” standards as in the classroom as per the MSCHE Credit Hour Policy and SUNY credit/contact policy and definitions. In the following resource you will learn how “time” in online courses is calculated. Since online courses don’t have “seat time” like grounded courses, it’s important that you and your students understand how much “time” it will take to complete the course.
Students at NCCC can estimate how much time a course should take them through the use of our eLearning Time Management Estimator.
Faculty should review the following resources from R.I.T. to learn how “time” in online courses work. The resources will provide information on how you can ensure your online courses require the same amount of learning and should equal the same amount of time per week as grounded courses.
Time on Task overview from the Learning Institute at R.I.T.
Time on Task expanded version PDF file from the Learning Institute at R.I.T.
Lisa Dubuc, Coordinator of Electronic Learning