Information Literacy

Writing Rubrics - Using Bloom's Taxonomy and Beyond

The challenge of writing rubrics is in selecting the appropriate type (as explained in colleague Sarah’s 2016 post, “For the Love of Rubrics”), and then in determining the levels of proficiency and the standards or criteria that comprise each level. When writing rubrics, precision in language is very important. We may ask: What are the exact intended learning outcomes? What discrete…

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August 17, 2017 |

Webinar Series

Webinar: Using RefWorks for Online Learning

We are happy to present a webinar, developed and delivered by Cadence Atchinson, our Online Research and Teaching Librarian, on how to use RefWorks for learning and scholarship. This webinar was designed specifically for faculty and staff working with online learners, but it should be useful for just about anyone. Enjoy.

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August 11, 2017 |

Digital Native Debate

The Digital Native Debate

We learn about things by naming them so that they can be distinguished from one another. That usually involves some abstraction. After all, things are complicated. Things are, themselves, made up of many things. Even worse, differences between one thing and another are often difficult to isolate, quantify, or even describe. People debate. They say, this thing is really two…

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August 3, 2017 |

Resource Articles

Articles We've Been Reading - 7/20/17

Every once in awhile we like to curate some of the resources and articles that have interested us these last couple weeks for your reading pleasure. The opinions expressed in these resources don’t always reflect our own. Rather, we share them because we think they compel conversation, which we’re happy to have with our readers in the comments field below.  The History of…

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July 20, 2017 |

Net Neutrality

What in the world is net neutrality, anyway?

What was going on yesterday? You may have noticed that several websites around the Internet were acting strangely earlier this week. Some of the most popular sites – Amazon, Facebook, and Google, to name a few – were promoting something called net neutrality. It’s not a very user-friendly term, and you wouldn’t be crazy to think it had more to…

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July 14, 2017 |

Online Student Portfolios

Portfolios and Authentic Learning

In an earlier post, I wrote about our Instructional Design work with three of our online instructors in the MSEd Literacy concentration. This mapping and redesign project spurred enthusiastic discourse with both faculty and program managers about the role of authentic assessment in our graduate courses. These conversations led quite naturally to discussions about the role of professional portfolios in…

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July 6, 2017 |

Diagramming Tools

Diagramming Tools

Diagramming can be useful no matter your profession, but we have several health-related programs at CGPS, and in healthcare diagramming is very nearly an essential skill. We’ve had the opportunity, then, to try several different web-based diagram authoring tools, and want to suggest two to anyone out there with needs similar to our own. We chose these two based on…

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June 30, 2017 |

Virtual Reality Learning

Learning and Assessing in a Virtual Reality

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, billed as E3, is abuzz in the technology and entertainment news at the moment. One of the more prominent themes this year? Virtual Reality. With that in mind, it feels pertinent to visit VR’s crossovers with the field of education, particularly with increasing interest around the idea of “gamification” as a means of instruction and…

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June 16, 2017 |

Connecting Online Students

Connecting People in Online Classrooms

We all dream of some sort of seamless integration of a myriad of tools (or a myriad of features) that allow us to connect and perform certain tasks. Text, voice, video, real-time and recorded, presentation mode, all-platform, aesthetically pleasing, easy to set up and use, free of course, and with on-demand tech support are primarily the requirements for any type…

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June 2, 2017 |

Resource Articles

Articles We've Been Reading

With the longer weekend approaching, we thought we’d curate a few of the resources that have interested us these last couple weeks for your reading pleasure. The opinions expressed in these articles don’t always reflect our own. Rather, we share them because we think they compel conversation, which we’re happy to have with our readers in the comments field below.  Inception learning: La…

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May 26, 2017 |

Reference Management

A Qiqqa Way to Reference Management

Whether you are a student, faculty member, researcher, or instructional designer, there comes a point when you realize there must be a better way to manage and organize your PDF collection.  I reached my tipping point when my PDF collection topped 100 half-way into my second, research-heavy online course.  As a technology neophyte, I had no idea how many tools…

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May 23, 2017 |

Giving Good Feedback

5 Tips for Giving Good Feedback

Keep feedback focused on learners and their work. Draw attention to what is working and try to describe why you think it works. In some cases the learner will not recognize what is working; in many cases the learner will not understand why something works. Limit talking about your own models for how things “should work” to instances when talking…

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May 12, 2017 |

Webinar Series

Webinar: Fostering Instructor Presence

Last week we gave a webinar on fostering instructor presence using announcements, discussion, and feedback. The panelists were Becky Christian, Christine Baumgarthuber and myself. We had a good time, and those in attendance asked good questions of us. We’re happy to present the recording of that webinar here, today.

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April 27, 2017 |

Distracted Mind

Revisiting the Distracted Mind

As both an online student and an instructional designer, I find myself thinking about attention spans often. Last year, I wrote a post here about harnessing the distracted mind, in which I offered tools and methods for staying focused, even when hilarious YouTube videos or brilliant longreads are just one browser tab away. What I’ve come to realize over the…

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April 20, 2017 |

Tips for Concise Writing

Teaching Online: 5 Tips for Concise Writing

In my last post, I discussed the importance of writing clear, concise instructions. Our online students are busy professionals, so we owe it to them to be as straightforward and unambiguous with our language as possible. Nonetheless, writing concisely can be a challenge. Even the most seasoned Instructional Designers wrestle with the balance of delivering succinct but comprehensive content. These…

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April 13, 2017 |

Google Drive Productivity tools

Tools for Google Drive Productivity

We use Google Drive quite a bit in our course and curriculum development. It is a favorite tool for collaborating with stakeholders and subject matter experts from all over the world. Meetings are difficult to schedule when design partners belong to four separate time zones, but Drive allows us to keep track of who is doing what, when, and where we are in…

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March 30, 2017 |

Education Levels Across America

How to Read a Map of Education Levels Across America

One of the guiding aspirations of online education is to reach across geographical (and cultural) boundaries. I love my field because I work to help make higher education more widely available to those who have limited access to it. The Educational Attainment in America map, developed by Kyle Walker at TCU, is a fascinating way to look at that challenge. He developed it…

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March 24, 2017 |

Resource Articles

Tips for Improving Paragraph Integrity

People often talk about personal integrity, but what about paragraph integrity? An essential part of clear prose, paragraph integrity means each sentence within a paragraph follows from the one that came before. Oftentimes a piece of writing is unclear because it lacks paragraph integrity. Happily, clear paragraphs follow certain rules that are easily discerned. In Style: Toward Clarity and Grace…

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March 17, 2017 |

Information Literacy

A Framework for Information Literacy

I recently wrote about how information fluency is hoped to bolster our ability to recognize and defuse the phenomena known as fake news. It’s supposed to do so by providing the information fluent with the means to “respect the expertise that authority represents while remaining skeptical of the systems that have elevated that authority and the information created by it.” That quote is taken from…

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March 10, 2017 |

UNE Online Graduate Courses available globally

Domain of One's Own

A short post today, because we are doing some work on the site and I only have a small window in which to get this up. Luckily, I have been studying something recently which I think deserves a bit of recognition, or at the very least some conversation. That something is the Domain of One’s Own movement, that started up…

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March 2, 2017 |

Webinar Series

WEBINAR - Providing Effective Student Feedback

One of the keys to engaging online learners and facilitating critical thinking is providing students with timely, meaningful, and actionable feedback. Webinar: Providing Effective Student Feedback Good feedback is: Timely Instructional Consistent Good feedback also: Highlights a specific knowledge or skill Focuses on thinking (not writing mechanics) Moves a student’s work forward Provides a model or example Invites the student…

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February 16, 2017 |

Discussion Forum Prompts

Writing Discussion Forum Prompts

Discussion forums are a hallmark of asynchronous online courses like those at UNE. Previous posts on this site have offered an excellent introduction to Best Practices for Discussion Board Facilitation, and an overview of current conversations around learning outcomes and instructional implications of online discussion forums. In this post, I aim to provide a closer look by offering practical tips…

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February 3, 2017 |

Student Privacy

Looking at Student Privacy in 2017

For more reasons than I can count, the 2016 presidential election has amplified our country’s ongoing debate on web privacy. The topic can grow tiresome, but if we stop to consider that the issue goes far beyond someone’s email server, it becomes a little more interesting. Take student privacy, for example. We expect faculty and staff to honor FERPA. Do…

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January 18, 2017 |

Massive Open Online Courses

A Second Wind for MOOCs?

Massive Open Online Courses have had a bumpy history. Their promise, when the idea was gaining full momentum a few years back, was that so long as a course was well designed it could scale infinitely to teach four thousand students as ably as it could teach twenty. Not only that, but some forward thinkers hypothesized that a MOOC would run…

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January 17, 2017 |