mac and paper

Benefits of Taking Notes by Hand

Do you take notes by hand? In distance education, many students type lecture notes on their computers, rather than writing on paper. After all, students use laptops to watch lectures, answer assessment questions, and participate in class discussions. It’s only natural to use the same device for taking notes, too, right? Not so fast. Last year, Pam A. Mueller and…

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December 3, 2015 |

Depth of Knowledge

Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK)

In the world of curriculum development and student assessment, there are many models that inform our work. Each model supports the design of relevant, engaging, and rigorous learning experiences. While Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy has served as the “go to” framework since the 1950s, it’s Norman L. Webb’s Depth of Knowledge system that has caught the attention of K-12 educators since…

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November 19, 2015 |

Reflective posture

Learning Styles: How we engage with the world

If you have been following this blog, just a few months ago, we wrote about common learning styles and what effect they have on learners and teaching methods and practices, and that to a large extent these are not well-evidenced in either science or practice, but for some reason have a wide acceptance. Today, we are tackling a different take on…

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November 12, 2015 |

Laptop and hands

Webinar: Google Drive for Course Development

Hey all, as promised here is the recording from today’s webinar, Using Google Drive for Online Course Development. Here, too, is the handout we attached and the link to a support for how permissions in Google Docs work. Enjoy!…

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November 5, 2015 |

Blackboard grade center view

Sending email messages to students from a Blackboard course

We all have our workflow preferences and places that we check to stay connected. Some prefer using Course Messages (which in our configuration won’t send the message to a student’s email, unfortunately), and others prefer using actual email service. There may be a practice compromise to accommodate both the need for convenience such as emailing a student (or a number…

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October 28, 2015 |

scoop.it screenshot for ACTEM Conference

ACTEM Conference Sneak Peek: Scoop.it

We’re off tomorrow to Bangor, ME, to present at the annual ACTEM Conference. I am presenting with the lovely Susan Barrett Hyde on the subject of web tools for scaffolded assignments. I hope to subdivide the general scope of the presentation into several blog posts to tide me over into 2016, and I thought I’d start things off with one…

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October 15, 2015 |

putting together a jigsaw

Collaboration in Online Courses: Group Work

We often use group work in our online courses, and success varies among courses, projects, and students. Overall, our ultimate goal is organic learning, fostering an online community of learners and stimulating active participation in it. This, however, is not always achieved with a stellar consistency. Reflecting on our use of groups in courses, a few issues become apparent. Recognizing…

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October 8, 2015 |

faces with a play button as in video

Video Annotations and Discussions

In our courses, we sometimes use videos as a prompt to start a discussion. The video is most likely to be included in the viewing section (aka Multimedia or Watch this), and possibly a link would be included in the prompt itself. It’s also possible to streamline the discussion flow by removing the permission to create a new thread on…

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October 1, 2015 |

Google Forms

Using Google Forms

Hey everyone, We’re back again this week with a quick overview of how to get started with Google Forms. I was surprised to find that we hadn’t covered Google Forms before, so consider this post an introduction to some of its basic features. Because Google Forms does merit much more attention, expect that we’ll return to the tool in the…

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September 24, 2015 |

embed kanopy video

Kanopy Video Database

The UNE Library supplies us, faculty students and staff, with a huge quantity of learning and entertainment materials. Mostly, we think of books when we think of these materials, or the vast online databases connecting us with scholarly articles from around the world. But there’s more to the library than what you can check out or download for reading. Kanopy…

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September 18, 2015 |

speech bubble

Discussions in Online Courses

The apparent convenience of online education is what attracts a lot of students in the first place. Imagine sitting on your couch with a bowl of cereal, still in your pjs and with uncombed hair, and working away on your assignments and readings where no one can see you. The flip side of the coin, the absence of the physical presence…

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September 10, 2015 |

Crumpled note paper

Creating Effective Writing Assignments: The Discourse Community Framework

Designing effective assignment prompts Using the writing process – often a complex, messy and mysterious process for students – is crucial for graduate level success. Students not only need to grapple with understanding course concepts, they must be able to express them professionally and intelligently. Designing effective assignment prompts, with the addition of writing support, can provide the extra guidance…

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September 3, 2015 |

Captioning in YouTube

Captioning in Youtube

In the interests of making the online Masters of Social Work program as accessible as possible, we’ve tried to make sure that all the video and audio content provided in the courses has, at the very least, transcripts. Above and beyond accessibility issues such as those involving hearing impaired students, transcripts are useful for students to print and take notes…

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August 21, 2015 |

red school door

The Myth of Learning Styles - Are They Worth Your Time?

It’s almost impossible to have a conversation about learning or teaching without invoking the concept of learning styles. Much of the drive behind lesson and course design is based on the need to tailor curriculum to particular or all of the learning styles that your students might come with. Is it practical – or even possible – to teach in…

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August 13, 2015 |

Webinar: Peer and Self Assessment in Blackboard

Webinar: Peer and Self Assessment in Blackboard

Faculty members of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies Please consider watching this brief webinar on Peer and Self Assessment, written and presented by Instructional Designers Olga Slasten LaPlante and Chris Malmberg. You may also want to consider adding an assignment or activity of this nature to your course where appropriate. Thanks for watching this webinar recording for Self…

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July 30, 2015 |

Google Chrome Profile

How, and why, to Create Chrome Profiles

Hey all, here’s a quick but useful tip for creating and managing Google/Chrome profiles in your Chrome browser. Doing so allows you to have multiple browser’s tailored to the different hats you wear in your life. I maintain separate Chrome browsers for my personal and my work lives. How might you use it?

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July 24, 2015 |

Be Yourself

New Questions About Efficacy of TurnItIn Plagiarism Detection

I have long been having controversial feelings and thoughts about plagiarism detection and its place in higher education. Our contention has always been that it’s a tool at best, and a highly imperfect one at that, to help faculty find things in students’ writing. What sort of things exactly? This article brings up what this software (both TurnItIn and SafeAssign,…

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July 14, 2015 |

studying supplies

Feedback Focused on Revision

Lori Rand is a guest contributor this week. She has been providing writing support for UNE students since 2009 and has taught English Composition courses for over 15 years. In her current position as an online writing tutor, Lori uses web conferencing to help students practice independent revision and editing. Today’s post relates to one of the most important ways…

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July 9, 2015 |

Google Docs Add Ons

Google Docs Add-Ons

We’ve touted the benefits of using Google Drive in the past. This time, we’re going to talk about a new(ish) dimension of capabilities within Google Docs (and Google Sheets, though we’re not getting into that today), that empowers users to integrate functionality from a multitude of different services directly, contextually, within Google Docs. Google introduced add-ons to Google Docs and…

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June 25, 2015 |

checklist

Self and Peer Assessment

In many instances, it is beneficial to students to do peer evaluations – that makes them look at submissions more critically and learn in the process, plus using a predetermined rubric helps identify the high points and the important performance criteria for an assignment. The Self and Peer Assessment feature in Blackboard allows students to submit an assignment to a…

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June 18, 2015 |

book closeup

CAST: About Universal Design for Learning

CAST: About Universal Design for Learning. We at MSW are very ambitious about making sure that our course design offers learning opportunities to diverse students, not the proverbial “middle”, or only fully-abled English as-a-native-language speaking students. By including additional content formats (transcripts for videos and audio, alternate text for images for example), we open opportunities for students who may either need assistance…

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June 11, 2015 |

Scaffolding Webinar

Assignment Scaffolding for Faculty and Student Success - A Recorded Webinar

The College of Graduate and Professional Studies, the Center for the Enrichment of Teaching and Learning, and the Student Academic Success Center, came together to weigh in on the benefits of assignment and course scaffolding, as discussed in the video below.

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May 28, 2015 |

All accounts

Password Managers and Security

How many online accounts do you have? How many passwords? I have over 99. I’d be more specific about the number but I don’t want to count them, and the counter in my PW Manager Dashboard only goes so high. Admittedly, I probably have more accounts than most faculty and administrators. My job involves experimenting with online tools and teaching teachers how…

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May 22, 2015 |

In your course click on Course Documents in the navigation menu

How to Work with Google Drive Folder Shared with You

Google Drive has been instrumental in streamling the process of storing and sharing files, especially in document-intense courses like Field Seminars and Practica. While there are a number of advantages to setting up our system this way, there has been some difficulty navigating around the shared folders as they don’t always feel intuitive for a particular task. All of the…

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May 14, 2015 |