Feedback Focused on Revision

studying supplies 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 tutors provide feedback on student writing. Feedback Focused on Revision Assessing students on two levels – comprehension of content and communication of ideas through writing – is challenging. Content feedback is usually concrete, but as Olga has written in a past post, giving feedback on writing is not as straightforward. Initial feedback focused on revision vs. editing can significantly help… Read more >>
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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 Sheets about a year ago, but the ecosystem of add-ons was pretty immature back then. Now, with a year gone by for services to develop add-ons, the choices are richer and more useful. First, in order to get/manage/activate/deactivate add-ons, you should open up a Google Doc. Look at the toolbar across the top of your sheet–there should be a tab… Read more >>
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Self and Peer Assessment

checklist 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 dropbox, then to be randomly assigned several of them for review (anonymous option available) and offer feedback, and even include a self-evaluation, if desired. In the current courses, we often have a discussion forum set up for similar purposes, where one has to submit an assignment – usually as attachment (and sometimes viewing of the discussion forum is restricted so… Read more >>
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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 with the language itself, can’t hear very well or simply don’t have the time to listen to the spoken track and prefer reading a transcript and making notes in the margins, which increases their productivity and adds meaning to their interaction with the material. Any digital text can also be searched quickly for particular terms, which again… Read more >>
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Assignment Scaffolding for Faculty and Student Success - A Recorded Webinar

Scaffolding 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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Password Managers and Security

All accounts 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 to use those tools should they pass muster. As education moved online, I found myself creating more accounts. Around the core set of accounts and passwords we pretty much all have (work and personal email, a couple bank accounts, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, etc.) I’ve piled up a mountain of new accounts that I’m not even going to try… Read more >>
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How to Work with Google Drive Folder Shared with You

In your course click on Course Documents in the navigation menu We have been trying to streamline 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 course documents are shared to allow anyone who has the link to view the contents of the folder. You can also download certain types of files without as much as logging into Google. 1. In the Course Navigation Menu on your left, click on Course Documents 2. You will be able to view documents all at once either as a grid… Read more >>
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Analyze My Writing

Analyze my Writing Thanks to another mention by, I have looked into this Analyze My Writing engine. In the past we have talked about Wordle and Tagxedo, which are both fine word cloud generators, which in addition to making long pieces of text look pleasant, highlight most commonly used words in a chunk of text. The idea behind these is that you can manage and introduce large boring text without scaring off your readers/audience, and possibly generate some conversation in the process. With Analyze My Writing, you can go several steps further and analyze your own writing or another person’s writing and “gain a wealth of information about your text including word and character counts, word and sentence… Read more >>
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UNE Instructional Design: Demonstrating Excellence in Online Graduate Education

Large lecture hall at UNE, instructional design What is Instructional Design? Very broadly, Instructional Design is the process by which instructional materials are designed, developed, and delivered. It’s the job of the Instructional Designer to coordinate learning experiences that are efficient, effective, and appealing. The terms instructional design, instructional technology, educational technology, curriculum design, and instructional systems design (ISD), are often used interchangeably. Instructional design also involves the process of identifying the skills, knowledge, information and attitude gaps of a targeted audience and designing activities to close the gaps, based on learning theory and best practices from the field. A brief history According to Wikipedia, much of the foundation of the field of instructional design was laid in World War II, when the U.S. military faced… Read more >>
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Web Annotation with Hypothesis Extension

Hypothesis Pop-Up One of the most powerful differences between printed text and digital text, as we’ve already covered, is the ability to annotate in the margins as you would a physical book. We’ve talked about tools that allow you to annotate screenshots, and tools that allow you to curate, then annotate, webpages and articles–now, I want to cover a tool, and point anyone interested toward the philosophy that underpins its existence, that allows you to annotate the web directly. The tool is called Hypothesis, and it is the product of a team that goes by the same name. Hypothesis lives in your browser and allows you to, when you highlight a section of text with your cursor, annotate that… Read more >>
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Using Google Docs as Online Student

Among the things that online students point out as the most important to success are time management and staying motivated (see all the seven factors listed in this Educause article). Clearly, it’s easy to get side-tracked if you don’t have to go to a class at a particular scheduled time – remember this was actually the best thing about asynchronous classes when you signed up? – or have a particular place to go to study. If your time management strategy is using a few minutes here and there between meetings or work, or chores, or while the pasta is cooking for dinner, then it’s possible there may be some headwinds to the overall success in your chosen online… Read more >>
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Protect your eyes: a particular concern for online students

Reading Glasses While online students face many of the same problems as traditional students on the ground, a different sort of concern can be raised out of the convenience that a fully online degree program can afford. What is it? It’s called CVS. Computer Vision Syndrome, not to be mistaken with the lines of pharmacies, is the name for any host of optical issues that arise from regular computer use. The American Optometrists Association says that 75% of people who use computers suffer symptoms of CVS, and Peter G. Shaw-McMinn O.D. suggests that number is a conservative one. Symptoms of CVS Blurred Vision or Double Vision Excessive Blinking or Squinting Changes in Color Perception Flicking Sensations or Glare Eyestrain or Fatigue Irritated,… Read more >>
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Audio Recordings

Audio Over the last year, with the smoother integration of YouTube videos into the Blackboard system (such as Vide Everywhere, aka Record from Webcam), we have used the video features extensively and in an increasing number of courses. There are admittedly lots of advantages to taking courses online, but cultivating a robust community remains a challenge in distance education. So, using videos makes a small dent in this area, and YouTube has proven to be a fairly friendly working solution. We haven’t done much – in part due to the current configuration of Blackboard which is not too friendly to audio files – much (or anything) with audio recordings. There are at least a couple of courses though which use some… Read more >>
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Google Add-ons: MailChimp, HelloFax, EasyBib and Many More

At first, I wanted to write about Arts and Social Work, but that was quite a bit of a stretch as I was only going to tell you guys about a very cool Google Chrome extension (only works in Chrome, of course) called “Google Art Project”. It can enrich your web browsing experience by opening a beautiful piece of art every time you open a new tab (change it in options) or stick with one piece of art for the entire day, and it will change tomorrow. This will disable other extensions, like “Dayboard” for example. But then I thought that this wouldn’t meet the 500 word guidelines we have for our blog posts (ha-ha! not true!).… Read more >>
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Online Research with Evernote

Use Evernote to Study Online This is not how online students study. Except for the screaming. That may sometimes occur. Studying as an online student The traditional student cram session, as it appears in the movies, takes place in a checked-out library study room, books piled high to either side of one disheveled, hangdog face. Maybe some of us have put ourselves in exactly this situation only to realize that neither the process—as romanticized through montage backed by a brass section—nor the outlook—always the climactic moment when the protagonist’s furious-if-tardy efforts are finally rewarded—are as rosy as is portrayed. First, because cramming before a test is a good way to come away having learned none of the material (and probably with a bad grade… Read more >>
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Feedback We have already touched upon the subject of feedback, and its peculiar and often subjective qualities and content. Today we resume the topic of feedback and challenge you to an exercise in feedback. We know that good feedback is always contextual, and is often tricky. Some of the trickiness is in the object of the feedback. Usually, it’s easy to give your opinion and it’s hard to refraining from sounding judgmental. “Your essay was great!” or “The paper is poorly written” are examples of such. These don’t provide the student with enough context and a direction for improvement, or in the former case, don’t point out what exactly the student did right so she can carry it over to… Read more >>
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