CTE
CTEVirginia Commonwealth UniversityCenter for Teaching ExcellenceCTE
CTE HomeAbout the CTEProgramsWorkshopsResourcesWhat's New
  CTE
Bookmark This Site CTE Site Map Printer Friendly Text Size:SmallNormalLargeExtra Large
   

Teaching and Learning Online

June 7-11, 2010


Schedule

Monday, June 7

The Web as a Platform of Participation

Day 1 of the Institute begins with an introduction of Institute participants and an exploration of initial experiences and perspectives about online teaching and learning. This will serve as a springboard for considering how the web has evolved into a platform for creating content, communicating, making connections, building community and learning. We build on this foundation by thinking about practices that inform effective online teaching, and join in a discussion with a panel of VCU faculty members who have been teaching online. The day finishes with an examination of the changing roles of teachers and students, and the importance of establishing social presence as they engage in an online learning environment.

Morning Sessions (9 AM – 12 Noon, Cabell 320)

The Web and the Changing Landscape of Learning
Over the past few years we have witnessed the emergence of tools and practices that facilitate web-based interaction and exchange among individuals and groups. Now nearly everyone with a computer, Internet access and freely available software can communicate with text, images, audio and video to audiences that comment, vote, rank, exchange, link, share and connect. In addition, excellent course content has become organized and freely available, spawning new opportunities for both formal and non-formal learning. In short, the web has become social and participatory space that serves as a platform for community building and learning. This session will engage participants in an examination and discussion of key examples of ways the web is changing how and where learning is taking place.

Effective Online Teaching is Marked By…
Meaningful learning can be facilitated by effective teaching practices. As faculty members consider transitioning to the online environment some new practices begin to emerge that may not have played a role in traditional face-to-face classroom contexts. This session will invite Institute participants to brainstorm ideas they have about effective online teaching, and to compare these ideas with best practices from the literature on effective online teaching.

<Lunch on your own 12 – 1 PM>

Afternoon Sessions (1 – 4 PM, Cabell 320)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Online Teaching But Were Afraid to Ask
This session will feature a panel discussion of VCU faculty members who have been teaching online. The purpose of this panel discussion is to provide a range of perspectives on the processes and practices of online teaching and learning, from the challenges associated with connecting students you never see physically to the unexpected opportunities that teaching online raises.  Participants will discuss issues regarding online teaching, such as work load, time management, course development, and the social side of teaching in this new environment.

The Role of Social Presence in Online Courses
Learning is enhanced when it is guided by faculty members whose social, cognitive and teaching presence online is recognized by students.  How does one do that when one never physically meets the students? In online environments our identities are virtually mediated and there is a need to establish opportunities for creating and supporting an online identity within the course. Research has demonstrated that online social presence not only affects learning but also satisfaction with a course.  This session will look at ways to create connections (faculty to student and student to student) and build a learning community through persistent connections, group interactions, student engagement, personalized communication, and relevant learning.

Tuesday, June 8

What is the “Classroom”?

Day 2 of the Institute will focus on the environment in which learning takes place within online courses.  We are familiar with the four walls of traditional classrooms, but what is the “classroom” when learning occurs online?  We will unpack the notion of the Blackboard learning management system and explore opportunities to create learning spaces outside Blackboard.  We will also consider the opportunities and challenges associated with both asynchronous and synchronous learning environments.

Morning Sessions (8:30 AM – 12 Noon, Cabell 320)

Individual work time and consultation 8:30 – 9:30 am
Individual work time is an opportunity for participants to reflect on and work with the material explored during the Institute. These are great opportunities for brief consultation, review, Q&A with your colleagues and the Institute facilitators.

The Asynchronous Realm – Learning Management Systems & Networked Learning Platforms
The Web has opened a world of learning that is social, connected and participatory.  Research has demonstrated that one of the compelling features associated with online learning is the flexibility to access learning 24/7.  This session will explore learning in which the faculty member and students are not on the same schedule yet work together for learning.  We will introduce a social networking site (Ning) created for this Institute and consider ways it might support learning online. We will look at the features of Ning and compare and contrast these features with features available in an enterprise learning management system like Blackboard.  Ultimately, this is not positioned as an either / or decision, but rather a pedagogical decision about creating an online course context that is learning-centered.

<Lunch on your own 12 – 1 PM>

Afternoon Sessions (1 – 4 PM, Cabell 320)

The Synchronous Realm – Same Time Virtual Class Meeting
Whether by text, audio, and/or video, there are learning situations which are enhanced when students and faculty members are online at the same time.  This session will explore a range of synchronous options. Wimba’s Classroom is a web conferencing technology that permits real time (synchronous) class meetings, as well as recording and archiving of sessions for later (asynchronous) viewing. In Classroom you can have a two-way voice discussion, share presentations, share desktop applications, and use a live whiteboard. In addition to Classroom, we’ll consider other web-based tools that permit multiple user video conferencing. Finally, we’ll explore the use of Twitter as a bridge between the synchronous and asynchronous interactions online, and consider uses that support the sharing of learning resources and maintaining the kind of persistent connection that supports online learner success.

Tuesday Evening Guest Speaker in Wimba Classroom (Topic and Speaker, TBA, ~7pm)

 

Wednesday, June 9

Creating Web-Based Learning Content

Day 3 of the Institute focuses on exploring technology tools and practices that provide interesting opportunities for both faculty and students to create learning content. Through demonstration and hands-on practice, participants will determine suitability of these tools for supporting learning goals in their teaching.

Morning Sessions (8:30 AM – 12 Noon, Cabell 320)

Individual work time and consultation 8:30 – 9:30 am
Individual work time is an opportunity for participants to reflect on and work with the material explored during the Institute. These are great opportunities for brief consultation, review, Q&A with your colleagues and the Institute facilitators.

Enhancing Learning through Resource Sharing
Saving links or “bookmarks” to resources on the web has become a well-worn practice, and sharing these resources with others is often handled in an email. In a networked world, we can share resources more easily and also connect with others who have common interests. In this session we explore the practice of “tagging” through a social bookmarking tool (http://delicious.com) that allows us to organize, access and share resources, as well as build a network of other users who share similar resources in return. Institute participants will discuss how these practices can enhance learning, and explore ways to use social bookmarking in their own courses.

Putting the Feed to Work for You: Tapping the Power of RSS
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) has fundamentally transformed our experience of the web. RSS has made it simple to subscribe to web content that is often changing, and aggregate these changes in a single location for easy access and review. Filtering information in this way has become crucial in an environment where information is dynamic and abundant. In this session, participants will use an RSS reader to subscribe to content that is relevant to their field and interests. In addition to using RSS readers to manage personal information flow, we will also explore meaningful instructional uses of this technology that allow students to identify and contribute learning resources through a shared portal that is open to the entire class. These course based examples will serve to introduce key practices and generate discussion and questions about potential learning impact.

Thinking, Reflecting, and Conversing: Blogging as a Platform for Learning
Blogs offer both faculty and students the opportunity to publish on the web thoughtful and reflective posts to which others can read and then comment. Importantly, a blog is not just an assignment, it is a web space owned by each individual.  We will explore this concept of reading and commenting on blogs of identified interest as a way of participating in reflective conversation.  With ownership of their own intellectual property, reflective blogging becomes more learning centered. Ultimately, this session is designed to help faculty participants make informed decisions about how they might use powerful web publishing tools to support teaching and learning.

<Lunch on your own 12 – 1 PM>

Afternoon Sessions (1 – 4 PM, Cabell 320)

The Wiki Way: Exploring the use of Wikis in Education
Wikis are openly editable web sites that have ushered in new opportunities for collaboration and shared knowledge creation. Now nearly everyone with Internet access and freely available or institutional wiki software can create spaces on the web that make communication, sharing resources and group development of content very easy. This session will introduce participants to the educational use of wikis, and examine key questions and challenges faced in successfully implementing them into coursework. Faculty participants will brainstorm potential uses in their own courses and gain hands-on experience setting up and using wiki tools on the web.

Open Consult Time

  • Podcasting
  • Screencasting
  • Review of previous session material
  • SoftChalk Lesson Builder
  • Google Sites / Docs
  • Voicethreads
  • Etc.

Thursday, June 10

Assessing Learning

Providing feedback is a crucial component of the learning process, and making student thinking visible on a number of levels is incredibly valuable to all engaged in the learning process. The sessions on Day 4 will explore how specific tools can enhance both summative and formative assessment practices in an online class, as well as examine student readiness for online learning and the evaluation of online classes.

Morning Sessions (8:30 AM – 12 Noon, Cabell 320)

Individual work time and consultation 8:30 – 9:30 am
Individual work time is an opportunity for participants to reflect on and work with the material explored during the Institute. These are great opportunities for brief consultation, review, Q&A with your colleagues and the Institute facilitators.

Formative and Summative Assessment Online
In this session of the Institute, we introduce tools and practices (concept mapping, Blackboard surveys and tests, Respondus, StudyMate, LON-CAPA) that can support both formative and summative feedback online.  Central to the discussion is an examination of the role formative feedback plays in the learning process. We introduce some web-based tools such as Poll Everywhere, ZohoPolls, and Google Moderator, that provide alternative options for polling students.  We will also examine processes to more formally assess and grade learning.  As always, participants will be asked to critique the value of these practices in general as well as consider specific applications for their own teaching.

<Lunch on your own 12 – 1 PM>

Afternoon Sessions (1 – 4 PM, Cabell 320)

Assessing Student Readiness to Learn Online
Many faculty members assume that students today have the skills and knowledge to learn online.  After all, they are called the Net Generation.  Research has shown however that skills associated with learning vary widely in online students.  In this session, we will explore research associated with student success, including self-assessment websites that can help students improve their odds of success.  Faculty participants will brainstorm potential uses of these self-assessment tools in their own courses.

Assessing the Course
Gathering feedback from students about their experiences in a course is an important way of improving the teaching and learning process. In order to make adjustments, this feedback can be gathered routinely, not just in an end-of-course evaluation.  In this session, we will explore processes and instruments for gathering feedback on the course from the students.  In addition to routine course assessment techniques, we will examine an evaluation instrument for online courses developed by VCU faculty.  Finally, we will review peer review processes that work well online.

 

Friday, June 11

Pulling It Together: Course Quality and Design

To design online courses that are of high quality, it is helpful to examine national models of excellence.  During Day 5 of the Institute, we will examine national rubrics for online course design, such as the Quality Matters peer-assessment rubric, the SLOAN-C Five Pillars of Quality, and the CSU Chico State rubric for Online Instruction.  We will then use these standards to explore activities and course designs that align the content, activities and assessments with the learning objectives of the course.  As traditionally, we will wrap up the week with the legendary Institute Potluck luncheon and reflection on next steps.

Morning Sessions (8:30 AM – 12 Noon, Cabell 320)

Individual work time and consultation 8:30 – 9:30 am
Individual work time is an opportunity for participants to reflect on and work with the material explored during the Institute. These are great opportunities for brief consultation, review, Q&A with your colleagues and the Institute facilitators.

Course Design Rubrics
Quality Matters is a nationally recognized organization that has developed a rubric and peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. Nationally, colleges and universities use the QM tools in developing, maintaining and reviewing their online courses and in training their faculty.  VCU subscribes to QM, which gives us access to their rubric - a set of forty specific elements distributed across eight broad categories, by which course designs can be evaluated.  Additionally, SLOAN-C has the Five Pillars of Quality, and CSU Chico State provides a Rubric for Online Instruction. This session will review these rubrics and discuss their use in designing online courses that fit at VCU.

Implications for Course Design
Learning is enhanced when online content, learning objects, activities, and assessments are aligned.  Organization is equally important, as students need to easily navigate their way through your course.  In this session, we will wrap up the week by examining best practices for course design, and identify next steps resources for engaging in the course design process.

<The LEGENDARY Institute Potluck Lunch, 12 – 1 PM @ the CTE>

Afternoon Session (1 – ? PM)

Participant presentations / reflections
This closing session provides each participant with the opportunity to share some thoughts about the Institute experience.

   

top
 
Virginia Commonwealth University | Center for Teaching Excellence
Last modified: June 20, 2013
Contact webmaster
  Academic Learning Commons
1000 Floyd Avenue, Suite 4102
Richmond, VA 23284
(804) 828-4470