As we have previously announced, D2L update brought a visual design change that is much more responsive – works the same on different devices and matches our students’ needs. Below you will find a quick overview of “before and after”, so you can easily navigate the new design right away. The text describes the circled areas on the D2L homepage and course page.
Here are some upcoming webinars organized by D2L for you!
Restructuring Online Discussions to Save Time and Engage Students – Live Webinar
|Discussions are rightly an integral (if not time-consuming) part of engaging students in online learning environments. This session shows how a simple change of discussion structure and the question style can save you time, while creating conversations that re-create the excitement of engaged learning in face-to-face discussions.
Build Your First Intelligent Agent in Brightspace – Live Webinar
|Are you interested in using Intelligent Agents but don’t know where to start? In this webinar we will help you create your first Intelligent Agent (or maybe even your second or third). We’ll help you decide:
We’ll give away prizes to a couple of lucky attendees through a random drawing near the end of the live webinar.
**Attention – If you don’t want to read further just check out this super short overview video! 🙂
D2L Brightspace is bringing a new design with their updates. Daylight: the overarching project name for the user interface change of design – to help everything be more web responsive.
The biggest reason for this change is to make D2L easy to use on tablets or mobile devices – keeping up with e-learning trends.
Here are some of the visual changes:
Courses will be listed by tiles instead of text links.
D2L will keep the same functionality, this is just a change in the user interface design, new font style, more pictures, slight changes on home page and navigation bar, and drop down menu more defined.
Finally, a full one-hour Webinar about the Daylight experience (click to access).
QM Connect, annual Quality Matters conference is open for proposals by April 7. Find out more here.
Pathways to Excellence
“Share your ideas, experiences and research with the QM Community by presenting at the QM Connect Conference. This year’s theme and concentrations put the focus on quality assurance at all levels in an organization — including fresh ideas on QM Standards and educational quality. You can offer educators and administrators opportunities to help design the future of learning and improve learner engagement with your conference presentation proposal.”
Richard Rose wrote for Campus Technology on “6 Dimensions for More Effective Online Instructional Videos” (click here to view full text). Here is some of his advice:
1) Sound-to-Silence Balance
Sound-to-silence balance is the ratio of talk to empty space on the soundtrack of your video. Tools like Camtasia and Captivate show the soundtrack as a display of the visible waveforms, which makes it easy to see this balance at a glance without listening to the content itself.
2) Visual Context-to-Detail Balance
Visual context-to-detail balance is the control of how often your video editing tool is zooming in and zooming out. Some video tools, such as Camtasia’s Smart Focus, allow the software to make these decisions for you, based on the movement of your on-screen cursor, but the top-end instructional designer will always want to control location and magnification precisely and, therefore, manually.
3) Feature-to-Application Balance
This is the balance between showing program features in the context of the entire application and giving specific examples of their use. One of end of this continuum is the feature/function/benefit (FFB) approach, popular in the early days of computer software instruction. It could be summarized as, “It has this, which does that, which allows you to achieve this type of task.”
4) Balance Between Framing/Assessment and Substance
The old military training model had three parts:
- Tell them what you are going to tell them.
- Tell them.
- Tell them what you told them.
Today we call this framing and it is supported by David Ausubel’s classic Advance Organizer model. Having a sneak preview graphic at the front-end and a review graphic at the back-end of a step-wise training segment is often a fine idea.
5) Personality Balance
Personality balance is how much of yourself as an individual you choose to express in your instructional video. The ideal tone for most presentations is that of a clearly competent and enthusiastic professional who is visibly excited about the great stuff he or she has to share, and is delighted to be the one who is sharing it. Once this persona is established, the talent gets out of the way and lets the subject matter be the star of the show. But this is not always the right balance, depending on subject and audience
Below is a link with plenty of infographics to help you write your program, course, or module learning objectives, using Bloom’s taxonomy.
If you have an hour to spare, some really awesome topics are being presented in Learning Spaces & Instructional Technology Special Interest Group (SIG) and Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI) webinars. It is very easy to register, so just try out one of the topics of your interest and I am sure you will be back for more. 🙂
An article by Amy Peterson, a senior vice president of course design, development and academic research at Pearson, posted on the Faculty Focus website lists 5 ways to make your Online Classroom more interactive.
Since I like lists I thought I’d share her thoughts briefly here. To read the full article, follow this link.
The convenience and flexibility of the online learning environment allows learners to develop new skills and further their education, regardless of where they live. However, online learning can sometimes feel isolating for students and faculty. The question is: how do you build a sense of community in your online courses?
1. Integrate real-time interaction
Integrating opportunities for real-time interaction into your online course can help change that and develop a sense of community in a course. You can facilitate these interactions by setting up opportunities for class members to meet online synchronously both formally and informally. Using web conferencing applications, you can create a variety of synchronous interaction opportunities, such as office hours, small group discussions, whole class discussions, and study groups.
2. Get creative with discussion boards
In an online environment, you can structure your discussions so that everyone contributes, plus they’ll have more time to consider what they want to say before responding. Class size helps determine how you organize discussions. In a larger class of, say, 100 students, you can set up smaller discussion groups of 20 or so people so that students can get to know their fellow classmates. One technique that fosters richer dialogue is creating discussion prompts that are open ended, such as requiring students to provide examples or asking them to interpret a concept from a variety of perspectives.
3. Maximize engagement with non-task interaction
Non-task interactions are those exchanges that are not part of the direct learning, but help create a supportive learning community. You can facilitate these types of interactions by leveraging the social networking capabilities that are available in many learning management systems, such as chat and webconferencing. St. Cloud State and D2L Brightspace have Wiggio for example.
4. Use multiple communication tools
You’re not alone in wanting to increase and enhance student engagement and interaction. Students can meet each other in real time on Skype and Google Hangouts. Preprogrammed communication, such as introductory videos, content presentation, and email, are still important components of online learning, but student interaction can take the learning further, faster.
5. Have a plan around the tool
A tech tool is only as good as you the way you use it from a pedagogical perspective. When you move a face-to-face course online, or create an online course from scratch, consider how interaction will support the learning goals in your course. By enhancing the opportunities for interaction in your online classrooms, you can take an already powerful learning opportunity to the next level for all of your students.
Just a reminder, the Special Interest Group: Learning Spaces and Instructional Technology (SIG) and Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI) webinars start in less than two weeks. These are FREE and open to anyone. Below you will find the scheduled webinars for spring semester. Tuesday’s webinars will focus in D2L Brightspace. Wednesday’s webinar will focus more on teaching, learning, and technology. Only Wednesday webinars will be recorded and can be found on the MOQI website three weeks after the session is held: https://minnesota.qualitymatters.org/video-resources/.
Click here to register for the sessions described below.
Teacher and social presence and engagement with other classmates and the course materials continue to be the greatest indicators of success in online classes.
Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework is a framework developed by Randy Garrison, Terry Anderson et al. (University of Calgary) to help the educational experience of e-learning. It is based on the three “presences” in the classroom: social, teacher, and cognitive. There are many ways for teachers to show their presence in an online course. starting with clearly communicated course objectives and due dates, providing feedback in a timely fashion, encouraging discussion within the course, etc.
Click here to access the interactive map (you can click on each term) of CoI framework and learn more.