Archives for October 2012

eFellows Community of Practice Meeting on Monday, November 5, 2012

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EdTech is hosting an eFellows Community of Practice meeting on Monday, November 5, 2012, from Noon to 1 p.m. in Interdisciplinary Engineering Room 206. EdTech will provide dessert and beverages (please bring your own brown bag lunch).

FOCUS: Course Overview and Instructions

How will students know where to find things in my course? How difficult is it to make a video of my course overview? How much information and content do I need to include on my course site? If my course is online, how will students get to know their instructor and the other students in the class?

eFellows grant recipients are required to attend this meeting!

The eFellows Community of Practice (CoP) is made up of instructors who have gone through the eFellows program in previous years as well as any instructor who wishes to learn more about how to use technology to improve student performance. The eFellows program is focused on transforming courses to teach in an online or blended format.

Other instructors who wish to attend are more than welcome to do so! Current and previous eFellows will share their ideas on how they are reshaping their courses with technology.

EdTech strongly encourages all non-eFellows who attend to participate with their own ideas!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please RSVP to Julie Phelps (phelpsja@mst.edu, 573-202-9564) by Friday, November 2, 2012.

IT Cleanup of Spring and Summer 2010 Blackboard Courses

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IT will be performing a cleanup of all Blackboard courses older than two years as part of Missouri S&T’s two year Blackboard course retention policy, starting on Wednesday, November 21, 2012.

This will ONLY affect Spring (SP2010) and Summer (SS2010) courses in Blackboard! Every instructor will receive an email indicating which courses are scheduled for removal.

This will NOT affect any current (Spring, Summer, or Fall 2012) or future (Spring 2013 and Summer 2013) courses!

After the remove date, the course contents, enrollment, and the entire course itself, will be purged from Blackboard and will not be recoverable.

This process will take place without any action or communication necessary from the instructor.

However, if an instructor wishes to retain content in any course for purposes of retaining the student grade data or for use in future courses, there are a few options available.

First, courses can be Archived. This will preserve all student work, enrollments, and grades, in the event that data from the course needs to be recovered. Instructions on archiving a course can be found at:

http://edtech.mst.edu/support/blackboard9-1/archivecourse/    

Second, content can be Copied from one course to another. This does NOT preserve student data, but is an easy way for moving content forward. WARNING: Copying a course from a previous semester always runs the risk that some portions of the course may not function as desired due to changes in Blackboard over time (e.g. upgrading to a new version). For example, a course created in Blackboard version 8 may have content features that are NOT supported in version 9.1.

Instructions for coping course content can be found at:

http://edtech.mst.edu/support/blackboard9-1/coursecopy/

If you require additional assistance with archiving or copying off any of the course information, please contact Educational Technology at 341-4131, edtech@mst.edu, or submit a Help Request (online at help.mst.edu or via phone at 573-341-HELP).

If you are one of multiple instructors for a course, please coordinate efforts with other instructors in the course to ensure any data which needs to be retained is archived or copied by the course’s remove date.
 

eFellows Community of Practice Meeting on Monday, October 22, 2012

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EdTech is hosting an eFellows Community of Practice meeting on Monday, October, 22, 2012, from Noon to 1 p.m. in Interdisciplinary Engineering Room 206. EdTech will provide dessert and beverages (please bring your own brown bag lunch).

The eFellows Community of Practice (CoP) is made up of instructors who have gone through the eFellows program in previous years as well as any instructor who wishes to learn more about how to use technology to improve student performance. The eFellows program is focused on transforming courses to teach in an online or blended format.

eFellows grant recipients are required to attend this meeting! It is the first of several face-to-face meetings they will attend as they go through the eFellows program.

Other instructors who wish to attend are more than welcome to do so! Current and previous eFellows will share their ideas on how they are reshaping their courses with technology.

EdTech strongly encourages all non-eFellows who attend to participate with their own ideas!

We look forward to seeing you there!

CLC Software Request Process for SPRING 2013 Now Open!

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EdTech is opening up the Computing Learning Center (CLC) software request process for instructors who need specific software packages installed in computer learning centers across campus.

It is very important to submit requests in a timely manner to ensure the best possible support from IT and EdTech. We appreciate your cooperation!

The software request web-based application is available on the EdTech web site.

    1. Go to edtech.mst.edu/clc.

    2. Click Request Software (Faculty).

Please enter ALL software requests before close of business on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. (This is the day after the General Election.)

Software requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. If questions arise, you will be contacted by the CLC coordinator for further discussion.

Software currently available in each of the CLCs on campus can be found on EdTech’s CLC index page.

Questions, comments, or concerns about the CLC Request process can be sent to edtech@mst.edu.

Blackboard Collaborate Outage

At 6:45 p.m. tonight, October 9, 2012 an email was sent to faculty identified as S&T Blackboard Collaborate users.

Subject: Blackboard Collaborate Outage – Update

Attention: Instructors using Blackboard Collaborate

Missouri S&T’s Blackboard (Bb) Collaborate has been unavailable since Monday, October 8th. It is believed this outage is an unexpected consequence of a maintenance procedure. EdTech staff are engaged with Bb Collaborate technical support to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Updates on the status of this issue will be posted to edtechconnect.mst.edu .

IT understands the impact of an outage of this nature and extends sincere apologies for course disruptions and inconveniences.

To provide feedback or comment on this incident, please contact the IT Help Desk at 573-341-4357 (HELP) or submit a ticket online at help.mst.edu . Your input will help our support team in their evaluation of all aspects of this event as they take measures to mitigate future risks.

 

Blackboard Maintenance on Sunday, October 7, 2012

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IT will be performing Blackboard maintenance on Sunday, October 7, 2012, starting at 12:00 a.m.

Blackboard will be unavailable for 4-6 hours between midnight and 6 a.m.

Please call the Help Desk with questions about this or any other IT issue at 573-341-HELP (4357) or submit an online Help Request at http://help.mst.edu.

Blackboard Collaborate Upgrade on Thursday, October 4, 2012

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EdTech will be upgrading the Blackboard Collaborate building block inside of Blackboard on Thursday, October 4, 2012, starting at 5 p.m.

Blackboard Collaborate will be unavailable for approximately 1 hour (5 – 6 p.m.) during the upgrade process.

Blackboard Collaborate is a virtual classroom available to all Blackboard courses. For more information about Collaborate, visit: http://edtech.mst.edu/support/blackboard9-1/collaborate/

AMY’S PONDERINGS: Addressing Failure Rates in Introductory Courses

— Written by Amy Skyles —

With the increase in class sizes and workload for faculty, it’s often difficult to gauge student learning from day to day. Designing a course to include several formative assessments can greatly enhance student success. The Faculty Focus article, “An Approach that Decreases Failure Rates in Introductory Courses” provides several strategies for successfully incorporating formative assessment into any course. Strategies provided in the article include:

  • Socratic lecturing – frequent use of questions
  • Ungraded, active learning exercises – case studies, in class demonstrations and others
  • Clicker questions – answered both before and after discussion
  • Practice exams – given weekly and peer graded
  • Class notes summaries – students re-stated concepts taught in lecture and asked questions about uncertainties
  • Reading quizzes – available online after lecture for a brief time
  • In-class group exercises – group discussion focusing on exam-style questions 

Malcolm Hays adds

One thing Amy doesn’t mention above is the actual results described in the article above, which I highly encourage you to read. Essentially, using some or all of the strategies will result in a marked improvement in student performance.

In reviewing the strategies, it occurred to me that reading quizzes might also be beneficial to students before the lecture as well as after the lecture (at the risk of over-quizzing the students). However, when I asked my co-workers (Amy Skyles and Jeff Jennings), they both seemed to initially agree that giving a reading quiz after lecture would make more sense. After some discussion, I think we arrived at a general consensus that reading quizzes could be given before or after a lecture. The deciding factors would be the context and the purposes of the instructor.

For instance, for an introductory course in biology, where students are required to learn a lot of new vocabulary, a simple reading quiz would help students retain this new information, and then in lecture they could learn about how to apply the new vocabulary. Similarly–using the same course as an example–they could read the material, attend lecture, then take a reading quiz to gauge how well they were able to apply the material they read about to the material covered during lecture. One quiz is focusing on retaining the material, while the other is focusing on the application of the materials. Each aspect (retention and application) is essential to the learning process.

2nd Call for Proposals for the eFellows Program

eFellow_Pin-02-mini.pngThe Office of the Provost, along with Educational Technology (EdTech), is issuing a second call for participation in the 2013 eFellows program. This program is an opportunity for instructors to redesign their courses to incorporate more technology, with the overall goal of improving student performance.

This round of proposals will only be for Tier 2 and Tier 3 projects.

Tier 2 – Stepwise Redesign (up to $2,000) is an intermediate step between Tiers 1 and 3. It is smaller in scope than Tier 1, focusing on one or more aspects of a single course, rather than a full course redesign. A Tier 2 project could eventually lead to a course redesign over time.

Tier 3 – Teaching with Technology (up to $1,000) eFellows projects are about the adoption of technology and the teaching strategies to improve teaching and learning.

Interested participants are strongly encouraged to review the video of the 2013 eFellows Program Participation Workshop from the Teaching and Learning Technology Conference 2012. The presentation can be found at the link below, along with the PowerPoint slides:

http://edtech.mst.edu/events/tltconference2012/abstracts-room-124/#p3

EdTech also hosts an eLearning Community of Practice (eCoP) which is a peer learning community that coincides with the eFellows program and is especially helpful for instructors who are interested exploring ideas before attempting a full course redesign. Along with the eFellows, members of the eCoP will be invited to participate in a blended course, CyberEd (inside of Blackboard), that introduces essential concepts and best practices for eLearning.  eCoP participants will receive consultation and assistance from EdTech staff on applying these practices to their courses, in small scale, at their option.

If you would like to request an application packet for the 2013 eFellows Program at the Tier 2 or Tier 3 level, please send a brief letter (email) of intent as described in the brochure linked below to Meg Brady (megbrady@mst.edu).

eFellows Program Brochure-2ndCall

An instructional designer or technologist will be assigned to work with you to complete the application. Alternately, you can schedule an appointment or stop by EdTech U (Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in IDE 105).

Applications are due no later than Friday, October 26, 2012.