Assessment Toolkit Updates

I recently had a workshop on the Assessment Toolkit that was built last summer (http://uashome.alaska.edu/~sitka_media/training/assessment/story_html5.html) and I was given some great information by participants of the class. I wanted to share two items that they brought up that are now going to be added into the toolkit. Yes, as a FLC reader, you get a sneak peak!

Main Page of the Assessment Toolkit

The two items that will be added are a rubric tool, and also information on “Understanding by Design.”

Both of these tools are being used by faculty here at UAS, so if you haven’t seen them, this is a great opportunity to “kick the tires.”

The rubric tool is called RubiStar, and it allows you to build a rubric for your assignments using a template provided. RubiStar is funded through the U.S. Department of Education, and is free to use. Just click on the image below to access it:

The second item to be added to the Assessment Toolkit is information about “Understanding by Design.” UbD is a framework for building courses and is based on the concept of Backwards Design.

Seven tenets of UbD are:

  1. Learning is enhanced when teachers think purposefully about curricular planning. The UbD framework helps this process without offering a rigid process or prescriptive recipe.
  2. The UbD framework helps focus curriculum and teaching on the development and deepening of student understanding and transfer of learning (i.e., the ability to effectively use content knowledge and skill).
  3. Understanding is revealed when students autonomously make sense of and transfer their learning through authentic performance. Six facets of understanding—the capacity to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess—can serve as indicators of understanding.
  4. Effective curriculum is planned backward from long-term, desired results through a three-stage design process (Desired Results, Evidence, and Learning Plan). This process helps avoid the common problems of treating the textbook as the curriculum rather than a resource, and activity-oriented teaching in which no clear priorities and purposes are apparent.
  5. Teachers are coaches of understanding, not mere purveyors of content knowledge, skill, or activity. They focus on ensuring that learning happens, not just teaching (and assuming that what was taught was learned); they always aim and check for successful meaning making and transfer by the learner.
  6. Regularly reviewing units and curriculum against design standards enhances curricular quality and effectiveness, and provides engaging and professional discussions.
  7. The UbD framework reflects a continual improvement approach to student achievement and teacher craft. The results of our designs—student performance—inform needed adjustments in curriculum as well as instruction so that student learning is maximized.

If you have other suggestions for items that you don’t see in the Assessment Toolkit, but think they should be included – just leave your suggestions in the “comments” and I’ll take a look! Thanks for reading the FLC today and have a great weekend!

Customer Service

A big part of service is individual accountability. Do you go above and beyond? In one of my all time favorite videos, James Lloyd tells a story of great customer service. I know the story is not in an education based environment, but the principles of customer service he describes here are universal to wherever you work. Please watch this 9 – 1/2 minute video, and then share it!!

When we get right down to the basics of what we do as University employees, we are in the business of Customer Service. We are here helping students get ahead, and doing what we can to make sure they are successful. We also do this with each other, helping our peers move forward and be successful.

With the right attitude we here at UAS can change lives and become a model of customer service for the entire UA system. “Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you today!”

And thank you for subscribing to the Faculty Learning Corner! Have a great weekend!!

Adopting the Hygge Lifestyle

Here’s a new concept that I have recently been introduced to. Do you wonder why Denmark is, year after year, rated as the happiest county on the planet? The answer may be that they embrace Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) lifestyle.

Hygge is not easily translated, but is a concept that embraces contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.  It is both a noun and an adjective. Watch the video below to learn more!

What is Hygge?

Some things that help make Hygge might be candles, fireplaces, throw blankets, homemade sweets, comfort foods, and hot drinks. But it’s not just material things that make Hygge; the most important aspects are attitude and lifestyle. It’s the balance between enjoying a hot drink and book by the fire, and enjoying time with friends and loved ones, and might include spending time outdoors while going on a hike. It’s about embracing things that spark joy in your heart.

Hygge is not about following a trend, or buying the things that make it trendy, but it’s about remembering to appreciate the simple things that bring joy to your life. It’s all about cosiness, charm, happiness, contentness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.

This weekend remember to appreciate the simple things that bring joy to your life, and have a great hygge weekend!!

Gunalchéesh! Thanks for reading the FLC!

Thanks to Jeanette Farah-Bucher for introducing me to, and putting me on the path to greater hygge!!

Five Strategies for Failure

In this video you will see how A. Michael Berman has come up with five strategies for guaranteed failure. 😅 Of course, doing the opposite will actually help with success!! Enjoy this humorous video, then see the steps below!

What important lessons can we learn from failure?

#1. Set Clear Goals

Setting clear goals is not easy, but it is an important first step to successfully completing any project. If you don’t know what you are setting out to do, you won’t know when you are done, and you won’t know if you succeeded. Setting clear goals is hard work, not only because it requires careful thinking, but also because it involves communication and consensus. Clear communication of well-defined goals creates alignment, but it also invites disagreement as different stakeholders want to achieve different things. Goal setting is a group exercise that involves bringing key stakeholders together to agree on a set of shared outcomes so you can all succeed together.

#2. Gain Executive Support

Garnering the support of executive champions is a crucial and often overlooked step. All too often, academic technology units are prevented from scaling otherwise innovative practices simply because no one in leadership knows about them. Support from leadership means access to resources. It means advocacy. It also means accountability.

#3. Think Beyond the Tech

IT projects are never about technology. They are always about solving specific problems for particular groups of people. For the most part, the people that are served by an analytics project have no interest in what “ETL” means, or what a “star schema” is. All they know is that they lack access to important information. What many IT professionals fail to appreciate is the fact that their language is foreign to a lot of people, and that using overly technical language often serves to compound the very problems they are trying to solve. Access to information without understanding is worse than no access at all.

#4. Maximize Communication

Communication is important in two respects. It is important to the health of your analytics project because it ensures alignment and fosters momentum around the clearly defined goals that justified the project in the first place. But it is also important once the project is complete. The completion of an analytics project marks the beginning, not the end. If you wait until the project is complete before engaging your end users, you have an uphill battle ahead of you that is fraught with squandered opportunity. With a goal of ensuring widespread adoption once the analytics project is completed, it’s important to share information, raise awareness, and start training well in advance so that your users are ready and excited to dig in and start seeing results as soon as possible.

#5. Celebrate Success

It’s easy to think of celebration as a waste of company resources. People come to work to do a job. They get paid for doing their job. What other reward do people need? But IT projects, and analytics projects in particular, are never ‘done.’ And they are never about IT or analytics. They are about people. Celebration needs to be built into a project in order to punctuate a change in state, and propel the project from implementation into adoption. In the absence of this kind of punctuation, projects never really feel complete, and a lack of closure inhibits the exact kind of excitement that is crucial to achieve widespread adoption.

Information here is shared from a Blackboard Blog – https://blog.blackboard.com/five-strategies-succeeding-with-data-higher-education/

International Year of Indigenous Languages

Sitka Alaska Tribe SealDid you know that the United Nations has declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages?  This happened in a resolution that was adopted on December 19, 2018.  It is estimated that of the 6,000 to 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, one language goes extinct every two weeks.  According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) there are 2,680 languages in immediate danger.

Here in Southeast Alaska we need to keep working to raise awareness of our native languages, Tlingit, Eyak, and Haida.  These languages are important, not only for communication, but as a vessel of culture, traditions, and identity.  Culture flows through the language!

Take a look at this website, tlingitlanguage.com, and consider taking a class here at UAS.
http://tlingitlanguage.com/the-tlingit-language/

I also want to invite you to watch the following video:

Gunalchéesh and happy International Year of Indigenous Languages!

Accessibility – Designing for users with dyslexia

Here is the last of the 6 posters which are focused on Accessibility.

Today’s poster is:

Designing for users with dyslexia

Do

  • use images and diagrams to support text
  • align text to the left and keep a consistent layout
  • consider producing materials in other formats (for example, audio and video)
  • keep content short, clear and simple
  • let users change the contrast between background and text

Don’t

  • use large blocks of heavy text
  • underline words, use italics or write capitals
  • force users to remember things from previous pages – give reminders and prompts
  • rely on accurate spelling – use autocorrect or provide suggestions
  • put too much information in one place

 

View poster for dyslexia

 

The posters being shared are created by Karwai Pun and are from accessibility.blog.gov.uk.  There are currently six posters in the series and are general guidelines when it comes to the “do’s and don’ts” of accessibility.

Have a great weekend!!

Accessibility – Designing for users who are D/deaf or hard of hearing

Here is the fifth of 6 posters which are focused on Accessibility.

Today’s poster is:

Designing for users who are D/deaf or hard of hearing

Do

  • write in plain English
  • use subtitles or provide transcripts for video
  • use a linear, logical layout
  • break up content with sub-headings, images and videos
  • let users ask for their preferred communication support when booking appointments

Don’t

  • use complicated words or figures of speech
  • put content in audio or video only
  • make complex layouts and menus
  • make users read long blocks of content
  • don’t make telephone the only means of contact for users

 

 

View poster for Deaf or hard of hearing

 

The posters being shared are created by Karwai Pun and are from accessibility.blog.gov.uk.  There are currently six posters in the series and are general guidelines when it comes to the “do’s and don’ts” of accessibility.

Accessibility – Designing for users with physical or motor disabilities

Here is the fourth of 6 posters which are focused on Accessibility.

Today’s poster is:

Designing for users with physical or motor disabilities

Do

  • make large clickable actions
  • give form fields space
  • design for keyboard or speech only use
  • design with mobile and touch screen in mind
  • provide shortcuts

Don’t

  • demand precision
  • bunch interactions together
  • make dynamic content that requires a lot of mouse movement
  • have short time out windows
  • tire users with lots of typing and scrolling

 

View poster for physical or motor disabilities

 

The posters being shared are created by Karwai Pun and are from accessibility.blog.gov.uk.  There are currently six posters in the series and are general guidelines when it comes to the “do’s and don’ts” of accessibility.

Accessibility – Designing for users with low vision

Here is the third of 6 posters which are focused on Accessibility.

Today’s poster is:

Designing for users with low vision

Do

  • use good contrasts and a readable font size
  • publish all information on web pages (HTML)
  • use a combination of colour, shapes and text
  • follow a linear, logical layout -and ensure text flows and is visible when text is magnified to 200%
  • put buttons and notifications in context

Don’t

  • use low colour contrasts and small font size
  • bury information in downloads
  • only use colour to convey meaning
  • spread content all over a page -and force user to scroll horizontally when text is magnified to 200%
  • separate actions from their context

 

View poster for low vision

 

The posters being shared are created by Karwai Pun and are from accessibility.blog.gov.uk.  There are currently six posters in the series and are general guidelines when it comes to the “do’s and don’ts” of accessibility.

Accessibility – Designing for users of screen readers

Here is the second of 6 posters which are focused on Accessibility.  (Poster 1 was last Friday, so if you didn’t see it, go back and take a look!)

Today’s poster is:

Designing for users of screen readers

Do

  • describe images and provide transcripts for video
  • follow a linear, logical layout
  • structure content using HTML5
  • build for keyboard use only
  • write descriptive links and heading – for example, Contact us

Don’t

  • only show information in an image or video
  • spread content all over a page
  • rely on text size and placement for structure
  • force mouse or screen use
  • write uninformative links and heading – for example, Click Here

 

 

View poster for screen readers

 

The posters being shared are created by Karwai Pun and are from accessibility.blog.gov.uk.  There are currently six posters in the series and are general guidelines when it comes to the “do’s and don’ts” of accessibility.