Oct 20

Surveys and Polls, Challenge Winners!

Thank you Charla and Marnie for contributing ideas about surveys! You can find their submissions at our Faculty Challenge Google Site.

Marnie reminded me that when we listed survey tools in our initial post, we forgot to include the UAS Survey tool in our list. She really likes the reports that she gets from this survey tool. If you have never given it a try, you can find that tool by going to UAS Online, click on “Add Tools”, then under “Faculty/Staff” click on “MySurveys”.

Challenge 3

Before we leave this topic, we’d like to gather just a little information from you on polls and surveys.

Remember, you do not have to use any fancy survey tools to collect feedback from your students. Built into Blackboard we have journals where students can reflect and evaluate their learning or respond to specific prompts. The discussion board also is often used as a survey tool, asking students to respond to questions without the need to respond to each other. And, of course, the built-in survey tool is fairly robust as well. And built-into Collaborate are some easy-to-use polling capabilities.

Oct 17

Fried Friday

Be thankful that our Faculty Challenges haven’t included things like Ze Frank’s “Toilet Paper Challenge” and “When Office Tools Attack” challenge to his followers! This is an old Ted Talk, but if you never watched it, you might enjoy Ze Frank’s Nerdcore Comedy. You’ll have to stick it out to the end of the Ted Talk to see his challenges.

Ze Frank Ted Talk Click Here

Notice

Faculty Challenge #3 is still open.

We know many of you use surveys in your courses or take quick polls– we’re still looking for your examples and your shared strategies on how and when to implement these. Please get your submissions to Kathi so she can post on our shared Faculty Challenge Google Site. Thanks.

By the way, if you noticed yesterday that this post was sent out a day early and retracted, that was our fault. We were hoping yesterday was Friday! Enjoy your weekend.

Oct 15

Exemplars Aligned to the Peer Review Rubric

Click for examplarsWe’ve posted about the peer review of online courses a few times (search for Peer Review) in the past. Today we’re excited to announce that, similar to the sharing we’ve doing with our Faculty Challenges, many faculty have shared examples from their courses that showcase different ways of meeting the Peer Review Rubric’s standards.

We’ve posted these Peer Review Exemplars, with faculty permission, in a public Google Doc and we hope that you will take a look at some of the ways your colleagues are meeting the peer review standards. We want to keep adding examples to this list. If you are interested in sharing something you feel meets the rubrics standards, please send it to ksbaldwin@alaska.edu and we’ll add it to our document.

One of the real values of the peer review checklist/rubric is that you can self-assess your course(s). Beyond the value of self-assessment, participating in a review, formal or informal, allows you to gain insights from other faculty on different ways or strategies to accomplish something. It isn’t often that we have the time to step inside someone else’s classroom and see first hand how they deliver their content. Peer review gives us this opportunity.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to look at the UAS Peer Review for Course Improvement process, we have a Presentation for you to view. Additionally, here is the Peer Review Rubric and Checklist both found on the IDC website.

We’re very interested in your thoughts on our rubric, the process, the value and the exemplars to please comment below!

Starting soon, we’ll begin the 2014-2015 Peer Review Thru The Lens meetings. If you missed these sessions last year, they are 1 hour-long sessions where we look in depth at one of the peer review standards through the lens of one or two real courses. Our first session will be a close look at Standard III: Assessment and Measurement. If you would like to share your course assessments, both formative and summative and have faculty look at how your course meets Standard III of our rubric, please contact Kathi.

Oct 14

Tech Tuesday – RSS Feeds in Your Blackboard Course

rss iconIt might be handy to have a live feed from a news blog, or any other blogging site updating dynamically, in real time, inside your Blackboard course. For example, maybe you would like your students to see all the great posts that are added weekly to the UAS Tips for Student Success blog. It’s easy to add this to your Blackboard class.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do this!

Notice

Technical Note: If on your Blackboard page you have text and code, when you edit the text after the code has been placed on your page, the widget will break when you resubmit. A good work-around is when editing, click on HTML and copy the code and erase it from your editor. Then, go back to your visual editor and make all necessary changes to your text. Finally, return to HTML button and re-paste the embed code for the RSS feed. This sounds a lot harder than it is. Just realize, text edits might force you to re-paste your code.

Image credit: iStockPhoto Bet_Noire

Oct 13

Best Practices for Surveys and Polls- This Week’s Faculty Challenge #3 (Continued)

Satisfied or notAre you using polls and/or surveys to collect data from your students to improve your courses? to encourage student participation? to determine what your next lecture or presentation should highlight? to ascertain what aspects of your course students are struggling with? As we mentioned in our previous post, we’re very interested in sharing how YOU use polls and surveys in your classes.

Horton, in eLearning by Design suggests some best practices for polls including:

  • Collect opinions at the right time. Collect responses from your students after an event, during an event or immediately before an event, like a quiz, a discussion, an assignment or a lecture.
  • Be sure that your learners know how to vote. Sometimes online surveys use text messaging, or a website with a passcode, or are simply ungraded quizzes in Blackboard. Whatever the tool, make sure that your student understand how to submit their vote. It may be obvious to you, but not quite so obvious to your students. And be sure that it is clear that they know what they are voting for. For example is (1) very satisfied or (5) very satisfied?
  • Phrase prompts and choices with extreme care. It can be extremely frustrating to end up with survey results that are so ambiguous that you don’t know how to act on the information you just received.

Horton further provides a few examples for using a poll at the beginning of the course to determine if the course is right for your students. For example, post your main learning objectives and have students select for each from the following choices:

  1. This is exactly what I want to learn
  2. This is something that I want to learn
  3. This is of NO interest to me

All this week we are collecting your survey strategies and questions. Tell us how you survey, when you survey, and give us an example of some of your best questions. Please send these to Kathi. You can view the current submissions at our Faculty Challenge Google Site.

Photo credit: iStock Photo jntvisual

Oct 10

Fried Friday: Awakening the “Wonder Junkie”

Click for videoIt’s that day of the week again. Friday. Time for a little lightweight but hopefully inspiring, short video clip from “Shots of Awe” this one titled “The Ecstasy of Curiosity.”

Last year we did a Book Club on Sitka campus and talked a lot about creativity and innovation. Tony Wagner’s book “Creating Innovators” shares a lot in common with this 3 minute video clip. I hope you enjoy and take away from this clip that our mission is difficult, but certainly not impossible!

isotck 259666 Remember

FInally, just a few things to remember and act on:

  1. We need your ideas, strategies and questions for Faculty Challenege #3. We are collecting your questions and techniques for polls and surveys, see last posting for details. Email Kathi with your ideas and strategies for gathering good feedback from students.
  2. Don’t forget to VOTE on which faculty challenge topic you’d like to see in the future!
  3. Have a great weekend!!!

 

Istock Photo Credit: keeweeboy/Photo 259666

 

Oct 09

Faculty Challenge #3: We Challenge You to Share Your Ideas!

Thank you everyone who shared examples of ways that you create your online persona. We had a tie this week for first place, something fishy here? Congratulations to both Joel and Jim for your video submissions.

challenge winner 1 challenge winner 2

This week our challenge does not pit faculty against faculty, even in fun. Rather, we challenge you to share your ideas for creating good survey questions. Share with us what you are doing, what questions work best, what tools you are using, etc. We’ll compile and organize your responses. You can view some sample questions as they are sent in at our FLC Faculty Challenge Google Site.

We are looking to collect the best questions, techniques and tools to inform you mid-semester:

  • Are your students are struggling on concepts, assignments or quizzes?
  • Is your course design easy for students to navigate or is it a barrier to their learning?
  • Do you need to restructure or explain certain concepts or aspects of your course?

We are looking for the best questions at the close of your semester to let you know:

  • How successful were you in the eyes of your students in achieving your course objectives?
  • What sections of the course need you revisit before offering the course again?
  • What structural or course delivery strategies should you modify before offering the course again?

And if you have a synchronous classroom using Collaborate (or other tool) or a face-to-face classroom and you use clickers or other polling tools, please share with us some of your best practice tips.

  • How do you involve and engage students during your sessions?
  • How do you encourage all students to participate and contribute?

Send your thoughts, your examples, your successful questions to Kathi and I’ll collect them and post them to our Faculty Challenge Google Site so everyone can benefit from your success.

And, DON’T FORGET– scroll down to our last post and VOTE on which topic you’d like to see next in the Faculty Challenge series!

Oct 08

Polls and Surveys to Connect with Your Students

Online instructors, especially those teaching asynchronously without video or audio conferences, often express that they don’t know how their students are “feeling”, or if their students are confused, or frustrated with aspects of the course. Survey tools are plentiful and make surveys simple to deploy. Surveys may be one of the most powerful tools in your teaching arsenal, whether you are teaching online or face-to-face. A well-written survey can collect a wealth of information in a short time span. But surveys can do so much for your class.

  • Surveys can empower students. When you use a survey to find out what students want to learn or ask them to pinpoint areas that they still find confusing, you are asking them to help personalize their learning.
  • Surveys can also be used to compare different attitudes and showcase how different student views on various course topics might be.
  • Surveys can also let you know how effective different components of your course are. If you are spending hours on creating videos, are they effective? Are students watching? Do they have the technical skills to watch? Are your students getting out of your course what they need?
  • End-of-course surveys help us to determine which parts of the course should be kept and which parts need to be modified.

Let’s take a look at some of the tools that are free and easy to use.

Poll Everywhere: A survey service that lets you collect responses via the Internet, tablets, text messaging on phone, or by twitter. Survey results are instantly available. The free account plugs right into PPT so you can use it while lecturing. The free version limits you to 40 respondents. The responses can also be viewed as word clouds.

Google Forms: Free and easy to use you can easily create a form that feeds results into a spreadsheet. While the results may not be as pretty as some survey tools, Google forms are quick to create and easy to launch.

Socrative: Works on any device and operating system. Includes games, quiz questions, on-the-fly questioning and other easy to use features.

SurveyMonkey: The free version of survey monkey allows you to ask up to 10 questions and get 100 responses. You can gather responses from email, websites, Twitter, Facebook and more.

Blackboard has a survey tool built-in and Collaborate also permits polling with results hidden or visible to students. Collaborate has a Wizard Quick Guide Reference to help you get started. Both Blackboard tools are quick and easy to implement.

These are just a few examples. Common Sense Graphite posted their Top Tech Tools for Formative Assessment and there are many there (nicely rated and described) for you to explore.

Our upcoming “Share” or “Challenge” is on Polls and Surveys — did you guess that already? Be looking for more information in our next post!

Now it’s your turn to answer our quick poll so that you can help us pick some of the upcoming topics for future Faculty Challenges.

 

If you have another suggestion please leave us a comment below!

Oct 07

Tech Tuesday – Adobe Voice

voiceAdobe Voice is today’s Tech Tuesday topic. We blogged about creating an online presence last week and Adobe Voice is one way you can do that!

Adobe Voice is an iPad app that lets you easily create 60-90 second videos. This fun digital storytelling app allows you to make a professional impact by connecting with your audience using creative animated videos and presentations. The app has over 25,000 images and icons to choose from, or you can use your own. You can make your video private of public. Kathi made her introduction to Blackboard: Behind the Scenes using Adobe Voice.

If your students have iPads, have them use the app for assignments – maybe a field trip journal, book report, or personal introduction.

Each video you publish will appear on its own Voice web page. No unrelated videos, no random ads — just your story in the center of the page, in high-quality HD. You can also embed it where you want on your own web page. Anyone can watch them from wherever they are, on a phone, tablet device, or computer.

…In Voice, just tap Share, and you can share your video on Twitter, Facebook, email, messages/SMS, or anywhere else you can put a link, without thinking about file types. You can also embed the videos on your web page.

This is a free app but you will need an Adobe account. Setting up an account is free and easy to do – get started at Adobe Education Exchange.

Need an iPad? Read our blog post about iPads for faculty!

Oct 03

Fried Friday: Can you bottle or brand your online persona? Voting Time!

Sometimes an old idea can be recycled into some new and novel. Take for example this new rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” by the Bottle Boys. They certainly have talent, but is it more than talent that has captured them over 4 million hits on YouTube? Have they created a unique persona and stage presence? Can we do something similar (perhaps slightly less grandiose) in our online courses?

Remember it’s Fried Friday – so this post is definitely lighter than some of our others, but the message is clear– we too have something to say, but how do we get our message across to our students and have them coming back for more? These guys have figured it out!

It’s Friday, so enjoy this light post and start voting for your favorite below! This week you can cast three (3) votes for 3 different submissions. Help us to select a winner! Voting close Monday, October 6 at noon.

Notice

Voting is closed but you can still view the submissions below. Thank you!

 

JS10 JM10
KB10 CB10
AS10

 

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