Games Can Teach!

Nicole and I just returned from an excellent training/conference in Orlando. One speaker who really resonated with both of us was Karl Kapp and his presentation “Game Elements for Learning, Engagement and Fun” (we even purchased several copies of his books to share with faculty at iTeach). We’ll let you know when they arrive on campus and you can check one out. Gamification isn’t just the newest buzzword.

Now, don’t get me wrong, neither of us are particularly thrilled about mixing games and education. Neither of us were sitting between sessions playing Angry Birds on our phone. That said, Karl Kapp’s research really did make us believers in the sense that there are better ways to look at your course, to make it appealing, to incorporate some of the elements from addictive games and figure out how your students might engage with your content more effectively if we learn from these popular gaming activities.

Karl Kapp Article on GamingHere is an article that he wrote in 2013 that links some gaming elements to educational strategies. I think, if you take a look, you won’t find this too far off the mark.

Additionally, during his Orlando presentation he took a close look at learning objectives. He told us basically, “Games start with action. Instructional designers and online courses start with learning objectives.” Hmmnm, from our student’s perspective, that doesn’t sound nearly as interesting, does it?

Instead of listing learning objectives for a course bullet by bullet, point by point, ASK A QUESTION. That’s right. Ask an intriguing question. Grab the interest of your student right away by presenting a scenario or choice — do they know the answer? No? Enter the learning module and find out. Or, ask a series of questions letting the student know that if they continue, they will find the answers. You want the learner primed to learn, excited to move on.

His take home message in the article is pretty compelling: The debate should not be whether games teach; instead, the debate should be how we leverage the best elements of games to create the best instruction for learners.

What do you think?

 

“Thru the Lens” Continues with a Look at Peer Review Standard II

Please mark your calendar to join us on March 31st at 9 AM for the second “Thru the Lens” Peer Review session. We will be looking at  two courses (Marnie Chapman’s Biology 112:Human Anatomy and Physiology II, AND Maren Haavig’s Accounting 379: Fund and Governmental Accounting) through the lens of Peer Review Standard II.

Peer Review Through the LensStandard II deals with course outcomes and goals. We’ll be looking at:

  • Different ways faculty use their syllabus to establish the course goals and clearly state class priorities.
  • Course objectives to see if they are measurable and written from a student’s view
  • Different ways to capture a student’s attention and focus it on the learning objectives
  • Ways faculty create clear and concise statements or checklists for assignments and due dates

Monday, March 31 at 9 AM we will use Collaborate  to meet so you can participate from your office or home. Please use the link shown, look for the “Tools Box” and click on “Participate Now” to attend. After joining the Collaborate session you will be given the information to log into each of the courses that we’ll be reviewing. Please have a headset with you so you participate by voice as well as text throughout the hour. If you have never done a Collaborate session before you might want to try logging in prior to the session to make sure you are ready at 9 am.

We hope you will join us for this session. It is a great way to see what other faculty are doing, share ideas, provide feedback and to gain more understanding of the peer review process and rubric. Mark your calendar today to reserve the date and time. We’ll post more information soon.  

Thank you Marnie and Maren for opening up your courses for this mini-peer review session!

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/Sergpet

Improving Completion Rates in Online Developmental Math Courses

mathPosterOn February 28, Patricia Brower, Math Technology Specialist, and Jeff Johnston, UAS Campus Director, presented at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Conference in Portland on their Title III funded case study. The focus of the presentation was on the analysis of the changes made to the online developmental math courses at the Sitka Campus. Patricia and Jeff spoke with several attendees about the success of the case study and the improvements made to the completion rates of UAS’ online developmental math courses; the courses have sustained a 30% increase in completion rates over five continuous semesters.

Under the UAS Sitka Campus Title III grant, research was conducted to discover how we could increase completion rates for our online developmental math courses. Using the well known emporium model (where math is taught within a physical lab) as a guide, we set out to improve our completion rates by improving sustained engagement. In looking at the research data, we found that throughout the US, developmental math courses were serving as a barrier to completion not only of the math courses themselves, but of degrees in general. Creating an “impassable gateway” for many, and serving as a graveyard for college students, developmental math courses have proven to be in need of redesign so that student can acquire their degrees and to go on to successful careers. To learn more about the purpose and approach of the research read the brief report.

The case study brought much interest from campuses across the United States interested in the possibility of creating successful online courses for developmental mathematics. Jeff and Patricia presented on how through the project, the Title III team was able to adapt the emporium model to a completely online environment. This new “Virtual Emporium Model” is one of the first models used for online developmental math education. Mcgraw Hill is featuring the results of this case study for other Universities, so that they can see how to successfully use adaptive math programs like ALEKS on their own campuses.

Fried Friday: What President Are YOU?

Fried Friday ladyIt’s that day of the week again, Friday. Do you need a little something extra this morning to bring on that smile? Well here’s something that just might do it.

Make a few selections and see what President you most resemble. It’s NOT just based on your dog selection either. Give it a try and see who you are, deep down!

If you have a good Fried Friday that you’d like to see us share, please contact us. We love posting your ideas!

To find your inner president start by clicking the “Pick Your Dog” image below. You can post a comment telling us which president you got!

Start the Selection

Ten Years of Tracking Online Education

Are you interested in seeing the results of a survey of over 2800 Chief Academic Officers and academic leaders say about online learning over the past ten years? Do academics feel it takes more time to manage an online course? Are the student learning outcomes comparable? How many students are actually taking online courses?

Check out the infographic by Pearson Learning Solutions by clicking on the image below.

Click to see infographic

Great Opportunity: Ask the Expert

Susan Mircovich

Susan Mircovich, KPC

We have a great opportunity to interact with an expert instructor and user of Camtasia. Susan Mircovich uses Camtasia lessons to help her students learn chemistry. She has created a tutorial Camtasia Recordings a Short Tutorial (35 minutes long) for you to get started using this tool.

Camtasia is like Jing on steroids– in fact, Jing is the TechSmith’s simple, free tool and Camtasia is their higher end product. Camtasia Studio is a software product that the university provides for faculty use.

Susan developed this tutorial expecting you to have Camtasia open while she demonstrates various techniques. You can pause her webinar while you try it out for yourself. In this tutorial you will:

  • See examples of camtasia projects and hear how Susan uses these movie clips in her course
  • Learn to record a project
  • Edit a project
  • Save and publish your movie
  • Learn about some extras: menus, title clips, callouts and transitions

As an extra bonus, Susan will make herself available to questions either in a followup Collaborate session or via email 1:1. It’s up to you. We’ll need to hear from you to let us know if you’d like us to schedule Susan for a group session or if you’d like to contact her personally.

Finally, another reason to think about signing up for the Sitka iTeach2 — Susan will be one of our guest instructional designers working with faculty all week long. We’re really looking forward to her joining us this summer! Thank you Susan.

Camtasia Tutorial Link

Are You Mentally Fried by Friday? Try Legos!!

Fried Friday ladyCertainly when Friday comes you are more aware than ever of the things on your to-do list that got finished, and those that are going to hang over you until next week. Perhaps time management is an issue that could help you deal with your work day in a more effective way.

Well today is your lucky day- we have a possible solution for you: Legos! It’s visual, it’s tactile, and it’s fun. What more can you ask for on a “fried Friday?”
Check out the post and video by Justin Pot — How to Use Legos to Manage Your Time Better. It’s worth a try! I think I have some legos, I may just have to give this a chance.

Stay tuned for more interesting and fun posts from your Title III team and friends!

legos

Above Image: ©iStockphoto.com/FotoW

Unlocking the Power of PowerPoint

Most of us have used PowerPoint (PPT) to create presentations, but did you know that the newer versions of PPT have built into them some powerful tools for creating graphics and templates and make your eLearning or your presentations really look and function nicely.

Here are a few tutorials from our friends at Rapid eLearning. If you like these, you might check with Maureen for other PPT tutorials that we have available through Lynda.com.

PPT can be a powerful tool, and it can be fun to unpack the power of the tool!  By the way, these tutorials were made using Articulate’s Storyline or Studio. We’ll be offering face-to-face training for Articulate Studio in March. You’ll want to be familiar with some of the power of PPT before you come to Studio training. So these or the Lynda.com training links would be a great place to start.  Microsoft offers its own training tutorials for PPT linked here:

Training Courses for PPT 2013

Create Your Own Graphics in PPT — 4 Tutorials

Using PPT to Crop Images, Create Interesting Effects — 3 Tutorials

Creating Templates, Master Slides, Layers, Backgrounds — 8 Tutorials

Create a Template in PPT — 3 Tutorials

Book Club Alert: Hackschooling Makes Me Happy

Attention all book-clubbers (and others) — Nicole shared this TED Talk video this morning and it definitely brought back our conversations from Book Club on creativity. I would love to hear what you think of this young man’s ideas on creativity and “hacking” and education.

Certainly an interesting concept to hack your way through physics. Do you think that eventually traditional versus hacked educations end with similar depths of knowledge? Do you think one will be substantially happier than the other? Do you think this is the way of the future?

Ted Talk

Reminder: Free Webinar Opportunities

UAS maintains a number of site licenses for software that allows faculty to create presentations and interactive learning activities. StudyMate and Softchalk are some of these.

Studymate is a Windows program which makes a variety of learning activities: quizzes, flashcards, games, etc. Studymate can be used to review facts, vocabulary and basic concepts.

Softchalk is a program that lets you build lessons in the form of HTML pages that include navigation and interactive learning activities (popup text, quizzes, interactive images, timelines, and many more). Lessons can be packaged and uploaded to Blackboard. Softchalk runs on both Mac’s and Windows.

Need the software? UAS faculty can access the information here: http://www.uas.alaska.edu/idc/software/index.html. (Downloads require UAS log in.)

WEBINAR SCHEDULE

Webinar Dates and Registration
StudyMate: Creating Learning Activities & Self-Assessments Wednesday, February 26, 2pm EST – Register
Softchalk Webinars Multiple dates – View website for dates and topics and to register